by MIKE MACCOLLUM
This is the second very interesting week in a row for limited release movies in Indiana- Woody Allen’s latest opens, along with a documentary from the director of An Inconvenient Truth, a well-reviewed dramatization of the life of young John Lennon, a drama with a former Cosby kid, and a movie with two Academy Award winners in its cast. Also, the Heartland Film Festival continues, and a diverse selection of films from India will be showing in Indianapolis. This week might not have something for everybody, but it probably comes pretty darn close. To see if there’s anything in the state this week that might appeal to you, just read on below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Brindaavanam– This Telugu-language romantic comedy (well, it looks like it’s probably a comedy, but the IMDb says it’s a “romance”) is scheduled to be shown (in a print that apparently does not have English subtitles) at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis this Friday (at 6 and 9:30 PM) and Saturday (at 2 and 9:15 PM). There’s no plot summary on the official site, by the way- but I can tell you that the film stars N.T.R. Rao Junior- who is such a big deal that he is credited on the film’s site as just “NTR,” and the adress for the film’s site (following all of that http://www. stuff, at least) itself begins with “ntr.”
(By the way- both this film and Buried were showing in Indianapolis last week. But since I didn’t know about either movie being in town until after last week’s deadline had passed, I thought it would be fair to put both titles in this section- complete with links to their official sites- this week.)
Buried– Ryan Reynolds stars as Paul, a man who has been working as a truck driver in Iraq. He awakens in a dark, cramped space, and finds that he has been buried alive in a sort of coffin. While the people who did this to Paul left a flashlight and cell phone in the coffin with him, Paul also realizes that there isn’t all that much oxygen in there- and he’d better think fast if he’s going to have any hope of staying alive…. This suspense drama has been getting pretty good reviews from most critics, by the way, but it doesn’t sound like a good movie for anyone who suffers from claustrophobia- reportedly, the audience spends a great deal of time stuck in the same confined space as the main character. Buried continues this week at the Showplace Indianapolis 17.
The Genesis Code– Here’s the synopsis for this drama, taken from its official site: “Kerry Wells (Kelsey Sanders), a college journalist and committed Christian with an effervescent personality, has been assigned to do a story on Blake Truman (Logan Bartholomew) the college’s newest and very popular hockey superstar. As a relationship between them begins to develop Kerry finds that Blake, who hides behind a tough and independent façade, is actually struggling through a difficult personal crisis and that he bears the cross of a secret he has kept hidden for years. Blake rebuffs Kerry’s suggestion that prayer might help ease his burden; he is convinced that modern science completely disproves the Bible, especially the opening verses of Genesis. Kerry- who is herself suddenly confronted with a challenge to her faith on another front- sets out to prove that science and Genesis are not in conflict and her quest leads to a startling revelation.” Lance Henriksen, Ben Murphy, Louise Fletcher, Ernest Borgnine and Fred Dalton Thompson also appear in The Genesis Code, which was directed by C. Thomas Howell and Patrick Read Johnson. It started on Friday, October 15, at the Showplace Schererville 16.
(By the way- Ernest Borgnine is also in the big national release Red, which also opened at the same theater on the same day. That probably makes the ninety-three-year-old Borgnine the only actor of that age to have two different, unrelated movies open in the same theater on the same day, I would wager.)
Nowhere Boy– Aaron Johnson (from Kick-Ass), Kristin Scott Thomas, David Threlfall and Anne-Marie Duff star in this drama about the early life of John Lennon; apparently, the film follows Lennon from his teens right up to the point that he and his bandmates depart for Hamburg, Germany. Nowhere Boy opened on Friday, October 15 at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, and the Showplace Bloomington 11.
N-Secure– According to its official site, this drama has been described as “a cross between Fatal Attraction and CSI.” The story centers on a young man whose problematic romantic entanglements lead to big trouble- including murder. Tempestt Bledsoe, Lamman Rucker, Essence Atkins, Elise Neal, Cordell Moore and Toni Trucks star in N-Secure, which started on Friday, October 15, at the Showplace Glendale 12, Georgetown 14, Galaxy 14, Circle Center 9, Eagle Highlands 10, and Showplace Traders Point 12 (all in Indianapolis), and the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne and the Portage 16 and IMAX in Portage.
Waiting for Superman– Davis Guggenheim (An Inconvenient Truth) directed this documentary about education in America- in particular, the film deals with public schools vs. charter schools, and the fate of five individual students, each of them hoping to get a good education. Waiting for Superman opened at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, October 15.
You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger– Antonio Banderas, Josh Brolin, Anthony Hopkins, Naomi Watts, Pauline Collins and Freida Pinto are the stars of Woody Allen’s latest romantic comedy, about several couples- past, present, and potential. It started at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, October 15.
