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Up To Date
12:14 pm
Fri May 2, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, May 2

Kristin Wiig and Guy Pierce star in 'Hateship, Loveship,' one of our critics' films to see.
Credit IFC Films

From stories about severe nymphomania to vicious alien femme fatales, our reviewers' material is challenging to say the least.

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign, and documentary film critics return to look at some of the new films opening on local screens.

In addition to reviewing new films, we talk with "Hateship, Loveship" director Liza Johnson about her decision to cast comedienne Kristin Wiig in a serious role.

Our critics' list:

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Film
8:10 am
Fri May 2, 2014

Film Review: 'Finding Vivian Maier' Opens A Lens On Gifted And Mysterious Photographer

'Finding Vivian Maier' introduces the world to the greatest photographer they never knew existed.
Credit Courtesy Maloof Collection Ltd.

By their very nature, photographs are loaded with backstory. There's the image itself, deemed important in a moment that becomes frozen for eternity.

And there's the person who snapped the picture, for reasons that are as personal as they are mysterious.

In the fascinating new documentary Finding Vivian Maier, the title character's exceptional photographs are brought to light after years of being hidden away from any and all scrutiny.

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Up to Date
7:30 pm
Fri April 25, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' April 25 - 27

Irrfan Khan portrays Saajan in "The Lunchbox".
Credit Sony Classics

  Looking for a great film to see the weekend of April 25 - 27? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Anita
  • Particle Fever
  • Lunchbox

Steve Walker:

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Film
6:50 am
Fri April 25, 2014

Film Review: New Lars Von Trier Film Chronicles The Making Of A 'Nymphomaniac'

An enraged Uma Thurman confronts a 'Nymphomaniac.'
Credit Courtesy Magnolia Pictures

Nymphomaniac: Volumes I and II may be the most sexually explicit coming-of-age movie ever seen outside an adult book store. But to call it pornography would minimize and tarnish its cinematic worth.

Like most of Lars von Trier’s films, it’s provocative, audacious, weird, challenging, and hypnotizing – sometimes all at once.

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Up to Date
6:16 pm
Fri April 18, 2014

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

'The Grand Budapest Hotel' made critic Steve Walker's list this weekend.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of April 18-20? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Particle Fever
  • Gloria
  • Lunchbox

Steve Walker:

  • The Unknown Known
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel
  • Particle Fever
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Up to Date
9:52 am
Fri April 18, 2014

DVD Gurus: When Good Directors Go Bad

Steven Spielberg fell flat with this 1979 effort, called '1941.'

For every Million Dollar Baby, there’s a film like The Rookie. Even Steven Spielberg, who climbed the heights of Hollywood with E.T., Indiana Jones and Saving Private Ryan hit the bottom with 1941.

On Friday's Up to Date, the DVD Gurus return to examine how even a great director can come out with a flop. In their sights are Clint Eastwood, Mike Nichols, John Boorman and other directors who have been silver screen darlings and rotten tomato rejects. We look at films that range from completely bizarre to just plain bad.

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Up To Date
11:11 am
Wed April 16, 2014

Actor And Activist Edward James Olmos

Actor, director, and Chicano activist Edward James Olmos joins Steve Kraske on Wednesday's "Up to Date."
Credit Donna Lou Morgan

Science fiction fans will recognize him as Commander William Adama from Battlestar Galactica, but Edward James Olmos is also well known for his activism in the Latino and Chicano community. 

On the first half of Wednesday's Up to Date, host Steve Kraske sits down with Olmos to discuss his long career in Hollywood and his numerous efforts to reach out to Chicano youth. Olmos gave the Cesar Chavez Lecture at the University of Missouri-Kansas City on Tuesday.

Guest:

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Up to Date
11:12 am
Fri April 11, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' April 11-13

'Particle Fever' explores what it's like to work at CERN's Large Hadron Collider.

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of April 11-13. 

Cynthia Haines:

  • Lunch Box
  • Particle Fever
  • The Unknown Known

Steve Walker:

  • The Unknown Known
  • Particle Fever
  • The Grand Budapest Hotel

Bob Butler:

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Up to Date
9:00 am
Fri April 11, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, April 11

'Bad Words' is on our critics' list of films this weekend.

Take a peek at the inner-workings of CERN’s Large Hadron Collider, and get a look into the life of labor leader Cesar Chavez. When it’s on the silver screen, you’ve got an all-access pass.

On Friday's Up to Date, our independent, foreign and documentary film critics take a look at the latest films opening in Kansas City.

Our critics' list:

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Film
11:53 am
Thu April 10, 2014

Africa World Documentary Film Festival Brings Global Stories To Lawrence

Musicians from Mali, like MC Jazz (pictured here), are profiled in one of the many diverse films in the Africa World Documentary Film Festival.

The University of Kansas is hosting the Africa World Documentary Film Festival this Thursday, April 10 through Saturday, April 12.

The convener of that festival, Daniel Atkinson, visited the KCUR studios to talk about the films he chose to show and the ideas he hoped to convey through the wide range of stories these documentaries tell.

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Arts & Culture
11:57 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Four Penetrating Documentaries Highlighted At 2014 Kansas City FilmFest

Writer and cultural critic Gore Vidal in "Gore Vidal: United States of Amnesia," spotlighted at 2014 Kansas City FilmFest.
Credit Courtesy gorevidaldocumentary.com

Film festival curators work diligently to give audiences an eclectic menu with as much breadth and depth as possible. The 2014 edition of the Kansas City FilmFest offers dozens of experimental, animated, and even “Afrofuturist” short films, as well as narrative comedies and dramas hoping to generate buzz. But from the offerings previewed by this writer, the strength of this year’s festival rests on its documentaries.

