Friday, October 28, 2022

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 28 October 2022 - 3 November 2022

IFFBoston 2022½ is taking place on Halloween weekend? I mean, I know it's good to have something for everyone, but, man, I'm just going to feel guilty every time I go see one of the less-classy things, aren't I?
  • The Brattle Theatre plays host to IFFBoston's Fall Focus for a bit longer than expected: The original schedule included One Fine Morning and Nanny on Friday; Armageddon Time, Corsage, Broker, and Causeway on Saturday; Empire of Light, Saint Omer, Hunt, and The Inspection on Sunday; they've just added bonus screenings of Glass Onion: A Knives Out Mystery on Monday and The Wonder on Tuesday.

    That means they've had to reschedule Evil Dead 2 to a little bit later on Halloween, but it's nice to see that holiday tradition back regardless. They also have an hour of shorts from animator Stacey Steers on Tuesday presented by RPM Fest, as well as the Boston Jewish Film Festival's "Freshflix Short Film Competition" on Thursday.
  • The big release this week is The Banshees of Inisherin, the new one from Martin McDonagh which stars Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as two longtime friends - until one arbitrarily decides to stop speaking to the other. It plays The Coolidge Corner Theatre, Kendall Square, and Boston Common, with expansion next week.

    The Coolidge also has plenty of Hallowwen material, with Friday's midnights including John Carpenter's Vampires (on 35mm) and Trick 'r Treat, plus an almost-all-35mm horror movie marathon kicking off at 11:30pm with Jeff Rapsis accompanying the reconstruction of London After Midnight, followed by Dracula, Fright Night, and who knows what else? John Carpenter month ends Monday with Halloween as the big-screen classic. There's also a screening of Kiki's Delivery Service in English on Saturday morning, then Noirvember kicks off Tuesday with Double Indemnity on 35mm, including a pre-screening seminar.
  • One last horror movie opening wide before Halloween with Prey for the Devil featuring Jacqueline Byers as a nun who is admitted into the Vatican's exorcism school usually reserved for priests after having encountered demons as a child. Supporting cast includes Virginia Madsen and Colin Salmon, and director Daniel Stamm's The Last Exorcism was actually really good a decade ago. It's at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, Fenway, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards. Well, maybe it's not quite one - Terrifier 2 settles in for "normal" bookings at Boston Common and Fenway, and Fenway has a 3D-ified version of Dawn of the Dead.

    Call Jane, a drama about the "Janes" who arranged for safe and confidential abortions in Chicago pre-Roe featuring Elizabeth Banks, Sigourney Weaver, Wunmi Mosaku, and Kate Mara, opens at the Arlington Capitol and Boston Common.

    Expansions include Till adding Fresh Pond, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill to its run at Boston Common. Tár adds the Somerville, West Newton, Lexington, Fenway, South Bay, and Assembly Row to its shows at the Coolidge, Kendall, and Boston Common.

    There's a whole lot of music this week: Live (?) concert Coldplay: Music of the Spheres is at Fenway, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards Friday and Saturday nights; Astro - Stargazer: Astroscope is at Boston Common and Fenway Sunday; The Grateful Dead: Meet-Up at the Movies 2022, featuring a show the Dead played on 17 April 1972 at the Tivoli Concert Hall in Copenhagen, is at Kendall Square, Boston Common, Fenway, and Assembly Row on Tuesday; A Hollywood High: Duran Duran Live In Concert is at the Regent and Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema) on Thursday.

    The Bad Guys is back at Boston Common for matinees, and Rocky Horror is there on Friday and Monday as well as the usual Saturday (don't know how often Full Body Cast is there). A double feature of The Creature from the Black Lagoon & Phantom of the Opera (which, coincidentally, Universal has just re-released on disc) plays Saturday afternoon at Fenway and Arsenal Yards. The 2002 Godzilla vs. Mechagodzilla plays Boston Common (subtitled) and Fenway on Thursday for "Godzilla Day", which I did not realize was a thing.
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square opens Aftersun, which cuts between the last vacation a tween girl took with her doting father and the same woman looking back on it twenty years later; it also plays Boston Common. Documentary Last Flight Home is a different sort of take on a father nearing the end of his time; it plays matinees at the Kendall.

    The Retro Replay series shifts again for November, with this week's selection a new 4K restoration of The Last Picture Show. The 2022 New York Cat Film Festival on Wednesday is more or less what it sounds like.
  • Apple Fresh Pond adds Marathi action drama Har Har Mahadev (English subtitles). Multilingual GG - Gandhada Gudi is described as a "family adventure", though its shows seem to be scheduled late.