One last note here- I mentioned the political documentary I Want Your Money in several past columns, as I was under the impression that it would get a fairly limited release. It is now apparent that this film will be opening in over 500 theaters in the US- seven of them in the greater Indianapolis area, and fourteen others throughout the rest of the state. That’s way too many too qualify as a limited release, to my mind, so it is beyond the scope of this column- and (apart from this note) it won’t be mentioned here. (Granted, N-Secure came fairly close to IWYM in terms of total national screens, at just over 450- but with just eight theaters showing N-Secure in Indiana, I did think that that still film qualified for inclusion here.)
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS 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 this Saturday through Thursday at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, when- according to manoranjaninc’s site- the G14 will have one showing per day (at 2, 5, 8, or 9:15, depending on the day).
Ashes and Diamonds– Andrzej Wajda’s 1958 drama will be shown at Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center on Tuesday, October 17, starting at 7 PM. The screening is part of the Cinema Center’s “Sister City Film Festival,” which means (per the Cinema Center’s site) that “Polish cuisine including pierogi, kapusta, plus a spirited beverage and dessert will be served” before the film is shown.
The Big Idea– Since there’s no plot synopsis on the site for this one- and since the trailer (which is on the site) doesn’t have a lot of info about the story either (beyond the fact that the film deals with several people who have various problems)- I can’t tell you that much about this movie, except for the fact that it looks like it’s a comedy… and, it looks like at least one Indianapolis radio personality is in it. Also, I know that it will have a world premiere screening at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Thursday, October 21, at 8 PM; advance tickets are $8, and tickets at the door are $10.
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 holds over this week at the Castleton Square 14 in Indianapolis.
Daddy Longlegs– Lenny is an irresponsible man in his mid-thirties who spends just a few weeks with his children every year. This year, however, the two week period is different from all of those that have taken place in the past- and Lenny starts to seriously consider whether he should do some growing up himself. Daddy Longlegs will be shown at 7 PM on Friday, October 15, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
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 will be shown through Sunday, October 17, 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 will be shown through Sunday, October 17, at the Cinema Center@ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne. (Also, it is scheduled to be shown next Friday and Saturday, October 22 and 23, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center- which will also show The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo on those same days. Dragon Tattoo is scheduled to show at 6:30 PM on both days, with Played With Fire scheduled to follow at 9:30 PM.)
Heartland Film Festival– The 2010 edition of the Heartland continues this week, as screenings get underway big time following the Heartland’s opening event last week; most films will be shown at the Castleton Square 14 in Indianapolis, and the Showplace Indianapolis 17. A record number of films are set to be shown at this year’s festival, including at least two which were shot (partially or entirely) in Indiana- the documentary Rabbit Fever and the drama Paradise Recovered.
Home– Isabelle Huppert and Olivier Gourmet play a couple who enjoy their quiet lives in the French countryside – until the construction of a highway nearby leads to conflict between the pair regarding the best way to deal with the situation, for themselves and their children. Ursula Meier directed this film, which was Switzerland’s submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Academy Award; it will be shown at 6:30 and 9:30 PM on Thursday, October 21, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
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, which will be screened at 8 this Friday and Saturday 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….
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 is at the Keystone Art Cinema and Showplace Indianapolis 17 in Indianapolis, the Village Park 17 in Carmel, the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the Portage 16 and IMAX, the Showplace Schererville 16, the Showplace Bloomington 11, and the Showplace South Bend 16.
Jack Goes Boating– Jack Goes Boating- Philip Seymour Hoffman makes his feature film directing debut with this romantic drama/comedy 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 15, at the Showplace Bloomington 11.
John Calvert Film Festival- The Strand Theatre in Shelbyville is the venue for this event, which will feature the ninety-nine-year-old Mr. Calvert in person. According to the Strand’s site, Calvert- an actor, magician, stunt pilot, and native Hoosier- will “host an evening featuring his Magic, Films and memories of the Hollywood Golden Age.” I couldn’t find a list of the films being shown on the site, but since Mr. Calvert played “The Falcon” in three movies- and since this fact is mentioned on the Strand’s page- I’m guessing that at least one “Falcon” film will be part of the line-up. The event starts at 7 PM on Saturday, October 16; tickets are $15 for adults, and $12 for children.
Khaleja– The Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis will have several showings of this Telugu-language film from India, starting on Sunday, October 17, through next Thursday; see manoranjaninc’s site for the show times. The IMDb calls it an action movie, while the film’s Facebook page says that it is a romantic thriller. There’s no plot summary on the movie’s official site, so either- or both- of these descriptions could be correct. (By the way- most Telugu language films that are shown in US theaters are not subtitled in English, it seems- and as far as I can tell, Khaleja is no exception to this general rule).
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 starts on Friday, October 15, at the Showplace East in Evansville.
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 starts Friday at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne; it will show there next, except for Tuesday, October 19. (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.)
