by MIKE MACCOLLUM
The latest film from a veteran French director; a big-budget science-fiction movie from India; an Australian musical comedy/drama; and a low-budget, shot-on-a-video-camera comedy about yet another teenager trying to lose his virginity- that’s the eclectic mix of limited-release movies coming to Indiana this week. Plus, the B-Movie Celebration takes place in Franklin, while Winter’s Bone and The Girl Who Played with Fire expand across the state. And that’s just a small part of what’s going on in Indiana theaters this week; for the whole story, keep reading below…
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Bran Nue Dae– Geoffrey Rush is the name most American viewers will recognize in the cast of this Australian musical, which also features Ernie Dingo and Magda Szubanski (from the Babe movies). According to its official site, Bran Nue Dae was a big hit Down Under; all that the site offers up about the film’s story is that it involves the “romantic adventures of a young aboriginal couple.” Rachel Perkins directed Bran Nue Dae, which starts at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, September 24.
Robot– The lovely Aishwarya Rai Bachchan plays the female lead in this supposedly long-in-the-works, lavishly budgeted Indian film about an inventor who creates a very lifelike mechanical man. Robot– which (apparently) was originally shot in Telugu, but then dubbed into Hindi- will be shown with English subtitles (per manoranjaninc’s site) at 8 PM on Thursday, September 30, and at 9 PM on Friday, October 1.
The Virginity Hit– In case you hadn’t figured it out already, this is the “low-budget, shot-on-a-video-camera comedy about yet another teenager trying to lose his virginity” mentioned in the intro. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay co-produced it, if that makes any difference one way or the other. The Virginity Hit opens on Friday, September 24, at the Castleton Square 14 and Showplace Indianapolis 17 in Indy, the Greenwood Park 14 in Greenwood, Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville, the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne, the Showplace Schererville 16, the Showplace South Bend 16, the Showplace East in Evansville, the Portage 16 and IMAX, and the Showplace Bloomington 11.
Wild Grass– Alain Resnais’ Wild Grass 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 – are the stars, with Emmanuelle Devos and Mathieu Amalric (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly; Quantum of Solace) in the chief supporting roles. The film is a romantic drama/comedy that starts with a man finding a woman’s lost wallet- but it apparently goes in some rather odd directions from there, especially towards the end. The film’s official site doesn’t have that much information on it, by the way- so you also might want to check out the Wild Grass Facebook page, if you’re on the fence about seeing it. (This is, by the way, the first film by Resnais to make it to an Indianapolis-area theater in over a quarter of a century. Just in case any of you had a bet going at the office….)
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
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 on 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 8:30 PM.
Note: And by the way- the “schedule” page on the festival’s site is much easier to read this week than it was last week.
Campecine Film Festival 2010– According to its official site, this “is a multi-media interactive event” featuring “youth-created media on issues affecting our communities,” and “an opportunity for community members to dialogue together about issues affecting their lives in order to build understanding and love.” Two different groups of films will be followed by question and answer sessions with the filmmakers, per the Campecine site- which also has a list of the titles and other events at the festival. The Campecine Film Festival will take place from 12:30 to 4 PM on Saturday, September 25, at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater.
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 will be shown through Monday, September 27, at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.
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” and “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.
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 Showplace 16 in South Bend, the Showplace 7 in Muncie, the Evansville 16, the Studio 10 in Shelbyville, and the Showplace Bloomington 11; it also starts Friday, September 24, at the Studio 10 in Shelbyville and will be shown through Monday, September 27, at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.
The Girl Who Played With Fire– This follow-up to The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo (see below) 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 Friday, September 24, at the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute and the Evansville 16.
The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo– The first installment of the “Millennium Trilogy” will be shown at 7 PM on Sunday, September 26, at Bear’s Place in Bloomington.
Good Fortune– Per the site of its production company, this documentary “explores how massive international efforts to alleviate poverty in Africa may be undermining the very communities they aim to benefit. Through intimate portraits of two Kenyans battling to save their homes from large-scale development organizations, GOOD FORTUNE portrays gripping stories of human perseverance and suggests that the answers for Africa lie in the resilience of its people.” The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater will have a screening of Good Fortune on Thursday, September 30, at 7 PM.
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.
Manhattan Short Film Festival– Yes, it says “Manhattan” in the title- but it will be at two Indiana venues (along with many other locations elsewhere). What gives? Here’s the skinny, from the event’s official site: “An extraordinary global event will take place the week of September 26th to October 3rd 2010 when over 100,000 people in over 200 cities across six continents gather in Cinemas, Galleries, Museums and Cafes for one purpose…to view and vote on our Finalists’ Films in the Annual MANHATTAN SHORT Film Festival.” At the Whittenberger Auditorium at IU’s Memorial Union in Bloomington, this festival gets under way at 8 PM on Thursday, September 30 (as well as 8 and 11 PM on Ocotober 1 and 2); at Greenfield’s H. J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, the only scheduled occurrence of the festival is on Friday, October 1, at 7:30 PM.
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.
Paris– Cedric Klapisch (When the Cat’s Away; L’auberge espagnole) wrote and directed this comedy/drama, in which Romain Duris plays a man who needs a heart transplant, and Juliette Binoche plays his sister. Melanie Laurent (from Inglourious Basterds), Fabrice Luchini, Karin Viard and Francois Cluzet head the supporting cast. It will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on Thursday, September 30, at 7 PM.
