Friday, October 15, 2010

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 15 October - 21 October

Let's be honest - this is not a hard post to do; I basically go around a few websites, check my email which is mostly subscriptions, organize it differently and add the sort of presumptuous comments I hate when I see everybody else do them. Sometimes, though, I'll get something in the mail that is worth sharing, so let's lead off with that.

  • If you've been to downtown Boston over the last year or so, you've probably noticed that the long-closed Paramount Theater has been undergoing renovation (not as obvious as some construction projects, as it mostly takes place inside and the building never looked run-down), and re-opened as Emerson College's arts center a month or two ago. It looks pretty nice from the outside, though I haven't been in yet. Part of that is a new 170-seat cinematheque, the Bright Family Screening Room, which has been running programs for at least the last week or two, and looks like it might be a nice addition to Boston's specialty theaters. The website nees a bit of work (looks nice, but it generates long URLs, acts weird when you use the back button, and it took me a few minutes to realize I should click "Learn More" rather than a shw title), but does reveal some nice programming for October. It looks like weekends will be at least loosely themed, although I don't see anything about a discount for double features.

    This weekend, there's a fair amount of Marlon Brando: The Fugitive Kind runs tonight (15 October 2010) and Sunday (17 October 2010) at 7pm; it's maybe not as famous as Streetcar, but it's Brando doing Tennessee Williams. Less well-known is Burn! (Queimada!), an Italian film from 1969 that was only released cut in the U.S. at the time; this is the complete, Italian-language version, and plays tonight at 9:30 and Saturday at 7pm. Another Brando film from Italy is Bernado Bertolucci's Last Tango in Paris, which runs Saturday at 9:30pm.

    Looking at October, each weekend features at least one family-friendly matinee; this weekend that film is Seven Days in Slow Motion, an Indian film from Former Disney animator Umakanth Thumrugoti, which follows a kid who finds a movie camera and tries to shoot a movie in seven days with his friends. It plays Saturday at 2pm.

  • The Brattle offers some interesting stuff this week. The Duel was the first program in its CineCaché series, and returns for its regular run tonight. It's a short run, only continuing through Sunday, and even then only limited times - the 9pm shows are cut out tonight and tomorrow for Twin Peaks episodes, and it only plays matinees on Sunday to make room for an appearance by Barry Gifford, discussing his work and introducing the movie David Lynch made from his book, Wild at Heart. They like them some Lynch over at the Brattle.

    More special appearances go on throughout the week - live music Monday, visits from Nicole Krauss on Tuesday and Charles Burns on Wednesday as part of the Harvard Book Store Presents series. The double feature running Tuesday and Wednesday is at least half fantastic, as it includes Vincenzo Natali's Splice, one of my recent favorites. It plays at 10pm on Tuesday and 8pm Wednesday. I'm looking forward to the other half, Predators, as I missed it in theaters (not that I'll trade three weeks in Montreal for seeing it) and director Nimrod Antal has a tendency to make a better movie than the synopsis suggests. The Brattle then finishes the week off with two Thursday night screenings of The Way I See It, a skiing world tour movie.

  • The Coolidge takes a temporary break from Wes Craven for the midnights this week, instead offering up one of the greatest sci-fi/horror movies of all time in Alien. It plays Friday and Saturday at Midnight, and the only downside is that watching it might make Monday night's Big Screen Classic, Aliens, look like the inferior sequel it is comparison, despite it being a darn good film in any other context. The week's other special screening is The Robber Sunday at 11am as part of the Goethe-Institut's German film series. The week's big opening there is Inside Job, a documentary on the 2008 financial crisis and the systemic corruption that precipitated it.

  • Inside Job also opens at Kendall Square, as does Boston Film Festival alum Conviction, young John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy, and the first of a couple films that week that you may not guess were based on comics, Stephen Frears's Tamara Drewe, which features lovely Gemma Arterton returning home to the village which once tormented her. The one-week warning is another English movie, the animated My Dog Tulip, a pleasant-looking tale of an old man finding true friendship with a rambunctious German Shepherd.

  • The other comic adaptation coming out this week is in the more mainstream theaters. Red is notable not just for being a loose adaptation of Warren Ellis's and Cully Hammer's miniseries (it's got to be loose; it was three issues long with a lot of action), but because the quite frankly ridiculous cast includes, alongside Bruce Willis, Morgan Freeman, Helen Mirren With A Sniper Rifle, John Malkovich, and Ernest Borgnine, the venerable Brian Cox, who starred in an entirely different movie by the same name a couple years ago. Other wide-openers are Jackass 3D and Stone, with Conviction hitting some mainstream theaters at well.

  • In advance of an appearance by the filmmaker at the end of the month, the Harvard Film Archive has two documentaries by Robert Gardner tonight: Rivers of Sand, a 1974 film about the Hamar people of Ethiopia at 7pm, and Dead Birds, a 1964 film about the Dani tribe of New Guinea. Saturday has Bruce McClure in person, doing a "projector performance" that appears to involve treating projectors film loops as musical instruments. Sunday begins a retrospective of independent Chinese filmmaker Wang Bing with West of the Tracks, an epic movie trilogy about dying factory towns in northwest China; the second part playing Monday. Also, though not officially Archive programs, there are free VES screenings in the room on Tuesday (Sullivan's Travels) and Wednesday (Battleship Potemkin).

  • The MFA programs the weekend (and Tuesday) with a Fashion on Film series, which not only includes Antonioni's Blow-Up, Milos Foreman's Hair, and Douglas Keeve's Unzipped, but ties in with their exhibitions and lectures. On Wednesday and Thursday, they add music to the mix, with screenings of Pianomania and In Search of Beethoven. Thursday night, director Ronald Tec is on hand to discuss his new film We Pedal Uphill: Stories from the States 2001-2008 (it will also screen Friday afternoon, but without Mr. Tec).

  • And, finally, some noteworthy openings in perhaps unexpected places: The Somerville Theatre is one of several screens nationally opening Cherry, a pleasant enough film that played BFF, but don't hold that against it. That's on one of the regular screens; the digital mini-cinema has Brutal Beauty, what looks to be a documentary about a Portland, OR, roller derby league. One show daily, at 8pm.

    It's sometimes easy to miss stuff that plays Arlington's Regent, because it's mostly a music venue and new film bookings not only run for just a day or two don't get much play in its emails. I did notice that they will be having a two-day run of Billy Joel's concert film, Last Play at Shea starting Thursday (22 October 22). And hopefully the Stuart Street Playhouse is selling tickets to their schedule this week as a double feature: I'd hate to pay full price for second runs of Eat, Pray, Love and Kings of Pastry, but just from knowing the names, the pairing amuses me.
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So, is anyone thinking of a Pianomania/Piano Man double feature on Thursday? No?

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The list of Scream Awards 2010 Winners is out.