Friday, October 30, 2020

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 30 October 2020 - 5 November 2020

I thought I had something really clever to say about this weekend a couple days ago, but I forgot it and it's snowing out so it's a good thing the IFFBoston folks are going to be supplying us with good movies all weekend.

  • Independent Film Festival Boston's "Fall Focus" is going on this weekend, and it's tempting to call it just the festival, but it's still got the vibe of the Fall Focus, which has always been more a preview week without as much of the "you may not see this in theaters otherwise" material of the spring festival, but, then, who knows if there will be theaters open come Thanksgiving? Anyway, they started on Thursday with Minari, which was co-presented by Boston Asian American Film Festival, whose own selection of short films are still available through Wednesday. That one was just there for an evening, but the rest will be available for 48 hours starting at 10am on the day they premiere. That includes New Order and Night of the Kings starting Friday; Sound of Metal, Undine, Zappa starting Saturday; Farewell Amor, Freeland, and Little Fish starting Sunday; and MLK/FBI starting Monday.

    Which means the last IFFBoston movies will be going offline just as Boston Jewish Film is putting most of their program online, although other pieces will be one-time or available for shorter periods. I haven't had time to look over the full program yet, but I immediately caught sight of Honeymood, the new film from the director of Zero Motivation. Like many of the features, it has a corresponding conversation, so consider that as you set your schedule.
  • In addition to providing the stage for at least some Fall Focus screenings, The Brattle Theatre offers a reissue of 2006's Bamako, where a residential courtyard in the capital city of Mali serves as the scene for a mock trial of the various world institutions which have perpetuated the circumstances keeping African countries as second-class world citizens. It joins Nationland, Sweetgrass, Ham on Rye, White Riot, La Haine, and Once Upon a River in the virtual screening room.

    In shorter runs, The DocYard's engagement of found-footage Election '92 documentary Feed continues through Saturday, and the Brattle will program Inman Square's takeout-and-a-movie "Inmanween" promotion on Friday. That same night, 36 Cinema also has a triple feature of genre classics with live commentary, from Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla at 5pm to Night of the Living Dead at 9pm and Master of the Flying Guillotine at just-before-midnight.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre opened Wayne Wang's Coming Home Again a little earlier this week; it stars Justin Chon as a Korean-American man who returns home to take care of his ailing mother (Jacky Chung), who teaches him their traditional family recipes. They also add a new "Big Small Screen Classic" with the new 4K restoration of La Strada, in addition to continuing runs for Martin Eden, Totally Under Control, and Oliver Sacks: His Own Life.

    Halloween Weekend marks the final entry in their "Quattro Di Bava" series, with Mario Bava's debut, Black Sunday, available through Sunday. They'll also be at Rocky Woods for the "Cabin of Horrors" (with the sequel and reboot to Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead) on Friday and a 12-hour werewolf marathon on Saturday. Both are sold out, but they'll be back there for a Friday the 13th double feature and heading back to the Medfield State Hospital with Knives Out on November 20th and 21st. The current "Wednesdays with Wiseman" feature, Sinai Field Mission, ends on Tuesday, giving way to Hospital on Wednesday, featuring a conversation with Wiseman and Jesus Camp filmmakers Heidi Ewing & Rachel Grady.
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square picks up Boston Asian-American Film Festival selection The Donut King, Alice Gu's documentary on Ted Ngoy, a Camboidan refugee who founded a multimillion-dollar donut business and sponsored other refugees to follow in his footsteps. They also open Radium Girls, the story of 1920s factory workers who fight for workplace safety in a time when the harmful effects of radioactivity were still not generally known.

    Note that the Kendall is closed Monday through Wednesday this week, although I suspect screens can be rented on those days, with any of their 11 films playing.
  • The big Halloween new-release horror movie this year is apparently Come Play, with writer/director Jacob Chase remaking his 2017 short film "Larry", with that monster being a withdrawn kid's maybe-not-so-imaginary friend and appearing in smart device screens. Looks like Blumhouse, is actually Amblin, and it's being released through Universal's Focus imprint, so it may be available on VOD in 10 days, although they can't say so while it's in theaters like Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), and Revere.

