by MIKE MACCOLLUM
Two happy films bring some sunshine and smiles to the Keystone Art Cinema (okay, maybe not…), while several Indian films are at the Georgetown 14, and a romantic comedy/drama makes its belated theatrical debut. It’s a pretty busy week, in contrast to the past few weeks- so without further ado (besides noting that The King’s Speech is in wide release as of this week, and hence beyond the scope of this column from now on), on with the show….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Blue Valentine– There’s been a lot of talk about Academy Award nominations for both Ryan Gosling and Michelle Williams for their work in this romantic drama; it’s about a couple at both the beginning and (apparently) near the sad end of their relationship. Blue Valentine initially was slapped with an NC-17 rating, although the MPAA changed the classification to an R on appeal; it starts on Friday, January 14, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis and the Showplace Bloomington 11.
The Heart Specialist– Zoe Saldana, Wood Harris, Marla Gibbs, Jasmine Guy, Jenifer Lewis, Leon, Method Man and Ed Asner, which seems to be a romantic comedy/drama centered around two doctors. I say “seems to be” because I couldn’t find a plot synopsis on the film’s official site. (I did notice that the IMDb claims that this is a 2006 movie- so if some aspects of the film seem to be slightly out of date, that’s why. And the fact that this has been sitting on the shelf for several years might not be a good sign, but you never know.) The Heart Specialist starts on Friday, January 21, at the Georgetown 14, the Eagle Highlands 10, the Showplace Traders Point 12 (which will have only two showings per day), and the Showplace Washington Square 12, all in Indianapolis- along with the Rave Metropolis 18 in Plainfield and the Portage 16 and IMAX.
Mirapakaya (or Mirapakaia, or Mirapakai– I’ve seen all of these variations) – As far as I can tell, this Telugu-language film from India is an action/comedy/romance about a subordinate officer in India’s Central Bureau of Investigation who goes undercover as a college lecturer in order to catch some bad guys. Per manoranjaninc’s site, Mirapakaya will show at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Sunday, January 16 (at 3:30 and 6:30 PM) and Monday, January 17 (at 5 PM). This film most likely won’t have English subtitles- for the reasons covered in the entry for the film below- if that matters to you.
Once Upon a Warrior (a.k.a. Anaganaga-O-Dheerudu)– The folks at Walt Disney Pictures co-produced this (reportedly very expensive) fantasy/adventure/family film from India. Apparently, this is the first time Disney put money into a movie shot in the Telugu language- and although US theatrical prints of Telugu films rarely have English subtitles, I’m hoping that Disney plus big budget will equal English subtitles in this case.* The story involves an evil witch, Irendri, who becomes queen of the island of Sangarashtra- which means that Moksha, a young girl with the gift of healing, is the only possible savior of the island’s people. However, even Moksha will need some help from a blind swordsman named Yodha** to keep out of the clutches of Irendri and her minions. Manoranjaninc’s site says that Once Upon a Warrior is scheduled for four showings at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis this week- on Friday, January 14 (at 6:30 and 9:30 PM), and Saturday, January 15 (at 2 and 5:30 PM). (More showings could be added later on, however; check manoranjan’s site throughout the week if this one looks interesting, and you can’t make any of the showings mentioned above.)
(*Although the trailer on the film’s official site does not have subtitles, the “theatrical trailer” on the film’s Youtube channel does have English subtitles, along with some text- including “written & directed by,” “introducing,” and the film’s title- in English. That doesn’t necessarily indicate that theatrical prints of the film itself will have subtitles, but it’s certainly a promising sign. Then again, I’ve seen a listing for the film on the site of a theater in Texas that shows Indian films- and said listing claims that Warrior won’t be subtitled. That may be true, but I’m still holding out hope for subtitles; this looks like the sort of movie that will look much better on a big screen than on a DVD- even if the DVD is more English-friendly.)
(**And that isn’t necessarily a Star Wars rip off. Just a few days ago, I learned that “Yoda” means “warrior” in the ancient Indian language Sanskrit, so if anything, the filmmakers are just taking the word (in somewhat modified form) back to the land from whence it came.)
