by MIKE MACCOLLUM
An American comedy, two collections of Academy Award-nominated short subjects, and two Indian movies about two very different killers- those are the new limited-release films opening in Indiana theaters this week. The other big news is that the (mostly) completely-restored version of Metropolis finally makes it to a big screen in Indiana this week (even if two of the three screenings are already sold out)- and that some Academy Award nominees will be at the Indianapolis Museum of Art next Saturday (see the “special feature” below for more on that). For all this and much more, keep reading on below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Cedar Rapids– Miguel Arteta (The Good Girl, Chuck & Buck, Youth in Revolt) directed this comedy about Tim Lippe (Ed Helms, from The Hangover and The Office), an unsophisticated insurance salesman from a small town who attends a business convention in “the big city:” Cedar Rapids, Iowa. John C. Reilly, Anne Heche, Isaiah Whitlock, Jr., Kurtwood Smith, Stephen Root, Rob Corddry, Alia Shawkat, Mike Birbiglia, and Sigourney Weaver are all in the supporting cast. Cedar Rapids starts on Friday, February 18, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Nadunisi Naaygal (a.k.a. Nadunisi Naaigal)– The title apparently means “Midnight Dogs” in Tamil- and it isn’t meant to be taken literally; it seems to be intended as an allusion to the dangerous things that can happen at night. From what I’ve read online, this is a suspense thriller that follows a psychotic killer- along with some of his potential victims, and several others who get swept up in the story- over the course of one night. Director Gautham Menon’s latest effort is unusual for an Indian film in several ways, apparently; it has no songs, or even a background score, for one thing- and some have called it India’s first psycho-killer film in two decades (which strikes me as somewhat unlikely, given the sheer volume of movies that are made in India- but who knows?). As of Thursday, manoranjaninc’s site said that Nadunisi Naaygal will have one showing this week at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis- on Sunday, February 20, at 4:45 PM. Manoranjan says nothing about whether there will be English subtitles on the film- but since it’s in Tamil, I would assume that there are no subtitles.
The Oscar Nominated Shorts: Animated and The Oscar Nominated Shorts: Live Action– These programs of short films with the self-explanatory titles both open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, February 18. They will share a single screen at the theater- the animated shorts will de shown daily at 2:15 and 7:30, while the live action shorts unspool at 4:45 and 9:35 daily. The Yes Cinema in Columbus also will screen the shorts programs (one after the other, apparently- although the site isn’t very specific) at 1:01 PM (yes, that’s what it says) on Saturday, February 19, and Sunday, February 20- and at 6:01 PM on Tuesday, February 22*. A Pixar film, Day & Night, is one of the five nominated animated shorts; two bonus animated films- including one by Bill Plympton- are also part of that package. And while four of the live action nominees are new to me, I’ve seen one of them, God of Love (by way of last year’s Indianapolis International Film Festival), and can highly recommend it. (By the way- I found more information on the titles to be shown as part of both the animated and live action programs on Landmark’s site than I did on the official site linked in the title above.)
*Both shorts packages will be playing in Bloomington this weekend as well, thanks to The Ryder. The animated shorts will be shown at 7 PM on Friday and Saturday, February 18 and 19, in the “upstairs” room at IU Bloomington’s Fine Arts Building; they also will be screened at 7 PM on Sunday, February 20, at Bear’s Place in Bloomington- and at 8 PM on Wednesday, February 23, at the Pine Room Tavern in Nashville. The live action shorts, meanwhile, will be shown in the “upstairs” room at the Fine Arts Building on Friday and Saturday at 8:45 PM, and in the same location at 3 PM on Sunday, February 20.
7 Khoon Maaf (a.k.a. 7 Murders Forgiven)– Priyanka Chopra, Irrfan Khan (Slumdog Millionaire, The Namesake), John Abraham, and Naseeruddin Shah are in the cast of this mystery/drama (and/or dark comedy- maybe) about a woman who marries seven different men… and what happens to her husbands. Director Vishal Bhardwaj also wrote the screenplay- based on the book or short story (sources vary) Susanna’s Seven Husbands by Ruskin Bond- and also wrote the music for the film (which isn’t very surprising, since he entered the movie business as a composer). 7 Khoon Maaf starts on Friday, February 18, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis, according to the site for manoranjaninc- which also notes that the film is in Hindi, with English subtitles.
