Thursday, June 12, 2014

This That Week In Tickets: 5 May 2014 - 11 May 2014

Busy week, right up until the big deal.

This Week in Tickets

Stubless: Proxy, 7pm Saturday 10 May 2014, in the Somerville Theatre micro-cinema.

I've made comments about tickets that take up the whole page before, but sometimes a big event justifies it. But the week up until that point was pretty good, too.

It started out with a Tuesday double feature of Alphaville & Alan Partridge, which can be kind of a long evening when you've got work the next day, but just coming off IFFBoston and with neither likely to hang around very long (and Alan Partridge down to the half-schedule), it's the easiest way to fit them in there.

Thursday wasn't quite the easy fit, because the reverse commute sort of has me waiting around for movies to start but not quite enough time to actually sit down and eat somewhere, which is why I'll sometimes skip the theater that's actually one my way home from work and head out a bit further. Plus, I wanted to check out the Assembly Row theater in a non-Imax setting anyway, so I opted to check out The Other Woman there, and found that the "plain" screen was actually plusher than the Imax one. The movie wasn't bad, but, boy, the getting home took a while. It will be nice when the new Orange Line station opens in the fall, although it's not that far from Sullivan Square.

The scheduling was a bit awkward for Aberdeen on Friday, but you see the new Chinese movies when you can, especially when it wasn't necessarily clear that it's what you will be getting (all the online listing/ticketing places showed a Norwegian film from almost a decade ago). Pretty good, though, and it was nice to see the new Pang Ho-cheung movie before I even knew it was coming! I'd be back to Boston Common on Sunday afternoon for Locke, although it wasn't exactly Plan A. I think I'd intended to go to the MFA for the Children's Film Festival, only to arrive just at the start time and not find the screening listed on the ticketing kiosk. That seems to happen to me every once in a while there,and it's pretty frustrating - there's no time to go through the regular line, and trying to just get to the screen and buy tickets at the box office means going through or around the museum, and it's just a pain.

In between, on Saturday night, I went to the Somerville Subterranean Cinema/All Things Horror screening of Proxy, which has its issues but is still at least interesting. Chris Hallock was hosting and asked if I was going to the big anniversary event the next night and I said I wasn't sure, because I'm not a big fan of The Wizard of Oz and just saw it a few months back. But, still, a hundred years is a big deal, and I do like the place and the people there...

Somerville Theatre's 100th Anniversary!

And it's not like they were running Gone with the Wind. That would have been a deal breaker!

I wasn't quite the person least dressed-up, but I was probably in the lower half - formal attire was encouraged - but they did a good job of replicating the old-time moviegoing atmosphere as best they could: Theater employees walked through the audience hawking popcorn and soda (not cigarettes), there was an orchestra in the pit, and there were vaudeville acts and cartoons before the feature. The vaudeville was kind of an ad-hoc thing, as it's not like theater manager Ian Judge was probably able to easily call up an agent and say he needed a few acts. So, there were some who came in from New York and a couple who appeared to be high school/college students having a grand time performing their talent-show routine on the big stage, and that was kind of cool, in that it underscores that the Somerville has remained a community theater for that century. It's part of a chain in that the same people own it and the Arlington Capitol, but aside from the tickets, you wouldn't necessarily know. This place isn't the "FEI Davis Square 5", and that's something worth celebrating.

The Wizard of Oz

* * * ¼ (out of four)
Seen 11 May 2014 in Somerville Theatre #1 (Centennial Celebration, 35mm)

It's no particular surprise that The Wizard of Oz isn't like Raiders of the Lost Ark, where I can see it five times in the space of a few years and find something new to say about it each time. I saw it during the Imax re-release last year, pointed out my central issue with Dorothy appearing too old for "there's no place like home" to be the right message, and more or less feel the same way. I came to this screening more because it was the theater's anniversary than any particular desire to see the movie again.

But, you know, it did grow on me. Part of it is just having a start-to-finish, mulled-over in my adult mind experience, so now things like Judy Garland being too old for the role can sort of be considered processed and accounted for, and I can see the kid she's trying to be. I don't exactly know the songs, but I know the rhythm, and I can appreciate how this is an almost perfectly paced children's adventure movie. The getting from point A to point B in the plot is frequently kind of dumb, but the timing and emotion of it is just about right all the time.

I'm not made of stone, either, so when the sound cuts out during the Cowardly Lion's first singing number, and the audience starts singing to fill it in while Dave tries to get everything figured out/fixed in the booth, I can't help but acknowledge that this movie means something to a lot of folks who love it. It certainly made the whole evening just a bit more memorable.

Alan Partridge
Somerville Theatre 100th Anniversary
The Other Woman

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