Friday, March 22, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 22 March - 28 March 2013

Another crazy busy week coming up... I'm going to be worn out at work, I can tell.

  • Why? Well, for one thing, it's the start of The Boston Underground Film Festival on Wednesday the 27th! BUFF is one of the area's most exciting festivals, running a full five days this year, and as usual, it's got a great mix of things that were hits at other festivals and things that are extremely unlikely to play other festivals. You won't like everything there, but that's half the point. Wednesday night things kick off with I Declare War, followed by a special anniversary screening of The Manson Family; Thursday offers Blue Dream, A Band Called Death, and Sion Sono's Guilty of Romance!

    It's not the only festival that the Brattle hosts this week; Women, Action, & the Media (WAM!) has their Boston film Festival on Saturday and Sunday (the 23rd & 24th) - Documentary shorts, Incredible Lalita, and Bordering on Treason/Words of Witness Saturday evening with Circus Dreams and Experimental & Animated Shorts Sunday afternoon. Sort of, but not quite, related is a pair of Women In Comedy Festival shows of Maria Bamford on Friday.

    That leaves a few holes in the schedule, with Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory running Saturday afternoon and Sunday evening. The Wizard of Oz was originally scheduled, but it looks like Warner's holding it back so as not to boost that other Oz movie (heck, it's out of print on video, although I seem to recall there's a big re-release coming for next year's 75th anniversary). Monday evening is the DocYard screening of Informant, with director Jamie Meltzer on-hand to answer questions about his movie about a onetime liberal hero whose information led to two arrests at the 2008 Republican National Convention.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre doesn't settle for opening things a week or two after other places this weekend, with two noteworthy first-run films opening. First is Spring Breakers (also playing Somerville, Kendall Square, Boston Common, and Fenway), where provocateur director Harmony Korine takes four teen stars with family-friendly reputations and throws them in with a drug dealer played by James Franco on one crazy Spring Break. It's on 35mm at Coolidge, probably digital everywhere else. They also get Walter Salles's adaptation of On the Road (as does Kendall Square), with Sam Riey and Garrett Hedlund as a road-tripping pair who encounter the likes of Kristen Stewart, Viggo Mortinson, Kirsten Dunst, Alice Braga, Amy Adams, and more. It plays screen 2 in the afternoons and moves to the video screening room in the evening so that Stoker can play on film.

    What else? Well, Friday and Saturday midnight screenings of Weird Al Yankovic's UHF, featuring a pre-Kramer Michael Richards. Sunday Morning, Goethe-Institut has the latest film by Hans-Christian Schmid, Home for the Weekend. And Thursday night's francophone film is Toussaint Louvrture, a three-hour biography of the eighteenth-century Haitian slave known as "The Black Spartacus".
  • In addition to Spring Breakers and On the Road, Kendall Square has a couple other movies opening. Ginger & Rosa is a coming-of-age story from Sally Potter that's impressive in how well it sneaks up on you after seeming like maybe not much. Elle Fanning's great in it. There's also a one-week booking scheduled for The Silence, a German film that kicks off with an unsolved crime being meticulously recreated twenty-three years later.
  • The multiplexes also open Spring Breakers, but they pick up three other movies too. The most screens go to The Croods, a new animated film from DreamWorks that features a family of cave-people forced to encounter the outside world as their home is destroyed; it plays the Arlington Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and Fenway in both 3D and 2D. The next-most screens seem to be going to Olympus Has Fallen, a "Die Hard in the White House" thriller with Gerard Butler as the Secret Service agent left standing when terrorists capture the President (Aaron Eckhart) within his home. It plays Somerville, Fresh Pond, Fenway (including the RPX screen), and Boston Common.

    Surprisingly, considering the sheer number of times the preview has played, Admission is playing single screens at the Capitol, Boston Common, Fenway, and Fresh Pond. It's the one with Tina Fey as a Princeton admissions officer who visits former classmate Paul Rudd and may find both romance and the son she gave up for adoption when she was younger.
  • More King Hu wuxia at the Harvard Film Archive! Four different movies to see this weekend - his last swordfighting movie The Valiant Ones (Friday evening and Sunday afternoon), intrigue in a monastery in Raining in the Mountain (Friday night), and second screenings of A Touch of Zen (Saturday evening) and The Fate of Lee Khan(Sunday evening, replacing Legend of the Mountain). On Monday night, there's An Evening with Robert Beavers, featuring the experimental filmmaker and several of his films. Be aware that the schedule says latecomers will not be admitted!
  • At the MFA, the 12th Annual Turkish Film Festival which began on Thursday continues with two shows per day on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. It will pick back up again next Friday, but before that, Canada's Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film War Witch - about a girl pressed into duty as a soldier in Africa - has its first screening on Thursday the 28th, running at various times through April 3rd.
  • ArtsEmerson's film program carries its women-in-film program over from last weekend, with Lisa Cholodenko's The Kids are All Right and Jessica Yu's In the Realms of the Unreal on Friday (Kids also plays Sunday afternoon), with two screenings of Ava Duvernay's Middle of Nowhere (preceded by Jordan Salvatoriello's "Graceland Girls" for the matinee) and one of Cholodenko's High Art on Saturday. All are on DVD or Blu-ray.

    The Bright Lights programs are fairly strong this week, with Inside Lara Roxx playing Tuesday evening with director Mia Donovan on-hand for Q&A; it's an impressively open look at a former porn star who contracted HIV. On Thursday night, Emerson alumnus Drew Tobia presents a preview of See You Next Tuesday, a dark comedy about an unbalanced expectant single mother whose family may be even more messed up than she is.
  • the Somerville Theatre, in addition to their first-run shows, has special screenings of Denis Leary-produced documentary Burn, an impressive look at Detroit firefighters. Tickets are $15-20, going to charity.
  • The Regent Theatre has a second screening of the West End production of Great Expectations on Thursday the 28th. Before that, they've got one of the dozen or so local screenings of documentary Girl Rising on Tuesday the 26th (if you can't make that , check Gathr; there are a couple dozen at various venues over the next month and a half), and a set of three short surfing movies by Charlotte Lagarde in a Focus on Surfing Women on Wednesday the 27th.

My plans? King Hu, BUFF, and whatever I can fit in between, probably Spring Breakers, Lore, Olympus Has Fallen, and/or The Croods.

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