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independent film

Fox Searchlight Films

With the seemingly endless stream of state and national news stories, you might be looking for a break from it all. Luckily, there are plenty of options awaiting you at the local theater. From Hungarian wedding plans gone very awry to estranged sisters looking to bridge old divides, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics have a few recommendations for your next trip to the cinema.

Steve Walker

"Finding Your Feet," PG-13

Roadside Attractions

With such a variety of themes and characters on display this month at area cinemas, there's no telling what you might see. From talking dogs to road-tripping senior citizens, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics caught us up on what's showing now, including "Finding Your Feet," "Beirut," "1945," "The Leisure Seeker," "Isle of Dogs," and "Leaning Into the Wind."

Fox Searchlight Films

It's a good time of year for lovers of independent movies. Local cinemas are offering a bevy of intriguing plots, including a much-anticipated release from the symmetrically-inclined mind of Wes Anderson that features dogs you can comprehend and humans you can't (unless you understand Japanese). If stop-motion's not the fare for you, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have plenty more to recommend.

Steve Walker

"Finding Your Feet," PG-13

Menemsha Films

This time of the month comes with so many opportunities for entertainment that it's hard to pick just one. There's First Fridays, the Kansas City Ballet's Celebration of Dance, a footrace from Kansas City to Lawrence, even mixed martial arts and tribute-band blowout.

Maj Lindström / Music Box Films

Early on in the documentary “Chavela,” a cabaret owner describes the voice of Chavela Vargas: “She wasn’t a little fountain. She was more like a tremendous canyon.… She sounded as if she’d been born with the wounds of life and death.”

Vargas was born in Costa Rica and moved to Mexico at 17 to pursue music. At first, she presented herself as a traditional, feminine cabaret and ranchera singer, but found the style unnatural and uncomfortable.

Thomas Reidelsheimer / Magnolia Pictures

With sunshine showing up Friday and possible snow appearing on Sunday, it feels like spring is teasing us. Throw in April Fool's Day at the end of the weekend and it may feel like everyone and everything is out to trick you. There is something you can trust, though, and that's Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics' weekend flick picks. 

Steve Walker

"Loveless," R

Oscillioscope

With March coming to a close, Up To Date's Film Critics returned to get us caught up on the flicks showing around town. But first, we met the writer and director of "Into the Night: Portraits of Life and Death," which chronicles how nine individuals, including a Prairie Village surgeon, reconcile themselves with their own mortality.

Sony Pictures Classics

If you're not one of the college basketball fans focused on NCAA tournament games this weekend, take to your local theater for moving pictures with equal drama but fewer sweaty athletes. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have plenty to recommend, including stories of a love lost too soon, potty-mouth party leaders and the most beautiful woman in the world.

Bob Butler

"A Fantastic Woman," R

Diaphana Films

Trying to avoid a certain green-saturated, Irish-themed event parading through midtown Kansas City this weekend? You're in luck! This weekend's movie recommendations from Up To Date's Film Critics will lead you to the dark haven of a local movie theater.

Cynthia Haines

"Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story," Not rated

Zeitgeist Films

As spring inches closer and the weather warms up, it's time to escape from under the blankets and venture into the world outside. After all, there are only so many films to stream for free from your couch. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics share their three must-see movies to get out and watch this weekend.

Steve Walker

"A Fantastic Woman," R

Bleeker Street Media

With the Oscars on Sunday, this weekend is your last chance to catch some of this year's nominees before winners are announced. If you've already seen them all and want something new to view, Up To Date's independent, foreign and documentary Film Critics have that covered, too, in this week's recommendations.

Steve Walker

"Nostalgia," R

Scott Stacy

It’s taken a long time for people to be able watch the documentary Kansas City filmmaker Kevin McKinney released in 2012. But he’s at peace with that.

After all, the problems he explored in "Corporate FM" – the corporatization and consolidation of local commercial radio – still exist. And he’s OK with the fact that audiences can watch it now because it’s streaming through Amazon Prime.

Melissa Hillier / Flickr - CC

The Oscars are just over a week away, and your attention span may be a little brief after all the hype. Fortunately, Up To Date's Film Critics have short films at the top of their lists of movies not to miss. Feel like staying in this weekend? TV Guide has put together a list of streaming options for this year's Academy Award nominees.

Cynthia Haines

2018 Oscar-nominated short films: Animated

Corlew
Luke X. Martin / KCUR 89.3

Segment 1: Political implications of felony indictments against Gov. Eric Greitens.

The big news in Missouri government yesterday was an indictment against Gov. Eric Greitens, who admitted to an extra-marital affair in 2015, but refutes accusations that he took compromising photos of his paramour without her consent. We got reaction from state lawmakers and political watchers about how the charges might affect the governor's ability to lead.

Sony Pictures Classics

This week, folks around the world have turned their attention toward Pyeongchang, South Korea, and the Olympic Winter Games, but you can only watch athletes slide themselves across frozen water for so long. If you need a break from breakneck turns, twists, and tricks over snow and ice, Up To Date's Film Critics have a handful of indie, foreign and documentary movie recommendations to freeze your go-for-gold fatigue.

