My Life As an Indy Moviegoer – July, 2011 Recap

by HELEN GEIB

A monthly series in which I relate my reflections on life as an independent-minded moviegoer in Indianapolis, Indiana.

I had an ambitious movie-watching plan laid out for this year’s Indy Film Fest- until ridiculously long days at the office and a sudden business trip to Georgia intervened. In the event, I only made it to one film, The City Dark. A documentary about light pollution, it was entertaining and surprisingly informative. In addition to the expected interviews with professional astronomers and amateur stargazers, the film ranges over the impact of city lights on migrating birds, dark sky ordinances, trends in urban lighting design, and more. There are only so many ways to say “we’ve lost the stars” and the film is a tad repetitive (even at a scant 90 minutes), but the lineup of quirky people passionate about the night sky is appealing and the film ends with an inspiring call to action.

Work also kept me away from the arthouse most of the month, but I did make it to The Tree of Life. Mysterious, beautiful, perplexing, tender, opaque, intimidating, lyrical, frustrating….

Only one of those words applies to any of my month’s Hollywood fare (yes, that word would be “frustrating”). However, two of them receive “fun” and one even earns “rousing” and “an all-around thoroughly good time at the movies.” Transformers: Dark of the Moon and Horrible Bosses are in a dead heat for worst of the month. (Follow the links to read why.) I liked Cowboys and Aliens, freely admitting it earned goodwill simply by being a new, big-budget Hollywood Western made by people who love Westerns. The all-around good time was supplied by Captain America: The First Avenger. When I reviewed Green Lantern I asked if it always had to be an origins story. I still say the answer should be a no, but sometimes it’s a good thing that Hollywood is convinced it’s a yes.

How was your month at the movies?

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