SPECIAL FEATURE: HOW WILL THE ACADEMY AWARD NOMINATIONS AFFECT WHAT WE’LL BE SEEING AT INDIANA THEATERS THIS YEAR?
I’ve been meaning to write a little bit about this topic for several weeks now, but then the Indianapolis Museum of Art did something that spurred me on to tackle this subject this week. I’ll get to the IMA, and what they have in store, in just a bit. But first, the brief answer to the question posed in the heading above is that the nominations themselves, in and of themselves, won’t have much of an impact on what feature films will make it to Indiana this year.*
This year, all of the nominees in the major categories (best picture, actor, actress, supporting actor, supporting actress, and best director- along with all of the nominees in the writing categories) either had already ended their runs in Indiana theaters by the time the nominations were announced, or they were still in theatrical release in the state at that time- or, as with both Biutiful (best actor and best foreign language film) and Another Year (best original screenplay), the films already had opening dates scheduled in at least one theater in the state before the nominations were announced. (This is in contrast with last year, by the way, when Woody Harrelson had a Best Supporting Actor nomination for The Messenger– which never made it to any Indiana theater, in spite of said nomination.)
Anyhow, all of this means that we’ll have to look elsewhere for movies which (conceivably, at least) could see some wider theatrical play as a result of the Academy Award nominations. The most obvious place to look is the Best Foreign Language Film category. As noted, Biutiful already had a booking in the state before the nominations were announced- so the nominations had no impact there. Two of the other nominees in this category, In a Better World and Incendies, both have the same US theatrical distributor, Sony Pictures Classics- and unless SPC drastically changes its policies at some point, that’s a virtual guarantee that both films eventually will be booked at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. But 99.99% of SPC’s releases make it to the KAC even without any sort of major awards or nominations- so it seems likely that once again, the nominations had no impact whatsoever on what we will be seeing at theaters in Indiana.
Outside the Law– from director Rachid Bouchareb (Days of Glory)- is another nominee for Best Foreign Language Film. A relatively new company, Cohen Media Group, is distributing Outside the Law in the US- and as far as I can tell, they haven’t used the nomination to push the film into substantially wider theatrical release in the US. If Outside the Law actually wins the Oscar in this category, of course the distributor will be able to get more bookings for the film- possibly including a theater or two in Indiana. But unless and until Outside the Law takes home the Oscar, it looks like the mere nomination itself won’t be enough to get the film inside of a theater in Indiana- so again, the nomination, as such, seems to have had little or no impact on whether the film will play in Indiana.
This leaves one remaining nominee for Best Foreign Language Film: Dogtooth. It looks like the street date for the US DVD of this one was January 25- the same day that the nominations were announced. But even if Dogtooth was in the opening stages of its US theatrical release when the nominations were released to the public, it most likely wouldn’t have made it to an Indiana theater in any event, since its US theatrical distributor has had been little heard from in the state (with only one theatrical booking, I think) since the Key Cinemas closed several years ago. But there is a twist in the tale of Dogtooth– although we’ll get to that after we discuss nominees in two other categories.
First, we have the nominees in the Best Documentary, Features category. Two of these, Exit Through the Gift Shop and Restrepo, had already come and gone from Indiana theaters by nomination time. A third film in this group, Inside Job, was no longer at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on the day that the nominations were announced- but it did open at three other theaters around the state three days later, on January 28. At first, that wider release on the 28th might sound like it could have been due to the film’s nomination- but since Inside Job is a Sony Classics release in the US, and they usually do try to get their films out to a number of theaters across the state, I would be dubious about attributing this theatrical expansion to the nomination.
The titles of the other two nominees in this category both (coincidentally enough) end with the word “land.” Gasland was released on DVD in the US on December 14, 2010- so it wouldn’t be getting much theatrical play in Indiana this year anyway, with or without the nomination. Waste Land, on the other hand, had screened at the 2010 Heartland Film Festival in Indianapolis (where I saw it). It’s a good movie, and well worth seeing- but even if it wins the Oscar (and I have no idea if it even has a shot at this), I doubt that it will be a theatrical release in Indiana.