    With Halloween this weekend, the Conjuring releases finish with The Conjuring 2 at Boston Common & South Bay, and the first at Revere. There's also the 1982 Poltergeist at Boston Common, Watertown, and Revere; Watertown and Revere also bring back the original 1978 Halloween. Less-scary Halloween flicks from Disney - Monsters Inc., The Nightmare Before Christmas, and Hocus Pocus - continue/return at Boston Common (all three), Watertown (Monsters Inc.), Revere (Monsters Inc.); Revere also has Hotel Transylvania and the animated The Addams Family, and a Saturday matinee of "PJ Masks: Halloween Tricksters". Addams is also sticking around in Watertown, while Hotel plays Chestnut Hill.

    In non-Halloween returns, Disney/Twentieth is bringing back Alita: Battle Angel in what may be testing the waters for interest in a sequel, but is more likely betting that it's got the sort of small but hard-core fanbase to sell a few tickets even under these conditions at Boston Common, South Bay (including Imax Sunday), and Revere. Warner offers up a reissue of V for Vendetta at Boston Common and Revere ahead of the 5th of November. Showcase seems to be doing a "Best of Bonds" series with the top film with a different actor playing James Bond every week, starting with Sean Connery in From Russia with Love at Chestnut Hill and Revere.

    South Bay puts It on the Imax screen Friday/Tuesday, with the 2018 sequel-not-reboot-except-it-sort-of-is-because-the-sequels-are-ignored Halloween on Saturday/Wednesday. There are 25th Anniversary screenings of Apollo 13 at South Bay, Watertown, Chestnut Hill, and Revere on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday (South Bay & Watertown). The Stevie Nicks 24 Karat Gold Concert has another encore at Chestnut Hill and Revere on Sunday. South Bay and Watertown have the 1990 Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles on Thursday.
  • China's Coffee or Tea? opens at Boston Common, featuring three young men returning to their thousand-year-old village from the big city. It doesn't look like much, but the Friday shows are already sold out, so I guess some of the actors are pretty popular. One of them was in Leap, whose director produced this film; director Derek Hui made the pretty darn nice This Is Not What I Expected a few years ago and has edited a lot of good stuff. It's at Boston Common, which also holds on to My People, My Homeland continue at Boston Common.
  • The West Newton Cinema is only showing showtimes for Friday this weekend, with the 1940 Pride and Prejudice, A Rainy Day in New York, Honest Thief, The Keeper, Tenet, and 2001: A Space Odyssey playing.
  • The Regent Theatre continues their short run of Uncle Tom: An Oral History of the American Black Conservative through Sunday, with a live Q&A with writer Ryder Ansell after Friday evening's show. Their two streaming presentations look to be ending soon, with Chet's Last Call confirmed through Monday and Herb Alpert Is… there through Sunday. The streaming "Together Tuesday" show flips from the Williamsburg Salsa Orchestra to Mojo & The Bayou Gypsies on the 3rd. They also have an in-theater show of documentary Chuck Leavell - The Tree Man on Thursday; Leavell is noted as both a rock pianist and an environmentalist.

    Their Saturday Halloween event is kind of confusing - you can stream Rundgren Radio's Virtual Vision Halloween Party for free (donations appreciated), but also sit in the main theater to watch it there at 7pm, and then at 8:30pm, The Hermits of Mink Halloween will be performing Todd Rundgren's album "The Hermit of Mink Hallow" in the downstairs Regent Underground, but that will also be streamed and sent up top, with interaction between the two spaces via closed-circuit TV
  • This weekend's "GlobeDocs Presents" is Steve James's 5-part Hulu series City So Real; click the link to sign up and be eligible for a Zoom call at noon Monday with James and Zak Piper.
  • Bright Lights at Home streams Cured on Thursday evening, including a livestream with director Bennett Singer on-hand afterward to discuss his documentary on a crucial moment in the fight for LGBTQ rights, when the American Psychiatric Association stopped classifying homosexuality as a mental illness in 1973.
  • The Capitol is selling snacks, but it's not even worth linking to their virtual cinema page; sister cinema The Somerville Theatre is still closed, but most of the links on their virtual cinema page are live, including The Fight, Amulet, John Lewis: Good Trouble, Pahokee, and Alice, though the latter two no longer seem to be sharing with the theater.
  • The Brattle, the Coolidge, the Capitol, The Lexington Venue, West Newton, and now Kendall Square have information on private rentals on their sites. The Coolidge has slots available to reserve online up to November 22nd, while the Brattle looks to be sold out.
I'll be mainlining the IFFBoston stuff for the next few days, which is a good reason to stay out of the rain and cold.

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