Friday, October 09, 2020

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 9 October 2020 - 15 October 2020

Time flies. In just the last week, Regal has re-closed their theaters, the studios have pushed even more into next year (or streaming), and Showcase has announced that they will be closing their cinema in Revere, which is being demolished for an Amazon facility, and paired with the closing of the theater in Salem, just devastates movies in the North Shore.

And just a year ago, the Boston Underground Film Festival teamed up with the Irish FIlm Festival of Boston to present Extra Ordinary as part of Buff-o-Ween, incidentally mentioning that they were co-ordinating to not have their events happen during the same weekend in March.

(Here comes the 2020 irony!)

  • The weekend's big event is Nightstream, with The Boston Underground Film Festival one of five festivals pooling their resources to make a fun, nationwide online horror festival including BUFF's five short film programs plus 15 others, 42 features, special events, and more. I saw Bleed with Me, Detention, Dinner in America, Hunted, and Lapsis at Fantasia and most are pretty good. I'll be using my BUFF badge to see short packages "Highly Illogical" & "Far Gone and Out"; features Run, The Doorman, Come True, The Boys from County Hell, The Obituary of Tunde Johnson, Lucky, Frank & Zed, & Mandibles; and a special event with Justin Benson & Aaron Moorhead showing their early films. Limited "seating" is available, and while the festival is rolling out films over the weekend with Mandibles "closing" it on Sunday, many will be available into next week.

    The Irish Film Festival goes a different route, with their top two selections playing as a pop-up drive-in event at the Irish Cultural Center in Canton on Friday and Saturday nights. It looks like a good time, with music, pub food, and food trucks setting up shop before the movie.

    The GlobeDocs Film Festival is also currently happening online, running through the 12th, with many films available throughout but some timed (or featuring live Q&As); the Boston Women's Film Festival also started on Thursday, and I can vouch for Proxima, which played the Sci-Fi festival in February; there are 13 other features and three short packages, all available through their website through Sunday the 18th.
  • The Brattle Theatre has both Nighstream and BWFF on their home screen (as they would be hosting the non-virtual events) and also open Once Upon a River, about a Native American teenager who flees her hometown after a pair of violent attacks to seek her estranged mother, meeting various people as she navigates the Stark River in her canoe. It joins Native Son, The Myth of a Colorblind France, Dead (apparently held over for a second week!), Faust, Vinyl Nation, and The Hole.

    They also have a special "Cinema '62 A-Go-Go" event on Saturday evening. It's a multi-media variety show to promote and expand upon Stephen Farber & Michael McClellan's new book Cinema '62: The Greatest Year at the Movies, with special guests, film clips, music, and more.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre overlaps a bit with some of that online festival action, as Nightstream's Pelican Blood is held over for a second weekend in partnership with Goethe-Institut Boston and BWFF selection Aggie opens in their virtual room. That one is a documentary about Agnes Gund, an art collector who famously sold an expensive piece of art and used the proceeds to create the Art For Justice fund, which supports reform of the American criminal justice system. It's directed by Gund's Emmy-winning daughter Catherine.

    They also open Major Arcana, about a carpenter who returns to his Vermont hometown to build a log cabin, reconnecting with someone whose past is entwined with his. Director Josh Melrod will dial in for a Q&A on Tuesday evening. The also continue to host I Am Woman, The Keeper, The Disrupted, Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, and Nomad: In the Footsteps of Bruce Chatwin. Totally Under Control, a documentary from directors Alex Gibney, Ophelia Harutyunyan and Suzanne Hillinger, joins the line-up on Tuesday; it investigates America's disastrous pandemic response which, well, has places like theaters closed even though many other parts of the world are re-opening.

    There are two options for spooky cinema this weekend, with a John Carpenter double feature of The Thing & They Live at the Medfield State Hospital on Friday and Saturday and the first of four Bava films, A Bay of Blood, streaming through Sunday. The Coolidge Education series is also in Halloween mode, with After Midnite programmer Mark Anastasio doing a seminar on An American Werewolf in London (sign up now to get the intro, then rent the movie on your own and come back for the Zoom discussion Thursday). They're also hosting a "Black Horror" series taught by Kyéra Sterling; though the Wednesday evening sessions starting on the 14th are sold out, there are still spots for the Sunday morning editions starting on the 18th. They've also been able to add more seats their Halloween Rocky Woods shows, with Evil Dead 2 and the Evil Dead remake on the 30th and 12 hours of werewolf pictures on the 31st. There's also tickets on sale for next weekend's screenings of E.T. at the Medfield State Hospital; maybe it's not really a horror movie but it freaked some kids out back in the day.
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square and Watertown get Time a week ahead of Amazon Prime, and it looks like a good one, pulling from twenty years of footage and contemporary shooting to tell the story of Fox Rich, who has spent much of that time working to free her husband from jail, where he is serving 60 years for armed robbery. The Kendall also got the new Woody Allen thing, A Rainy Day in New York, which has been on the shelf for a couple of years and from the looks of the trailer I saw twice last weekend, deserves that fate.
  • Say what you will about the studios yanking everything from the schedule, but I don't know if something like Yellow Rose, with Eva Noblezada as a Filipina teenager in Texas who dreams of being a country music star, gets this wide a release in other circumstances. Good for it! It's at Boston Common, South Bay, and Revere. Also opening is The War with Grandpa, based on a bit of kid-lit about a boy resentful of said grandfather taking his room when he moves into the family home, which has been gathering dust even longer than the Allen thing, despite a similarly name-filled cast that includes Robert De Niro, Oakes Fegley, Uma Thurman, Cheech Marin, Christopher Walken, and Jane Seymour It's at Boston Common, South Bay, Watertown, Chestnut Hill, and Revere.

