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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

'Big Sonia'; Changing Your Mind

Nov 30, 2017

Sonia Warshawski is a Holocaust survivor who ran a tailor shop in Metcalf South Mall. A documentary about her life is in theaters now. What does this survivor story mean to a younger generation?

Plus: On KCUR's Central Standard, we're examining what it takes to change someone's mind. We talk to a local man, who tells us about leaving the religious sect in which he was raised.

Guests:

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

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

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