- The Boston Film Festival runs at the Stuart Street Playhouse from Friday to Thursday this year. I'm hopefully going to be spending much of the week there, because I have a hard time just giving up on it, even if my first reaction is to snarkily say that they're a natural fit because both have fallen well short of their potential in their current iterations.
Still, this looks to be one of the best schedules that they have had in recent memory - a good mix of locally-shot productions, films with awards/other buzz, and potentially interesting discoveries. I'm looking forward to Miss Nobody, Conviction, and It's Kind of a Funny Story (directed by local favorites Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck); I'm morbidly curious about closing night feature Iron Cross (the film at the center of the Variety screening series controversy earlier this year). And Stuart Street is a nice place to see a movie, with a spacious lobby, decent projection, and plenty of seating. It will be interesting to see what it's like when seats are actually filled.
(Amusingly, I'd have to give reviewing I Want So Much to Live a pass even if I didn't have Red Sox tickets for that afternoon, since it's about a company that my day job does a fair amount of business with. Not because I'd be likely to butter them up, but because the review would become thoroughly tainted by what a pain in the neck their drug makes my work!)
- I was initially shocked that BFF didn't try to open with The Town, but that's apparently because it opens wide the same day, on just less than every multiplex screen in the Greater Boston area (hey, it shot here and Ben Affleck is still our boy - dude was an usher at one of the theaters where it's opening). There's actually a pretty decent-looking slate opening in what screens are left - Devil looks like a tight horror film, Easy A a smarter-than-average teen comedy, and Alpha and Omega a harmless-enough 3-D animated kids' movie.
- One of my favorites from Fantasia, The Disappearance of Alice Creed, opens at the Brattle Theatre, but for an extremely limited run - five screenings at 9:30pm on Friday (17 September) and from Sunday to Wednesday (19-23 September). Trust me on how good this is, and do not watch the trailer! It gives away less than it might, but, honestly, you want to go into this one cold.
The limited screenings are due in part to how many other things are booked for the Brattle this week. Henri-Georges Clouzot's Inferno plays evenings and weekend afternoons, a making-of documentary for a film that was never finished, as archivist Serge Bromberg pieces together the rushes from the three weeks Clouzot shot Inferno in 1964 with interviews and any other information he could find. A complete Clouzot, Wages of Fear, is a free screening at 11am Saturday morning as part of the "Elements of Cinema" series. Thursday is given over to a book reading by Guillermo del Toro and Chuck Hogan plus a mystery screening. And the Saturday night Alice Creed screening is sadly usurped by "Dr. Horrible's Sing-a-long Blog" (this screening is for charity, so it's got that going for it, but Joss Whedon's foray into Youtube videos bumping a precious screening of Alice Creed is uncalled-for).
- The Coolidge opens Mademoiselle Chambon, an intriguing-looking French romance, on one of the film screens, and I'm Still Here on one of the digital ones. On top of that, there are several worthwhile-looking single screenings: Midnight showings of Ferris Bueller's Day Off Friday and Saturday, with "Naked Girls Reading: Science Friction" in the other theater at midnight on Saturday; German film I've Never Been Happier Sunday morning; a "Big Screen Classics" screening of Brazil Monday evening; and See What I'm Saying on Tuesday, which is open-captioned so that it is accessible to both the hearing and daf/hard-of-hearing. Also on the schedule is the premiere of Ken Burns's Baseball: The Tenth Inning with Burns and co-director Lynn Novick in attendance, although it is sold out (watch that page to see if the theater can release some tickets).
- At Kendall Square, the one-week-warning is for Jean-Michel Basquiat: The Radiant Child, which I saw at IFFBoston and, well, did not like very much at all. Also opening is Zhang Yimou's remake of Blood Simple, A Woman, a Gun, and a Noodle Shop
- The Harvard Film Archive has more Pier Paolo Pasolni on Sunday and Monday. Before that, though, they welcome Portugese director Miguel Gomes to town for a two-night retrospective, "The Musical Imagination of Miguel Gomes".
- The MFA continues last week's series Local Filmakers Present, this time including Thy Will Be Done, Everyday Is New, Radio Cape Cod, 45365, Birthmarking, and The Olmstead Legacy. As with last week, many screenings will be preceded by shorts.
So... Anyone know good places to grab quick snacks between screenings at 8 or 9 near Stuart Street?