I’ll get to why in just a second, but I have one last movie to discuss first. That would be The Illusionist– the only nominee in the “Best Animated Feature Film” category not to go into wide theatrical release in the US. The Illusionist is currently in its second week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- but this is another booking that cannot be linked to the film’s Oscar nomination, since The Illusionist was on the KAC’s schedule several weeks before the nominations were announced.
Now here’s where we get to the IMA, and what led me to write this section this week, and it’s also where Dogtooth and Waste Land– along with Exit Through the Gift Shop– come back in to the picture. A few days ago, I noticed that all three of these movies were scheduled to be shown at the IMA’s Toby Theater on Saturday, February 26. Waste Land is up first, at 1 PM; Dogtooth follows at 3, and Exit Through the Gift Shop starts at 5. The price to see all three movies is $19 (or $12 for IMA members); otherwise, the price is $9 per movie (or $5 for IMA members). And thus, it looks like the Academy Award nominations might have little to no impact on what shows up in Indiana theaters- at least not unless a nomination turns into an actual award- but nominations can be enough to get at least a few movies shown at the IMA…. (And something tells me that Waste Land’s showing at the IMA won’t help its already slim-to-nonexistent chances of opening at the Keystone Art Cinema- even if it wins the Oscar, I doubt that the folks at Landmark will want to play a documentary that has already had several non-theatrical showings in the city…)
(* Of course, the films which make up the Academy Award Nominated shorts packages- live action and animated- that hit several theaters in Indiana this week is directly determined by which films are nominated. But I’m talking about feature films here, not shorts.)
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS THIS WEEK IN INDIANA
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 now has been nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Original Screenplay category- holds over for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. (It also starts on Friday at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.)
Biutiful– Javier Bardem (who is up for a Best Actor Academy Award for his work here) plays a father named Uxbal in this drama from director/co-writer Alejandro González Iñárritu (Amores Perros, 21 Grams, Babel). According to its official US site, Biutiful “is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds….” Biutiful– which was itself nominated for an Oscar, in the Best Foreign Language Film category- holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, with daily screenings at 1:30 and 8:15 PM.
Blue Valentine– Michelle Williams received an Academy Award nomination for her work in this drama, but Ryan Gosling- who plays Williams’ suitor and (later on) husband- did not (although he did get nominations from the Golden Globes, among others). The film is about a couple at both the beginning and (apparently) near the sad end of their relationship, flashing back and forth between the two time periods. Blue Valentine holds over this week at the Yes Cinema in Columbus, the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, the Showplace Muncie 7, the Evansville 16, and the Showplace East in Evansville. Most of these theaters will show Blue Valentine just once or twice per day- and the Yes will have no showings at all on Monday and Wednesday.
The Company Men– Ben Affleck, Chris Cooper, Kevin Costner, Maria Bello, and Tommy Lee Jones star in this drama about a group of men who must deal with dramatic changes in their lives when they are downsized by their employer. John Wells (best known for his work on television shows like E.R.) makes his feature directorial debut with The Company Men, which holds over this week with daily 3:50 and 9:20 PM screenings at the Showplace Traders Point 12 in Indianapolis; the same theater also will show the film at 10:20 AM from Friday through Monday, according to AMC’s site.
The Illusionist– This French animated film from director Sylvain Chomet (The Triplets of Belleville) was based on an original screenplay by Jacques Tati (Mr. Hulot’s Holiday, Mon Oncle); it’s about an aging magician in the 1950s who is falling out of favor with audiences, and thinks his career might be over- until he meets a younger fan. The Illusionist has been nominated for a 2011 Academy Award for Best Animated Feature Film- and has been nominated for (and/or won) several other awards as well. The Illusionist holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, with two showings per day (at 4:30 and 6:30 PM).
