- That would be The Brattle Theatre, who actually open the weekend with the last film I saw at this summer's Fantasia Festival, On the Silver Globe. I'll be honest - I napped a lot, because a long, surreal Polish science fiction film which has to elide over any spot where you might expect special effects sequences is a tough sit at 10pm on day 21 of the festival. It is, however, remarkable enough that I will be giving it another shot this weekend. Incompletely-shot in the 1970s, reconstructed a decade later, and recently restored, you haven't seen much like it. That's Friday and Saturday, with Sunday's matinees given over to anime feature Kizumonogatari Part 2: Nekketsu, a weird-looking vampire thing that is popular enough that the 2pm show sold out, though there are still tickets at 4pm.
That evening, the IFFBoston Fall Focus begins with Moonlight, the too-long-awaited second feature from filmmaker Barry Jenkins, who made the terrific Medicine for Melancholy and has, by all accounts, made something far more ambitious here. Admission for that one is free (with pass, first-come-first-serve), and composer Nick Britell will be on hand. There's a DocYard screening on Monday, with director Anna Roussillon introducing I Am the People, which shows the recent Egyptian revolution from a rural point of view. The Fall Focus resumes on Tuesday with Chan Wook-park's newest, erotic thriller The Handmaiden, and then continues on Wednesday I Am Not Your Negro, a reimagining of James Baldwin's final unfinished book. On Thursday, they make up for lost time with Hriokazu Kore-eda's After the Storm at 7pm and The Autopsy of Jane Doe, the first English-language film from Trollhunter director André Øvredal, at 9:30pm. The final screening will be on Friday the 28th, with Jeff Nichols's much-anticipated Loving.
- The Coolidge Corner Theatre opens two other anticipated films this weekend: Aquarius, Brazil's Oscar submission which features Sonia Braga as a retiree who is the last inhabitant of an apartment building scheduled for demolition, and her stubborn insistence on remaining there gives her the chance to reflect on her life. It also opens at the Kendall, and Braga will be making appearances at both places - Saturday night in Cambridge, Sunday afternoon in Brookline.
They also open American Pastoral, Ewan McGregor's directorial debut, in which he stars as a man who was a big deal in high school but finds his world turned upside down in the 1960s when his daughter disappears after getting involved with radicals. It also plays at Kendall Square, West Newton, and Boston Common.
They go off-site for part of their Halloween programming, with an 8pm "Cabin of Horror" double feature at the Rocky Woods Reservation, with Sam Raimi's original The Evil Dead and Drew Goddard's fantastic deconstruction of those movies, Cabin in the Woods. There is more conventional Halloween programming back at the theater, with the original Poltergeist playing on 35mm at midnight on both Friday and Saturday Sunday, and one last screening of the restored The Pit at midnight Saturday. Monday's Cinema Jukebox is a 35mm print of Scott Pilgrim Versus the World, the annual screening of Danny Boyle's Frankenstein (with Johnny Lee Miller as the Doctor and Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature; it also screens at Revere that night). There's also a Thursday night screening of the Lon Chaney The Phantom of the Opera with music by the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra.
- In addition to Sonia Braga, Kendall Square will also welcome actress Rebecca Hall, who plays the title role in Christine, a drama about awoman trying to make it as a television reporter when it was very much a man's world in the 1970s. She'll be taking questions from Boston Globe journalist Mark Shanahan on Saturday evening.
It is, really, a very lady-centric week, as on top of that and Aquarius, there are two others. Certain Women is the latest by Kelly Reichardt, with Michelle Williams, Kristen Stewart, and Laura Dern each taking the lead in one of three intersecting stories. They also get the exceptionally strong animated film Miss Hokusai, which tells the story of the daughter of legendary Japanese artist Hokusai, a talent in her own right often tasked with supporting her father. The afternoon shows feature an English-language dub, while the evening screenings are subtitled.
And, if you (like me) missed Shin Godzilla because nearly all of its Boston shows sold out well in advance, there will be final screenings on Saturday - noon at the Kendall, 3:45pm at Fenway. I've got my tickets, finally!
