Friday, December 01, 2017

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 1 December 2017 - 7 December 2017

Ah, the first weekend of December, when no major releases open because a whole bunch of high-profile movies which figured to have staying power opened during the previous two weekends, but since there's always one or two things that wind up on a screen or two more than necessary (talking about you, Justice League), resulting in some kind of random openings, but they're the more interesting ones.

  • The Somerville Theatre "solves" this issue with the annual residence of the "Slutcracker" burlesque, meaning no movies on the main screen for a few weeks, likely until Christmas. The monthly Boston Underground Film Festival screening still goes on Wednesday, and it's both free with an RSVP and a good one, the Aussie thriller Hounds of Love, one of the highlights of this year's festival.

    Fenway, meanwhile, tides themselves over until next week with My Friend Dahmer, featuring Alex Wolff and Ross Lynch as teenagers, the latter of whom will grow up to be a serial killer. I missed it at Fantasia this summer, but was curious. Fenway also has a Saturday matinee of A Christmas Story, a Wednesday screening of desert-racing documentary Dust 2 Glory (also at Assembly Row and Revere), and there's also a Wednesday presentation of Black Clover - apparently an animated action series from Japan edited into a feature.

    Over at Boston Common, they get The Disaster Artist a week before other theaters, so people can see James Franco's tribute to The Room, co-starring with his brother Dave, Seth Rogen, and others. They also have a pair of foreign films to join Explosion: The Swindlers comes from South Korea, and has a crew of con artists recruited to capture an even more dangerous one. There's also Oro from Spain, a story of conquistadors seeking a fabled city of gold in the 16th Century. It's directed by Agustín Díaz Yanes, whose films have not been much seen in the USA since Don't Tempt Me, despite this one not having the international stars his others have.

    Theaters also pull back on how much Imax time they give Justice League: Jordan's Furniture will have daily matinees of The Polar Express, Assembly Row replaces the first couple shows of the day with Coco, and Boston Common brings back Dunkirk for everything but the late show.
  • Kendall Square mostly keeps things steady, switching last week's one-week booking for The Divine Order, the Swiss submission for the Academy, a story of women fighting for the right to vote in 1971.
  • The Brattle Theatre has a pair of documentaries opening this weekend, with Bill Nye: Science Guy profiling the television host who is also president of the Planetary Society, one of the leading advocates for space exploration in the country, while D.O.A. - A Rite of Passage newly restored after chronicling The Sex Pistols' calamitous last tour. That one only plays through Sunday, while Bill Nye only plays matinees from Monday to Thursday.

    On Monday, they have a DocYard show with director Lana Wilson visiting to present The Departure, her documentary on Ittetsu Nemoto, a Buddhist monk who specializes in helping the suicidal find reasons to live. Tuesday and Wednesday are a special live show of "Matt & Ben", with Lauren Chapman & Libby Schap playing the title characters as they write Good Will Hunting. They close out the week on Thursday with a 35mm screening of Irma Vep sponsored by MUBI which will include prizes of a new poster and a subscription to the service.
  • Apple Fresh Pond has one 7pm screening per day of IFFBoston selection Intent to Destroy, which was shot on the set of The Promise but is expanded by director Joe Berlinger to cover many other aspects of the Armenian Genocide. They also have daily late shows of Telugu action flick Jawaan and Telugu horror film Gruham (through Sunday, also playing Saturday afternoon in Tamil under the title "Aval"), and a Saturday matinee of Malayalam comedy Punyalan Private Lim.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre brings documentary Jane to the GoldScreen for the week, and has guests at both ends of Saturday: The morning is a "Science on Screen Jr." presentation, with Ben & Tonya Mezrich reading from their book Charlie Numbers and the Man in the Moon before screening Muppets From Space. Then, at midnight, Adrienne Barbeau will introduce The Fog on 35mm before receiving the second "Coolidge After Midnite" award.
  • If you're noticing that this leaves a gap in the Coolidge's midnight program, it's because that crew heads to The Museum of Fine Arts on Friday evening for the last "On the Fringe" show of the year, Escape from New York. That not only features honoree Adrienne Barebeau, but Harry Dean Stanton, who will be the subject of a retrospective through December ("Say Something True"), including Pretty in Pink (Sunday on 35mm).

    He's not the only person getting a retrospective on the MFA's December schedule, as the film program also pays tribute to Jean-Pierre Meiville (who would be 100 this year), starting with Army of Shadows (Friday), Bob le Flambeur (Saturday), Le Cercle Rouge (Saturday), Un Flic (Thursday), and Le Doulos (Thursday). They also begin a run of Nowhere to Hide, following a medic for five years after the US withdrawal from Iraq in 2011, with screenings on Sunday and Thursday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has Basma Alsharifon hand to introduce her film Ouroboros on Friday, and then spends the rest of the weekend presenting Freedom Outside Reason: The Animated Cinema of Jan Lenica, featuring three programs of short films made by Polish filmmakers Jan Lenica and frequent collaborator Walerian Borowczyk, with the shows on Saturday and Sunday introduced by Grzegorz Skorupski, with a third show on Monday. The programs are a mix of 35mm, 16mm, and digital presentations..
  • ArtsEmerson's Film Program partners with the Boston Asian-American Film Festival for a BAAF Liberty and Justice series focusing on Cambodia, with two features each in the Paramount Theater's Bright Screening Room on on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday (including the fascinating The Missing Picture), and a Monday matinee at the Middlesex Community library in Lowell.

    The facility's regular occupant, Bright Lights, has had the original short film version of IFFBoston opener Stumped, so it's only reasonable that they play the feature, which they will do on Tuesday with director Robin Berghaus and subject Will Lautenheiser in attendance. Their other presentation is a preview, with Tom of Finland showing in advance of its Kendall Square opening, with faculty member Benoit Denizet-Lewis leading the discussion afterward. As always, Bright Lights shows are free and open to the public.
  • The Breadwinner only had a week at Kendall Square, but the excellent animated film sets up shop in CinemaSalem's 18-seat screening room from Friday to Thursday.

The Swindlers and Oro have my interest, and I'll probably catch up with Lady Bird and some of the huge pile of discs on my shelf.

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