Patiala House– This drama* starring Akshay Kumar and Anushka Sharma and directed by Nikhil Advani (Chandni Chowk to China, Salaam-E-Ishq) will be shown at 9 PM on Friday, February 18, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis; per manoranjaninc’s site, this will be the last film’s last showing at the G14. (*And the plot description on the site of production company People Tree Films certainly makes the film sound like a drama- Gurtej Singh Kahlon, a father working in London, is repeatedly insulted and harrassed by hateful Brits from the late seventies on; in the present day, Parghat Singh Kalon- Gurtej’s son- gets insulted by younger Brits, and must also deal with his own nearly-forgotten dream of a different life. After Parghat meets a beautiful young woman, he gets the backbone to make a big change in his life, by either striving to save his father’s good name (per the IMDb) and/or standing up to his dad (according to the production company’s site)…. But then, take a look at the darn-near-psychedelically-colorful graphic for this movie on manoranjan’s site; this makes Patiala House– which is in Hindi, with English subtitles, per manoranjan- look like the brightest, most cheerful and colorful drama ever. Go figure….)
Rabbit Hole– Nicole Kidman and Aaron Eckhart star in this drama about a couple trying to cope with the shattering, unexpected death of their young son. John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch, Shortbus) directed this critically-acclaimed film; Dianne Wiest, Tammy Blanchard, Sandra Oh, Giancarlo Esposito, Jon Tenney, Stephen Mailer, Roberta Wallach, and Patricia Kalember are in the supporting cast. Rabbit Hole holds over this week (albeit with just a few showings per day) at the Evansville 16.
Sea Rex 3D: Journey to a Prehistoric World– The IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum has more screenings of this super-large-screen film this week- at least through Sunday (the schedule on their site as of Thursday didn’t have any information beyond February 20, but the theater doesn’t seem to have any new movies opening until April- so I’m guessing that Sea Rex will play throughout the week, except Monday, a day on which the theater is usually closed). According to the theater’s official site, Sea Rex is about “Julie, an imaginative young woman” who “travels from a modern-day aquarium to the Triassic, Jurassic and Cretaceous periods”- and allows audiences to explore an “amazing underwater universe inhabited by larger-than-life creatures.”
FILM FESTIVALS, NON-THEATRICAL SCREENINGS, AND MOVIE-RELATED EVENTS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Another Year– Mike Leigh’s latest film (see the section above for more info) starts on Friday, February 18, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
Basile at Basile– Heartland Truly Moving Pictures presents what it calls “an evening of music and film”on Thursday, February 24. Academy Award winning actress Celeste Holm will be presented with a Career Achievement Award during the event, which (per the Heartland’s site) also features “the song stylings of Holm’s husband, Frank Basile.” That accounts for half of the title of this event- the other half comes from the venue itself, the Basile Opera Center, at 4011 North Pennsylvania Street in Indianapolis. The event begins with cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at 6 PM, followed by the concert and tribute at 7:30 PM; a reception “with Ms. Holm and the artists” will close out the evening. Tickets are either $75, or (for the patron ticket, which includes VIP parking) $100.
The Big Lebowski– The Coen Brothers’ 1998 cult classic will be shown at 7:30 PM on Thursday, February 24, at the Root Cellar Lounge at FARM in Bloomington.
Carlos (Long Version/Short Version) – Olivier Assayas (Summer Hours, Irma Vep, Demonlover) received glowing reviews for this portrait of the seventies terrorist known as “Carlos the Jackal;” Edgar Ramirez plays the title role. While Carlos was a featured selection at a number of film festivals, it was originally made as a TV miniseries- and it is this version (which runs about five and a half hours) which will be screened at 6:30 PM on Friday, February 18, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. (They will also show the “short” version the next day- Saturday, February 19- at 3 PM.)
Detour– Poor Al Roberts (Tom Neal) has no idea what he’s in for when he meets the ice-cold Vera (Ann Savage) in this highly-regarded, ultra-low-budget film noir from director Edgar G. Ulmer (the cult filmmaker whose other credits include the 1934 version of The Black Cat, the 1944 Bluebeard, and The Naked Dawn). Detour will be shown (on film, not DVD) on Friday, February 18, as part of the Winter Nights Film Noir series at the Indianapolis Art Museum’s Toby Theater. The listed start time is 7 PM, but the film itself will most likely get under way closer to 7:15, since film historian and collector Eric Grayson is scheduled to introduce the screening- and the main feature will be preceded by a showing of Racketeer Rabbit, a Warner Brothers cartoon from 1946.
