by HELEN GEIB
A monthly series in which I relate my reflections on life as an independent-minded moviegoer in Indianapolis, Indiana.
Warrior and Drive are two of the best movies I’ve seen in the theater this year. However, there is one downside to the return of good movies to the multiplex, namely that when I go out of town for a weekend it’s hard to catch up with what I’ve missed. I’ll have to move fast if I’m going to catch The Debt, and after that comes Killer Elite.
Outside the multiplex, not counting my 12 movie weekend at Cinesation in Ohio (11 silents plus early talkie The Half Naked Truth), I saw two films, Convento at the IMA and The Guard at the Keystone Art Cinema. The Guard is still playing (at the KAC and the Movie Buff Theatre) and you should see it if you haven’t. An Irish In the Heat of the Night with additional dialogue by Quentin Tarantino describes it pretty well, but it also finds its own idiosyncrasies in the local culture and the local cop at its center. Brendan Gleeson gives as excellent performance in the lead role and Don Cheadle is just as good as you’d expect as the fish out of water FBI agent.
Convento is an unusual documentary about an unusual family. To put it mildly. The family is a Dutch artist who fabricates animatronic animal sculptures, his animal loving brother, and their mom, a prima ballerina turned earth mother. They continue to live together in a several hundred year old former monastery in Portugal, which they’ve spent years fixing up. (Creepiness alert: the artist sometimes incorporates dessicated small animal remains in his work.) The director was clearly enamored with their close to nature, close to art lifestyle, and the considerable beauty of the film flows from its close identification with both the rhythms and the peculiarities of the place and its inhabitants, living and not. Seeing the movie was itself a special experience. We watched images of art and nature while surrounded by art and nature; the IMA screened it outside after dark, projected against the wall of the Lilly Pavilion in the 100 Acres Art and Nature Park.
How was your month at the movies?