Thursday, March 19, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 20 March 2015 - 26 March 2015

You've got an assignment this weekend, Boston-area movie fans.

  • It Follows opens at the Coolidge and Boston Common. It's a fantastic little horror film - Maika Monroe stars as a woman who has a terrible curse passed on to her. I loved it when I saw it at Fantastic Fest last fall, and am thrilled that the Coolidge is giving it a full 7-day booking on the main screen, including midnights on Friday and Saturday (the other midnight, Aliens, only plays those two nights).

    They also pick up The Hunting Ground in its second week of local release, and they will be offering it to students with a valid ID for five dollars. There will also be a special screening on Sunday, with a pair of assault survivors and activists there for a Q&A afterward.

    There are two special screenings Sunday morning. The Farewell Party is a Talk Cinema preview, following a group of retirees who make a euthanasia device, which becomes a small business, at least until it becomes personal; an hour later, the Goethe-Institut presents the German thriller The Lies of the Victors, following an investigational journalist who may have been compromised. The first will have discussion afterward, with the second featuring a post-film Q&A with director Christoph Hochhäusler via Skype. There are also two special screenings on Thursday night, with Goddard House, Sherrill House, and the Brookline Council on Aging & the Brookline Community Aging Network presenting Glen Campbell: I'll Be Me (remember the great Oscar-nominated song?) and the French consulate wrapping up the Francophone Film Festival with the animated Aya de Yopougon, an adaptation of the graphic novel series.
  • The Brattle will have two live performances from the cast of web series Gayle on Friday night, while Saturday is given over to the Women, Action & the Media film festival. Sunday is for the Chlotrudis Awards, with special guest Signe Baumane sticking around after the ceremony to introduce and discuss her animated film Rocks in My Pockets afterwards. The director of Ukraine is Not a Brothel, Kitty Green, won't be on-hand for its DocYard screening on Monday, but she will join via Skype. There will also be guests on Tuesday for Recycled Cinema: An Experimental Shorts Story, presented by Balagan and Crows & Sparrows.

    Then on Wednesday, it's Boston Underground Film Festival time, and there's fun stuff on the first couple days: The Editor, which I was too worn-down for to really process at Fantastic Fest, where I also saw Thursday night's pretty fantastic The World of Kanako. Thursday's nifty-looking Excess Flesh features local filmmaker Izzy Lee's "Postpartum" beforehand. The Wednesday-night repertory screening (Gone with the Pope), sadly, is a piece of crap.
  • At the multiplex, Taken director Pierre Morel tries to get another guy not necessarily known for action a hit with The Gunman, starring Sean Penn as a fugitive assassin making his way across Europe trying to clear his name from some combination of Javier Bardem, Idris Elba, Mark Rylance, and Ray Winstone. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    The bigger opening (in both 2D and 3D) is Insurgent, the follow-up to last year's Divergent, and I have to admit, it looks like there's a good action bit or two in there despite the first merely looking rock-dumb. And how the heck did they get Kate Winslet to sign on for multiple movies? It's at the Somerville (2D only), Apple Fresh Pond (2D only), Jordan's Furniture (Imax 3D), Fenway (including RPX), Boston Common (including Imax 3D), Assembly Row (including Imax 3D), Revere (including XPlus), and the SuperLux.

    Boston Common also has this week's Chinese new release, Lost and Love, featuring Andy Lau as a father whose son disappeared fourteen years ago and who hasn't stopped searching. Tony Leung Ka-fai and Sandra Ng co-star. They also have Do You Believe?, an intersecting-cast movie with everyone having some sort of religious epiphany along the way.

    Fenway and Revere, meanwhile, has three special screenings this week: Rear Window screens (digitally) on Monday and Wednesday as a TCM presentation; "documentary" Four Blood Moons on Monday; and The Breakfast Club on Thursday.
  • Kendall Square finally gets around to opening Goodbye to Language, Godard's experiment with 3D and the like. Maybe I'll give it another try, because it was seen under less-than-ideal circumstances the first time around. They've also got a one-week booking of An Honest Liar, a documentary on magician and fervant psychic debunker James "The Amazing" Randi.

    Both they and West Newton open two others: Gett: The Trial of Vivane Amsalem recounts an Israeli woman's attempts to divorce in a country whose religious laws mean that the husband's consent must be obtained, while Merchants of Doubt profiles professional skeptics of a different sort than James Randi, expert witnesses meant to cause confusion on subjects like climate change. Kendall's 7:10pm shows on Friday and Saturday will have Naomi Oreskes, the co-author of the book from which the movie sprung, on-hand for a Q&A.
  • The Irish Film Festival Boston continues from Friday to Sunday at the Somerville Theatre; with notable screenings including Friday's One Million Dubliners with the director and producer on-hand and a special presentation of In the Name of the Father on the main screen on Sunday afternoon.

    The Somerville will also be playing Adam Carolla's Road Hard, a roman-a-clef about a no-longer-famous stand-up comic that will be playing after the festival heads down the street for parties through the weekend and presumably evenings through the rest of the week.
  • The Harvard Film Archive
    (mostly) wraps up To the Beat of Shirley Clarke with Ornette: Mate In America (Friday 7pm on 35mm), Lions Love (...and Lies) (Friday 9pm), "Robert Frost: A Lover's Quarrel with the World" (Saturday 7pm), Portrait of Jason (Saturday 9pm on 35mm), and a number of short films (Monday 7pm).

    On Sunday, the Lav Diaz retrospective continues with Death in the Land of Encantos, which starts at 1pm and continues for nine hours. "Furious Cinema" is what continues on Wednesday with a 35mm print of The Devils, which is crazy, and is listed as the 109-minute version.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has the 14th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival this week, including winners from the short film competition there several months ago.
  • The Bright Lights program has three selections at Emerson's Paramount Theater Bright Screening room this week: The 15th Annual Emerson Film Festival has two programs Sunday night is the extra one, with alumni and student films. Tuesday's is "Ophan Morphin: Creative Plundering of the Archive with Craig Baldwin", and Signe Baumane will apparently still be in town on Thursday for another screening of Rocks in My Pockets.
  • The ICA will be showing the programs of live-action and animated shorts from the 2014 Sundance Film Festival on Saturday.
  • The UMass Boston Film Series welcomes director Thomas Wirthensohn to campus on Thursday for Homme Less, which follows a staple of the New York nightlife who, despite his glamorous appearance, sleeps on a rooftop in the East Village.

I won't actually be seeing much; my plan for the weekend involves heading north to see my family after losing my grandfather yesterday. I'll probably try and catch Lost and Love, An Honest Liar, and (hopefully) It Follows before settling in for BUFF on Wednesday.

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