Rabbit Hole– Nicole Kidman, Aaron Eckhart and Dianne Wiest star in this drama about a couple trying to survive the shattering, unexpected death of their young son. John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus) directed this critically-acclaimed film, which opens on Friday, January 14, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Yamla Pagla Deewa– According to manoranjaninc’s page, this con man comedy from India is scheduled to start at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, January 14. Real-life brothers Sunny and Bobby Deol star, along with their father, the veteran actor Dharmendra; if the IMDb is correct, this is the first time that the three performers have shared the screen since they headlined the boxing drama Apne in 2007. According to manoranjaninc’s site, Yamla Pagla Deewa– like most Hindi-language films theatrically released in the US- will have English subtitles.
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS, FILM FESTIVALS, REVIVAL SCREENINGS, AND OTHER SPECIAL SHOWINGS AND EVENTS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Animal Kingdom– Brothers Craig, Pope, and Darren Cody are part of a family of Australian criminals led by family matriarch Janine “Smurf” Cody. Joshua “J” Cody is the brothers’ nephew- and an outsider to their lives of crime, until his mother’s death leads him to move in with his previously-distant relatives. J starts to think of himself as part of the family’s underworld activities- but he soon finds that he’s in the middle of an increasingly violent battle between his family and the police…. Ben Mendelsohn, Joel Edgerton, Sullivan Stapleton, Jacki Weaver, newcomer James Frecheville, and Guy Pearce star in Animal Kingdom, which continues (through at least Tuesday, January 18) at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
Around a Small Mountain– Veteran French filmmaker Jacques Rivette directed this comedy/drama, which is described on its official US site as “a tale of lost love, chance encounters and the transformative power of art.” Jane Birkin and Sergio Castellitto are the leads in Around a Small Mountain, which will be shown at the Root Cellar Lounge at FARM in Bloomington on Thursday, January 20, at 7 PM.
Come Walk in My Shoes– According to its official site, this documentary “follows the Honorable John Lewis on an emotional pilgrimage to the churches, parks and bridges where young people played a pivotal role in the struggle for equality and voting rights”- and also “provides a fresh, first-person perspective on the non-violent protests that challenged segregation laws in the South and led to the passage of the Voting Rights Act in 1965.” Come Walk in My Shoes will be shown at the Walker Theatre in Indianapolis on Monday, January 17. as part of the theatre’s celebration of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., Day. For more information, check the Walker’s site.
Criss Cross– Burt Lancaster stars in this 1949 film noir as Steve Thompson, who makes a living by driving an armored car- and who still has feelings for his ex-wife, Anna (Yvonne De Carlo), even though she and gangster Slim Dundee (Dan Duryea) are now an item. Steve tries to win Anna back, but Anna (and Slim) may have other plans for Steve, and the money inside of that armored car…. Robert Siodmak directed the film, and the supporting cast includes Alan Napier (“Alfred the Butler” from the Batman TV show), Tony Curtis, and Raymond Burr (the latter two uncredited, apparently). Criss Cross will be shown (in 35mm, not on DVD) at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater on Friday, January 14, at 7 PM. And there are some cool extra features, in addition to the movie itself- the 1951 Warner Brothers cartoon “Scentimental Romeo” will be shown before the film, and there also will be an introduction and a post-movie talk by Film Noir Foundation founder and president Eddie Muller.
Fair Game– Doug Liman 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. Fair Game continues this week at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.
Gantz– This sounds cool- two young Japanese men are hit by a subway train while attempting to save the life of another man. They then find themselves in a room with what the site for Fathom Events describes as “an enigmatic black orb known as GANTZ.” The orb then makes both of the young men “take part in a mission to hunt down and kill aliens,” in a contest which “tests their will to survive”- and leads them to question if they are in the real world, or some sort of a game. Anyone who’s nostalgic for the days of English-dubbed movies on theater screens will be pleased to know that this showing will have English-speaking voice actors trying to match the lip movements of the Japanese actors on the screen (or at least you’d think they would try to do this); those of us who prefer to see movies with subtitles will have to wait for DVD. Gantz– which is based on a Japanese manga and anime- will be shown at 8 PM on Thursday, January 20, at the Showplace Indianapolis 17, the Galaxy 14 (also in Indianapolis), the Hamilton 16 and IMAX in Noblesville, the Eastside 9 in Lafayette, the Coldwater Crossing Stadium14 in Fort Wayne, and the Portage 16 and IMAX.
