by MIKE MACCOLLUM
So, what tickles your cinematic taste buds? An American drama with a harsh, wintry, rural setting (and at least one meal with squirrel on the menu, if it’s faithful to the book), or a summery Italian comedy/drama? Both are new to the theatrical menu in Indiana this week, along with a number of other appetizers (holdovers, special screenings and so on). And not only that, but the movies coming to the state in future weeks are more numerous than usual- and bizarrely diverse. See the last section of the column for all of that; and for everything else, just keep reading below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Mid-August Lunch– One of the writers of Gomorrah, Gianni Di Grigorio, stars in and directs this film- which sounds like quite a change of pace. Di Grigorio plays Gianni, who lives in an apartment in Rome with his nonagenarian mother. The pair is out of money, but the manager of their building is willing to forget about their ever-increasing debt if they will host his mother over the course of the big summer holiday “Pranzo di Ferragosto.” Gianni and his mother agree- but then the manager decides to bring not only his mother but one of his aunts, too… and one of Gianni’s friends leaves his own mother at the apartment as well. With limited money and a small apartment, Gianni does his best to keep his mother and their guests happy. Mid-August Lunch– which is described on its official site as “both a warmly vibrant family drama and a delicately balanced comedy of manners” that “won numerous prizes at international festivals-” opens on Friday, July 30, at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis.
Winter’s Bone– After her criminally-inclined father takes off on yet another of his mysterious, unexplained absences, seventeen-year-old Ree Dolly learns that dad put the family home up for bail- and if he doesn’t show up for his hearing, Ree and her mother and siblings will be homeless. Facing lack of convenient transportation, harsh winter weather, and defiantly uncooperative kinfolk, Ree doggedly searches for her father- all too aware of the dire consequences if she doesn’t succeed…. Winter’s Bone– which was based on Daniel Woodrell’s excellent novel (I just finished reading it this week)- won two major prizes at this year’s Sundance Film Festival (the Waldo Salt Screenwriting Award, and the Grand Jury Prize in the Drama category), and features a much-praised performance by Jennifer Lawrence as Ree. It starts on Friday, July 30, at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis.
Regal bargain Tuesdays- As far as I understand it- and if I’m wrong here, please let me know- all of the AMC theaters in the area now charge only $5 for admission to most (or all?) non-IMAX, non-3D movies from Monday through Thursday. According to an ad in this week’s NUVO, all area Regal theaters are (sort of) jumping on to the lower price bandwagon (and helping to lower the price spread between first and second run theaters in the area) with $5 admissions all day Tuesday at “all 6 theatres in Central Indiana”- although there still may be an additional charge for 3D films, and “[h]olidays may be excluded,” per the teeny-tiny type at the bottom of the ad.
Once again demonstrating the sort of genius for advance publicity that ensures success in the digital age, the Tibbs Drive-In in Indianapolis has not posted their schedule for the upcoming week on their site as of Thursday night. It isn’t very likely that the Tibbs will be showing anything that other theaters in town aren’t already showing- or didn’t show a few weeks ago- but if they do, I will try to post an update. (To be fair, the Tibbs’ “Coming Soon” page does note that they will be getting two wide-release movies- Dinner for Schmucks and Cats and Dogs: The Revenge of Kitty Galore– on July 30. But as to what else they’ll be showing this week, who knows?)
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Campecine Youth Academy- According to the entry in this week’s NUVO, this event- which takes place from 2 to 4 PM this Saturday, July 31, at the studios of WFYI (at 1630 North Meridian Street in Indianapolis)- features “original works in film, music, and testimony” created by “38 young Latinos” from the Indy area. Per NUVO’s blurb, domestic violence and teen pregnancy are just two of the topics covered by works that will be presented at the Campecine Youth Academy; also, there is no charge for admission, and some refreshments will be served as well.
Casino Jack and the United States of Money– Academy-award winning filmmaker Alex Gibney directed this documentary-with-a-point-of-view about Jack Abramoff, the formerly high-flying lobbyist who is now serving a prison term for his illegal activities. But beyond the focus on Abramoff himself, the film examines the way that the crushing need for money to fund re-election campaigns enables the lobbyists to trade cash for favors, and thus negatively impact the American political system. Casino Jack and the United States of Money will be shown at Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center from Saturday, July 31, through Monday, August 2.
