Friday, August 28, 2015

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 28 August 2015 - 3 September 2015

End of summer, another quiet week, with Fenway still at half-strength, Jordan's Reading closed, not much of interest opening... And the thing I want to see is still playing at crappy times.

  • Well, one of the things I want to see, because the Asian Community Development Center's Films at the Gate returns to the Rose Kennedy Greenway with a greatest hits sort of lineup - Shaolin Soccer on Friday, Drunken Master on Saturday, and Iron Monkey (starring local hero Donnie Yen) on Sunday. Movies are at 8pm, with lion dancing, martial arts demonstrations, and other cultural presentations at seven.
  • There's a fair amount of turnover at Kendall Square this week, with Isabel Coixet's Learning to Drive the most prominent - it stars Patricia Clarkson as a suddenly-single writer who takes driving lessons from an Indian emigre (Ben Kingsley) as a way to assert her freedom; it also plays Boston Common. The other fiction film opening there is the latest from Joe Swanberg, Digging for Fire, with Jake Johnson and Rosemarie DeWitt as a couple who discover a human bone and a gun at the house where they are staying.

    Both documentaries opening will have guests in attendance: Director Aviva Kempner will visit on Friday (and Saturday morning) to introduce Rosenwald, which looks at the legacy of one of the founders of Sears-Roebuck, who did an immense deal to help create schools for African-Americans in the South in the early parts of the twentieth century. Saturday, filmmakers Chai Vasarhelyi & Renan Ozturk will be there to discus Meru, they're on-the-spot look at attempts to scale one of the world's most hazardous cliff faces.
  • The West Newton Cinema also opens Meru, along with Z for Zachariah, a last-woman-on-earth scenario with Margot Robbie as a survivor who discovers two other men (Chiwetel Ejiofor & Chris Pine).
  • Otherwise, it's quiet enough that We Are Your Friends is one of the bigger openings, playing at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. It stars Zac Efron as an up-and-coming DJ in Hollywood, getting tangled with an older mentor (Wes Bentley) and his younger girlfriend (Emily Ratajkowski). No Escape arrived on Wednesday in most places, and has Owen Wilson and Lake Bell as new arrivals to an Asian country where a coup is about to occur. Good thing we're getting the white-guy perspective on that story! It's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the Superlux. Boston Common and Revere also open War Room which seems to suggest that precisely planned prayer is better than actually doing something.

    Boston Common aso splits a screen between a couple more smaller films. Going to America (aka "Last Supper") gets the better time slots for its story of two escaped mental patients (Eddie Griffin & Josh Meyers) trying to make a movie. Early and late, there are screenings of Memories of the Sword featuring Lee Byun-hun as as a medieve swordfighter who can hold one heck of a grudge. They also keep Go Away Mr. Tumor around for one nightly show. They and Assembly Row also bring Jurassic World back to their Imax screens.
  • Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond also has an indie film at crappy times, theirs being Zipper, with Patrick Wilson as a guy who can't keep his closed and thus risks losing his family. They also open a big, subtitled Bollywood political thriller, Phantom featuring Saif Ali Khan and Katrina Kaif, along with unsubtitled Tamil action movie Thani Oruvan and Kannada thriller Uppi 2
  • No new releases at The Coolidge Corner Theatre this week, but a fair number of special presentations. Start with the Friday & Saturday midnights, which includes a 35mm print of Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior downstairs and the "Twillerama" animation festival upstairs. Then on Monday, "Big Screen Classics" continues with a 35mm print of The Last Picture Show. On Thursday, they present Ingmar Bergman's Smiles of a Summer Night as part of "Stage & Screen" with the Huntington Theater Company, which is mounting A Little Night Music.
  • The Brattle Theatre plays host to the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival for much of Friday and Saturday. That doesn't last quite all day, though, so there will be a double feature of Alien & Aliens on Saturday evening and all day Sunday, with the latter playing the late show Friday.

    After that, the "vertical" summer rep programs wrap up, with 35mm prints of The Philadelphia Story & Holiday wrapping up Screwball Summer in fine style, while Wednesday's Recent Rave is A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence and Thursday's Nuri Bilge Ceylan presentation is Winter Sleep.
  • The Harvard Film Archive finishes their summer rep series, too: The last two Titanus Studios films are Family Diary (Friday 7pm) and Who Is Without Sin (Saturday 9:15pm); the Robert Altman pictures are Dr. T and the Women (Friday 9:15pm, with 1966 short "Girl Talk"), Nightmare in Chicago (Sunday 5pm on 16mm), and Come back to the 5 and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (Monday 7pm); and Samuel Fuller is represented by Shock Corridor (Saturday 7pm) and Tigero: A Film That Was Never Made (Sunday 7pm), in which Finnish filmmaker Mika Kaurismaki has Fuller revisit a project that fell through despite a great deal of early development. All are 35mm unless otherwise indicated.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has the back half of their run of We Come as Friends, Hubert Sauper's documentary on present-day Sudan, on Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday. Alongside, the September schedule starts with The Great Man (Wednesday & Thursday) kicking off a series of New French Cinema, while The New Rijksmuseum plays the same days and examines the long renovation of one of the Netherlands' most prominent museums.
  • Free outdoor screenings on Joe's Calendar are winding down, with multiple screenings of Maleficent, the Boston Harbor Hotel showing The Apartment on Friday, and Bloc 11 running Space Jam on Monday.

Got a little girl's birthday to hit on Sunday, but around that, I'm going to try for Memories of the Sword, Z for Zachariah, and Sinister 2, along with hitting up Drunken Master for Films at the Gate. Then I've really got to get to Mr. Holmes and Straight Outta Compton at the very least.

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