Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (October 5, 2012)
by HELEN GEIB
There are a crazy number of movies to choose from in Indianapolis this week, starting with one documentary only at the AMC at Castleton, one indie comedy only at the south side AMC, a diverse list of four movies only at the Keystone Art Cinema, and a Bollywood comedy only at the Georgetown 14. Regular theatrical engagement pickings are slim elsewhere, but there’s the usual repertory compensations.
My Top Pick for the Week
Although I seldom watch documentaries, I knew I’d have to make an exception for The Ambassador, an expose of endemic official corruption in Africa, after reading LA Times’ film critic Kenneth Turan’s recommendation:
“The Ambassador” will make your head spin. Part muckraking nonfiction film, part performance piece, it is a nervy documentary guaranteed, depending on who you are, to enlighten, disturb or offend. Which is what you might expect from a man who describes his work as “a strange mix of Borat and the Economist.” …Part of Brügger’s MO in “The Ambassador” is to get us, in a sense, to share the shame of what can happen when corruption is unchecked. If the way he is acting on film makes us uncomfortable, the film asks, why aren’t we doing more to stop it when it happens on a much larger scale?
Follow this link to read the full review. The Ambassador has two shows on Monday evening at several Goodrich Quality Theaters as part of a fall documentary series.
Note: For trailers, cast and crew, and suchlike follow the title link to the movie’s official website. For showtimes and directions for the non-multiplex venues, follow the links under “Outside the Multiplex” in the sidebar.
OPENING THIS WEEK IN LIMITED RELEASE
Butter- Jennifer Garner is the star of this indie comedy set in the world of competitive butter sculpture carving. It starts today at the AMC Indianapolis 17.
Chicken with Plums- The French comedy-drama Chicken with Plums is the new film from the writing-directing team of Persepolis, and like it is adapted from a graphic novel. A melancholic violinist’s reveries are a window into his childhood, his great love affair, and his music. It starts today at the Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
English Vinglish- The new Bollywood comedy English Vinglish is the comeback film of Sridevi, a popular star in Tamil and Bollywood films of the ’80s and ’90s. The playful title is a reference to her housewife character’s adventures in learning English. In a fun fact, the teaser trailer featuring Sridevi reading the movie’s Censor Certificate in character (i.e., in broken English) was a YouTube hit. It starts today at the Republic Theaters Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
Liberal Arts- “When his favorite college professor invites him to campus to speak at his retirement dinner, Jesse [writer-director Josh Radnor] jumps at the chance. He is prepared for the nostalgia of the dining halls and dorm rooms, the parties and poetry seminars; what he doesn’t see coming is Zibby (Elizabeth Olsen)—a beautiful, precocious, classical-music-loving sophomore.” Liberal Arts starts today at the Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
The Oranges- An adulterous affair between a suburban dad and his neighbors’ daughter- and his daughter’s childhood best friend- is a force for positive life change in this indie comedy. Hugh Laurie, Catherine Keener, Oliver Platt, and Allison Janey star. It starts today at the Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower- “A funny and touching coming-of-age story based on the beloved best-selling novel by director Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower is a modern classic that captures the dizzying highs and crushing lows of growing up.” It starts today at the Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Runaway Slave- This documentary is narrated by a minister and former NAACP chapter president who has become disenchanted with progressivism as a solution for the endemic poverty of black America. It features interviews with a number of well-known black conservatives. Runaway Slave starts today at the AMC Castleton Square 14 in Indianapolis.
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS (AND “RE-OPENINGS”)
Barfi!- This Bollywood comedy starring Ranbir Kapoor and Priyanka Chopra has one more show tomorrow evening at the Republic Theaters Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
For a Good Time, Call…- The title of this comedy means what you think it does. It starts today at four AMC theaters around the state: Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, Bloomington 11, Muncie 7, South Bend 16.
Heroine- Kareena Kapoor is the star of this Bollywood-on-Bollywood drama about the high price of success. It holds over at one evening show at the Regal/UA Galaxy Stadium 14 in Indianapolis.
OMG Oh My God!- Akshay Kumar produced and has a (prominently advertised) cameo in this Bollywood comedy-drama, which is adapted from a play about a shopkeeper with an ax to grind against the deities who didn’t protect his store from being destroyed in a tornado. It holds over at the Republic Theaters Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
Sleepwalk with Me- “Comedian Mike Birbiglia brings his hilarious semi-autobiographical story—already an off-Broadway smash and a best-selling book—to the screen as writer/director/star in his cinematic debut. Occasionally commenting ruefully on the action (“Remember: you’re on my side!”), Birbiglia plays alter-ego Matt Pandamiglio, a struggling stand-up comedian avoiding commitment with his long-time girlfriend.” It holds over at the Landmark Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Unconditional- “Inspired by true events, Unconditional stars Michael Ealy (Think Like A Man) and Lynn Collins (John Carter). As Sam watches ‘Papa’ Joe care for and love the kids in his under-resourced neighborhood, she begins to realize that no matter life’s circumstances, the love of God is always reaching out to us.” This indie drama holds over at Landmark Glendale 12 in Indianapolis and Regal Greenwood 14 (at the latter for one show a day).
