Friday, January 22, 2021

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 22 January 2021 - 28 January 2021

This week in "how is the pandemic making movie releases different", we get the first of the Oscar Foreign-Language Films entries to hit the virtual Boston area, and I'm wondering if we'll get more, earlier, rather than distributors waiting to see how nominations (and even shortlists!) shake out, since they're competing for squares on theater's homepages rather than screens.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre starts on that first, with Preparations to be Together for an Unknown Period of Time, Hungary's official submission, which has an expatriate return home from the United States to reunite with a man - who says he has never met her. They also pick up documentary My Rembrandt, a documentary which looks to be not so much about the painter himself, but the passion for obtaining his works, promising "unexpected plot turns". They join Some Kind of Heaven, Through the Night, The Reason I Jump, Another Round, City Hall, and Martin Eden in the virtual theater.

    Oh, and one more, programmed by the After Midnite crew: Psycho Goreman, the new one from Astron-6 alumnus Steven Kostanski, which has a young girl discover a long-dormant alien overlord that she can control with an amulet, with hilarity ensuing until every enemy it had in the galaxy converges on their small town. There's also the weekly Coolidge Education seminar, focusing on Steven Soderberg's Ocean's 11; sign up, get the intro, watch it on your own, and come back on Thursday afternoon for a seminar with Clemson University's Amy Monaghan.
  • They also get Psycho Goreman at The Brattle Theatre, along with a few that are just a bit classier. Identifying Features, for instance, has a bunch of festival awards; it tells the intersecting stories of a Mexican woman told her son died crossing the US border and a recent deportee. There's also Film About a Father Who, Lynnne Sachs's compilation of 35 years of footage she shot of her father, director Ira Sachs. They join Spoor, Acasa, My Home, To the Ends of the Earth, Another Round, and City Hall among the new releases in the virtual rooms.

    For repertory material, they have the new restoration of Ousmane Sembène's Mandabi; the first movie to be made in the Wolof language, which follows a Senegalese man who receives a large windfall from a nephew in Paris, which brings out friends wanting favors even though the money order is quite hard to cash. They also have Sembène's first film, Black Girl, and are apparently the only place streaming it in North America until 4 February. They join three by Federico Fellini - Variety Lights, Il Bidone, and Intervista - available for another week.
  • It looks like the Brattle will open the final film in The Japanese Embassy's "New Year Japanese Film" series next weekend, which is good because it looks like the virtual tickets for Naomi Kawase's True Mothers are sold out, although there's apparently a virtual rush line. It's Japan's Oscar submission, about a family with an adopted child whose birth mother suddenly emerges.

    Belmont World Film wraps their online Family Film Festival this weekend, including modeling workshops with folks from Aardman and a Q&A for environmental documentary Microplastic Madness on Saturday, and a second Q&A with the director of Kuasa (a documentary about a South African youth soccer team) on Sunday.

    The Boston Sci-Fi Film Festival - online from 10-15 February - looks like it's got either its entire program or close to it for sale - there are 47 programs numbered #6 to #52, and they've occasionally been wobbly enough behind the scenes that I don't know if that means there's five left to go or those numbers are being used internally or something. There's some good stuff in there, including things I missed during Fantasia (and some that I could have missed at Fantasia, to be totally honest).
  • The Lexington Venue has a link to a free virtual screening of 76 Days on Saturday, to commemorate the one-year anniversary of the lockdown in Wuhan. If you missed it at the Coolidge, that's another chance to see it.
  • The spring session of Emerson's Bright Lights at Home series kicks off with 9 to 5: Story of a Movement, and the site shows streams on both Wednesday and Thursday nights (it's usually just Thursday). The documentary by Julia Reichert and Steven Bognar covers how the women's movement and labor movements connected to change the workday in the early 1970s, with subjects Ellen Cassedy and Mary Jung on-hand for conversation afterward.
  • Newton is the easiest place to see movies if you're taking the T from the city, with The West Newton Cinema playing Wonder Woman 1984 Saturday night and Sunday afternoon, while 2001: A Space Odyssey just has the Sunday afternoon show. Chestnut Hill is open Friday to Sunday with The Marksman, News of the World, Wonder Woman 1984, Monster Hunter, and The Croods: A New Age.
  • Jimmy Tingle returns to The Regent Theatre for weekly streams of his featurette "2020 Vision" followed by an hour of comedy and conversation, the first of which is Saturday evening. It's listed as "Live on Stage and Screen", but there are no in-theater tickets listed for at least the first show.
  • The Somerville Theatre is still closed but The Slutcracker: The Movie still appears to be available. Ice cream and other goodies available at The Capitol, their sister theater in Arlington, has ice cream and snacks Wednesday through Sunday.
  • Theater rentals are available at the Coolidge, West Newton, the Capitol, The Lexington Venue, and the AMCs and Showcases out in the suburbs. The Coolidge is showing slots available to reserve online through the end of February for both Moviehouse II and the screening room, with "Premium Programming" including In the Mood for Love, Sound of Metal, and Wolfwalkers available along with the option to bring your own disc. The independent theaters also have other fund-raising offers worth checking out.
Yes, I am down for Psycho Goreman and Preparations… at least.

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