Friday, July 17, 2020

Next Week in Virtual Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 17 July 2020 - 23 July 2020

No movies here in Somerville until at least August, they say. Still very little for those willing to get on a train/bus/taxi, but because other places are less cautious, a bit of a slowdown in the virtual releases.

  • They're not that much slower in sheer numbers at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, which has three new offerings, two of them documentaries. Runner tells the story of Guor Mading Maker, a refugee from Sudan who fought to be able to participate in the Olympics under the new flag of South Sudan, not yet recognized by the IOC. There are perhaps parallels to be found in Denise Ho: Becoming the Song, whose subject is an uncloseted Cantopop star who, like many in Hong Kong, has turned to activism as the Special Administrative Region's autonomy and identity has become increasingly threatened.

    Or is it four films opening there, as one of the new additions is an Alex Cox Double Feature or Highway Patrolman & Straight to Hell, a collection of two of the cult director's lesser-known works followed by a 20-minute Q&A. Aside from those, We Are LIttle Zombies, Never Too Late, No Small Matter, John Lewis: Good Trouble, Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things, and Miss Juneteenth also continue. The week's Coolidge Education selection is The 25th Hour, with pre-show lecture and Thursday evening seminar led by Time's Stephanie Zacharek.
  • The Brattle Theatre and Massachusetts Historical Society are continuing their "Boston on Film" virtual series, with the second half will featuring stories from the academic and upper-class side of the city. They'll be revealing new entries every morning at 10:30am through Tuesday - you can catch up with Love Story, The Paper Chase, Legally Blonde, and Now, Voyager - with a panel discussion set for Thursday evening.

    This week's show in collaboration with Movie Night is It's a Disaster, with the dark comedy about a group of friends who find their city attacked during their normally snarky brunch streams at 8pm on Friday, followed by a Q&A with the cast and crew (The Luna Theater is also an option, if you live in/near Lowell and would like to support that theater). The Virtual Screening Room also continues to host Beats, Shanghai Triad, Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things, In My Blood It Runs, and The Killing Floor.
  • Based upon their showtimes, it looks like The Lexington Venue is only open Friday through Sunday for the time being, with Irresistible on one screen and Once Were Brothers and Emma on the other. Their special premiere of "25: Tony Conigliaro - The Documentary" has been bumped up from one show on Saturday to three on both Saturday and Sunday, which is in total probably as many people could pack one house under normal circumstances. They'll also be showing anime feature My Hero Academia: Heroes Rising at 12:30pm on both days
  • The West Newton Cinema is also opening for the weekend, with shows on four of six screens with 25 people each: John Lewis: Good Trouble, Dolphin Tale, The Goonies, and The Wizard of Oz. They are also offering "drive-in concessions"; have phone orders in by Sunday afternoon for pick-up on Monday. Their GoFundMe campaign also contiues.
  • No changes at The Somerville Theatre, with John Lewis: Good Trouble, Shirley, Alice, Pahokee, and the Quarantine Cat Film Fest in their virtual cinema; same for sister cinema The Capitol with shorts package "One Small Step", the Quarantine Cat Film Fest, The Surrogate, and Heimat Is a Space in Time in their the virtual cinema but the ice cream shop and concession stand open.
  • The Regent Theatre is down to Reggae Boyz and WBCN and the American Revolution for virtual movie offerings to go along with another Kalliope Reed Quintet concert Sunday night and a GoFundMe campaign.
  • For those who (like me) are missing the festival experience, New York's Japan Cuts - which has often partnered with the New York Asian Film Festival for the back half of their Japan program - is virtual this year, and while it doesn't quite have the sort of genre slate that NYAFF featured, it does have some notable entries: Yoji Yamada returning to the series that defined his career (to the point where Twilight Samurai seemed like a metaphor for not doing it) for Tora-san, Wish You Were Here, the 50th and final entry; Labyrinth of Cinema, the final film from the late Nobuhiko Obayahi, best known for House; Special Actors from One Cut of the Dead director Shinichiro Ueda, which is apparently just as meta and multi-layered; along with 7 other features, plus shorts and documentaries. The Korean Cultural Center there also has two fun Korean Movie Night programs through the 26th, one featuring ten recent hits and another featuring three baseball-themed movies. On the other side of the country, L.A. 3-D SPACE has another block of 3D short films on their calendar for Sunday, but as yet no placeholder on their YouTube channel.

I can't quite justify the bus rides out to Lexington or Newton quite yet, but I'll probably catch Denise Ho and Runner while seeing what I can get off my shelf and DVR.

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