by MIKE MACCOLLUM
No jokes for April Fool’s Day here- Indiana gets three new limited release films in theaters this week (along with one title that appears to be slightly used)- with even more on the way for next week. For all of the details, read on below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
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.” Both the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield and the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne will have two showings per day of 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 opens 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 starts on Friday, April 1, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Strawberry Shortcake: The Sky’s the Limit– This 2009 CGI film gets re(?)-released to some Indiana theaters on Friday (they’ll have one early matinee showing per day throughout the week); other Indiana theaters will show it on the weekend only- see this link for a list of venues. The one plot description I read says that this one is all about Ms. Shortcake and friends trying to get the water supply for Berry Bitty City up and running again. (Chinatown, anyone?)
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 (with two showings per day).
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 (albeit with only one showing per day); it also starts Friday at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne (see below). 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.
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 (where it will be shown one or two times per day, depending on the day of the week). Cedar Rapids also starts on Friday, March 25, at the Yes Cinemas in Columbus.
The Concert– This comedy from Europe- which opened in the US way back last summer- continues its belated run at the Keystone Art Cinema this week. I saw if for myself last Friday, and enjoyed it (in spite of a few unlikely turns in the plot). I also really liked Train of Life, the one previous film I’ve seen from Concert director Radu Mihaileanu- and his latest film has a very good cast, including Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds), François Berléand (from the Transporter movies), and veteran French actress 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 holds over this week at the Movies 6 in Mishawaka (where it will have two showings per day).
FILM FESTIVALS, NON-THEATRICAL SCREENINGS, AND MOVIE-RELATED EVENTS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Banff Mountain Film Festival– The Buskirk-Chumley Theatre in Bloomington is the site for the only Indiana stop (so far, at least) of the “World Tour” of this festival, which is based in Alberta, Canada. According to the BCT’s site, BMFF is “is the largest, and one of the most prestigious, mountain festivals in the world”- and the tour “features a collection of the most inspiring action, environmental, and adventure films from the festival.” The Banff Mountain Film Festival starts at 7 PM on both Saturday and Sunday, April 2 and 3.
Barney’s Version– See above for full description; this comedy/drama starts on Friday, April 1, at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
The Beaches of Agnes– Veteran French filmmaker Agnès Varda directed and appears in this 2008 documentary/memoir; it will be shown at the IU Cinema on Sunday, April 3, at 6:30 PM.
Carbon Nation– According to its official site, this documentary is “an optimistic, solutions-based, non-preachy, non-partisan, big tent film that shows tackling climate change boosts the economy, increases national & energy security and promotes health & a clean environment.” Carbon Nation will be shown at Franklin College’s Richardson Chapel on Tuesday, April 5, at 7 PM; there will be no charge for admission.
Cave of Forgotten Dreams– US distributor IFC Films says that Werner Herzog’s documentary “follows an exclusive expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man”- and “is an unforgettable cinematic experience that provides a unique glimpse of pristine artwork dating back to human hands over 30,000 years ago.” The IU Cinema will show Cave of Forgotten Dreams at 7 PM on Monday, April 4- and Jonatan Sehring, president of IFC Films, is scheduled to be present for the screening.
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 Saturday, April 2 (at 3, 6:30, and 9:30 PM) and on Sunday, April 3 (at 3 PM).
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.
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 at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
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.
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 8:45 PM on Friday and Saturday, April 2 and 3, in the “upwnstairs” room at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington.
Frankenstein: National Theatre Live- Danny Boyle directed this version of Mary Shelley’s novel, which Nick Dear adapted for the stage. The lead roles are played by Jonny Lee Miller and Benedict Cumberbatch- who seems to be a busy fellow, since he also appears in Four Lions. Frankenstein will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 2, at 7 PM.
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.
The Grocer’s Son– This 2007 drama from France is the April entry in the Indiana Film Society’s Spring Series, “The Journey, Not the Destination”; it will be shown free of charge at 7 PM on Tuesday, April 5, at the Indianapolis Senior Center, 708 East Michigan Street, Indianapolis.
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.
Hoosiers: 25th Anniversary Event- According to the site of the IU Cinema, this event kicks off with “a private screening of the film with the filmmakers [director David Anspaugh and screenwriter Angelo Pizzo], followed by a reception and program in the IU Auditorium… Guests will hear about the making of the film and have an opportunity to enjoy some time with its creators.”
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 in the upstairs room at the Fine Arts Building in Bloomington on Friday and Saturday at 7 PM- and at Bears Place in Bloomington on Sunday, April 3, at 7 PM. There also will be a screening at 8 PM on Wednesday, April 6, at the Pine Room Tavern in Nashville.
The Idle Class/The Kid– These two Charlie Chaplin films from 1921 will be shown starting at 3 PM on Sunday, April 3, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Into Eternity– Michael Madsen (NOT the actor, but someone else with the same name) directed this documentary about the storage of nuclear waste, and a site in Finland that is designed to be what the film’s official site refers to as “the world’s first permanent repository” for nuclear leftovers- one that “must last 100,000 years as this is how long the waste remains hazardous.” Into Eternity will be shown at the Root Cellar @ FARM in Bloomington on Thursday, April 7, at 7:30 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.