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 7:30 PM.
Tapestries of Hope– According to the page for this film on the site of the company that will be showing it in theaters across the country, it “exposes the horrors of the rape and sexual abuse of thousands of young girls in Zimbabwe by men who believe [their actions] will cure HIV/AIDS.” Tapestries of Hope will be shown at the Carmike Fort Wayne 20 on Tuesday, September 28, at 7:30 PM.
Titanica– The IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis will be showing this 1995 documentary about the doomed ocean liner starting this Saturday- the same day that Titanic: The Artifact Exhibition opens at the museum.
A Town Called Panic– This looks very odd, and supercool. It is based on an animated TV show from Belgium, and features the strange adventures of plastic toys named Cowboy, Indian, and Horse. The film’s official site says it is something like a “Gallic Monty Python crossed with Art Clokey on acid.” It will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on Sunday, September 26, at 3 PM.
The Wildest Dream– 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- 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.
Wild Ocean 3D– Per its official site, this documentary “is in 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 holds over this week at the the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.
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 Yes Cinema in Columbus, and starts Friday, September 24, at the Showplace Muncie 7, the Evansville 16, the Showplace Bloomington 11, and the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute.
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 this Friday, Saturday and Sunday at 8 PM.
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, Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-Long (to the Disney movie) and the “Extended Director’s Cut” of The Exorcist are scheduled to be shown at theaters around the state on Wednesday, September 29, and Thursday, September 30, respectively. 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
Instead of rehashing titles from past columns that are still scheduled to start at the Keystone Art Cinema (or elsewhere) on the same dates mentioned in previous columns, this week I am just noting movies that actually are supposed to start next Friday- along with movies that just showed up on the radar for dates beyond next week, and movies that have been mentioned here before, but now have new release dates.
Anjaana Anjaani– This romantic comedy- which was produced by an Indian company, but (per the IMDb) shot in the US and Malaysia- was supposed to start at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, September 24. Instead, it got pushed forward to October 1 at the G14- and everywhere else, apparently. I’ve read several different reasons online as to why this got postponed, and I have no idea which is true; all I know for sure is that it did get postponed. Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra are the leads; Siddharth Anand directed.
Jack Goes Boating– Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his feature film directing debut with this romantic comedy/drama set in New York City. Hoffman also stars as Jack, a limo driver who loves reggae music- and who has had little success when it comes to love. His friends (John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega) introduce him to Connie (Amy Ryan), in the hope that the two can find romance- only to experience troubles in their own relationship…. Jack Goes Boating is scheduled to start on Friday, October 1, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Like Dandelion Dust– Mira Sorvino, Barry Pepper, Kate Levering and Cole Hauser star in this family drama about a pair of birth parents who decide that they want to reclaim the young boy they gave up for adoption. It is scheduled to start on Friday, October 1, at the Castleton Square 14 in Indianapolis, the Greenwood Park 14 in Greenwood, the Showplace Bloomington 12, the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne, the Showplace South Bend 16, and the Showplace Cinema East in Evansville.
The Tillman Story– This documentary is about not only Pat Tillman- the professional football player who volunteered for the Army Rangers and was killed in Afghanistan- but also about the cover-up of the true circumstances surrounding his death, and the investigation that led to the revelation of the truth. The Tillman Story is set to open at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis on Friday, October 1.
Eradane Maduve– This Kannada-language comedy from India is supposed to be at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Saturday, October 9, according to the manoranjaninc site; show times had yet to be posted as on the site as of this Thursday evening, however.
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 one new title this week is the documentary I Want Your Money, which looks like a political doc on the national debt from the conservative/right-wing side of the political spectrum. As of now, it is supposed to open on October 15 at the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville, the Eastside 9 in Lafayette, the Portage 16 and IMAX, and the Showplace Schererville 12.
And in the “don’t give up hope just yet” category, both 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 Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis eventually. The American site for Farewell says that it will be at the KAC on October 1, while the site for the US distributor of the Mesrine films, Music Box films, says that they will both be at the KAC on Ocotber 8. I’d love to have a chance to see all of these movies at the KAC, and I hope that they do make it to the KAC- but I don’t know if they really will make it there, given how crowded the theater’s schedule seems to be through the middle of the month.
Screenings (and other events) for next Friday:
The Cove– This Academy-Award winning documentary about a well-hidden hunting ground for dolphins in Japan will be shown at 7:30 PM next Friday (and next Saturday and Sunday) at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington.
Days and Nights of a Filmmaker: A Tribute to Jill Godmilow- According to the site for the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema, this event will take place on both Friday, October 1, and Saturday, October 2, at 7 PM. Godmilow’s 1974 documentary Antonia: A Portrait of the Woman– which received an Academy Award nomination- will be shown, along with her most recent film, What Farocki Taught (1998). The thing of it is, I can’t tell from the Browning’s site if one film will be shown one night, and the other film on the other night- or if both films will be shown on both nights. I’d suggest that you contact the Browning for more information/clarification, if you’re interested.
Ghostbusters– The comedy blockbuster will be shown at the Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin at 2 and 7:30 PM next Friday, October 1 (and at 3 and 7:30 PM next Saturday, October 2).