Thursday, April 07, 2011

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 8 April 2011 - 14 April 2011

I'll finish the BUFF stuff within a week. I hope. Eight features to go.

In the meantime, some of the new stuff looks decent. Looks like it beats watching the Red Sox, in that pain is not guaranteed.

  • Hanna is an action movie starring Saoirse Ronan, Cate Blanchett, and Eric Bana, which I suspect very few people knew they wanted. But the thing to remember is that Saoirse Ronan and Cate Blanchett are always, always, always fantastic, and director Joe Wright is the one who first made us noticed Ronan in Atonement a few years back. Throw in what looks to be a nifty soundtrack by The Chemical Brothers, and this looks pretty nifty.

    For those who didn't get enough Russell Brand last week with him doing a voice in Hop, he's got a new movie out this week with Arthur. I want to be cautiously optimistic about this one, as I like almost everybody in it - Martin, Helen Mirren, Greta Gerwig, Jennifer Garner, and Luis Guzman - but it doesn't look good. Your Highness also has an unusually nice cast supporting a lead who can be an acquired taste (Danny McBride) - James Franco, Natalie Portman, Zooey Deschanel. I'm hoping that the previews don't do it justice, which is possible; the name implies a lot of dope humor which just isn't making it into green-band trailers.

    And for those who might want something more family-friendly, there's Soul Surfer, featuring AnnaSophia Robb as a teenager who loses her arm in a shark attack and doesn't let that derail her love of surfing. Very PG-rated, characters maybe a little bit more religious than the norm.


  • At Kendall Square, Catherine Deneuve and Gerard Depardieu star in the new one by Fran├žois Ozon, Potiche. "Potiche" is apparently French for trophy wife, with Deneuve as the widow whom nobody thought much of that must now run her husband's factory, with Gerard Depardieu as the working-class man who loved her back in the day. Is anybody else surprised to see that Ozon is only 44? I always got the vibe of the older auteur from him.

    The one-week warning is for Bill Cunningham New York, a documentary on a guy who appears to be a guerrilla fashion photographer of some sort. It had a recent preview at the MFA, and I gather Cunningham is fairly well-known among people who are up on fashion, photography, and Manhattan personalities.


  • Over at the Coolidge, the new film opening in the screening room is My Perestroika, a documentary about five Russians who grew up against the backdrop of of the dissolution of the Soviet Union. It looks to be a nifty one, and on Sunday the 10th, director Robin Hessman will be there in person.

    Friday the 8th and Saturday the 9th, 80s movie midnights continue with The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension, which is a bunch of fun, in part because, while it's campy in some places, in others it looks pretty darn good. I'm kind of surprised that, with all the other pillaging of vaguely recognizable names that has gone on lately, nobody has announced Buckaroo Banzai and the World Crime League. If you want to go further back and see a movie that generally doesn't have "cult" added to the word "classic" when people talk about it, they will be showing Luchino Visconti's The Leopard on their main screen on Monday the 11th. It's a new restoration and should look beautiful.


  • Another very quiet week for movies at the Brattle - Friday and Saturday evening, and Sunday afternoon, the theater will be used for a live performance of Godspell. In a sort of cool move, Sunday's performance will feature ASL interpretation. On Saturday afternoon, for those who want a film musical, you can catch The Wizard of Oz (presumably on film). Oz also runs Sunday night, but it's "The Dark Side of Oz", with the film dubbed with the songs from Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon.

    The theater will be closed during the week, except on Tuesday, when the DocYard presents The Order of Myths, a documentary on Mobile, Alabama's Mardi Gras celebration, the longest-running one in America and one which, as of filming in 2007, was still racially segregated.


  • It's an in-person weekend at Harvard Film Archive. Friday and Saturday night, experimental filmmaker Morgan Fisher is there for "Morgan Fisher Presents", a collection of his various films. Sunday afternoon, he introduces Under Capricorn, a Hitchock movie that is a formal experiment as well as a thriller. Sunday night, Maple Razsa and Pacho Velez are there to introduce two of their short documentaries, "Occupation" and "Bastards of Utopia" - the first, amusingly, being about a protest leading to Harvard University paying its staff a living wage. And on Monday night, Linda Hoaglund is there to introduce her new documentary, ANPO: Art X War, which investigates how the American military presence in 1950s Japan sparked protest and profoundly influenced the era's artists.


