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Up to Date
10:42 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' December 19-21

Both of our critics recommend giving 'Wild' a try this weekend.

Looking for a break from the holiday craziness? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few suggestions for you:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Wild
  • Birdman
  • St. Vincent

Steve Walker:

  • Wild
  • The Theory of Everything 
  • The Babadook
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Arts & Culture
6:00 am
Fri December 19, 2014

Film Review: Reese Witherspoon Takes A Brutal Walk On The 'Wild' Side

Reese WItherspoon in 'Wild.'
Credit Fox Searchlight

Cheryl Strayed's best-selling memoir Wild: From Lost to Found on the Pacific Crest Trail suggested to more than a million readers that the way to tame inner demons is to redefine what it means to navigate a wild life. Jean-Marc Vallee, the director of last year's Oscar-winning Dallas Buyers Club, has adapted Strayed's book into a beautiful and gritty film with a transformative performance by Reese Witherspoon at its core.

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Up To Date
1:18 pm
Fri December 12, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' December 12-14

'Last Days in Vietnam' made our critics lists this week.
Credit American Experience Films/PBS

If the grey skies are getting you down, why not take a trip to the cinema to lift the gloom? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few recommendations for you:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Force Majeur
  • Birdman
  • Last Days in Vietnam

Steve Walker:

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Arts & Culture
7:52 am
Tue December 9, 2014

For Kansas City Art Institute Film And Animation Students, It's Showtime

A still from 'Dictum,' by Kansas City Art Institute filmmaking student Ayah Abdul-Rauf.
Credit Ayah Abdul-Rauf / Kansas City Art Institute

Film and animation students at the Kansas City Art Institute get some big-screen time – and a chance to see how their work goes over with a live audience – at their end-of-semester show on Wednesday at the Alamo Drafthouse Cinema in downtown Kansas City, Mo.

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Up to Date
2:55 pm
Fri December 5, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' December 5-7

'Force Majeure' made our critics' lists this week.

Still recovering from Thanksgiving? Try a good film for your relaxation this weekend. Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few recommendations for you:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Force Majeure
  • Nightcrawler
  • Whiplash

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
11:32 am
Fri November 21, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' November 21-23

'Force Majeure' is on critic Steve Walker's list this week.

With Thanksgiving approaching, lots of movies are opening. If you're looking for an alternative to the latest blockbuster,  check out these suggestions from Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Birdman
  • Skeleton Twins
  • Citizenfour

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
1:29 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

DVD Gurus: Film Noir

Actress Peggy Cummins joined Steve Kraske and the DVD Gurus in the studio.
Credit Beth Lipoff / KCUR

Beautiful women, crime and doomed lovers dominate the screen when it comes to film noir. At their height, these films featured star players, such as Humphrey Bogart, Burt Lancaster and Marilyn Monroe.

On Friday's Up to Date, our DVD Gurus highlighted their favorites of the genre. We also talked with a few special guests from the Noir City film festival.

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Up to Date
12:57 pm
Fri November 14, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' November 14-16

Bill Murray chills as a child mows his backyard dirt patch in 'St. Vincent.'

The weather's awfully cold, but movie theaters should be nice and toasty this weekend. Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics have a few suggestions for you once you get there:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Birdman
  • St. Vincent
  • Citizenfour

Steve Walker:

  • Citizenfour
  • Nightcrawler
  • Rosewater
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Up to Date
11:57 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' November 7-9

Our critics recommend the Edward Snowden documentary 'Citizenfour.'

Take the chill out of the autumn air with a good film this weekend and check out these recommendations from Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Skeleton Twins
  • St. Vincent
  • Birdman

Steve Walker:

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Arts & Culture
9:42 am
Fri November 7, 2014

Film Review: 'Dinosaur 13' Documentary Millions Of Years In The Making

Sue Hendrickson, namesake of the nearly complete T. rex skeleton discovered in South Dakota in 1990.
Credit Courtesy Dogwoof Pictures

Prior to 1990, scientists had unearthed only twelve Tyrannosaurus rex skeletons, none of them more than 40 percent complete. In August of that year, Sue – the titular T. rex in the riveting new documentary Dinosaur 13 – changed everything.

