Friday, December 08, 2017

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 8 December 2017 - 14 December 2017

Oscar season seems to be coming in waves this year, with a couple things every couple of weeks. The good stuff starts showing up in earnest this week, though Star Wars grabs a whole bunch of screens starting Thursday.

  • If you like your awards contenders on the fantastical side, there's Guillermo del Toro's The Shape of Water, featuring Sally Hawkins as a mute woman brought in to work at a secret government facility during the Cold War only to find what is basically the Creature from the Black Lagoon being held captive. It's at Kendall Square and Boston Common. Those two locations also get Darkest Hour, with Gary Oldman playing Winston Churchill in what is said to be an uncanny evocation, with the film directed by Joe Wright. They'll be expanding to more screens next week.

    Kendall Square also opens a one-week booking of The Other Side of Hope, the latest from Finnish filmmaker Aki Kaurismaki, in which a retired traveling salesman has to rely on a group of Syrian refugees to keep his restaurant afloat.
  • Likely not looking for awards is Just Getting Started, an "old guys looking for love" movie with Morgan Freeman managing a senior community, Rene Russo the new arrival, and Tommy Lee Jones the tough rival who helps out when someone from Freeman's past turns up. Ron Shelton directs, and how the heck is it his first movie behind the camera in 14 years? It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, and Revere.

    The Disaster Artist goes wider, popping up at Somerville, the Embassy, Fenway (including RPX), Assembly Row, Revere, and the SuperLux, and also getting evening shows on the Imax screen at Boston Common (Dunkirk keeps the matinee slots). There are also a fair number of one-off shows, including National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation (Saturday at Fenway), anime presentation Black Clover (Saturday/Sunday at Fenway), Elf (Saturday/Monday/Tuesday at Revere), Guess Who's Coming to Dinner (Sunday/Wednesday at Fenway/Assembly Row/Revere), and It's a Wonderful Life (Sunday/Wednesday at Revere).
  • Woody Allen keeps making movies, this time coming up with Wonder Wheel, with Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake as a former actress on the run and a lifeguard in 1950s Coney Island. It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, Kendall Square, and Boston Common.

    The Coolidge also has some specials, with the weekend's midnight showings Tales from the Crypt (Friday) and The Twilight Zone: The Movie (Saturday), both on 35mm film. The Sunday-morning show from the Goethe-Institut is Beuys a documentary about its namesake, media artist Joesph. On Monday, they gear up to get Water later in the week with del Toro's Big Screen Classic Pan's Labyrinth on 35mm, followed by Open Screen on Tuesday. Things get a little more Christmas-y on Thursday with a Rewind! show of Home Alone.
  • There's a particularly nifty-looking series at The Brattle Theatre this weekend - In Our View: Films by African-American Women, which includes a lot of films that are both generally very good and others where that particular distinct point of view is very clear. It runs all week and features Selma (Friday), Love and Basketball on 35mm & Beyond the Lights (Saturday double feature), Losing Ground & Daughters of the Dust (Sunday double feature), Pariah (Monday), Talk to Me & The Caveman's Valentine on 35mm (Tuesday), I Will Follow & Yelling to the Sky (Wednesday), and Lift on 35mm (Thursday).

    They also welcome Kier-la Janisse for a couple of weekend late shows to tie in with books she's involved in: The Nude Vampire plays in a new digital restoration on Saturday, one of the films profiled in Spectacular Optical's Lost Girls: The Phantasmagorical Cinema of Jean Rollin, and the non-Michael Keaton Jack Frost plays Saturday Night to help launch Yuletide Terror: Christmas Horror on Film and Television.
  • Apple Fresh Pond opens subtitled Bollywood sequel Fukrey Returns, with the four Fukra brothers apparently targeted revenge for what happened in the last film. There's also Tamil neo-noir Richie through Tuesday and Telugu romance Malli Raava through Wednesday, and a screening of English-language but Indian-made film Sonata on Sunday afternoon.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts continues Harry Dean Stanton: Say Something True with screenings of Escape from New York (Saturday), Cisco Pike (Sunday on 35mm), Cockfighter (Sunday on 35mm), swan song Lucky (Thursday), and Pretty in Pink (Thursday on 35mm). The Jean-Pierre Meiville centennial celebration continues with Leon Morin, Priest (Saturday). Other spots on the schedule are filled with the run of Nowhere to Hide (Sunday/Thursday).
  • It's something different every day at The Harvard Film Archive, which starts the weekend on Friday with the first entry in their "The World of Bob Fosse" program, a 35mm print of the famous theater and film director's Sweet Charity. Saturday evening is entirely given over to Stan Brakhage's The Art of Vision, presented on 16mm film and introduced by Saul Levine (it's 4.5 hours long, so it starts at 5pm). Sunday afternoon they have a tribute to programmer David Pendleton, one of their programmers for the last decade and just a delightful guy; there will be screenings, stories, and a reception. Experimental filmmaker Jodie Mack visits on Monday with a program of her 16mm short films.
  • Emerson's Bright Lights program has its last free screening of the year in the Paramount's Bright room on Tuesday, with professor Miranda Banks leading the discussion after Sofia Coppola's The Beguiled.
  • CinemaSalem's 18-seat screening room is the place to go if you want to see The Tribes of Palos Verdes on a big-ish screen rather than on VOD; it stars Maika Monroe and Cody Fern as siblings who have just moved to California only to have their mother (Jennifer Garner) break down as her marriage falls apart.

I am down for The Shape of Water and The Darkest Hour, at least, maybe making the second a double feature with Dunkirk in Imax. If any of you do that, I highly recommend breaking out Their Finest when you get home, for a quality 2017 Dunkirk trilogy.

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