    Disney re-releases Coco, which plays Boston Common, South Bay, Watertown, Chestnut Hill, and Revere, while Imax presents matinees of Michael Jordan to the Max on the big screens at Boston Common and South Bay. Lights Out comes back at Boston Common and South Bay, while Revere's Halloween catalog-diving includes the original A Nightmare on Elm Street and Beetlejuice. The DreamWorks first-movie at AMC this week is Shrek, playing Boston Common and South Bay. The chronological Conjouring series is up to Annabelle at Boston Common, that and Annabelle: Creation at South Bay, and Annabelle Comes Home in Revere. Psycho plays Revere Sunday & Monday; they also have Call Me By Your Name on Sunday, Love, Hunibyo & Other Delusions The Movie: Take on Me for Monday's anime show, and Eat Pray Love on Tuesday.
  • My People, My Homeland was apparently a massive hit in China this past weekend, with the state-backed anthology film overseen by Ning Hao, who directed one of its segments which are broadly about rural life and fighting poverty. It's at Boston Common, where it joins fellow Chinese hits Jiang Ziya: Legend of Deification and Leap; Jing Ziya also opens in Revere.

    If you favor Korean films, K-Pop doc Break the Silence: The Movie and Train to Busan Presents: Peninsula hangs around for a show or two per day at Revere. The re-release of Akira continues at Boston Common and Revere for those looking to Japan.
  • The Taiwan Film Festival of Boston has their monthly online presentation this weekend, streaming documentary Run for Dream. It features Taiwanese ultramarathoner "Tommy" Chen Yen-Po, who in 2016 became the first Asian athlete to complete the 4-part Desert Race series, which sounds masochistic. Director Huang Mau-Sen will join a live forum on Sunday evening, which will be conducted in Mandarin but have simultaneous English translation.
  • This week's Thursday Bright Lights at Home presentation is The Fight, which follows ACLU lawyers working a number of recent cases. It starts at 7pm and will be followed by discussion with co-director Elyse Steinberg.
  • The Regent Theatre has their doors open most days this week, with a multimedia event celebrating what would have been John Lennon's 80th birthday on Friday; screenings of this year's Manhattan Short Film Festival block on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday; and a concert by Addis Pablo and the Naya Rockers on Wednesday. All of them have up to 50 seats available (up from 25), and the concert events can also be streamed (I don't think they're actually live at the Regent, but it's unclear). They also still have Herb Alpert Is… available to stream through the end of the month.
  • The West Newton Cinema is at least open Friday through Monday this week, for those whose schools give them a day off for Canadian Thanksgiving (or some other holiday that falls on the second Monday of October), keeping the same lineup of The Keeper, A Fantastic Woman, Lolita, The Bridges of Madison County (Friday/Sunday/Monday), RBG (Sunday/Monday), The Maltese Falcon, Citizen Kane (Saturday/Sunday/Monday), Tenet, 2001: A Space Odyssey (Sunday/Monday), and Casablanca (Sunday/Monday), with curbside popcorn pick-up as available on Wednesdays, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. Hopefully it doesn't mean anything that the link to the Belmont Studio has been removed from their site and that theater is still just temporarily closed.
  • Dang, The Somerville Theatre still has a listing for the burlesque-and-movie tonight, although I'm guessing it's not happening. The virtual screening room still lists The Fight, Amulet, John Lewis: Good Trouble, Pahokee, and Alice (no longer supporting the Somerville but still pretty good); the Cat Film Fest is now a dead link. The Capitol is open for ice cream and snacks, but their virtual theater is basically empty, with The Surrogate still live but the latter no longer paying out to the Capitol and the other three entries dead links.
  • The Lexington Venue is open this weekend with On the Rocks and The Way I See It, and you can also book a private screening for those movies, The Secrets We Keep, or any disc you bring (the site says DVD but hopefully they can handle Blu-ray!). The Brattle, the Coolidge, and West Newton are also offering private rentals for small-sih groups, with information on their websites (which often include other fundraising links) or by contacting them directly. The Coolidge has online booking through the 30th and the Brattle currently shows all available slots as filled.

Nightstream all weekend, maybe some Chinese movies once I'm done with that (whether at the Common or by digging into the box of things on their way from Hong Kong). And as always, if you haven't yet, go to Save Your Cinema to send a letter to your Congresspeople.

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