Friday, April 22, 2022

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 22 April 2021 - 28 April 2022

Good golly, this week is going to be nuts if you like movies in Boston.
  • It's been three years since the event has been held in person, but Independent Film Festival Boston will be back in person starting Wednesday. It's a little pared down between the Somerville having two fewer screens and the independent film scene being a bit different from pre-pandemic times, but it kicks off on the Somerville's main screen with Emily the Criminal on Wednesday and expands to four screens Thursday, with We Feed People, A Love Story, Mojo Manifesto, and two shorts programs at the Somerville while Both Sides of the Blade and Flux Gourmet play the Brattle.

    Wicked Queer may be over in terms of in-person events, but has a number of shorts and "virtual encores" available online - some through the weekend (or part of it), and others through the end of the month.
  • Two of the big releases this week are the sort that overlap between the multiplex and the art house, and would even if the Kendall and Coolidge weren't showing more mainstream stuff than usual as the industry tries to get back on its feet post-pandemic. First up is The Northman, a grand Viking saga from the maker of The Witch and The Lighthouse which draws upon the story that inspired Hamlet for the tale of a young prince looking to return home and slay the uncle who murdered his father. It's got a killer cast - Alexander Skarsgaard, Anya Taylor-Joy, Nicole Kidman, Ethan Hawke, Bjork, Claes Bang - and looks both bloody and slick as heck. It's at The Coolidge, Fresh Pond, Kendall Square, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), Fenway, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX late shows), the Embassy, and Chestnut Hill.

    Also playing to a broad audience is The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent, with Nicolas Cage playing a take on himself as still very much broke and clearly disillusioned, taking a gig appearing at the birthday party of a rich super-fan (Pedro Pascal) only for it to go sideways when the CIA recruits him to spy on his new benefactor. That's at The Coolidge (including a Sunday Masked Matinee), Fresh Pond, West Newton, Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards, the Embassy, and Chestnut Hill

    For something more straightforward and family-friendly, there's The Bad Guys, the latest from DreamWorks Animation which has a crew of anthropomorphic animal crooks trying to go straight after helping someone out makes Wolf feel unexpectedly good. If nothing else, the animation style looks pretty distinctive, especially because it might be at odds with DreamWorks's usual 3D focus. It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, the Lexington Venue, CinemaSalem, West Newton, Boston Common (including 3D), Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row (including 3D), Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill.

    Arsenal Yards has The Lorax Friday and Sunday for Earth Day. There's also a special "Earth Day Call to Action" show of "The Last Glaciers" at the Imax screen at Assembly Row on Saturday. Saturday also features PJ Masks: We Can All Be Heroes, which I'm guessing my toddler nephew might go for, at Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards. K-Pop concert documentary Seventeen: Power of Love plays Saturday at Boston Common and Fenway. Back to the Future plays Arsenal Yards on Monday.
  • Landmark's Kendall Square also offers The Tale of King Crab, with Gabriele Silli as an Italian troublemaker exiled to Tierra del Fuego in Argentina, where he searches for treasure but perhaps finds madness. Their Tuesday musical (the last of that April series) is Grease.
  • In addition to Northman and Massive Talent, The Coolidge Corner Theatre has a one-week run of Memoria, the new film from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul, which stars Tilda Swinton as a woman shaken by a strange sound, possibly to the point of synesthesia, while visiting her sister in Colombia. Weerasethakul's features tend toward the abstract, so this could be something very unusual. It's also worth noting that the distributor has no plans for online or home-video releases, and is moving this from screen to screen as a roadshow, so one might be wise to see it now (there is a return to the area at the Harvard Film Archive planned, but that is later in the summer).

    Midnights this weekend include The Chinese Connection (aka Fists of Fury) & a 35mm print of Cleopatra Jones on Friday and Saturday, respectively, for your kung fu needs, with The Room upstairs on Friday. There's a "Stand With Ukraine through Film" program featuring The Guide, live music, and speakers on Sunday afternoon, a 35mm print of My Own Private Idaho as the Big Screen Classic Monday night, and a special 35mm 20th anniversary screening of Funny Ha Ha with writer/director Andrew Bujalski on hand for Q&A afterward.
  • Vietnamese thriller Bay Ngo Ngao (Naked Truth) plays South Bay this weekend, the first import they've had in a while. It features four friends coming together for one's anniversary, only for secrets to start to surface.