My Suicide– Gabriel Sunday and Brooke Nevin star in this comedy/drama, about a student who is planning to videotape his own self-inflicted death for a school project. This film- which has a supporting cast that includes David Carradine, Joe Mantegna and Mariel Hemingway- is scheduled for theatrical release next February, according to this page on The Ryder’s site. Director David Lee Miller and co-writer Eric J. Adams will introduce the film and answer questions about it starting at 7:30 PM on Friday, October 15 and Saturday, October 16 at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington. Another screening is scheduled for 7:30 PM on Thursday, October 21, at the Root Cellar Lounge at FARM (also in Bloomington). Further screenings are scheduled for 7:30 PM on October 22 and 23, again at IU’s Fine Arts Building. These showings will be introduced by actor and co-writer Gabriel Sunday.
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 went to 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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
One Body Too Many– Jack “Tin Man” Haley stars in this comedy/mystery/horror film, along with Jean Parker, Bela Lugosi, and Lyle Talbot. It’s the “Vintage Movie Night” presentation for October, at the Garfield Park Arts Center, 2432 Conservatory Drive, Indianapolis. The screening starts at 8 PM on Saturday, October 16- but you’re advised to get there before 8 if you want a good seat.
Psycho– Alfred Hitchcock’s classic will be shown at 2 and 7:30 PM next Friday (and at 7:30 PM next Saturday) at the historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin.
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. The male lead- the guy who plays both the inventor and the invention (and who is nearly a quarter of a century older than his love interest here)- is Rajnikanth… or as he is billed in the credits (by contractual decree, apparently), SUPERSTAR Rajnikanth! Robot– which (apparently) was originally shot in Tamil, but then dubbed into Hindi- will be shown with English subtitles at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, October 15, at 9 PM.
Note: I saw this movie a while ago, by the way, and it was… different. Even though I’ve seen over one hundred Indian films, this was really something else. Most of the Indian movies I’ve seen have been Bollywood movies, which this is not- and that may well account for at least part of the difference. Anyhow, I would recommend this to anyone who wants to see something REALLY out of the ordinary. More so than even many other Indian films I have seen, Robot is like its own double feature- the first half is mostly comic, the second part is primarily an action movie. Come to think of it, though, I think the second half may have had the part with the talking _______, which was (I think) intended to be funny. And if you what to find out just what was talking- well, look it up online, or see the movie yourself.)
Strange Brew– Bob and Doug McKenzie meet Max von Sydow in this 1983 comedy, which will be shown at 7:30 PM on Thursday, October 21, at (appropriately enough) Sun King Brewing Company in downtown Indianapolis. This is the first of a series called “Roving Cinema,” in which movies will be shown all around the city of Indianapolis.
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.
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 (with two or three showings per day, depending on the theater) at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville, the Studio 10 in Shelbyville, the Shiloh Crossing 18 in Avon, and the Eastside 9 in Lafayette.
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 Cinema Center in Fort Wayne (which will show the film on every day of the week except Tuesday, October 19- and which will have a “Movie Talk” following the 4 PM showing on Sunday, October 17).
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, a showing of Bizet’s Carmen will take place at one theater in Indiana on Wednesday, October 20. And the other three big screen events in Indiana this week involve at least some singing as well- the Sound of Music Sing-a-Long (on Tuesday, October 19), a live version of Garrison Keillor’s A Prairie Home Companion (on Thursday, October 21), and the documentary The Last Play at Shea (which details “the waning days of Shea Stadium through a tapestry of performance, historical documentary and personal journey,” and which features “exclusive concert footage featuring guests like Tony Bennett, Garth Brooks, John Mayer and Roger Daltrey, among others,” per its official site) on Thursday, October 21. 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.
Conviction– As of now, this is the only limited-release movie that I know of scheduled to start in Indiana next Friday. Hilary Swank and Sam Rockwell star in this based-on-fact story about a woman who spent many years trying to free her brother from prison, following his conviction on what she believed to be trumped-up charges. Minnie Driver, Melissa Leo, Peter Gallagher and Juliette Lewis are also in the cast; Tony Goldwyn directed. Conviction is scheduled to start on October 22 at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Also, the once-rumored early-November start date for Heartbreaker at the KAC is now official- the theater’s home page now says that this French rom-com is scheduled to start on November 5.
Meanwhile, A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop and The Concert are both off of the Keystone Art Cinema’s online schedule page- for now, at least. The former is likely to play at the theater eventually, from what I hear- especially since Sony Pictures Classics is distributing it in the US- but I’ve heard nothing about whether or not The Concert will make it to the KAC. (The Yes Cinema in Columbus does say that they will be showing The Concert at their YESFest in late November, however- along with Get Low and several other movies- so at least The Concert will get some screen time somewhere in Indiana, apparently.)
Also, another film has vanished from another site’s list of forthcoming films as well- the Kannada-language Indian comedy Eradane Maduve is not on manoranjaninc’s page any more; for several weeks, that site had mentioned a date in October for Eradane Maduve– but not any more.
Finally, 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.
Gemma Arterton stars in Stephen Frears’ comedy Tamara Drewe; according to its official site, the film is supposed to start at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on November 19. In a more serious vein, the official site for Inside Job– a documentary on the recent financial collapse- says that it is supposed to start at the KAC on November 12.