Thursday, April 16, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 17 April 2015 - 23 April 2015

Is it really IFFBoston time already? I'm not ready. I've barely spent any time when I should have been working poring over the schedule and making plans.

  • Independent Film Festival Boston 2015 is starting anyway, though, kicking off Wednesday the 22nd at the Somerville Theatre with The End of the Tour, which will have both director James Ponsoldt and star Jason Segel on-hand. On Thursday, it explodes, taking all five screens at Somerville (with a lot of documentaries, from Love Between the Covers to Finders Keepers, but also Michael Fassbender in Slow West), starting its stay at the Brattle, and presenting a whole day of events at UMass Boston with two documentary panels in the afternoon and The Amina Profile in the evening.

    The Somerville Theatre will also be running matinee shows of The King & the Mockingbird, a French animated film from 1980 that folks appear to really like. It's only playing matinees, and I'm not sure whether it will be playing dubbed or subtitles.
  • It's a genre-filled week at the Coolidge, as they (along with the Kendall and Boston Common) open Ex Machina, the first film that Alex Garland (writer of 28 Days Later, Sunshine, and Dredd) has directed, about a man, and android, and the latter's creator, brought to a remote location for a Turing Test, though all is not as it seems. They also pick up the excellent White God for a week in the GoldScreen, which is highly recommended. I've also heard great things about Backcountry, a thriller about a hiking party already brimming with tension that wanders into a black bear's territory. It plays Friday & Saturday at midnight.

    The April "Southern Phantoms" midnight series also continues, with Charles B. Pierce's The Evictors playing on 35mm in the big theater. "35mm in the big theater" also applies to Monday's Big Screen Classic, Robert Mitchum, Jane Greer, and Kirk Douglas in noir masterpiece Out of the Past. There's also a special preview screening of Adult Beginners on Wednesday with its star, comedian Nick Kroll, on had for a Q&A. Another special presentation on Thursday, Deepwater Horizon aftermath documentary The Great Invisible, is presented by sustainability group Ceres.
  • A couple other movies opening at Kendall Square & the Embassy are also opening wider as well. They both get True Story, which features Jonah Hill as a reporter drawn into the case of accused killer (James Franco) when the other starts claiming to be him. It also plays at Boston Common and Revere. Those same four theaters open another crime story, Child 44, featuring Tom Hardy, Gary Oldman, Noomi Rapace, and more in a story about finding a serial killer in the Soviet Union, which denied that murder would ever take place within its borders.

    Two others play the Kendall alone - Clouds of Sils Maria is the latest by Olivier Assayas, and stars Juliette Binoche as an actress asked to take on a different part in the play that made her famous, Chloe Grace Moretz as the hot young thing in her old role, and Kristen Stewart in an award-winning performance as the former's personal assistant. There's also The Mafia Only Kills in Summer, an Italian comedy about a young man whose fascination with both the Cosa Nostra and the prettiest girl in class follows him into adulthood.
  • It's similarly busy in the multiplexes - aside from all of the above movies coming to Boston Common, there's Unfriended, which played Fantasia under the name Cybernatural last year and had everybody raving about it to me. It's a "something bad happened a year ago and now everyone involved will pay", but played out via skypes, streaming videos, etc. on computer screens. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    Disney's annual nature documentary also comes out for Earth Day; this year it's Monkey Kingdom, which follows a group of monkeys in Thailand who wind up in abandoned and populated cities as well as the jungle. It's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. But, the widest opening is probably Kevin James in Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2, which has Kevin James's character saving Las Vegas hotels from a slumming Neal McDonough. It's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Assembly Row, Boston Common, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    Fenway and Revere will both be presenting 50th Anniversary screenings of The Sound of Music on Sunday & Wednesday. Another anniversary celebration that might make people feel more immediately old is when they show Friday on Monday; that Ice Cube/Chris Tucker comedy has been around for twenty years.
  • The Belmont World Film screening at the West Newton Cinema on Sunday is The Finishers and hails from France, although it's inspired by a pair of New Englanders (Dick & Ron Hoyt, the former of whom pushes the latter, his son with cerebal palsy, all the way through the Boston Marathon). The setting is moved to Europe and the challenge upgraded to an Ironman competition, but it's a neat thing to have on the eve of Marathon Monday.
  • April vacation means Muppet Madness at The Brattle, although the schedule has changed a bit since the schedule went out. Friday night is still special, though, with a sing-along to The Muppet Movie (on 35mm) at 7pm and a 25th Anniversary pizza party to celebrate the 25th Anniversary of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles at 9:30 (35mm). That ges a second show Saturday night, while The Dark Crystal plays on 35mm early Saturday at at 7:30pm Sunday, with Labyrinth playing early and late on Sunday as well. Monday afternoon is a 35mm Muppet Movie Marathon, with the original, The Great Muppet Caper, and The Muppets Take Manhattan.

