Friday, August 28, 2020

Next Week in Virtual Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 28 August 2020 - 3 September 2020

I'm pretty sure I'll be staying in this week, but a lot of places are opening, if you feel safe doing so.

I've got to say, though, for as much as I generally understand and more or less support the multiplex chains not wanting to touch things that are going to VOD on the same day, but you've got to think that in this specific circumstance, it's kind of weird that they won't play Bill & Ted Face the Music but will book three or four screens with stuff that is a $2.99 rental on Prime or free with ads on other services. I mean, practical matter, you can probably "fill" a few 30-person-capacity screens with that even if you're going to stand on principle most of the time.

  • Giving priority to the local/virtual places, The Coolidge Corner Theatre adds Epicentro, the new documentary from Hubert Sauper, to their screening room; it's an examination of Cuba in the post-colonial era, a history that aligns roughly with that of cinema itself. A live-streamed Q&A with the director is planned for next weekend. Another documentary, MR. SOUL!!, comes as part of the online screening series being put on by the Roxbury International Film Festival in lieu of an in-person event; it features Ellis Haizlip, who produced and hosted PBS variety show SOUL! from 1968 to 1973. Continuing virtual offerings include Coup 53, From Controversy to Cure, Jazz on a Summer's Day, I Used to Go Here, and John Lewis: Good Trouble.

    His Girl Friday is the subject of Thursday's Coolidge Education seminar, with the introduction and Thursday night Zoom discussion led by film critic Monica Castillo.
  • The Brattle Theatre has a big-ish week ahead, with three openings and two special events. First up is Ghost Tropic, a shot-on-film story about an immigrant cleaning woman who has to walk across Brussels to get home after falling asleep on the last train of the night, and meets the various people who populate the city at night. Closer to home, Moroni for President is a documentary about Moroni Benally, a gay academic running for President of the Navajo Nation, and others who are part of the campaign to become arguably the most powerful Native American in the country. They also have MR. SOUL!, and continue to screen Desert One, the restoration of Son of the White Mare, Represent, Jazz on a Summer's Day, Creem: America's Only Rock 'n' Roll Magazine, and You Never Had It - An Evening with Bukowski.

    Both live-screening series they participate in have shows this weekend, with 36 Cinema showing My Lucky Stars at 9:15pm on Friday, with Scott Adkins, Frank Djeng, and Mustafah Shaikh providing commentary for the martial-arts comedy that features the legendary trio of Jakcie Chan, Sammo Hung, and Yeun Biao. For those potentially looking to stay up late, Movie Night has 8pm & 11pm screenings on Friday and Saturday night of Fells Good Man, which follow artist Matt Furie attempting to reclaim his character Pepe the Frog from the alt-right trolls who have appropriated him. "Seats" are limited, and each show will
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square has re-opened with a full-ish slate, most notably The Personal History of David Copperfield, directed by Armando Iannucci and starring Dev Patel in the title role; it also plays Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, South Bay, and Revere.

    They also open Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, in which director Werner Herzog profiles the late travel writer, a longtime friend and collaborator, returning to many places that Chatwin was particularly fond of. Another documentary, The Mole Agent has a private investigator hiring an 83-year-old man to go undercover at a retirement home suspected of mistreating its residents, only to have him become involved in the lives of the residents.

    They also pick up Ethan Hawke in Michael Almereyda's Tesla, as well as Charlie Kaufman's new film, I'm Thinking of Ending Things. It's a Netflix film, so apparently Landmark isn't that scared of same-day VOD, although Bill & Ted will have to wait until their sister cinema in Waltham, the Embassy, fully re-opens on Thursday.
  • Other theaters are re-opening this weekend, including the Regal at Fenway and the Showcases in Revere and Chestnut Hill. The big new release is The New Mutants, the X-Men spinoff featuring Anya Taylor-Joy, Maisie Williams, Charlie Heaton, Blu Hunt, and Henry Zaga in an adaptation of one of the comics more horror-oriented stories. It's been sitting on the shelf for a couple of years, and is probably only getting a release now because it's a convenient dumping time for something which, contractually, can't be sent straight to VOD. It's at Boston Common (including Imax/Dolby Cinema), Fenway, the Seaport (including Icon-X), South Bay (including Imax), Revere (including XPlus), and Chestnut Hill.

    Extra screens are filled out with re-releases, including Raiders of the Lost Ark at Boston Common, Revere, and Chestnut Hill; all six Rocky movies at Boston Common, South Bay, and Revere; Back to the Future at Revere, Jurassic Park at Fenway and Revere; Spider-Man: Homecoming at Boston Common, Revere, and Chestnut Hill; Spider-Man: Far From Home at Boston Common and Fenway, Revere, and Chestnut Hill; Interstellar at Fenway; The Dark Knight Rises at Fenway; John Wick at Fenway; Wonder Woman at Fenway; BTS: Bring the Soul at Boston Common and Revere; and the whole Lord of the Rings Extended Edition set at Fenway. Revere also has The Ten Commandments on Sunday, anime feature Made in Abyss: Journey's Dawn on Monday, plus The Notebook and Spongebob the Movie: Sponge Out of Water on Tuesday,

    Christopher Nolan's Tenet doesn't official open until next Friday, but there are a bunch of "Early Access" screenings starting on Monday at West Newton, Kendall Square, the Embassy, Boston Common, Fenway, the Seaport, Chestnut Hill, and Revere
  • The Eight Hundred is the biggest success story so far of China's cinemas re-opening so far, and distancing requirements in individual theaters means it gets spread out a bit more. It comes from Mr. Six director Guan Hu and is another one of their epic war movies, this one telling the story of a small group trapped in a Shanghai warehouse in 1937, surrounded by the Japanese army. It's at Boston Common, the Seaport, and Revere.

    Revere also picks up Spanish comedy Father There is Only One 2, directed by and starring Santiago Segura.
  • The West Newton Cinema Is currently listing Inception, The Burnt Orange Heresy, 2001: A Space Odyssey, Casablanca, Motherless Brooklyn, and The Goonies as playing Friday and Saturday, no shows on Sunday, The Wizard of Oz on Tuesday and Wednesday, and is also opening Tenet on Monday. Presumably they've seen when they get business or are getting a fair number of private rentals. They are also offering curbside popcorn pre-orders for pick-up on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.

    The Lexington Venue is taking it week-by-week, and will be closed this weekend, though they have Fatima scheduled to open on 4 September
  • 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 looks to be opening for some live events with "Rock Cats Rescue Presents The Amazing Acro-Cats" from Friday to Sunday, although Wednesday's "Bearly Dead" show is listed as a live-streamed show. They also still have links to WBCN and the American Revolution, Creem, What Doesn't Kill Us, and Reggae Boyz on their front page.
  • 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.

I will be heads-down watching Fantasia screeners for most of the week, hoping to seamlessly transition to the virtual edition of New York Asian Film Festival afterward.

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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