Friday, August 21, 2020

Next Week in Virtual Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 21 August 2020 - 27 August 2020

I've been pretty good about keeping in and to myself during this whole thing, but everything being closed kind of made it easy. This weekend, though, the challenge gets real.

  • Two new movies come via The Brattle Theatre and its virtual screening room: Desert One is the new documentary from Barbara Kopple, taking an in-depth look at 1979's Operation Eagle Claw, a top-secret mission to rescue hostages during the 1979 Iranian revolution, including new interviews and previously unavailable archival footage. They also pick up the new restoration of Son of the White Mare, a psychedelic 1981 fantasy from Hungarian animator Marcell Jankovics, scanned from the original negative elements. They also continue to offer Represent, Jazz on a Summer's Day, Creem: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine, and You Never Had It - An Evening with Bukowski.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre has a natural double feature partner for Desert One (which it also picks up) in Coup 53, which goes back to the other end of the Shah's reign to examine the coup that put him back on the throne with fortuitously-discovered footage. They also retain Jazz on a Summer's Day, River City Drumbeat, I Used to Go Here, and John Lewis: Good Trouble.

    They also have a "Science on Screen" entry in From Controversy to Cure, an hour-long featurette on the biotech boom in Cambridge streaming on their site for free. They'll also have a Q&A on Tuesday with director Joe McMaster and several of the subjects. Thursday's Coolidge Education seminar covers There Will Be Blood, with Rolling Stone critic David Fear taping an introduction and leading a discussion afterward (note that as usual, they're only supplying the before/after, and you're on your own for the movie itself).
  • That bit about staying in getting tough? That's because Train to Busan: Peninsula opens this weekend, playing The Lexington Venue, Boston Common (including Imax), and the Seaport. It's the sequel to Train to Busan, which also plays Saturday and Sunday at The Venue for those that need catching up.

    The Venue also opens Tesla, starring Ethan Hawke in the title role and Kyle MacLachlan as Thomas Edison. It's apparently a fairly off-kilter biography written and directed by Michael Almereyda, who worked with him on a similarly odd version of Hamlet twenty years ago and also recently made the interesting Experimenter and Marjorie Prime.
  • The West Newton Cinema Is one of the places picking up a 10th-Anniversary run of Inception ahead of director Christopher Nolan's Tenet maybe possibly opening in a couple of weeks; it's also playing at Boston Common (including Imax), the Seaport, and South Bay.

    West Newton also also continues to play The Burnt Orange Heresy, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Motherless Brooklyn, and The Goonies, through at least the weekend. They also wrap up their four-day run of Christmas on Ice, a holiday romance made by local filmmakers, on Friday and Saturday.
  • Some of the multiplexes are re-opening, with AMC, Showplace Icon, and Showcase letting up to 25 people in at a time where allowed, which includes Boston and some of the outer burbs but not Somerville. The biggest release is Unhinged, which stars Russell Crowe as a lunatic who apparently does not take being cut off very well. It plays Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), the Seaport (including Icon-X), and South Bay. There's also more action in the form of Cut Throat City, a RZA-directed thriller about four friends pulling off a heist in post-Katrina New Orleans, at Boston Common and South Bay.

    Also opening is Words on Bathroom Walls, featuring AnnaSophia Robb as a young woman diagnosed with mental illness during her senior year and tries to hide it even as she meets a nice boy. It's at Boston Common, the Seaport, and South Bay.

    That still leaves screens to fill, so they have leftovers from earlier in the year and classics. Boston Common has Bloodshot, Black Panther, the 2017 Beauty and the Beast, the classic Ghostbusters, The Empire Strikes Back, Grease, Back to the Future, and The Goonies; South Bay has Bloodshot, Black Panther, and Back to the Future.
  • The Somerville Theatre still has The Fight, Amulet, John Lewis: Good Trouble, the Quarantine Cat Film Fest, Pahokee, and Alice in their virtual screening room; ditto for The Capitol and "One Small Step" shorts, the Cat Film Fest, The Surrogate, and Heimat Is a Space in Time in their own virtual theater while still selling ice cream and snacks.
  • The Regent Theatre still has WBCN and the American Revolution, Creem, What Doesn't Kill Us, and Reggae Boyz listed on their site, but Creem says "ending August 20th" and the others aside from WBCN say "last chance", so…?.
  • The Brattle, the Coolidge, and West Newton have all been offering relatively reasonable rentals for up to 20-ish people; you may have to dig through their websites or call them directly get quotes on rates, available slots, and what the rules on concessions and masking are.

So, I've actually purchased a ticket to see Peninsula during a time when I hope the theater will be mostly empty, and I kind of want to see Tesla, but, obviously, it is probably not smart. I guess I've got to be ready to bail the second I feel uncomfortable, even if it's before the movie starts. In the meantime, I've got the week off work and will be inhaling Fantasia screeners.

If you're not ready to go out, make sure to write to your representatives via Save Your Cinema, and check out Nightstream, the upcoming online festival put on by BUFF and other genre festivals around the country.

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