Friday, November 13, 2020

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 13 November 2020 - 19 November 2020

Virus numbers are spiking, so the rules of irony dictate that we've got one of the best weekends for moviegoing since Tenet came out, good enough that I can actually grumble about what's playing where and the weird rules that different chains have for which studios they will deal with.

But first, the options for sensible people staying in.

  • At The Coolidge Corner Theatre, the newest release is Monsoon, starring Henry Golding as a man who left Vietnam as a refugee when he was six returning for the first time. They also open three others with guests scheduled: Radium Girls, a docudrama about women who fall sick while painting glow-in-the-dark watches in 1928, has directors Lydia Dean Pilcher & Ginny Mohle and environmental epidemiologist Dr. Richard Clapp dialing in for a Q&A on Monday, and Smooth Talk has director Joyce Chopra on hand Tuesday to discuss her 1985 film which served as a breakout role for Laura Dern. Coded Bias opens on Wednesday, and a panel will get together virtually on Thursday night to elaborate on the documentary's subject of how supposedly-unbiased computer systems (especially facial recognition) often take on the priorities of those who program them, notably in that they are optimized for white men. Thursday night also features a "Coolidge Education" seminar on Fritz Lang's M. Register, get an introduction from writer Farran Smith Nehme, watch the film on your own, and then come back for the Zoom discussion.

    Since it's Friday the 13th, they'll be showing two films from the series (The Final Chapter and Jason Lives) at Rocky Woods on Friday and Saturday, with tickets still available. Last one of these until August, I think. They also continue to stream City Hall, Hospital (through Tuesday), the Frida Kahlo "Exhibition on Screen", and Martin Eden.
  • The Brattle Theatre brings in City Hall, including a special post-film conversation between director Frederick Wiseman and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh. They also pick up a pair of new restorations: Six in Paris is a 1965 anthology film in which different up-and-coming directors made a short film about a different neighborhood, and those directors included Eric Rohmer, Jean-Luc Godard, and Claude Cabrol. On the other end of the spectrum is Action U.S.A., a 1989 flick by stuntman 1989 which apparently has him sticking to what he knows - non-stop practical mayhem. They join Nationtime, Sweetgrass, and Ham on Rye in the virtual screening room.

    They also continue to team up with various partners: The current Euro Horror double feature is Baron Blood & Requiem for a Vampire, available through Tuesday, with one more week's worth announced on Wednesday. Friday night's 36 Cinema movie-with-commentary has Jim Jarmusch talking about how Seijun Suzuki's Branded to Kill was one of the inspirations for Ghost Dog. Their friends at The DocYard will be streaming Unapologetic, which follows two Chicago organizers as part of the Movement for Black Lives. It plays Friday to Thursday, with the filmmakers participating in a Q&A Monday night.
  • Boston Jewish Film has one last weekend to go, with Q&As for Honeymood, Shared Legacies, and Sublet along with three other live-streaming events, including Sunday's Closing Night Cocktail hour.

    DC's AFI Silver theater may not be local, but that's hardly a reason not to dive into their Noir City International series, especially since it's likely that its selections would have been the program for Noir City Boston had that happened this year. It's 19 films from ten countries, with one to four new ones coming online daily from the 13th to the 22nd and available through the 29th. Not quite so far down the virtual coast, DOC NYC is being held online, and you can help support The Lexington Venue by using the coupon code DOCNYC-LEXINGTON, which both saves you $2 and makes a donation of the same amount to the theater every time it's used. It started Wednesday and runs through the 19th.
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square opened Netflix's Hillbilly Elegy on Wednesday (as did Watertown), and turns a great deal of its screens over this weekend. The big release is Ammonite, starring Kate Winslet as a fossil hunter in the 1840s who is charged with an apprentice (of sorts) in her patron's young wife (Saoirse Ronan), though their relationship grows from there. It also plays Watertown and Chestnut Hill. I saw the trailers for it and The Climb before nearly every film I've seen there since it re-opens, and the latter also opens this weekend, a story of a close but sometimes toxic friendship written and played out by real-life friends Michael Angelo Covino (who also directs) and Kyle Marvin. It also plays West Newton, Boston Common, and Revere, but Landmark will be hosting a conversation between the filmmakers and Judd Apatow on Saturday afternoon.

