© 2024 Kansas City Public Radio
NPR in Kansas City
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
0:00 0:00
Available On Air Stations
Up To Date

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, November 6

'The Assassin' is playing at the Tivoli.

Spin some satire about the class system  in Brazil or get a look behind the scenes of Dan Rather's downfall. Now that the baseball season is over, and you need something else to do, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a wide variety of films to fill your fall weekend.

The House on Pine Street, not rated, Glenwood Arts (Kansas International Film Festival)

  • Cynthia Haines: I was really impressed at the natural way in which (Cathy Barnett’s) character came across. In many low budget films, that is the biggest shortcoming-- not getting good actors.

The Assassin, not rated, (in Mandarin), Tivoli  

  • Cynthia: This is one of the most visually stunning films I’ve ever seen. It is a dreamlike experience.
  • Steve Walker: Scenes do run on a bit. It was beautiful to look at.
  • Bob Butler: You’ve got to put your need for a narrative on hold, because you don’t know what’s going on in this film. This wants to be an intellectual martial arts film.

Nasty Baby, R, Tivoli 

  • Cynthia: I think a lot of this is improvised. You really get that sense.
  • Steve: What made it work for me was how natural Kristen Wiig and Sebastian Silva are together as these best friends. You believe every word that comes out of their mouths.
  • Bob: I'm finding there is no typical Kristen Wiig... she juggles big mass audience comedy with these little things that allow her to push herself. 

A Ballerina’s Tale, not rated, Tivoli 

  • Cynthia: The focus is on... the pain and suffering dancers and world class ballerinas go through the reach the pinnacle. One thing that comes through is the importance of a mentor.
  • Steve: What the film doesn’t do, and I think this is the fault of the director… when she was younger, her mother and her teacher had a nasty custody battle, and it’s not mentioned at all in this film.
  • Bob: This really isn’t a biographical documentary. It’s also a tribute to African-American ballerinas who came before her. This is kind of a kitchen sink documentary.

The Second Mother, R, (in Portuguese),  Tivoli

  • Cynthia: Loved it. It’s subversive; it’s satirical.
  • Steve: It's about class differences. It's about generation differences.
  • Bob: In a very subtle way, this is a hugely satirical movie... It’s incisive in the way it picks apart the ruling class.

Truth, R, Rio Theatre, Regal Stadium 18, Liberty Hall, AMC: Barrywoods, Independence, Town Center, Studio 28 

  • Cynthia: Cate Blanchett is wonderful in this movie. Robert Redford is just an absolute dud when it comes to playing Dan Rather. The film gets bogged down in this minutiae about fonts.
  • Steve: It's minutiae that made me love this movie. I think it was fascinating. He didn’t try to impersonate Rather… but he gets his essence.
When I host Up To Date each morning at 9, my aim is to engage the community in conversations about the Kansas City area’s challenges, hopes and opportunities. I try to ask the questions that listeners want answered about the day’s most pressing issues and provide a place for residents to engage directly with newsmakers. Reach me at steve@kcur.org or on Twitter @stevekraske.