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An artist in a bright red wig and pink and black polka dotted blouse draws in her studio.
Magnolia Pictures

This rainy weekend will have some folks dreaming to be somewhere else in the world — exploring Japan with a famous artist, wandering the halls of a British High Court, maybe even participating in a Mexican museum heist. Through cinema, you can do all three. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics feature several stories that will take you around the globe. Enjoy!

Steve Walker

"Museo," not rated

Segment 1: It's never too late to travel back home, even when you're 90 years old.

We visit with a Kansas City filmmaker and actress about a locally-made movie exploring themes of aging, memories and wanderlust.

Sundance Selects

It’s always a good day when Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are in the house to run down the best movies showing in town! Today, they shared their thoughts and reviews of "The Children Act," "Blaze," "Fahrenheit 11/9," "Love, Gilda," "Lizzie," "The Wife," "Pick of the Litter," "The Bookshop," and "Operation Finale."

A judge sits at her desk hearing a trial.
A24

We make hundreds of choices a day — what shirt to wear, or when to eat dinner — but sometimes those choices are a little more difficult. This week's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics feature decisions about love and murder, starting over after a spouse's death, and life verses religion. 

Cynthia Haines

"The Children Act," R

Black and white photo of Gilda Radner writing in a notebook.
Magnolia Pictures

One woman forges a path for female comics, a widow starts anew by opening her own business and one daughter goes to trial for killing her family. No matter the situation, strong women have found their place on screen this weekend recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics. Celebrate the weekend by being cinematically reminded of all that women can accomplish.

Steve Walker

"Love, Gilda," not rated

Sundance Selects

Whether it's training guide dogs, opening a bookshop or hunting down Nazis, everybody loves a good success story. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics offer a list of must-see films for this weekend. Take a trip to your local cinema and be inspired by these tales of determination, risk-taking and a little bit of luck. 

Steve Walker

"The Wife," R

A crowd of protestors in Montana holding signs saying "Money + Politics + Corruption" and "Democracy Is Not For Sale."
www.darkmoney.com

Before these rainy days end, use them as the perfect excuse to get out of the weather and into an area movie theater. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics make it easy with this week's recommendations.

Steve Walker

"Dark Money," Not Rated

Berlin Film Festival

Whether they're embarking on a new business venture, breaking out of languishing personal relationships, or just attempting to survive junior high school, this weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are full of women making their own paths. Thier stories aren't just compelling fodder for the silver screen, they also provide inspiration for hopeful trailblazers of all genders.

Steve Walker

"Juliet, Naked," R

Linda Kallerus / Sony Pictures Classics

Some folks go to the movies to see speeding cars and exploding buildings. Others expect wit, whimsy and a barrel of laughs. For those needing to shed a few tears, this week's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are sure to do the trick. From a taken-for-granted homemaker to a tween on the cusp of high school, emotions run high throughout the latest batch of theatrical releases.

Cynthia Haines

"Nico, 1988," R

As the filmmaker's latest collaboration with Spike Lee becomes the must-see movie of the moment, we talk to Kevin Willmott about BlacKkKlansman, race in America, the purpose of satire, and his own life story, which begins in Junction City, Kansas. This hour-long interview is part of our Portrait Session series.

  • Kevin Willmott, filmmaker and KU professor of film and media studies

Bleeker Street

The history of literature and film is strewn with stories of protagonists who don't fit in. This weekend's set of recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics suggests outcasts are still in vogue. Whether their alienation is rooted in psychology, sexuality or something else, these movies all feature characters who struggle — with varying degrees of success — to find value in their individuality.

Steve Walker

"McQueen," R

Laura Ziegler / KCUR 89.3

The Royal Theater, once called The Fox Theater, opened in Atchison, Kansas, in 1912 as a vaudeville theater. It later showed films on the silent screen, complete with an in house piano player. They added talkies when they came along in the 1920s.

Erin Johnson

The Berlin Wall was six years from falling when “The Day After” premiered on television in 1983. The film, shot in Lawrence, follows three Kansans as they fight to survive the immediate aftermath of a nuclear attack by the Soviet Union. 

Erin Johnson, a sound and video artist and a visiting assistant professor of art at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, Maine, revisited the film and its legacy for her video installation, “The Way Things Can Happen,” at the Lawrence Arts Center.

Focus Features

Director Spike Lee’s "BlacKkKlansman," which won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival in May, is finally opening in theaters nationwide. 

Lee's co-writer is University of Kansas film professor Kevin Willmott, who spoke with KCUR's Central Standard host Gina Kaufmann about the movie, which is based on a true story.

Josh Ethan Johnson / A24

With the Kansas City Royals languishing and the Chiefs off to a disappointing preseason start, sports fans looking for respite (and not willing make the drive to see Sporting KC contend for the Western Conference) might consider a trip to their favorite cinema. Up To Date's Film Critics have offered up a selection of movies for your weekend consideration. What they lack in home runs and touchdowns, they more than make up for in heart.

Cynthia Haines

"The Cakemaker," not rated

Fred Rogers wearing his trademark sweater sitting next to a toy trolley car on the set of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood.
Focus Features / Comcast

The summer is winding down and throughout the season we've kept you abreast of the best in art house circuit movies. Before school is back in session, our film critics offer their picks of the best flicks of the week. 