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Up to Date
12:22 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' October 31-November 2

Melissa McCarthy talks with Bill Murray in 'St. Vincent.'

Feeling festive with the Halloween weekend? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorite films showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines: 

  • Birdman
  • St. Vincent
  • Rudderless

Steve Walker: 

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Central Standard
2:56 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

A Conversation With 'Rudderless' Screenwriter Casey Twenter

In Rudderless, a grieving father played by Billy Crudup is confronted by his son's girlfriend, played by Selena Gomez.
Credit Samuel Goldwyn Films and Paramount Home Media Distribution

When Casey Twenter came up with the idea for the movie Rudderless, starring Billy Crudup and directed by William H. Macy, he was a Kansas City guy working at an advertising agency. This conversation shares Twenter's story and offers insight into his on-screen exploration of parenthood and loss, love and guilt.

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Up to Date
12:56 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' October 18-20

'The Green Prince' made both our critics' lists this week.

The World Series doesn't start until Tuesday, but area theaters have movies ready now. Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorite films showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • The Skeleton Twins
  • The Drop
  • The Green Prince

Steve Walker: 

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Arts & Culture
3:48 pm
Thu October 16, 2014

Now That Kansas City Has A Film Office, Maybe Directors Will Film Here

Reese Witherspoon plays a woman who helps four Sudanese refugees resettle in the United States. It was filmed in Atlanta, Georgia, and South Africa.
Credit Bob Mahoney / courtesy: Warner Brothers

Kansas City has been missing out on valuable economic development – and image enhancement – opportunities by not having a fully staffed film office, but that should change now that Stephane Scupham has joined the Visit KC tourism office as film and new media manager.

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Up to Date
1:12 pm
Fri October 10, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' October 10-12

'The Notebook' takes a look at the experience of two children during World War II.

Looking for films to see when you're not glued to the Royals games? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorite films showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

Cynthia Haines

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Central Standard
4:32 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

Searching For Complexity: Portrayals Of American Indians In Film

"Daughter of the Dawn" is the first film in a series of Friday night screenings at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art this fall.
Credit Courtesy: The Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art

"We're still here," says Gaylene Crouser of the Kansas City Indian Center. That's one of the many things she'd like people to understand about American Indians, a detail they might not pick up from mainstream movies. How have recurring characters on-screen shaped our perceptions of what it means to be indigenous in America? 

Guests:

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Up to Date
12:06 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' October 3-5

'The Drop' made two of out critics' lists this week.

Looking for a great way to get through a cold, rainy weekend? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorite films showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • The Skeleton Twins
  • The Drop
  • One Chance 

Steve Walker:

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Arts & Culture
2:58 pm
Wed October 1, 2014

Three ‘Gone Girl’ Places In Cape Girardeau, Missouri

This scene from 'Gone Girl' with (from left to right) Ben Affleck, Lisa Banes and David Clennon was filmed in the gazebo in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Credit 20th Century Fox

Gone Girl, a new film based on the best-selling thriller by Kansas City native Gillian Flynn, opens this Friday.

It's directed by David Fincher (The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, Fight Club, Seven), and Flynn wrote the screenplay. Cape Girardeau, Mo., on the banks of the Mississippi River, was a stand-in for the fictional North Carthage, Mo. 

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Up to Date
10:18 am
Fri September 26, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' September 26-28

'The Skeleton Twins' made both Steve Walker's and Cynthia Haines' lists this week.