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Up to Date
11:42 am
Wed April 2, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' March 28-30

Judi Dench and Steve Coogan star in Philomena, which has charmed both of Up to Date's critics this week.

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of March 28-30. 

Click the highlighted links for Steve Walker's reviews of the films.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Tim's Vermeer
  • Her
  • Philomena

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
4:46 pm
Fri March 14, 2014

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

'Tim's Vermeer' is on Cynthia Haines' list this weekend.

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of March 14-16.

Click the highlighted links for Steve Walker's reviews of the films.

Cynthia Haines: 

  • Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me
  • Spinning Plates
  • Tim's Vermeer

Steve Walker: 

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Film
9:00 am
Fri March 14, 2014

Film Review: 'Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me' Is Broadway History In Black Tights

'Elaine Stritch: Shoot Me' is a salute to longevity, resilience, and sass.
Credit Sundance Selects

It's not often that a New York City institution actually leaves the city. But such was the case last year when 89-year-old Broadway legend Elaine Stritch returned to her Michigan hometown after some 60-plus years making any show, movie or television series she appeared in better than it would have been without her.

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Up To Date
12:48 pm
Fri March 7, 2014

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

Backup singers are the subjects of '20 Feet From Stardom,' one of Cynthia Haines' 'Three To See.'
Credit Radius-TWC

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Mar. 7-9? Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc, and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens.

Click on the highlighted links for Steve Walker's reviews of the films.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Omar
  • The Rocket
  • 20 Feet From Stardom

Steve Walker:

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Up to Date
11:48 am
Fri March 7, 2014

What's Showing In Independent, Foreign & Documentary Film, March 7

A new documentary follows the career of veteran actress Elaine Stritch.

The film world is still all aglow with radiance from the recent Academy Awards, and our indie, foreign and documentary film critics are talking about some of the films in the limelight.

On Friday's Up to Date, take a trip into the treacherous Israeli-Palestinian conflict, have fun with veteran actress Elaine Stritch and her brassy personality and be a poetry superfan with Emma Roberts and John Cusack.

Our critics' list:

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Film
9:00 am
Fri March 7, 2014

Film Review: Three Wildly Different Restaurants Profiled In 'Spinning Plates'

Breitbach's Country Dining owner Cindy Breitbach
Credit Chaos Theory / Ambush Entertainment

Every restaurant prides itself on its distinct vibe. But Joseph Levy’s surprisingly moving documentary Spinning Plates discovers a mutual truth: whether you’re running a taqueria with a drive-through or an expensive restaurant gunning for a Michelin star, there are similar motives and emotions behind and on the table.

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Up To Date
5:37 pm
Fri February 28, 2014

Up To Date's Indie, Foreign & Doc Critics' 'Three To See,' Feb. 28 - March 2

'Omar' is on both critics Cynthia Haines and Steve Walker's 'Three to See' list.

Looking for a great film to see the weekend of Feb. 28 - March 2? Up to Date's indie, documentary and foreign film critics share their three favorites showing on area screens.

Click the highlighted links for Steve Walker's reviews of the films.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Gloria
  • Omar
  • Oscar Shorts

Steve Walker:

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Film
8:00 am
Fri February 21, 2014

Film Review: French Classic Of Family Betrayal Told 'In Secret'

Oscar Issac and Elizabeth Olsen carry on a torrid affair in "In Secret," based on Émile Zola's "Therese Raquin."
Credit Phil Bray / Roadside Attractions

Jessica Lange has been absent from the movie screens of late, focusing on chewing up the scenery on the small screen for three seasons of the FX series American Horror Story.

In the new film version of Émile Zola’s "Thérèse Raquin" called In Secret, Lange is the scheming matriarch in a single parent home in 19th century Paris who ill-advisedly locks her son and niece together in a passionless marriage. And as fans of the show know, Lange makes a very good schemer.

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Up To Date
2:17 pm
Fri February 14, 2014

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

Paulina García plays a 58 year old divorcée in the film Gloria. It's on both critics Cynthia Haines & Steve Walker's "Three To See" list this week.

Looking for a way to spend Valentine's Day (and the weekend)? How about snuggling up with your loved one in a dark movie theater?

Here are Up to Date's critics' favorite indie, doc and foreign films showing on Kansas City-area screens the weekend of Feb. 14-19, 2014.

Click the highlighted links for Steve Walker's reviews of the films.

Cynthia Haines:

  • Gloria
  • The Past
  • Oscar-Nominated Short Films

Steve Walker:

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Film
9:00 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Film Review: 'A Separation' Director Unearths Complexities Of 'The Past'

In 'The Past,' Bérénice Béjo plays a woman who's asked her husband to return to Paris to finalize their divorce. She plans to marry her boyfriend, Samir (Tahar Rahim).
Credit Sony Pictures Classics

At the 84th Academy Awards in February 2012, the worlds of director Asghar Farhadi and actress Bérénice Bejo were serendipitously in synch. He won the Oscar for best foreign language film for Iran's A Separation, and she was nominated for The Artist, which went on to win Best Picture. Now their careers thrillingly converge in his extraordinary follow-up film The Past.

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Film
5:00 am
Fri February 14, 2014

Wilt Chamberlain Featured In Kevin Willmott's 'Jayhawkers'

Wilt Chamberlain played for the University of Kansas from 1955 to 1958.
Credit jakestakeonsports.com

At the outset and in the spirit of full disclosure, let me just say that I am a graduate of the University of Kansas and a huge fan of Wilt Chamberlain, aka “Wilt the Stilt," and “The Big Dipper.” He is widely considered one of the greatest basketball players of all time. Wilt Chamberlain also happened to play at KU.  He was a Jayhawk.

A new movie about Chamberlain’s brief time at KU is the subject of a film by Kansas filmmaker Kevin Willmott, premiering this weekend. It’s called Jayhawkers.

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