- At any rate, the holdovers mostly dominate the theaters, with only a couple of wide releases. Maybe just one, Killing Them Softly, the new one from writer/director Andrew Dominik which features Brad Pitt as a fixer who gets involved when two young punks rob a card game and incur the wrath of the mob. Dominik did The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford, so there's a good chance that this will be less a straight thriller than it looks. It plays Kendall Square, Boston Common, and Fenway.
Boston Common also gets The Collection, a horror movie of the "torment and deathtrap" variety whose predecessor, The Collector, barely made a blip in theaters.
- Kendall Square also picks up a pair of new documentaries this week. The Waiting Room is a fly-on-the-wall look at a day in an Oakland, CA emergency room and its lobby. It looks to be frantic but informative. It's scheduled for a week, with director Peter Nicks and Producer Bill Hirsch making appearances at the Friday and Saturday shows.
The other documentary is The Flat, in which director Arnon Goldfinger stumbles upon mysterious documents when cleaning out his late grandmother's Tel Aviv apartment, which lead him back to World War II, the Holocaust, and a family's hidden personal history.
- Aw, the Universal series is almost over at The Brattle, although they're squeezing four double features and a bonus screening into three days to send it out in style. Friday's twin bill features sizzling chemistry and banter with Destry Rides Again & Out of Sight. Saturday is split three ways, with a matinee pairing of Babe and Francis the Talking Mule, while the evening pairs the original version of The Wolf Man with Sam Raimi's Drag Me to Hell. The late show is also a Universal production, but the focus is as much on Keir-La Janisse introducing and signing her book House of Psychotic Women (which combines memoir and criticism) as screening Alfred Hitchcock's Marnie. And on Sunday, they finish up with a great pairing of Back to the Future and Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
After that month-long marathon, they'll be taking Monday off, but will re-open Tuesday to finish off the week with one-off programs. Balagan presents "In Captivity" that day, a selection of three shorts and a feature that ponder constraints. Margaret Talbot will visit on Wednesday with her biography of father Lyle Talbot, The Entertainer, and will follow it up with one of his films, Three on a Match. And on Wednesday, they bring back Miami Connection, the much-lauded recently-rediscovered bit of 1980s action insanity.
- The Coolidge keeps Anna Karenina and Argo on the main screens, but shuffles A Late Quartet and Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters the the GoldScreen so that Mahler on the Couch can have the larger video screening room. It posits composer Gustav Mahler consulting with Sigmund Freud on his relationship with his wife. Fittingly, there's an "Off the Couch" screening with introduction and discussion by members of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society on Sunday the 2nd (at 7pm).
The midnights this week are both at least partially live shows: Friday night, band The Austerity Program will hit the stage around a screening of a documentary about their label Hydra Head, Blood, Sweat + Vinyl, with the screening helping to pay off the defunct label's bills. Saturday night, meanwhile, is the annual Boston Burlesque Marathon, with 100 acts running straight through to breakfast.
Keeping with the stage theme, Sunday morning has a ballet simulcast of "The Pharaoh's Daughter" from the Bolshoi Ballet, and Monday evening is a special screening of Christopher Plummer in Barrymore, a film version of his and director Erik Canuel's one-man stage show in which acting legend John Barrymore reflects on his career; it also features Backstage with Barrymore, a documentary on the making of the production.
- ArtsEmerson wraps up their calendar until the new year with a program inspired by the Beauty and the Beast story. The classic Jean Cocteau version La Belle et la Bête screens Friday night, while Guillermo del Toro's adult fairy tale Pan's Labyrinth plays Friday evening and Saturday night. The animated part of the program is not Disney's film, but DreamWorks's How to Train Your Dragon, which runs Saturday afternoon. I'm not sure just how Wong Kar-wai's Chungking Express fits in, but that plays Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. Chungking Express is projected via Blu-ray; the others are 35mm (which means Dragon is 2D).
- The Harvard Film Archive spends the weekend saluting outspoken Persian filmmaker Jafar Panahi in Jafar Panahi: This is Not a Retrospective. The name comes from his latest work, This is Not a Film, an interview/documentary shot during his recent house arrest that skirts his ban on making movies by handing the camera to co-director Mojtaba Mirtahmasb and visitors, which screens Friday and Sunday evenings. Also screenings are The Circle (Friday night), The Mirror (Saturday evening), Crimson Gold (Saturday night), The White Balloon (Sunday afternoon), and Offside (Monday evening).
- The MFA spends much of the week presenting documentary and short film competitors from the Boston Turkish Fesival, with programs on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday; programs will screen at Goethe-Institut on Monday and Boston University on Tuesday and Thursday. Saturday also features a couple interesting matinees - Jules Dassin's The Naked City wraps up the "New York City: A Must of Modern Art" screening program, and All Through the Evening captures pianist Mimi Stern-Wolfe's annual concert of works by composer friends who died of AIDS. The film is free (presented by the Boston LGBT Film Festival) and will be followed by a live performance by Ms. Stern-Wolfe.
On Wednesday the 5th, they open a limited engagement of Neighboring Sounds, a new film from Brazil about a coastal town whose principal family is threatened by the private security brought in after a series of minor crimes. It plays once a day through Sunday the 9th.
- The Regent Theatre has two one-night bookings: "Choose Your Adventure", on Tuesday the 4th, is a ski film by Powderwhore Productions, which follows great skiers and snowboarders around the world from Chile to Norway. There's another doc on Thursday evening, Wild Horse Wild Ride, which shows how wild horses rounded up from public lands are trained and then sold at auction, with their trainers sometimes bidding against the public.
- The Bollywood option at Fresh Pond this week is Talaash, a thriller starring Aamir Khan, Kareena Kapoor, and Rani Mukerji in a story about a detective who has recently lost his son and must untangle the murder of a Bollywood star.
My plans? Well, I'm heading out on vacation later this afternoon, and while I'm sure my days will be packed, I wouldn't be surprised if I fit a movie in during the evenings. Anyone know what's playing in London this week?