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 Lisbeth 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 continues this week at the Evansville 16 and the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute (both of which will show the film two times per day) and the Showplace Bloomington 11 (which will have one showing per day).
Homegrown Hollywood Film Festival– On Saturday, January 15, Anderson’s Paramount Theatre Centre and Ballroom will be the site for this (more or less) all-day event, which “will screen films with Anderson, Indiana roots”- some were made by Anderson natives, some were shot in Anderson, some feature folks from Anderson in the cast, and some are all of the above. Proceeds from ticket sales will benefit the Paramount Theatre Centre and Ballroom. I’ve been there only once- for a screening of the Lon Chaney Phantom of the Opera, ten or more years ago- but I remember it as a very cool place to see a movie. And after the Paramount’s basement flooded last week, due to a burst water pipe, the theater’s need for money is probably much greater now than it had been. But the damage caused by the flooding won’t affect the festival, apparently- I found an online article from the Anderson Herald-Bulletin stating that Homegrown Hollywood will take place as scheduled, starting at 10 AM.
Howl– James Franco stars as poet Allen Ginsberg in a film that recounts the events in Ginsberg’s life that led up to his writing the poem Howl, while also dramatizing Ginsberg’s 1957 obscenity trial for the poem, and (by way of animation) illustrating the poem itself. David Straithairn, Jon Hamm, Jeff Daniels, Mary-Louise Parker, Treat Williams, Alessandro Nivola and Bob Balaban are in the film’s supporting cast; Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman (The Celluloid Closet) co-directed. Howl will be shown in the “downstairs” room IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington this Friday and Saturday, January 14 (at 7:30 PM) and 15 (at 3, 5, and 7:30 PM); on Sunday, Bear’s Place in Bloomington will show Howl at 7 PM. Howl also starts this Friday (and will show through at least Tuesday, January 18) at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
I Love You, Phillip Morris– Bad Santa writers Glenn Ficarra and John Requa co-wrote and co-directed this comedy/drama, which stars Jim Carrey and Ewan McGregor, and co-stars Leslie Mann. Carrey is Steven Russell, who is a member of his town’s police force, plays the organ in his local church, and has an apparently happy married life with wife Debbie (Mann). But after a serious accident, Steven has what the film’s site calls “the ultimate epiphany: he’s gay and he’s going to live life to the fullest- even if he has to break the law to do it.” Steven’s version of living “to the fullest” requires a lot more money than he can get by usual (legal) means, so he becomes a con man. After he is caught and sentence to prison, he meets Phillip Morris (McGregor), and falls head over heels in love. Steven becomes dedicated to getting Phillip (and himself) out of prison and making money for their future life together- even if it means that he has to escape from the penitentiary (more than once) and engage in further cons and frauds to do so. This based-on-a-true-story film continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Lebowski fest!- The Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne is the place to be for this event on Saturday, January 15. According to the official page for this event, it will be a “bowling-filled night of mayhem and a movie,” plus “6 open lanes, food by Club Soda, a cash bar with White Russians, and maybe even a nice rug to tie it all together”- and to top it all off, there’s no admission charge. The party begins at 6 PM; the screening of The Big Lebowski starts at 9 PM.
Mesrine: Public Enemy No. 1/Mesrine: Killer Instinct– The French crime films show once again at IU’s Fine Arts building this Friday and Saturday; in this case, however, both films will be in the “Upstairs” room. Part 1 shows at 7 PM on Friday and Saturday (and at 2 PM on Saturday), while Part 2 follows two hours later.
Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight– For anyone out there (like me) who never heard of Mr. Glaser until just now, I’ll quote a bit from this documentary’s official site: “For many, Milton Glaser is the personification of American graphic design. Best known for co-founding New York Magazine and the enduring I [heart] NY campaign, the full breadth of Glaser’s remarkable artistic output” from “newspapers and magazine designs, to interior spaces, logos, and brand identities, to his celebrated prints, drawings, posters and paintings” is covered in this film. The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater will show Milton Glaser: To Inform and Delight at 7 PM on Thursday, January 20.
