by MIKE MACCOLLUM
Last week, it looked like there would be just one limited release movie starting in all of Indiana, Inside Job– and it seemed like that one would be opening at only one theater. The news is a little bit better today- not only is Inside Job going to be at one other theater, it won’t be the only new limited release film – Lebanon and A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop are along for the ride as well. For all of the details, and more- including multiple film festivals and everything from classic Kurosawa to masked Mexican wrestlers- read on below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Inside Job– Matt Damon narrates this documentary from director Charles Ferguson (whose No End in Sight received an Academy Award nomination as Best Documentary Feature several years ago). According to its American press kit, Inside Job is “the first film to expose the shocking truth behind the economic crisis of 2008,” and “traces the rise of a rogue industry and unveils the corrosive relationships which have corrupted politics, regulation and academia” by means of “extensive research and interviews with major financial insiders, politicians and journalists.” Inside Job starts on Friday, November 12, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis and the Showplace South Bend 16.
Lebanon– Samuel Moaz wrote and directed this war drama, which is based on Moaz’s experiences as an Israeli soldier during the 1982 war in Lebanon. Here’s the plot summary from the American press kit for the film: “A lone tank is dispatched to search a hostile town that has already been bombarded by the Israeli Air Force. What seems to be a simple mission gradually spins out of control. Shmuel the gunner, Assi the commander, Herzl the loader and Yigal the driver are the tank’s crew, four 20-something boys who have never fought in a war and are now operating a killing machine. Though trying to remain brave, the boys are pushed to their mental limits as they struggle to survive in a situation they cannot contain, and try not to lose their humanity in the chaos of war.” Lebanon– which won the Golden Lion at the 2009 Venice Film Festival, and was an Official Selection at both the Toronto and New York Film Festivals that same year- opens on Friday at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. Since Lebanon is splitting a screen with A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop, the KAC will show Lebanon two times per day- at 1:20 and 6:50 PM.
Note: By the way- given that it seemed to be taking a while for Lebanon and A Woman, a Gun and a Noodle Shop to open at the KAC- especially since neither title was on the theater’s upcoming schedule for several weeks- I was starting to wonder if there had been some sort of management change at Sony Pictures Classics; it was starting to seem like maybe they weren’t as dedicated to getting 99+% of their movies into the KAC (not to mention a number of other theaters and cities across the country) any more. But now SPC is back with a vengeance- all three of the movies in this section this week are from the company- and so is Tamara Drewe, which is scheduled to open at the KAC next Friday. I’m glad to see that my doubts about Sony Classics were unfounded; I’m looking forward to seeing a number of their upcoming films on the big screen.
A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop– Zhang Yimou directed this remake of Blood Simple– although this version is set in China, and takes place more than a century ago. Some reviews that I’ve read indicate that the director also pays tribute to other films and genres here (including Spaghetti Westerns)- so this certainly doesn’t sound like a straightforward remake with nothing of interest to anyone who’s already familiar with the first film. A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop starts on Friday, November 12, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, where it will be shown two times per day (at 4 and 9:15 PM).
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Action Replayy– This Hindi-language comedy from India is about a guy who somehow goes back to the seventies in an attempt to prevent present-day troubles in his parents’ relationship. I have no idea why there are two “y”s in the title, but I can tell you that this movie has a cool, seventies-style poster and web site, for those of you who like retro styling. Akshay Kumar and Aishwarya Rai star in Action Replayy, which will be shown at 6 PM on Friday and Saturday- and at 6 and 9 PM on Sunday- at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis. That information comes from the manoranjaninc site; the schedule page for the G14 on movietickets.com claims that this Back-to-the-Futurish sounding comedy also will be shown at the G14 on Monday through Thursday at 8 PM.
Catfish– Don’t worry- I won’t spoil the mystery about this documentary, even though I’ve seen it myself. The basic story is that a fellow named Yaniv “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 Showplace Muncie 7; it also will be shown at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne on Friday through Sunday, and again on Tuesday.