Don’t Look Now– The IU Cinema’s site does not specify which film with this title they will be showing at 6:30 PM on Thursday, February 24- but I’m going to assume that it’s Nicolas Roeg’s highly regarded mystery/suspense/horror/drama from 1973, starring Julie Christie and Donald Sutherland. (And if I was in Bloomington this week, I would definitely see this one- assuming it is the Roeg film- since I would love to see it on a big screen….)
Film South Asia: 2010– I couldn’t find any information on the IU Cinema’s site itself, but the link in the title explains that this program consists of “twelve outstanding documentaries from South Asia” which “were selected in the competitive documentary film festival held annually in Kathmandu, Nepal.” The films will be shown in groups of three, starting (at 3 PM on Thursday, February 24, at the IU Cinema in Bloomington) with Program I: Mayomi (a 2008 doc from Sri Lanka), The Last Rites (also 2008, from Bangladesh), and The Promised Land (another 2008 production from Bangladesh). The three titles that make up Program II- Afghan Girls Can Kick (2007, Afghanistan), Out of Thin Air (India, 2009), and The Battle for Pakistan (Pakistan, 2009) – will be shown at the IU Cinema starting at 3 PM on Friday, February 25.
The Führer in Fiction: Film Portraits of Hitler- This series continues on Saturday, February 19, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center. First up, at 6:30 PM, is Mel Brooks’ 1968 classic, The Producers; Quentin Tarantino’s Inglourious Basterds follows at 9 PM.
Gimme Shelter– This is kind of an “FYI” listing, since this screening is sold out, per the IU Cinema’s site. But the IU Cinema will show this 1970 concert documentary- about the preparations for the Rolling Stones’ ill-fated Altamont concert, and what happened during the concert itself- on Friday, February 18, at 9:30 PM. Albert Maysles- who co-directed the film with the late Charlotte Zwerin- is scheduled to be at the IU Cinema for the screening.
Grey Gardens– Co-director Albert Maysles is scheduled to be present at the IU Cinema in Bloomington for a screening of this 1975 documentary about the very unusual lives of two women who just happen to be the aunt and first cousin of former first lady and jet-setter Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis. The film will be shown at 6:30 PM on Friday, February 18- but if you don’t have your ticket already, it looks like you’re out of luck… the IU Cinema’s site says that the screening is sold out. (And good for the IU Cinema folks- it’s really cool to see so many people responding to their big events like this.)
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. This based-on-a-true-story film will be at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne through Monday, February 21.
Inside Job– Matt Damon narrates this documentary, which returns to Indiana theaters this week following its Academy Award nomination in the Best Documentary (Feature length) category; it was directed by Charles Ferguson (whose No End in Sight also 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 runs through Monday, February 21, at Fort Wayne’s Cinema C enter @ Indiana Tech; a “Movie Talk” will follow the 4 PM screening on Sunday, February 20.
Islands/Running Fence– Co-director Albert Maysles is scheduled to be present for showings of these documentaries- both of them about large-scale works created by artists Christo and Jean-Claude- at the IU Cinema on Thursday, February 17, at 7 PM. As seems to happen with a number of the IU Cinema’s higher-profile screenings, however, tickets are already sold out, per the venue’s site.
The Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series- As you might guess from the entries for Gimme Shelter, Grey Gardens, and Islands/Running Fence above, documentary maker Albert Maysles will be the speaker at the IU Cinema on Friday, February 18, at 3 PM. According to IU’s site, Maysles’ talk “will review his 45 year career of telling stories and making the world a better place.”