    Continuing from Diwali openings are thriller Sardar (Tamil), action-adventure Ram Setu (Hindi), comedy Honeymoon (Punjabi), and fantasy Thank God (Hindi with English subtitles); The Legend of Maula Jatt (Pakistani), Ponniyin Selvan: Part One (Tamil), and Kantara (in Tamil & Kannada) have been around longer. Not all films play all week; buyer beware where subtitles are concerned.

    Vietnamese action-comedy Chia Khoa Tram Ty (A Hundred Billion Key) opens at South Bay; its "amnesiac assassin has his identity stolen at the sauna" plot looks a whole lot like last year's Endgame from China, itself a remake of Key of Life from Japan ten years ago (there's also a Korean version, but I haven't seen that).

    In addition to Kiki at the Coolidge, the "regular" Ghibli series has Spirited Away at Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards Sunday (dubbed), Tuesday (subtitled), and Wednesday (subtitled); Fenway also shows a subtitled show on Monday and Arsenal Yards only appears to have Tuesday. One Piece Film: Red starts its run at Boston Common (including Imax), Fenway, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards on Thursday, with both dubbed and subtitled shows.

    Korean thriller Decision to Leave continues at the Coolidge, the Kendall, and Boston Common.
  • The Somerville Theatre continues Julia Marchese's Halloween Hullabaloo 2: Electric Boogaloo with a 35mm prints of 3 Romeros (Night of the Living Dead, The Crazies, Day of the Dead) on Friday; Creepshow (35mm), Dead of Night, Willard (35mm), and Ben on Saturday; Angel Heart and Jacob's Ladder (35mm) on Sunday; and The Lost Boys (35mm) and Fright Night (4K) Monday. There's also Rocky Horror with the Teserate Players at midnight Saturday.

    Their sister cinema in Arlington, The Capitol, has Poltergeist on Friday evening. They also open the new German All Quiet on the Western Front.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has documentary The Queen on Friday, presented in association with the Houghton Library's "American Drag" exposition (running through 7 January). There's a special tour before the movie, though it has probably reached its 20-person limit. Sunday offers a "Muff Dives: The Dyke Bar in Cinema" program featuring shorts "Mona's Candle Light" and "Stormé: Lady of the Jewel Box" before feature Simone Barbès or Virtue, with an introduction by Melissa Anderson. Anderson also introduces Inland Empire on Monday; she has recently published a book on the film.
  • The Regent Theatre shows Being Robin, Roger Kabler's documentary about a period in 2014 when he believed he was possessed by Robin Williams. They've also got Duran Duran: A Hollywood High on Thursday.
  • The Boston Asian-American Film Festival has finished its in-person presentations, but their short film programs will stream online through Monday.
  • The Boston Jewish Film Festival kicks off at the Coolidge on Wednesday with Israeli comedy Karaoke, including Q&A with actor Sasson Sabay and filmmaker Moshe Rosenthal. The FreshFlix Short Film competition is at the Brattle on Thursday, while Lost Transport plays at West Newton that night, including actress Hanna Van Vilet in person and filmmaker Sasika Diesing via Zoom.
  • Bright Lights has the pretty dang good God's Country on Thursday, with director Julian Higgins on hand for post-film discussion. Tickets are free, though the Bright screening room at the Paramount is small and they aren't available until the day of the show (also, they are only available by phone or in person, not on-line).
  • As mentioned, The West Newton Cinema adds Tár to Black Adam, Ticket to Paradise, Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, Don't Worry Darling, See How They Run, Minions (Saturday/Sunday), and The Bad Guys (Sunday). No shows Monday.

    The Lexington Venue has Tár and Ticket to Paradise playing through Sunday.

    The Luna Theater has Moonage Daydream Friday and Saturday, Pearl Saturday afternoon, the "Halloween Magical Mystery Movie Club" Saturday and Sunday afternoons, Carpenter's Halloween on Sunday, Weirdo Wednesday, and a UMass Lowell Philosophy & Film presentation of All About Eve free on Thursday with post-film discussion.

    Cinema Salem has Halloween '78 and Terrifier 2 Friday to Sunday; Alternate Ground with Q&A from director Daniel Groomon Friday; the original Child's Play Saturday and Sunday; a late show of Scream, the latter hosted by Miz Diamond Wigfall, on Saturday; plus DJ Dayglow and Joe DeGeorge accompanying The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari on Sunday.
  • 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.
Still working out what spooky stuff and what IFFBoston stuff to see this weekend - I'll probably sacrifice some of column B that looks like it will get a regular release for column A. I'm also sorely tempted to see A Hundred Billion Keys but put Banshees off until I can see it with an Irish audience, while also indulging my morbid curiosity as to whether the Day of the Dead conversion is in the same league as what was done for Jaws.

