Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (November 9, 2012)
by MIKE MACCOLLUM
Six new limited release movies arrive in Indiana theaters this week, although two of them debut on Tuesday, not Friday- and one gets only two screenings, on Monday night. And while four of these movies are exclusive to theaters in Indianapolis- and just two theaters at that- there are plenty of festivals, special screenings and other events, both in the Indy area and throughout the state, in the week ahead….
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
Booker’s Place– This documentary will get two screenings on Monday night at four Goodrich theaters across the state as part of their “Documentary Days” series; click the link for information on locations and times. From the official site for the film: “Booker Wright was an African-American restaurant owner who also served double-duty as a waiter in a “whites-only” restaurant in Mississippi in the 1960s. He became an unlikely activist for the Civil Rights movement when he appeared on a network TV documentary reporting on the changing times in his small town. Exploding the myth of who he was and his experience serving the white community, Booker’s appearance set off a chain of events that eventually led to his untimely murder. BOOKER’S PLACE: A MISSISSIPPI STORY follows director Raymond De Felitta (CITY ISLAND), whose father directed the original 1966 documentary, as he journeys through past and present-day Mississippi with Booker’s granddaughter, searching for details around Booker’s courageous life and shocking murder, while also exploring the impact the film had not only on the local community but also on Raymond’s father.”
Detropia– I saw this documentary at the Indianapolis International Film Festival earlier this year, and would strongly recommend it. The synopsis from the official site: “Detroit’s story has encapsulated the iconic narrative of America over the last century— the Great Migration of African Americans escaping Jim Crow; the rise of manufacturing and the middle class; the love affair with automobiles; the flowering of the American dream; and now . . . the collapse of the economy and the fading American mythos. With its vivid, painterly palette and haunting score, DETROPIA sculpts a dreamlike collage of a grand city teetering on the brink of dissolution. These soulful pragmatists and stalwart philosophers strive to make ends meet and make sense of it all, refusing to abandon hope or resistance. Their grit and pluck embody the spirit of the Motor City as it struggles to survive postindustrial America and begins to envision a radically different future.” Detropia plays this week at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel– From this documentary’s official site: “During Diana Vreeland’s fifty year reign as the “Empress of Fashion,” she launched Twiggy, advised Jackie Onassis, and established countless trends that have withstood the test of time. She was the fashion editor of Harper’s Bazaar where she worked for twenty-five years before becoming editor-in-chief of Vogue, followed by a remarkable stint at the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute, where she helped popularize its historical collections. DIANA VREELAND: THE EYE HAS TO TRAVEL is an intimate portrait and a vibrant celebration of one of the most influential women of the twentieth century, an enduring icon who has had a strong influence on the course of fashion, beauty, publishing and culture.” Fashion is not something that interests me very much, if at all- but the trailer for this film- which apparently covers more than just fashion, as such- managed to make even me think that it is worth a viewing. Diana Vreeland: The Eye Has to Travel starts on Friday at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis.
Jab Tak Hai Jaan– It seems to me that most Bollywood films offer a great deal of advance publicity material by way of their official sites, Facebook pages, and so on. At the same time, however, many or most of these films- like this one, and Son of Sardaar below- offer little or nothing in the way of a plot synopsis on these same official sites and pages. I can tell you that Jab Tak Hai Jaan is a romantic drama that stars Shahrukh Khan and Katrina Kaif, and that it is the last film from veteran director/producer Yash Chopra, who passed away last month. But since the official sites for this movie aren’t giving up much of the plot, I’ll play it safe and do the same. Jab Tak Hai Jaan opens Tuesday at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
The Sessions– John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy star in this comedy/drama, which opens Friday at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis. From the official site: “Based on the poignantly optimistic autobiographical writings of California-based journalist and poet Mark O’Brien, The Sessions tells the story of a man confined to an iron lung who is determined— at age 38— to lose his virginity. With the help of his therapists and the guidance of his priest, he sets out to make his dream a reality.”
Son of Sardaar– From the trailer, it looks like this Hindi-language film from India is an over-the-top-and-tongue-in-cheek action comedy. The film’s Facebook page notes that it is a remake of another Indian film, the Telugu-language Maryada Ramanna from 2010; the IMDb says that both Indian films are remakes of Buster Keaton’s 1923 silent Our Hospitality– although it looks like Son of Sardaar, at least, doesn’t retain either the setting or time period of Keaton’s original. Son of Sardaar starts Tuesday at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS (AND “RE-OPENINGS”)
Middle of Nowhere– Writer/director Ava DuVernay won the U.S. Directing Award: Dramatic at the 2012 Sundance Film Festival for Middle of Nowhere, which will be at the Fort Wayne Cinema Center this week. The plot synopsis- or part of it, at least- from the official site: “As Ruby (Emayatzy Corinealdi) rides a bus through the inner city streets, she wills herself to push away memories that crowd her. Four years earlier, she was a vibrant medical student married to the love of her life, Derek (Omari Hardwick). Now, she makes her way to the maximum security prison on the outskirts of town. This is where her love now resides…. But through a chance encounter with hard-working bus driver Brian (David Oyelowo) and a stunning betrayal that shakes her to the core, she is soon propelled in new and often frightening directions of self-discovery….” And by the way- as clunky as “U.S. Directing Award: Dramatic” may sound or look, that is indeed the official name for the award on the Sundance Festival’s site.
