Film

If your weekend isn't consumed with conversation of the gridiron, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have some suggestions to make your weekend entertainment a touchdown.

Cynthia Haines

45 Years, R

  • Approaching their 45th anniversary, a couple confronts a secret from their past.

The Animated and Live Action Short Films nominated for Oscars

Spotlight, R

We're walking on sunshine with a warmer weekend ahead, but if you're not feeling outdoorsy, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a few ideas to light your fire.

Cynthia Haines

The Animated, Live Action and Documentary Short Films nominated for Oscars

Theeb, not rated

  • During World War I, a Bedouin boy guides a British officer on a perilous journey across the desert

Spotlight, R

Meet Sonia Warshawski, a local Holocaust survivor and tailor. Her family tells her story in a documentary-in-progress called Big Sonia. Selected scenes will be screened at the Jewish Film Festival this Sunday.

Guest:

  • Sonia Warshawski

Brrr, it's cold outside. Let's warm up with a box of popcorn and a great film. Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have some suggestions that will fire up your imagination.

Cynthia Haines

Theeb, not rated

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

Spotlight, R

Energized by the Oscar nominations this week? Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have some suggestions to shape your weekend cinematic experience.

Cynthia Haines

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

Room, R

  • A young woman and her son are imprisoned in a shed. 

Spotlight, R

Need to relax after the shock of being back at work after the holidays? Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have just the thing this weekend.

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

  • Reporters working for the Boston Globe uncover evidence of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. 

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

The Danish Girl, R

Steve Kraske talks with University of Kansas film professor John Tibbetts about his new book, Those Who Made It: Speaking with the Legends of Hollywood. A collection of interviews with Hollywood stars and directors spanning more than three decades, the book includes conversations with Spielberg, Altman, Roger Ebert, Michael Moore, and John Houseman.

The holiday weekend means plenty of time to catch a film . . . or two! If you're undecided which to see, here's some suggestions from one of Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics.

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

  • Reporters working for the Boston Globe uncover evidence of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

Carol, R

When Anthony Ladesich found his father's youthful correspondence with an old Navy friend on a stack of reel-to-reel tapes, he also found so much more: a portal into Kansas City's jazz history, material for his films, and a way of keeping his dad with him a little longer.

This is an encore edition of Central Standard.

Guest:

  • Anthony Ladesich, filmmaker, Be It Ever So Humble, There Is No Place and Studio A

Whether you're anticipating the arrival of St. Nick or just enjoying a few days off from work, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a few ideas about how to spend your vacation. 

Cynthia Haines

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

Spotlight, R

Courtesy Photo / Bruce Branit

Kansas City visual effects artist Bruce Branit and his former partner, Jeremy Hunt, are getting credit for making the first viral online video.

This according to no less a pop culture authority than Bravo TV, which is scheduled to air a segment about Branit and Hunt's video Wednesday on "Then and Now with Andy Cohen."

In 2000, Branit and Hunt made a three-minute video in which a computer-generated DC 10 lands on a California freeway. They posted it on what was a still-novel Internet:

Independent Lens

Last-minute preparations for the holidays can be exhausting. Take a break this weekend and go see an indie or documentary film. Up To Date's  film critics share their recommendations:

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

  • Reporters working for the Boston Globe uncover evidence of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Brooklyn, PG-13

  • An young Irish immigrant is torn between her new home in Brooklyn and her life back in Ireland.

Room, R

University of Kansas film professor Kevin Willmott's latest movie, CHI-RAQ has opened to lots of buzz. Steve Kraske and the film critics talk to the screenwriter about what he and co-writer Spike Lee were trying to say in this film. 

spotlightthefilm.com

It's the most wonderful time of the year — for movie lovers, that is. Awards season is around the corner and many of the year's most-anticipated titles are arriving at area cinemas. You can enjoy the season too, by hitting the movie theaters this weekend. Here are Up To Date's film critics' suggestions from the crop of indie, foreign and documentary films playing now.

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

It's that holding period between the blockbuster releases for Thanksgiving and Christmas, so why not take the opportunity to see an indie film? Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics are in complete agreement for their suggestions this week.

