by MIKE MACCOLLUM
Talk about a busy time for limited release movies- six of them start in Indiana this Friday. I don’t know if that’s a record in recent times- but even if it isn’t a record, it’s probably close to one. With those six openers- and all of the holdovers, festivals, and so on in the state this week- let’s get right down to business, without further ado.
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Anjaana Anjaani– This romantic comedy- which was produced by an Indian company, but (per the IMDb) shot in the US and Malaysia- features Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra as the leads, while Siddharth Anand directed. Here’s the film’s (edited for space) synopsis, from its official site: “Akash and Kiara meet. But they meet in a situation as unusual as no other. But what if the two people who meet as strangers want to stay that way? They want to end right where they started- as strangers… A series of hilarious misadventures trace their bi coastal road journey as they go about fulfilling their last wishes. But then life interrupts, as is its habit; and painful choices must be made. The duo part with the understanding that their days together were a brief interlude of insanity that had to succumb to real life…” Well, those references to “last wishes” and “painful choices-” which aren’t really explained in the rest of the synopsis- makes it sound like Anjaana Anjaani might go to some rather unusual places, both for a rom-com, and for a Bollywood film…. If you’d like to find out if Anjaana Anjaani breaks the mold, or stays within the lines, you can do so starting Friday, October 1, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
Catfish– Don’t worry- I won’t spoil the mystery about this supposedly creepy documentary, since I don’t know what it is myself. All I do know is that you aren’t supposed to read very much in advance about the movie, in order to keep the apparently stunning surprise(s) intact. What I do know (and again, no spoilers here) is that a fellow named Nev Schulman became acquainted with a woman named Megan by way of the Internet. Nev’s brother Ariel and fellow filmmaker Henry Joost went with Nev on a trip to meet up with Megan, only to run into something or other most unexpected…. Catfish opens at the Castleton Square 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, October 1.
Chain Letter– So a group of teenagers get an e-mailed chain letter which says that they will die if they don’t forward the e-mail to others. Some of the teens clearly don’t realize that they are in a movie, and refuse to forward the message- which means that a serial killer called “the Chain Man” starts knocking them off, one by one… Nikki Reed, Keith David, Brad Dourif, Betsy Russell, and Bai Ling are all in the cast of this film; might one of them turn out to be the killer- and which one might that be? Chain Letter starts Friday, October 1, at the Carmike 20, Coldwater Crossing 14, and Jefferson Pointe 18 (all in Fort Wayne), along with the Showplace South Bend 16, the Portage 16 and IMAX, the Showplace Schererville 16, and the Capri 8 in Crawfordsville.
Farewell– In this based-on-fact espionage drama/thriller which takes place near the end of the Cold War era, actor/director Emir Kusturica plays a KGB colonel, Grigoriev, who grows disillusioned with the Soviet Union and decides to start passing secrets to the French. This information eventually makes its way to the United States- and Grigoriev’s actions turn out to have huge consequences for the USSR’s international espionage operations…. Willem Dafoe, Fred Ward, David Soul, and Diane Kruger also appear in Farewell, which was directed by Christian Carion (Joyeux Noel). Farewell opens on Friday, October 1, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
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 Clyde and Lucy (John Ortiz and Daphne Rubin-Vega) introduce Jack to Connie (Amy Ryan), in the hope that the two can find romance. But as Jack and Connie’s relationship starts to bloom, Clyde and Lucy start to experience troubles in their marriage…. Jack Goes Boating starts 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 opens on Friday, October 1, at the Castleton Square 14 in Indianapolis, the Greenwood Park 14, the Showplace Bloomington 11, the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne, and the Showplace 16 South Bend. (By the way- last week, I wrote that LDD would be starting at the Showplace East in Evansville on October 1 as well. Well, either that was changed since I last looked at the film’s site, or (more likely) I just misread the site- it turns out Evansville will have to wait until October 15 to get its dose of dandelion dust.)
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Breathless– Jean-Paul Belmondo stars as Michel Poiccard, a small-time crook who steals a car and then kills the motorcycle cop who pulls him over. Michel wants to flee to Italy with Patricia (Jean Seberg), a beautiful American student staying in France- but the police may be closer to apprehending Michel than he realizes…. The University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema will show Breathless at 9:30 PM on Thursday, October 7- and at 6:30 PM on Friday, October 8.
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). It seems like the two films will be shown on Saturday, while the Friday portion of the tribute will be devoted to films made by alumni student filmmakers. I wasn’t sure what that would have to do with a tribute to Ms. Godmilow at first- but I found out that she has been a professor at Notre Dame. So maybe the alumni student filmmakers were students of Ms. Godmilow? That’s my best guess- but it doesn’t say that on the Browning’s site, so who knows….