Last Train Home– The University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center will show this documentary on Thursday, February 24, at 7 PM. Last Train Home is about the annual Chinese New Year’s homeward journey of over one hundred million Chinese workers who labor in big cities- but consider a distant rural land to be their real “home.” In particular, this doc is about a couple who work in the city to provide for better lives for their children- although since the kids rarely see their parents, they are distant from them… and daughter Qin, now a teenager, is downright resentful. The parents, however, still want to see their kids for the New Year…
Marwencol– According to Marwencol’s site, this documentary is about Mark Hogancamp, and how he “builds a 1/6th scale World War II-era town in his backyard” after “being beaten into a brain-damaging coma by five men outside a bar.” Hogancamp then “populates the town he dubs ‘Marwencol’ with dolls representing his friends and family and creates life-like photographs detailing the town’s many relationships and dramas. Playing in the town and photographing the action helps Mark to recover his hand-eye coordination and deal with the psychic wounds of the attack.” Marwencol will be shown at 8 PM on Friday and Saturday, February 18 and 19- and at 3:30 PM on Sunday, February 20- in the “downstairs” room at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington.
Metropolis– Fritz Lang’s 1927 classic- restored to its original length, or very very nearly so- will be on screen three times at Bloomington’s IU Cinema this week. The first two showings, on Saturday and Sunday, feature live musical accompaniment- and they have been listed as “sold out” on the theater’s site for several weeks now. The last screening- on Monday, February 21, at 7 PM- does not feature the live music… but (at least as of Thursday night) it looks like there are still some tickets remaining for this one, per the IU Cinema’s site.
Reservoir Dogs– Quentin Tarantino’s 1992 film will be the “midnight movie” (more or less) at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center this weekend. The “more or less” comes in because the venue’s official site says that Reservoir Dogs will be shown on Saturday, February 19- not at midnight, but at 11:59 PM.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show– The Irving Theater in Indianapolis has another of their irregular screenings of the seventies cult favorite at midnight (but of course) on Saturday, February 19. (The Irving doesn’t use the title on their site, by the way, but they make it very clear that the film in question is indeed TRHPS– their page has a link to both a Youtube trailer for Rocky Horror and the IMDb’s page for the film.)
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 holds over this week at Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center.
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: Hubble 3D continues its return visit to the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis this week- at least through Sunday, February 20 (the theater’s site has no schedule information beyond that date as of Thursday evening, but I’m guessing that Hubble 3D will be at the theater beyond Sunday). And several Indiana theaters will show the children’s matinee program of Barbie: A Fairy Secret throughout the week; other theaters will show it on weekends only.
Also, an encore showing of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Nixon in China– composed and conducted by John Adams, and directed by Peter Sellars- can be seen at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Sunday, February 21, at 1 PM. (This is the only listing for an opera with a warning regarding “adult content” that I have ever seen, by the way…)
For more information on any of the above, 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
Barney’s Version– Paul Giamatti, Rosamund Pike, Minnie Driver, Rachelle Lefevre, Scott Speedman and Dustin Hoffman star in this comedy/drama about the ups and downs (romantic and otherwise) in the life of the opinionated Barney Panofsky (Giamatti, who won a Golden Globe for Best Actor- Comedy). The film- which was based on a book by Mordecai Richler (The Apprenticeship of Duddy Kravitz, Joshua Then and Now)- is scheduled to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, February 25. Bruce Greenwood, David Cronenberg, Denys Arcand, Atom Egoyan, Ted Kotcheff, Mark Addy, Saul Rubinek, veteran character actor Maury Chaykin (in one of his last roles), Macha Grenon, Anna Hopkins, Harvey Atkin, Massimo Wertmuller, Howard Jerome, Linda Sorenson, and Paul Gross all appear in Barney’s Version as well; as far as I can tell, some of them have supporting roles, while others make brief cameo appearances.