    The new animated film by Tomm Moore should be a big darn event - The Secret of Kells and The Song of the Sea were both terrific - but only Kendall Square is giving it a regular release before AppleTV swallows it up, though others (Boston Common, South Bay, Watertown, Revere) will have weekend shows of this story of two young Irish girls, one of whose family hunts wolves and the other of which may become one. And, believe it or not, this boutique-focused place is the one opening Fatman, which stars Mel Gibson as Santa Clause, fighting off an assassin (Walton Goggins) hired by a disappointed 12-year-old. They're closed Monday and Tuesday but will re-open Wednesday for an NT Live showing of Phoebe Waller-Bridge's original Fleabag play (which means an extra couple days for Wolfwalkers too).
  • The week's big theatrical release is Freaky, a slasher film in which the killer (Vince Vaughn) somehow switches bodies with one of his intended victims (Kathryn Newton), allowing for all manner of chaos and carnage, with Millie desperately trying to find a way to get her own body back before "he" is caught. It's front Christopher Landon, who made the surprisingly good Happy Death Day movies, and plays Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Watertown (including CWX), Chestnut Hill, and Revere (including XPlus).

    Frustratingly, Watertown seems to be the only place showing Come Away, which imagines Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland as siblings - and the children of David Oyelowo and Angelina Jolie - before being pulled into their fantasy worlds. Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Michael Caine, and Derek Jacobi are also in this, which is the first live-action film by Brave director Brenda Chapman.

    Guardians of the Galaxy is the biggest of the re-releases this week, playing Boston Common, South Bay, Watertown, and Revere. Girls Trip and Minions play Boston Common & South Bay (with Toy Story also sticking around there); the Common has John Wick & John Wick: Chapter 2 and holdover Goldfinger. Revere has Kill Bill: Volume 1 and their weekly Bond is Roger Moore, featured in The Spy Who Loved Me.

    The Outpost finishes its four-day "run" at South Bay and Watertown with shows on Friday and Saturday. Anime fans get a double feature of Fate/Stay Night [Heaven's Feel 1 & 2 at Watertown and Revere on Saturday, with Part 3 ("Spring Song") playing Wednesday. There are 40th anniversary shows of Flash Gordon at South Bay, Watertown, Chestnut Hill, and Revere on Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday, and the Sex and the City movie also plays Chestnut Hill and Revere on Wednesday. Apparently Jackie Chan's latest, Vanguard, rates a "fan event" at South Bay and Revere on Thursday before its early shows and Friday official opening.
  • The West Newton Cinema has times listed for Friday, Saturday, and Sunday Wednesday this week, including The Climb, as well as 1940's Pride and Prejudice (Friday/Sunday), A Rainy Day in New York, Honest Thief, The Keeper, 2001: A Space Odyssey (Friday/Saturday), Casablanca (Friday/Saturday) and The Maltese Falcon (Saturday/Sunday).
  • The Regent Theatre has extended their stream of Herb Alpert Is… through November, and will apparently be streaming Chuck Leavell: The Tree Man sometime soon, though the link is not yet up on their site. They will be hosting a live performance of Deborah Henson-Conant on Saturday evening with both in-person seating and streaming versions (although the kids' matinee has been canceled). They've also rescheduled a previous theater show of the 11th Annual "Ciclismo Classico" film program as a streaming event on Thursday.
  • Thursday's Bright Lights at Home presentation is Dope Is Death, a documentary about an "acupuncture detoxification" clinic in the Bronx that opened in 1973 and still functions to this day. Free registration opens at noon on Thursday, with the stream starting at 7pm and followed by a discussion with director Mia Donovan.
  • The Capitol has the concession stand and ice cream stand open; sister cinema The Somerville Theatre is still closed with their virtual cinema page still having the same links to The Fight, Amulet, John Lewis: Good Trouble, Pahokee, and Alice that they have all summer.
  • AMC's app is now letting you rent screens at their open theaters (three screens seem to be blocked out an Boston Common and two at South Bay), with $99 getting you and your pod the room for one of their "Fan Favorites" and new releases running $299, which is roughly the price if you've got a group of 20. The Brattle, the Coolidge, the Capitol, The Lexington Venue, West Newton, Kendall Square, and Apple Fresh Pond (I think?) are available for private rentals, with the Coolidge showing slots available to reserve online through November 22nd, and the Brattle having times available through 6 December. Call whoever's closest up if you've got a group and something you'd like to see on the big screen
I'm laying down money for Noir City and Action U.S.A. and will probably try and catch Wolfwalkers, Freaky, and Ammonite. I'm either trying to talk myself into or out of finally checking the theater at Watertown out for Come Away, currently leaning toward "out of" because it's a heck of a hike from Harvard Square, which is the only way I can figure on doing it without getting on a bus.

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