Thursday, February 11, 2016

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 12 February 2016 - 18 February 2016

Valentine's Day & Presidents' Day means... Well, the sci-fi marathon, if you're me. There's other stuff, though, which may require a bit of effort, though it's worth it.

  • The Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival finishes its 2016 edition with some of its more higher-profile/polished films on Friday and Saturday before moivng up to the main screen of The Somerville Theatre on Sunday for the Marathon, 14 movies in 24 hours including Jeff Rapsis accompanying the silent A Trip to Mars and not High Treason, because that's a print with the rarely-heard soundtrack! There's also a 70mm print of Starman as part of a pretty good program.

    Sadly, that means the departure of The Hateful Eight from the big screen, which will be used for the Banff Mountain Film Festival of outdoor adventure films from Tuesday to Thursday. Thursday night is listed as sold out, but the same program plays Tuesday while Wednesday is a different line-up.
  • They're also getting a couple new movies along with the other multiplexes, with the biggest being Deadpool, which is just weird, because usually DC plays Somerville and Marvel plays Arlington. Maybe it's the R-rating for this X-Men spinoff about a wisecracking mutant mercenary with regenerating powers. It's at Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Jordan's (in Imax), the Embassy, Fenway (including RPX), Boston Common (including Imax), Assembly Row (including Imax), and Revere (including MX4D and XPlus).

    They also get a counter-intuitive Valentine's Day release in How to Be Single, one of those ensemble pieces with Dakota Johnson, Rebel Wilson, Leslie Man, Alison Brie, Damon Wayans Jr., and others having parallel stories of single-hood in New York City. Given the release date, I'm guessing they don't all stay single. It's at Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux. More traditional Valentine's Day fare, Pretty In Pink, plays Fenway and Revere on Sunday and Wednesday; those two will also be screening the opening night of TED 2016 on Monday night.

    There's also the long-awaited (though roundly-panned) Zoolander No. 2, with Ben Stiller and Owen Wilson returning to their dim-witted male model characters 15 years later to solve a murder. That's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Fenway, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre picks up the new Michael Moore film, Where to Invade Next, in which Moore travels to Europe and Tunisia to find ways of living that are worth stealing for America. It's more funny and upbeat than it sounds, and should at least be worth a look even for those turned off by Moore's presence. It's also at Boston Common and the Kendall. They also pick up the Oscar-Nominated Animated Shorts and Oscar-Nominated Live-Action Shorts programs (also opening at West Newton, still playing at the Kendall, and having screenings at The Institute of Contemporary Art on Sunday).

    Their Highways To Hell midnight series shows this weekend include the local debut of Southbound, a new anthology containing short horror stories on the road by some up-and-coming filmmakers. Saturday night only, they have a 35mm print of Road Games, a 1980s thriller featuring Jamie Lee Curtis and Stacy Keach. There's a Talk Cinema screening of Cuban drag drama Viva on Sunday morning, and a late-Valentine's Big Screen Classic screening of Amélie on 35mm film Monday.
  • This week's Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond bookings I don't quite get but mostly appreciate include a couple of different love stories: One of the niftiest films from last year's Fantasia Festival, Nina Forever, has the ghost of a man's dead girlfriend getting between him and his new one, but for some reason this little gem is only playing at 12:30pm, which is not exactly prime date movie or horror movie time. They also wind up being the ones to show Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, featuring Jamie Chung and Bryan Greenberg as an American tourist and expatriate, respectively, who meet and connect there. Weird, as I've seen preview for it before every Chinese movie at Boston Common over the last month or so. 10am and 7:30pm shows only.

    Their bread and butter is Indian movies, and they get two of those this weekend. Fitoor is a Hindi-language adaptation of Great Expectations featuring Aditya Roy Kapur, Katrina Kaif, and Tabu, and is subtitled. Krishna Gaadi Veera is Telugu but doesn't list any subtitles, a bit unusual for having a full screen. There's also Tamil comedy Jil Jung Juk with a couple shows daily all week and Action Hero Biju (a rare subtitled Malayalam movie) on Saturday.
  • In addition to Where to Invade Next, Kendall Square picks up documentary Ingrid Bergman in Her Own Words, which builds upon the usual interviews to tell the story of Ms. Berman with her own home movies, letters, and the like. It's there for a week.
  • It is a very busy week at The Brattle Theatre presents the traditional Bugs Bunny Film Festival for school vacation week, with the "All Bugs Revue" on Friday, Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday, with "Daffy Duck and Friends" Saturday, Monday, and Wednesday. And while Warner Brothers won't let them do the traditional Valentine's Day screenings of Casablanca, The Princess Bride is no poor substitute. It screens Saturday and Sunday, although the afternoon and early evening shows are already sold out.

    But! There's more! IFFBoston will be presenting a preview screening of The Witch on Thursday with director Robert Eggers in person, and to get into the spirit of the things, they'll be doing a late-night All of Them Witches series in the days leading up to it: Rosemary's Baby (Friday 10pm on 35mm), Suspiria (Saturday midnight on 35mm), The Craft (Monday 10pm on 35mm), and Horror Hotel (Tuesday 10:30pm on 16mm). And, on top of that, it's Trash Nightat 8pm on Tuesday!
  • The Harvard Film Archive begins a retrospective of the work of Lebanese filmmakers/media artists Joana Hadjithomas & Khalil Joreige ("Lost Films and Meditations") to coincide with their upcoming exhibition at MIT. This week's presentations include A Perfect Day (Friday 7pm on 35mm), Khiam 2000-2007, The Film (Friday 9pm), I Want to See (Satruday 7pm on 35mm), and shorts "The Lost Film" & "Rounds" (Monday 7pm). They will visit in person next weekend.

    They also continue their Jean Epstein series with the James Schneider documentary on the filmmaker that shares its name, Young Oceans of Cinema, at 9pm Saturday, as well as a 35mm presentation of Epstein's semi-documentary 1932 film Gold of the Seas at 7pm Sunday (35mm). "Innocence Abroad" returns to Sunday afternoons with a 35mm print of Boy on a Dolphin, featuring Sophia Loren as a sponge diver who discovers an ancient statue and Alan Ladd & Clifton Webb as the foreigners who each have their eye on the artifact.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts shows the last act of Matthew Barney's River of Fundament on Friday and then has two final showings of the entire trilogy on Saturday and Sunday. The also continue Stanley Kubrick: A Retrospective with Paths of Glory (Friday/Wednesday), The Killing (Friday), 2001: A Space Odessy (Wednesday), Spartacus (Thursday), and Lolita (Thursday).
  • This week's Bright Lights both focus on American entertainment institutions. Tuesday night they show Drunk, Stoned, Brilliant, Dead, a documentary about the National Lampoon and its peculiar evolution. Emerson professon Manny Basanese leads a discussion afterward. On Thursday, 5-25-77 surfaces with director Patrick Read Johnson on hand, and, man, I hope this thing is done by now, as it was shot in 2007 and still had post-production to go when I saw it at Fantasia almost three years ago. It's funny and sweet and this autobiographical story about a kid in Illinois who gets to visit the set of Star Wars before anybody knows anything about it should be something Disney would want out there.
  • The UMass Boston Film Series returns to their own home turf this week with The Other Side, a documentary about people living at the margins of America without much support. Director Roberto Minervini is on hand.

I'll be ready to crash after the sci-fi festival ends, but will still probably check out Deadpool, Already Tomorrow in Hong Kong, and Hail, Caesar!. Nina Forever is highly recommended, so please to try to get out to Alewife some afternoon.

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