Friday, March 27, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 27 March 2015 - 2 April 2015

Awful nice of BUFF to co-present that movie at the Boston Horror Show a couple months ago, given how this weekend lines up.

  • That's because Boston Underground Film Festival will be continuing at The Brattle through Sunday, making it hard to see anything else if that's your thing. Presentations include I Am a Knife with Legs on Friday, Saturday morning cartoons and We Are Still Here fresh fron SXSW on Saturday, with Der Samurai and Goodnight Mommy to close things out on Sunday. Plus shorts and more; it's a pretty great line-up.

    They don't get a lot of time to sleep it off, though, as the DocYard will be presenting the postponed January screening of Happy Valley, with director Amir Bar-Lev and producer Ken Dornstein there to discuss their documentary on the Penn State scandal, filmed as it became public. There's a free Elements of Cinema screening of Inigmar Bergman's Persona on Tuesday, followed by a separate screening of Three Stooges shorts. Those shorts repeat on Wednesday along with a second collection that you can see as a double feature.
  • The full BUFF schedule may make it tough to get out to the Coolidge for Spring, playing midnight on Friday & Saturday, which would be a shame - that movie (about a young man who meets a mysterious girl while trekking through Italy) is a sublime piece of sci-fi/horror/romance, halfway between Before Sunrise and Upstream Color. Don't miss it, even if it means passing on the other midnight show, a 35mm print of Pedator 2.

    That's not all the special programming at the Coolidge this weekend; there's 10:30am kids' show on Saturday, The Hero of Color City, that only costs a box of crayons to see, with the crayons donated to local Head Start centers on National Crayon Day (Tuesday the 31st). There's also a Big Screen Classics presentation of Blade Runner on Monday; it's "the final cut" and presented on 35mm.

    Oh, they also open Danny Collins (as does the Kendall, West Newton, and Boston Common). That's got Al Pacino as the 1970s rock star of the title, who has been a hard-drinking sell-out for much of his career, only to discover that John Lennon wrote him a letter saying to stay true to his early work 40 years ago, leading him to ditch his Greatest Hits tour, work on new material, and get it touch with his family.
  • Over at the multiplexes It Follows has a pretty nice expansion, with screens at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway, and Revere joining the Coolidge and Boston Common. It's a pretty great supernatural thriller; along with Spring, one of my favorites from last year's festival circuit. Sadly, it looks like Zombeavers won't be joining them in theaters.

    The larger openings are about folks being out of place. In Get Hard, it's Will Ferrell as a one-percenter being sent to prison and asking his black landscaper to help him prepare, unaware Darnell (Kevin Hart) has never so much as gotten a parking ticket. That's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Embassy, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. For the kids, there's Home, in which an accident-prone alien crash-lands on Earth and is befriended by a human girl. It's from DreamWorks, so it's animated in 3D, and plays at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, West Newton (2D only), Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    In smaller mainstream release, Boston Common and Revere open A Girl Like Her, a faux-documentary about a girl whose sophomore years of high school is made miserable by a former friend turning on her. Boston Common also continues Lost and Love, while Fenway and Revere have an encore of The Breakfast Club's 30th anniversary screening on Tuesday.
  • Somewhat surprisingly, given its cast, Kendall Square is the only place on the T opening Serena, starring Jennifer Lawrence and Bradley Cooper as a married couple building a logging business in 1920s North Carolina, at least until something from the husband's past rears its head. Similarly, they seem to be the only place getting Woman in Gold on Wednesday, with Ryan Reynolds as a lawyer trying to help Holocaust survivor Helen Mirren recover a painting that was taken from her family during the war.

    The one-week booking is Kumiko the Treasure Hunter, with Rinko Kikuchi as a mentally unstable office lady who believes Fargo to be true and accurate, and sets off to Minnesota to find the buried million dollars despite speaking little English. They also get Seymour: An Introduction, a documentary on concert pianist-turned-teacher Seymour Bernstein, directed by Ethan Hawke.
  • If you want to see Indian movies at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond/iMovieCafe this week, you'd better speak Telugu - Jill, Rey, and Yevade Subramanyam are all in that langague and unsubtitled. They also give half a screen to Apartment Troubles, co-directed, co-written, and co-starring Jennifer Prediger and Jess Weixler as New York roommates who, about to be evicted, head to Los Angeles. Megan Mullally, Will Forte, and Jeffrey Tambor all show up in this as well.
  • The Somerville Theatre has two special screenings this week: Salad Days plays Friday, and while it's apparently still a bit of a work-in-progress, it shows the 1980s punk music scene in Washington, DC. They also have this year's Boston Cinema Census program at 7pm Thursday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive
    continues their Lav Diaz retrospective with an event for the hardcore on Friday and Saturday - Evolution of a Filipino Family, with the first five hours at 6:30pm Friday and the remain six at 6pm Saturday. If that broke into forty-five-minute chunks, you'd have a respectable television series there.

    After that, they have a second screening of Shirley Clarke's Ornette: Made in America at 5pm Sunday (in 35mm), a far more manageable 77 minutes. Sunday also has directors Stephanie Spray and Pacho Velez in person to present their unusual film Manakamana, in which each reel of film is a complete trip up or down a tramway to a mountaintop temple. Monday also features a guest, experimental filmmaker Ute Aurand, who will be presenting three 16mm films. Wednesday's "Furious Cinema" 35mm presentation is Wanda, a relatively rare example of a movie that a woman (Barbara Loden) wrote, directed, and starred in during that time period.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues the 14th Annual Boston Turkish Film Festival this week, with screenings on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. There's also a Tuesday afternoon screening of John Waters's Hairspray (the original, not the musical).
  • The MFA will be one of the venues for The Boston LGBT Film Festival, but Thursday's opening night is at The Institute of Contemporary Art , where director David Au will be on hand to present Eat with Me, in which a disapproving mother moves in with the gay son she often disapproved of.
  • ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theater Bright Screening room will present the Boston Student Film Fest on Saturday, with a program of nine short films by local students.

    It's also a stuffed week for the Bright Lights at that venue, with twice as many presentations as usual. They will be screening Selma on Monday, with a civil rights panel discussion afterward (that's part of MIT's Women Take the Reel series, which also screens films in Waltham and Chestnut Hill on Tuesday, and I wish I'd seen its schedule earlier). Tuesday is Michel Gondry's Is the Man Who Is Tall Happy? An Animated Coversation with Noam Chomsky, with local animators who contributed on-hand afterward. Wednesday and Thursday feature a visit from documentary filmmaker Peter Davis; his Oscar-winning Hearts and Minds playing Wednesday and he will host the "It's All True" documentary showcase on Thursday.
  • It's still hanging on for late shows at Kendall Square, but The Regent Theatre will screen rock-doc The Wrecking Crew at 7:30pm on Monday.
  • Director Matt Creed is this weeks' guest at the UMass Boston Film Series; he'll be presenting Lily, which unusually for the series is not strictly a documentary, but is still based upon the experiences of its star and co-writer, actress and cancer survivor Amy Grantham.

My plans start with BUFF and I'm not sure where they'll continue from there; probably some sample out of Apartment Troubles, Home, Merchants of Doubt, Serena, and The Gunman, but everything is going to be impossible.

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