My Life As an Indy Moviegoer – September, 2011 Recap

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?

7 responses to “My Life As an Indy Moviegoer – September, 2011 Recap

  1. My month at the movies was great, in that I also saw two if my favorite films of the year so far. I don’t think they could be more different from each other–Drive and Higher Ground. It will take some time for me to fully process the latter, but I can definitely say that I’m a new Vera Farmiga fan.

    • That’s a great recommendation, I’ll have to add it to my list. Farmiga is an excellent actress. Have you seen “Running Scared” (2006)? That was the first movie I saw her in, or at least that I noticed her in. Very underrated film and she makes quite an impression.

      • No, I haven’t seen that one–I’ll add it to my list.

        Higher Ground is internal and quiet, which for some translates to “flat,” but I was really moved by the way she treated the complicated subject matter. I hope she will direct again.

        Oh, and I should say, “Thanks!” as I didn’t know about the movie at all until this past week’s Thinking Outside the Multiplex. :)

  2. The first time that I saw Vera Farmiga and remembered her was in the film 15 Minutes (she played the red-headed Russian). It was actualyl a decent film, too.
    @Running Scared, I saw it in theatres when I originally came out because of the bold line that was drawn between hatred and love for it. I hated every second of it. Not only does the film not make any sense from the very beggining to the very end, its editing style, which I hate (and have also hated in Man On fire, another film that I detest), was horrendous. That and Paul walker can’t act. He’s the blonde Keanue Reeves and Orlando Bloome is the British Keanue Reeves (except in Kingdom of Heaven).

    @Michelle, I’m glad that you also enjoyed Drive. The trailer gave away most of the film and structurally made the film seem like it’d be an action packed, epic car chase, none-stop, thrill-a-minute thriller. Which I’m glad that it’s not. :O)

    Also, Farmiga was terrific in Nothing But the Truth (2008) (although she was upstaged by Matt Dillon and Kate Beckinsale) and in The Departed (2006).

  3. I had a good month, too, going three for three for the first time in a good while with The Guard, Drive and Warrior.

    @Michelle, thanks for the encouragement to see Higher Ground. The trailer had me cautiously hopeful but Hollywood has a poor track record with this kind of story.

  4. The Guard is a good movie, too. Terrific performances and script.

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