Steve Walker

"Leave No Trace" PG

  • "Winter's Bone" director Debra Granik steers this taut drama about an Iraqi war vet, played by Ben Foster, and his teenage daughter living off the land in an Oregon park until the authorities try to quash their lifestyle choices.

"Generation Wealth" R

Rural Movie Theaters

Jul 31, 2018

Movie theaters are more than a place to watch the latest blockbuster. They're a place of first dates. A place to get out of the rain. A place where communities can share an experience. But what happens to a small town if they lose that theater? On this episode, we explore what's causing rural movie theaters to close and learn about the efforts to keep them alive. 

Scott Patrick Green / Amazon Content Services LLC

The August primaries are quickly approaching. Soon heads will be spinning in a last-minute frenzy of deciding which candidates deserve a vote. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have recommendations for the best movies of the weekend. Better take one in before your mind grows overcrowded with election thoughts!

Steve Walker

"Hot Summer Nights," R

The King / Oscilloscope

According to the "Farmer's Almanac," we're in the throes of the so-called "dog days of summer." Basically, summer is here and it's hot. But how to stay cool? If you're tired of finding relief at an overcrowded pool, we suggest the coolness of your local movie theater. Luckily, the Up To Date Film Critics are here to help you out with their suggesions for the latest and greatest in indie, foreign and documentary films showing this weekend. 

Steve Walker

"The King," R

Scott Green / Sundance Institute Pro

In the middle of another blockbuster summer you may find yourself feeling entertainment fatigue. Up To Date's Film Critics, though, have a remedy for the mainstream movie circuit. They've got recommendations for the best indie, foreign and documentary flicks with a cerebral punch that you can catch this weekend in your local cinema. 

Steve Walker

"Leave No Trace," PG

Segment 1: A look back at Kansas City soul music.

Johnny Starke goes hunting for old 45s — recordings of soul music made in Kansas City. He's the subject of a new film that followed him on his quest to find the perfect record. We also hear about KC soul music and why it's almost a "secret history" to some.

Bill Ingalls / Wikimedia Commons

Janelle Monáe will headline “The Weekend” performance in Swope Park on Oct. 13, according to an announcement today by Kansas City Mayor Sly James.

“The Weekend” is part of Open Spaces KC, a two month effort to attract visitors to Kansas City and host art events.

Monáe released her latest album, Dirty Computer, in April along with an accompanying short film. She’s created two other albums. Her hit songs include Yoga, Make Me Feel and Q.U.E.E.N. The Kansas City, Kansas native also starred in Moonlight and Hidden Figures.

The Orchard

Animated superhero sequel "Incredibles 2" has stormed box offices, raking in the highest-grossing opening weekend of all time for an animated film. But if you're not in the mood for a theater packed with kids (and young adults trying to reconnect to their childhood), Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics assure us there are still plenty of things to see on area screens this weekend.

Steve Walker

"American Animals," R

LaBudde Special Collections, Miller Nichols Library

Who in Kansas City remembers AIDS activists smashing vials of HIV-positive blood in City Hall, and abortion opponents trying to display fetuses in coffins at Planned Parenthood protests?

It was 25 years ago, so you’d have to be a certain age to remember. And you’d need to have been paying attention to the news.

A blonde woman is pictured against a neutral wall. The image shows her from the shoulders up.
Rockhaven Films

Father's Day is on Sunday. What are you and dear ol' dad getting up to this weekend? If you don't feel like rushing out to a department store to get him yet another tie (we're pretty sure he already has too many), an afternoon at the movies could be just the thing — tickets and popcorn on you, of course! He should probably get to pick the flick, too, but there's no shame in nudging him toward a movie that's bound to be good, at least according to Up To Date's Film Critics. 

Steve Walker

Robert Viglasky / Bleeker Street

There's always something fun to do over the weekend in Kansas City, and this one is no exception — especially if you love ethnic food, beer or sweet air guitar riffs.

courtesy: Susan Emshwiller

Is Robert Altman’s 1996 film “Kansas City” responsible for the preservation of the 18th & Vine jazz district?

Jazz historian and KCUR Fish Fry host Chuck Haddix says the answer is yes.

Segment 1: A talk with Kevin Willmott about his new film.

"BlacKkKlansman" just won the Grand Prix at the Cannes Film Festival. It's based on the true story of a black cop who infiltrated the KKK in the 1970s. We catch up with the KU professor who collaborated on the film with Spike Lee.

Segment 2, beginning at 17:09: Looking back at the filming of "Kansas City."

Wikimedia Commons

Hulu is casting the pilot for a TV show called "Kansas City," which will be filmed in Atlanta, Georgia. 

The concept for the show is dystopian. According to KMBC, it will be set in Kansas City, in a future in which the city is deeply divided between liberals and conservatives with a wall between the two sides.

Sony Pictures Classics

In a summer movie scene of genetically engineered dinosaurs and ultra-violent comic book blockbusters, it’s easy to lose sight of some of the subtler films coming to the silver screen. Fortunately, Up To Date's indie, documentary, and foreign Film Critics have picked out some of the lesser known gems worth seeing this weekend.

Steve Walker

“The Rider,” R

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