The 400 Blows– François Truffuat’s classic 1959 film- the first of several about the character Antoine Doinel (Jean-Pierre Léaud)- will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on Thursday, October 7, at 6:30 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 Showplace 16 in South Bend, and the Showplace Bloomington 11; it also starts Friday, October 1, at the Capri 8 in Crawfordsville, and will be shown through Monday, October 4, at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.
Ghostbusters– The comedy blockbuster will be shown at the Historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin at 2 and 7:30 PM on Friday, October 1, and at 3 and 7:30PM on Saturday, October 2.
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 Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, the Evansville 16, and the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne (where it will be shown every day of the week except Tuesday, October 5); it also starts Friday, October 1, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus- and it will be shown at 7 PM on Sunday, October 3, at Bear’s Place in Bloomington.
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.
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 will be shown through Monday, October 4, at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.
King Corn/Big River– The Epworth United Methodist Church in Indianapolis will show a fifty-minute version of King Corn (a documentary about two friends who decide to grow corn on an acre of farmland, as part of an investigation of the impact on the much-used plant on America’s diet) followed by Big River (a companion doc about the impact the acre of corn had on the local environment) starting at 7 PM on Friday, October 1. There will be no charge for admission.
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, the times for the Manhattan festival this week are 8 and 11 PM on October 1 and 2; at Greenfield’s H. J. Ricks Centre for the Arts, the only scheduled time for 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. (And according to the site for the Yes Cinema in Columbus, Mao’s Last Dancer is supposed to start at that venue on Friday, October 22.)
Nobody Knows– Hirokazu Koreeda’s 2004 drama will be shown at 7 PM on Tuesday, October 5, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne. It is the initial entry in the Cinema Center’s “Sister Cities Film Festival.”
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, with surprising consequences for all concerned. Robot– which (apparently) was originally shot in Tamil, but then dubbed into Hindi- will be shown with English subtitles (per manoranjaninc’s site) at 9 PM on Friday, October 1, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis. That’s the only time given on manoranjan’s site as of Thursday evening, at least- but a day or so ago, the “schedule” page for the G14 on movietickets.com said that Robot would have at least one showing at the G14 on Saturday, October 2. That still may be true, but it was impossible to be certain on Thursday evening, since movietickets.com’s page for the G14 was malfunctioning at the time. For information about possible showings on Saturday (or even later in the week), either re-check the movietickets.com site later on, or just call the theater.
A Simple Curve– This Canadian drama- about a young man on the verge of a confrontation with his father about financial matters- is the October entry in the Indiana Film Society’s fall series, The (Northern) Ties That Bind. There is no admission charge for the film, which will be shown at 7 PM on Tuesday, October 5, at the Indianapolis Senior Center, 708 East Michigan Street.
Strange Things: Children of Haiti– The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater will have a screening of this documentary about homeless children in Haiti at 7 PM on Thursday, October 7. A discussion on the topic of Hoosiers who are doing relief work in Haiti will follow the screening.
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.
To Be or Not to Be– Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center will have a free showing of To Be… (presumably the classic with Jack Benny, and not the Mel Brooks remake- but the Cinema Center’s site doesn’t specify) at 6:30 PM on Wednesday, October 6.
Two in the Wave– The wave is the French New Wave, and the two are François Truffaut and Jean-Luc Godard. This documentary tells the story of the relationship between the men- how they became friends due to their mutual love of cinema; how they both worked as writers for Cahiers du Cinéma until Truffaut became a director (and then helped the slightly-older Godard make the transition to filmmaker himself)- and how the political climate of the late ‘sixties led to the end of their friendship. Two in the Wave will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema on October 2 and 3 at 3 PM.
The Virginity Hit– In case you hadn’t figured it out already from the title, this is a low-budget, shot-on-a-video-camera comedy about yet another teenager trying to lose his virginity. Will Ferrell and Adam McKay co-produced, if that makes any difference one way or the other. The Virginity Hit holds over (with one or two shows per day) at the Castleton Square 14 and Showplace Indianapolis 17 in Indy, the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, 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, and the Showplace Bloomington 11; it also starts on Friday, October 1, at the Shiloh Crossing 18 in Plainfield.
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.
William Kentridge: Anything Is Possible– IUPUI’s Herron School of Art and Design will have a showing of this documentary- about artist Kentridge and his works- in Eskenazi Hall at 5:30 PM on Wednesday, October 6; a discussion of the film will follow the screening.
