Thursday, March 12, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 13 March 2015 - 19 March 2015

Things seem to be approaching normal for a bit right now - nothing way out of left field, a manageable amount of new releases, little see-it-now-or-else insanity.

  • The latest Disney animated classic to get a live-action remake is Cinderella, with Lily James in the title role, Cate Blanchett as the wicked stepmother, Helena Bonham Carter as the fairy godmother, and a pretty nifty cast around them, too. Kenneth Branagh directs, and I really hope that all the studio-franchise work he's been doing over the past few years is a plot to earn enough goodwill to get an Imax 3D full-text version of MacBeth with an all-star cast into production. It's preceded by a short starring the cast of Frozen, which will probably get a lot of kids into the theater on its own. It plays at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture, Fenway (including RPX), Boston Common (including Imax), Assembly Row (including Imax), and Revere (including XPlus).

    On the other side of the spectrum, Liam Neeson does another action movie with Jaume Collet-Serra, this time playing a hitman facing off crime boss against Ed Harris in Run All Night. Fun supporting cast, too, with Bruce McGill, Vincent D'Onofrio, and Common. This one plays the Capitol, Embassy, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.
  • A more limited release is in store for '71, which stars Jack O'Connell as a British soldier separated from his unit in 1971 Belfast, a pretty hairy situation. It's at the Coolidge, Kendall Square, and Boston Common; the Tuesday 7:15pm screening at the Coolidge is an "Off the Couch" screening with members of the Boston Psychoanalytic Society, which sounds like a fantastic Saint Patrick's Day treat.

    The Coolidge also picks up What We Do in the Shadows for the smaller rooms, in case you haven't caught it yet. The midnight show on Friday and Saturday is a new digital restoration of the uncensored God Told Me To, Larry Cohen's 1976 horror movie about connected spree killers who believe they are doing the Lord's work. There's a second midnight on Saturday, Brain Damage, this one a 35mm print of a 1988 movie by Frank Henenlotter. It's presented by the Arkham Film Society, and the print is incredibly rare.

    There's also a kid's show of Fantastic Mr. Fox on Saturday morning, and a Science On Screen presentation of Arsenic and Old Lace on Monday. It's on 35mm and Deborah Blum, author of The Poisoner's Handbook, will introduce it, probably not discussing old lace. Then on Thursday, the Francophone Film Festival in the screening room is Monsieur l'Economiste, out of Haiti.
  • Kendall Square loads up on documentaries along with '71. The big one is probably Red Army, which looks at the Red Army Hockey Team, the most successful dynasty in sports history, and how it was both a powerful symbol of the Soviet Union and beholden to it. Another dynasty of sorts is shown in The Wrecking Crew, a documentary about the group of Los Angeles studio musicians who had an enormous and little-publicized impact on the "west coast sound" of the 1960s and 1970s, playing on six consecutive Grammy Record of the Year winners. It's booked for one week.

    Rounding out the trio is The Hunting Ground, the latest from Kirby Dick, which catalogs the staggering number of sexual assaults on college campuses and the institutional cover-ups which make things even harder on the victims. Producer Amy Ziering will be there for Q&As after the 7:05 screenings on Friday and Saturday.
  • West Newton will have two screenings a day of Deli Man; no points for guessing what this is a documentary about.
  • The Brattle has an even stranger schedule that usual this week. For instance, the main show from Friday to Monday is a new restoration of Eric Rohmer's A Tale of Winter, which is, well, an eric Rohmer film. Then at 9:30pm, there will be a different Bloody Fantasy each night - Dragonslayer (35mm, Friday), John Boorman's Excalibur (Saturday), Conan the Barbarian (Sunday), and Albert Pyun's The Sword & the Sorcerer (35mm, Monday).

    Then on Tuesday, the monthly Trash Night screening - T-Force - is followed by Avengers Grimm, a fairy-tale mashup by the modern practitioners of cheap knock-offs, The Asylum. Gears are then once again quickly shifted for two nights of Growing Up Baumbach: A triple feature of The Squid and the Whale, Kicking and Screaming, and Frances Ha on Wednesday and a preview of While We're Young with writer/director Noah Baumbach in person on Thursday.
  • Subtitles return to Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond/iMovieCafe with NH-10, a thriller starring Anushka Sharma as a woman who just barely survives an attack on the street who, along with her boyfriend (Neil Bhoopalam) comes across a girl being attacked in the middle of the desert.
  • The Harvard Film Archive begins a new retrospective - Life in Real Time: The Cinema of Lav Diaz on Friday with the 4-plus-hour Norte, the End of History, and that looks like one of the shorter ones he's done, as Florentina Hubaldo, CTE on Sunday runs six hours!

    A second begins on Saturday, although To the Beat of Shirley Clarke doesn't look like it involves marathons, although there are two films on Saturday, Portrait of Jason and The Connection, both in 35mm. A third entry, The Cool World, plays in 16mm on Monday. After that, "Furious Cinema" continues on Wednesday with a 35mm print of Mauriece Pialat's We Won't Grow Old Together.
  • The Museum of Fine Artscontinues showing New Latin American Cinema, including Argentina's History of Fear (Friday/Wednesday) , Princess of France (Saturday/Wednesday), and Natural Sciences (Sunday/Wednesday); Brazil contributes Obra (Friday). The Tuesday afternoon film is Pollock, and the 14th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival starts on Thursday with Winter Sleep.
  • The Regent Theatre will be showing Farewell Herr Schwarz on Tuesday; it's a documentary by Yael Reuveny about how two brothers (one her grandfather) settled in East Germany and Israel after the Holocaust, neither knowing the other was alive, until Reuveny started digging into her family history.
  • The Bright Lights program at Emerson's Paramount Theater Bright Screening room on Tuesday is Who Is Vermin Supreme? An Outsider Odyssey, with director Stephen Onderick and the Presidential candidate/performance artist of the title in peson.
  • The ICA will be showing the program of live-action shorts from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on Thursday.
  • And, finally, the Irish Film Festival Boston kicks of at Somerville Theatre on Thursday night with their Best Feature winner Gold, about a man trying to reconnect with his ex-girlfriend and daughter after 12 years. It's preceded by Best Short winner "Boogaloo and Graham" (one of this year's Oscar nominees), and the directors of both will be on-hand for a Q&A.

My plans: Cinderella, Run All Night, '71, The Wrecking Crew, and maybe Arsenic and Old Lace and God Told Me To. And, who am I kidding, I'll probably see Avengers Grimm as well.

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