Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (September 17, 2010)

by MIKE MACCOLLUM

So for various reasons that aren’t worth going into, I was more than a little bit late finishing this week’s column. The only good aspect to this is that I found out just today that one of the two limited-release films opening in Indiana today is not a documentary at all (necessitating a little bit of rewriting of both this intro and the first entry below- and thus causing even more delays….). If I’m Still Here had been a doc, by the way, then all (well, both) of the non-wide-release movies starting in Indiana today would have fallen into that category- not a frequent occurrence, I’m guessing. For all the news on documentaries (real and otherwise) and limited-release non-docs showing across Indiana this week, read on below….

LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK

I’m Still Here– So at first this was sold as a documentary, or maybe a pseudo-documentary, or something. Now, though, director Casey Affleck has come out and admitted that this movie is not a doc at all. I’m not sure if it will make much of a difference, since I can’t imagine that there will be (or would be) a huge audience for this either way…. In any event, I’m Still Here’s official site says that it is “a striking portrayal of a tumultuous year in the life of internationally acclaimed actor Joaquin Phoenix” (Affleck’s brother-in-law) “as he announces his retirement from a successful film career in the fall of 2008 and sets off to reinvent himself as a hip hop musician.” Those with a burning curiosity about all things Joaquin Phoenix can see I’m Still Here at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis; the un-doc opened there on Friday, September 17.

Wild Ocean 3D– Per its official site, this documentary “is an uplifting, giant screen cinema experience capturing one of nature’s greatest migration spectacles,” which lets viewers experience “an underwater feeding frenzy, amidst the dolphins, sharks, whales, gannets, seals and billions of fish.” Wild Ocean 3D started on Friday, September 17, at the the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.

(By the way- AMC Entertainment’s page for their Showplace Michigan City 14 theater says that they will be showing the 2008 documentary The American (La Americana) starting this Friday. I suspect that this is a glitch, since the page for the Michigan City 14 said they were showing The American– the one with George Clooney- last week…. and since there’s no mention of this supposed showing on the site for La Americana, the documentary. I thought I should mention this, just in case it turns out that it really is showing in Michigan City- even though the evidence would seem to indicate that this is not the case.)

THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS 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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

A Breath of Afrika: Voices from the Motherland International Film Festival– Three films will be shown as part of this event. First up is the short documentary Rapaille (about French rappers); it will be followed by the feature-length documentary Retour a Goree (a.k.a. Return to Goree– it’s about Senegalese recording artist Youssou N’Dour going through Europe, America, and Africa’s Goree Island, “following the trail left by slaves and by the jazz music they invented,” according to the film’s official site). The last title is Julie Dash’s 1991 drama Daughters of the Dust, about a group of African-Americans living off the coast of the Southern US in the early twentieth century. This festival takes place from noon to 5 PM on Sunday, September 19, at the Fort Wayne Museum of Art’s Lincoln Auditorium.

The Brother from Another Planet– John Sayles’ 1984 film will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema at 9:30 PM on Thursday, September 23.

Countdown to Zero– According to its official site, this documentary “traces the history of the atomic bomb from its origins to the present state of global affairs: nine nations possessing nuclear weapons capabilities with others racing to join them, with the world held in a delicate balance that could be shattered by an act of terrorism, failed diplomacy, or a simple accident.” Countdown to Zero starts Friday, September 17, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne. (According to the Cinema Center’s site, a “Movie Talk” will follow the 4 PM screening on Sunday, September 19.)

45365– Brothers Turner and Bill Ross co-directed this documentary about the inhabitants of– and daily life in– their hometown of Sidney, OH (which has a zip code that provided the film’s title). 45365– which has won a number of prizes at film festivals– will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema at 6:30 PM on Thursday, September 23.

Fresh Fruit Pie Premiere– According to its official site, Fresh Fruit Pie is a new “family film series.” The first part of this series will have multiple free screenings this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Hyatt Place in Mishawaka, IN. Seating is limited, so reservations are required for each showing; see the event’s official site for more details.

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 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; it also starts Friday, September 17, at the Studio 10 in Shelbyville and the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.

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 Showplace 7 in Muncie and the Showplace Bloomington 11. It also will be shown at 8:45 PM this Saturday and Sunday at IU’s Fine Arts building in Bloomington, while The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo will be shown at 8:45 PM on Friday- and at 5 PM on Saturday and Sunday- at the same location.