    There will also be plenty of festivals and special events, starting with live performances of "TV Guidance Counselor" and "You're the Expert" on Saturday & Sunday as part of the Eugene Mirman Comedy festival. Monday evening the DocYard welcomes director Kris Kaczor and producer David Regos for their film Divide in Concord about the attempt to ban single-serve bottled water in the Massachusetts town. Tuesday's Trash Night film has not been announced, while Wednesday night features 14 female-directed short films as part of the Women in Comedy Festival. And then, Thursday, IFFBoston comes to the Brattle with Results and Eden.
  • China's Let's Get Married keeps trucking at Fenway and Boston Common, but you'll have to head out to Revere for Twenty, a Korean comedy about a group of friends who just finished their second decade and are looking to get into a little trouble. Props to the folks at Showcase for laughing at my tweet wondering why they emailed me about Paul Blart even though I seldom go out there for anything but Korean movies.

    Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond/iMovieCafe has two Indian films with English subtitles opening this weekend. Mr. X (Hindi) stars Emraan Hashmi as a man who gains the power to turn invisible and naturally splits his time between fighting crime and getting revenge. OK Kanmani is subtitled Tamil, but I can't find much information on it beyond it being a romantic comedy of some sort. It's also showing in Telugu (unsubtitled) under the name OK Bangaram.
  • The Harvard Film Archive continues The Waking Dreams of Wojciech Jerzy Has with The Sargossa Manuscript on Friday and a 35mm print of Farewells (aka Lydia Ate the Apple on Monday. In between, Argentine filmmakers Martín Rejtman and Matías Piñeiro will be on hand to show their latest films - Rejtmn's Two Shots Fired on Saturday and Piñeiro's The Princess of France on Sunday, with both directors attending both films. Then, on Wednesday, the "Furious Cinema" presentation is a 35mm print of Nagisa Oshima's In the Realm of the Senses.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues "Hollywood Scriptures" with Punch-Drunk Love (Friday), Queens of Heart: Community Therapists in Drag (Saturday),and Wounded Places (Sunday). And though the main program finished up nearly three weeks before, the Boston Turkish Film Festival has a free preview (though advance reservations are required) of Russell Crowe's The Water Diviner on Thursday.
  • The Bright Lights series at the Paramount is relatively quiet compared to past weeks, with "Stumped" - a documentary short about a filmmaker who adjusts to becoming a quadruple-amputee in part by doing stand-up comedy - making what I think is a return engagement on Tuesday; subject Will Lautzenheiser will do a comedy set and also do a Q&A with director Robin Berghaus. Thursday's screening of The Living is presented by the Boston Creative Pro User Group and will have the writer/director, producers, and colorist on-hand for what promises to be a much more technical discussion than usual.
  • As mentioned last week, The Boston International Film Festival is taking a different form this year, mostly taking place at ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theater Bright Screening Room and the nearby Broadway Picture Entertainment Studio, also compressed to only run through Monday afternoon after opening on the 16th. A few interesting programs, although many are very far under the radar.
  • Though they showed it as playing a couple weeks earlier,The Regent Theatre will apparently show Invitation to Dance this Tuesday (the 12st), as part of Gathr's monthly "Alive Mind" seies. It's a documentary on Simi Linton, a wheelchair-bound activist who was able to find expression in dance.

My plans include Ex Machina, catching up with Unfriended, checking out Twenty, and seeing what else fits before moving into the Somerville Theatre for IFFBoston.

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