- The biggest opening at the multiplexes is Jack Reacher: Never Go Back, which brings back Tom Cruise as the one man army of the title, this time looking to clear the name of a former sister-in-arms, although this time with Edward Zwick rather than Chritopher McQuarrie adapting a novel by Lee Turner. Still, it will be all over the place on most of the biggest screens, playing the Capitol, Jordan's Furniture (in Imax), Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common (including Imax), Assembly Row (including Imax), Fenway (including RPX), Revere, and the SuperLux. More comedic action is on tap in Keeping Up with the Joneses, with Zach Galifianakis and Isla Fisher (an all-time schlub-and-hottie pairing) as a couple who get pulled into the adventures of the spies next door played by Jon Hamm and Isla Fisher. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.
Two Halloween-oriented movies pop up in theaters as well: Somehow, the Ouija movie from a couple years ago gets a follow-up, but Ouija: Origins of Evil has an entirely new cast and crew, and writer-director Mike Flanagan has a strong track record. It's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the Superlux. Again, those looking more for comedy may want to go for Boo! A Madea Halloween, the latest from Tyler Perry featuring his alter ego being herself on the holiday. That one's at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.
Revere also has I'm Not Ashamed, a film about the first victim in the Columbine focusing on how she was a devout Christian. They will also be running The Shining on Sunday and Wednesday. Boston Common also brings back Operation Mekong for those looking for some impressive action.
- The Boston Asian American Film Festival will be at the Bright Screening Room at the Paramount from Friday to Sunday, with all three days featuring shorts programs and a number of features - Front Cover, Right-Footed, Comfort, Bad Rap, Breathin': The Eddie Zheng Story, and The Tiger Hunter
- The Somerville Theatre continues their fall repertory programming with a Gene Kelly 35mm double feature on Friday, screening An American in Paris & Summer Stock. On Saturday they once again screen Chatty Catties, alocally-shot indie comedy with hearing-impaired actors giving voice to cats in a world where they can talk. Sunday's double feature focuses on Virginia Mayo, with White Heat & The Secret Life of Walter Mitty on 35mm. They then hand things off to their sister cinema in Arlington, The Capitol, who will have Jeff Rapsis on hand to accompany Tod Browning's The Unholy Three.
- The Harvard Film Archive will be having free screenings of Tsukiji Wonderland on Friday and Saturday afternoon with director Naotaro Endo and others who worked on the film in attendance; it's a fond look at Tokyo's Tsukiji 80-year-old fish market on the eve of its relocation.
They also kick off Say It Loud: A Black Cinema Revolution on Friday night, with Shaft and Super Fly, both preceded by a 16mm short. They also continue their Martin Khutsiev series, with I Am Twenty (a version of Ilyich's Gate cut by 17 minutes down to three hours) on Saturday and Epilogue on Monday. In between, Sunday featuers the work of a much earlier Soviet filmmaker, Boris Barnet - silent comedy The House on Trubnaya Square with accompaniment by Donald Sosin at 5pm and early talkie Outskirts at 7pm. All features but Tsukiji Wonderland are 35mm.
- The Museum of Fine Arts continues the Boston Palestine Film Festival with two screenings of The Idol (Friday & Saturday), as well as short docs "Pop Palestine" (including Q&A) & "Epicly Palestine'd: The Birth of Skateboarding in the West Bank" on Saturday and Yallah! Underground on Sunday. The festival will also have a live storytelling program at the Oberon on Sunday; co-present Tuesday's free Bright Lights program at the Bright Screening Room at the Paramount Theater being The Occupation of the American Mind, with directors Loretta Alper and Jeremy Earp appearing with their documentary on how Israel works hard to be looked at favorably in the U.S.. , and screen Oriented (in collaboration with the Boston LGBT Film Festival) at the Somerville on Thursday. Also on Thursday, the museum will be joining with the DocYard and UMass Boston Film Series to present Joe Berlinger with his classic documentary Brother's Keeper.
- Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond keeps M.S. Dhoni: The Untold Story (subtitled), opening Telugu action flick Ism and finding spots for adventure film Pulimurugan and comedy Central Jail (both Malayalam) over the weekend.
- The Regent Theatre will pair two films on Thursday - Children of the Streets at 7pm (with an associated book release party and Boston2Philly at 9pm, with writer/director/star Ralph Celestin on hand with other members of the cast for a Q&A.
My plans include Godzilla, a bunch of the Fall Focus, and, sure, I'll probably give Ouija and Jack Reacher looks. Probably get to Silver Globe as well.