Jorgensen Lecture Series– Actually, there are two lectures this week. First up is Emmy winner, MacArthur Fellow, and director Stanley Nelson- who made the documentary Freedom Riders (see above); he’s scheduled to speak at the IU Cinema in Bloomington on Friday, April 1, at 3 PM. Also, director David Anspaugh and writer Angelo Pizzo will be the guest lecturers on both Thursday, April 7, and Friday, April 8 (at 3 PM on both days), again at the IU Cinema.
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, April 3, at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.
Modern Times– See City Lights, above.
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 Monday, April 3, at the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech in Fort Wayne.
The Reader– Kate Winslet (who won an Academy Award for her work here) and Ralph Fiennes star in director Stephen Daldry’s 2008 drama, which was based on a book by Bernhard Schlink. The Reader will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Wednesday, April 6, at 7:30 PM- and Bernhard Schlink is scheduled to be present for the screening.
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”- continues through Saturday, April 2, at the Century Center in South Bend.
Sixteen Candles– John Hughes’ 1984 comedy will be shown at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center on Saturday, April 2, at 11:59 PM.
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 “downstairs” room at IU’s Fine Arts Building in Bloomington on Friday and Saturday, April 2 and 3, at 7:30 PM. Another showing will take place at 7 PM on Sunday, March 27, at Bears Place in Bloomington.
Tournées Festival- The page for this festival (which takes place on the campus of Marian University in Indianapolis) says that it is “the only place in Indianapolis where new French films are being shown.” The Keystone Art Cinema might dispute that claim, at least occasionally- but the KAC charges admission, and this festival does not. Five films from France will be shown over the course of the festival (see their page for all of the titles), which starts at 7 PM on Tuesday, April 7, with a screening of L’Ennemi Intime (Intimate Enemies). (As for me, I’m most looking forward to A Town Called Panic– but that one doesn’t show this week- it screens on Saturday, April 9.)
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 screens at 6:30 PM o Thursday, April 7, at the University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center.
Young@Heart– See under Hedwig and the Angry Inch, above.
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- see below).
For those interested in ballet, the Paris Opera Ballet’s performance of Coppelia will have an encore screening at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, April 6, by way of “Ballet in Cinema” and the Carmike theaters in Indiana.
Opera fans can take in another encore showing- of the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor– on Wednesday, April 6, at 6:30 PM.
Finally, Foo Fighters fans can see a documentary on the band- Foo Fighters: Back and Forth– followed by a live 3D concert performance by the group on Tuesday, April 8, starting at 8 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
Born to Be Wild 3D– Morgan Freeman narrates this documentary, which (per its official site) is about “orphaned orangutans and elephants and the extraordinary people who rescue and raise them.” Born to Be Wild 3D starts on Friday, April 8, at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis.
Of Gods and Men– Here’s the plot of this French drama, from its US press kit: “Eight French Christian monks live in harmony with their Muslim brothers in a monastery perched in the mountains of North Africa in the 1990s. When a crew of foreign workers is massacred by an Islamic fundamentalist group, fear sweeps though the region. The army offers them protection, but the monks refuse. Should they leave? Despite the growing menace in their midst, they slowly realize that they have no choice but to stay… come what may.” Lambert Wilson and Miche(a)l Lonsdale star in this film from director Xavier Beauvois; it’s scheduled to open on Friday, April 8, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis
Thank You– Akshay Kumar, Irrfan Khan, Bobby Deol, Sunil Shetty, Vidya Balan and Mallika Sherawat star in this comedy about several married men who constantly cheat on their wives. When one of their spouses hires a private detective to follow her husband, she may have more on her hands than just an unfaithful hubby- the detective finds that he is very attracted to his new employer…. According to manoranjaninc’s site, Thank You starts on Friday, April 8, at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
Win Win– Paul Giamatti, Amy Ryan, Bobby Cannavale, Jeffrey Tambor, Alex Shaffer, Burt Young, and Melanie Lynskey are the stars of this comedy/drama about a lawyer and high-school wrestling coach (Giamatti) who thinks he has found a way to solve multiple problems in his life- until an unexpected reappearance makes him suspect that his “win win” plan might not work out after all. Thomas McCarthy (The Station Agent, The Visitor) directed Win Win, which is scheduled to open on Friday, April 8, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis (along with other theaters in the state, possibly).
Other films and events for next Friday:
The Band Wagon/Dancer in the Dark– The Cinema Underground’s free double feature for Friday, April 8, starts off with Vincente Minnelli’s 1953 musical (which stars Fred Astaire, Cyd Charisse and Oscar Levant) at 7:30; Lars von Trier’s 2000 film Dancer in the Dark (with Björk and Catherine Deneuve) follows at 9:30. The location is the Herron School of Art & Design in Indianapolis.
Rudy/Hoosiers– This pair of films from director David Anspaugh and writer Angelo Pizzo will be shown at the IU Cinema on Friday April 8; Rudy starts at 6:30, Hoosiers follows at 9:30.