Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (September 10, 2010)

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

Art films (or at least limited release films) once again are in the majority at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis this week, as the Australian crime drama Animal Kingdom (opening one week earlier than scheduled) and the Australian non-crime drama Mao’s Last Dancer both start at the KAC. Meanwhile, the wrestling drama Legendary opens at the two Republic Theatres in the state, while Rob Reiner’s Flipped expands to so many screens (seven in and around Indianapolis, and at least ten more around the state) that it is now beyond the scope of this column. For all of the details- and news on what’s holding over, and where- read on below….

LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Animal Kingdom– Brothers Craig, Pope, and Darren Cody are part of a family of Australian criminals led by family matriarch Smurf. Joshua “J” Cody is the brothers’ nephew- and an outsider to their lives of crime, until his mother’s death leads him to move in with his previously-distant family. J starts to think of himself as part of the family’s underworld activities- but he soon finds that he’s in the middle of an increasingly violent battle between his family and the police…. Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Sullivan Stapleton, Jacki Weaver, newcomer James Frecheville, and Guy Pearce star in Animal Kingdom, which started on Friday, September 10, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Legendary– Cal is a smart fifteen-year-old high school student in Oklahoma who (according to this film’s official site) has “been picked on most of his life primarily because he’s always been a little different.” Cal’s older brother Mike (wrestler John Cena) has been estranged from his family for years, since Mike feels responsible for an accident that killed his and Cal’s father. Cal signs up for his school’s wrestling team, hoping that his brother will agree to train him- and thus bring his family back together again. Patricia Clarkson stars as Cal and Mike’s mother, while Danny Glover (again, per the film’s official site) plays “a charming, albeit mysterious man who has a way of showing up in Cal’s life just when he needs him most.” Legendary– which was produced by W[orld] W[restling] E[ntertainment] Films, according to the IMDb- opened at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis and the Studio 10 in Shelbyville on Friday, September 10.

Mao’s Last Dancer– Bruce Beresford (Tender Mercies, Breaker Morant, Driving Miss Daisy) directed this drama, which is based on the autobiography of dancer Li Cunxin. As a young boy, Li was taken from his home by China’s government so that he could study ballet. After enduring years of practice- and a lengthy separation from his family- Li finds success as a dancer. After being given the chance to dance in America, Li eventually decides to defect to the US- but finds that the Chinese authorities aren’t willing to let him go without a fight…. Dancer Chi Cao (making his film debut) stars as Li, and Bruce Greenwood, Joan Chen, Kyle MacLachlan and Amanda Schull are in the supporting cast. Mao’s Last Dancer started on Friday, September 10, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

Carnival of Souls– Shelbyville’s Strand Theatre will show Herk Harvey’s creepy, low-key horror classic at 8 PM on Saturday, September 11; admission is just $5.

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 falls passionately in love. Anna Mouglalis and Mads Mikkelsen play the title roles in this romantic drama, which starts on Friday, September 10, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.

Fantastic Planet– I remember when this French/Czechoslovakian animated film played local theaters back in the ‘seventies. The ads on TV showed a couple of different, cool-looking monsters- all of which were on-screen in the film itself for just a few seconds, as I recall. My friends and I felt ripped off at the time- but I imagine I would have a greater appreciation for the other aspects of the film if I saw it again today…. Anyone else who would like to check out Fantastic Planet– either for a re-viewing, or for the first time- can do so at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on Sunday, September 12, at 3 PM.

Get Low– Robert Duvall, Sissy Spacek, Bill Murray, and Lucas Black star in this comedy/drama about Felix Bush, a longtime recluse in Depression-era rural Tennessee who ends his self-imposed exile so that he can throw a large “funeral party” for himself- while he is still alive. Felix says that anybody who has heard any of the many wild stories that have been told about him over the years can tell that story at the party- but he actually may have another motive for holding the unusual event, as it turns out…. Get Low holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, the Village Park 17 in Carmel, and the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield. It also starts on Friday, September 10, at the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, the Showplace 16 in South Bend, the Showplace 7 in Muncie, the Evansville 16, and the Showplace Bloomington 11.

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 starts on Friday, September 10, at the Showplace 7 in Muncie, the Showplace Bloomington 11, and the LaPorte Theatre in Laporte. It also will be shown at 8 PM this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at IU’s Fine Arts building in Bloomington, while The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be shown at 5 PM this Saturday and Sunday, at the same location.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo– See above.

Gone With the Wind– Rhett and Scarlett and Ashley and Melanie are back on the big screen at the historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin, on Friday, September 10, and Saturday, September 11, at 2 and 7:30 PM.

