by MIKE MACCOLLUM
A long-delayed film finally opens in Indianapolis (a mere five months or so behind schedule), while another movie heads straight to a second-run theater in the state capital while simultaneously opening in Mishawaka- and these are but a few of the many odd aspects of film distribution in the modern era. For more on what’s going on with limited-release films (holdovers, special screenings, festivals and more) and related events in the state of Indiana this week, read on below.
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
The Concert– This comedy from Europe- which opened in the US way back last summer- belatedly makes its way to Indianapolis this week with a Friday start at the Keystone Art Cinema. I’m looking forward to this one, since I really liked Train of Life, the one previous film I’ve seen from Concert director Radu Mihaileanu- and his latest film has a promising cast, including Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), François Berléand, and Miou-Miou. Aleksey Guskov plays the main character, Andrey Simonovich Filipov, who was fired from the Bolshoi orchestra thirty years ago when he hired several Jewish musicians. Aleksey has now been reduced to cleaning the Bolshoi- until he accidentally intercepts an invitation for the Bolshoi to play at a prestigious theater in Paris. He wants to get his former musicians together and have them play in Paris as if they are the current Bolshoi orchestra- and if he can get a French violinist (Laurent) to play with the group, he may just pull off his unlikely plan….
From Prada to Nada– Camilla Belle, Alexa Vega, Wilmer Valderrama, Nicholas D’Agosto, April Bowlby, Kuno Becker, and Adriana Barraza head the cast of this romantic comedy, which- according to its official site- offers a “modern twist on Jane Austen’s Sense and Sensibility.” Belle and Vega play “two spoiled sisters,” Nora and Mary, whose “posh lives are turned upside down” after their father passes away. From Prada to Nada starts this Friday, March 25, at the Movies 8 on East Stop 13 Road on the south side of Indianapolis (where it will have two shows per day, at 5:15 and 10 PM), and the Movies 6 in Mishawaka.
Note: This isn’t the first time Prada/Nada has been in Indiana- it played for several weeks at the Showplace Schererville 16 earlier this year- but I had several reasons for wanting to highlight this “re-opening” by placing it in this section. For one thing, the Movies 8 and Movies 6 screenings are the first time the film has been in a very different part of the state than Schererville- and it hasn’t been in that city for several weeks now anyway. Also, it isn’t every week- or even every year, necessarily- in which a movie bypasses first-run theatrical release in Indianapolis and goes straight to one of our second-run theaters. In fact, the last time it happened (as far as I can recall, at least) was with El cantante (2006); am I forgetting another, more recent example?
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 was nominated for an Academy Award in the Best Original Screenplay category- holds over for another week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
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)- holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. 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; some of them have supporting roles, while others make brief cameo appearances.
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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, the Showplace Bloomington 11, the Eastside 9 in Lafayette, the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, the Showplace East in Evansville, and the Showplace Evansville 16 (most of which will have just two or three showings per day). Cedar Rapids also starts on Friday, March 25, at the Premiere Theatre 7 in Bedford.
The Last Lions– Jeremy Irons narrates this National Geographic documentary about Ma di Tau, a lioness doing anything she can to keep her cubs alive, in spite of some very challenging conditions- including a rival pride of lions (with a lioness who kills the cubs of others), a river with many crocodiles, a horrible fire, and a herd of buffalo with large, deadly horns. The film’s official site also says that lions “are vanishing in the wild” and notes that the documentary asks the question, “Are Ma di Tau and her young to be among the last lions?” The Last Lions continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Lord of the Dance 3D– Michael Flatley (but of course) stars in this filmed version of the long-running stage show, which (per its official site) “tells a timeless story based on Irish folklore of good versus evil, and through the media of dance and music it is understood and appreciated by every culture.” This looks like another filmed stage presentation- just like Carmen in 3D – but just like the multi-dimensional Carmen, this Lord of the Dance will receive a full week of screenings at some Indiana theaters. It continues this week (with one showing per day per theater) at the the Encore Park 14 in Elkhart and the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne.
FILM FESTIVALS, NON-THEATRICAL SCREENINGS, AND MOVIE-RELATED EVENTS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Best of the Advanced Visualization Lab- The site for the IU Cinema in Bloomington says that this event “will highlight a sampling of the advanced digital work performed on IU’s campuses in the sciences, the visual arts, telecommunications, and other areas. Spanning 10 years of work, the program will include stereoscopic 3D animation and live action including IU sporting events, Little 500, and student productions.” Best of the Advanced Visualization Lab gets underway at the IU Cinema on Saturday, March 26, at 3 PM.