The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo– See above.

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 holds over 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. I Am Love will be screened this Friday and Saturday at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema (see their site for show times); it also 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….

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- holds over this week at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis and the Studio 10 in Shelbyville.

Love Thy Neighbor– This comedy short will be shown at both 6 and 7 PM on Thursday, September 23, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. The only site I’ve found so far with information on the screening does not say what the admission price is (if there is one- but I wouldn’t guess that these are free showings).

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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Metropolis– The University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema will show the restored version of Fritz Lang’s silent classic- with approximately twenty-five minutes of footage thought to be lost for many decades- at 3 PM on Sunday, September 19.

Midnight Picture Show- The Irving Theater in Indianapolis has this event at midnight on Saturday, September 18. The Irving’s site says that they can’t name the movie, but they also say that the film in question was directed by Jim Sharman, who directed The Rocky Horror Picture Show– and they have a link to the IMDb’s page for TRHPS just to the left of their description of this event. That’s a pretty good way of letting you know what the movie is without actually naming it, I guess….

Oranje 2010– The print ads for this annual arts festival said that one of its many components will be an “indie film lounge,” without any further explanation of what that might be. (The Oranje site makes no mention of this, however, as far as I could see.) The last time I went to Oranje- two years ago (I think)- the films being shown were shorts that had been part of that year’s Indianapolis International Film Festival. If the IIFF is providing any movies for this year’s Oranje, however, that information isn’t on their site, as far as I can tell. Whatever the “indie film lounge” might be this year- or whether or not it will be there at all- Oranje 2010 kicks off at 8 PM on Saturday, September 18; the address is 2323 N. Illinois St. in Indianapolis.

The Rocky Horror Picture Show– See the entry for “Midnight Picture Show” above.

Rookie of the Year– Is this the 1993 comedy directed by (and co-starring) Daniel Stern, or some other movie with the same name? Or is it a band- or maybe something else, like a play? I don’t know, since the site for the Earth House Collective in Indianapolis has just the title, the date (Thursday, September 23), and the time (8 to 11 PM). A link to the Earth House’s site is available at the right side of this page, in case more information is added closer to the day of the movie/concert/play/whatever.

The Secret of Kells– Brendan Gleeson provides one of the voices for this hand-drawn animated film, which is about a young monk in a remote medieval abbey who embarks on a journey to put the finishing touches on an ancient, magical tome. The animation has the feeling of medieval drawings, so this definitely doesn’t look like your average animated film. The Secret of Kells will be shown at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington this Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, at 7 PM.

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 its an Indian remake of Stepmom. We Are Family will be shown two times this week at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis- on Friday and Saturday, September 17 and 18, at 9 PM.

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 and some 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 Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne- and starts Friday, September 17, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.

The Wizard of Oz– Shelbyville’s Strand Theatre will show the 1939 classic as part of a “Dinner and a Movie” event on Saturday, September 18. The movie starts at 7:15 PM; for more information, go to the Strand’s site.

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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 concert film Slipknot {sic}nesses- Live at Download will be shown on Wednesday, September 22 at three theaters across the state (show times vary by theater)- and music of a very different kind will be featured in 100 Voices: A Journey Home. According to its official site, 100 Voices is “a compelling and moving musical documentary that uniquely highlights the rich history of Jewish culture in Poland;” it will be shown at 7 PM on Tuesday, September 21 at a number of Indiana theaters. For more information on any of the above titles (including theater locations), 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

Anjaana Anjaani– According to manoranjaninc’s site, this romantic comedy – which was produced by an Indian company, but (per the IMDb) shot in the US and Malaysia- will start at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, September 24. Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra are the leads; Siddharth Anand directed.

Wild Grass– Alain Resnais’ romantic drama/comedy finally makes its way to Indianapolis, opening at the Keystone Art Cinema on September 24. Andre Dussollier and Sabine Azema- both of whom have worked with the veteran French director on several other films – star, along with Emmanuelle Devos and Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Quantum of Solace). This has been at the top of my want-to-see-in-a-theater list for some time now, ever since I read comments from several folks (on the Mobius Home Video movie discussion site) who called it one of their favorite films of the year, so far- so I was very excited to see this title pop up on the KAC’s home page. And yes, Wild Grass is in the mid-sixties on Rotten Tomatoes- but in the wake of Piranha 3D ranking at 75% positive on RT, perhaps we should look at the numbers on that site with a certain amount of skepticism these days….