Heartland Institute Presents, Chris Witt: On Editing- According to the site for this event, Witt- who edited several films that won awards at past editions of the Heartland Film Festival- will explore “the role of the editor in Hollywood” and “offer insights into the editing process and its importance to a film, as well as give an insider’s perspective on editing as a lifestyle and as an art form.” The IUPUI Campus Center in Indianapolis is the location for the event, which starts with check-in and a continental breakfast, from 9 to 9:30 AM on Friday, September 10. The editing seminar itself (which is free of charge) takes place from 9:30 AM to 12:30 PM, and is followed by a networking lunch (which costs $10), from 12:45 to 2 PM.

The House Show- It’s a “night of music and video!” according to the entry on the site of the Earth House Collective in Indianapolis. As such, it is worthy of inclusion here- but apart from that, and the fact that this event is scheduled to take place at the Earth House from 8 to 11 PM on Friday, September 10- I can’t tell you what to expect here (including the admission price). If it sounds interesting, you might want to call the folks at the Earth House for more info.

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.

I Am Love– Tilda Swinton, Marisa Berenson, and veteran Italian actor Gabriele Ferzetti star in director Luca Guadagnino’s drama, which holds over this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne- and which will be shown at 7:30 PM this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday at the IU Fine Arts building in Bloomington. Ferzetti plays Edoardo, the patriarch of the powerful Recchi family; he causes turmoil when he names two heirs- his son and grandson, Tancredi and Edo- to control his business empire after he passes away. Swinton’s character Emma- who is married to Tancredi- then causes further strife in the family when she falls head over heels in love with one of Edo’s friends….

John Calvert Double Feature- Actor and magician John Calvert- an Indiana native who turned ninety-nine last month, per the IMDb- is probably best known for playing “The Falcon” in several films from the forties. Mr. Calvert is scheduled to perform at Shelbyville’s Strand Theatre on October 16, so the Strand will be showing several of his films this month. Return of the Durango Kid (1947) and Appointment with Murder (1948) will be shown starting at 7 PM on Friday, September 10. Admission is just $4; for more information, go to the Strand’s site.

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 this week at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis- albeit with just two shows per day (at 3:45 and 9 PM).

Labyrinth– David Bowie, Jennifer Connelly, and a baby are the main human cast members of Jim Henson’s 1986 fantasy film. It will be shown free of charge in Bloomington’s Bryan Park at 9 PM on Friday, September 10; see The Ryder’s site for more information.

The Oath– Abu Jandal and Salim Hamdan are brothers-in-law- the former was once Osama bin Laden’s bodyguard, while the latter used to be bin Laden’s driver. Hamdam was imprisoned at Guantanamo Bay for several years, and eventually went before a military tribunal; during the trial, Hamdan’s lawyers challenged “fundamental flaws in the court system,” according to this documentary’s official site. Meanwhile, Abu Jandal works as a taxi driver in Sana’a, Yemen. As he talks with his son and others, he shows how his beliefs have changed after 9/11. The Oath will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on Thursday, September 16, at 6:30 and 9:30 PM.

Patriotism from the Past- That’s the title for this month’s “Vintage Movie Night” at the Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis. According to the write-up for this event in the “Fall Fun Guide” for Indy Parks, it will feature “short films that invite you to consider how feelings of patriotism can be influenced by politics, fear and money.” Titles include You Can Change the World (1950; with Bob Hope and Bing Crosby), America the Beautiful (1946), and Heritage of Splendor (1963; with narration by Ronald Reagan). The movies start at 8 PM on Saturday, September 11.

South Pacific– The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville will show Joshua Logan’s movie version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical (which was itself based on James Michener’s book) at 6 PM on Sunday, September 12. Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor head the cast- but Ray “My Favorite Martian” Walston and Tom “Billy Jack” Laughlin are in the film as well.

Vanishing of the Bees– Ellen Page narrates this documentary about the disappearance of honeybees from their habitats everywhere on the planet. The Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis will show the doc at 7 PM on Friday, September 10; there will be no admission charge, according to the “find a screening” page on the film’s official site.

We Are Family– Maya is a divorced mother who is devoted to her three children. But Maya and her kids face a big change when her ex-husband introduces his new girlfriend Shreya into the family equation. Shreya has devoted her life to her career up until now, and has had no experience with any sort of parental role…. Kajol, Kareena Kapoor, and Arjun Rampal star in this family drama; the IMDb says it’s an Indian remake of Stepmom. We Are Family holds over this week at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, with one showing per day at 9 PM.

