Thinking Outside the Multiplex in Indiana (November 16, 2012)
by MIKE MACCOLLUM
Blame the new Twilight movie, blame Thanksgiving, blame the upcoming end of the world*- whatever the reason, just one new movie opens in limited release in Indiana theaters this week, as far as I know. Yes, besides that one movie there’s nuthin’ new this week, theatrically speaking. Pickings are likewise slim in other categories covered by this column- not that many limited release titles hold over in Indiana theaters this week, and there aren’t many non-theatrical screenings and events in the state either, compared to the average week. So see what you can this week, and hope for better in the future- if there is one….
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
Thuppaki– The IMDb and Wikipedia both say that this Tamil-language film from India- which will play Saturday through at least Tuesday at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis- is an action thriller about a young captain in the Indian army out to stop terrorists in Mumbai. It probably doesn’t have English subtitles, but I’m mentioning it here anyway because- as noted above- it is the only new limited theatrical release hereabouts this whole entire week… and I think that merits at least some consideration. The link in the title above goes to a page of sorts for the movie on the site of its production company; that page doesn’t have a lot of information, but at least there’s a trailer.
THEATRICAL HOLDOVERS (AND “RE-OPENINGS”)
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 Fort Wayne’s Cinema Center; the 2 PM Sunday screening will be followed by a “Movie Talk”.
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 holds over through at least next Tuesday at the 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 Friday at the Cinema Center in Fort Wayne.
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 some theaters) at Landmark’s Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis, the Carmike 20 in Fort Wayne, the Regal Village Park 17 in Carmel, the Showplace Cinemas East in Evansville, the Bedford 7, the Yes Cinema in Columbus, and five Indiana AMCs: the Bloomington 11, the Honey Creek 8 in Terre Haute, the South Bend 16, the Muncie 7, and the Schererville 12.
The Sessions– John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy star in this comedy/drama, which holds over this week at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indianapolis- and starts Friday at the AMC Showplace 17 in Indianapolis, the Metropolis 18 in Plainfield, the Jefferson Pointe 18 in Fort Wayne, the AMC Showplace Bloomington 12, the AMC Evansville 16, and the AMC Showplace Schererville 16. 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 holds over through at least next Tuesday at the Georgetown 14 in Indianapolis.
FESTIVALS, REPERTORY SCREENINGS, AND MORE
Indianapolis and Central Indiana
Movie musicals of decades past are the focus of two big events this week. First, the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra will perform the score to West Side Story while the film- “with the original vocals and dialog intact”, per an ad in this week’s NUVO- plays on a big screen. Performances take place at the Hilbert Circle Theatre in Indy on November 16 and 17 at 8 PM, and at The Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel on Sunday at 7:30 PM; tickets start at $37 and go up to $85, per the blurb in NUVO.
Meanwhile, the “Great American Songbook Movie Series” continues this week on a big screen on the stage of the aforementioned Palladium at the Center for the Performing Arts in Carmel. This series- which started on Thursday with White Christmas– is presented by Heartland Truly Moving Pictures and Michael Feinstein’s Great American Songbook Initiative. After the opening slate of films- which continues on Friday with The Sound of Music at 2 PM and An American in Paris at 7:30 PM, and on Saturday with The Wizard of Oz at 10:30 AM- one Friday screening per month is planned at the Palladium, according to NUVO. From the page for this series on the site for the Center for the Performing Arts: “In addition to movies, select screenings will include guest speakers, plus opportunities to explore music and memorabilia from the Initiative’s archives and upcoming gallery exhibits. The pre- and post-movie events will demonstrate the ties between classic movies and the American songbook.” The guest speaker this Friday will be Michael Feinstein himself, who will introduce the screening of An American in Paris and sign copies of his book The Gershwins and Me from 5:30 until 7. Tickets for the screenings are $7.50.
The Indianapolis Museum of Art’s series “New Cinema from the Middle East” continues on Saturday, November 17. The 2011 documentary Koran By Heart– which “follows three 10-year old contestants of the world’s oldest recitation competition”, per the IMA’s page for the film- will screen at 1 PM in the museum’s DeBoest Lecture Hall. Admission is $5 for the general public, or $3 for IMA members.
Franklin’s historic Artcraft Theatre will be the site for the Cans for Cartoons event, at 11 AM and 2 PM on Saturday. It’ll cost you one canned good or non-perishable item to get in- but in return, you get to see an hour’s worth of classic Warner Brothers/Looney Tunes cartoons on the Artcraft’s big screen.