Biutiful– Javier Bardem (who was nominated for a Best Actor Academy Award) 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 itself was nominated for an Oscar, in the Best Foreign Language Film category- will screen at Bloomington’s IU Cinema on both Friday, March 25, and Saturday, March 26, at 9:30 PM. Additional screenings follow at 6:30 PM on Sunday, March 27, and 7 PM on Monday, March 28.
Certified Copy– Abbas Kiarostami (Through the Olive Trees, The Wind Will Carry Us, Taste of Cherry) directed this romantic drama, which stars Juliette Binoche (who received the Best Actress prize at the Cannes Film Festival for her work in the film). Here’s the description of the film on the site of US distributor IFC Films: “Binoche plays a gallery owner living in a Tuscan village who attends a lecture by a British author (opera star William Shimell) on authenticity and fakery in art. Afterward, she invites him on a tour of the countryside, during which he is mistaken for her husband. They keep up the pretense and continue on their afternoon out, discussing love, life and art, and increasingly behaving like a long-married couple. But are they play-acting on a whim or is there more to their seemingly new relationship than meets the eye?” Certified Copy will be shown at Bloomington’s IU Cinema on Thursday, March 31, at 9:30 PM.
The Chosen– Maximilian Schell, Rod Steiger, Robby Benson, and Barry Miller star in this 1981 drama- which I saw in a theater back in the day, and which sticks in my memory more so than most movies I saw at the time. (In other words, I can remember about 5% of it, rather than zero to one percent.) The Chosen will be shown at Bloomington’s IU Cinema on Thursday, March 31, at 6:30 PM.
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 starts on Friday, March 25, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
Days of Heaven– Richard Gere stars in Terence Malick’s 1978 film, which will be shown at Bloomington’s IU Cinema on Sunday, March 27, at 3 PM.
Four Lions– According to its official US site, this well-reviewed British film is a “whip-smart, slapstick comedy” that “illuminates the war on terror through satire and farce;” per that same site, the film is about “five inept aspiring terrorists on their quest to strike a blow, and how they demonstrate that terrorism may be about ideology, but it can also be about idiots.” Four Lions will be shown at 7:30 PM on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26, in the “downstairs” room at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington.
Friday Night Frights– Each month, the Strand Theatre in Shelbyville shows horror movies on the last Friday night of the month- as long as the theater doesn’t have a live performance that night. This month’s titles are Roger Corman’s horror/science fiction film from 1957 Not of this Earth (with Paul Birch, Beverly Garland, Jonathan Haze and Dick Miller in the cast) and Horror Express, another horror/science fiction combination- this time from 1973, and starring Peter Cushing, Christopher Lee, and Telly Savalas. I haven’t seen either film (I know- shame on me), but I’ve heard good things about both. The movies get underway at 8 PM on Friday, March 25; the theater’s doors open at 7:30- and admission is just $5.
The Glenn Miller Story– James Stewart and June Allyson star in this 1954 “biopic,” which will be shown at Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre on Friday, March 25, at 2 and 7:30 PM, and on Saturday, March 26, at 7:30 PM. The 7:30 PM screening on Friday will be preceded by a performance by the Franklin Community Band, which starts at 7.
Green Fire: Aldo Leopold and a Land Ethic for Our Time– Per its official site, this documentary about “legendary environmentalist” Leopold focuses on his “extraordinary career, tracing how he shaped and influenced the modern environmental movement.” This week’s NUVO says that Green Fire will be shown free of charge on Sunday, March 27, at 2 PM- but no location is mentioned. On the other hand, the film’s official site says that Green Fire will be shown on March 27 at the Holliday Park Nature Center in Indianapolis- but doesn’t say when the film will start.
Horrorhound Weekend 2011– This annual event features movie screenings (including the upcoming Tucker & Dale vs. Evil), merchandise dealers, and many, many special guests- including veteran actress Barbara Steele, actor Sid Haig, writer/actor/horror film host Joe Bob Briggs, and horror movie host Zacherley. As usual, this event takes place at the Marriott Indianapolis East, at 7202 East 21st Street. And as its middle name might suggest, the event gets under way on Friday, March 25, and goes through Sunday, March 27.
The Housemaid– The page for The Housemaid on the site of IFC Films- the US distributor of this Korean film- calls it a “stylish, sexy thriller about an innocent young woman caught in the twisted web of a rich family’s games.” The Housemaid will be shown at Bloomington’s IU Cinema on Saturday, March 26, at 6:30 PM.
