Friday, February 03, 2012

Next Week in Tickets: 3 February 2012 - 9 February 2012

It's a good thing I have an unexpected day off on Friday, because a deluge will start in earnest on the 10th (at least, for me). In the meantime, still a fair amount to see:

  • Okay, explain to me why Chronicle - a movie designed to look like low-resolution video - is playing at the proudly 35mm Somerville Theatre and old-school ghost story The Woman in Black isn't, more or less forcing me to see it in digital projection. The former is uses the found-footage aesthetic to present the story of a group of high-school kids that gain superpowers and are not quite so altruistic as superheroes tend to be, and looks like it could be fun. And yet, it may lose genre fans to the latter, who are likely to see The Woman in Black as the true return of the legendary Hammer Studios - it's the new Hammer's fourth movie, but only the second to get a major theatrical release, and while Let Me In was decent, it was relatively modern and American. The Woman in Black is the period British chills people associate with Hammer, and has a nifty cast: Daniel Radcliffe, Ciaran Hinds, and Janet McTeer.

    Also hitting up the multiplexes: Big Miracle, a pleasant-looking family movie about a family of whales who get trapped under the ice in the Arctic during the 1980s. John Krasinski plays the reporter on the story, Drew Barrymore his environmental activist girlfriend, and Stephen Root as the difficult governor of Alaska.

  • This week's opening at the Coolidge is The Innkeepers, a ghost story from Ti West that has been playing on demand for a few weeks but which I'm almost certain works much better in a crowded theater, which is how I saw it at Fantasia. It plays in the screening room at 9:50pm every day, and on the main screen Friday and Saturday at midnight.

    There are also two special presentations on Sunday morning. At 10am, there's a preview of The Salt of Life as part of the Talk Cinema series; at 10:30pm, the week's Kids' Show is Mary Poppins. The first is Gianni Di Gregorio's follow-up to Mid-August Lunch, with Di Gregorio as a retiree finding himself becoming invisible to the fair sex; the latter is, well, Mary Poppins.

  • Only one film opening at Kendall Square this week, a one-week booking of Charlotte Rampling: The Look, a "self-portrait through others" of the French actress which features both film clips and her conversations with other artists.

  • The Alloy Orchestra makes their annual trip to the Somerville Theatre on Saturday with "Wild and Weird", in which they accompany a set of early, and strange, short films. That and another concert will bump The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo for a couple of days, while the opening of Chronicle pushes Contraband to their sister theater in Arlington.

  • The Brattle wraps up (Some of) The Best of 2011 with some fun stuff: Drive on Friday, Rango on Saturday and Sunday afternoons, a Boston Society of Film Critics screening of Moneyball (with the writer present) Saturday night, Martha Marcy May Marlene on Sunday evening, and a rescheduled screening of The Interrupters at 5pm on Monday.

    Monday and Tuesday will also feature guests as part of regular screening programs. On Monday, The DocYard welcomes Mona Micoara with her film Our School, which chronicles four years on the attempt to integrate Romanian schools (in this case, kids from a Roma village going to a city school). On Tuesday, DJ Angel Sawyer spins some tunes before a set of short films about public land, with Robert Fenz there to discuss his contribution, "Crossings".

    And, finally, as part of a cross-promotion with the American Repatory Theatre's Wild Swans, Wednesday and Thursday will feature Modern China on Screen. The movie Wednesday night is Tian Zhuangzhuang's The Blue Kite, while thursday offers a double feature of Zhang Yimous To Live and Jia Zhangke's 24 City.

  • Robert Fenz will first be at the Harvard Film Archive on Friday night with a set of recent short films that play with sound and silence, including "Correspondence" and "The Sole of the Foot". Another filmmaker, Lynn Ramsay, was originally scheduled to visit on Sunday, but the special preview of We Need to Talk About Kevin she was to host will instead go on without her. Two of Ramsay's other films, Ratcatcher and Morvern Callar, will play Saturday evening; all three will be preceded by short films. The Robert Bresson series also continues, with L'Argent repeating on Sunday afternoon and Une Femme Douce playing on Monday evening.

  • The MFA continues their Studio Ghibli program, with Howl's Moving Castle, Kiki's Delivery Service, Only Yesterday, My Neighbor Totoro, Whisper of the Heart, and Laputa: Castle in the Sky playing at various times during the week. Most are in 35mm (and, if Only Yesterday is any indication, looking good), and all are subtitled except the screening of Totoro at 10:30am Saturday.

    Friday and Saturday also include the first film in the "Exiled In Hollywood: Outcast Artists in Southern California", which features movies created and, especially, scored by WWII emigres. The first entry is Reunion in France, directed by Jules Dassin with a soundtrack by Franz Waxman. Sunday features the ReelAbilities Boston Film Festival, featuring Shooting Beauty and Snow Cake. Wednesday and Thursday feature the first two screenings of The Swell Season, which features the stars and songwriters of Once going on tour and nearly ruining everything.

  • ArtsEmerson picks up the Dreileben trilogy that played the Harvard Film Archive a couple weeks ago, with Beats Being Dead and Don't Follow Me Around playing Friday and One Minute of Darkness on Sunday. In between, Saturday features a kid-friendly matinee of Joe Dante's Explorers and an evening double feature of rare musicals with African-American casts on archival prints as part of Gotta Dance!: 1929's Hearts In Dixie and 1938 "race film" Swing!.

  • The Regent Theatre in Arlington has one film this week, the documentary I Am Bruce Lee on Thursday the 9th, which features friend, collaborators, and fans of the famed martial artist and screen star.

My plans? I've already purchased tickets for the Alloy Orchestra on Saturday and Talk Cinema on Sunday, and I might feel like going for Ghibli on Friday and Wednesday. That doesn't leave a whole lot of time to fit Chronicle, The Woman in Black, or A Separation in, but I'm pretty sure I'll make an effort.

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