Conviction– 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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis and the Showplace Schererville 16- and starts Friday, November 12, at the Showplace Bloomington 11 and the Showplace East in Evansville.
Fantasia– The animated classic will be screened at 3 PM on Sunday, November 14, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in South Bend.
The First Basket– The Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis is the site for the screening of this documentary, which- according to its official site- is about “Jewish basketball experiences, from ash cans placed on the stoops of brownstones, to the bright lights of Madison Square Garden”- and includes the story of the man who scored the first basket in the league that later became the NBA. The First Basket will be shown at 7 PM on Saturday, November 13; the screening is part of the JCC’s Ann Katz Festival of Books.
Freakonomics– This documentary with dramatizations (and possibly some other features not found in more traditional docs, apparently) may not make it to the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- but Bloomington residents who want to get their Freakononmics on can do so at IU’s Fine Arts Building on Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13, at 8:45 PM.
Genius Within: The Inner Life of Glenn Gould– This documentary explores the little-known private life of the late pianist through interviews with those who knew him well, through Gould’s own diaries, and (if I recall the trailer correctly) through at least a few reenacted scenes from Gould’s life. Genius Within will be shown at 7:30 PM on Friday, November 12, and Saturday, November 13, at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington. An additional screening will take place at 7 PM on Sunday, November 14, at Bear’s Place in Bloomington.
A Girl of the Limberlost– Louise Dresser, Marian Marsh, Ralph Morgan and Henry B. Walthall are the stars of this 1934 adaptation of the novel written by Indiana native Gene Stratton-Porter. Marsh plays the title character, Elnora Comstock, who is treated badly by her mother (Dresser). Thanks to some kindly neighbors, young Elnora has been able to save some money for college- but then the money vanishes, throwing her future into question. The Garfield Park Arts Center in Indianapolis will have a screening of A Girl of the Limberlost on Saturday, November 13, starting at 8 PM (although if you want a good seat, you should get there at least a little before then). There is no charge for admission, but a two dollar donation is suggested. Local film historian and collector Eric Grayson will present the screening, which is the November entry in the Vintage Movie Night series. I’ve been to several Vintage Movie Nights in the past, and the feature is usually preceded by an introduction from Eric Grayson, as well as a short subject; I assume the same will be true in this case as well, but I haven’t seen any confirmation of this as of yet. (And it may be difficult to see this film otherwise, apparently- according to the Facebook page for Garfield Park, this is one of the few surviving prints of the film. That may seem odd, considering that this was reportedly a big hit back in 1934- but a lot can happen in seventy-six years….)
The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest– The cinematic version of the third book in Stieg Larsson’s Millennium trilogy features Mikael Blomkvist (Michael Nyqvist) and Lisbeth Salander (Noomi Rapace) once again fighting to expose powerful people who prey on others- although Lisabeth reportedly spends a fairly substantial chunk of this installment confined to an intensive care unit, recovering from the injuries she suffered at the end of The Girl Who Played With Fire. The Girl Who Kicked the Hornet’s Nest holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis; it also will be shown at 7:30 PM on Thursday, November 18, at the Root Cellar Lounge at FARM in Bloomington. (And the film’s US distributor also says that it is scheduled to open at the Yes Cinema in Columbus on November 26.)
Golmaal 3– Ajay Devgan and Kareena Kapoor star in this comedy sequel from India- though from one review I’ve read online, the story isn’t all that similar to the first two Golmaal films. Number 3’s basic plot apparently has to do with two rival groups who really, really do not like each other. According to manoranjaninc’s site, Golmaal 3 will be shown at 3 and 9 PM on both November 12 and 13 at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
Heartbreaker– Romain Duris and Vanessa Paradis star in this French romantic comedy about Alex, a guy who (for a price) breaks up couples by seducing women- but only if he thinks that these women are unhappy in their relationships. Now, though, Alex has been hired by the father of a wealthy heiress to make sure that her planned wedding (to a man the father doesn’t care for) never happens- and he finds that he may actually feel something for the woman in question. Heartbreaker holds over this week at the Keystone Art Center in Indianapolis with two shows per day (at 3:50 and 9:25 PM).