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

  • Reporters working for the Boston Globe uncover evidence of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Brooklyn, PG-13

Da Chi Pictures, LLC

The new movie Chi-Raq, about gang violence in Chicago, opens Friday. It caused controversy long before it opened: Some Chicagoans don’t like their city being compared to Iraq, while other critics have said the premise is sexist. It’s making national headlines as Spike Lee’s new movie, but that’s only partly true.

Sex trafficking occurs in all fifty of the United States and too often the victims are our children. Steve Kraske examines sex trafficking with a Kansas City FBI agent and the filmmaker of a documentary that looks at the effects on the victims, their families and law enforcement.

Guests:

Stuffed with turkey and exhausted from shopping? Chill out the rest of your holiday weekend with these suggestions from Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics:

Cynthia Haines

Brooklyn, PG-13

Room, R

  • A young woman and her son are imprisoned in a shed. 

Spotlight, R

  • Reporters working for the Boston Globe uncover evidence of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Steve Walker

The cars, the exotic locations, the action scenes, the gadgets, the women … even the most casual moviegoer is familiar with the world of James Bond. But what is Bond's place in the world today? We review Spectre, the latest in the franchise, with a movie critic, a tech inventor and a travel enthusiast.

Guests:

Uncover a dark secret with a group of journalists or have a laugh about blind dates. This week, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have myriad choices for your pre-Thanksgiving viewing.

Cynthia Haines

Spotlight, R

  • Reporters working for the Boston Globe uncover evidence of the Catholic Church sex abuse scandal.

Labyrinth of Lies, R (German)

  • During the 1950s, a young German prosecutor pursues Nazis.

Room, R

Lead the charge for women's right to vote or head up a different fight in 1950s Germany. This week, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a selection of fiery movies to keep you warm as that November chill sets in.

Cynthia Haines

Labyrinth of Lies, R (German) 

  • During the 1950s, a German prosecutor pursues Nazi war criminals.

99 Homes, R

Courtesy Photo / Julia Barnett

Julia Barnett spent her childhood backstage at the theatre while her mother, Cathy, took center stage. She didn’t have any intention to carry on in the family business.

“I actually started college as a global studies and world religions major,” Julia says.

Despite her plans, show business eventually found its way back to her — though she is still most comfortable behind the scenes.

“It’s absolutely in my blood," Julia says.

In addition to her actress mother, Julia’s father, Dan Barnett, is a writer.

Whether you want to tackle life in China after the Cultural Revolution or sit back and take in a dark comedy about two friends going through a tough time, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have choices for you this weekend.

Cynthia Haines

The Second Mother, R (Portuguese with English subtitles)

  • Brazilian housekeeper's daughter moves in and causes havoc.

The Assassin, not rated (Mandarin)

Mike Edmund / Courtesy Andrew Jenks Entertainment

Ryan Ferguson was nineteen years old on March 10, 2004, when he found himself in the back of a police car headed to the station in Columbia, Missouri.

On the basis of flimsy eyewitness reports and faulty if not fabricated evidence, he would be convicted and sentenced to 40 years in prison for the murder two years earlier of Columbia Daily Tribune staffer Kent Heitholt.

Courtesy Anthony Ladesich

Anthony Ladesich never got to buy his father a drink.

Ladesich was just 19 when his father, Vincent Floyd Ladesich, died after a brief illness in 1992. Afterwards Ladesich vaguely remembered how, when he was about 12, his father had called him to the basement one day, excited to play him some tape recordings of his friend from World War II.

Ladesich, a self-described punk, was more interested in riding his skateboard than listening to his dad's old tapes. But after his father died, Ladesich dug through old boxes and found the reel-to-reels.

When Anthony Ladesich found his father's youthful correspondence with an old Navy friend on a stack of reel-to-reel tapes, he also found so much more: a portal into Kansas City's jazz history, material for his films, and a way of keeping his dad with him a little longer.

Ladesich is showing his movies in the Kansas International Film Festival.

Guest:

  • Anthony Ladesich, filmmaker, Be It Ever So Humble, There Is No Place and Studio A

Shed some light on what it's like to twirl and leap for a major ballet company and see how a housekeeper's daughter brings chaos to the life of a family in Brazil. This week, Up to Date's indie, foreign and documentary film critics have a few treats — but no tricks — for your Halloween weekend.

Cynthia Haines

Coming Home, PG-13

  • The affect the Chinese Cultural Revolution has on a Chinese family

The Second Mother, R (Portuguese with English subtitles)

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