by HELEN GEIB
A monthly series in which I relate my reflections on life as an independent-minded moviegoer in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Last month I saw the three movies I wanted to see at the multiplex: Fast Five, Thor, and Kung Fu Panda 2. They were all a lot of fun and they were all better than I expected. I’d happily see a sequel to each. Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides was neither fun nor better than I expected. The franchise officially wore out its welcome with this entry and it would take a lot to get me back to the theater for the next one. Assuming there is a next one, which seems a pretty safe assumption given the already stupendous grosses.
I was struck by indie filmgoer guilt when I missed Certified Copy and Kill the Irishman, but restored my film lover credentials by driving a really long way to see Cave of Forgotten Dreams. Herzog’s 3D film of the Chauvet Cave prehistoric paintings is an invaluable cultural record and the artistic justification of 3D technology. The paintings themselves are intensely moving in a way that’s difficult to describe. That emotional response and sense of connection across an unfathomable expanse of time is one of the mysteries the film explores, along with the more concrete, but no less absorbing, inquiries of science and archaeology.
I celebrated my birthday with a weekend in Chicago built around a double feature of Badlands and the National Theatre Live series presentation of Frankenstein at the Music Box. Locally, the Indianapolis Museum of Art had a revival screening of Camille (1936). I’d last seen it years ago on TV when I was in my classic Hollywood phase, so it was great to see it again- and on the big screen this time. Garbo and Taylor were as good as I remembered as the tragic lovers and the movie was much funnier than I remembered. Given that I was a young teenager at my first viewing, it may well be that I just didn’t get a lot of the jokes. I cried a little both times.
On the Horizon: X-Men: First Class, Green Lantern, and Cars 2 are on my multiplex list for June. Incendies and Tree of Life are on the coming soon list at the Landmark more-or-less arthouse theater. A new independent theater recently opened (in a shuttered Loews multiplex) and promises to include independent and foreign films. The ones they’ve shown so far I’d either already seen (Of Gods and Men and Win Win) or didn’t want to see (Hobo With a Shotgun), but I have hopes….
How was your month at the movies?