The Hidden Fortress– “Kurosawa at 100” continues with a screening of the director’s 1958 film (which inspired some aspects of Star Wars); it will take place at 9:30 PM on Friday, November 12, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in South Bend.
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 (except for Monday, when there will be no showings) at the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.
Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival– The 10th edition of this festival takes place at the Indianapolis Museum of Art (on Friday and Saturday) and the IUPUI campus (on Sunday). Several recent theatrical releases are part of this year’s festival, including the comedy Violet Tendencies (starring Mindy Cohn) and the documentary Brutal Beauty: Tales of the Rose City Rollers (about a roller derby team in Oregon). Also on the schedule (at 2:45 PM on Sunday) is the documentary Slaves of the Saints, which was written by Catherine Crouch and directed by Kelly Hayes (both of whom are based in Indiana).
Last Train Home– Chinese New Year brings a mass migration of factory workers from the big cities (where they have found work) back to their homes in small villages. This documentary from Chinese-Candian filmmaker Lixin Fan is about the Zhangs, who became migrant workers sixteen years ago, moving to the city for high-wage jobs. The Zhangs hoped to use the money they made to provide better lives for their children, even though this meant that they had to leave the children behind in the village. Now, however, they learn that their daughter Qin has felt so angry over her parents leaving her behind that she has become rebellious, and has dropped out of school- meaning that she, too, will become a migrant worker. Now, the Zhangs do what they can to change their daughter’s mind…. Last Train Home will be shown at Indiana Univerity’s Fine Arts Building on Friday and Saturday, November 12 and 13, at 7 PM.
The Lower Depths– One of my favorites from the Kurosawa canon will be shown at 6:30 PM on Friday, November 12, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in South Bend.
The Man from London– Tilda Swinton is in the cast of this film, which was co-directed by Bela Tarr (Werckmeister Harmonies, Satantango), and based on a book by Georges Simenon. The central character lives a life of routine drudgery, until he witnesses a violent act. According to the film’s official US site, this forces him to come “face to face with issues of morality, sin, punishment, [and] the line between innocence and complicity in a crime”- and “this state of scepsis leads him to the ontological question of the meaning and worth of existence.” So there you go. The Man from London will be shown at 7 PM on Thursday, November 18, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center in South Bend.
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 starts Friday, November 12, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus (which will show it on every day except Monday and Tuesday)- and it also will be shown at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne on Friday through Sunday, and again on Tuesday.
Nowhere Boy– Aaron Johnson (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 starts on Friday, November 12, at the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne.
Rakta Charitra – The Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis will show this action/crime/political/revenge drama from India at 3 PM on Sunday, November 14. According to this film’s official site, it is part one of a two part story, and is based on the real-life story of an initially shy man whose overpowering desire for revenge (following the deaths of his father and brother) led him to be accused of committing a number of extremely violent acts, including more than a few murders- and who was eventually able to become a minister in the government of an Indian state. Apparently, this film was shot in two different versions, one in the Telugu language, and one in Hindi- either that, or the Telugu version was dubbed into Hindi later on. I’ve read both versions online, and I don’t know which is correct. Whatever the case may be, it seems like the Georgetown 14 will be playing the Telugu version (which apparently lacks English subtitles)- either that, or the Hindi version doesn’t have subtitles, since I received an email from the Manoranjan folks saying that there will be no English subtitles on the version shown at the G14.
South Pacific – The historic Artcraft Theatre in Franklin will show Joshua Logan’s movie version of the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical (which was itself based on James Michener’s book) at 2 and 7:30 PM on Friday, November 12, and at 7:30 PM on Saturday, November 13. Rossano Brazzi and Mitzi Gaynor head the cast- and Ray “My Favorite Martian” Walston and Tom “Billy Jack” Laughlin are in the film as well.
Titanica– The IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis will be showing this 1995 documentary about the doomed ocean liner again this week.
