Thursday, July 09, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 10 July 2015 - 16 July 2015

Last one of these before heading out to Fantasia. And maybe, just maybe, the sort of time that lets me write stuff other than this

  • As much as I like animation and as popular as the films may be, I've yet to see either Despicable Me because they've come out right around the time I head up to Montreal, and the same seems to be the case for the Minions spin-off. Apparently, they weren't something Gru cooked up in the lab himself but have thousands of years of history, including this story where three wind up working for a 1960s supervillain voiced by Sandra Bullock. Like its predecessors, its in 2D and 3D at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, West Newton (2D only), Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    Also opening is Self/Less, in which Ben Kingsley plays a dying man who purchases a new young body (Ryan Reynolds) only to discover that it might not be the genetically engineered blank he'd been sold on. That's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. There's also high-school-play found-footage slasher The Gallows, playing at Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.
  • Amy gets an unusually wide release for a music documentary, as Asif Kapadia's film about Amy Winehouse opens at the Coolidge, the Somerville, Kendall Square, the Embassy, Boston Common, and Fenway. It seems to have a lot of all-access footage and also promises never-before-heard material from the much-beloved talent who died far too young.

    The Coolidge Corner Theatre also several of its usual special programs, including The Silence of the Lambs (on 35mm) at midnight Friday and Saturday. They've got a Big Screen Classic of another sort on Monday, with the supremely silly Monty Python and the Holy Grail playing as a tribute to late Boston Globe film critic Jay Carr; Joyce Kulhawik will provide an introduction.
  • Even setting Amy aside, it's a documentary-heavy week at Kendall Square. They'll be screening Batkid Begins, a look at how San Francisco tranformed into Gotham City for the day when many, many people responded to a cancer-stricken boy's dream for the Make-A-Wish Foundation. Much less cheerful is IFFBoston selection Cartel Land, in which director Matthew Heineman jonis vigilantes on both sides of the US/Mexico border aiming to combat drug-related violence.

    They will also have a one-week booking of the restored Rebels of the Neon God, one of director Tsai Ming-liang's first features. It has a cram-school student seeking the thief who damaged his father's cab, and looks just as weird and arty as Tsai's later work.
  • Very little Indian cinema at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond this week - just a few straggler screenings of Tamil-language Papanasam - but they are the only place locally opening Strangerland, an Australian thriller starring Nicole Kidman and Joseph Fiennes as parents whose children vanish in the desert just prior to a dust storm; Hugo Weaving plays the detective in charge of the search.

    Fans of Chinese film can catch Forever Young at Boston Common, which appears to be a romantic comedy about a would-be pop star and dance student in college.
  • Friend-of-The Brattle Theatre Edgar Wright arguably should be having a new movie coming out next week in Ant-Man (he retains a screenwriting credit and developed some of the action design), but the theater will pay tribute anyway with Wright On! Edgar Wright and His Influences. It kicks off Friday with two movies featuring videogame logic - Run Lola Run and Scott Pilgrim vs The World - both in 35mm. Saturday and Sunday will both start off with single-features matinees of the Wright-scripted Adventures of Tintin before triple features: On Saturday, it's the "alternate reality Cornetto Trilogy", with horror rarity Dead and Buried, the 1978 Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and John Woo's Hard Boiled, all in 35mm. Sunday has the Simon Pegg/Nick Frost films they inspired in Shaun of the Dead, Hot Fuzz (35mm), and The World's End.

    Monday and Tuesday feature a two-night tribute to Ingrid Bergman with 35mm double features of Casablanca and Gaslight, although Monday also has a 9:30pm screening of To Kill a Mockingbird in anticipation of Tuesday's release of Harper Lee's "lost" book, Go Set a Watchman.

    Finally, there's the annual "Trailer Treats" program. Its inspiration, the Robert Rodriguez/Quentin Tarantino Grindhouse project and its fake trailers (one, to come full-circle, directed by Edgar Wright), plays on 35mm Wednesday, while the night-long party with barbecue, previews from the Brattle library, and the winners of the annual "Trailer Smackdown" contest, is Thursday.
  • After a week off for fireworks, the Saturday Midnight Special returns to The Somerville Theatre with Rock & Roll High School in 35mm, as are most of the theater's special events. Not all - Wednesday night's "Summer of Sam Peckinpah" presentation of The Wild Bunch will have them firing up the 70mm projector, which should be just outstanding. Then it's back to 35mm for Thursday night's Paul Thomas Anderson picture, Magnolia

    Over at The Capitol , the "Throwback Thursday" program is a not-obvious but still great pairing: Die Hard & Gremlins, apparently in that order. Heck of a Christmas in July routine there..
  • Over at The Harvard Film Archive, the Robert Altman retrospective continues with California Split (Friday 7pm), Thieves Like Us (Saturday 7pm), and a double feature of plays he shot for television on Thursday - "The Laundromat" and Beyond Therapy (both on digital video). The Sam Fuller pictures for the week are The Baron of Arizona (Friday 9:15pm on 16mm), Merrill's Marauders (Saturday 9:30pm), House of Bamboo (Sunday 7pm), and Fixed Bayonets! (Monday 7pm). Sunday also has an entry from the Titanus Studios retrospective, Tormento. All are in 35mm unless otherwise noted.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues the Boston French Film Festival, which includes a broad array of contemporary French films plus a Saturday afternoon screening of The Young Girls of Rochefort justified (as if that were necessary) by the visit to Boston Harbor of a replica of the Rochefort-built Hermione, a ship that played a crucial role in the American Revolution. Note that some films will begin after the museum has otherwise closed, so attendees will need to use the side door.
  • The Regent Theatre has screenings of Meet Me in Montenegro on Friday, Saturday, Tuesday, and Thursday (and again on Friday the 17th), in which two ex-lovers meet by chance in Berlin and feel the old attraction despite being about to move to opposite ends of the planet in the next two days, while their friends explore the limits of their relationship as well. It claims to have been shot in five countries over four years, so it's a pretty ambitious independent romance. Two of the gaps in that schedule will be filled with other film events: Sunday evening has a preview of local filmmaker Christopher Di Nunzio's A Life Not to Follow (along with short film "Under the Dark Wing"), with cast and crew on hand for a Q&A. Wednesday night offers The Yes Men Are Revolting, with the satiric activists taking on climate change.
  • The West Newton Cinema doesn't open anything other than Minions, but they will continue their series of Wednesday Boston Jewish Film Festival encores with Above and Beyond a documentary on the first days of the Israeli Air Force, which was immediately tested.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art will have a special program of 16mm-with-live-music at noon on Saturday; admission is included with museum entry.
  • Free outdoor screenings listed on Joe's Calendar include more of previous years' family-oriented programs: Paddington at the Hatch Shell on Friday, and The Boxtrolls at the Prudential Center on Saturday, among others. Most are on video, but "Coolidge at the Greenway" will be setting 35mm projection up on Tuesday for The Birds.

Well, I'm thinking maybe Forever Young on Friday and then what I can fit in on Saturday around packing for Montreal and seeing the Sox-Yankees game. Then it's off to the North, where the Fantasia Festival gets an early Tuesday start this year.

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