Thursday, October 24, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 25 October - 31 October 2013

Hollywood, for some reason, just isn't offering much scary stuff for Halloween. Fine with me, as there's baseball to watch, but if that's not your thing, the local theaters are at least giving you some fun things to do this week.

  • The big one is at The Coolidge, who have their annual Halloween Horror Movie Marathon at midnight on Saturday. They kick it off with an Ed Gein-inspired double feature of Psycho and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, but for five bucks more ($20 instead of $15), you can hang around until noon watching give more 35mm prints, which they're keeping a surprise. For those looking for a less-intense Halloween experience, they'll have Beetlejuice on the main screen at midnight on Friday. Then on Monday, the 35mm Big Screen Classic is Rosemary's Baby, while Halloween itself features George Romero'sDawn of the Dead, and they'll even allow you to stick around afterward for a sneak preview of Birth of the Living Dead, a documentary that will be opening in one of the video rooms for a regular run the next day.

    If you're just not looking to be scared, there's a kids' show on Saturday morning, with Dr. Seuss's The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T. The two movies they're opening on the main screens look pretty intense, though: All Is Lost (also opening in Kendall Square & Boston Common) features Robert Redford as a sailor who discovers his ship is sinking and has no way to call for help. 12 Years a Slave is a fact-based drama from Shame's Steve McQueen (who really should go by Steven) starring Chiwetel Ejiofor as a free black man in 1840s New York who is kidnapped and sold into slavery, facing one cruel master after another. It's also at Kendall Square & Boston Common.
  • Off at The Somerville Theatre, the "new" Terror-Thon programming picks back up on Sunday, with a single screening of Haunter at 8pm. It's got a neat premise - a haunted house story told from the perspective of the ghost (Abigail Breslin) - and a pretty good director in Vincenzo Natali, who did Cube and Splice. I kind of wish it was getting as many shows as Dario Argento's Dracula 3D, which, well, tells you what it is in the title, and features Thomas Kretschmann, Rutger Hauer, Asia Argento. It gets to run Monday through Wednesday. Things look up on Halloween itself, though, with a double feature of The Exorcist and Near Dark, both on 35mm.

    Their sister cinema, The Capitol in Arlington, caps their month of horror classics off with John Carpenter's Halloween at 10:30pm on Friday & Saturday. They're not the only ones going with the obvious; Kendall Square has it at 9pm on Wednesday, Boston Common has it at 7:30pm the same day.
  • The Brattle Theatre, meanwhile, goes with Halloween III: Season of the Witch (which isn't really a sequel, but the studio deciding to try and make "Halloween" a brand rather than a series) on Halloween night; it's the back end of a double feature with a 35mm print of The Haunting for its 50th anniversary. Working backward, they'll also be celebrating Halloween week with live scores for The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on Tuesday (with Brendan Cooney's Klezmer-inspired Not So Silent Cinema) and Night of the Living Dead (with the Andrew Alden Ensemble providing an "alternate soundtrack"). Unfortunately, the Monay night screening of Nosferatu has been canceled.

    Before that, they've got a new digital restoration of Terrence Malick's Badlands playing from Friday to Sunday.
  • So what's at the multiplexes? Apparently the big opening isJackass Presents: Bad Grandpa, which features Johnny Knoxville in old-age make-up traveling across the country with a kid, tricking folks into thinking they're seeing something awful. Well, they probably are seeing something awful, but planned. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Fenway, Boston Common, and the SuperLux. The other major opening is The Counselor, with Ridley Scott directing Michael Fassbender, Javier Bardem, Penelope Cruz, Cameron Diaz, and Brad Pitt in a story about a lawyer who dabbles in his client's illegal business dealings and winds up regretting it. It plays the Capitol, Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway. Boston Common also breaks out an extra screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show at 10pm on Halloween, although the regular Saturday midnight show is still on.
  • Kendall Square's big openings were covered in the Coolidge's section, but they also have Zaytoun on a one-week booking. It stars Stephen Dorff as an Israeli pilot shot down during the Lebanese Civil War and Abdallah El Ekal as a ten-year-old boy who frees him in exchange for being taken to his ancestral home in Palestine.
  • That fits in nicely with The Boston Palestine Film Festival, which is finishing up at the MFA on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; check the site for details. After a few days off, they get a jump on their November calendar with Quebecois film Diego Star (about an Ivory Coast mechanic blamed for his ship being stuck in a remote Canadian port) and documentary Design Is One both starting runs on Thursday.
  • The Regent Theatre, meanwhile, has the back-end of The Arlington International Film Festival this weekend; I can vouch for Saturday night's Key of Life, a pretty darn funny flick from Japan. Tuesday, the Gathr Preview Series gets into the Halloween spirit, sort of, with The Body, a thriller about the disappearance of a seductress's corpse from the morgue. There's also American Promise on Wednesday, which documents two best friends as they go to a prestigious private school from kindergarten to graduation. The Halloween show isn't a movie, but alive performance of Orson Welles' version of War of the Worlds.
  • How sad is it that there's more to be excited about at the Arlington International Film Festival than the Boston Film Festival? But, man, that festival is down to three days running from Friday to Sunday, a month and a half later than its traditional mid-September slot, with at least one selection that looks really questionable. It's at "Theatre 1", underneath the Revere Hotel in downtown Boston (formerly the Stuart Street Playhouse).
  • The Harvard Film Archive has Ang Lee in person on Friday night, when Lust, Caution kicks off a retrospective. He's not scheduled for any of the other films, which include Eat Drink Man Woman and Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon on Saturday, The Ice Storm and Pushing Hands on Sunday, and Ride With the Devil on Monday (sadly, no Hulk on the schedule). They've also got a free screening on Thursday, when Phil Solomon introduces and analyzes his "tone poem" American Falls.
  • The first Ang Lee presentation was actually on Thursday, and kicked off the Boston Asian American Film Festival. The bulk of the program takes place this weekend at ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theatre, with screenings Friday evening, all day Saturday, and Sunday afternoon. There will also be some free screenings on Saturday afternoon at the Josiah Quincy School in Boston.

    The Bright Lights programs this week start with the "Basement Media Festival" on Tuesday, with curators LJ Frezza and Nicholas Tamburo introducing their celebration of lo-fi filmmaking. They also have a Halloween screening on Thursday, when they'll be showing The Conjuring
  • The ICA has some film programming this weekend, with its monthly "Art Over Politics: The Presistence of Dreams" series returning on Saturday evening and Sunday afternoon with The Desert of Forbidden Art, which tells the tale of Igor Savitsky, who secretly purchased artwork not approved by the state during the Soviet period and made a covert museum for it in Uzbekistan.
  • If you dig the Indian movies, Ram Gopal Varma's latest crime epic, Satya 2, opens at Fenway. Or at least I think it does - its release has actually been delayed a couple weeks in India, so it looks like this flick with Punit Singh Ratn as a man trying to rebuild the mob after the city has been wiped clean may actually run internationally before it shows up in its home territory. It's not playing at Apple; iMovieCafe seems to be either avoiding direct competition with the big multiplex or playing to their base - I read that Telugu films do unusually well in Boston, and that's the language that Bhai uses.

My plans? Watching baseball, taking a trip north for my niece's rather belated birthday, and fitting movies in where I can. That's looking like Haunter (yeah, I'll DVR baseball for that), The Body, All Is Lost, and any catch-up I can manage.

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