City Island– Vince Rizzo is a prison guard, father, and would-be actor. Vince fathered a son, Tony, twenty years ago, but abandoned him. When the two meet again, Vince decides to take Tony home to his “new” family- but he doesn’t tell them the truth about Tony’s identity. That isn’t all that unusual, though, since everyone else in his family has some pretty big secrets of their own- until everything starts unraveling, and some embarrassing truths are revealed. Andy Garcia stars as Vince, and Julianna Margulies plays his wife; Emily Mortimer and Alan Arkin are also in the cast of this comedy, which holds over this week- with one 12:40 PM screening per day- at the AMC Richmond 10 in Richmond.
Coco Chanel & Igor Stravinsky– In 1913, Coco Chanel attended the Paris premiere of Igor Stravinsky’s groundbreaking work The Rite of Spring. Chanel loved The Rite of Spring, but most of the audience was outraged by it, and lustily booed the composition. Seven years later, following the Russian Revolution, Stravinsky is broke and living in Paris, and Chanel is now a wealthy fashion designer. She invites him (and his wife and children) to live in her villa, so that he can work on his music- but the pair also fall passionately in love. Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen play the title roles in this romantic drama, which holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- albeit with only one showing per day, at 2:15 PM.
Cyrus– John C. Reilly, Jonah Hill and Marisa Tomei star in the latest effort from the Duplass brothers, Mark and Jay. Reilly is John, a man in his mid-forties who is still alone, even though several years have passed since he and his ex-wife (Catherine Keener) got divorced. He finally meets Molly, the woman of his dreams (Tomei, of course)- and is shocked to discover that she really likes him, too. But then John meets Molly’s son, Cyrus, who is in his twenties, and has an unusually close relationship with his mother- leading to a battle between the two men for Molly’s affections. Cyrus– a most unusual romantic (?) comedy- holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Everyone Else– German honeymooners are having a good time at an Italian resort- until they start to get on each other’s nerves as they get to know each other better. But these are only minor irritations- the real trouble starts when they meet another young couple, who are (very obviously) much happier than they are…. As with Ondine (or Casino Jack, for that matter), it looks like this is another title that won’t get any theatrical play in Indianapolis- but if you want to see Everyone Else on a big screen in Indiana, you’re not out of luck. Go to the site for The Ryder to see where and at what times Everyone Else will be showing in Bloomington this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
Flipped– It isn’t often that movies are shown at the (Hilbert) Circle Theatre in downtown Indianapolis these days, but the Heartland Film Festival will present a screening of Rob Reiner’s latest comedy on Monday, August 2, at 7 PM. Mr. Reiner himself will be present, and will take part in a Q and A after the show- as will cast members Anthony Edwards, Penelope Ann Miller, and John Mahoney. Admission is $25, and includes a dessert reception.
48-Hour Film Project– If you want to be part of a team that makes an actual movie over the course of just two days (take THAT, Roger Corman!), then you’ll want to be free starting at 6 PM this Friday, July 30- this event’s official site says that there are still “a few slots available” in the Indy area. For more on where to go and what to expect, click on the link above.
Gen Con Indy– This annual convention- which gets underway on Thursday, August 5, at the Convention Center in downtown Indianapolis- is mainly focused on gaming, according to its official site. But Gen Con also features a number of other events, including art exhibits, movie screenings (like Harvey Putter and the Ridiculous Premise– see below), and other movie-related events. For more on the latter two categories, click here.
The Girl Who Played With Fire– This follow-up to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo finds computer hacker Lisbeth Salander framed for murder. Most people just assume that she’s guilty- but Mikael Blomkvist, Salander’s partner in a previous investigation, is determined to prove her innocence… and to find out which governmental and/or political bigwigs set up Salander. The Girl Who Played With Fire holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Harvey Putter and the Ridiculous Premise– This is exactly what the title sounds like- a feature-length spoof of the Harry Potter movies. In addition to the Gen Con screening mentioned above, this also will be shown several times this weekend (and the weekend after next) at the IU South Bend campus; see the “screenings” tab on the movie’s official site for more information.
Hubble 3D– Leonardo DiCaprio narrates this documentary about NASA’s space telescope, its much-publicized initial problems, and the efforts of astronauts to repair the Hubble. According to its official site, Hubble 3D lets moviegoers “journey through distant galaxies to explore the grandeur and mysteries of our celestial surroundings;” it will have several shows per day this week at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.
Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work– You know who she is, and you most likely either love her or hate her- but you may not know Joan Rivers nearly as well as you think you do, according to this documentary from co-directors Ricki Stern and Annie Sundberg. The film follows a year in the life of Rivers; fellow comedians Kathy Griffin and Don Rickles also appear, along with Rivers’ daughter, Melissa. Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work holds over this week at the AMC Showplace Bloomington 11.
Khatta Meetha– Akshay Kumar stars as Sachin Tichkule, a road construction contractor who is having more than a few problems. He is too broke to bribe the government officials whose approval he needs to win the big jobs- and the new local building commissioner is none other than his former girlfriend, who really hates Sachin after their break-up. This Indian comedy (in Hindi, with English subtitles) apparently has just one showing at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis this week- on Friday, July 30, at 9 PM.
The Kids Are All Right– Lisa Cholodenko (High Art, Laurel Canyon) directed and co-wrote this comedy about a pair of lesbian mothers, Nic and Jules (Julianne Moore and Annette Bening), who have a pair of teenaged children (Mia Wasikowska and Josh Hutcherson) by way of an anonymous sperm donor. When the older of the kids turns eighteen, she decides to track down the donor, Paul (Mark Ruffalo). Paul is much more laid back than Nic, and his increasing involvement with the family leads to a number of complications. The Kids Are All Right holds over at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis- and starts on Friday, July 30, at the AMC Glendale Showplace 12 in Indianapolis, the Regal Village Park 17 in Carmel, the Rave Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the AMC Showplace 7 in Muncie, the AMC Evansville 16, the AMC Schererville Showplace 16, the AMC South Bend Showplace 16, the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, the Eastside 9 in Lafayette, and the AMC Showplace Bloomington 11.
The Muppets Take Manhattan– Well, at least they got there five years before Jason took Manhattan in 1989*…. Anyhow, the third theatrical Muppet movie will be shown at dusk this Friday, July 30, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s amphitheater, as part of the IMA’s “Summer Nights” film series. The doors open at 6:30 PM (or at 6 PM, if you’re a member of the IMA).
(* In Friday the 13th Part VIII, but of course.)
Ondine– Colin Farrell plays an Irish fisherman who finds that he has caught a young woman, Ondine, in his net. As the fisherman falls head over heels in love with Ondine, his daughter starts to believe that Ondine has magical powers- and the people in the village start to come up with their own ideas about her. In spite of Farrell’s presence in a leading role- and in spite of the fact that this film was directed by Neil Jordan- it looks like it will be bypassing theatrical release in Indianapolis; instead, Ondine will be playing (again) this Friday, Saturday and Sunday in Bloomington, by way of the folks at The Ryder (go to their site for information on show times and locations).
Please Give– Kate (Catherine Keener) and her husband Alex (Oliver Platt) run a pricey, faddish furniture store in Manhattan. Unbeknownst to their customers, Kate and Alex stock their store with items they buy on the cheap from the families of dead people- and then massively mark up. That’s just one thing that’s been bothering Kate, however- she also has concerns about her marriage, and wants to discourage her daughter’s materialistic tendencies. At the same time, Kate worries about the homeless people and general poverty in New York City- and she also must deal with her crotchety old neighbor Andra, and Andra’s two granddaughters. Please Give is the fourth collaboration between Catherine Keener and writer/director Nicole Holofcener; Rebecca Hall, Amanda Peet, Kevin Corrigan, and Ann Guilbert (“Millie Helper” from The Dick Van Dyke Show) are in the supporting cast. This comedy/drama starts on Friday, July 30, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
The Secret in Their Eyes– Retired criminal court worker Benjamin Esposito decides to use his new-found free time to write a book. Following the maxim “write what you know,” Benjamin bases his novel on a 1974 murder case which he tried to help solve at the time. But Benjamin lived in Buenos Aires, and the Argentina of 1974 could be a dangerous, violent place- so his investigation puts him and the friends who are helping him in peril. As the present-day Benjamin writes his novel, his memories of the past- especially the mistakes he made, and the opportunities he lost- threaten to overwhelm him…. The Secret in Their Eyes– which won the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film a few months ago- will be at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne this week (except for Monday, August 2).
