Friday, December 06, 2013

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 6 December - 12 December 2013

Tons of movies out last week. Very, very few this week. Hey, they look like fine films, but it's kind of a good thing there were things I didn't get to last week.

  • The one thing opening at the multiplexes is Out of the Furnace, which features Christian Bale as a steelworker who goes into the local backwoods to seek his veteran brother, who was lured into some sort of fight club. Written and directed by Scott Cooper, and looking like a nastier piece of work than Crazy Heart. It's at Boston Common, Fenway, and Apple.

    Boston Common also has a special presentation of Silent Night, Deadly Night on Wednesday the 11th, so if you want to celebrate Christmas with a serial-killing Santa, there you go.
  • Kendall Square has just one thing opening this week, a re-issue of Chris Marker's documentary Le Joli Mai, a collaboration with cinematographer Pierre Lhomme that captures a moment in Paris during 1962.
  • The Brattle Theatre also has a documentary opening. The Punk Singer tells the story of Kathleen Hanna, the reluctantly outspoken lead singer of Bikini Kill who stopped performing without any warning in 2005. It plays throughout the day Friday to Sunday, and single screenings at 9:30pm from Monday to Thursday. Check times over the weekend, though, as Madoka Magia The Movie: Rebellion, the third theatrical outing of a highly popular "magical girl" anime series, plays at various times those three days.

    Monday, the Brattle starts their The Complete Coens series with Blood Simple in 35mm, and it continues with Raising Arizona on Tuesday, Fargo on Wednesday (35mm), and Barton Fink on Thursday (35mm). The series will continue through the 19th.
  • Having turned a large chunk of their screens over last week, this week the Coolidge just has Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? opening in the tiny GoldScreen room. It's an odd one, a documentary on MIT professor Noam Chomsky which appears to take the rare tack of focusing on his work as a linguist as much as his strong political opinions, if not more so. Michel Gondry directs, and presents it as a combination of interviews and animation. Chomsky himself will be present for the 7pm show on Tuesday (which will play on the main screen rather than the GoldScreen).

    There are also special presentations almost every day. The main midnight this weekend is Gremlins, with Joe Dante's twisted Christmastime horror playing on the big screen in 35mm on Friday & Saturday night. If that's not your thing, the monthly screening of The Room is Friday. There are also two early previews on Sunday - A Patriotic Man is the Talk Cinema selection, telling the tale of a Finn whose blood, transfused into a skier, can boost their performance; Diamond on Vinyl is one of those things that may be a love story or may be a psychological thriller based on the description, and runs in the screening room with director J.R. Hughto on had for questions afterward. Monday's Science On Screen presentation is a 35mm print of Who Framed Roger Rabbit with a lecture on cartoon physics from Harvard University Physics Chair Melissa Franklin, which sounds awesome. Tuesday has the monthly Open Screen in addition to the Chomsky visit, while Wednesday is this month's New York Film Critics series entry, American Hustle, which will be followed by a live-broadcast Q&A.
  • iMovieCafe/Apple Theaters picks up R... Rajkumar, with Shahid Kapoor as the title character, a low level tough who falls for a beautiful woman who has also caught the eye of Rajkumar's boss. From the trailers that have been playing in front of other Bollywood movies, it looks absolutely bonkers. Sonakshi Sinha plays the lady, and she's keeping busy; she also stars in last week's Bullet Raja, which is sticking around for one show a day.
  • The Regent Theatre has a number of live events this week, but also plenty of movie programming. Sunday afternoon, they're running a couple hours of classic cartoons; drop in if you're going to Arlington's First Lights Festival. The Gathr Preview Series screening is Pretty Old, a documentary on the Miss Senior Sweetheart beauty pageant, whose contestants range in age from 67 to 84. There will also be a screening of AKA Doc Pomus on Thursday with director Peter Miller on-hand for a Q&A; it's a documentary on a famous rhythm & blues singer/songwriter who, based on work, most would be surprised to learn was a Brooklyn Jew paralyzed by childhood polio.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has more of The Bodies and Souls of Robert Rossen this weekend, with 35mm screenings of All the King's Men (Friday 7pm, with an introduction by Tony Saich of the Ash Center for Democratic Governance and Innovation), The Sea Wolf (Friday 9:30pm), and Mambo (Thursday 7pm, in Italian without subtitles).

    The rest of the program for the week is from their Chris Marker:Guillaume-en-Égypte program. Saturday has separate screenings of Sans Soleil (16mm) at 7pm and The Last Bolshevik (video) at 9pm; Sunday has a set of four short films on video at 4:30pm and a double feature of short features on filmmakers: "One Day in the Life of Andrei Arsenevitch" is about Andrei Tarkovsky, while A.K. follows Akira Kurosawa during the filming of Ran.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts dives into The Films of François Truffaut, including The 400 Blows preceded by short film "The Brats" (Friday), Shoot the Piano Player (Friday), Jules and Jim (Saturday and Thursday), The Soft Skin (Sunday and Thursday), and Fahrenheit 451 (Thursday). In between are two screenings of of Frederick Wiseman's gigantic At Berkeley documentary, Sunday afternoon and Wednesday afternoon/evening.

So, not a lot, but still plenty. Under other circumstances, I'd be trying to live at the Brattle for the Coens, but since I'm actually heading out of town for vacation next weekend, so I've got some stuff to catch up on before I leave, like finishing the Oldboy project and catching the likes of Philomena, Nebraska, and Hunger Games 2 (I'd kind of like to see it on the giant furniture store screen). Gremlins, Roger Rabbit, Pretty Old and maybe The Punk Singer and R... Rajkumar are also planned, but that all seems impossible.

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