Notre Dame Student Film Festival– The twenty-second annual edition of this event- which features films made by Notre Dame students for various classes- gets underway with 6:30 and 9:30 programs on Thursday, January 20, at Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
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, January 14, at the Movies 6 in Mishawaka. (So the second-run Cinemark in Mishawaka gets Nowhere Boy, but the second-run Cinemarks in/near Indianapolis don’t? I guess this is example #45,659 of the mysteries and oddities of film distribution in the modern era….)
Punching the Clown– The Yes Cinema in Columbus will show this comedy at 6 PM on Sunday, January 16. Punching the Clown (which won an Audience Award for Best Narrative Feature at the 2009 Slamdance Festival) stars comedian/singer (and frequent Bob & Tom Show guest) Henry Phillips, in the story of a comedian/singer who has a hard life on the road. After he moves to Los Angeles, though, his career starts to take off- for a while, at least…. According to the site for the Yes Cinema, the screening will be followed by a Q & A session with star/co-writer/co-producer Phillips.
Sicko/Deadly Spin– Michael Moore’s documentary Sicko is the first part of this event, which gets underway at 3 PM on Sunday, January 16, at Bloomington’s Buskirk-Chumley Theater. Next up- live and in person- is author Wendell Potter, who will discuss his book Deadly Spin, which tells the tale of how the health insurance company for which he once worked gave him the assignment of trying to discredit Moore’s film.
To Save a Life– This drama about a teen who is a popular, successful student at his high school- but finds that he must reevaluate his life after a tragic incident involving one of his childhood friends- will be shown free of charge at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre on Friday, January 14, and Saturday, January 15, at 7:30 PM.
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: Titanica shows through Sunday at the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis; Hubble 3D returns to that theater for several showings per day as of Tuesday. And several Indiana theaters will show the children’s matinee program of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magical/The Adventures of Chuck and Friends throughout the week, while others will show it on weekends only.
There also will be two musical special events that can be seen at some theaters in the state this week: the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Puccini’s La Fanciulla del West is up first, on Saturday, January 15; live performances of (excerpts from?) Cavalleria Rusticana and Pagliacci from Milan’s Teatro alla Scala follow at 2 PM on Thursday, January 20.
For more information on any of the above (including theater location(s) and/or show times), click on the highlighted text above, and follow the trail of cyber-breadcrumb links until you find what you need to know.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
This week was busy- and next week could be busier still….
Brutal Beauty: Tales of the Rose City Rollers– The Rollers are Portland, Oregon’s roller derby league, per this documentary’s official site- which notes that the film covers over a year and a half of “team bouts, practices and the private lives of the players” who take part in this “high-contact, and sometimes dangerous, sport.” According to the site of distributor Cinema Purgatorio, Brutal Beauty is currently scheduled to open at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis on Friday, January 21.
Evangelion 2.0: You Can (Not) Advance– This sequel to the 2007 Japanese animated film Evangelion 1.0: You Are (Not) Alone is currently scheduled to be at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis from Friday, January 21, through Sunday, January 23. According to its official US site, Evangelion 2.0 involves “[b]rutal mechanized action” that “explodes on a grand scale as towering cyborg gladiators- the Eva Units- fight for the fate of the world.” Two characters from the first film- Eva Unit pilots Shinji and Rei- return for the follow-up, and are joined by two new pilots, “the fiery Asuka and the mysterious Mari.” (And for anyone who wants to see Evangelion 1.0 on the big screen- but missed it when it was at the Georgetown 14 a while back- there will be a one-time-only showing at the G14 on Friday, January 21.)
Made in Dagenham– Sally Hawkins, Bob Hoskins, Miranda Richardson, Geraldine James and Rosamund Pike head the cast of this based-on-a-true-story comedy/drama from Britain. Hawkins stars as Rita O’Grady, who works at a Ford factory in Dagenham, England, in the 1960s. Rita is talked into going to a meeting with a representative of the car company, with shop steward Connie (James) also in attendance. After Rita observes the lack of respect which she and her fellow female employees are given by management, she leads the women in a struggle against the company (among others) for better treatment. As of now, Made in Dagenham is scheduled to start on Friday, January 21, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. (Originally, this was supposed to open at the KAC on January 7; then it got pushed forward to January 14, before getting punted forward again to the 21st. But will it really start next week- or will it keep receding off into the future for another few weeks?)