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 holds over (albeit with limited showings per day, for most theaters) at Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, the Yes Cinema in Columbus, the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne, Regal Village Park 17 in Carmel, Showplace Cinemas East in Evansville, the Bedford 7, and at six AMCs: the Bloomington 11, Indianapolis 17, Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, South Bend 16, Muncie 7, and Schererville 16; it also starts today at the Encore Park 14 in Elkhart.
FESTIVALS, REPERTORY SCREENINGS, AND MORE
To Kill a Mockingbird– Gregory Peck stars in this classic film, which will be screened at 15 theaters across the state on Thursday night courtesy of Fathom Events and Turner Classic Movies. Click on the Fathom link at the right of the page for information on locations and times.
Indianapolis and Central Indiana
The 2012 Indianapolis LGBT Film Festival takes place this weekend at the Indianapolis Museum of Art and the Herron School of Art, also in Indy. It looks like 11 feature films are on the program this year, along with several selections of shorts.
Another film festival takes place on Saturday in Indianapolis. The Reel Hope Film Festival is presented by the Indy Artists’ Peace Project, and takes place from noon until past 5 PM at First Mennonite, 4601 Knollton Road. One feature comedy (a premiere, per the event’s site) and two feature-length docs- followed by a Q and A session with the filmmakers- make up the festival, which is described on its site as “devoted to promoting the works of socially conscientious filmmakers, acting as a bridge to connect their films with viewers.”
Three classic Christmas-related films (yes, already) will be shown this week at the Spades Park branch of the Indianapolis-Marion County Public Library. Christmas in Connecticut kicks off the series on Tuesday, followed by Holiday Inn and White Christmas on Wednesday and Thursday, respectively. The films start at 4:30, and I am guessing that admission is free, although that wasn’t specified on the library’s site, as far as I could tell.
Indiana native Ken Maynard stars in Flaming Lead, this month’s offering in the Vintage Movie Nights series at Garfield Park’s Arts Center. “Cow rustlers, shady ranch-hands, sharp shooting, outlaw gangs and mistaken identities all add up to excitement in this rare western”, per the venue’s page for this event. The screening starts at 7 on Saturday; tickets are $3.
On a much more recent note, Robert Carlyle stars in California Solo, part of the Indianapolis International Film Festival’s series of music-themed films. It screens at 7 on Thursday night at the IMAX theater at the State Museum in downtown Indianapolis; I didn’t see anything on the event page about an admission price, if there is one.
The Frank Capra classic Mr. Smith Goes to Washington will be shown twice at Franklin’s Historic Artcraft Theatre on both Friday and Saturday.
And while The Madame Walker Theatre in Indianapolis does not show movies on a regular basis these days, it seems to me that it should be noted that the venue will celebrate its 85th anniversary this week, with events including a fundraiser. Another long-lasting central Indiana venue, Parke County’s Ritz Theater, has a 100th-anniversary party on Saturday; click here for more info.
This week at the IU Cinema: Several titles by French filmmaker Claire Denis will screen throughout the week: Beau Travail and Trouble Every Day screen on Saturday, with a talk by Ms. Denis the same evening, while White Material screens on Sunday. The recent, very cool-looking French film Holy Motors shows on Friday and Sunday (I really hope that somebody will show this- and All Together, mentioned below- at a theater in Indianapolis- please!); the Truly Underground Experimental Shorts program screens on Friday; the 1981 Polish drama Blind Chance will be shown on Monday; a (sold out) showing of the not-yet-released On the Road on will take place on Wednesday, and a talk by that film’s director, Walter Salles, follows on Thursday.
A new drama from France, 17 Girls, arrives in Bloomington thiw week courtesy of The Ryder; per its official US site, 17 Girls “focuses on a group of bored teenage girls who all make an irrevocable pact. When Camille (Louise Grinberg, The Class) accidentally becomes pregnant, she encourages her friends and fellow high school classmates to follow suit. It’s only a matter of time, before 17 girls in the high school are pregnant and the town is thrown into a world of chaos.” Also, the documentary Two Angry Moms– about two mothers concerned about the food being served to their children at school- the drama Keep the Lights On– which “chronicles an emotionally and sexually charged journey of two men in New York City through love, friendship, and addiction”, per its official site- and the French/German comedy
The Next Act: Restoring Historic Theaters is a free talk by Ray Shepardson on 7 PM on Thursday at the Fortnightly Building in Vincennes. Mr. Shepardson is an “experienced restorer of movie palaces,” per the site for this event, and his presentation will discuss how restoring “historic theaters can help reinvigorate a downtown and provide a community gathering point”.
At the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center this week: several screenings of the recent drama Chicken With Plums on Friday and Saturday; Spike and Mike’s Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation at midnight on Saturday; the classic Grand Illusion on Sunday; Claire Denis’ Beau Travail on Tuesday, with the filmmaker scheduled to attend the screening; and there will be a two-title festival of North African Film on Thursday: Neither Allah Nor Master (2011) and Bab’Abiz- The Prince Who Contemplated His Soul (2006).
The Cinematheque for All repertory series in West Lafayette continues with a showing of the 2010 Romanian drama Tuesday, After Christmas. Screenings are Wednesday nights on the Purdue campus; fall season lineup.
The documentary Vegucated is scheduled to be shown on Saturday morning at 10 AM at the Eastside 9 theater in Lafayette. The screening is part of a Meetup for the Indianapolis Vegetarian Meetup group, but seems to be open to the public as well.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
Several movies may or may not open at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis next Friday- the theater’s page on Landmark’s site has added, dropped, and re-added three titles within the space of the last several days, so things seem to be in a state of flux right now. I’ll update the situation in a comment when things seem more certain and settled.