  • I got an email from ArtsEmerson mentioning Hadewijch, the new film by French filmmaker Bruno Dumont about a woman whose religious passion is evidently too strong for the convents and eventually steers her to a surprising place. It plays twice each on Friday and Saturday night at the Paramount Center.

    The rest of the weekend's program includes Old Yeller, one of Disney's first live-action successes (so ingrained in American culture that even those of us who have never seen it know the ending), as the family film on Saturday afternoon. On Sunday evening Vapor Trail (Clark) runs with director John Gianvito in person. It's a mammoth (4+ hours) documentary on an environmental disaster in the Philippines, traced to a release of toxic chemicals at the Clark USAF base.


  • At the MFA, Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives has its last shows Friday afternoon and Saturday morning. Much of the rest of the weekend is filled with the last days of The Boston Turkish Film Festival. On Saturday afternoon, the museum will run the full two-hour version of Phil Grabsky's In Search of Mozart, and Grabsky himself will be there on Sunday for "An Afternoon with Great Composers", featuring parts of In Search of Mozart, In Search of Beethoven, and his upcoming In Search of Haydn.

    On Wednesday and Thursday, the museum will show Mercedes Alvarez's The Sky Turns, a documentary about her disappearing hometown in northern Spain. Thursday is also the first day of the museum's first annual Hollywood Scriptures program, which this year focuses on portrayals of war and soldiers. All four nights will feature a film followed by a one-hour panel discussion; Thursday's is Waltz with Bashir. Both programs will continue into the next weekend.


  • The Regent Theater will also have Phil Grabsky on Sunday, for "An Evening with the Great Composers". Their program for this looks slightly different, with the one-hour version of In Search of Mozart, plus footage of the upcoming In Search of Haydn and In Search of Chopin. The documentary showing on Wednesday the 13th and Thursday the 14th is also musical, but in a completely different genre; The Upsetter: The Life and Music of Lee "Scratch" Perry, which covers the story not of a classical composer, but a trailblazing reggae/dub musician.


  • The Hindi movie opening at Fresh Pond this weekend is Thank You, in which a private detective with a reputation for getting philandering husbands to see the error of their ways is set upon three best friends - only to find himself attracted to the woman who hired him. Akshay Kumar is the big name in this one, with Sonam Kapoor the female lead and the ubiquitous Irrfan Khan also having a role.


  • The New England Aquarium sees its first real scheduling shake-up in a while as Born to Be Wild opens up for three shows a day. It's a 3-D IMAX documentary about returning orphaned elephants and orangutans to the wild. It gets these shows at the expense of "Hubble" and Tron Legacy - the former has ended its run and the latter is now only showing Saturday night (and looks to be gone completely in a couple of weeks). Morgan Freeman narrates.


  • The second-run shuffle has The King's Speech finally ending its run at the Kendall and opening up at the Capitol in Arlington; it's apparently the PG-13 version, and I'm not saying I encourage disrupting the theater by yelling profanities at the appropriate times, especially during the baby-friendly matinee on Monday... just that I think it would be really funny. They also pick up matinees of Gnomeo & Juliet, though not in 3D.

    Stuart Street actually picks up an interesting slate. From Friday to Wednesday, they will have Poetry at 4pm, The Elephant in the Living Room at 6:40 pm (if I recall correctly, this documentary on exotic pet ownership played IFFBoston last spring but never had a regular Boston run), and The Fighter at 8:40pm. This is the second Thursday in a row with no screenings; I'm not sure what they do then.


  • And, just as an early heads up, there are two festivals starting up next Friday: The Boston International Film Festival at AMC (warning: terrible website), and the Boston International Kids' Film Festival at the Arlington Capitol.



My plans? Hanna. Maybe Born to Be Wild and Your Highness, but probably more catching up than anything else.

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