Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (July 29, 2011)


It’s a good week to be a movie fan in Indianapolis and Bloomington. The northern half of the state, not so much. What’s on your moviegoing agenda this week?

TOTM aspires to completeness! If you know of a limited release film, special screening, festival, or other movie-related event coming up, or something happening this week that isn’t listed here, please leave a comment or send me an email using the “contact us” form.

Note: Title links lead to the movie’s official website.


Snow Flower and the Secret Fan– An adaptation of a best-selling novel, this drama follows, and contrasts, two pairs of friends. Snow Flower and Lily are matched by their families to be lifelong friends as children in 19th century China, while their descendants Nina and Sophia struggle to hold on to their own childhood friendship in present-day Shanghai. Snow Flower and the Secret Fan, which was directed by Wayne Wang, starts today at the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.


Beginners– Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer star as a father and son who draw closer after dad comes out of the closet (at 75) and discovers he has cancer. Melanie Laurent co-stars in this well-reviewed drama from writer-director Mike Mills (Thumbsucker). Beginners moves west (west along 86th St, that is) to the Movie Buff Theatre in Indianapolis.

A Better Life– This indie drama set in East LA follows the struggles of an illegal immigrant working to make “a better life” for his teenage son. It was directed by Chris Weitz (About a Boy) and stars Demian Bichir and Jose Julian as the father and son. A Better Life holds over at the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis (for one show a day) and expands to the Movie Buff Theatre in Indianapolis and the AMC Evansville 16.

Bride Flight– This lavishly mounted Dutch period drama follows the lives- and especially the love lives- of three young women who meet on the plane carrying them from their native Holland in the early 1950s to New Zealand, where they will join their fiances. Rutger Hauer is the familiar name in the cast. Bride Flight holds over at the Movie Buff Theatre in Indianapolis.

Buck– Documentary about a horse trainer whose rapport with horses transforms them- and often their owners as well. I’ve been seeing rapturous reviews for this one, and it’s clearly a must-see for animal lovers. Buck holds over at the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis and expands to the AMC Showplace Bloomington 11.

Singham– This Bollywood actioner is a fast turnaround remake of a 2010 Tamil film. It stars Ajay Devgn and Kajal Aggarwal and was directed by Rohit Shetty (Golmaal series). It doesn’t have an official site but there’s a Facebook page for the film here. I had some trouble interpreting the summary but the plot seems to revolve around a small town cop taking on a big time criminal. Singham holds over at the Republic Theaters Georgetown 14 for one show a day (two shows on Saturday). I’m not positive this one is subtitled, so if you’re interested you should call the theater first.

The Tree of Life– Terrence Malick’s new film. Do you need more of a reason to see it? Hm, well, it won the Palme d’Or at Cannes this year and it stars Sean Penn as a man reflecting on his childhood and his fraught relationship with his father, played by Brad Pitt. The mysterious and beautiful The Tree of Life continues at the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis with two shows a day.

The Trip– Michael Winterbottom filmed comedians-actors Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon on a restaurant tour and the result was this movie, which looks hard to pin down, funny, and rather delightful in the trailers. The duo’s dueling impressions of Michael Caine and Al Pacino, among others, promise to be worth the ticket price alone. The Trip continues at the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.

Zindagi Na Milegi Dobara– Three friends take a life-changing road trip in this Bollywood comedy-drama filmed in Spain. Hrithik Roshan, Abhay Deol, Farhan Akhtar, Katrina Kaif, and Kalki Koechlin star. ZNMD holds over at the Republic Theatres Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis for one show a day.


For additional information on the films, and when and where they’ll be showing, follow the links under “Outside the Multiplex” in the sidebar.

Indianapolis and Central Indiana

It’s a busy week at the IMA, film-wise. You can revisit the ’80s tonight with Top Gun, this week’s Summer Nights movie. Sunday is “Animation Day,” a family friendly lineup of animated short films. Also included are appearances by a local animator and, via Skype, a Pixar animator, plus there’s hands-on activities for kids. And Thursday is “Film Shorts from Wolphin” in the amphitheatre at 9:30 (or the Toby at 9 in the event of rain); Wolphin is a quarterly DVD magazine whose editor will announce the films via Skype. The lineup sounds quite entertaining and very varied. Read the full list and summaries here.

The Indiana Film Society’s fall series “Follow the Leader” starts Tuesday with Mother of Mine (2008), a Swedish drama about a Finnish boy evacuated to Sweden during WWII. (Full list of titles.) Screenings are at the Indianapolis Senior Center. Born to Be Wild and Sea Rex, both in 3D, continue at the IMAX Theater at the Indiana State Museum.

Southern Indiana

On Sunday, the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington will screen the new documentary Bicycle Dreams, a chronicle of one “Race Across America,” a grueling 3000 mile cross-country endurance test. The official site describes the race as the most challenging sporting event in the world, which certainly sounds plausible.

Also in Bloomington, the Ryder series has two more showings of documentary on bees Queen of the Sun, tonight and tomorrow on the IU campus. Jean-Luc Godard’s newest lightning rod Film Socialisme has three shows through the weekend and the intriguing sounding Romanian mystery-drama Aurora starts its Ryder run on Thursday.

And also in Bloomington, the IU Cinema is still on vacation this weekend, but screenings resume August 4 with The Tree of Life (additional shows Friday and Saturday).

Columbus’ Yes Cinema returns to this column this week by picking up the Italian thriller The Double Hour for one show a day; the showtime varies so be sure and check the schedule (the theater is closed Monday and Tuesday). The Bartholomew Co. Historical Society in Columbus exhibit on silent western star and famous native son Ken Maynard runs through September. Find more info at the Yes Cinema website.

Northern Indiana

This week’s Cinematheque for All movie is the 2009 Australian drama Samson and Delilah; it screens Wednesday on the Purdue campus.


The 48 Hour Film Project goes on August 6 at the IMA.

Rifftrax fans rejoice: Jack the Giant Killer gets the treatment Wednesday, August 17 in a Fathom Events presentation.

Lastly, the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema’s coming soon page now lists indie coming of age drama Terri for next Friday and Holocaust drama Sara’s Key for August 12.

Films and events scheduled for next Friday:

The Artcraft Theatre next weekend will depart from its usual roster of classics to show Monster Cruise, a 2010 indie filmed in Franklin. The poster suggests a high degree of family friendliness.

In Indianapolis, the IMA’s Summer Nights movie is Grease– the “Sing-a-Long” version.

The Tree of Life opens at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.


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