Friday, April 19, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 19 April - 25 April 2013

Do you like film festivals? Of course you do, they're awesome! Boston's best starts on Wednesday, and there's plenty of other good stuff around it.

  • The Tenth Annual Independent Film Festival Boston starts on Wednesday, with The Spectacular Now kicking things off at the Somerville Theatre for opening night. The festival takes over all five screens on Thursday, with another teen-focused movie, The Way, Way Back playing on the big screen. One of the other movies playing, Before You Know It (about how the gay community deals with aging), also has a free screening Thursday afternoon as part of the UMass Boston Film Series.
  • Before that festival starts, The Boston International Film Festival wraps up at Boston Common. Among the things of interest are locally-produced This Killing Business at 10pm Friday, Queen City with Vivica A. Fox and a number of musical guests at 10:10pm Saturday, and closing night picture Mission Park at 6pm Sunday.
  • Surprisingly, Boston Common only opens one movie this week, Oblivion featuring Tom Cruise as one of the last people left on Earth after an evacuation. It also features Morgan Freeman and comes from writer/director Joseph Kosinski, who hopefully has better material here than with Tron: Legacy. It also plays at the Arlington Capitol, Fenway, Fresh Pond, and Jordan's Furniture. The Imax-branded screens on the Common and at the furniture store will be playing a special reformatted version for those screens' 1.40:1 aspect ratio.

    Unusually, it's the Regal 'plex at Fenway that has a couple smaller openings this week. In addition to picking up The Place Beyond the Pines, they've also gotThe Lords of Salem, the new Rob Zombie horror movie about a DJ in modern-day Salem who may have been warned about some group seeking revenge for old crimes. They've also got a one-week booking of Girl Rising, a documentary about nine girls around the world facing big challenges. It's been playing Gathr screenings for the past few months, apparently doing well enough to get Regal's attention and a one-week booking across the chain. Narrators include Anne Hathaway, Chloe Moretz, Meryl Streep, and Kerry Washington.
  • Kendall Square also has a one-week booking, A Fierce Green Fire. It's also a documentary with multiple narrators (including Streep) about the history of environmental activism. It's playing inconvenient times around other shows, so don't wait on it, folks who cheered the preview before The Company You Keep last weekend!

    Also opening there is Blancanieves, which all but swept the Goyas, Spain's equivalent of the Oscars. It's certainly interesting - it's a retelling of Snow White as a black & white silent film with the characters recast as matadors - but I don't know that it's that great. Haven't seen much like it, though.
  • Two days left of Upstream Color at the Brattle, and it's well worth checking out. After that, there's a series of one-night events before they join the IFFBoston party next weekend: Three Buster Keaton Shorts with accompaniment by the Not So Silent Orchestra on Sunday; a DocYard event on Monday, "An Evening of Localore", with PBS NewsHour's Hari Sreenivasan and WGBH President Jon Abott there to discuss this public-media initiative; Balagan's "Vicious Circle" on Tuesday, featuring cyclical structure including a Thomas Dexter "16mm proection performance"; a Matt Damon double feature on Wednesday with True Grit & Ocean's 13; and, finally, "Found vs. Found" on Thursday. Brooklyn Brewery sponsors this showdown between the Found Footage Festival and FOUND magazine. "Music, comedy, and blood" are promised.
  • If you miss Upstream Color at the Brattle, the Coolidge Corner Theatre will have it in the GoldScreen all week. The screening room, meanwhile, opens Room 237, a documentary which focuses on the various theories, insane and otherwise, that fans have about Stanley Kubrick's The Shining. It's got midnight screenings on Friday and Saturday night as well as the usual.

    Another new release is midnight-only - Brandon Cronenberg's Antiviral, in which he attempts to channel the old-school version of his father with modern body horror, including fans collecting celebrity diseases. It plays screen #2 on Friday night but the screening room on Saturday night, because it's time for the monthly screening of The Room. They've also got a 35mm print of Ken Russell's trippy, creepy Altered States on both nights.

    Sunday morning's Talk Cinema screening is Still Mine, with James Cromwell and Genevieve Bujold as an elderly Canadian couple, trying to build a house as wife Bujold begins to fade mentally. On Monday, they've got a Science On Screen presentation of The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, with BU Biomedical Engineering professor Frank Guenther talking about developing ways for people like Jean-Dominique Bauby to communicate.
  • Two series come to an end at the MFA - The National Center for Jewish Film’s Jewishfilm.2013, with two screenings each on Friday and Saturday, and The Boston International Children's Film Festival, running through Sunday. I can personally vouch for A Letter to Momo, a nifty, Ghibliesque story of a girl moving to a small island town after her father dies; they also have Zafara, which I missed at Fantasia but had hoped to see.

    Some of the slack is picked up with Samurai Cinema, which ties in with their exhibit of Samurai armor; it actually started on the 18th and includes shows Friday, Saturday, and Wednesday, including The Hidden Fortress, Kuroneko, Onibaba, Sword of Doom and the original Harakiri. Good stuff, and the series will continue through May. Also, if the exhibit is the same one I saw in Montreal last summer, it is pretty darn awesome.
  • the Harvard Film Archive also starts a new series that will continue into May with L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema, featuring programs by African-American filmmakers who studied at UCLA in the 1960s and 1970s and produced this work about a decade later. Director Bill Woodbury will be on hand to introduce his film Bless Their Little Hearts (and short "The Pocketbook") on Friday at 7pm, with curator Allyson Nadia Field introducing Bush Mama on Saturday at 7pm. Also presented this week are Passing Through (9:15pm Saturday), a package including featurette "A Different Image" at 7pm Sunday, and My Brother's Wedding at the same time Monday.

    There's also a free double feature of two Taiwanese documentaries, A Year in the Clouds and Go Grandriders! on Saturday afternoon. Last week's Proust series concludes on Sunday afternoon with Swann in Love at 4:30pm.
  • Dr. Kenneth Anger will be appearing at ArtsEmerson this weekend, appearing between screenings to discus his work. That includes two films from his Magick Lantern Cycle (Lucifer Rising at 6pm Friday and Scorpion Rising at 9pm, with the times flipped on Saturday), along with new work not on DVD.

    There will also be a guest Saturday afternoon, with Lawrence Millman introducing The Wedding of Palo, which plays as part of an early-documentaries-of-the-Arctic double feature with Nanook of the North. Another early documentary, Man with a Movie Camera, plays Sunday afternoon. Tuesday night's Bright Lights screening is We're Not Broke, with executive producer Charles Davidson taking questions on this docuemtnary about the current economic crisis.
  • The ICA has a single screening on Sunday afternoon of "The International Cinema Exposition 2013"
  • iMovieCafe has NH4 in both Telugu and Tamil languages at Fresh Pond, along with Gouravam in Telugu only. Just Telugu for Friday and Saturday late shows of Baadshah, too.
  • In addition to Oblivion, the Arlington Capitol picks 42 up a week into its release and also gets The Gatekeepers after it finishes its runs at Kendall Square and Coolidge Corner

My plans? Still haven't seen Trance, 42, and The Place Beyond the Pines, so I'd better get on that before IFFBoston. I'll almost almost certainly hit up Oblivion and Antiviral, and strongly consider seeing if I can fit Side Effects in around the ballgame on Saturday.

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