Friday, March 01, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 March - 7 March 2013

Before getting to the new releases, reminders of upcoming events you can help make happen: I'm trying to schedule a March 25th screening of Back to 1942 via Gathr; it needs a bunch of tickets sold by the 11th, so let's see what we can do! The Boston Underground Film Festival has a Kickstarter which they'll use to bring cool guests to town.

  • The Oscars being over is not quite the reason why Kendall Square shuffles things around (the only nominee being cleared out is The Impossible), but they do turn over four screens this week after being content to squeeze one or two new movies in weekly. Half of that is for Stoker, the English-language debut of Park Chan-wook, acclaimed Korean director of a whole ton of great movies. I saw this last night, and it's pretty great, with Mia Wasikowska, Nicole Kidman, and Matthew Goode as a mother, daughter, and heretofore unknown uncle who get even creepier after the funeral of the father. Gorgeous to look at, but on the weird side.

    The other two movies are documentaries. A Place at the Table has the one-week booking, with the makers of Food Inc. attempting a detailed examination of how the United States has high rates of both childhood hunger and obesity, and what can be done to stop it. The Gatekeepers is an Oscar-nominated collection of interviews with six men who have headed Israel's domestic security agency, discussing the dark, dark gray area that job places them in and how it has changed their perception of the ongoing conflict. It also opens at the Coolidge
  • The multiplexes have a fair amount of turnover, too, with perhaps the most surprising being that Die Hard 5 is down to single screens or gone entirely after a mere two weeks; how the mighty have fallen. A fair amount of those screens go to Jack the Giant Slayer, with Nicholas Hoult as the title character, who really shouldn't have traded his cow for those beans (they are keeping the traded-the-cow-for-beans thing, right?), and a fun cast including Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Eleanor Tomlinson, and Eddie Marsan. Christopher McQuarrie worked on the screenplay and Bryan Singer directs, but they can be uneven. Plays 2D & 3D at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common (including the Imax-branded screen), and Fenway (including the RPX screen).

    Those theaters all have 21 & Over, a kids-getting-drunk-and-crazy-things-happening movie that takes place as one turns twenty-one. Fenway, Boston Common, and Fresh Pond also have The Last Exorcism Part II, which seems like a terrible idea, as the first one worked best when the supernatural stuff was toned down and the new one lacks both the documentary conceit and Patrick Fabian as the exorcist. But the team they've hired to put it together - writer/director Ed Gass-Donnelly (Small Town Murder Songs) and co-writer Damien Chazelle (how does the guy who made Guy & Madeline on a Park Bench wind up doing this?) - make me genuinely curious.

    Boston Common has another screen to fill, so they've got Phantom, which stars Ed Harris as the captain of a Soviet submarine who may be going insane. It's also got David Duchovny, William Fichtner, and Lance Henriksen, which is a pretty nice ensemble. Probably a week and done, considering that I can't recall seeing any advertising for it at all.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre, as mentioned, opens The Gatekeepers on one of its film screens, pushing Amour to the screening room. The other screening room gets Let My People Go!, in which a French Jew returns home to his zany family after an fight with his boyfriend just before Passover. Wackiness ensues. Things get serious again in "Never Forget to Lie", an autobiographical film that Marian Marzynski produced for Frontline that will have a special presentation on Sunday evening; it's a look at his and others' experiences as child survivors of the Holocaust

    The Midnight Movie on Friday and Saturday night is John Dies at the End, so if you missed it during its week at the Kendall, you've got a couple chances to see it on a bigger screen. Monday night's Big Screen Classics presentation is Down By Law, Jim Jarmusch's black-and-white "noir comedy" featuring Tom Waits, Roberto Benigni, and John Lurie. And on Thursday night, the Swiss Consulate has a special screening of Sister in the larger video room; I believe it had a short run at the Kendall earlier this year and tells the story of a 12-year-old grifter who looks after his older sister.
  • The folks at the Brattle deserve a bit of a rest after their big Kickstarter push over the past month, and the schedule does thin out a bit for March. Still, they've got Rubberneck playing Friday through Sunday, with writer/director/star Alex Karpovsky there for Friday's 8:15pm and Saturday's 7:30pm shows. Not my favorite from last year's IFFBoston, but locally made and with an interesting bit or two.

