Friday, March 26, 2021

Next Week in [Virtual] Tickets: Films sort of playing Boston 26 March 2021 - 1 April 2021

Not sure what deal is with the usual Oscar-related ebb and flow of things, what with that being off a couple of months, and to what extent distributors are vacillating between going virtual and in-person with movies, but it is pretty darn quiet until Wednesday, with the local virtual places standing fairly pat.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre and the Goethe-Institut have a second weekend with the new adaptation of Berlin Alexanderplatz, which transplants a novels about an ex-con in the 1920s to the present day, with the protagonist now an immigrant. It plays through the weekend, and budget your time well, because it's three hours and director Burhan Qurbani will dial in for a Q&A at 2pm on Sunday. Otherwise, they continue their existing lineup of virtual theater presentations: The Mole Agent, Another Round, Collective, Wojnarowicz, Still Life in Lodz, Stray, Night of the Kings, M.C. Escher: Journey to Infinity, and City Hall.

    The weekly Coolidge Education Seminar has critic Charles Bramesco talking about Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan on Thursday - sign up, watch the intro, stream it from your favorite source, and them come back Thursday evening for the Zoom discussion.
  • The Brattle Theatre still has three more weeks where they're just for rental, but much of the next week looks kind of like a rep series, with "The Brattle Selects" continuing a run of Russian Ark, but also doing a few things that are just around for a day or two before being switched out: Hot Fuzz, with an introduction by director Edgar Wright (and some other bonus materials), is available through Saturday, with another director, Guy Maddin, recording an introduction for Brand Upon the Brain!, which streams on Sunday. As yet, no word on an introduction for The Babadook, which is available Wednesday and Thursday.

    Continuing offerings include The Fever, The Inheritance, Keep an Eye Out, Truth or Consequences, and F.T.A.. There's also the Brattle-supporting run of Minari via A24 and IFFBoston, which after many extensions has its last show at 8pm on Sunday. They also offer take-out concessions over the weekend.
  • The DocYard has an interesting-sounding selection this week, with The Choice a single hour-long take of a family in China making decisions about an ailing aunt's intensive care in a formal, hierarchical family meeting that nevertheless is said to take some interesting turns. It's available through Thursday, and filmmaker Gu Xue will be joining DocYard curator Abby Sun for a discussion on Wednesday evening.
  • The Harvard Film Archive was the first place to close down (with the college) for the pandemic, but after a year they're getting into the virtual screening room game, with their Eventive page offering "Cities of Love and Sadness: Rediscovering the Taiwanese-Dialect CInema of the 1960s". There are three programs, all free of charge, with The Husband's Secret & May 13th, Night of Sorrow available from Friday to Thursday; Early Train from Taipei & Dangerous Youth playing from Tuesday to Monday the 5th, and a series of lectures and conversations about the film and Taiwanese cinema featuring Dr. Chun-chi Wang and Dr. Evelyn Shih for the entire run.

    (It's been a while since I've had reason to visit the main page, but they've got a selection of programs from the past for those seeing movie-watching ideas, and it looks like someone has spent their free time entering all their previous calendars into a database, because there's at least a decade and maybe more of series to dig through.)
  • The Regent Theatre continues Long Live Rock: Celebrate the Chaos, and has the third (and final) Taj Mahal livestream from UC Berkeley on Saturday night, this one a concert with Taj Mahal & Fantastic Negrito.
  • Belmont World Film has Agnieszka Holland's Charlatan through Monday, with that last night including a discussion moderated by Czech film curator Irena Kovarova. Normally, a new film would start Sunday, but the window for A Son doesn't start until next Friday.
  • I seem to recall not being a huge fan of The Corporation when I saw it back when it first came out, but my perspective has shifted since then, so I'm curious about The New Corporation: The Unfortunately Necessary Sequel, which is the week's selection for Bright Lights at Home. It's available starting at noon on Wednesday (free but capped at 175 total viewers), with returning filmmakers Jennifer Abbot and Joel Bakan joining for a Zoom webinar on Thursday evening.

    Before that, ArtsEmerson's other film program has the tail end of their "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 is available through Sunday, with the presentation including both short film "After Dark" and a post-film discussion with the filmmakers.
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square (closed Monday) has an interesting week. The most conventional opening is Six Minutes to Midnight, a mystery set at an English boarding school just before the start of World War II, where two dozen German girls and a teacher vanished just before the outbreak of war, with co-writer Eddie Izzard starring as the replacement who is charged with finding out where they have gone.

    They also have Telugu romance Rang De, which joins Jathi Ratnalu (being presented in the same language), the latter of which actually broke into the top five at the box office last weekend. Pedro Almodóvar's short film, "The Human Voice" also opens, with Tilda Swinton as a woman waiting for her ex to pick up his luggage. It's thirty minutes, but it's being paired with Almodóvar's Women on the Verge of a Nervous Breakdown, with a similar theme but a more comic bent. The short is in English, the feature in Spanish, and they close on Tuesday.

    Though they haven't been open on Tuesday as of late, they do this week to screen Violet Evergarden: The Movie, a feature-length sequel to the popular anime series, which plays with subtitles on Tuesday and Wednesday, and also playing Boston Common. On Thursday, they've got a Lumineers "double feature", which pairs an extended edition of their 2016 episode of Live from the Artists Den with the 45-minute short III, a visual companion to the album of the same name.
  • At the multiplexes, the weekend opener is Nobody, where the idea is that Bob Odenkirk is an unlikely action hero, but he's got the John Wick team behind him, so some folks are going to seriously regret underestimating him. It's at Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema through Tuesday), South Bay (including Dolby Cinema through Tuesday), and Chestnut Hill (closed Monday/Tuesday).

    It doesn't get the premium screens for long, because marquee battle Godzilla vs Kong opens on Wednesday, with Adam Wingard the fourth director in four movies for Warner/Legendary's Monsterverse and throwing cinema's two best giant monsters at each other for the first time in decades. It's at the Kendall, Boston Common (including Imax, Dolby Cinema, and 3D), South Bay (including Dolby Cinema & Imax), Chestnut Hill, and on HBO Max. Note that while some Regal locations around the country are re-opening for this one, the ones in Massachusetts do not appear to be among them.

    South Bay also has The Ten Commandments on Sunday and Wednesday, a 65th anniversary TCM presentation.
  • The West Newton Cinema is open through Sunday, continuing last week's slate of The Father, Raya and the Last Dragon, Nomadland, and Tom & Jerry; they're also open for private rentals.
  • The Somerville Theatre and The Capitol are still not showing movies, though the former still promotes The Slutcrackeron streaming and the latter has their ice cream shop and concession stand open 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, and Sound of Metal; 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.
I may hit theaters this weekend for Nobody, The Father, Six Minutes to Midnight and/or "The Human Voice". Or I may chicken out. I do intend to try for both Charlatan and the three-docs-under-four-hours things you can do via the Coolidge.

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