Friday, October 11, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 11 October - 17 October 2013

There is too much this weekend, and that's before you get started with baseball. Or, heck, before you look at the studio stuff. To be honest, the amount of special programming this weekend is absurd to the point of overbooking.

  • Let's start at The Somerville Theatre, which opens Escape From Tomorrow, a film much-buzzed-about at Sundance for being covertly shot at Walt Disney World - but apparently worth a look for its merits as a movie about a man possibly losing his mind amid the fantasy world of the magic kingdom.

    It might be wise to catch it Friday, as it looks to be the film taking the hit in terms of showtimes as the theater begins its October Boston Terror-Thon. It kicks off with a noon-to-midnight "Journey Through Time & Space" marathon that leans toward science fiction with 35mm prints from eight decades - The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (with Jeff Rapsis doing the music), The Invisible Man, Dr. Cyclops, Forbidden Planet, Planet of the Apes, Westworld, Buckaroo Banzai, and Tremors. After that, they've got 8pm screenings of indie horror - Bad Milo on Sunday, Night Monster on Monday (also known as Monster Killer and playing Wednesday at 10pm), The Last Will & Testament of Rosalind Leigh on Tuesday (with a guest), Apparitional on Wednesday, and a 35mm Canadian horror double feature on Thursday, The Changeling and Ginger Snaps.

    And that's not even counting Wednesday's Halloween on the Tube, where Chris Hallock will be showing various Halloween specials and TV episodes in the micro-cinema; drop in and make a donation to UNICEF. A little way up Massachusetts Avenue in Arlington, The Capitol is running Hellraiser at 10:30pm on Friday and Saturday
  • Not your sort of Marathon? The Brattle Theatre has two Watch-a-Thon events this weekend: On Saturday, they have a mostly-35mm Cult Classic Marathon of Beetlejuice, The Terror of Tiny Town (16mm), Eight Diagram Pole Fighter, I, Monster, Big Trouble in Little China (DCP), and a secret 25th anniversary screening of a sci-fi classic (guess: Killer Klowns). Sunday, they switch things up with the Classic Cult Marathon, still mostly 35mm, and featuring The 5000 Fingers of Dr. T (DCP), The War of the Worlds (a new print!), The Wild One, Gentlemen Prefer Blondes (DCP), We're No Angels, and the awesome and insane Beat the Devil.

    The latter two were relocated from elsewhere in the Best of Bogart program, which continues on from last week wtih Friday's double feature of Sabrina (DCP) & The Barefoot Contessa (35mm); Monday's big time 35mm double-shot of Casablanca & The Maltese Falcon; and a DCP of The African Queen on Tuesday. There's a sneak preview on Wednesday, and then a Balagan program of "Temporary Ocean (in Light & Sound)" on Thursday, a mix of 16mm and video shorts, several of which use the the image to produce the optical soundtrack.
  • The Coolidge also has a bit of a glut of special programming, with three "@fter Midnite" things to catch in two days. One is much-delayed-by-Weinstein-distribution-bullshit All the Boys Love Mandy Lane, a pretty great slasher-tinged thriller - or at least, that's what I thought when I saw it at Fantasia in 2008. Director Jonathan Levine has made several pretty darn good movies (including 50/50 and Warm Bodies) since. The haunted house is a 35mm print of The Entity, but the big draw is apparently the "witchcraft" entry, Hocus Pocus - that Bette Midler/Sarah Jessica Parker/Kathy Najimy picture has been apparently getting some of the Coolidge's fastest presales ever.

