Friday, February 14, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 14 February 2014 - 20 February 2014

I'm not saying it's been a while since I've had a reason to do much for Valentine's Day, but I was legitimately perplexed for a moments when I saw a friend with a couple of bags of stuff from the fancy chocolate shop.

That's the start of the weekend; the end is Presidents' Day, and they've both got rituals attached.

  • The Somerville Theatre has things for both holidays. The one for Presidents' Day is long-standing, the Marathon portion of the 39th Annual Boston Sci-Fi FIlm Festival - 24 hours from noon Sunday to noon Monday in the big theater, with many of the dozen or so flicks from 1959 forward forward on 35mm. That's after the final two days of the festival portion on Friday and Saturday, which includes one I really liked from Fantasia (OXV: The Manual; ignore the claims that this is a world premiere) and a second showing of Coherence because of Thursday's "storm".

    Before the marathon, the theater continues its Centennial Celebration. There's a double feature on Friday (Valentine's Day), with Camille at 8pm and Amelie at 10pm, breaking the roughly chronological nature of the series. Things get back on track Saturday with King Kong, playing on 35mm (as is everything else in the series) at both 2pm and 8pm. On the other side, they will be hosting the Banff Mountain Film Festival World Tour, a collection of short films about outdoor sporting activities, from Tuesday to Thursday.
  • They're also one of the theaters opening Winter's Tale, one of the romantically-inclined films opening this weekend. This one features Colin Farrell as a man whose life spans over a century, with reincarnated true loves, a demon with a direct line to Satan, and more. It's a weird one, playing at Somerville, Apple, Fenway, Boston Common, and the SuperLux.

    Other romantically-themed movies opening include Endless Love, a remake of a Franco Zefferelli movie about young lovers from different sides of the tracks. It's at the Capitol, Apple, Boston Common, and Fenway. There's also About Last Night, which features Kevin Hart, Michael Ealy, Regina Hall, Joy Bryant, Adam Rodriguez, and Paula Patton in an ensemble romantic comedy. Watch folks who predict box office results act shocked that a movie starring African-Americans opens at the top of the charts! It's at Fenway, Boston Common, and Apple.

    As mentioned last week, the RoboCop remake opened on Wednesday at Capitol, Apple, Fenway, Boston Common (including Imax), Jordan's Furniture, and the SuperLux. Boston Common also has Beijing Love Story, a spin-off of a popular Chinese TV series opening the same day in America as China (although just twice a day, at 12:30pm and 6pm). And, if you want to head out to Revere, they've still got The Attorney playing once or twice a day.
  • Fenway and Apple Cinemas/iMovieCafe both pick up a day-and-date release from India, Gunday, a wild-looking story of two folk heroes in 1970s Calcutta. Ranveer Singh and Arjun Kapoor play Bikram & Bala; Priyanka Chopra and Irrfan Khan are there in supporting parts.
  • Valentine's Day and Presidents' Day (and the attendant school vacation week) have two of the Brattle Theatre's annual programs overlapping. The traditional 35mm screenings of Casablanca play Friday and Saturday (with the Friday evening shows already sold out), which means that the Bugs Bunny Film Festival doesn't kick off until Saturday and only plays early matinees that day. There are two 35mm programs, one an "All Bugs Revue" (Saturday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday) and one featuring "Daffy Duck and Friends" (Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday). There are no evening cartoons on Tuesday, though, as there's a special Balagan program that night, "Constructive Interference", with Kevin Rice on hand to introduce movies he and others have made that involve unconventional analog techniques.
  • Kendall Square picks up a one-week booking of Like Father, Like Son. It's the new film by Hirokazu Kore-eda, and another where he focuses on young children, something he is darn good at. In this case, the story involves two 6-year-old boys whose parents learn they were switched at birth. In addition, they have two theatrical broadcasts - the Broadway production of Romeo & Juliet with Orlando Bloom and Condola Rashad on Sunday morning and the Royal Opera House production of La Bohème on Thursday night.
  • The Coolidge's only completely new release - 12 O'Clock Boys - is getting an extremely limited booking, with one show in the screening room early afternoons and one in the GoldScreen at 9:45pm daily. It's a nifty-looking IFFBoston alumnus, looking at a dirt-bike gang in Baltimore. Those smaller rooms also play host to the Oscar-nominated shorts, with Animation and Live-Action displacing the documentary programs, and Gloria, an Argentine import about a middle-aged woman grabbing life by the horns.

    The big screens plays host to the awesome original version of Let the Right One In in 35mm at midnight on Friday & Saturday, well worth checking out for those who have yet to see the best vampire movie in years (and those who have, too). There's also a special screening of Bad Sex (Not As in Naughty) on Wednesday evening; it's a documentary made up of interviews with research subjects who found sex unsatisfying.
  • The ICA will be screening the Academy-Nominated Short Films as well on Sunday and Monday, with animation at noon and live-action at 3pm
  • The Harvard Film Archive starts a new series on Friday, Fortunes of the Western, a broad overview of that most American and filmic of genres, with 35mm screenings of Red River (Friday 7pm), The Hanging Tree (Friday 9:30pm), Run of the Arrow (Saturday 7pm), Jubal (Saturday 9pm), The Gunfighter (Sunday 5pm), and The Big Country (Sunday 7pm). Then, on Monday, they have A Visit from Timoleon Wilkins, who will present a collection of his (mostly-silent) 16mm experimental films. There's also a VES screening of Battleship Potemkin on Wednesday.
  • Like Kendall Square, The Regent Theatre also has a second screening of Romeo & Juliet on Sunday, although theirs is at 3pm. Their only other film event this week is the Gathr Preview Series presentation of Next Goal Wins on Monday night; it's a documentary on the hapless American Somoa national soccer team, which has been trying to make strides to respectability but has never won an official FIFA game. It's labeled as playing in the "Regent Underground Theater", which I have yet to visit.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts will be playing when Harry Met Sally on Friday evening as part of their Opening Weekend festivities for "Boston Loves Impressionism", but the rest of their film program for the weekend is decidedly anti-romantic, as it continues the Films of Lars von Trier series. Up this weekend are Manderlay (Friday & Saturday), Dogville (Friday & Saturday), The Boss of It All (Sunday & Wednesday), Melancholia (Sunday & Thursday), and Antichrist (Sunday & Thursday).

    With that series almost over, the museum also begins a short run of Fatal Assistance, with director Raoul Peck spending two years documenting the rebuilding efforts in Haiti after the enormously devastating earthquake of several years ago. Its first two screenings are Wednesday (the 19th) and Thursday, but it will continue on for a few days after that, with Peck coming to town for the screening on the 21st.

My plans? The Sci-Fi festival (and marathon) from Friday to Monday, and we'll see then whether I'm alert enough to go for Beijing Love Story or Next Goal Wins when they let us out at noon. After that, I really do need to catch up on The Wolf of Wall Street and Her, and fitting Like Father, Like Son in is also a must.

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