    Boston Common still hangs on to anime Jujutsu Kaisen: 0, with all subtitled shows, while Pompo the Cinephile - which I dug as part of Fantasia last year - plays Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards on Wednesday (subtitled) and Thursday (dubbed).

    Apple Fresh Pond opens Hindi-language sports drama/romance Jersey, starring Shahid Kapoor as a former cricketer who decides to return to the game in his 30s to encourage his son. In holdovers, K.G.F.: Chapter 2 hangs around in multiple languages at Fresh Pond (Telugu/Tamil/Hindi), Boston Common (Kannada/Hindi/Telugu), and South Bay (Telugu). Tamil action flick Beast also continues at Fresh Pond, and Telugu-language action/adventure Acharya hitting the screen there Thursday..
  • The Brattle Theatre uses the week before IFFBoston to showcase a selection from last year's virtual edition, We're All Going to the World's Fair, a horror movie that unfolds via webcam as a teenager sinks deeper and deeper into a creepypasta. A bit of a too-slow burn for me, but it has a lot of fans.

    The run is briefly interrupted on Monday as The DocYard presents After Sherman with director Jon Sesrie Goff onhand to discuss his film that explores the land his ancestors acquired after Emancipation 160 years ago and how it fits with the places around it, including the plantation where his ancestors were slaves.
  • The Somerville Theatre offers a number of special presentations in the lead-up to IFFBoston, with It Happened One Night on Friday, a double feature of Rebel Without a Cause & The Wild One on Saturday, their first official "Silents, Please!" entry in a while with Lillian Gish and John Gilbert in La Boheme on Sunday, and the last "Travolta vs Cage" double feature on Tuesday in Broken Arrow & The Rock, the first in 35mm (although both will be represented in Face/Off next week).

    The Capitol finishes the school vacation matinees with Penguins of Madagascar (Friday) and Wallace & Gromit: Curse of the Were-Rabbit (Saturday/Sunda), and then it looks like they're back to only being open Friday-Sunday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive continues last weeks shows with two 16mm programs from the Yellow Ball Workshop - "Films By and About Kids" on Friday and "Films By Adults" on Monday - and documentary Expedition Content, which is mostly sound with a dark screen encouraging focus, in between on Sunday.
  • Belmont World Film has Zero Fucks Given with Adèle Exarchopoulos as a flight attendant recently laid off from an island-hopping airline, playing virtually from Friday to Sunday with an in-person screening at West Newton on Sunday Night, with an online discussion Monday night. After that, the next entry is The Man from the Basement, with Bérénice Bejo and Jérémie Renier as a couple who convert their unfinished basement into a condo, only to find their new neighbor (François Cluzet) is more than they bargained for. That one is online only through 2 May.
  • The Museum of Science has already sold out one special screening of mountain-climbing documentary The Sanctity of Space on Thursday, but has put a second late show on (though that may be sold out as well).
  • The Lexington Venue has The Bad Guys and Everything Everywhere All at Once from Friday to Sunday, and at least matinees on Thursday (depending what they do for previews that evening).

    The West Newton Cinema adds The Unbearable Weight of Massive Talent and The Bad Guys to a lineup including Fantastic Beasts, Sonic the Hedgehog 2, The Rose Maker, CODA, Sing 2 (Friday/Saturday), and Encanto (Friday-Sunday).

    The Luna Theater has Everything Everywhere All At Once from Friday to Sunday, along with the Weirdo Wednesday show and "Mondo Comedy" on Thursday.

    Cinema Salem has Everything Everywhere All at Once, Fantastic Beasts, and The Bad Guys from Friday to Monday (Monday's matinees captioned).
  • For those still not ready to join random people in a room for two hours, theater rentals are available at Kendall Square, The Embassy, West Newton, the Capitol and Somerville, The Venue, CinemaSalem, and many of the multiplexes. Jordan's Furniture and the film program at the MFA are still in limbo.
For some reason, I foolishly booked my ticket for Memoria on the same night IFFBoston opened, so I'm crossing my fingers that Emily the Criminal opens theatrically. Ah well; guess I'll try and cram Northman, Unbearable Weight, Travolta/Cage, and Bad Guys in beforehand. Not sure I can catch up with Morbius and The Lost City and maybe head to Dorchester for the Vietnamese movie, but that's kind of on me.

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