Friday, November 14, 2014

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

Hey, cool, two movies by directors I like playing in places you might not expect and some other good stuff.

  • Because Isao Takahata isn't quite so well known as his Studio Ghibli partner Hayao Miyazaki, The Tale of Princess Kaguya is only opening at Apple Cinemas rather than one of the bigger boutique houses, and only twice a day, and probably only the English dub. Still, it's a pretty darn great movie, arguably even better than Miyazaki's The Wind Rises.

    Their iMovieCafe program also opens Kil Dil, a Bollywood action-comedy about two killers trained by the same man who meet a nice girl in Northern India. There's also Pilla Nuvvu Leni Jeevitham, a Telugu language movie I couldn't find anything about.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre seems to be the only place with Force Majeure, a pretty darn great Swedish movie about a family on a ski vacation that comes under great stress because of something seemingly small. I believe it's their Oscar submission, and I wouldn't be shocked if it made the cut.

    They've got a guest for the Friday midnight screening of Shock Waves, as director Ken Wiederhorn introduces and faces interrogation for his 1970s horror film about a mad scientist creating zombie stormtroopers for the Nazis (it also plays Saturday night, but that one's just the movie). The guests on Monday evening are the director and others from the Huntington Theatre Company's production of Awake and Sing!, there to introduce a 35mm print of Sweet Smell of Success and how discuss how it relates to their play. There's Open Screen on Tuesday, and an NT Live presentation of Skynight on Thursday.
  • Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2 opens at Regal Fenway, and even if you haven't seen the first - Chinese romantic comedies weren't getting that much play three years ago - it's still a new Johnnie To movie, with the sequel throwing two more characters into the love-triangle mix while still maintaining the across-the-street shenanigans of the first.

    Another noteworthy director this week is Jon Stewart; the Daily Show host makes his feature writing/directing debut with Rosewater, the story of Maziar Bahari (Gael Carcia Bernal), a Canadian journalist of Persian descent who was detained when trying to report on the 2009 Iranian elections. It's playing at Kendall Square, the Embassy, Boston Common, and Fenway.

    Once-noteworthy directors Peter & Bobby Farrelly return with Dumb and Dumber To, a twenty-years-later sequel to their first movie reteaming them with Jim Carrey and Jeff Daniels, who once again play morons on a road trip. It's the weekend's biggest opener, playing at the Capitol, Apple Cambridge, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    Potentially getting lost in the shuffle is Beyond the Lights, with Gugu Mbatha-Raw as an up-and-coming singer and Nate Parker as a cop assigned to guard her who fall hard for each other. It's at Apple, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    Boston Common also has a single Friday night show of The Postal Service: Everything Will Change, which is a concert film rather than something about mail delivery; their $6 Sunday/Wednesday rep film is Edward Scissorhands.
  • The Theory of Everything opens at Kendall Square and Boston Common; it's a love story featuring Eddie Redmayne as Stephen Hawking and Felicity Jones as Jane Wilde, two opposites who attracted even before he had to face a terrible diagnosis and what everyone thought would be a short life. The other biography the Kendall gets this week, The Better Angels, has a one-week booking; it stars Braydon Denney as eight-year-old Abraham Lincoln in a close look at the early forces which shaped him. Local historians Gavin Kleespies and John Stauffer will be on hand for the 1:30pm show on Sunday.

    In addition to those two (and Rosewater), there are two special musical presentations: R.E.M. by MTV plays Tuesday night, putting together the story of a band by their appearances on various MTV networks over the past three decades. There's also a Wednesday encore of David Bowie is on Wednesday night.
  • The Brattle will be running a Reel Music Film Festival series this week, kicking off with The 78 Project Movie on Friday, with filmmakers and musicians in person, and a live "Presto" recording on-stage. Other films include Urgh! A Music War (Friday & Saturday in 35mm), 20,000 Days on Earth (Saturday & Sunday), This Ain't No Mouse Music (Sunday), Stop Making Sense (Sunday & Monday), Let's Go to the Rat (Sunday with director Andrew Szava-Kovats on hand), Beautiful Noise (Tuesday), and Pulp: A Film About Life, Death & Supermarkets (Tuesday).

    Heck, one of the Saturday screenings for the Boston Jewish Film Festival is also musical (the other isn't). The other gap in the schedule is filled by DocYard presentation The Notorious Mr. Bout, which attending filmmakers Maxim Pozdorovkin and Tony Gerber built in part from the arms smuggler's extensive home movies. There's also a Thursday-night screening of Raiders of the Lost Ark, introduced by Harvard Professor of Archaeology Dr. Rowan Flad, who will certainly tell us how its careful attention to proper archaeological practices and historical accuracy makes it one of the best movies of all time.
  • The Boston Jewish Film Festival, as mentioned, picks back up Saturday with Screenings at the Brattle (Saturday), Belmont Studio (Saturday), ICA (Sunday), West Newton (Sunday), AMC Framingham (Monday), AMC Liberty Tree Mall (Monday), and Arlington Captiol (Monday).
  • The Somerville Theatre has two special 35mm presentations on the big screen this weekend. Saturday's is a program of six Three Stooges shorts for $7 at 2pm, and on Sunday they wrap 2014's "Silents, Please!" series with Harry Langdon in Frank Capra's The Strong Man, along with classic Buster Keaton shorts "Cops" and "One Week" and Jeff Rapsis on the organ. Apparently this year's selection of deep cuts has been successful enough that they're going to continue selecting less-famous silents next year. I think I've shown great restraint in not pestering them about the recently-discovered 1916 Sherlock Holmes on a daily basis.
  • The Harvard Film Archive welcomes Dame Angela Lansbury to Cambridge to intorudce John Frankenheimer's All Fall Down on Friday, and given that she'll be discussing a seventy-year career, that's one not to miss if you're a member (I imagine it will sell out for the rest of us). Much of the rest of the weekend is the second half of their Sergei Lonznitsa retrospective with Into the Fog (Saturday), "Blockade" & "Reflections" (Sunday), and a selection of short films (Monday). Korean artist and Cambridge resident Soon-mi Yoo will present her first feature Songs from the North on Sunday evening, and the VES will have a free screening of Wings on Wednesday with Rapsis accompanying this as well.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues its screenings of Fifi Howls from Happiness (Friday) and National Gallery (Sunday, Wednesday, Thursday). They also have the tail end of the Turkish Festival's Documentary and Short Film Competition on Friday and Saturday.
  • The Polish Film Festival continues at ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theater continues, with documentary The Possessed Years Later (Andrzej Wajda recalling one of his most famous theatrical productions) playing Friday and Sunday and Wojciech Has's The Hourglass Sanatorium playing Sunday. The Bright Lights screening is Mood Indigo on Thursday.
  • The UMass Boston Film Series has what looks like one of their more intriguing films/guests this week, as director Darius Clark Monroe brings his documentary Evolution of a Criminal to the student center. It tells how a sixteen-year-old kid - Monroe himself - comes to decide that robbing a bank is his best option, and also features him returning to his old neighborhood several years later.
  • The Regent Theatre has a second screening of Inside Metal: The Pioneers of Los Angeles Hard Rock and Metal on Friday, although it's possible something else might slip in through the cracks like The Canal did the past couple weeks.

My plans? Don't Go Breaking My Heart 2, The Theory of Everything, The Strong Man, and a trip to New York because I've got vacation time to use. Princess Kaguya and Force Majeure are highly recommended.

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