Friday, May 19, 2017

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 19 May 2017 - 25 May 2017

Today in "falling behind writing about festivals", I feel terrible about not having written something I saw at Fantasia last year up now that the Chinese remake is in theaters and likely not quite so good.

  • But, first, the long-running franchises. Surprisingly, Alien: Covenant isn't playing in 3D, even though Prometheus did and looked particularly good that way. Anyway, the advertising for it has made it look a lot like Alien and Aliens, only this time with couples likely to become xenomorph incubators, although it apparently follows Prometheus up fairly directly. It's at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, the Embassy, Boston Common (including Imax), Assembly Row, Fenway (including RPX), and Revere (including XPlus).

    Meanwhile, Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul maybe doesn't count as the fourth in a "long-running" series, although it's been a long-enough layoff since #3 that it's basically been entirely recast because the kids have aged out. It's at the Capitol, Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, and Revere. Everything, Everything, meanwhile, aims at the teen audience between those two, with a romance between a girl whose compromised immune system means she never goes outside and the new boy next door; that one plays at the Somerville, Apple Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux.

    With Memorial Day next weekend, Baywatch tries to get a jump on the pirate thing, opening Thursday(which really means Wednesday night) at the Somerville, Boston Common, Assembly Row, and Revere. There are also anniversary showings of Smokey and the Bandit Sunday and Wednesday at Assembly Row, Fenway, Revere, and the SuperLux.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre gets two new movies, with Obit mostly playing in the wee Goldscreen, except for 2pm on Sunday, when it's in the big house so that director Vanessa Gould can answer questions about her documentary on obituary writers afterward. They also get The Wedding Plan, an Israeli import about a woman who, when her fiancé breaks their engagement a month before the ceremony, decides to go on with it, hoping chance and matchmakers will find her a groom by then. It also plays Kendall Square, still down to four screens, and West Newton.

    Nicolas Winding Refn is the cult filmmaker featured in this weekend's midnights, with Brosnan (Friday on 35mm) and Drive. On Monday, they have a 35mm print of PT 109 as part of the JFK Centennial (they're just down the street from his birthplace); there will be a special intro by a local Navy veteran. The week finishes off with a Cinema Jukebox show of Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, which not only plays on 3mm film but has a pre-show concert by local hip-hop artists.
  • The Brattle Theatre uses most of its schedule for The Death of Louis XIV, the new film by Albert Serra that, mostly, is what it says on the label: A look at the final days of the Sun King, as the court jockeys for position. Full schedule through Monday, matinees only Tuesday to Thursday.

    Those evenings, they have a pretty eclectic group. Tuesday is Trash Night, with 2019: After the Fall of New York open for audience mockery. On Wednesday, The Social Network plays on 35mm with Ben Mezrich, the author of the book Aaron Sorkin & David Fincher directed, on hand to discuss it. On Thursday, the get Sigur Rós fans psyched for their playing Boston Calling opening night with two concert films, Heima & Inni. It looks like that music festival's film component has been quietly dropped and replaced with comedy.
  • In addition to getting The Wedding Plan, West Newton will also be showing Fight for Space a couple times a day, examining why the America's space program is less ambitious than it once was.
  • Boston Common opens What a Wonderful Family, the Chinese remake of a tremendously funny Japanese film. The original was one of my favorites at Fantasia last year; hopefully this take on a family caught flat-footed when grandma asks for a divorce on the eve of her fiftieth anniversary is half as good. Love off the Cuff, Battle of Memories, and This Is Not What I Expected are also still kicking around for those who aren't caught up on their Chinese May Day releases.

    Baahubali: The Conclusion is still going strong in multiple languages at Apple Cinemas Fresh Pond, but they also open a few more from the subcontinent this weekend. Hindi Medium stars Irrfan Khan and Saba Qamar as young parents who decide to start moving into English-speaking circles because having that as her primary language might be good for their daughter's future. Half Girlfriend also plays in subtitled Hindi, and also appears to focus on linguistic challenges. There are also (mostly) late shows of Keshava a Telugu-language romantic thriller.
  • ArtsEmerson gives Chapter & Verse something akin to a regular run in the Bright Screening Room, with noted playwright Daniel Beaty playing a reformed gang leader delivering meals to the elderly, including the feisty Miss Maddy (Loretta Devine). It runs from the 19th through the 28th at various times, though it skips Monday and Tuesday.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has their last couple screenings of My Entire High School Sinking into the Sea on Friday and Saturday, with Friday also featuring the last day of Bulgarian drama Glory. The weekend also features the end of The Nation Center for Jewish Film's 20th Annual Film Festival, with Moon in the 12 House (Saturday), Wonderful Kingdom of Papa Aalev (Sunday), and Fanny's Journey (Sunday).

    Then, it's back to Frederick Wiseman: For the Record, with his two Domestic Violence movies playing Wednesday and Thursday afternoon, while those evenings feature Boxing Gym and La Danse, respectively, the last on 35mm.
  • The Harvard Film Archive concludes their Želimir Žilnik retrospective with his Kenedi trilogy - Kenedi Goes Back Home on Friday, and short subject "Kenedi, Lost and Found" playing before Kenedi Is Getting Married on Saturday. Thursday afternoon's Marble Ass also has a short, "Tito Among the Serbs for the Second Time"; the shorts are on video while the features are 35mm. They also continue their punk-Japan Hachimiri Madness! series with Happiness Avenue at 9pm Saturday and Saint Terrorism at the same time Saturday, with The Rain Women and Makoto Tezuka short "UNK" playing at 7pm Sunday to wrap that series up. The spring calendar officially ends on Monday, when Houghton Library coordinator Peter Accardo introduces a 35mm print of Civil War picture Glory (a very different thing than what is showing at the MFA!); the archive contains a collection of letters by one of the film's main characters.
  • CinemaSalem is the place to go for the latest from Cristia Mungiu, Graduation, in which a father must decide whether to take extreme measures to give his daughter the chance to attend college abroad.

I'm hitting Alien: Covenant, The Lost City of Z, What a Wonderful Family, and hopefully actually making it to My Entire High School… this time.

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