Travel and Adventure Film Series: Prague to Paris and a Cruise, Too!- I don’t know much about this event, but (according to an item in this week’s Metromix) it will take place at 7 PM on Wednesday, November 17; the location is the Greenwood Community High School (615 W. Smith Valley Road). According to Metromix, the films will be introduced (or presented, or something) by Clint Denn, and allow viewers to “experience two of Europe’s most historic cities.”
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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, the Showplace South Bend 16 and the Linway Cinema 14 in Goshen (although it will have only one showing per day at the latter two theaters). Waiting for Superman also starts on Friday, November 12, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne and the Showplace 12 in Schererville (where it also will have only one showing per day).
Wet Your Pants Film Festival– The second edition of this festival of funny films- which serves as a fundraiser for the National Kidney Foundation- takes place on November 13 and 14 at the Indianapolis Art Center. Comedic shorts and features are both included in the festival, including the Indiana made My Bloody Valentine. Before the screenings start, there will be a meet-and-greet with the people behind the movies; that takes place at the Monkey’s Tale (925 E. Westfield Blvd. in Indianapolis), starting at 8 PM. Admission is $25 for the Saturday films, $20 for the Sunday movies, or $40 for a pass to the whole festival.
What If…- Kevin Sorbo stars in this Christian-oriented film as Ben Walker, a well-paid businessman with a hot young fiancée. Fifteen years ago, Ben left his college girlfriend Wendy (Kristy Swanson) and abandoned his plans to become a preacher. Now, tow-truck driver Mike (John Ratzenberger) offers to give Ben a tow when his new car breaks down- but Mike also claims to be an angel who has been sent to show Ben what his life would be like if he had stayed with Wendy, and had become a preacher…. What If… holds over this week at the Great Escape 7 in Bedford.
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- returns to the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis with showings at 6:45 PM this Friday, Saturday, and Thursday (November 12, 13, and 18). Liam Neeson narrates, by the way, and Alan Rickman, Ralph Fiennes, Hugh Dancy, and the late Natasha Richardson also contribute 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 (except for Monday, when there will be no showings) at the the IMAX Theater in downtown Indianapolis’ Indiana State Museum.
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 holds over this week at Cinema Center in Fort Wayne- and starts on Friday, November 12, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus (which will show it on every day except Monday and Tuesday).
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: The children’s film Care Bears: Share Bear Shines will show at a number of Indiana cinemas throughout the week; other theaters will show it only on the weekend. A live presentation of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Don Pasquale and a 25th-Anniversary showing of the Broadway version of Les Miserables will also be on some big screens in Indiana this week; the former takes place at 1 PM on Saturday, November 13, while the latter gets underway at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, November 17.
For more information on any of the above titles (including theater locations and show times), click on the relevant highlighted text above, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
As of Thursday evening, the Keystone Arts Cinema had not added any new titles to their upcoming schedule, or changed the start date for any movie already on their schedule- and the same was true for manoranjaninc with regard to Indian movies at the Georgetown 14. That still leaves four limited release movies scheduled to open in Indiana on November 19- with a fifth movie that might or might not be a wide release as of next Friday.
Cool It– Bjorn Lomborg- author of the book The Skeptical Environmentalist- is the subject of this documentary, which (per its official site) also details Lomborg’s “mission to bring the smartest solutions to climate change, environmental pollution, and other major problems in the world.” Ondi Timoner (Dig!, We Live in Public) directed. Cool It will start at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, November 19, according to the theater’s home page- but I wouldn’t bet money on it. Four other movies (including the latest Harry Potter) are supposed to start at the KAC on the same day- and I would assume that Cool It would be the one most likely to get moved to another date (or removed from the schedule entirely) if all they don’t have enough room for all of these films.
