Friday, March 19, 2021

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 19 March 2021 - 18 March 2021

It's kind of a slow week in theaters both real and virtual - the delayed "what gets a second look for the Oscars" times "some folks are vaccinated but not enough" makes for a real new-release lull - so it's a good time to announce that the good folks at Independent Film Festival Boston have announced that they'll be having a virtual festival this year. The dates (6 May to 16 May) are a little later than usual, but also a little longer. So check and see the state of your membership (or join), sign up for emails, and what have you.
  • One of their usual hosts, The Brattle Theatre, adds The Fever to their streaming offers; it's from Brazil and follows a man who grew up in a small forest village but lives in an industrial city with his daughter, but her impending departure for med school has him feeling caught between worlds. It joins The Inheritance, Keep an Eye Out, Truth or Consequences, F.T.A., Sin, and Un Film Dramatique on the "main screen".

    For "The Brattle Selects", their latest 20th Anniversary presentation is Russian Ark, a single-take trip the the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg that goes bigger and bolder than one may expect. Like most of these presentations so far, it's there for two weeks, which means The Gleaners and I is at its halfway point. A24 and IFFBoston have also extended the Brattle-supporting run of Minari through the 28th (the Brattle's site says the 21st, but there are showtimes for another week after that on A24's). Take-out concessions are happening this weekend (and likely every one for a while) as well.

    EDIT: The theater has just announced Edgar Wright is recording an introduction for Hot Fuzz, which had a special screening back in '07 immortalized in the behind-the-scenes "Fuzzball Diary", which will also be part of the program. It's not on the theater's main site yet, but can be preordered at the Brattlite to watch from Thursday the 25th through Saturday the 27th.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre brings back three previous presentations that have been nominated for Best International Feature: Chile's The Mole Agent, Denmark's Another Round, and Romania's Collective. They also pick up Wojnarowicz, which looks back at the life and work of David Wojnarowicz, a fiery activist during the 1980s AIDS crisis as well as a famed artist and photographer. They join Still Life in Lodz, Stray, Night of the Kings, M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity, and City Hall in the virtual room.

    Also there is the first of two weekends of the Goethe-Institut presenting the new adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz, which reimagines the story as being centered around a modern immigrant rather than an ex-con in the 1920s. Director Burhan Qurbani will dial in for a Q&A next Sunday (the 28th); before that, there are two other live discussions on the slate. Science on Screen will host UCLA Professor Suk-Young Chwe on Wednesday, discussing how game theory relates to the work of Jane Austen's matchmakers through the lens of another modernized adaptation, Clueless; the weekly Coolidge Education seminar on Thursday has film critic Jordan Hoffman discussing the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man. Register and watch the films on your won before
  • The Regent Theatre is the streaming home of Long Live Rock: Celebrate the Chaos, which bills itself as a deep dive into hard rock with a whole mess of interviews. In a different area of the music spectrum, the month's second Taj Mahal livestream on Saturday night is a "Roots Rising" Showcase.
  • Belmont World Film continues with Lunana: A Yak in the Classroom available through the 22nd, on which date director Pawo Choyning Dorji will join a live discussion. That was Bhutan's Oscar submission, and on Tuesday they pick up the one that the Czech Republic submitted, Agnieszka Holland's Charlatan, which stars Ivan Trojan as a so-called healer in the 1950s, when the dictatorial government of Czechoslovakia was clamping down. It will run for a week itself, with Czech film curator Irena Kovarova leading the discussion on the 29th. Holland's Spoor was one of the niftiest genre movies released during the pandemic, so one hopes this is in the same ballpark.

    The Irish Film Festival continues their virtual 2021 edition with more movies rolling out through Sunday: The Man Who Wanted to Fly, Director's Choice The Last Right, and a shorts program on Friday; Global Vision Documentary Katie, Metal Heart, and short docs on Saturday; and both the "New Encounters: Women in Film and Television (WFT) Ireland Shorts Program" and Special Jury Prizewinner When Women Won on Sunday. Movies are available for 72 hours after their premiere times, so you can keep the festival which started on St. Patrick's Day going through Wednesday afternoon.
  • Wednesday afternoon is right when Bright Lights at Home makes their weekly presentation available, and this week it's Crutch, a documentary about disabled dancer Bill Shannon. Shannon will join directors Sachi Cunningham and Chandler Evans for the Thursday-night discussion, and as usual "seats" are free but limited.

    ArtsEmerson's other film program also has something starting Wednesday, a "Shared Stories" presentation of La Chana, a documentary about a renowned Gypsy flamenco dancer returning for one last performance after a 30-year absence. It comes online at 7pm that day and will be available through the 28th, with the presentation including both short film "After Dark" and a post-film discussion with the filmmakers.
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square (open Friday, Saturday, Sunday, Wednesday, and Thursday this week) isn't all about Oscar releases but goes hard for them, bringing back Sound of Metal, Promising Young Woman, Mank, and The Trial of the Chicago 7 to join The Father, Nomadland, Minari, Judas and the Black Messiah, and Quo Vadis, Aida? for those who like to cram for the ceremony by seeing these movies on the big screen.
  • The Kendall is also one of the theaters opening The Courier, which stars Benedict Cumberbatch as an extremely mild-mannered salesman ca. 1960 who is recruited to mostly cause distraction on business trips to Moscow, only to become friendly with a Russian mole. It also plays Boston Common, South Bay, and Chestnut Hill (closed Monday-Wednesday).

    The AMCs reshuffle the deluxe screens again, with Chaos Rising getting Imax and Raya and the Last Dragon getting Dolby (which isn't the way I'd go, but maybe Disney+ has actually cut into theatrical viewings locally).
  • The West Newton Cinema is open through Sunday, and looks to be up to four screens, with The Father joining Raya and the Last Dragon, Nomadland, and Tom & Jerry; they're also open for private rentals.
  • The Somerville Theatre is closed for a while, the website giving directions to a film version of regular Christmas presentation The Slutcracker. The Capitol has ice cream and snacks Wednesday through Sunday.
  • Theater rentals are available at the Coolidge, the Brattle, Kendall Square, West Newton, the Capitol, The Lexington Venue, and the AMC & Showcase multiplexes. The Coolidge has extended the slots available to reserve online through the end of April now offers early and late evening chances to rent Moviehouse II, the screening room, and the GoldScreen, with "Premium Programming" including Nomadland, Minari, In the Mood for Love, Sound of Metal, and Wolfwalkers; the AMC app lists some "sold out" showtimes that are probably just meant to show the movies are available as part of rentals. The independent theaters also have other fund-raising offers worth checking out.
And, of course, HBO Max is dropping Zach Snyder's new assembly of Justice League, but you could do a triple-feature of movies in the Coolidge's screening room that look pretty spiffy (or you could go even longer with City Hall). I'll probably do that, some from the Brattle, and maybe hit The Father, The Courier, and some others at the Kendall. Probably Charlatan, maybe an Irish film or two. (I say, knowing full well there's the rest of Doom Patrol on my shelf and all sorts of crosswords to do.)

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