Solitary Man– Ben Kalmen used to have a big-time car dealership, but lost it all when he made some big-time mistakes. Now, Ben might be able to make a return to the auto biz- or his old habits might ruin everything all over again. Michael Douglas is Ben; Susan Sarandon, Danny DeVito, Jenna Fischer, Mary-Louise Parker, Jesse Eisenberg and Richard Schiff are in the supporting cast. Solitary Man– which was written and directed by Brian Koppelman and David Levien (Knockaround Guys)- has departed the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, but it opens on Friday, July 30, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.
Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan and Star Trek III: The Search for Spock– The UA Circle Centre in Indianapolis will have a double-feature style showing of these films starting at 9 PM on Wednesday, August 4. Admission is $10; if you show up dressed as a Star Trek character, you’ll be eligible for prizes.
The Ultimate Wave: Tahiti 3D– World champion surfer Kelly Slater is your guide through this 3D thrill-ride of a surfing movie, which continues this week at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: The second Marquez vs. Diaz boxing match will be shown at several theaters throughout the state on Saturday, July 31- and the children’s films (or edited-together-TV-shows-or-videos, as the case may be) Sesame Workshop: Summer Beach Party and Thomas and Friends: Misty Island Rescue will be shown at a number of Indiana theaters as well. For more information on which theaters will be showing these- and other information, such as show times- click on the relevant title above, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
As of Thursday afternoon, the war documentary Restrepo is still set to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on August 6- but that was the only upcoming film for August on the KAC’s home page as of Thursday. Similarly, manoranjaninc’s home page had no news about any upcoming Indian films at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis as of Thursday afternoon.
Other sites- and other sources- are the source of news and updates on several potentially interesting films, however. For example, the “veteran returning from Iraq” drama The Dry Land was mentioned in this space several weeks ago. At that time, the film’s official site said that it would open in Indianapolis on August 27th, but did not have any information regarding which theater(s) would be showing it. The Dry Land’s site has recently been updated, since it now says that the film will open at the Keystone Art Cinema on the 27th. (I also saw a poster for this one at the KAC when I was there earlier this week, for whatever that’s worth. The KAC also had a poster up for Mao’s Last Dancer– and showed a trailer before the movie I saw- but there’s nothing on that film’s official site yet about when or if it will make it to Indy.)
According to its own official site, the Cold War spy drama Farewell– which was directed by Christian Carion (Merry Christmas), and has a cast that includes Willem Dafoe, Fred Ward (as Ronald Reagan!), and David Soul- will also open at the KAC on August 27th.
As with both The Dry Land and Farewell, Get Low is opening in the US in late July, but won’t get to Indiana until late August. Since Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek and Bill Murray are top-billed in Get Low– and since it’s being distributed in the US by Sony Pictures Classics, it is inevitable that this one will open in Indy at some point. It wasn’t until this Thursday, however, that the film’s release schedule was posted on its official site; per that source, Get Low is supposed to open on Friday, August 20th, at the Keystone Art Cinema. Of course, all release dates in this section are subject to change- but as I said above, this movie WILL make it to at least one theater in Indianapolis, whether it’s on August 20 or some other date….
Moving on to another theater in Indianapolis, and an even closer release date: The site for the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indy now says that the The Wildest Dream– which was part of this year’s Indianapolis International Film Festival, and which is about the first man who tried to make it to the top of Mount Everest- will open there on Friday, August 6. Liam Neeson narrates, by the way, and Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Dancy, and the late Natasha Richardson also contributed vocal performances.
Further in the future- and (somewhat) outside of Indianapolis- I noticed just this week that the zombie movie Beverly Lane will have a premiere screening at midnight on Friday, October 29, at the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville. The screening will be preceded by a “costume contest” in the theater’s mezzanine; that starts at 10:30 PM.
And finally, from zombies to vampires, and Noblesville to Plainfield- the vampire comedy/horror movie/musical Suck (which has a cast that includes Jessica Pare, Dave Foley, Moby, Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, Alice Cooper, and Malcolm McDowell)- will be at the Rave Metropolis 18 in Plainfield starting Friday, September 2.
(Soooo- is anyone out there planning on seeing all eight of the movies mentioned in this section? Just curious….)
Editor’s Note: Apologies for the late posting. Business trip to Atlanta….