Friday, September 25, 2020

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 25 September 2020 - 1 October 2020

Looks like Apple Fresh Pond and Icon in the Seaport have shut down for another little while - probably until James Bond and maybe Soul shows up in November, because a whole bunch more has been pushed off to later. All those delays are leaving things a little weird at the multiplexes.

  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre keeps things moving in their virtual offerings, offering up The Artist's Wife with Lena Olin as the title character dealing with the suddenly worsening dementia of her husband (Bruce Dern), who had been planning one final show. They also get Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, a documentary about the famed neurologist, which will also feature a Q&A with filmmaker Ric Burns and others on Wednesday evening. They also have a re-release of RBG, with the proceeds going to the ACLU Women's Rights Project, and Jimmy Carter: Rock & Roll President moving to their virtual room after ending its run at the Kendall (something I figure will probably be just a thing movies do even after we're all going outside). Chuck Berry, Killer of Sheep, Sibyl, Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin, and From Controversy to Cure are also still playing.

    With October just around the corner, they step up on their commitment to the spooky, starting with Vertigo drive-in shows at the Medfield State Hospital this weekend (Saturday is sold out, but there are still tickets for Friday and Sunday) and Wes Craven's The Hills Have Eyes Part 2 in the virtual room through Sunday. They also have their first of a month full of horror-themed Coolidge Education seminars on Thursday with critic Bilge Ebiri talking about The Shining (find it here or pick up the spiffy new 4K disc).
  • The Brattle Theatre teams with partners this weekend, as Movie Night has another trio of online streamings of Feels Good Man, each with Q&As hosted by a different moderator (note that Saturday's is pretty late, so you'd be watching it with west-coasters), while 36 Cinemas has Shaolin vs Lama with commentary from RZA, Dan Halsted, and Mustafa Shaikh on Saturday night. They also continue to stream Faust, Vinyl Nation, The Hole, Ghost Tropic, and Son of the White Mare.

    They're also having an eccentric fund-raising contest with their DIY Poster Contest - recreate any movie poster in your home, snap a picture, and send it in by Thursday. Judging will begin next week with the public making donations to support their favorites.
  • The week's biggest new release might be Kajillionaire, the new one from Miranda July about a family of con-artists (Richard Jenkins, Debra Winger, Evan Rachel Wood) who wind up with anew member and find everything thrown off. It's at Landmark Theatres Kendall Square and Embassy, Boston Common, and South Bay.

    Both Landmark cinemas and Boston Common also pick up RBG (with Chestnut Hill going with On the Basis of Sex), with the Kendall supplanting it with a pre-Netflix run of Aaron Sorkin's The Trial of the Chicago 7 while the Embassy has Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles (the latter may only be open weekends at this point).
  • Richard Jenkins is having a week, starring in The Last Shift as well as Kajillionaire, this time around playing a senior working at a fast food spot who is having an unusual last day on the job. It's at Boston Common, Fenway, Chestnut Hill, and Revere.

    It's also a big week for re-issues (as I figure many will be), with Disney giving The Empire Strikes Back its second push this year at Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Arsenal Yards, and Revere; Funmation pushes a new 4K restoration of Akira at the Kendall, Boston Common (4K projection), . Boston Common and South Bay start a series of DreamWorks Part 1s with Madagascar, while Fenway has matinees of The Secret Lives of Pets, and Revere goes with Space Jam. Revere's weekday specials include Royal Space Force: Wings of Honneamise on Monday and The First Wives Club on Tuesday, with Hocus Pocus starting a Halloween run there and at Chestnut Hill on Thursday. South Bay has Then Came You, a romantic comedy with Kathie Lee Gifford (who also wrote it) and Craig Ferguson about a widow who meets a new (but engaged) man while scattering her husband's ashes, on Wednesday evening
  • I wouldn't bet against the box-office champ this week being Break the Silence: The Movie, the latest documentary/concert piece to feature South Korean supergroup BTS, which has a metric ton of showtimes at Boston Common, Fenway, Revere. South Korea's Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula hangs around for a show or two per day at Boston Common and Revere.

    The new Chinese import at Boston Common is Leap, which looks like a crowd-pleaser about the PRC's Women's volleyball team making the Olympics, featuring Gong Li and Bo Huang (I think it's a big Golden Week release). The Eight Hundred also continues at Boston Common.
  • The West Newton Cinema appears to be either down to Friday and Saturday or just not announcing showtimes very far in advance, but they also pick up RBG and add The Maltese Falcon to their classics rotation, with Citizen Kane, Tenet, 2001: A Space Odyssey (Saturday), The Burnt Orange Heresy, and Casablanca (Friday) on their other screens. They still list curbside popcorn pick-up as available on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays.
  • The Regent Theatre now says that screenings of this year's Manhattan Short Film Festival block will be limited to 25, with this week's on Wednesday. They also stream documentaries The Beatles in India, Chet's Last Call, and We Are Many, as well as Jimi Hendrix multimedia presentation "Starting Through Zero", at least through Wednesday, with another musical doc, Herb Alpert Is… either livestreaming or generally available to rent at 8pm Thursday. Jimmy Tingle will be doing a live-streamed fundraising show with no guests in the theater on Sunday afternoon, with a new band's show replacing "Go Now!" on Tuesday.
  • The Bright Lights at Home show on Thursday is Bedlam, which focuses on the crisis in the care of people who are severely mentally ill in the United States. It livestreams at 7pm with a conversation with director Kenneth Rosenberg and producer Peter Miller afterward, presented by the Roxbury International Film Festival, Independent Film Festival Boston, and A HREF="">Boston Jewish Film/ReelAbilities.

    Most of the Roxbury International Film Festival - which starts on Wednesday, runs through Monday 5 October, and focuses on films by/for/about people of color - looks to be streaming through The Museum of Fine Arts, including opening night films The Sit-In: Harry Belafonte Hosts The Tonight Show and A Knight's Tour. The MFA's site lists "suggested screening times to sync up with the post-film Q&As at RoxFilm's site, but there's no indication on the festival site that they can be watched later.
  • Boston Latino International Film Festival and
    The Boston Film Festival
    both run their virtual festivals through Sunday.
  • Still doesn't look like anyone is at The Somerville Theatre to update their virtual screening room slate, which still shows The Fight, Amulet, John Lewis: Good Trouble, the Quarantine Cat Film Fest, Pahokee, and Alice; The Capitol is open for ice cream and snacks, but I don't know if anyone is paying attention to their virtual theater, which still lists the "One Small Step" shorts, the Cat Film Fest, The Surrogate, and Heimat Is a Space in Time.
  • The Brattle, the Coolidge, West Newton, and now The Lexington Venue are all offering relatively reasonable rentals for groups of up to 20; information on rates, available slots, and what the rules on concessions and masking are are either on their websites (which often include other fundraising links) or by contacting them directly.

I'm feeling antsy and may finally hit a few sparsely populated theaters, especially once the Red Sox season comes to its merciful end on Sunday. As always, write to your representatives via Save Your Cinema to hopefully encourage Congress to help the exhibition business survive. Also, Nightstream has announced their line-up, including feature and short films curated by the good people at The Boston Underground Film Festival.

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