Also on Saturday, the Georgetown Market in Indianapolis is the site for a screening of the 2009 documentary Simply Raw: Reversing Diabetes in 30 Days. Per its official site, the film “chronicles six Americans with diabetes who switch to a diet consisting entirely of vegan, organic, uncooked food in order to reverse disease without pharmaceutical medication”. The screening will be followed by a food preparation demonstration. The event gets underway at 12:30 PM, and admission is $10; more details are here.
The “Classic Holiday Movies” series at the Spades Park Library on Indy’s east side comes to a conclusion- or at least a temporary stop- with a showing of Miracle on 34th Street on Friday, November 16th, at 4:30. There’s no mention of an admission price on the library’s page for the event; I’m guessing that admission is free.
The 2012 Ann Katz Festival of Books and Arts– at the JCC in Indianapolis- also comes to a close this week. On Saturday evening at 7, three award-winning short films from this year’s Heartland Film Festival will be shown- and conversations with the filmmakers, by way of Skype, will follow the screenings. Tickets are $5, or $3 for JCC members.
This week’s tour of offerings in the lower third (or so) of Indiana begins not in Bloomington but in Evansville- just for a little variety. Switch– an “agenda-free energy documentary”, according to its own official site- will screen at 7 PM (Central Time) on Monday, November 19, at the University of Southern Indiana; more details are here.
Meanwhile, back in Bloomington, Photographic Memory, the new documentary from filmmaker Ross McElwee, arrives in that city this week courtesy of The Ryder; per its official site, the film is “a meditation on the passing of time, the praxis of photography and film, digital versus analog, and the fractured love of a father for his son.” Also, a new drama from France, 17 Girls– which “focuses on a group of bored teenage girls who all make an irrevocable pact” involving pregnancy, according to the film’s official US site- and 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 own official site- both get additional screenings this week; see The Ryder’s site for dates, times and locations for all three films.
Also in Bloomington, the IU Cinema’s Underground Film Series offers a shorts program- Jordan Belson: Films Sacred and Profane- on Friday, and Bob Fosse’s Cabaret on Saturday. Also, two titles from Brazilian filmmaker Walter Salles will be screened- Foreign Land on Friday, followed by Central Station on Saturday. After that, though, the IUC goes dark until Monday, November 26.
It’s a bare-bones week at the DeBartolo Performing Arts Center as well- at least when it comes to movies. The documentary Side by Side– in which filmmakers have a very lively, stimulating and educational debate about shooting on 35mm film versus digital moviemaking- screens on Friday at 7 PM; I saw this one at this year’s Indianapolis International Film Festival, and would highly recommend it. Also, the classic His Girl Friday screens on Tuesday at 8- and that’s the last movie at this venue until November 29.
Meanwhile, the Cinematheque for All repertory series in West Lafayette takes the week off for Thanksgiving.
NEXT WEEK AND BEYOND
Uhhhh- again, the cupboard is pretty bare for next Friday, as far as things now appear. It isn’t that surprising, considering that it’s the Friday after Thanksgiving- but I still wish we could get some new limited release movie next Friday, somewhere. Although I’ll bet we don’t. On the plus side, the very well done documentary Side by Side– see a few lines above for more- will be shown at 5 and 7 PM on Monday, November 26 at four Goodrich Theaters in Indiana, as part of their “Documentary Days” series. But apart from that, the outlook for new limited release movies on Indiana big screens next week is pretty bleak.
More relief- possibly- comes later on. Hitchcock, Anna Karenina, and- maybe- A Late Quartet start on November 30 at the Keystone Art Cinema in Indiananpolis, according to the theeater’s page on the Landmark site… although any and all of those start dates may change. (Meanwhile, This Must Be the Place– which I very much want to see in a theater- seems to have vanished from the theater’s page for now.) Also, theater listing pages on official US sites for both A Royal Affair and Smashed say they will open at the KAC on December 7. At the same time, the documentary Bill W. currently is scheduled for a one-time-only screening at the KAC on Tuesday, December 11- and a Cirque du Soleil related project, Worlds Away 3D, is supposed to open at Landmark’s Glendale location in late December.
Also, a new theater is supposed to open on the north side of Indianapolis sometime in the near future- the Cinegrille, a “dine-in movie theater” inside a large-scale, multi-purpose entertainment complex known as Latitude 39. There’s no word yet on the number of screens, or what they will show- but one hopes that they might show a little something different every now and then.
The really good news this week, however, is that Ron Keedy’s Chaos Cinemas project at the Georgetown 14 in Indy is still ongoing, in spite of what I feared a few weeks ago. There wasn’t a great deal of new information this week on either the G14’s Facebook page or Chaos Cinemas’ Facebook page– but the mere fact that upcoming shows are listed on at least one of these pages is a very good sign, and I look forward to much more in the future.
* Date and time to be determined; check local listings.