Idiots and Angels– Animator Bill Plympton directed this film, which is described on its official site as a “dark comedy about a man’s battle for his soul.” The man in this case is named Angel, “a selfish and morally bankrupt man” who “wakes up one morning with wings on his back.” Angel eventually finds that “now that he can fly, he has greater opportunities to abuse others”- but “the wings seem to have a will of their own, and they foil all of his greedy plans….” Idiots and Angels will be shown at the Root Cellar @ FARM in Bloomington on Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 PM.
The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus– Terry Gilliam’s 2009 film will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at 7 PM on Thursday, March 27
Jorgensen Lecture Series: Paul Schrader– Writer/director (and former critic) Schrader (who wrote Taxi Driver, and directed Mishima: A Life in Four Chapters and Auto Focus, among others) will be the speaker in the IUC’s Jorgensen Lecture Series at 3 PM on Friday, March 25.
Lucia di Lammermoor– The Metropolitan Opera’s production of Donizetti’s work will be shown by the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center at 1 PM on Sunday, March 27.
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. Made in Dagenham screens through Monday, March 28, at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.
Mickey One– Warren Beatty stars in Arthur Penn’s 1965 film about a standup comic who fled the mob and took an assumed name- and now wonders what to do next, as he seems to be on the verge of becoming well-known in his new hometown. The IU Cinema in Bloomington will screen Mickey One at 6:30 PM on Friday, March 25.
Phil Ochs: There But For Fortune– This documentary on the late folk singer/songwriter Ochs- which features both performance footage and interviews with Joan Baez, Pete Seeger, Sean Penn, and Tom Hayden- will be shown in the “upstairs” room at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26, at 9 PM.
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 will be shown through at least Thursday, March 31, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
The River Bend Film Festival– The “only independent film festival of its kind in Northern Indiana” (per its own official site) gets underway with a series of free screenings- “many of which will” be of films that “revolve around teen and college age characters and subjects”- on Thursday, March 31, from 7 to 11 PM, at Room 1001 in Wiekamp Hall at Indiana University South Bend. Additional screenings and other events go on through Saturday, April 2, at the Century Center in South Bend.
This Is England/24 Hour Party People– The April series at the Cinema Underground in Indianapolis- “Anarchy in the UK”- closes out with screenings of these films on Friday, March 25. Steve Coogan stars in Michael Winterbottom’s 2002 comedy/drama 24 Hour Party People, which starts at 7:30 PM; Shane Meadows’ memorable 2006 drama This Is England follows at 9:30 PM. There is no charge for admittance to the double feature.
Tiny Furniture– Lena Dunham wrote, directed, and stars in this comedy, which US distributor IFC Films describes as a “hilarious and endearing film that explores the depths of romantic humiliation and the heights of post-college confusion.” Tiny Furniture will be screened in the “upstairs” room at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington on Friday and Saturday, March 25 and 26, at 7 PM. Another showing will take place at 7 PM on Sunday, March 27, at Bears Place in Bloomington.
To Catch a Dollar– This documentary about the attempt to bring Muhammad Yunus’ microlending bank idea to America is currently scheduled for one showing at several Indiana theaters on Thursday, March 31, at 7:30 PM. The screening at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis is sold out, but other locations- the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the Encore Park 14 in Elkhart, and the Carmike 20 and Jefferson Pointe 18 (both in Fort Wayne)- may have tickets available for purchase.
24 Hour Party People– See This Is England above.
2011 Asian Film Festival and Conference- The University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center will be the venue for this event, which kicks off on Friday, March 25, with a screening of the 2009 ninja film Kamui at 6:30 PM. According to the DeBartolo’s site, Kamui is about “a solitary outcast ninja who joins up with a band of renegades to avenge the misdeeds of his former clan.” At 9:30, the festival continues with a showing of the 2009 anime Summer Wars; per the DeBartolo’s site, this one concerns a “teenage math whiz” who “unwittingly cracks the security code of Oz, an online virtual world utilized by corporations and governments, setting off a potentially apocalyptic series of events.”
Three Japanese animated films from the past decade will make up the rest of the festival, on Saturday, March 26. Millennium Actress (2001) starts at 4 PM, Paprika (2006) gets underway at 6:30 PM, and The Sky Crawlers (2008) shows at 9 PM.