    Sunday afternoon, they've got a special screening of After Words, a documentary on living with aphasia, that will also include a panel discussion including the filmmakers, several of the film's subjects, and presumably some other experts. The theater will be closed Monday and Tuesday, but Park Chan-wook's complete Vengeance Trilogy will run Wednesday (starting at 4:30pm, so consider bailing on work early!). Thursday night is the annual Boston Cinema Census, a night of locally made short films of every variety.
  • The Harvard Film Archive sticks to one program this weekend, Film = Activisim, the Revolutionary Underground Cinema of Masau Adachi. Adachi took his revolutionary ideals seriously, joining the Japanese Red Army and other underground groups (living as a fugitive and, later, in jail) between making art-house films, pinks, and documentaries. The series includes "Bowl" & "Closed Vagina" (7pm Friday), Red Army/PLFP: Declaration of World War (9pm Friday), AKA: Serial Killer (7pm Saturday), Gushing Prayer (9pm Saturday and is that thing bizarre), Galaxy (4:30p Sunday), Prisoner/Terrorist (7pm Sunday with a Skype conversation with Tadachi), and finally It May Be that Beauty has Reinforced Our Resolve on Monday, with director Philippe Grandrieux on-hand to discuss his documentary on Adachi.
  • New month, new calendar for the MFA'sfilm programming, although How to Re-Establish a Vodka Empire (one show each Friday, Sunday, and Wednesday) got a slight jump on the calendar. So did New South Asian Cinema, which offers a second screening of Delhi in a Day on Sunday and the 5.25-hour Gangs of Wasseypur (about a multigenerational feud) on Saturday. The next week's programs start on Wednesday, with both Palestinian romance Habibi and a re-issue of 1953's Little Fugitive playing the 6th and 7th and continuing into the next weekend.
  • Ha! The main stage at the Paramount Theater is presenting an adaptation of Kafka's Metamorphosis this weekend, so ArtsEmerson's film program is going bug-crazy: Both versions of The Fly on Friday (original at 6pm, Cronenberg at 9pm, repeating in the opposite order on the 9th); A Bug's Life at 1pm Saturday; and Guillermo Del Toro's Mimic Saturday at 9pm. They approach Kafka from the other direction, with Orson Welles's The Trial, at 1pm on Sunday. All screen from DVDs.

    So does Arjun & Alison (6pm Saturday), part of the same New South Asian cinema program, which features Indian and American students looking to avenge the murder of their friend at a British university. Director Sidarth Sharma will be on-hand to discus the movie afterward.
  • The ICA continues to run the Oscar-nominated shorts, with the animated and live-action programs running at various times on Saturday and Sunday. A museum ticket will also include a screening of "Happy Birthday to a Beautiful Woman: A Portrait of My Mother" on Saturday (1pm) and Sunday (12:30pm & 1:30pm). Saturday's screening will be followed by a discussion with director Mickalene Thomas, whose art (including some featuring mother Sandra Bush) is currently on display at the ICA.
  • The Regent Theatre has a "Film Premiere Event" of The Bitter Buddha on Tuesday the 5th; it's a documentary on comedian Eddie Pepitone who will also be on-hand with director Steven Feinartz and local comic Jimmy Tingle, who opens the movie with stand-up and will host the post-film Q&A.
  • Folks, the main character of I, Me Aur Main - the English-subtitled Bollywood film iMovieCafe has at Fresh Pond this week - is a musical producer, so be prepared for lots of singing and dancing as the egotistical main character learns to be a better man, especially where women are concerned. It splits a screen (mostly) with Kai Po Che, so I guess the cricket-academy movie did well enough to get a second week.
  • The Arlington Capitol seems to be down a screen, but they've still got room to pick up Django Unchained now that the Kendall's let it go. If it were at Somerville, I'd feel confident in predicting 35mm, but the theater's website doesn't say.

My plans? Yeah, I want to see Jack, plus Gatekeepers and Phantom, and I've got morbid curiosity where The Last Exorcism Part II is concerned. Still haven't seen Side Effects, either, and should probably correct that.

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