- Independent Film Festival Boston started Wednesday the 27th, and runs through Wednesday the 2nd. It's at the Somerville and Brattle through Monday - with highlights including Morris From America, Under the Shadow, Werner Herzog's Lo and Behold, Hunt for the Wilderpeople, and a retrospective screening of High on Crack Street. On Tuesday, it moves to the Coolidge, with Little Man and Don't Think Twice on that day and Clea DuVal on hand with her directorial debut The Intervention for the closing night.
That means that The Somerville Theatre technically opens Green Room (which also expands to Fenway & Revere while already showing at the Kendall & Boston Common) and Everybody Wants Some!!, even though you won't be able to see them there until Tuesday or Wednesday.
- Not part of the festival but doing some fest-like programming is Kendall Square, which will have The Man Who Knew Infinity writer/director Matthew Brown on hand for select shows Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; he'll be joined by Robert Kanigel (whose biography of mathematician Srinivasa Ramanujan Iyengar served as his source material) all weekend and mathematician Stephen Wolfram on Friday. They also have a one-week booking of the new one by Asghar Farhadi, Fireworks Wednesday. Their sister cinema in Waltham, the Embassy, also joins them and the Coolidge in running Sing Street.
- Semi-quiet week at the multiplexes as they make time before cleaning house for Captain America next week. They do get Keanu, in which Keegan-Michael Key and Jordan Peele pretend to be killers to find their adorable catnapped kitten. They are funny people and the word is that this is an extremely entertaining movie. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.
Also looking for funny: Mother's Day, the latest overlapping-stories ensemble comedy based around a holiday from director Garry Marshall. It's at Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, the Lexington Venue, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux. There's also Ratchet and Clank, a 3D animated movie based upon the game, which looks like it might still be kind of fun for kids. It's at Apple Fresh Pond (2D only), Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.
For smaller releases, Papa: Hemingway in Cuba is the first Hollywood feature shot there in decades, and features Giovanni Ribisi as a journalist who becomes friends with the author during the Cuban Revolution; it's at West Newton, Boston Common, and Revere. This year's DisneyNature documentary is an old-school Imax documentary (a 45-minute science featurette) made up of lots of huge 3D photography and narrated by Jennifer Lawrence, A Beautiful Planet, and plays matinees at Jordan's and Boston Common, not really displacing The Jungle Book (and, oddly, not playing either the Aquarium or Museum of Science just yet). And after a really quick booking at AMC Boston Common last week, Purple Rain expands to Apple Fresh Pond and Fenway.
- The West Newton Cinema is the only place in the area opening Dough, which has an old Jewish baker (Jonathan Pryce) taking on a young Muslim apprentice (Jerome Holder), and then having wackiness ensue when the kid's marijuana stash gets mixed into the flour and suddenly the place becomes really popular. Holder will visit for Q&As after some shows on Friday & Saturday.
- With much of their audience at the festival this week, The Coolidge Corner Theatre keeps things pretty quiet, mainly opening Colliding Dreams, a documentary on the history of the quest for and reality of a Jewish state from the mid-19th century forward; co-director Oren Rudavsky will be on hand for a Sunday afternoon screening. The weekend's midnight film is a 35mm print of David Lynch's Mullholland Drive, and Monday's "Sounds of Silents" is the newly-restored Varieté, starring Emil Jannings and accompanied by the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra.
- Boo, Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond, for abruptly cancelling all the "Rotten to the Core" shows! I only got to one, but it was fun, and they seemed to be gaining momentum. I guess they're refocusing on the Indian stuff for special programming, and they've got a lot of that this week, with Bollywood action film Baaghi: A Rebel for Love opening with subtitles and King Liar (Malayalam), Raja Cheyyi Vesthe (Telugu), and Chakravyuha (Kannada) apparently without. The subtitled Hindi-language Fan also sticks around.
From the other end of Asia, Boston Common has Finding Mr. Right 2, the sequel to a movie where Tang Wei played a young woman sent to Seattle to have her illegitimate child where others couldn't see. From the credits, it appears that the working-class guy she fell for in that one has either had a name change or wu Xiubo is playing a different character (heck if I know; I missed the first for some reason or other.
- The Brattle Theatre is IFFBoston's second home through Monday and then being used for a private screening on Tuesday, but on Wednesday they both start their "John Williams Scores" series and get a bit of that "May the 4th Be With You" action with Star Wars: The Force Awakens. That got him his most recent Oscar nomination; the first came with Valley of the Dolls, which plays the next night.
- The Harvard Film Archive has no public screenings on Friday and Saturday, but wraps up its Xie Jin series on Sunday afternoon with Legend of Tianyun Mountain on 35mm. They are also visited by Uruguayan filmmaker Federico Veiroj, who rpresents A Useful Life on 35mm Sunday evening (along with a pair of shorts) and his latest, The Apostate, on Monday.
- The Museum of Fine Arts continues Aleksandr Sokurov's Francofonia: an Elegy for Europe on Friday, Wednesday, and Thursday. They'll also be screening thesis films Wednesday evening, and starting JewishFilm.2016 with the People vs. Fritz Bauer on Wednesday and Carvalho's Journey on Wednesay; both screenings will have guests.
- The ICA has two film presentations this week: "Monsoon, Prayers and New Routes", is a group of short films by Muslim filmmakers from around the Indian Ocean, and plays Sunday afternoon with two filmmakers on-hand for a post-film Q&A. Then, on Thursday evening, filmmakers Marcie Begleiter and Karen Shapiro will present their documentary Eva Hesse, chronicling the life and career of one of the few woman artists to find success in a very male-dominated moviement in the 1960s.
- The Belmont World Film Series has a sneak preview of Mountains May Depart, which follows the intertwined lives of three people who grew up in the same village, from 1999 to 2025, at the Belmont Studio Cinema on Monday.
I'm at wherever IFFBoston is on a given night, and likely torn between Valley of the Dolls and "doing anything else" on Thursday.