by MIKE MACCOLLUM
Two films that seem designed to provoke political/philosophical discussion and controversy open in limited release in Indiana this week- and there’s news of a now-closed movie theater soon to re-open in Indy, with independent films likely to be on at least some of its screens. For all this and more, read on below….
LIMITED RELEASE THEATRICAL FILMS OPENING IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
Atlas Shrugged: Part 1– Per its official site, this adaptation of Ayn Rand’s 1957 novel is a “drama/mystery” about Dagny Taggart, who “runs Taggart Transcontinental, the largest remaining railroad company in America, with intelligence, courage and integrity, despite the systematic disappearance of her best and most competent workers.” Taggart “is drawn to industrialist Henry Rearden, one of the few men whose genius and commitment to his own ideas match her own;” eventually, the pair discover evidence to support “the sinister theory that the ‘men of the mind’ (thinkers, industrialists, scientists, artists, and other innovators) are ‘on strike’ and vanishing from society.” Taylor Schilling, Grant Bowler, Graham Beckel, Matthew Marsden, Michael O’Keefe, Michael Lerner, and Jon Polito are in the cast of Atlas Shrugged- Part 1, which starts on Friday, April 15, at the Showplace Indianapolis 17, the Village Park 17 in Carmel, the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, and the Coldwater Crossing in Fort Wayne.
Miral– This controversial drama from director Julian Schnabel (The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, Basquiat, Before Night Falls) and screenwriter Rula Jebreal (who adapted her own autobiographical novel) features Freida Pinto in the title role, and has a supporting cast that includes Willem Dafoe, Vanessa Redgrave, and Hiam Abbass; it starts on Friday, April 15, at the Keystone Art Cinema. The story takes place over four decades, on land claimed by both Israelis and Palestinians. Pinto plays a woman who comes of age in a time of conflict and violence; while some around her choose a path of resistance, others are more peaceful and studious- and eventually, Miral herself must decide what she will do with her own life.
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS (AND “RE-OPENINGS”) THIS WEEK IN INDIANA
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 holds over this week at the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis, the Portage 16 and IMAX, the Showplace East in Evansville, and the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne.
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, April 15, at the Yes Cinema in Columbus.
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 continues this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
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 starts on Friday, April 22, at the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne and the Encore Park 14 in Elkhart.
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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Teen Maar– This Telugu-language romantic comedy/drama from Indian opened on Wednesday at the Great Escape Noblesville 10, but I didn’t know about it until the day it started, so I didn’t have a listing for it in last week’s column. According to the site for midwestmovies.us, Teen Maar continues at the Noblesville 10 (with one or two showings per day, depending on the day) through next Wednesday.
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…. Thank You will be shown at 9 PM this Friday and Saturday at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
Twilite: Eclipse of the Full Moon– This Indiana-made parody of the Twilight books and films has an 11:30 show on Friday, April 15, at the Eastside 9 in Lafayette- or at least that’s what the film’s site says; the theater’s site lists a show time of midnight. In any event, Twilite will be back at the Eastside 9 toward the end of the month.
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 holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- and starts on Friday, April 15, at the Showplace Schererville 16.
FILM FESTIVALS, NON-THEATRICAL SCREENINGS, AND MOVIE-RELATED EVENTS IN INDIANA THIS WEEK
As noted last week, we’ve made some changes in this section. Instead of more detailed information on films, dates, and times, as in the past, we’re breaking things down into geographic regions of the state, with a listing of titles and locations following that. For additional information (on the films themselves, and when and where they’ll be showing), either click on the highlighted text, or go to the links for “Outside the Multiplex” at the left of the page.
Indianapolis and Central Indiana
Indy’s Cinema Underground continues its April series of music-related films with screenings of Jean-Jacques Beineix’s 1981 Diva and Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge on Friday night. More musical fare follows on Saturday, when Indy’s Irving Theater presents another midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show. Also on Saturday, the Big Car Gallery in Fountain Square presents the Found Footage Festival– “a one-of-a-kind event that showcases footage from videos that were found at garage sales and thrift stores and in warehouses and dumpsters across the country,” per its official site- at 8 (although a showing of a short documentary, Heavy Metal Parking Lot, “will precede the festival,” according to this week’s NUVO). And the Jewish Community Center in Indianapolis will show three short films from the Heartland Film Festival- including Academy Award Winner God of Love– starting at 7 on Saturday.