Yu-Gi-Oh! 3D: Bonds Beyond Time– According to its official US site, this animated film will be shown at the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield and the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne on Saturday and Sunday, February 26 and 27- and again on March 5 and 6. I’m not all that familiar with the world of Yu-Gi-Oh, but the plot description on the US site sounds like the ravings of a madman: At some point in the future, things look very bleak indeed for the planet, and civilization “is on the brink of extinction.” One man, who goes by the moniker Paradox, thinks he’s found a way to save the planet by traveling back in time and getting rid of the source of the evil. Unfortunately, Mr. “I figured out how to travel back in time” isn’t so bright in other departments, apparently, because he thinks that the thing that must be eliminated to save the planet is… “the Duel Monsters card game!” Yeah, that’s the problem right there- a card game, you genius. Anyhow, the official site goes on to say that the three people who oppose Paradox in his efforts “are three legendary duelists who will do whatever it takes to save what’s on the line- their friends, their family and the game they love.” So there you go… (I doubt that I’ll see this one, but I wonder- what if Paradox is right, and the card game really IS the problem here? Would the three “duelists” still try to save the game, even if the destruction of the game meant salvation for the planet? And the film’s official site makes it sound like the main focus of the movie is saving the card game, not the planet itself- but somehow I’m guessing that the plucky heroes save both their precious game and the whole planet, too, somehow. I haven’t heard or read anything to that effect, mind you, so this isn’t a spoiler or anything- but I’m just sayin’…)
(I mentioned the Christian-themed drama The Grace Card in this space a few weeks ago, by the way. At the time, it seemed like the film would be a limited release in Indiana theaters on February 25. This week, however, the official site for The Grace Card says that it is currently scheduled to start next Friday in fourteen screens in Indiana- six of them in or near Indianapolis, and eight others around the state. As with The Way Back several weeks ago, that strikes me as just a few too many prints to qualify as a “limited release” film- putting The Grace Card beyond the scope of this column, apart from this mention here.)
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 returns to Bloomington with 7 PM screenings on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, in the “upstairs” room at IU’s Fine Arts Building; Howl will also be shown at 5:30 PM on Sunday, February 27, at Bear’s Place in Bloomington.
Mary Poppins– The Disney classic returns to the big screen at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre with showings at 2 and 7:30 PM on both Friday, February 25, and Saturday, February 26.
Memento– The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s Winter Nights Film Noir series closes out with a screening of Christopher Nolan’s 2000 film- which (in case any of you had forgotten) stars Guy Pearce, Joe Pantoliano, and Carrie-Anne Moss. Memento will be shown (on DVD) at the IMA’s Toby Theater on Friday, February 25, at 7 PM.
Shoeshine– As of Thursday evening, there wasn’t a live link on the IU Cinema’s site for this title- but I am assuming that this is Vittorio De Sica’s 1946 classic (especially since there aren’t many other movies on the IMDb for that title). Whatever this Shoeshine is, it will be shown at Bloomington’s IU Cinema on Friday, February 25, at 6:30 PM.
Vision: From the Life of Hildegard von Bingen– Barbara Sukowa plays von Bingen in Margarethe von Trotta’s very well-reviewed biographical drama, which will screen at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Friday, February 25, at 7 PM; the screening is part of the DeBartolo’s “Films and Faith” series. And for all of you who are like me, and have never heard of Hildegard von Bingen outside of this movie, here’s some information from the film’s official US site: “Hildegard von Bingen was truly a woman ahead of her time. A visionary in every sense of the word, this famed 12th-century Benedictine nun was a Christian mystic, composer, philosopher, playwright, poet, naturalist, scientist, physician, herbalist and ecological activist. In Vision, New German Cinema auteur Margarethe von Trotta (Marianne and Juliane, Rosa Luxemburg, Rosenstrasse) reunites with recurrent star Barbara Sukowa (Zentropa, Berlin Alexanderplatz) to bring the story of this extraordinary woman to life.” As for me, I would love it if Vision were to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- but unfortunately, it doesn’t look like that is going to happen….
White Material– The latest film from French director Claire Denis (Beau travail, Trouble Every Day, 35 Shots of Rum) will be shown at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, February 25 and 26, in the “downstairs” room at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington. (Actually, The Ryder’s site says that the Feb. 26 screening will be in the “upstairs” room- but I’m fairly certain that that’s a typo.) White Material features the always-excellent Isabelle Huppert, Isaach De Bankolé, and Christophe(r) Lambert (yes, the Highlander and Mortal Kombat dude) in a drama about a woman who refuses to leave her African plantation- even in the face of growing unrest and violence.