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 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 Spookley, the Square Pumpkin will show at a number of Indiana cinemas throughout the week; other theaters will show it only on the weekend- and another movie for the kiddies, Thomas & Friends: The Lion of Sodor, will also be at one Indiana theater this weekend. Meanwhile, the Beauty and the Beast Sing-a-Long (to the Disney movie) returns to some Hoosier theaters on Saturday, October 2- and a docudrama (and live discussion) about breast cancer, 1 a Minute Live, will be on some Indiana big screens on Wednesday, October 6. 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.
It’s Kind of a Funny Story– Keir Gilchrist stars as Craig, a young man suffering from depression; when Craig checks into a psych ward, he meets some people who have a big impact on his life. Zach Galifianakis, Emma Roberts, Lauren Graham, and Jim Gaffigan also star in this comedy/drama, which was directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck (Sugar), and which is set to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, October 8.
Never Let Me Go– Here’s another one of those movies where big surprises loom in the story- at least for those who haven’t read too much about the plot online (or read the book on which the film is based). To preserve the mystery, all I’ll say is that Carey Mulligan, Andrew Garfield and Keira Knightley star as a trio of young people who attended Hailsham, an isolated boarding school in England. In addition to all of the normal pressures and concerns faced by young adults, it turns out that Hailsham grads also must deal with some other, very different problems…. Charlotte Rampling and Sally Hawkins are also in this drama with elements of a suspense film; Mark Romanek (One Hour Photo) directed. Never Let Me Go is scheduled to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, October 8.
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 8. (Last week, this was supposed to be at the KAC this week; this week, it’s supposed to be at the KAC next week. We shall see….)
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.
The Concert (a European comedy/drama starring Melanie Laurent, from Inglourious Basterds) and Conviction (a based-on-a-true-story American drama starring Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell) have both been added to the Keystone Art Cinema’s schedule for October 22. Also, Nowhere Boy (a drama about John Lennon’s teenage years) is supposed to be at the KAC on October 15, according to the KAC’s home page (the part at the center of the page, that is, not the “schedule” thingy at the left side of the page- or at least that was the case Thursday evening).
Those movies- and the previously mentioned Tillman Story and Farewell– are the only official changes to the KAC’s upcoming schedule from last week. Unofficially, however, it’s a very different story. Rumor has it that A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop is likely to be shifted to October 22, while Cairo Time and The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest are set for October 29- and Heartbreaker will supposedly get pushed forward to the first week or so in November. (None of the last three films has a date for the KAC on its official US release schedule as of yet, however- for whatever that’s worth.) Or at least that was the unofficial schedule as of a day or so ago. It’s likely to change yet again soon enough, but I thought I’d pass along the above for anyone who wants a sketch of the present situation.
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 Want Your Money– which looks like a political doc on federal spending and the national debt from the conservative/right-wing side of the political spectrum- recently added a few theaters to its list of Indiana venues. It is still 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, per the film’s site; the new additions to the theater list are Great Escape 16 in New Albany and the Evansville 16 (also on October 15).
And in the “don’t give up hope just yet” category, the site for the US distributor of the French crime dramas Mesrine: Killer Instinct and Mesrine: Public Enemy #1, Music Box Films, still says that they will both be at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, October 8. Since so many movies are circling around the KAC- both on the 8th and later on in the month- I don’t think that this is going to happen, unfortunately. I’d love to see the Mesrines, but the odds seem to be against them opening at the KAC. I could well be wrong here, however- after all, I didn’t think that Farewell would make it to the KAC this Friday, and yet it did. But if anyone out there would like to contact the folks at Music Box Films to suggest other possible venues for the Mesrine films in the Indy area, under the circumstances, the page with their contact information can be found here.
Screenings (and other events) for next Friday:
Ma and Pa Kettle– The first “official” entry in the Kettles’ series (following their debut in The Egg and I) will be shown at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre on Friday, October 8 (and Saturday, October 9) at 2 and 7:30 PM.
Made in U.S.A.– Jean-Luc Godard’s arty 1966 crime drama/mystery- apparently long legally unavailable in the US- will be shown at 9 PM on Friday, October 8, at the University of Notre Dame’s Browning Cinema.
The Wizard of Oz/Dark Side of the Moon– Awesome, man! The Ryder folks in Bloomington will be showing The Wizard with its audio turned off (so you don’t have to listen to all those words and songs from the movie) while playing Pink Floyd’s The Dark Side of the Moon, to see how the movie’s images match up with the album’s words and music. I suspect that this has been done before, by individuals in homes across the nation- but if you’d like to see this combo on a bigger screen, it all goes down next Friday (and Saturday and Sunday) at IU’s Fine Arts Building.