- There's a few days to make plans, though, as Independent Film Festival Boston kicks off in the big room at the Somerville on Wednesday. There's some good stuff planned to show in that room, with The Hollars on opening night and High-Rise on Thursday, with the latter also having the pretty darn nifty Embers in the same room where I saw it during the Sci-Fi festival, and I can't remember anything hitting two festivals in the same city like that. Thursday is also the night things start at the Brattle along with a day of documentary films at UMass Boston.
So what does The Somerville Theatre do before they clean house for the festival? They continue showing We the People: The Market Basket Effect once a night, but they also thread up the big film to show Vertigo in 70 beautiful millimeters on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday.
- The Coolidge Corner Theatre won't get into the festival until next week, but they are one of the places opening Sing Street, the new one by John Carney, who made Once and Begin Again (and Zonad, but that doesn't really fit the joy-through-music pattern). It takes place in 1980s Dublin and has a kid starting a band to impress a girl. It also plays at the Kendall.
The midnight this weekend is The Final Girls, a fun horror parody made by Todd Strauss-Schulson, who will be Skyping in after the show. On Sunday afternoon, they'll have a special fundraiser where they screen Sound of Redemption, following it up with a live performance by featured saxophonist Grace Kelly (not the other one, obviously). Monday's big-screen classic is a 35mm print of Charlie Chaplin in The Great Dictator, while Tuesday's Science on Screen presentation is Embrace of the Serpent, with BU professor David Farb discussing the science of the film.
- Kendall Square welcomes two guests Friday night, with two people featured in The First Monday in May taking questions after the 7:20pm show and the director of Older Than Ireland, Alex Fegan, talking about his look at Irish centenarians on the occasion of 100th anniversary of the country's independence.
On top of that, they also open Green Room, a thriller from the makers of the excellent Blue Ruin featuring a villainous Patrick Stewart; it's also at Boston Common and will come to the Coolidge next week. The Kendall, the Embassy, and Boston Common also get Elvis & Nixon, with Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey presenting the backstory beyond one of America's most famous photograph.
The sleeper, though, may be A Hologram for the King, with Tom Hanks as an American businessman in Saudi Arabia to try and get the royal family to invest. It's directed by Tom Tykwer, who worked with Hanks on Cloud Atlas. It's also at The West Newton Cinema and Boston Common. There's also a Tugg screening of Paper Tigers at the Kendall on Thursday.
- Aside from the indie-ish stuff opening at Boston Common, the multiplexes are basically going with The Huntsman: Winter's War, which is apparently a prequel to Snow White and the Huntsman with Chris Hemsworth and Charlize Theron returning and Jessica Chastain & Emily Blunt joining in a story that draws from "The Snow Queen". It's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux.
If you head out to Revere, though, you can catch Compadres, a Mexican-America buddy comedy that teams a former Mexican cop with an American hacker. They also have Union Bound, a Civil War drama about a captured Union soldier heading north with the help of escaped slaves. They also have special TCM screenings of On the Waterfront on Sunday and Wednesday.
- The Brattle Theatre has a Through Indian Eyes: Native American Cinema series this week, and it includes both some of the better and lesser-known works in the category: Smoke Signals on Friday (on 35mm); The Honour of All: Part 1, Itam Hakim, Hopiit, This May Be the Last Time, and Kissed by Lightning on Saturday; Atnarjuat: The Fast Runner, Kanehsatake: 270 Years of Resistance, and Trudell on Sunday; Rhymes for Young Ghouls on Tuesday; and Drunktown's Finest and a 35mm print of Naturally Native to wrap things up on Wednesday.
Alongside that, they've got a number of 35mm prints playing for the Cambridge Science Festival After Dark: Real Genius (Friday), The Adventures of Backaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension (Saturday), and Mystery Science Theater 3000: The Movie (Sunday). There's also a ten-year-anniversary presentation of Darkon for Monday's DocYard presentation, with directors Luke Meyer & Andrew Neel and composer Jonah Rapino on hand, and the monthly free Elements of Cinema screening on Tuesday is The Pope of Greenwich Village, which will be introduced by noted author Chuck Hogan. Then, Thursday, they become an IFFBoston venue.
- Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond brings the Teseracte performers in at 10pm on Saturday for "The Rocky Horror Chiptune Show", which is apparently an 8-bit video game retelling of Rocky Horror. Thursday night's "Rotten to the Core" series is Manos, the Hands of Fate, but if you don't just want crap, they will have Big Trouble in Little China on the back end.
Indian stuff includes Telugu-language action movie Sarrainodu and subtitled Bollywood flick Laal Rang, which looks like a farce set around an illegal blood bank. Theri and Fan also continue, with a screening of Malayalam film Jacobinte Swargarajy on Sunday.
- The Harvard Film Archive continues to show the fims of Xie Jin for much of the weekend, with [Two] Stage Sisters (Friday 7pm), The Herdsman (Friday 9:30pm), Hibiscus Town (Saturday 7pm), and Woman Basketball Player No. 5 (Sunday 7pm). They wrap up "Three Hamlets" with Italy's One Hamlet Less at 5pm Sunday, and start another retrospective, this one for Uruguayan director Federico Veiroj, on Monday with his fim Acne All except Stage Sisters are 35mm.
- The Museum of Fine Arts as the new film by Aleksandr Sokurov, Francofonia: an Elegy for Europe, which focuses on the Louvre. If that sounds familiar, remember that he also did Russian Ark, a single-shot film set in the Russian State Hermitage Museum; this looks to be similar. Both films play Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; Francofonia also plays Wednesday.
- The Regent Theatre celebrates its 100th birthday on Sunday with the movie that opened the place back in 1916 - Mary Pickford in Rags - with accompaniment by Jeff Rapsis, along with a vaudville-inspired live show.
- The Belmont World Film Series continues with Chevalier, the latest off-kilter satire from Greece, at the Belmont Studio Cinema on Monday.
I'm down for Vertigo, and will probably check out A Hologram for the King and one or two others before getting down to the serious work of attending the festival come Wednesday.