Later in the week, the Indiana Film Society has a screening of the 2002 Hindi-language film A Peck on the Cheek on Tuesday night at 7 PM. The screening is part of their series “The Journey, Not the Destination” and takes place at the Indianapolis Senior Center on East Michigan Street in Indianapolis; there is no charge for admission. On Wednesday night, the Indianapolis International Film Festival’s Roving Cinema series continues with a 7:30 showing of The Big Lebowski at Jillian’s in downtown Indy. Tickets for the film itself are a mere $5, but a $75 “premium package” is also available, including both the film and “a reserved spot at your own bowling lane for up to 6 people… and shoe rental for a party of up to 6 people.” Also, Jillian’s “full bar and menu will be available” throughout the event, according to the IIFF’s page for this event.
Outside of Indy, Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre has showings of the classic 1950 comedy Harvey– starring James Stewart, and with Peggy Dow, Jesse White, Cecil Kellaway, and Academy Award winner Josephine Hull in the supporting cast- on Friday and Saturday.
A one-time-only showing of the autism documentary Wretches & Jabberers takes place at noon on Saturday at the Showplace Bloomington 12. According to its official site, the film is about “two men with autism [who] embark on a global quest to change attitudes about disability and intelligence.” (And Indianapolis residents who want to see the film can do so without the drive to Bloomington; Wretches & Jabberers is also scheduled to be shown at the Showplace Indianapolis 17 on Saturday, April 23, at noon.)
The Ryder offers fewer screenings than usual this week, with the documentary Strongman showing on Thursday, April 21 (and again on Friday and Saturday next weekend); no films are listed on their site for this weekend.
And of course, the always-busy IU Cinema has a variety of films and events on tap. They’ll have a screening of director Mimmo Calopresti’s 2000 dramatic feature I Prefer the Sound of the Sea– with the filmmaker scheduled to be present– on Friday. The Red Shirt, also directed by Mimmo Calopresti, will be shown on Saturday– and once again, Calopresti himself is scheduled to be there for the screening. On Sunday and Monday, another Italian film- the recent US theatrical release Le Quattro Volte– is scheduled to be shown, while the documentary Waiting for “Superman” follows on Tuesday. The week closes with screenings of The Augustas and Pinoy Sunday, at 3 and 6:30 PM (respectively) on Thursday.
The Cinema Center in Fort Wayne will show Academy Award nominees The Illusionist and Biutiful through at least Wednesday, April 21- while the Cinema Center @ Indiana Tech will screen Cedar Rapids and Barney’s Version through Sunday, April 17- and again on Thursday, April 21.
The University of Notre Dame’s DeBartolo Performing Arts Center also will be showing The Illusionist (based on an unproduced screenplay by the late Jacques Tati)- but on Friday and Saturday only- while one of Tati’s own films, Mon Oncle, screens on Saturday afternoon. Pretty in Pink gets a midnight showing (or 11:59 PM, to use the time on the venue’s site) on Saturday, while the Metropolitan Opera’s production of Rossini’s Le Comte Ory screens at 1 on Sunday. On Thursday, the DeBartolo offers “A Tribute to Jafar Panahi” with a showing of the now-imprisoned Iranian filmmaker’s 2006 comedy/drama Offside at 7.
Also on big screens in Indiana this week: Sea Rex 3D continue its runs at the IMAX Theatre at the Indiana State Museum in downtown Indianapolis this week, with several showings per day (when Born to Be Wild 3D isn’t screening).
And Grateful Dead fans can see the band back on the big screen when The Grateful Dead Movie (accompanied by interviews with band members Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir shot while the film was in production) shows at theaters across the state at 7:30 PM on Wednesday, April 20 (otherwise known as 4/20- surely no coincidence…).