Speaking of the KAC- that theater recently added a number of new titles to its schedule for October. The theater’s home page now says that A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop, Never Let Me Go, Jack Goes Boating, and It’s Kind of a Funny Story are all supposed to start on October 8. I would be willing to bet a substantial sum of money* that at least one of these movies will open at the KAC on another date (or bypass the KAC for another theater, or not open in the Indianapolis area at all)- but we shall see…. Also, the KAC’s home page now says that the war/political documentary The Tillman Story is scheduled to start on October 1, rather than September 24 (the date that had been on the KAC’s schedule until earlier this week).

* If I had a substantial sum of money that I could bet, that is.

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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. The surprise twist this week is that all of the movies below have been mentioned in past columns- but several of them now have different release dates, and/or other updated information.

Going in order by date, it looks like a number of distributors think that they will have films opening at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on September 24. The sites for the Australian musical comedy Bran Nue Dae, the French crime dramas Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, and the French espionage drama Farewell all say that they will be at the KAC on the 24th. Even if Killer Instinct and Public Enemy #1 share a screen, it seems highly unlikely that all of these movies could open at the Keystone Art Cinema on that day- especially since Wild Grass is on the KAC’s home page as also starting on that date. I’d love to have a chance to see all of these movies at the KAC- but I don’t know when (or if) they really will make it there.

(Both Farewell and Bran Nue Dae had been on the KAC’s upcoming schedule a while back, but then vanished- the latter disappeared right about the same time that Wild Grass showed up on the 24th. Of the two, I am guessing that Farewell has a better shot of making it to Indy, since it seems to have had a fairly wide release in other theaters across the country- suggesting that it’s done fairly well at the American boxoffice… although its distributor apparently isn’t reporting Farewell’s US grosses, as far as I can tell. Bran Nue Dae, on the other hand, opened to an average of under $2000 per theater, according to Variety.com- and that might not be enough to get it to the KAC….)

Moving beyond Indianapolis, the site for the Christian film What If… formerly said that it would be opening at an unspecified theater in Noblesville some time in October. This week, the film’s site was updated- the start date is now October 8, the theater will be the Hamilton 16 and IMAX, and another theater (the Eastside 9 in Lafayette) has been added as well (also on October 8).

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Screenings (and other events) for next Friday:

The Bad and the Beautiful– Kirk Douglas, Lana Turner, Dick Powell and Gloria Grahame star in Vincente Minnelli’s movie about Hollywood in the early ‘fifties. The multiple Academy-Award winner will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on Friday, September 24, at 7:30 PM.

B-Movie Celebration– This annual event gets under way in Franklin next Friday, September 24, and continues through Sunday, September 26. Jim Wynorski’s shot-in-Indiana comedy Monster Cruise– which features Hal “Harlow Hickenlooper” Fryar in the cast- will receive what is called a “World Premiere” showing at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre on Friday, September 24, at 7:30 PM. Also, the Korean action comedy/”Western” The Good, the Bad, the Weird will be shown at the Artcraft on the same evening, starting at 9:30 PM- followed by a midnight screening of the Norwegian Nazi zombie film Dead Snow. Meanwhile, the Canary Creek Drive-In (also in Franklin) will have a double-bill of the 1977 action comedy Bad Georgia Road and The Strange Case of Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, starting at 9 PM.

(That last start time was my best guess, by the way; I couldn’t really tell, based on the layout of the schedule page. Also, my best guess is that they’ll be showing the 2006 film with the title The Strange Case of…., but I’m not sure- there are several films with this title, and they don’t tell you which one this is, as far as I can tell.)

Follow Me Home– Filmmaker Peter Bratt and actor Jesse Borrego will be present at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater on September 24 for a screening of his 1996 drama Follow Me Home. Alfre Woodard and Salma Hayek co-star, along with the director’s brother, Benjamin Bratt. According to the IMA’s site, Follow Me Home “explores race and identity like no other film.” The screening- which kicks off the Campecine Film Festival at the IMA- starts at 7 PM, and will be followed by a question and answer session.