Friday, October 21, 2022

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 21 October 2022 - 27 October 2022

Ya know, if a streaming service like MUBI can get a movie onto multiple screens, then Netflix must just be being jerks in holding back.

  • I mention this because they're the ones releasing Decision to Leave, the latest from Korean director Park Chan-wook, with the director of the Vengeance Trilogy, Thirst, Joint Security Area, Stoker, and the like returning with a thriller that finds a detective (Park Hae-il) drawn to the murdered man's wife (Tang Wei). It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre (including a Sunday Masked Matinee), Kendall Square, and Boston Common. The Coolidge also has a 35mm print of Park Sympathy for Mr. Vengeance on Tuesday.

    With Halloween coming up, they've got a weekend of double features at Medfield State Hospital, with The Wolf Man & An American Werewolf in London Friday, Beetlejuice & The Exorcist Saturday (sold out), and Horror of Dracula & The Lost Boys Sunday. If you'd prefer your Halloween horror later at night and indoors, the John Carpenter midnights are 35mm prints of Prince of Darkness (Friday) and In the Mouth of Madness (Saturday).. Night of the Living Dead is Monday's Big Screen Classic, while Thursday's Rewind! Show is Jennifer's Body, with after-party at Parlour. Presumably less horrific is Sunday morning's Goethe-Institut film from Germany, drama The Girl with the Golden Hands (Goethe-Institut is also hosting a free screening of Nosferatu with live music at their place in Boston on Wednesday, though that may be entirely in German).
  • The latest DC superhero movie to try and make a dent in public consciousness is Black Adam, something Dwayne Johnson has been trying to make happen ever since he would have been credited as The Rock twenty years ago. Mostly written as a villain drawing his powers from the same well as Shazam (aka Captain Marvel but let's not get into that), the movie casts him as an anti-hero with no compunction about using his superpowers to kill those he sees as deserving it, meaning that Hawkman (Aldis Hodge) and Dr. Fate (Pierce Brosnan) and others in the Justice Society must try to reign him in. It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), West Newton, Boston Common (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Fenway, South Bay (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill. No 3D for this one, apparently.

    There's also Ticket to Paradise, a seeming rarity in that it's a traditional romantic comedy starring George Clooney and Julia Roberts - folks who haven't been seen as much as they should be on screen because of the lack of traditional romantic comedies being made - as a divorced couple calling a truce because they fear their daughter (Kaitlyn Dever) is making a huge mistake marrying young. It's at the Capitol, Fresh Pond, West Newton, Boston Common, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill.

    Boston Common opens Till, which stars Danielle Deadwyler as Mamie Till-Mobley, whose decision to have an open-casket funeral for her son Emmett after he was lynched was a crucial moment in the civil rights movement.

    Triangle of Sadness expands to the Somerville Theatre and Assembly Row, continuing at the Coolidge, Kendall Square, and Boston Common.

    Halloween presentations include Trick 'r Treat and The Lost Boys at Boston Common all week. Francis Ford Coppola's adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula plays South Bay and Arsenal Yards on Sunday and Thursday. K-Pop concert flick Astro - Stargazer: Astroscope plays Boston Common and Fenway Thursday. And though I don't generally talk about the live theater stuff, the exception is when the NT Live Frankenstein plays for Halloween: The version with Benedict Cumberbatch as the Creature and Johnny Lee Miller as Victor plays Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards on Tuesday.
  • My Policeman arrives at Landmark Theatres Kendall Square and Arsenal Yards on Friday, two weeks before hitting Prime Video. It has a long-married couple (Gina McKee & Linus Roache) once again finding their lives entangled with an old acquaintance (Rupert Everett) whom they knew 40 years earlier (when they were played by Emma Corrin, Harry Styles, and David Dawson).

    The Retro Replay on Tuesday wraps the 80s horror series with The Shining, with the "2022 New York Dog Film Festival" package playing on Wednesday.
  • Friday's movies from the subcontinent at Apple Fresh Pond featureTamil-language thriller Sardar, which has a spy returning home after a long time in the field and finding his estranged son is a cop; Fresh Pond also has Telugu-language shows. Also playing in both Tamil and Telugu is Prince, about the awkward courtship and wedding of an Indian teacher (Sivakarthikeyan) and his British colleague. Also opening are Telugu romantic comedy Ori Devuda, Kannada-language crime bio Head Push, and Malayalam-language actioner Monster, the latter two only through Monday.

    Diwali openings on Tuesday include Hindi-language action-adventure Ram Setu starring Akshay Kumar and Jacqueline Fernandez, Punjabi comedy Honeymoon, and Hindi comic fantasy Thank God. Note that of all the Indian movies listed, Apple's website only specifies English subtitles for Thank God, so you take your chances there.