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: Hubble 3D and Sea Rex 3D continue their runs at the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis this week- at least through Sunday, March 27 (the theater’s site has no schedule information beyond that date as of Thursday evening, but I’m guessing that both will be at the theater for at least a few days beyond Sunday; Born to Be Wild 3D is scheduled to start there on Friday, April 8). And several Indiana theaters will show the children’s matinee program of The Little Engine That Could throughout the week; other theaters will show it on Saturday and/or Sunday only.
For those interested in opera, the Teatro alla Scalla’s performance of Mozart’s The Magic Flute will have an encore screening on Wednesday, March 30, at 7:30 PM; as with most recent “Opera in Cinema” performances, it looks like this will be exclusive to the three Carmike theaters in the state. Similarly, the Paris Opera Ballet’s performance of Coppelia will be shown live at 1:30 PM on Monday, March 28, by way of “Ballet in Cinema” and the Carmike theaters in Indiana.
Finally, Billy Bob Thornton narrates the documentary My Run, which is- per the site of Fathom Events- “the inspirational story of real life superhero Terry Hitchcock, the 57 year old man who ran 75 consecutive marathons in 75 consecutive days.” It will be screened at a number of Indiana theaters on Thursday, March 31, at 7 PM.
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
The Elephant in the Living Room– According to its official site, The Elephant in the Living Room is about “the controversial American subculture of raising the most dangerous animals in the world as common household pets.” The Metropolis 18 in Plainfield and the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne are both scheduled to play this documentary starting on Friday, April 1.
Jane Eyre– Cary Fukunaga (Sin Nombre) directed this latest version of Charlotte Bronte’s novel; Mia Wasikowska plays the title role, while Michael Fassbender, Jamie Bell, Sally Hawkins, Judi Dench, Imogen Poots, and Simon McBurney are in the supporting cast. Jane Eyre is set to open on Friday, April 1, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
The Music Never Stopped– J. K. Simmons, Lou Taylor Pucci, Cara Seymour, and Julia Ormond are the stars of this drama about a father and son Henry and Gabriel Sawyer (Simmons and Pucci) who haven’t exactly been close to each other since the son ran away from home when his straight-arrow father wouldn’t let him attend a Grateful Dead concert in 1967. After nearly two decades apart, Henry learns that Gabriel can no longer form new memories following surgery to remove a brain tumor- to the extent that the son seems to be living in the late sixties. This leads Henry to try to connect to his son by way of the music of the times- the very music that Henry always hated. The Music Never Stopped is scheduled to open on Friday, April 1, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Other films and events for next Friday:
City Lights/Modern Times– These classic Charlie Chaplin films will be shown by the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Friday, April 1. City Lights is up first, at 6:30 PM; Modern Times follows at 9 PM.
Dive!– The April film in the Epworth United Methodist Church’s “Green Team Movie Night” is this documentary, which (per its official site) “follows filmmaker Jeremy Seifert and friends as they dumpster dive in the back alleys and gated garbage receptacles of Los Angeles’ supermarkets,” and which was inspired by “a curiosity about our country’s careless habit of sending food straight to landfills.” The Epworth’s screening of Dive! gets underway at 7 PM on Friday, April 1; there will be no charge for admission, and a discussion will follow the film.
Freedom Riders– According to its official site, this documentary tells “the story behind a courageous band of civil rights activists called Freedom Riders who in 1961 challenged segregation in the American South.” It will be screened at the IU Cinema in Bloomington on Friday, April 1, at 7 PM; director Stanley Nelson is scheduled to be present.
Hedwig and the Angry Inch/Young@Heart– The April theme for the Cinema Underground series in Indianapolis is Singing in the Rain (Music). The films for Friday, April 1, are the 2007 documentary Young @ Heart (senior citizens sing for prison inmates) and John Cameron Mitchell’s 2001 musical comedy/drama Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Young@Heart begins at 7:30 PM; Hedwig starts at 9:30.
Jorgensen Lecture Series– Emmy winner, MacArthur Fellow, and director Stanley Nelson- who made the documentary Freedom Riders (see above) – is scheduled to speak at the IU Cinema in Bloomington on Friday, April 1, at 3 PM.
Jumping Jacks– Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis star in this 1952 comedy, which will be shown at Franklin’s Historic Artcraft Theatre on Friday, April 1, at 2 and 7:30 PM- and on Saturday, April 2, at 7:30 PM.
Modern Times– See City Lights above.
Young@Heart– See Hedwig and the Angry Inch above.
And both Of Gods and Men and Win Win have now appeared on the “showtimes” feature of Landmark’s Indianapolis page with April 8 start dates at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.