- The major event, of course, is the Independent FIlm Festival Boston 2011, which actually started on Wednesday with Being Elmo (review forthcoming). It's Boston's biggest and likely best film festival, and while very doc-heavy (and performer-doc-heavy) this year, that's not exactly a bad thing. It started at the Somerville Theatre on Wednesday (the 27th) and runs there through Monday (the 2nd of May); there will also be shows at the Brattle from Friday (the 29th) through Sunday (the 1st) and the Stuart Street Playhouse on Tuesday (the 3rd), before closing at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on Wednesday (the 4th).
Unfortunately, I didn't have time to write a full preview article, but you should be able to check out my schedule on Slated for an idea of what I'm seeing. There are plenty of other worthy films screening; I'm just trying to avoid documentaries about musicians I've never heard of and trying to see the stuff with no announced Boston release.
- Potentially the most annoying festival counter-programming is Rubber, which opens at Kendall Square and is hilarious; it was one of my favorite movies at Fantasia last year and I'm dying to see how it plays in an environment other than "midnight with a packed house of exhausted lunatics". Please, Landmark, keep this around at least for a second week.
Actually, I'd like to ask the same of some other the other movies playing there, too: The official one-week warning is on Carancho, an Argentine thriller set among the shady world of people who benefit from the countries frequent road accidents. Also playing is The Double Hour, which an Italian romantic thriller about two very different people who meet by chance and then find their paths crossing.
- Landmark, at least, has the excuse of not taking part in IFFBoston. The Coolidge, on the other hand, is cruelly tempting people away from the festival with a few special attractions: Friday and Saturday at midnight, they will be running Back to the Future on the big screen. Monday night, there is a "Sounds of Silents" screening of It, the movie which made Clara Bow a superstar and gave us the phrase "The It Girl"; it will be accompanied by students from the Berklee College of Music. And Sunday morning, Talk Cinema will have a preview screening of The Tree, featuring Charlotte Gainsbourg as a mother whose daughter believes that her recently-deceased father talks to her using the leaves of the tree outside her window. There's a good chance The Tree will open elsewhere, and the Brattle has the Back to the Future trilogy on their next schedule, but missing It hurts.
- The mainstream theaters have relatively scant openings, at least. The big one is Fast Five, the latest sequel to The Fast and the Furious to have its name drive sticklers for alphabetic order nuts. It looks like it could be a lot of fun, though, with Dwayne Johnson joining characters from all four previous movies as a cop hunting the hard-driving outlaws down. It's also hitting the premium (IMAX, Imax digital, RPX) screens, though likely for only a week before Thor's release.
Also opening is Prom, a generically named high-school comedy from Disney that will probably be huge among its target audience, for all I know (although it doesn't seem to boast any of the Disney Channel stars that usually drive that sort of attendance). A couple theaters also open up Hoodwinked Too! Hood vs. Evil, a sequel to the reasonably-cute animated movie from a few years back mashing up fairy tales. 3D at Boston Common, 2D (apparently) at Fresh Pond.
- Fresh Pond also opens Immigration Tango, an comedy about two couples who switch partners for green-card marriages, with hilarity intended to ensue. It apparently opened in other markets over two months ago to not-great reviews. The Hindi movie opening is Dum Naaro Dum, which appears to be a story about students lured into being drug mules - with songs. Oddly, it comes not from the usual importers, but from Fox, whose Indian branch produced it, so the prices are low for a Bollywood movie.
(And yet, no Dylan Dog, which I was sort of looking forward to.)
- Once the Brattle finishes with their IFFBoston screenings, they will pick back up with their tribute to founder Cyrus Harvey Jr., who recently passed away. The films include Seven Samurai on Tuesday, Jules et Jim and I Vitelloni on Wednesday, and a Bogie double feature of Casablanca and Beat the Devil on Thursday.
- ArtsEmerson will be featuring the early films of Kelly Reichardt on Saturday and Sunday night. The not-quite-double-feature features Old Joy, the film which first got her widespread notice, and a rare 16mm screening of her first feature, River of Grass, which plays alongside the featurette "Ode".
This ties in to the release of her new film, Meek's Cutoff, which has a preview at the Harvard Film Archive on Monday the 2nd. The screen there is dark Friday and Saturday, although Sunday features the final film in the "Middletown" series from last weekend, Seventeen
- The screen at the Museum of Fine Arts is also dark most of the week, with the next scheduled screening being on Thursday, when the 27th Annual Boston LGBT Film Festival opens with 3, the new film by Tom Tykwer.
- The Regent Theatre in Arlington will be running the latest Spike & Mike animation complimations on Friday and Saturday. Friday night, it's "Sick & Twisted" at 7:30pm and "New Generation" at 9:30pm; the showtimes are reversed on Saturday.
- It's a slow day on the second-run-shuffle front as well, although My Perestroika re-opens in one of the digital rooms at the Coolidge.
My plans, like I said, involve more or less living at IFFBoston. I'm taking Thursday off work to recover and see the Sox game, and honestly will probably just drop after that.