Somewhere– Stephen Dorff is hard-partying movie star Johnny Marco in this drama from writer/director Sofia Coppola. Johnny doesn’t spend a lot of time with his daughter Cleo (Elle Fanning), but when Cleo’s mom drops her off with Johnny, he’ll have to try to change his ways- at least for a little while. Michelle Monaghan and Jo Champa are in the supporting cast of Somewhere, which is currently scheduled to start at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, January 21.
The Way Back– Ed Harris, Jim Sturgess, Saorise Ronan and Colin Farrell star Peter Weir’s drama about a group of people who escape from a Siberian gulag- and then face a very long (4000 or so miles!) trek to freedom. The Way Back is scheduled to start on Friday, January 21, at the Glendale 12 in Indianapolis. This will be the first time that an exclusive film has opened at that theater since it was taken over by the Landmark chain; here’s hoping that it is the first of many exclusive films at the Glendale 12.
ZENITH– According to its Facebook page, ZENITH is a “retro-futuristic steampunk thriller” that deals with two different men, who live in two different decades. The story also involves “a grand conspiracy” that “seems to rule the world,” and people who have been genetically transformed so that they are always happy. At the same time, ZENITH is also “a lost object from the future,” “the film they don’t want you to see,” and “a fictional recreation of Stanley Milgram’s Obedience to Authority experiment,” according to the site of US distributor Cinema Purgatorio. That sounds to me like an interesting mix. If you’re also intrigued, you can check out ZENITH at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, starting on Friday, January 21.
And January 21 is also when the Indian film Dhobi Ghat (Mumbai Diaries) is supposed to open in the US. I haven’t seen anything about this movie on manoranjaninc’s site as of yet, but since the preview has played before (or during the intermission of) two or three other Indian movies I’ve seen recently at the Georgetown 14- and since Dhobi Ghat stars Amir Khan, whose films usually do well at the G14- I wouldn’t be surprised if Dhobi Ghat opened at the G14 on January 21 as well. With or without Dhobi Ghat, it sounds like January 21 through 27 will be a busy week for central Indiana moviegoers with a taste for something different on the big screen….
Another Year– Mike Leigh’s latest drama follows a year in the life of happily married couple Tom and Gerri (Jim Broadbent and Ruth Sheen), and their desperately unhappy friend, Mary (Lesley Manville). Another Year– which has already received a Best Actress award for Lesley Manville from the National Board of Review, and is rumored to be a contender for an Academy Award nomination or two-is currently set to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, February 4. This was the word from the film’s official US site last week- but this week, Landmark Theatres added the film to its Indianapolis page, confirming the February 4 opening date (for now, at least).
The Illusionist– No, this isn’t a re-release of the Edward Norton/Paul Giamatti/Jessica Biel movie of the same title from 2006. This Illusionist is a French animated film from director Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville), and was based on an original screenplay by Jacques Tati. The Illusionist is supposed to open at the Keystone Art Cinema on Friday, February 4, according to both its official US site and (as of this week) the Indianapolis page for Landmark Theatres. (I’ve seen the preview for this one several times, by the way, and now I can’t wait to see the movie itself.)
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. (And I know that I mentioned some of the titles that follow in a comment to the column from two weeks ago- but I thought I should mention them again here, since it’s easier to include links to official sites here… and since not everybody necessarily reads comments, for that matter.)
Barney’s Version– Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, Scott Speedman and Dustin Hoffman star in this comedy/drama, which was based on a book by Mordecai Richler. According to its official US site, Barney’s Version is supposed to start at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, February 18.
Screenings and events for next weekend:
The Great Muppet Caper– If you miss Muppets on the big screen, then you’ll want to see this 1981 comedy at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre next weekend. Per the Artcraft’s site, show times are 2 and 7:30 PM on both Friday, January 21, and Saturday, January 22.
Key Largo– Gangsters led by Edward G. Robinson take over a Key Largo hotel to wait out an impending hurricane- but they didn’t know that Humphrey Bogart would be there…. Lauren Bacall, Lionel Barrymore, Claire Trevor, perpetual bad guy Marc Lawrence and Thomas Gomez are also in the cast of the film, which was directed by John Houston. Key Largo– which is part of the “Winter Nights” film noir series- will be shown at the Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Toby Theater on Friday, January 21, at 7 PM.