independent film | KCUR

independent film

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

Stray Cat Cinema

A decent-sized group of Kansas Citians will gather on Friday to watch a 1981 Western movie in 3D called “Comin’ at Ya!” The film will include scenes like one in which a boy pours grapes into a basket, but because the movie was shot in 3D, the grapes will appear to be falling toward these viewers.

According to Matthew Lloyd, the grapes have no plot significance. The character pouring the grapes is similarly inconsequential.

Eric Howarth

Jason Blackmore, front man for 1990s hardcore band Molly McGuire, is back in Kansas City this week. Instead of rocking out, though, he’ll be screening his documentary.

Never2Late Productions

“It’s so silly. Who’s not getting a day older?”

That’s more than a rhetorical question from Joicie Appell, the actress who plays an elderly Kansas woman in a new movie called “The Tree.”

“You have this chance in life to be uniquely you. Nobody else has that chance. Be as good as you can, make the best of it, do what’s right and you forget about aging,” Appell told Gina Kaufmann on KCUR’s Central Standard, in a conversation about “The Tree.”

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

Steve Watkins for U.S. Congress

Segment 1: This reliably Republican Congressional District could be a toss-up, come November.

A relatively unknown Republican candidate's victory in the primaries came as a surprise to many in Kansas' 2nd Congressional District, but it has given Democrats new hope that their nominee for the seat, Paul Davis, might have a chance to flip that political territory. We spoke with GOP insiders to gauge their support for and coalescence around newcomer Steve Watkins, and asked Statehouse reporters about the Democrat he's facing in the midterm.

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

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

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

Pablo Tupin-Noriega / Wikimedia Commons

Segment 1: Park University to introduce esports as varsity program.

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

Sundance Selects

It's a First Fridays weekend in Kansas City, which means there is no shortage of art-centric activities to fill up the next few days. But if the thought of people packed into a very hot and humid Crossroads Arts District makes you wince, we have another idea for how to get your fill of artsy content. The Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have selected the best in cinematic offerings playing on the city's art-house movie screens.

Kuno Lechner / Wikimedia Commons

With summer temperatures nearing the triple digits, this weekend's activites may be best suited to the indoor variety. Avoid the heat by swinging by the concession stand for an Icee and then grabbing a seat at one of the local arthouse cinemas. But what to see? Luckily, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have a few suggestions for you.

Steve Walker

"Won't You Be My Neighbor?," PG-13

Luke Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Former Kansas state senator Jim Barnett is throwing his hat back in the political arena.

In 2006, Jim Barnett wanted to be governor of Kansas, but lost the job to Kathleen Sebelius. Now, he's campaigning again for the highest office in the state, this time with a new running mate. Today, we learned how he feels about school finacing, medical marijuana legalization and found out why he picked his wife to be his running mate.

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

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.

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

Two women stand in a hallway. One woman touches the face of the other woman.
Bleecker Street

It's Memorial Day weekend and, while many will venture out to a lake for celebrations, there are some who don't want to risk returning to work with a scathing sunburn. For those folks in the latter group, what better way to spend the long weekend than taking a well-deserved break at the local theaters? But what to see? The latest set of recommendations from Up to Date’s indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics are always a good place to start.

Cynthia Haines

"Let the Sunshine In," not rated

Ruth Bader Ginsburg works at a cluttered desk.
Magnolia Pictures

Social media is abuzz with news of this weekend's royal wedding between Prince Harry and Meghan Markle. If, like a lot of us, you're sick of hearing minute details about floral arrangements and napkin rings, you may be looking for a distraction. Lucky for you, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics have just the solution: Go see a movie. Here are their top picks, available at local theaters this weekend.

Bob Butler

​"Let the Sunshine In," not rated

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