Fair Game– Doug Liman (Swingers, Go, The Bourne Identity, Mr. & Mrs. Smith) directed this ripped-from-the-not-all-that-recent headlines account of Valerie Plame (Naomi Watts), her husband, Joe Wilson (Sean Penn), and the political firestorm in which they were involved beginning in 2003. Bruce McGill, Sam Shepard, Polly Holliday, Brooke Smith, Iris Bahr and Adam LeFevre are all in the supporting cast. According to Fair Game’s official site, it is going into “national” release next Friday- but that doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be a wide release. While it (most likely) will be playing in theaters across the country next Friday, Fair Game still might be a limited release in Indianapolis and Indiana at the time. As of now, the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis is scheduled to open Fair Game on November 19- but I don’t know if any other theater in the state will do so. When I hear more, I’ll let you know….
Guzaarish– Hrithik Roshan and Aishwarya Rai are the stars of this Hindi-language drama from India about a paralyzed magician who sues for the right to end his own life (prompting at least one poster on the IMDb to ask if Guzaarish might be in some way a remake of The Sea Inside). As of now, Guzaarish is scheduled for just one screening- at 9:30 PM on Friday, November 19, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis; I suspect that more showings will be added in fairly short order. (By the way: the graphic for this one on the manoranjan site reminds me of a poster for an Indian- or possibly Mexican- melodrama from the late forties/fifties; does anyone else out there get a similar vibe? And furthermore parenthetically, Guzaarish marks the second film starring Aishwarya Rai to play the Georgetown 14 in the space of a month- she was also in Action Replayy, which opened last week… and she was also the female lead in Robot, which opened a month or so ago.)
127 Hours– James Franco plays mountain climber Aron Ralston in Danny Boyle’s follow-up to Slumdog Millionaire– the second fact-based-but-not-a-documentary movie scheduled to open at the Keystone Art Cinema next Friday. Ralston’s name might not ring a bell, but you may remember hearing about the man who had to cut off one of his own arms- and survived- after the limb got trapped underneath a boulder. Well, that was Aron Ralston- and that scene is reportedly pretty intense. Amber Tamblyn, Treat Williams, Lizzy Caplan, Kate Burton, Kate Mara and Clémence Poésy are also in 127 Hours, per the IMDb, but maybe not for all that long- I’ve heard that Franco is onscreen by himself for the majority of the film.
Tamara Drewe– Stephen Frears directed this adaptation of the graphic novel by Posy Simmonds; Gemma Arterton plays the title character. According to its press kit, Tamara Drewe is a “contemporary comedy of manners” set in the English countryside. Ms. Drewe was once an ugly duckling, but now she’s a very attractive young woman who writes for a big newspaper- and she causes quite a stir when she returns to the village in which she was born. Tamara Drewe starts on Friday, November 19, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Screenings and events for next Friday:
Dark Carnival Film Festival– This annual festival starts next Friday in Bloomington and continues through Sunday, November 14. Among the events for next Friday are a number of movie screenings (on the big screen at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater) and a VIP Banquet (featuring special guests Joe Bob Briggs and Tiffany Shepis, among others). For the whole schedule of events, click here.
Erin Brockovich– Julia Roberts (who won an Academy Award), Aaron Eckhart and Albert Finney star in Steven Soderbergh’s fact-based drama; it will be shown at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre on Friday, November 19 (at 2 and 7:30 PM) and Saturday, November 20 (at 7:30 PM).
Mexican Cinema Double Feature at the IMA– Melodrama meets masked maulers in this pairing, which gets underway at 7 PM on Friday, November 19. The location is the Indianapolis Museum of Arts’ Toby Theater, and there is no charge for admission to either the museum itself or the films. First up is Las Abandonadas, directed by Emilio Fernandez and starring Delores Del Rio and Pedro Armendariz. Del Rio- who won the Mexican equivalent of the Oscar for her work here- plays a woman who winds up in a house of ill repute after being mistreated by a man. When a high-ranking military officer falls for her, she thinks she may have found her way out- but alas, her new love may turn out to be not quite what he seems…. Next up, at 8:45, is 1969’s Santo y Blue Demon Contra los Montruos, in which masked wrestler/scientist/secret agent/etc. Santo and his also-masked fellow grappler Blue Demon take on a vampire, a wolfman, and more- including “Franquestain” (that’s how they spell it on the IMDb, at least).