film

A24 Films

Thanksgiving is a time for family, but sometimes a break from all that togetherness can be a good thing. This weekend's recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics will give you a great excuse to get away for a few hours, and an "R" rating means the wee ones won't be able to go. (Darn!) From wistful to just plain weird, these off-beat movies are a great way to squeeze in a little personal time before the holiday season.

Steve Walker

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Author Whitney Terrell told the story of a female soldier in his novel, The Good Lieutenant. His consultant for that book, Angela Fitle, lived it in the Army during Operation Iraqi Freedom II. They share their thoughts on the female experience of war. Then children's author Brian Selznick reveals what it was like to condense his novel Wonderstruck​ into the screenplay for the just-released film version.

A24 Films

It's starting to feel a lot like ... winter. With lower evening temps driving you inside, you might as well cozy up in a local theater with a good film, right? No worries! Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are here to help you pick the best flicks to keep you company while you stay warm this weekend. 

Cynthia Haines

Jane, PG

National Geographic Studios

The world is a complicated place full of important decisions and things beyond our control. Which way to vote on the KCI single-terminal ballot question? Will Amazon HQ2 come to the metro or not? Will they ever open all the lanes on I-435?

Shamley Productions

The Kansas International Film Festival begins this weekend.  Today, Up To Date's Film Critics talk with the filmmaker behind one festival entry, The Weight of Honor, that looks at the impact on families when wives and mothers of soldiers become caretakers for their catastrophically injured husbands and sons.  Then the critics review the best (and worst) indie, foreign and documentary movies now showing on area screens, including Jane, The Killing of a Sacred Deer, Blade of the Immortal

Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

After losing her son to murder in 2011, Rosilyn Temple turned her grief into action. She formed Mothers in Charge, whose members respond to every homicide call in Kansas City, Missouri. Her story is now the subject of a new documentary, and Temple and director Jon Brick explain how the film came about. Then, Overland Park is having its first competitive mayoral race in two cycles.

Courtesy Kansas International Film Festival

Kansas Citians who know Bev Chapman from her days as a reporter at KMBC TV are likely to be impressed with her 14-minute documentary film "Soaring Back: Message to the Future." With spectacular footage, it chronicles Kansans’ successful efforts to revitalize the area’s population of bald eagles.

Amazon Studios and Participant Media

Galloping gargoyles, wicked witches and frightful fiends! If the haunts and terrors of an approaching All Hallow's Eve have you hiding under the sheets, be brave! Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics are here to treat you with a trick to ward off menacing ghouls and goblins. Let their recommendations help you plan your escape to an area theater featuring the best films now showing.

Steve Walker

Human Flow, PG-13

The Westport Post Office recently moved to shut down the DIY herb garden in its front lawn. The gardener, and neighbor of the post office, shares her story.

Plus, a rebroadcast of our conversation with queer artist Carrie Hawks, whose film black enuf* encapsulates a childhood search for black identity. The Kansas City native returns to their hometown for a showing this Friday at the Kemper.

Guests: 

Good Deed Entertainment

With Royals' season at a disappointing end, and the Chiefs having gotten their game out of the way on Thursday, sports fans might be looking for other things to do. This weekend's a perfect chance to check out recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics. They won't get our boys in blue into the playoffs or make up for two painful losses on the gridiron, but they might help you forget.

Cynthia Haines

78/52, Not rated

At a time where groups are banding together to start new high schools in Kansas City, what do we expect from a high school education?

Plus: a look at KC's own psychotronic film festival.

Guests:

Focus Features

If Friday the 13th has you feeling down on your luck, Up To Date's  indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are here to set you back on the path to good fortune. From a royally heartwarming tale of unlikely friendship to an in-depth documentary about one of the largest public libraries in the United States, checking out any of these recommendations are sure to undo bad mojo accumulated from walking under ladders, breaking mirrors, or even opening your umbrella indoors.

Steve Walker

Courtesy Brad Norman

Lawrence once had a legendary punk club where bands like Nirvana, Sonic Youth and Fugazi played. But it was no CBGB or Whiskey a Go Go. It was east of downtown, tucked between a pumpkin patch and seemingly endless fields of crops, in a windowless, low-slung concrete building that sat back a bit from the road.

Fernando Leon/NBC

Commercials, TV shows and movies can provide an economic boost — if they're shot in your city or state. 

In the fall of 2013, when Gone Girl filmed in Cape Girardeau, Missouri, it contributed nearly $8 million to the state's economy, according to the Motion Picture Association of America. The production marked the last for Missouri's film production tax credit, which expired in November 2013.

Music Box Films

KCUR prides itself on the breadth of our coverage, but Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics are really pushing the envelope with this weekend's recommendations. From the slow creep of Nazism in the 1930s to the partition of India to a shoemaker whose name is regularly dropped by fashion editors, movies stars, and rappers alike, this batch of movies is all over the map. We'll leave it up to you to find a through line.

