In the meantime... NEW SAM RAIMI! And, uh, other stuff.
- The new Sam Raimi movie is the big deal this week, with Oz: The Great and Powerful grabbing a whole big thwack of screens, including 3D and 2D showings at Somerville, Boston Common (including the Imax-branded screen), Fenway (including RPX), Jordan's Furniture (IMAX), and Fresh Pond. Admittedly, I'm not sure why they did a prequel when Baum wrote a whole bunch of Oz novels, but word is that Raimi loves them along with the MGM movie and tried to do right by them (and also applied his signature style to 3D). James Franco, Mila Kunis, Michelle Williams, and Rachel Weisz star. With any luck, Bruce Campbell and Ted Raimi will be playing munchkins.
If you're looking for a less all-ages thrill ride, Dead Man Down reunites director Niels Arden Oplev and star Noomi Rapace (they did the first Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, easily the best Lisbeth Salander movie) in an English-language movie where Salander's character blackmails a killer played by Colin Farrell into taking revenge on the man who maimed her. It plays Fenway, Boston Common, and Fresh Pond. Boston Common also picks up Stoker, the first English-language movie by another pretty darn great foreign director, Chan-wook Park. It's really good.
- Emperor opens at both Boston Common and Kendall Square, and features Tommy Lee Jones as Douglas MacArthur deciding Japan's fate - most specifically, that of its emperor - in the wake of World War II.
The end of the war on its other front is the setting for another movie opening at Kendall Square, Lore, which follows the children of imprisoned Nazi war criminals who must cross Germany on their own to reach an aunt, as a result facing the results of what their parents fought for. In another corner of the world, No tells the story of how an advertising executive, among others, spearheaded a plan to win a 1988 referendum on Chilean dictator Pinochet's regime. That's not the end of the theater's globetrotting, though - they've got a week of Israeli director Eytan Fox's follow-up to Yossi & Jagger, Yossi, which catches up with the title character ten years later, meeting a new young lover.
- The Coolidge Corner Theatre picks up a couple new movies as well, both documentaries playing in the video screening rooms. Don't Stop Believing: Everyman's Journey, focuses on Arnel Pineda, a fan of the band Journey who apparently nailed them so well in his YouTube clips that he was chosen to be the new frontman. Greedy Lying Bastards, meanwhile, sets its sights on the energy industry and efforts to prevent meaningful action on climate change. I'm guessing it is not a calm, even-handed approach.
They also go midnight-crazy this weekend, with three separate movies playing Friday and Saturday at 11:59pm. John Dies at the End gets held over for a second weekend, albeit in the screening room. The other upstairs screen has The ABCs of Death, in which a murderer's row of genre filmmakers from around the world each have an average of five minutes to kill someone in a way inspired by a different letter of the alphabet. It also will play the Brattle next week. The main screen, meanwhile, goes old-school with a 35mm print of the original Brian De Palma adaptation of Stephen King's Carrie.
The polar opposite of those movies plays Sunday at 10am, with a Kids' Show of The Care Bears Movie. Monday night offers a "Stage & Screen" showing of Fritz Lang's M, a fantastic movie with Peter Lorre in the role of his life as a serial child-killer who is ultimately hunted by the underworld as well as the police; it's introduced by playwright Ryan Landry, who has apparently made a comedy of it which will play at the Cedarwood Pavillion from 29 March through April. There's also a special screening on Thursday night of recent French critical darling Aujourd'hui, which follows a Senegalese man putting his life in order before his impending death.
- Endings loom in Night Across the Street as well; the final film of Raoul Ruiz plays the Brattle. Created while the dying Ruiz knew the end was near, it follows an elderly man as he takes a trip down memory lane, where life merges with fantasy. In only runs three days, from Friday to Sunday, and plays from a digital source.
After that, it's a series of one-night stands. Monday's DocYard presentation is Planet of Snail, an award-winning documentary about the lives of people who are both deaf and blind. After the screening, director Yi Seung-jun will conduct a remote Q&A via Skype. There will be guests in person for Tuesday's presentation of Royal Wedding - film critic/Turner Classic Movies host Leonard Maltin and star Jane Powell, to be precise, talking about the classing Fred Astair dance movie as part of TCM's "Road to Hollywood" tour. After a Harvard Book Store reading/discussion with The Boston Globe's Kevin Cullen and Shelley Murphy (from their new book on Whitey Bulger), there will be an 8:15pm screening of The Departed, which clearly drew on Bulger's legend almost as much as Infernal Affairs. Finally, Thursday is a Balagan show, DIY Dystopia, which includes both hands-on manipulation of 16mm film and "a special collaboration with the Papercut Zine Library".
- The Harvard Film Archive reaches the end of Action! Action! Action! A Raoul Walsh Retrospective with Pursued and The Man I Love on Friday night, The Strawberry Blonde and The Bowery on Saturday, and Sadie Thompson on Sunday afternoon (all single-admission features; The Man I Love is 16mm rather than 35mm, and Sadie Thompson is silent with accompaniment by Martin Marks).
After that, they have a pair of anti-war anthologies: Far from Afghanistan plays Sunday night with directors John Giavito and Yoo Soon-mi there in person. It combines documentary, fiction, found-footage and avant-garde looks at the war in Afghanistan, and is inspired by Monday night's Far from Vietnam, which had Chris Marker joined by the likes of Agnes Varda, Jean-Luc Godard, and more.
- The MFA'sfilm programming continued what it started Wednesday, with Habibi and Little Fugitive each playinig Friday, Saturday, Sunday, and Wednesday at various times. Habibi also screens Thursday afternoon, with the first screenings in the New Latin American Cinema series, Thursday Till Sunday and La Sirga, playing that evening.
- ArtsEmerson's film program has Coen Brothers classic Barton Fink playing Friday night and Sunday afternoon, with Saturday featuring repeats of last week's "Metamorphasis" tie-ins for those who missed them watching the play: The Trial at 1pm, Cronenberg's The Fly at 6pm, and the original with Vincent Price at 9pm. All are on DVD. The Bright Lights screenings (which I feel terrible about not knowing about before now, since they're free and programmed by Anna Feder who is one of many to have done great work with the Boston Underground Film Festival) include documentary Live Your Dream: The Taylor Anderson Story on Tuesday and a selection of student films on Thursday.
- The ICA has just one screening this week, the Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts on Sunday at 3pm.
- iMovieCafe bumps popular cricket-academy drama Kai Po Che back up to main-feature status, also bringing back Special 26 for single shows on Saturday and Sunday. There's also one show daily of Telugu-language Gundello Godari through Wednesday.
- The Arlington Capitol once again picks a movie up after it leaves Kendall Square; this week that would be Lincoln.
My plans? Well, I think I might try to hit the furniture store for Oz, then come back for Dead Man Down, Emperor, Lore, and maybe No. Plus catching up on the Buried Treasure nominees I've been procrastinating on at home.