What If…– Kevin Sorbo stars in this Christian-oriented film as Ben Walker, a well-paid businessman with a hot young fiancée. Fifteen years ago, Ben left his college girlfriend Wendy (Kristy Swanson) and abandoned his plans to become a preacher. Now, tow-truck driver Mike (John Ratzenberger) offers to give Ben a tow when his new car breaks down- but Mike also claims to be an angel who has been sent to show Ben what his life would be like if he had stayed with Wendy, and had become a preacher…. What If… holds over this week at the Showplace Richmond 11 in Richmond, with two or three showings per day (depending on the day of the week).

The Wildest DreamThe 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- holds over this week at the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis. Liam Neeson narrates, by the way, and Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Dancy, and the late Natasha Richardson also contributed vocal performances.

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- 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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis (with daily showings at 1 and 6:30 PM); it also starts on Friday, September 10, at the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne- and it also will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on Friday, September 10, at 6:30 and 9:30 PM.

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Also on big screens in Indiana this week: The children’s film (or edited-together-TV-shows-or-videos, as the case may be) Barbie: A Fashion Fairytale will show at a number of Indiana cinemas throughout the week; other theaters will show it only on the weekend. Also, the Royal Opera House of London’s production of Mozart’s Cosi fan tutte will be shown at the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne on both Friday, September 10, and Wednesday, September 15. And a hi-def, re-mastered “digital version” of the ‘seventies concert film Ladies and Gentlemen: The Rolling Stones will be shown at a number of theaters around the state on Thursday, September 16, at 7:30 PM. For more information on any of the above titles, click on the relevant highlighted text above, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.

NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND

As of late Thursday afternoon, manoranjaninc has not added any new films to their upcoming schedule- and the home page for the Keystone Art Cinema also does not have any new limited-release films on its calendar this week.

However, four titles mentioned in this space last week are still on the KAC’s home page this week, with no changes to their opening dates (for now, at least). I’m Still Here– Casey Affleck’s documentary about what his brother-in-law Joaquin Phoenix was up to with all that hip-hop talk- is set to open on September 17; the Aussie musical comedy Bran Nue Dae and the war/political documentary The Tillman Story are scheduled to start on September 24; and Waiting for “Superman” (the latest documentary from An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim) is on the KAC’s home page with a full week of show times, from October 15-21.

And now for a few words- again- about the very well-reviewed French film Wild Grass. I noted last week that although Sony Pictures Classics is releasing Wild Grass in the US- and although virtually EVERYTHING released by SPC over the past few years has played at the Keystone Art Cinema, or at some other theater in or near Indianapolis- it seems like Wild Grass won’t be showing at any theater in Indiana. Well, I also said last week that Sony Pictures Classics’ page for Wild Grass had vanished. That, at least, is not true. While SPC no longer has Wild Grass on its dropdown list of titles, the site for the film is still active- or at least it was, on late Thursday afternoon. Unfortunately, that site still has August 20 as the date at which the film would show up at the KAC- a date that came and went with no Wild Grass. However, I still hope that the film can make it to the KAC, or some other theater in the state. If anyone else wants to join me in e-mailing the fine folks at Sony Classics, and requesting that Wild Grass be booked at a theater somewhere in the state, then go to this page, which has the SPC e-mail address.

(And speaking of movies that apparently will bypass Indiana theaters…. As noted above, Patricia Clarkson stars in Legendary, which opened on two screens in the state this week. On the other hand, Cairo Time– which also stars Clarkson, and which is at 80% on Rotten Tomatoes- has been (or will be) shown at a pretty fair number of theaters around the country… but it looks like Cairo Time distributor IFC Films won’t be booking the film at any theater in Indiana. Another IFC Films title, The Killer Inside Me– which has a cast that includes Casey Affleck, Kate Hudson, and Jessica Alba- also seems likely to bypass theatrical venues in our fair state. As usual, the ways of theatrical distribution in the modern era are puzzling indeed….)

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Now, we turn once again to films that do not appear on the schedule pages or sites of any Indiana theaters as of yet, but which list at least one Indiana play date on their own official sites.

I mentioned the family drama Like Dandelion Dust in this space last week, noting that its official site said that it was supposed to be at several Indiana theaters (the Castleton Square 14 in Indianapolis, the Greenwood Park 14 in Greenwood, the Jefferson Point 18 in Fort Wayne, and the Showplace South Bend 16) on October 1. At the time, all of those theaters were listed as “pending,” but that word is gone this week. And at the same time, one more theater (also not “pending”) has been added to the list for October 1- the Showplace Bloomington 12.

