Thursday, December 11, 2014

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 12 December - 16 December 2014

Not often I have my weekend so specifically booked up beforehand, but there's some fun stuff on the way.

  • One of the most entertaining-looking ones looks to be Top Five, a new movie from writer/director/star Chris Rock, playing a guy with a similar background (former stand-up/actor moving into more serious roles) who has a long interview with journalist Roasario Dawson as they crisscross New York. Two smart, funny folks I like a lot right there. It's at Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    The other big opening is Ridley's Scott's 3D Exodus: Gods and Kings, another retelling of the story of Moses (Christian Bale, with Joel Edgerton as Ramses), which means it stands a chance of being the second-best Biblical movie of the year (nothing's beating Noah). It's at the Capitol, Apple (2D only), Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    Also, this is likely the last chance to see Interstellar on the premium screens, as most Imax/Imax-branded places will be doing a Hobbit marathon on Monday and early shows of There and Back Again The Battle of Five Armies on Tuesday.
  • Boston Common also shares a couple of movies that also open at Kendall Square. Wild stars Reese Witherspoon as a woman who hikes the Pacific Crest trail in an attempt to jar herself off a self-destructive path after the death of her mother, despite having no experience in that sort of thing. It's based on a true story, as is The Imitation Game, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, the father of the modern computer who broke the Enigma code during World War II while hiding his homosexuality (a crime in the UK at the time). Word is it stops short of his tragic end, though.

    They also get Zero Motivation, and it's kind of shocking that they're the only ones, as this comedy about Israeli women serving their mandatory military service in a small, out-of-the-way base seems like it would be something other local theaters would pounce on. It recently played the Boston Jewish Film Festival and has won a number of awards at other fests.
  • The Indian film playing at Apple Cinemas/iMovieCafe with English subtitles this week is not Hindi, but Tamil: Lingaa stars superstar Rajnikanth and Sonakshi Sinha, and appears to be a historical adventure with Rajini as father and son trying to build a dam despite the British refusing to assist. There will also be screenings in the Telugu language, and I don't suppose it matters which one those of us using subtitles see. I remind you that Rajini was the star of the absolutely bonkers Endhirian and writer/director K.S. Ravikumar also wrote the actor's recent animated adventure Kochadaiiyaan. I also warn that these are $20 tickets, no matter the time of day.

    The other near-day-and-date international release comes from China: Back in Time tells the story of a person's first love back in 1980s Beijing, and how it shaped him into the man he is today. It stars Eddie Peng and Ni Ni, and apparently opened ahead of John Woo's new film back home. It plays at Fenway, which is also keeping Women Who Flirt around for matinees.
  • The Brattle will be pairing a new restoration of documentary Burroughs: The Movie with other films based on author William S. Burroughs's work from Friday to Saturday: A 70-minute "assault version" of Nova Express on Friday & Saturday (director Andre Perkowski is continually adding to his combination of novel-reading and found footage), and a 35mm print of David Cronenberg's version of Naked Lunch on Saturday & Sunday. All are single features, and note that the times on Saturday have shifted some to accommodate an unrelated preview screening.

    The rest of the week has special screenings. On Monday, The DocYard presents Approaching the Elephant with filmmaker Amanda Rose Wilder on had to discuss her documentary on the Teddy McArdle Free School and its unusual means of operation. There's a Trash Night screening of Starcrash on Tuesday (and, honestly, the images look like the thing's too much fun to have people "enhancing" the experience, and then the place is closed on Wednesday for recovery or a private event. Thursday brings a special screening of The Loudest Sound, a locally-produced film with the cast and crew there for a Q&A afterward.
  • Though The Somerville Theatre is using the big room for burlesque show The Slutcracker all through December (hey, it's a tradition!), the good folks at All Things Horror will be taking over the Micro-Cinema on Saturday night and Sunday afternoon for the Etheria Film Night a program that includes Axelle Carolyn's feature debut Soulmate along with seven short films, all science fiction, fantasy, and horror and directed by women. Tickets are available on Ticketleap.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre shuffles things between screens a little but keeps the same line-up, although The Babadook only gets out of the Goldscreen for midnights (screen #2 on Friday, the Screening Room on Saturday). The other midnights are more in the Christmas spirit, with a 35mm print of Black Christmas playing Friday (screen #1) & Saturday (screen #2), while Johnny Cupcakes presents Home Alone in the big room on Saturday (there's also a kid-oriented free screening at Assembly Row that morning, but the two events are unrelated).

    The other specials don't require staying up so late, with the Goethe-Institut showing their monthly German film - Superegos, a comedy about a fence who specializes in rare books hiding out with a senile psychiatrist - playing Sunday morning. Monday night, on the other hand, offers a Big Screen Classic of Frank Capra's It Happened One Night (featuring Clark Gable and Claudette Colbert) on 35mm.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has their last two screenings of Alain Resnais's Hiroshima, Mon Amour on Friday and Saturday, and also continues the Jacques Demy series with Bay of Angels (Friday 7pm), Break of Day (Saturday 9pm on 16mm), The Pied Piper (Sunday 5pm on DCP), The Young Girls of Rochefort (Sunday 7pm, followed by Agnes Varda's 25th anniversary retrospective doc), and Lady Oscar (Monday 7pm). All Demy films are 35mm unless noted.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has its final screening of Bad Hair on Friday, but continues The Films of Catherine Breillat with Sex Is Comedy (35mm Friday), Anatomy of Hell (35mm Saturday & Wednesday), The Last Mistress (Saturday & Wednesday), The Sleeping Beauty (Thursday), and Bluebeard (Thursday). National Gallery has a Sunday-afternoon screening, and also opens at The West Newton Cinema.

My plans? As I said, pretty mapped out, with tickets already grabbed for Etheria and the Brattle preview of Inherent Vice (I believe they all went to members). I will probably try to fit Top Five, Back in Time, Zero Motivation, a couple of the Demys, and maybe Lingaa in there. Maybe Exodus and Black Christmas. Oh, and Red Sox tickets go on sale Saturday, so there's that...

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