    They've also got a 35mm "Stage & Screen" showing of Network, with playwright Stephen Belber discussing the themes that unite it and his play The Power of Duff on Monday. Thursday brings a package of short films from the Provincetown Film Festival. And the opening actually popped up on Thursday - documentary Free the Mind, about professor Richard Davidson's attempts to apply Tibetan meditation techniques to PTSD & ADHD.
  • Two high-profile movies open in the mainstream theaters: Captain Phillips is a fact-based thriller with Tom Hanks as a merchant marine captain whose ship is attacked by pirates. Paul Greengrass directs, and real-world drama is what he does best. It's at the Capitol,Apple, Fenway, Boston Common, and the SuperLux. What Robert Rodriguez does is crazy casts and over-the-top action, and he brings Danny Trejo back for Machete Kills, with Mel Gibson of all people playing the villain. It's at Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway.

    There's also a new version of Romeo and Juliet, starring Douglas Booth and Hailee Steinfeld. It's been 17 years since the Baz Luhrmann version, and I don't know whether that is more or less time than one should expect between big-screen adaptations. It's at Boston Common, Fenway, and Kendall Square. Boston Common also has Linsanity, a documentary on the phenomenon of Jeremy Lin, who became a hero to many Asian-Americans when he made the New York Knicks and went on an excellent run a couple years ago.
  • In addition to Romeo and Juliet, Kendall Square brings in We Are What We Are, Jim Mickle's downright fantastic remake/inversion of a Mexican film about a family with a dark secret. There's also A.C.O.D., a comedy starring Adam Scott as an adult child of divorce who thinks he is past all that until his brother gets married and the whole family descends upon him (it also plays twice a day at Boston Common). The one-week booking is IFFBoston alumnus Muscle Shoals, a documentary on how a small town in Alabama became a rock & roll recording mecca.
  • The Regent Theatre has another busy week. Locally produced thriller Mark of the Dog Rose has its premiere Sunday, with cast and crew in attendance and free admission to an after party. CBGB on Monday is also written as a premiere; it's about the legendary NYC music club and has a pretty nice ensemble cast. I'm rather looking forward to Tuesday's Gathr Preview Series offering, Big Sur; I don't know much from Kerouac but a new Michael Polish movie is generally interesting, if nothing else, and executive producer Jim Sampas will be on-hand to introduce and take questions afterward.. There's a second screening of Surge on Wednesday, and Thursday features Aerosmith concert flick Rock for the Rising Sun.
  • I missed the Harvard Film Archive's screening of Dead Birds on the 10th, but its director Robert Gardner visits on Friday night with Dead Birds Re-encountered, a 45-minute documentary where Gardner revisits New Guinea and catches up with the subjects of the previous film. Admission is free. Not the case on Saturday, when Billy Woodberry will be in town to present Bless Their Little Hearts, a 1984 film that the HFA meant to show in April as part of their series on black independent cinema, but which was cancelled after the marathon bombing. Sunday and Monday wrap up the first half of the Songs of Struggle - The Radical Documentaries of Shinsuke Ogawa series, with Report From Haneda (5pm Sunday, no English subtitles), Sanrizuka - Heta Village (Sunday 7pm), and Sanrizuka - The Skies of May, the Road to the Village (Monday 7pm). There's a VES screening of The Naked City on Tuesday and a free screening of "La Jetee" on Thursday.
  • The MFA has the last screening of Herb & Dorothy 50x50 on Friday evening. The next day, Suitcase of Love and Shame plays with director Jane Gilooly present for a discussion of her anthropological examination of a 1960s extramarital affair. The National Center for Jewish Film Mini-Festival continues Saturday and Sunday, while there are two screenings of Hispanic Heritage Month short films on Monday as part of their fall open house.
  • ArtsEmerson has two screenings of Sunset Boulevard on Friday evening and Saturday afternoon, tied into next weekend's Boston Book Festival. That program also includes a Saturday afternoon screening of Adaptation and screenings of Hal Hartley's Henry Fool on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon. The Bright Lights programs include the experimental "Transformative works: A Presentation of Fan Vids by Cameron Salisbury" on Tuesday and compilation film Screened Out: Playing Gay in Hollywood with writer/curator Richard Barrios on Thursday

My plans? Escape From Tomorrow, Terrorthon, Baseball. The other stuff will just have to wait.

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