Friday, May 22, 2020

Next Week in Virtual Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 22 May 2020 - 28 May 2020

A lot of overlap for this long holiday weekend, and it can't be that fewer movies are being released because they figure we'll be out doing other stuff.

  • The Brattle Theatre opens two new ones, with Lucky Grandma following a Chinatown octogenarian who winds up in the middle of a gang war, while Peter Medak's The Ghost of Peter Sellers follows how making Ghost in the Noonday Sun with a pair of comic geniuses was, in fact, not fun at all. Lucky Grandma will have a virtual premiere starting at 5:30pm EST (like, right now!), and both films will be featured as part of a Monday afternoon Zoom session with Ned & Ivy. Fourteen, Vitalina Varela, and Thousand Pieces of Gold are "held over", and there's a Sunday night stream of Shogun Assassin with RZA and Dan Halsted giving live commentary.

    The annual "Reunion Week program kicked off on Wednesday with Toy Story and Dead of Night celebrating 25 and 75 years, respectively, continuing through Tuesday with a variety of films celebrating anniversaries that are multiples of 25 years. I don't think the program has done a 100th yet, but they must be getting awful close. Among the regular recommendations, "Y'Know, For the Kids!" (Tuesdays and Saturdays) recently suggested Rango, while #BreakYourAlgorithm (Mondays and Thursdays) most recently included Cookie's Fortune and Cast a Deadly Spell.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre also has Lucky Grandma and Shogun Assassin, and picks up two new documentaries: The Painter and the Thief following a Czech artist befriending the career criminal who stole her work and Diana Kennedy: Nothing Fancy featuring "The Julia Child of Mexico". Director Elizabeth Carroll hosts a virtual Q&A for the second Saturday night, along with some special guests, and one is planned for Painter, with the theater offering an opportunity to submit questions. Driveways, On A Magical Night, Up From the Streets, Straight Up, What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael, Capital in the Twenty-First Century, Beyond the Visible: Hilma Af Klint, and The Booksellers continue.

    Geothe-Institut presentation Free Country returns for a second weekend (playing through Monday), and the week's Coolidge Education seminar has Slate senior editor Sam Adams discussing The Long Goodbye. Register, watch the introduction, stream the movie, and then join the Zoom discussion on Thursday.
  • I was going to be living at The Somerville Theatre this weekend for the cancelled 70mm film festival, but may still stop by for the popcorn pop-up on Saturday. They also open The Ghost of Peter Sellers in virtual cinema, along with Alice, Pahokee, The Whistlers, and Once Were Brothers. Their friends at The Capitol add The Painter and the Thief and cinematic essay Heimat Is a Space in Time, to their virtual cinema alongside Spaceship Earth, Dying for Gold, The Whistlers, Once Were Brothers, and Slay the Dragon.
  • The West Newton Cinema, the Somerville, and the Capitol are all participating in Magnolia's "A Few of Our Favorite Docs" series, where $5 both rents a movie and registers one for a Wednesday Q&A; this week's selection is Life Itself, with RBG still available.

    West Newton also adds Military Wives to their screening options with Kristin Scott Thomas and Sharon Hogan in a true story of members of a military wives' choir that became a big deal in the UK for a while; it's the latest from Peter Cattaneo, who directed The Full Monty. Once Were Brothers, Slay the Dragon, and The Whistlers continue, as does their GoFundMe campaign, and "Local Hero" advance ticket sales.
  • Independent Film Festival Boston is still holding out hope that its 2020 edition is only postponed, but in the meantime, they've set up an online screening area for The Rabbi Goes West, from festival friends and alumni Amy Gellar & Gerald Peary, following an evangelical Hasidic rabbi as he ventures to Montana. It will be available as of 10am on Sunday (24 May 2020) and run through 4 June, with the filmmakers and subjects scheduled for a Q&A on the 31st.
  • Boston Jewish Film would normally be running a summer cinematheque program at local theaters during the summer, but with that out, they are doing it virtually. The first one scheduled is Resistance, with filmmakers Johnathan & Claudine Jakubowicz and star Jesse Eisenberg joining a Zoom conversation Sunday afternoon at 5pm. Pre-register here, watch the film on your VOD provider of choice, and enjoy the conversation!
  • The Regent Theatre has started a "Regent TV" weekly variety show, and continues its two virtual features, with Dosed including a Q&A on Tuesday at 8:30pm. WBCN and the American Revolution also continues, with a Q&A planned for 2 June.
  • Showcase Cinemas is also opening Military Wives and Fantastic Fungi, with The Mindfulness Movement, Capone, and Scoob! also continuing. And while none of their theaters are able to open, they are starting a pop-up drive-in series in the parking lot of their Foxboro location, with Raiders of the Lost Ark playing Saturday night and proceeds going to the Foxboro Food Pantry; tickets and snacks are on sale via their smartphone app.
Man… I'd normally be adding the outdoor screenings bit to this right about now, wouldn't I? Of the new stuff, I'll probably catch Lucky Grandma and The Painter and the Thief, with an eye toward things coming off the shelf.

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