Women without Men– Artist Shirin Neshat makes her directorial debut with this drama, which follows the lives of five Iranian women after a coup (backed by the US and Britain) overthrows Iran’s freely elected government in 1953. Per the film’s official site, the five women eventually come together in “a metaphorical garden,” while the world around them is changed by powerful forces beyond their control. Women Without Men will be showing at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington next Friday (and Saturday and Sunday as well).

2 responses to “Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (September 17, 2010)

  1. You weren’t kidding about the B-Movie Celebration’s pdf schedule being tough to decipher. Compounding the issue, the website “Films” page is broken up into several categories, the format resembles an extremely long run-on sentence, and the films aren’t even listed alphabetically! I’m intrigued by the listing on the schedule of The Hitch-Hiker, one of Ida Lupino’s directorial efforts, at the Canary Creek multiplex on Saturday afternoon, but I couldn’t find the film listed on any of the “Films” pages. On the flip side, 5 Million Years to Earth (Quatermass and the Pit) is listed on the films page, but not on the schedule. As a veteran old movie festival-goer I’m familiar with the problems of supply and last minute substitution, but I don’t see why the website can’t be kept up-to-date, whatever’s going on.

    The ticket information page is also confusing. There’s a festival pass, a “world premiere Monster Cruise” ticket, and all-day Saturday and Sunday passes, but… no Friday pass/separate admissions info for the Friday night movies. Does that mean if you buy a $25 ticket to see Monster Cruise you get the other movies thrown in? Does it mean to see the other movies you have to buy the $25 ticket?

    I ask because I’m seriously tempted by The Good, the Bad, the Weird on the Artcraft’s big screen, even though it does start at 9:30 (or thereabouts). More research is required…

    On that topic, what do you rate the chances of it being shown on film vs DVD projection?

  2. Helen-

    About the titles that are listed under the “films” tab, but not on the schedule: The movie that I really wanted to see was Monika: Story of a Bad Girl- the recut-for-American-grindhouses version of Ingmar Bergman’s Monika. I’ve wanted to see that one since I read about it in David F. Friedman’s book A Youth in Babylon, approximately twenty years ago. So I checked the “schedule” page- and (just like Five Million Years to Earth) Monika isn’t there, either. Neither is William Girdler’s Abby. That makes it sound like two of the four movies listed under the “Mid West Pioneers” category on the “Films” tab won’t be showing at the celebration….

    Rights issues could be why Monika and Abby (apparently) will be MIA; I’m not sure why they wouldn’t show Five Million Years to Earth….

    I can’t help you out on the ticket prices, either- but I suspect that they will have individual event tickets at the boxoffice (of the Artcraft or Canary Creek) if you want to see just one movie (as long as that movie or event hasn’t sold out in advance, I guess). As to what the price for individual-event tickets might be, I have no clue. When you click on the “Tickets” tab, though, I noticed that (near the top left of the page that comes up) there is a phone number and e-mail address for a contact person. He might have the individual ticket info- though it would be mighty helpful if they would just let us know about this sort of thing on the site itself….

    I’ve also tried to figure out where the “seminars” will be held. It doesn’t say- beyond the fairly non-specific “B Movie Classroom 1” (or 2)- on the schedule itself, and the “seminars” heading under the “events” tab also brings up no useful information. Maybe this sort of thing will be added to the site as the event draws nearer- but with less than a week to go, you would think that at least some of this would be on the site already.

    (And I am guessing that there is a LOT of work that goes into putting on the B Movie Celebration, and that they don’t have as many volunteers/organizers/whatever as they would like to do that work. Still, you wouldn’t think that putting useful/helpful information on the site wouldn’t take that long- especially when it might encourage more people to go to the event….)

    As to the Artcraft- I’ve been there three or four times- the majority of those for past B Movie events. I’m fairly certain that they used a DVD projector for several of those, but I think they have a movie projector as well. Even if they do have a projector, though, that’s no guarantee that TGTBTW will be shown in 35mm. I’m not sure if calling or emailing the theater would help, since I’m not sure that anybody is there when they aren’t showing movies. Maybe the contact person listed under the “tickets” tab would have the answers here, too….

    And that screening of the Ida Lupino film is of interest to me, too. If I can make it down to Franklin next weekend, I’ll try to catch that one- but I’m still hoping that they’ll manage to screen Monika as well, somehow.

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