Friday, December 11, 2020

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 11 December 2020 - 17 December 2020

It's a weird weekend at the box office, but an interesting one online. But it looks like the folks in Revere get to keep their theater for at least a few more weeks, so that's good.

  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre has the first of a half-dozen restorations (with some alterations) in "The World of Wong Kar-Wai" in what many consider his masterpiece, In the Mood for Love, a beautiful romance starring Tony Leung Chiu-Wai and Maggie Cheung Man-Yuk, with photography by Christopher Doyle. The run includes a Coolidge Education seminar led by Justin Chang on Thursday (including an introduction to watch before the film.

    They also pick up Assassins, a documentary on the murder of Kim Jong-Nam, the brother of North Korean dictator Kim Jong-Un who was killed in broad daylight in a Malaysian airport, but whosekillers claimed they thought they had been hired for a television stunt. The other new documentary is Sing Me a Song, about a young monk in Bhutan who has his existence thrown into disarray by the arrival of modern technology. It's also got a Q&A session on Sunday afternoon, a "Science on Screen" event with director Thomas Balm├Ęs and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Harvard Medical School Dr. Michael Rich. They join Another Round, 76 Days, Born to Be, Coded Bias, City Hall, and Martin Eden.
  • The Brattle Theatre picks up two reissues, with Ikarie XB-1 a striking Czechoslovak science-fiction film from 1963 where I'm surprised that the restoration is just hitting (virtual) theaters now, as it played the Boston Sci-Fi Festival last year, where I was impressed but tuckered out, so I'm looking forward to seeing it again. The other is from 40 years later, Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Bright Future, one of his more sinister works which helped him make the jump from being known strictly by J-horror fans.

    They also add documentary Markie in Milwaukee to their virtual screening room, a documentary that follows the ten-year journey of a 7-foot-tall fundamentalist minister who comes out as a transgender woman. It plays alongside Another Round, Crock of Gold: A Few Rounds with Shane MacGowan, Mayor, Zappa, Three Summers, Flowers of Shanghai, and Fire Will Come.

    The theater has sent members an email offering screenings of the final DocYard presentation of 2020, with Night Shot co-presented by the Boston Area Rape Crisis Center and featuring Chilean filmmaker Carolina Moscoso examining the ongoing trauma after her assault eight years prior. Moscoso will join DocYard curator Abby Sun and BARCC's Bella Alarcon Flores for a Q&A on Tuesday afternoon.
  • The Taiwan Film Festival of Boston wraps its monthly streaming events this weekend with a double feature of documentary Millets Back Home, about the indigineous Tayal people, and Taipei-set drama Missing Johnny. The latter's director, Huang Xi, will participate in a streaming forum Sunday evening.
  • Not subscribing to Netflix, I didn't realize just how much stuff they pumped out until Landmark Theatres Kendall Square started filling their schedule with the service's films this fall. For instance, I had no idea that George Clooney was directing and starring in The Midnight Sun, a science fiction film where the Earth has undergone a massive climate disaster and his radio astronomer must inform a starship not to return, with Felicity Jones, David Oyelowo, Demian Bichir, and Kyle Chandler in the crew; it also screens at Chestnut Hill and Revere. That's got almost a two-week window; I'm Your Woman is day-and-date with Amazon's Prime Video and features Rachel Brosnahan as a young mother on the run because of something her lowlife husband did, and comes from Fast Color writer/director Julia Hart.

    They also give a screen to Wild Mountain Thyme (as does Watertown), with Jamie Dornan as a young Irishman whose next door neighbor (Emily Blunt) has loved him forever and whose father intends to sell the farm to an American nephew if he doesn't marry, but apparently there's something holding him back. The fourth film the open is Farewell Amor, which streamed as part of IFFBoston's Fall Focus and tells has an Angolan immigrant reconnecting with the wife and daughter he has been separated from for 17 years.

    On top of that, they have the New York Dog Film Festival on Wednesday evening; like last week's cat package, it contains eight shorts featuring man's best friend with some of the proceeds going to local animal charities.
  • Nothing really new at the more mainstream multiplexes, to the point where The New Mutants and The Empty Man return to Boston Common despite the former being on video. The big release is Wonder Woman, which returns to Boston Common (including Imax) South Bay (including Imax), and Watertown (including CWX) so that folks can catch up ahead of the sequel.

    Die Hard continues at Boston Common, South Bay, and Watertown. Love Actually is the other Christmas movie at Boston Common; Watertown has Elf, and It's a Wonderful Life; South Bay has Elf and other stuff on offer if you rent a theater.

    South Bay and Watertown has Timecrafters: The Treasure of Pirate's Cove on Saturday, Sunday, and Tuesday in which a pirate ship from the past (with folks like Malcolm McDowell, Denise Richards, and Eric Balfour) gets pulled the present and can only be stopped by a bunch of kids. Watertown plays Buttons: A Christmas Tale on Thursday.
  • The Regent Theatre has live streams of a Pat Travers Band concert on Saturday and a comedy show by Roger Kabler on Thursday, the latter with limited in-house seating; both are touted as being "interactive", the artist can see the audience if they put their webcams on or something. They also continue to stream Insert Coin and Jefferson Mays's one-man version of A Christmas Carol.
  • ArtsEmerson has musician Somi's work-in-progress featurette in the absence of things through Tuesday the 15th.
  • The West Newton Cinema is open for the weekend, with Singin' in the Rain A Star Is Born '18 (Saturday/Sunday), The Climb, A Rainy Day in New York (Saturday/Sunday), Honest Thief (Friday/Saturday), The Keeper (Saturday/Sunday), 2001: A Space Odyssey, and Casablanca (Saturday/Sunday).
  • The Somerville Theatre remains closed but The Slutcracker streams a version cut together from last year's performances; The Capitol in Arlington has the concession stand and ice cream shop open.
  • Theater rentals are available at the Brattle, the Coolidge, the Capitol, The Lexington Venue, West Newton, Kendall Square, the open AMCs, and the Majestic in Watertown for sure, and maybe Apple Fresh Pond (their site is confusing!) and the Belmont Studio (the rental page on their site is pre-lockdown). The Coolidge is showing slots available to reserve online through December 30th, and has added "Premium Programming", where you can not just bring your own disc, but also choose from In the Mood for Love, Sound of Metal, Wolfwalkers, and Fleabag. while the Brattle shows one on the afternoon of the 11th (if you call now, I guess), but may add more since this was posted. The independent theaters also have other fund-raising offers worth checking out, while the multiplexes mostly offer the chance at private screenings of their line-ups.
I could very well do two double features at Kendall Square this weekend, and am also looking forward to Assassins and Ikarie XB-1.

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