FESTIVALS, REPERTORY SCREENINGS, AND MORE
The Ambassador is the next movie in the Goodrich Theaters’ documentary series; screening at 5 and 7 on Monday. “As he immerses himself in the life-threatening underworld of nefarious bureaucrats, [documentarian] Brugger encounters blood diamond smuggling, bribery, and even murder — while somehow managing to crack amazing razor-sharp barbs at every step along the way.” Follow the link for the list of participating theaters.
Indianapolis and Central Indiana
Abbott and Costello Meet the Invisible Man is the weekend movie at the Artcraft Theatre in Franklin; shows today and tomorrow at 2 and 7:30.
The Keystone Art Cinema’s seasonal midnight movie series continues this weekend with the new omnibus horror movie V/H/S; showing Fridays and Saturdays. Scroll to the end of this page for the full series lineup.
Almost Famous is Thursday at 7 at the State Museum’s IMAX in the Indy Film Fest’s music-themed fall film series.
The Skyline Drive-In in Shelbyville is observing horror movie month a/k/a October with “Skyline Scares”, triple features on Friday and Saturday nights that include one new movie and two classics (or “classics”, as the case may be). This weekend’s old movies are The Return of the Living Dead and The Gates of Hell.
It’s Homecoming time at IU and programming at the Cinema is a lot lighter than usual. However, the lineup does include one of the fall season’s most exciting events, a benshi performance! Benshi Kataoka Ichiro will participate in a moderated discussion on Thursday at 3 in the Jorgensen Guest Filmmaker Lecture Series before accompanying an Ozu late silent, An Inn at Tokyo, that evening at 7. For an overview of what a benshi is and does, here’s the Wikipedia entry.
Also playing at the IU Cinema this week: new indie action-comedy Dust Up and A Nightmare on Elm Street today; short film documentary Maestra on Monday; the acclaimed German drama The Lives of Others on Tuesday.
Meet the Fokkens, Neighboring Sounds, Stars in Shorts, and The Topp Twins: Untouchable Girls are the weekend titles in the Ryder repertory series in Bloomington.
The Cinema Center is holding the Rock ‘n’ Reel film festival (lineup and details) tomorrow; five music documentaries starting with Anvil: The Story of Anvil at noon. The wrap party at 10 will have live music (and free food and a cash bar). Tickets are $5 per movie or $15 for a day pass.
The DeBartolo Performing Arts Center has one show a day today through Sunday of We Have a Pope. Tomorrow, the Hayao Miyazaki retrospective continues with Nausicaa of the Valley of the Wind and the Tournees Festival of French films continues with Goodbye First Love (the latter has two shows). On Tuesday, Rene Clair’s A Nou La Liberte will be screened at 8 in the Classic 100 series.
The Cinematheque for All repertory series in West Lafayette continues with Spanish drama Cria Cuervos (1976), directed by Carlos Saura. Screenings are Wednesday nights on the Purdue campus; fall season lineup.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
The Cinema Center website has had a makeover and it looks great- and has a lot more information about the theater and upcoming films. Check it out.
The annual Dark Carnival Film Festival is October 20-21 at the Buskirk-Chumley Theater in Bloomington. “Dark Carnival is a celebration of horror, featuring live entertainment, merchandise vendors, special guests and film screenings. It’s a different show every year, and Dark Carnival events have included outdoor drive-in film screenings, costume contests, dance parties, sideshows, horror hosts, filmmaking seminars, burlesque dancers, live fire shows and more!”
The Yes Cinema is starting a movie a month classic film series in October. The inaugural film is Rear Window on October 20 and 21. Oddly enough, although I don’t count Rear Window as one of my favorite Hitchcock films, it’s the one I’ve seen the most times, and I always enjoy it hugely. Other films in the series are Breakfast at Tiffany’s, The African Queen, and It’s a Wonderful Life.
October also brings the Heartland Film Festival (October 18-27; most showings at the AMC Castleton Square 14 and AMC Traders Point 12). The opening night movie is High Ground, a documentary about disabled veterans who participate in a Himalayan mountain climbing program.
Films and events scheduled for next Friday:
The House on Haunted Hill (1959 version) at the Artcraft
Mexican Film Double Feature at the IMA
The Kid with a Bike at the DeBartolo