- The big release this weekend is Logan, which certainly looks like the final go-around for Hugh Jackman and Patrick Stewart as their X-Men characters, looking like a combination of “Old Man Logan” and “X-23”. James Mangold directs, and he did a surprisingly good job with the previous entry, The Wolverine (although having each of the Wolverine solo movies basically be named after the character is weird). It’s at the Somerville Theatre, Apple Fresh Pond, Jordan’s Furniture (Imax), the Embassy, Boston Common (including Imax), Assembly Row (including Imax), Fenway (including RPX), and Revere.
Less prominent is Table 19, starring Anna Kendrick as the maid of honor at a wedding who finds herself pushed out of the role when the best man dumps him, and she winds up at the table in the corner where all the other single people who don’t really fit in go. That’s at the Somerville Theatre, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, and Revere. Before I Fall has at least gotten a lot of trailer play for a young adult time-loop movie where someone apparently just has to go to a party and get killed in a car crash over and over again. It’s at Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. Not the weirdest thing coming out, though, as The Shack apparently tells the story of a grieving man who gets an invitation to a place where one can talk to God (played ,apparently, by Octavia Spencer and Graham Greene).
Oscar-winners Moonlight and Manchester by the Sea re-expand - the former to the Arlington Capitol, Coolidge Corner, the Studio Cinema Belmont, West Newton, Kendall Square, Boston Common, Fenway, and the SuperLux; the latter to the Studio Cinema Belmont, West Newton, and Boston Common. There’s also screenings of All About Eve on Sunday and Wednesday at Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere; those spots also have an anime presentation of Sword Art Online: The Movie - Ordinal Scale on Thursday. Sometimes I think Japan just strings random words together.
- Speaking of just stringing random words together for the title of an animated film, Kendall Square opens Oscar-nominated animated film My Life as a Zucchini, a stop-motion-looking coming-of-age story set in an orphanage. Daytime showings are dubbed into English, evening shows are in French, and all are preceded by the director’s short “The Genie in the Ravioli Can”.
They also open another Oscar nominee, that being Denmark’s entry in the foreign-language category Land of Mine. That one’s a World War II drama, in which German POWs are put to work finding and defusing the mines that their country placed during the war. I’ve heard some say that it’s actually the best of nominees, though it doesn’t have the same sort of events hook that some of the others did.
- The Brattle Theatre kicks off Women’s History Month with a two-pronged approach. Much of their time will be spent on The Women Who Built Hollywood, featuring films from the silent and early talkie eras, when women frequently had major roles behind the scenes. Friday features a double feature of Lois Weber’s Shoes & Dumb Girl of Portici (the only surviving performance of dancer/actress Anna Pavlova), with Shoes playing again Saturday afternoon. Saturday’s main event is a Lillian Gish double feature with Little Annie Rooney and The Wind (35mm); Sunday is a double feature of Dinner at Eight (35mm) & Tillie’s Punctured Romance (16mm), the latter screening with Mabel Normand/Charlie Chaplin short “Mabel’s Married Life”. It picks back up again on Tuesday with a 35mm double feature of the Anita Loos-written Red-Headed Woman (starring Jean Harlow) and The Big House, a prison drama which won writer Francis Marion an Oscar. There’s more 35mm film on Wednesday with Man’s Castle (edited by Viola Lawrence) and Bombshell, edited by Margaret Booth and starring Harlow.
A lot of those double features start relatively early, because the 9:30pm show from Friday to Wednesday is another female-led program, the horror anthology XX, whose segments and interstitials are directed by Roxanne Benjamin, Karen Kusama, St. Vincent, Jovanka Vuckovic, and Sofia Carillo. There are also a couple of special presentations, with the DocYard/Balagan presentation of The Illinois Parables on Monday, featuring Deborah Stratman on-hand to show her new experimental documentary on 16mm film, kind of fitting into the week of female filmmakers. And then, for something completely different, Thursday features a documentary on video game/wrestling guys League of Heels - complete with the subjects in person - paired up with 1980s wrestling oddity Body Slam on 35mm.
- Aside from bringing back Moonlight, The Coolidge Corner Theatre has an eclectic as heck set of special features. The midnights kick off a “The Russkies Are Coming” month with 35mm prints of the original version of Red Dawn on Friday and classic James Bond flick From Russia With Love on Saturday - and for those too old or too dependent on public transportation to do these midnights, the latter will also play Sunday afternoon as part of “Reel Film Day”.
Sunday also features a Talk Cinema preview of Franck, the new thriller by François Ozon, and then things make a big shift on Tuesday, as The Sound of Silents offers a short program with Donald Sosin and Joanna Seaton accompanying Buster Keaton in “Cops” & “The Electric House” and Laurel & Hardy in the thought-lost “The Battle of the Century”. The latter features a massive pie fight, and will be followed by a pie-throwing contest. The week finishes with a couple of niche presentations in the screening room - Revolution: New Art for a New World on Wednesday and a Francophone Film Festival show of Quebec’s Le Journal d'Aurélie Laflamme on Thursday.
- Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond adds a Bollywood romance Jeena Isi Ka Naam Ha and action flick Commando 2 from the same source(which has no apparent connection to the Schwarzeneggar “classic”), while Telugu speakers get action film Kittu Unnadu Jagratha and romance Dwarka, while there are a single Saturday showing of Malayalam-language horror movie Ezra. Rangoon also sticks around.
- The Harvard Film Archive starts a new calendar by welcoming several special guests. Curator Go Hirasawa will introduce a selection of shorts by Three Radical Japanese Filmmakers on Friday night, a sort of preview of the punk-eiga series that begins in April. Saturday brings Lav Diaz to the Archive to present his latest king-sized opus, The Woman Who Left. Sunday and Monday welcome Christopher Honoré, with Sunday featuring two films of a thematic trilogy (The Beautiful Person and Love Songs) as a double feature, with the director introducing the second of the 35mm prints, and also present for Monday’s screening of Metamorphoses.
- The Museum of Fine Arts continues Frederick Wiseman: For the Record, with this week’s films including Manoeuvre (Friday), Model (Friday/Saturday), Canal Zone (Saturday), The Store (Sunday/Wednesday), Racetrack (Sunday/Wednesday), Multi-Handicapped (Thursday), and Deaf (Thursday). All screen on 16mm film..
- The ICA will follow a Friday afternoon artist’s talk with a screening/performance of Pierre Leguillon’s The Promise of the Screen, and will also have one more chance to see the Animated and Live-Action programs for the Oscar-Nominated Shorts (which also continue through Wednesday at the Kendall).
- ArtsEmerson programs the Bright Screening Room at the Paramount this week, with Friday night’s show You’ll Never Be Alone, a presentation of the Wicked Queer Film Festival. Then on Saturday and Sunday, they have three screenings of Green Room, a downright terrific (and bloody) flick pitting Anton Yelchin’s punk musician against Patrick Stewart’s neo-Nazi.
- In addition to a multimedia “Celebrating Bowie” event on Friday, The Regent Theatre will screen Loot 2 on Sunday and Monday. The original was apparently one of the biggest hits in Nepali cinema history.
- CinemaSalem hosts the 2017 Salem Film Fest this week.
I am down for Logan, Get Out, Zucchini, Land of Mine, and a whole bunch of stuff at the Brattle, although I may head to the Coolidge for the silents on Tuesday (although I must admit to being a bit more excited when I thought there was going to be a pie fight rather than a pie-throwing contest). I think it’s also worth noting that, should you be so inclined, you can watch something on film every day this week, which is almost unheard-of in some places.