Friday, March 24, 2017

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 24 March 2017 - 30 March 2017

Who schedules two film festivals for the same weekend? Embarrassment of riches, but having to make certain choices is even more of a bummer than usual.

  • If you like the weird, go with the Boston Underground Film Festival, playing through Sunday at The Brattle Theatre with some shows at the Harvard Film Archive because they’ve just got too much for one screen. One of the screenings at the Brattle on Friday is a secret, but if it’s what I think we’re in for a good time. I do know I’ve seen one of the others (the intriguing-but-peculiar She’s Allergic to Cats on Saturday night), and once again kind of bummed that I can’t make the kid-friendly Saturday Morning Cartoon party fit my schedule.

    After the festival ends, the Brattle has a 35mm secret screening of their own on Tuesday, and my guess for it is also something a movie I really love. Then on Wednesday and Thursday, they have a couple days of the ”Final Cut” of Blade Runner, which Warner is apparently taking out of theatrical distribution while gearing up for the new sequel.
  • Meanwhile, a couple stops up the Red Line, The Somerville Theatre hosts the Irish Film Festival, with “Director’s Choice” A Date for Mad Mary on Friday evening and then a full slate on two screens all day Saturday and then Sunday afternoon.

    After that’s done, they continue their Wednesday repertory series with Hotel Terminus: The Life and Times of Klaus Barbie, which will keep the projectionist busy, as this documentary is 267 minutes long and they’re showing it on a 35mm print.
  • They’re also one of the theaters opening Wilson, along with Kendall Square, the Embassy, Boston Common, and Revere. It’s an adaptation of the Daniel Clowes graphic novel starring Woody Harrelson as a man who aims to reunite with an old flame only to discover that they’ve got a teenage daughter. Speaking of folks that have been away, Kendall Square and Boston Common also open T2 Trainspotting, with Danny Boyle reuniting with Ewan McGregor, Robert Carlyle, Ewen Bremmer, and Jonny Lee Miller for a twenty-years-later sequel to the film that put them on the map.

    Kendall Square also has a one-week booking of The Son of Joseph, which features a French teenager looking for his father despite the fact that his single mother won’t divulge his identity. WIth that name, I’m guessing there will be some biblical allusions served up as well.
  • In more mainstream spots, there are three openings, all action-oriented in one way or another. Life is the horror-oriented one, with Ryan Reynolds, Jake Gyllenhaal, and Rebecca Ferguson playing astronauts on the ISS who apparently have the first encounter with alien life, which isn’t good. It’s at the Arlington Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. The comedic one is CHiPs, with Dax Shepard teaming with Michael Pena for a spoof of the 1970s/1980s cop show. I think it had a memorable theme, which seems to be half of what gets stuff remade sometimes. That plays Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere.

    The more kid-friendly remake is Power Rangers, which looks like a bigger-budget version of what started out as cheap teen stuff combined with repurposed sentai action scenes, though this flick shells out for Elizabeth Banks as Rita Repulsa and Bryan Cranston as Zordon. It alarms me that stuff that came after my time is now getting nostalgia remakes, but if it’s not past yours, it can be found at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux. Boston Common and Revere both have one more screening of Passengers Saturday morning as they try to push it over some milestone, and previews of Smurfs: The Lost Village later in that afternoon.
  • Terrence Malick’s fresh-from-SXSW-and-probably-involving-SXSW-because-it’s-set-in-the-Austin-music-scene Song to Song plays at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, Kendall Square, and Boston Common. Nice cast with Ryan Gosling, Natalie Portman, Michael Fassbender, and Rooney Mara, at least.

    The Coolidge also has a new release of sorts for the midnights with The Devil’s Candy, which I found disappointing when I saw it at Fantasia last summer - I liked the fun metalhead family facing demons in their new house, but the story and scares didn’t do much for me - but most folks seemed to really go for the new one from the maker of The Loved Ones. They go with Werner Herzog and his best fiend Klaus Kinski at midnight on the other screen, showing their take on Nosferatu the Vampyre Friday night and Fitzcarraldo on Saturday (starting at 11:30, since it’s a long one), both on 35mm. There’s also a “Science on Screen” presentation of The Grapes of Wrath on Tuesday, with Bill McKibben using it as a jumping-off point to talk about climate change. They also have their final Francophone Film Festival screening on Thursday, with Polina, Danser sa Vie coming from France and telling the story of a ballerina who makes it to the Bolshoi at the age of 18.
  • Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond keeps Badrinath Ki Dulhani around, and also opens Phillauri, a Bollywood comedy about someone who must marry a tree, only… Well, the tree apparently has a spirit of some sort. There’s also Telugu-language action movie Katamarayudu, and Wednesday/Thursday-night screenings of Kannada “family action” movie Raajakumara.
  • In addition to BUFF, The Harvard Film Archive has guests. Thai director Anocha Suwichakornpong visits Friday and Saturday with her films Mundane History and By the Time It Gets Dark, respectively (the first on 35mm and shown with a short), while Terence Davies is in person for the most recent two films of his retrospective, Sunset Song (Sunday 7pm), and A Quiet Passion (Monday 7pm). In between - at 5pm Sunday - they have French indie Remnants of Madness.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has more of the Boston Turkish Film Festival, with Toss Up (Friday) and Mr. Mushin (Friday with the awards ceremony and possibly a Q&A with the star), two programs of documentary shorts (Saturday), Don’t Tell Orhan Pamuk That His Novel Snow Is in the FIlm I Made About Kars (Sunday), Second Chance (Sunday), The Search Engine (Wednesday) and it’s making-of docoumentary In Search of a Film (Wednesday), Dragon Trap (Thursday), and Young Wrestlers (Thursday).
  • Emerson’s Bright Lights screenings this week are both from the same director, alumnus Alex Lehmann, for two different types of film: Blue Jay, playing Tuesday, looks like a walk-and-talk featuring Mark Duplass and Sarah Paulson as people who dated in high school who meet again years later; Duplass also produced Thursday’s Asperger’s Are Us, a documentary about an improv troupe with the syndrome of the title. Both are in the Paramount Theater’s Bright Screening Room and free, as usual; the latter is part of The ReelAbilities Film Festival, showcasing films by and about the disabled, which starts on Wednesday with Life, Animated at the Museum of Science and also features The Rebound at the Pappas Rehabilitation Hospital in Canton.
  • There are also two screenings for MIT’s Women Take the Reel Festival, with Kate Bornstein Is a Queer and Pleasant Danger playing at MIT on Friday and Southwest of Salem at Tufts on Wednesday.
  • Belmont World Film’s 2017 series moves back to Monday nights at the Studio Cinema with Fukushima Mon Amour, in which a German backpacker and a former geisha are thrown together after the Fukushima earthquake; as with most films in the series, there will be a pre-film speaker, in this case Ryo Morimoto, who did field work in that part of Japan during that time frame.

  • The ICA hosts opening night of Wicked Queer on Thursday with Signature Move, which injects lucha libre wrestling into a story about a Pakistani-American attorney trying to balance her new girlfriend and her conservative mother. Director Jennifer Reeder and co-star Sari Sanchez will be at the screening.

I’ll be in Harvard Square for BUFF, and then probably try to catch up with the last couple weeks of new releases after that.

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