Looking for a great film to see over the weekend? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • The Skeleton Twins
  • Trip to Italy
  • Calvary

Steve Walker:

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Up To Date
5:01 pm
Fri September 19, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' September 19-21

James Gandolfini (left) and Tom Hardy in "The Drop".
Credit Fox Searchlight Pictures

Looking for a great film to see over the weekend? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Alive Inside
  • A Most Wanted Man
  • The Trip to Italy

Steve Walker:

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Up To Date
5:04 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' September 12-14

Brendan Gleeson as Father James in "Calvary."
Credit Reprisal Films

Looking for a great film to see over the weekend? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Cynthia Haines:

  • The Trip to Italy
  • Boyhood
  • A Most Wanted Man

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
12:29 pm
Fri September 5, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' September 5-7

Rob Brydon and Steve Coogan star in 'The Trip to Italy'.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Sept.5-7? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

Cynthia Haines:

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Up to Date
11:29 am
Fri September 5, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, September 5

Our critics review 'What If?' and many other films on area screens.

Two people who just want to be friends might get more than they bargained for, a married couple go on a retreat to salvage their marriage and Errol Flynn's last days are recreated on film.

We look at those film plots and more on Friday's Up to Date with our indie, foreign and documentary film critics.

Here's a list of the films they discussed:

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Arts & Culture
2:48 pm
Fri August 29, 2014

Film Review: A Hotel Inspector Doesn't Exactly Enjoy Her 'Five Star Life'

Margherita Buy is a hotel inspector seemingly living 'A Five Star Life.'
Credit Courtesy Music Box Films

Everyone who’s ever stayed at a hotel turns into a hotel inspector as soon as the bellman closes the door. Does the bedspread look plush or threadbare? Is the bathroom gleaming or grungy? Will room service arrive promptly and hot or late and cold? In the new Italian film A Five Star Life, Margherita Buy wonders these and other things as a hotel inspector beginning to question the constriction and loneliness of a career that looks awfully glamorous from the outside.

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Up to Date
11:55 am
Fri August 29, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' August 29-September 1

'A Five Star Life' made both of our critics' lists this week.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Aug. 29-Sept.1? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

Cynthia Haines:

  • Alive Inside
  • A Five Star Life
  • A Most Wanted Man
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Literature
9:28 am
Mon August 25, 2014

Writer Lois Lowry On 'The Giver'

Author Lois Lowry. Her 1993 children's novel, The Giver, has been turned into a film.
Credit courtesy: NEH

Acclaimed Newbery Award-winning children's author Lois Lowry's book for young people, The Giver, is now a film. 

"The Giver was the first book that I wrote that veered out of the realistic, and tiptoed a bit into fantasy. Some people call it science fiction. I don't like to think of it that way," Lowry tells our New Letters on the Air host Angela Elam.

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Up to Date
12:29 pm
Fri August 22, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' August 22-24

'A Most Wanted Man' is on critic Cynthia Haines' list this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Aug. 22-24? Up to Date's independent, foreign, and documentary film critics share their favorites showing on area screens:

Steve Walker:

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Arts & Culture
9:30 am
Fri August 22, 2014

Film Review: Anna Kendrick's Flakiness Complicates Her Family's 'Happy Christmas'

Lena Dunham and Anna Kendrick attempt a babysitting job with Jude Swanberg in "Happy Christmas."
Credit Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures

The new dysfunctional family comedy Happy Christmas may have modest goals, but it makes an impact thanks to several lively and well-crafted performances. Chief among those is Anna Kendrick. The Oscar nominee from Up in the Air is delightfully scattered as Jenny, a young woman fresh off a break-up who retreats to her brother’s home in Chicago in hopes of reconnecting with old friends and sustaining a semi-permanent buzz.

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Arts & Culture
9:30 am
Fri August 15, 2014

Film Review: 'The Dog' Introduces Inspiration For Iconic Al Pacino Role

Al Pacino plays John in " Dog Day Afternoon."
Credit Courtesy: Drafthouse Films

Those whose movie addiction firmly took hold in the 1970s have a deep affinity for such films as Nashville, Taxi Driver, and Dog Day Afternoon, three perfect melds of storytelling and cinematic virtuosity. What many may forget about the latter film - directed by Sidney Lumet and with a volcanic Al Pacino at its core - is that it was based on a real bank robbery concocted by a real person, now the subject of The Dog.

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