Also, the documentary Freakonomics– based on the book of the same name by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner- will arrive at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on October 15, according to the film’s page on the site of its US distributor, Magnolia Pictures. Since Magnolia is a corporate sibling of the Landmark chain, the odds are good that Freakonomics will make it to the KAC- maybe on October 15, or maybe on another date.

And another documentary, Tapestries of Hope, is scheduled for a one-time-only showing on September 28 at 7:30 PM. As of now, the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne is the only theater in Indiana on the list of participating theaters; if any others are added, I will let you know.

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Screenings (and other events) for next Friday:

I Am Love– See above for more information on this film, which will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on Friday, September 17, at 6:30 and 9:30 PM.

Metropolis– Actually, the restored version of Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic will be on the screen at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema next Sunday (9/19) at 3 PM, not next Friday. But I wanted to give advance notice of this screening to anyone out there who isn’t in the vicinity of South Bend, in case you’d like to make plans for next weekend- especially since this looks like it will be the only chance to catch the restored Metropolis on a big screen in the state of Indiana. (I would think that this would be perfect for the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater- but Metropolis isn’t on the schedule there, unfortunately.)

The Secret of Kells– This Academy-Award nominated animated feature will be shown in Bloomington next weekend (along with I Am Love, The Girl Who Played with Fire, and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo); see The Ryder’s site for more information.

5 responses to “Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (September 10, 2010)

  1. Is the Metropolis the most recent extended version or the restored print of a few years ago?

    Things have gone really wrong for Wild Grass, somehow. I checked the Landmark’s national page so I could complain to them about Indy being bypassed again but found no listing for any of their theaters. I’ve tried a couple of times to interest Republic theaters in picking up some of the titles KAC ignores for their Georgetown site. It seems like a great fit with the developing international area they’re in, but no luck so far.

  2. Miriam-

    According to the site for the Browning Cinema and the site for Kino (which is distributing Metropolis in the US), the Browning will be showing the extended version, with the twenty-five minutes or so of footage that was thought to be lost for many years.

    And thanks for taking an interest in Wild Grass. I plan on talking to the folks at both the Keystone Art Cinema and the Georgetown 14 about Wild Grass the next time I’m at these theaters.

  3. Good news: within the last few hours, Landmark updated the home page for the Keystone Art Cinema- and it now says that Wild Grass will start at the KAC on September 24. Per that page, nothing else is scheduled to start there on that date (not as of now, at least), so here’s hoping it doesn’t get bumped.

    On the other hand, it doesn’t look like either Mesrine film will make it to the KAC on the dates mentioned on their pages on the Music Box Films site- Killer Instinct was supposed to get to the KAC on 9/17, while Public Enemy #1 was supposed to be at the KAC on 9/24. Neither one is even mentioned on the KAC’s page as of now. Two movies (The Tillman Story and The Social Network) are both (as of now) scheduled for October 1, per the KAC’s page, while four movies are supposedly set for October 8, so I don’t know when or how they’ll fit Mesrine 1 and 2 in. But I would guess that they would make money with both movies, since they seem like the sort of art/genre crossovers likely to bring in people who normally stay away from subtitled movies….

  4. With your news that Cairo Time won’t be playing in Indiana in foreseeable future, I am disgusted with the Landmark Art Theater at Keystone. Seems they’re increasingly playing mainstream movies and fewer foreign films. Yes, I saw “The Kids are All Right,” but before that it was “Paris” last year. When a fairly well covered film like “Cairo Time” doesn’t play here, it’s just too limited a selection. I feel we’re in a backwater.

  5. Cairo Time at the Keystone Art Cinema is still a possibility- especially if those of us who want to see it there let the theater know about it. An e-mail to the US distributor, IFC Films, might not be a bad idea either. For WIld Grass, I talked to the folks at the theater and e-mailed the US distributor, Sony Classics- and Wild Grass will open at the KAC this Friday. That strategy won’t always work- the folks who work at the theater don’t have a lot of control over what plays there, the schedule gets crowded some weeks, and so on- but it can’t hurt.

    And I feel like Indy is a backwater, too, at times- or at least it is treated as such by many film companies. I think the best way around this (unless and until someone opens up another theater, along the lines of the Key Cinemas, to supplement the KAC) is to see as many art/limited release movies at the KAC as time, money, and interest allow- even the fencesitters/marginal titles. And if there’s a mainstream wide release movie you want to see, and it’s playing at the KAC- see it somewhere else instead. Individual ticket sales don’t count for much, individually- but what mass audiences see (or don’t see) at the theater will have an impact on what they play. (And again, it doesn’t hurt to let them know what you want to see- especially for a movie that seems to be having success in theaters elsewhere, such as Cairo Time.)

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