Cynthia Haines

2018 Oscar-nominated short films: Animated

Off Road Films

Production companies and movie studios may have laid low during Super Bowl week, but the Eagles victory in Minneapolis means more folks will be watching movies again. Along with a suite of stories set overseas, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics suggest seeing some superb short films this weekend.

Focus Features

Nobody should experience the anxiety associated with broken relationships, secret romance, or a life thrown into turbulence, but it does make great film fodder. Cinemas this weekend are full of characters who must face down their fears or perish, and Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics think more than a couple are worth seeing. Given their recommendations, movie-goers who like watching others suffer should strongly consider a trip to the theater.

Cynthia Haines

Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

This year's Oscar nominees were announced on Tuesday and social media has been buzzing with opinions and predictions. To help you catch up on the contenders you might have missed, Up To Date's indie, foreign, and documentary Film Critics recommend a few movies to see this weekend.

Steve Walker

The Road Movie, Not rated

Courtesy Panic Film Fest

Horror, thriller and science fiction might get dismissed as genre movies (as if recognizable storytelling conventions undermine true quality), but thankfully that didn't deter audiences from making classics out of "Rosemary's Baby," "The Silence of the Lambs" and last year's "Get Out."

Sony Pictures Classics

Six weeks may seem like plenty of time, but the 90th Academy Awards will be here before you know it. Now's the time to start catching up on the films that could be up for contention (official nominations are announced on January 23).

NEON

Pre-Oscars movie-going crunch-time is upon us and what better way to get prepped for it, than a sit-down-and-chat with Up To Date's Film Critics? They'll review what's showing now on area screens, including Call Me By Your Name, Phantom Thread, Small Town Crime, Proud Mary, The Post, I, Tonya, and Darkest Hour.

Focus Films

The holidays are officially over and now, well, it's just a gray winter stretching ahead of us. Exhausted from the week back at the old grind? Tired of always being cold? Our Film Critics have some ideas for how you can relax — and stay warm — this weekend. 

Cynthia Haines 

Darkest Hour, PG-13

Cohen Media Group

It's the last weekend of the holiday season and maybe you're looking to do that anti-New Year thing — you know, just kick back and relax. Well, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have some avenues of escape you can travel for a few hours. 

Steve Walker

Faces Places, PG 

Justina Mintz / A24 Films

If you've ever even driven past a theater on Christmas weekend, you know it's a huge one for movie fans and studios. But if the road to a big-money blockbuster is a little too well-worn for you, these recommendations from Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics might be just the ticket. In the woods of silver-screen entertainment, these off-beat features are the path less traveled by, and it can make all the difference.

Cynthia Haines

Stigma Films Ltd.

Well, another year is drawing to a close, which means it's time to get the Up To Date Film Critics' picks for the best movies of the year. They also review what's currently showing on area screens, just in time for the holiday break. The titles include comedy, drama and a sci-fi romance: The Shape of Water,  Kaleidoscope, Wonder Wheel, Disaster Artist, Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri,​ and Lady Bird.  

Best Films of 2017:

Cynthia Haines:

Kerry Hayes / Twentieth Century Fox

People the world over will be rushing out to see Star Wars: The Last Jedi this week, but a select few will get to watch from space. NASA confirmed the movie will be screened for astronauts in-orbit on the International Space Station. If you can’t afford a ticket on a Soyuz rocket, hitch a ride on a SpaceX Dragon — or if endless strings of prequels just aren’t your cup of tea — Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have got you covered.

Steve Walker

Merrick Morton / Fox Searchlight Pictures

Kansas City has been blessed with an unseasonably warm fall this year, though you won't be able to tell by stepping outside during the first half of this weekend. While you wait for the return of 50-degree weather — and you won't have to wait long — take in a good indie, foreign or documentary movie. The latest recommendations from Up To Date's Film Critics may not make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside, but they will keep you warm and cozy while you avoid the outside.

Courtesy Lyn Elliot

Can you name one practical thing you learned from a former partner?

This question was the seed of "Lessons from Exes," a new short film featuring five vignettes by Kansas City filmmakers.

“I was making some popcorn in a pan on the stove,” Lyn Elliot remembers, “and the thought came into my mind that a particular ex-boyfriend had taught me how to do that.”

Gloria Baker Feinstein / Argot Pictures

It's December, which means the holiday season is well underway. We've passed the Thanksgiving turkey, racked up those Black Friday credit card charges and driven by the now-illuminated Country Club Plaza. It seems like there's no hiding from this jolly time of year. For those looking to hold off on watching It's a Wonderful Life and Elf for a few more weeks, Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics have a few recommendations.

Steve Walker

Sony Pictures Classics

After the turkey day hubbub settles down (but before heading back in to work on Monday), get back in the swing of things with a movie. Up To Date's indie, foreign and documentary Film Critics each have three suggestions for your weekend. They may not include dangerous car chases, big explosions or political intrigue but — hey! — didn't you get enough of that during Thanksgiving?

Cynthia Haines

Lady Bird, R

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