Cynthia Haines

13 Minutes, R

CFI

If you’re planning a movie night but find yourself underwhelmed by plastic blocks or cannibal clowns, take heart! There are other cinematic options this fall: A man flees Leningrad and the Soviet secret police, a doctor wrestles with guilt and mystery, and more.

Sundance Selects

From Puerto Rican devastation and despair to the political caterwauls playing out on football fields, there are plenty of reasons people may want to tune out for a few days. For those looking to pause and pardon themselves from current events, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics present the following movie recommendations, which will provide some respite and, hopefully, perspective.

Steve Walker

The Unknown Girl, Not rated

Morgan Dameron / Different Flowers

What does it mean for a film to be “a love letter to the Heartland”?  

That's how "Different Flowers" is being pitched. Director Morgan Dameron grew up spending summers at her grandparents’ farm in Moberly, Missouri, and last summer the Kansas City native spent 18 days shooting her first feature film here.  

IFC Films

It's going to be another long, hot weekend in Kansas City. If you need an excuse not to mow the lawn or trim the hedges, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have you covered. Their weekend movie recommendations are a perfect way to keep cool, even if you won't be as productive as you might have liked.

Cynthia Haines

Letters From Baghdad, Not rated

Courtesy Kansas City 48-Hour Film Project

You’re making a film and there are some constraints. You have to include a hat as a prop (not a baseball cap!). You have to have a character named Alex (or Alexis) Brownstone who must be a restaurant server. Your script has to include the line “she should be here any minute.” Your film must be between 4 and 7 minutes long.

The final catch: You don’t get to choose the genre.

Could you do it?

Could you do it in 48 hours?

Anguille Productions

Eyeballs across Kansas City will be glued to the TV this Sunday for the Chief's home opener, but if you need something to help you forget about the anxious wait  — or maybe you're not a sports fan and in need of weekend plans — Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have you covered. Their weekend movie recommendations are a perfect way to make the time fly by.

Cynthia Haines

Viceroy's House, Not rated

A24 Films

Everyone needs a break now and then from the quotidian, which is why this week's recommendations from Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary film critics are chock-full of characters attempting extraordinary things. Whether or not you follow in their footsteps is up to you, but their stories are sure to stretch your perspective and shift your paradigm.

Cynthia Haines

Harold and Lillian: A Hollywood Love Story, Not rated

Fox Searchlight Pictures

Labor Day weekend is upon us! If you're still searching for something to do during your extended weekend, why not try an off-beat movie or two? Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics have a list of recommendations sure to keep you entertained and relaxed. After all, that's what the holiday is all about, right?

Steve Walker

Patti Cake$, R

Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, Inc.

Lynn Novick has been making documentaries for more than two decades, most of them in collaboration with Ken Burns. Their latest project, The Vietnam War, is the subject of her conversation today with host Steve Kraske.

Neon

August is almost over and, as students across metro Kansas City head back to school, free time has become a luxury once again. If you're searching for an escape that's truly worth a trip to the theater, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary film critics' latest set of movie recommendations is a sure bet. You'll be glad you did.

Steve Walker

The Unknown Girl, Not Rated

Music Box Films

If preparations for Monday's total solar eclipse kept you from planning for the perfect weekend, don't fret! Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have you covered. While the movies they recommend might not be as dramatic as watching the moon blot out the sun for minutes at a time, they're still worth watching.

Steve Walker

On the 10th anniversary of his eponymous restaurant, chef Michael Smith talks about embarking on a new concept: making his version of Tuscan cuisine. Then, a local filmmaker on his new documentary about the growing conflict between coffee plantation workers and elephants.

Guests:

Paramount Pictures

If the "fire and fury" of this week's political tension has you seeking relief, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have suggestions for the perfect movie to keep your mind off earthly crises. Well, except for the first item on the list which, coincidentally, is about Earth's environmental problems (it's still worth watching though!)

Steve Walker

An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power, PG

Courtesy CLIC Abroad Foundation

Fewer than 750,000 elephants are left in the world, according to conservationists’ estimates. And the average American drinks more than 1,100 cups of coffee very year, according to a Harvard School of Public Health study.

These statistics might seem unrelated, but D.K. Bhaskar, a Lenexa photographer, author and now filmmaker, shows they are crucially connected.

Roadside Attractions

Some people believe they were born in the wrong era. If you just can't seem to find your place in the age of Big Data, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a set of recommendations to take you back to your spiritual time span. Whether you're pining for the Victorian 1850s or the bullish 1990s, take a break this weekend from push notifications and iPads, and enjoy the simplicity of bygone days.

Steve Walker

Landline, R

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