Thursday, March 31, 2016

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 April 2016 - 7 April 2016

It might be interesting to see if the bad word-of-mouth on Batman v Superman hurts the studios' plans not to compete too much with it, as there is very little reaching the multiplexes although some of the things hitting the boutique houses will probably expand there soon.

  • Take Midnight Special, a science fiction fim about a man (Michael Shannon) on the run with his "gifted" son. Looks plenty atmospheric, and director Jeff Nichols made Take Shelter and Mud. It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, the Kendall, and Boston Common. Two of those locations - the Coolidge and Kendall - also open The Clan, about an Argentine family whose domineering father has made kidnap for ransom the family business.

    The Coolidge also has two midnight shows this weekend. The new one, Baskin, comes from Turkey, and follows a unit of five cops following a distress call in the country only to find something truly nasty, and has been getting a lot of buzz. The timely "classic" is April Fool's Day, a 1980s slasher that has a wealthy college girl inviting her friends to an island, where there's no escape. And while I normally don't make much note of the prior-night previews of upcoming films, Thursday's The Dying of the Light is a special case, as director Peter Flynn and other guests will be on-hand to discuss this documentary on how projection of actual film is becoming a dying art. One of the subjects listed is David Kornfeld, the excellent chief projectionist at the Somerville Theatre.
  • Kendall Square opens three other movies on top of that, including two more that might be pegged for wider openings. Everybody Wants Some!!, for instance, might not have a lot of big names, but it's directed by Richard Linklater and positioned as a spiritual follow-up to his much-loved Dazed and Confused shifting from kids just out of high school in the 1970s to kids entering college in the 1980s. It's also at Boston Common. I Saw the Light does have a more familiar cast, starring Tom Hiddleston as country-music legend Hank Williams. It also plays The West Newton Cinema.

    They also have a one-week booking of Take Me to the River, which stars Logan Miller as a teenager looking to come out at a family reunion in Nebraska, only to have things grow complicated when a cousin shows signs of having been abused.
  • The Brattle Theatre, having just finished up with the Underground Film Festival, brings in another, Wicked Queer, the newly-renamed Boston LGBT Film Festival, which also has screenings at the ICA, the MFA, the Paramount Theater, the Fenway Health Center.
  • There are some pretty thin pickings at the multiplexes as a result. I think the biggest opening might be Meet the Blacks, which stars Mike Epps as a man who moves his family from Chicago to Beverly Hills after coming into some money only to find he arrives just in time for the annual purge, and if they're using that actual term, they're not exactly distinguishing themselves from the thing they're looking to spoof or rip off (depending on how much this is a parody and how much it's a thriller), are they? Although, don't get me wrong, considering this was originally called "The Black Purge", there's some pretty good satire they could do if that's what they're looking for. It's at Boston Common, Fenway, and Revere. There's also God's Not Dead 2, which looks like a similarly-themed bit of religious propaganda with a new cast. Final role for Fred Dalton Thompson, highest-profile thing Melissa Joan Hart has done in years, and further evidence that Ray Wise really likes working. It's at Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere.
  • That does leave a few more screens open for Asian movies, though, meaning that Ki and Ka will play at Fenway as well as Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond. This Bollywood import stars Kareena Kapoor and Arjun Kapoor as a young couple where she is the breadwinner and he manages the home. Apple also keeps Kapoor & Sons around, as well as (likely) unsubtitled Telugu films Savitri and Oopiri.

    Apple is also bringing back Stephen Chow's The Mermaid, well worth checking out if you missed its run downtown. The new Chinese film at Boston Common is Chongqing Hot Pot, starring Bai Baihe as a disaffected bank teller and Chen Kun as one of three former classmates who open a hot pot restaurant next door and discover that they could easily rob the place.

    Fresh Pond will also kick off their April "Rotten to the Core" calendar on Thursday with Rock & Rule, Nelvana's 1983 animated sci-fi/action/fantasy film with a pretty great looking soundtrack.
  • The Harvard Film Archive continues Guy Maddin Presents... with the famed Winnipeg filmmaker continuing the dig up what looks like really neat, off-key stuff. This week's selections include Children of Montmartre (Friday 7pm/digital), The Face Behind the Mask (Friday 9pm/35mm), The Threat (Saturday 9pm/16mm), and The Blackbird with live accompaniment (Sunday 5pm/35mm). They also continue their Alfred Guzzetti retrospective with Scenes from Childhood (preceded by "French Gestures") at 7pm Saturday, and then welcome Philip Trevelyan to introduce his films The Moon and the Sledgehammer (Sunday 7pm/DCP) and Lambing Monday 7pm/35mm). Thursday has artist Phil Collins on-hand for a free screening of Tomorrow Is Always Too Long.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts, in addition to being one of the Wicked Queer venues, wraps The 15th Boston Turkish Film Festival with screenings on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Saturday includes two director visits - Faruk Hacıhafızoğlu with Snow Pirates and Şerif Yenen with Istanbul Unveiled - and Sunday has one, Emin Alper presenting Frenzy.
  • The Paramount is also a Wicked Queer venue, with Bright Lights screening Carol on Tuesday. On the next two days, they welcome documentarian Stanley Nelson, who presents the "It's All True" student documentary showcase on Wednesday and his own film, Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution, on Thursday.
  • This month's 35mm silent at The Somerville Theatre is D.W. Griffith's Intolerance, a sprawling cross-cut anthology that is really astounding for being 100 years old. wednesday's "Music & Movies Around the Corner" presentation is The Dream of Shahrazad, which looks at the recent revolution in Egypt through the prism of music.
  • The ICA has a "Crows & Sparrows" presentation on Saturday, with director Yang Zhengfan presenting his "slow cinema" project Distant, which consists of thirteen segments that are each one long take. He'll be joined by writer Lu Yangqiao for a discussion aterward.
  • This week's entry in the The Belmont World Film Series is Lamb, an Ethiopian film about a boy staying with relatives on a farm while his father looks for work in Addis Ababa. That's at the Belmont Studio Cinema.

Glad there's not that much, as I'm heading north to Montreal to catch the Red Sox' preseason games there (no, I really can't wait for baseball and summer). When I get back, I'll be looking to hit up Chongqing Hot Pot, Midnight Special, and maybe Ki and Ka.

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