Thursday, January 07, 2016

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 8 January 2016 - 14 January 2016

It's early January, which means that some of the stuff that was playing limited release in December opens wider, their awards nominations secured. And other stuff.

  • The big release is The Revenant, a grimy tale of survival in the old West featuring Leonardo DiCaprio, Will Poulter, Tom Hardy, and Domnhall Gleeson, written and directed by Alejandro González Iñárritu. It looks pretty stunning along with being both grand in scale and tightly focused. It's at Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Landmark, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.

    And, of course, there's the other thing you get in early January - horror movies of dubious merit that fill in the cracks of spent Christmas releases, avoiding VOD mainly through timing and a recognizable cast member or two. In this case, that's The Forest, with Natalie Dormer as an American looking for her sister in Japan's famous "suicide forest". I'm guessing there have been a ton of Japanese thrillers using Aokigahara as a backdrop, but of course they're not in English and maybe not PG-13. Anyway, this one is at Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.
  • Kendall Square, on the other hand, picks up Anomalisa, Charlie Kaufman's latest, which is a stop-motion feature with David Thewlis giving voice to a motivational speaker and Jennifer Jason Leight to the girl he meets at an engagement who might just be what his life is missing. I saw it at the IFFBoston Fall Focus and liked it a lot, and a lot of folks downright love it. There's a special presentation tonight (7 January) with Kaufman, co-director Duke Johnson, and producer Rosa Tran; the Landmark site has it sold out but IFFBoston members may be able to get in if they RSVP.
  • This week's Bollywood opening at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond is Wazir, which from the trailer I saw is some sort of thriller where Farhan Akhtar plays and anti-terrorism agent who meets up with a wheelchair-bound chessmaster (Amitabh Bachchan), apparently making use of the latter's tactical genius when they lose someone they love and seek justice/revenge. There's also romance Nenu Sailaja if you speak Telugu, and an Indian film called "Charlie" (unknown language) on Saturday afternoon and Kannada film Killing Veerappan on Sunday. Telugu action movie Nannakku Prematho opens on Tuesday, and Tamil films Rajini Murugan, Gethu, and Kathakali play Wednesday (Rajini Murugan also has a show on Thursday). The website says nothing about subtitles or the lack thereof for those.

    If Korean films are more your speed, Boston Common has Himalaya (aka "The Himalayas") just three weeks after it opened in its native land, starring Hwang Jeong-min (last seen in Veteran) as an experienced mountineer who scales Everest with the intention of retrieving his protege's body. As you might expect, it doesn't go well. This is a massive hit in South Korea, outgrossing Star Wars, and director Lee Seok-hoon made the entertaining The Pirates, which also got a quick US release.
  • The Brattle Theatre spends the next week on the next leg of 75 Years of Film Noir - Sex & Death & Venetian Blinds: Neo-Noir of the 1980s and 1990s with some great-looking stuff: A double feature of Thief and Blade Runner (The Final Cut) on Friday; another with The Grifters (35mm) and Blood Simple Saturday; 35mm pairings of The Last Seduction & Black Widow Sunday and Hard Eight & The Underneath Monday; a single show of The Hot Spot on Tuesday; a twin bill of The Usual Suspects & Things to Do in Denver When You're Dead Wednesday; and it wraps up with Devil in a Blue Dress on Thursday. I'm curious what comes next on the spring calendar.
  • The Regent Theatre has a rare week-long run of a film, showing Janis: Little Girl Blue with evenings showings Friday to Wednesday and matinees Saturday, Sunday, and Thursday; it's a documentary on rock legend Janis Joplin told in large part through her letters. Friday's show will have barbecue appetizers and live music and Q&A from Kate Russo, who has performed with Joplin's original band.

    Thursday night's show is also musical: Elvis Costello: Detour Live at the Liverpool Philharmonic, which is apparently staged with a bit more of a framework than the typical concert film.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre keeps the regular line-up in place for one more week, but sprinkles a few more special presentations in. The midnight show on Saturday and Sunday is a bit of a detour from the Quentin Tarantino series they're doing in conjunction with The Hateful Eight, although not entirely: The Thing also has Kurt Russell in a snowy wasteland with people who may not be what they appear, and was a big influence on Eight. There's also a special presentation of The Namesake on Monday in conjunction with the cast and crew of the Huntington Theatre's production of Disgraced on Monday.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues Words in Motion: Graham Greene as Screenwriter with more screenings of Brighton Rock (35mm, Friday) and The Third Man (DCP, Friday/Saturday/Sunday), as well as The Comedians (digital, Saturday/Wednesday), and Our Man in Havana (DCP, Thursday). They also begin a mini-run of Troublemakers: The Story of Land Art, a documentary about artists in the 1960s and 1970s who sought to create work on a truly grand scale, using entire landscapes, with screenings on Wednesday and Thursday.
  • The Institute of Contemporary Art has a couple more screenings of thier program of shorts from The Ottawa International Animation Festival on Friday evening and Sunday afternoon.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has their Members' Weekend this Friday through Monday, and if you're a member, you probably already got an email saying which rare prints were coming out of the vault for that. On Thursday, they start their run of Miguel Gomes's Arabian Nights Trilogy with Volume 1: The Restless One. These are three interconnected movies that have been receiving a great deal of praise at film festivals.

It's a pretty good week and I'm sad that I've got to go on a business trip for a good chunk of it (the sort where you barely see that you're in Texas between meetings and such). Still, I'll be trying to catch Himalaya, The Revenant, and what noir I can, hopefully starting Arabian Nights on Thursday as well.

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