Finally, the children’s film Strawberry Shortcake: The Sky’s the Limit will have early matinee showings on a number of screens around the state again this week. Some theaters will show the film on weekends only; others will have screenings throughout the week- this site will tell you where you can see the film.
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
Two films are scheduled to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis next Friday- while another one will start at a number of other theaters across the state next Thursday (one day ahead of the Friday after next Friday, if you like to make things slightly/temporarily confusing).
Memphis– According to the site for Fathom Events, Memphis– the winner of the 2010 Tony Award for Best Musical- is “the story of a white radio DJ who wants to change the world and a black club singer who is ready for her big break.” and features “explosive dancing, irresistible songs and a thrilling tale of fame and forbidden love.” The version of Memphis that will be shown in theaters starting next Thursday, April 28, is either a recorded version of the stage musical, or a live presentation of same- I can’t tell which will be the case from Fathom’s page(s) for this event. Either way, it counts as a theatrical release, to my way of seeing things, since three theaters in Indiana (the Showplace Indianapolis 17, the Evansville 16, and the Showplace Schererville 16) will have screenings starting at 7:30 PM for four days (April 28 and 30, and May 1 and 3). Many other theaters across the state will show the film on at least one of those days, but not all of them; see Fathom’s Memphis pages (they have separate ones for each day it will be shown) for more information on locations.
Potiche (Trophy Wife)– This Seventies-set French comedy – which was directed by Francois Ozon (Under the Sand, Swimming Pool, 8 Women, Criminal Lovers), and stars Catherine Denueve and Gerard Depardieu- is scheduled to open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis on Friday, April 22. Deneuve plays Suzanne, the wife of rich businessman Robert Pujol, who rules both his factory and his family in the same dictatorial manner. But when the factory’s employees go out on strike- taking Robert as a hostage in the process- Suzanne takes charge as manager of the factory, and has great success on the job. She also meets an old flame (Depardieu), who now happens to be the leader of the factory worker’s union; this complicates Suzanne’s relationship with her husband- especially when he wants to take charge of the factory once again….
Super– James Gunn (Slither) directed this dark comedy about a frustrated man who becomes a would-be superhero- even though he has no superpowers- after his wife leaves him for a drug dealer. According to the page for Super on the site of US distributor IFC Films, Super “combines absurd humor with balls-out violence to create something that is both unashamed and inimitable.” Rainn Wilson, Ellen Page, Liv Tyler and Kevin Bacon star in Super, while Michael Rooker, Linda Cardellini, and Nathan Fillion in the supporting cast; the film is scheduled to start on Friday, April 22, at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
The only real news this week regarding upcoming limited release films at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis is that Certified Copy and Kill the Irishman are now listed under the “showtimes” feature at the left side of Landmark’s Indianapolis page as opening at the KAC on April 29, while Winter in Wartime and Academy Award winner In a Better World are set for May 6 openings. This makes official (or at least more official) the information presented in this section of last week’s column- although of course, all of the above opening dates are scheduled to change.
Also, the former Loews/AMC College Park theater will be reopening sometime soon (apparently in May) as the Movie Buff Theater. They will show “a wide variety of films.” including “independent arts films,” according to their Facebook page– which also notes that they feel a need “to bring the independent film movement to Indianapolis.” I look forward to the theater’s opening, and can’t wait to see what they will be playing.
Other films and events for next Friday:
The Indianapolis Museum of Art will be showing the multiple Emmy-winning made-for-cable “biopic” Temple Grandin (which features Claire Danes in the title role), while the Cinema Underground’s series of music-related films continues with a screening of Academy Award nominee Lagaan: Once Upon a Time in India (a Bollywood film with several musical numbers). “Underground” is also one of the operative words at the IU Cinema in Bloomington, which will offer “The Films of George and Mike Kuchar” as part of their “Underground Film Series” at 6:30, and then will show Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives– the winner of the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival last year- at 9:30 PM. Ball State University, meanwhile, offers the Frog Baby Film Festival, which features “independent films created this year by Ball State University students and students from other universities.”