    Pakistani period action flick The Legend of Maula Jatt plays occasional shows through the week, as does Ponniyin Selvan: Part One (Tamil) and Kantara (in Tamil & Kannada).
  • The Brattle Theatre gets back into Halloween mode this week with Slash/Back, an Attack the Block-looking deal except that this time, the aliens have landed above the Arctic Circle and it's up to a group of Inuit girls to stop them. It plays through Wednesday alongside a number of Strange Invaders including The Faculty (35mm Friday), Men In Black (35mm Saturday), The Thing from Another World (35mm Sunday), Slither (35mm Monday), Attack The Block (35mm Tuesday because it's the most obvious pairing), and John Carpenter's The Thing (Wednesday).

    There's also a live comedy show, "Kevin Geeks Out About Character Actors", featuring Kevin Maher and friends, on Sunday night. Thursday is the first night of IFFBoston's Fall Focus mini-festival, kicking off with Sarah Polley's Women Talking.
  • The Boston Asian-American Film Festival moves to the Paramount for three more days of movies from Friday to Saturday, with a short program also streaming online. Thursday's Bright Lights serves as a sort of encore, with Free Chol Soo Lee playing for free (tickets available day-of) including a post-film panel discussion.
  • The Somerville Theatre has a Slaughterhouse Burlesque pre-show for Return of the Living Dead on Saturday night, although you can just see the 35mm movie if you want, plus Re-Animator for the Saturday Midnight Special. There's also a Not-Technically-Silents, Please! presentation on Sunday, with Jeff Rapsis on-hand to accompany James Whale's iconic version of Frankenstein, which, being made in 1931, did not have a score. They also have a Francis Ford Coppola double feature covering both ends of his career on Tuesday and Wednesday - Dementia 13, from when he was just getting started in Roger Corman's studio, and Twixt, his last completed feature meant to be a bit more experimental than it wound up being. Then on Thursday, they kick off guest programmer Julia Marchese's Halloween Hullabaloo 2: Electric Boogaloo with a 35mm print of The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.

    Their sister cinema in Arlington, The Capitol, also programs for Halloween with the original Child's Play on Friday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive ends their Tsai Ming-liang program on Friday with I Don't Want to Sleep Alone, and The African Desperate wraps up its short run with presentations on Friday and Sunday. They also begin a program of Anand Patwardhan's activist films with Reason on Sunday, and conclude the series of silent films from Soviet Georgia on Monday with two featurettes - "Salt for Svanetia" & "Nail in the Boot", both screening on film with music by Robert Humphreville.
  • The Regent Theatre has a screening of "Project Frontline: Have We Learned from the Crisis", a documentary looking back at how Massachusetts was one of the early hard-hit epicenters of Covid-19 two years ago, on Wednesday. Admission is free but reservations are recommended.
  • The West Newton Cinema picks up Black Adam and Ticket to Paradise and continues Plan A (Sunday/Tuesday/Wednesday), Young Plato (Sunday-Thursday), Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, Don't Worry Darling, See How They Run, Minions (Saturday), and The Bad Guys (Sunday). The theater appears to be dark Monday.

    The Lexington Venue has The Good House Friday and Saturday, with Amsterdam, and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile playing through Sunday.

    The Luna Theater has Moonage Daydream Friday and Saturday, Pearl Saturday afternoon, The Exorcist Saturday night and all day Sunday, and Weirdo Wednesday.

    Cinema Salem does more Halloween stuff with Halloween Ends and Terrifier 2 Friday to Sunday; Psycho Goreman with Q&A from co-star Owen Myre on Friday; Hocus Pocus with its at-the-time child actor Omri Katz on Saturday (he'll be signing at Silver Moon Comics earlier in the day); and VideoCoven back for two Salem Horror Fest alumni, Mass Hysteria and Two Witches, on Thursday.
  • Joe's Free Films has the Summer Shack pop-up in Harvard Square showing Hocus Pocus one more time on Saturday, with an open-air screening of E.T. at 292 Main Street in Cambridge's Kendall Square on Wednesday.
  • 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.
I'm looking forward to Decision to Leave< Slash/Back, Triangle of Sadness, and maybe some of the things that play alongside. I'll probably also hit Black Adam while it's on the premium screens, although I'm wary of Ticket to Paradise, as the word from overseas where it opened a month ago isn't great (though that cast…)

Thursday, October 20, 2022

Film Rolls, Round 4: The Wild Boys and Dragonwyck

So I knew film festival stuff was going to derail this goofy project, but I didn't realize it was going to be like this! I have, in fact, been rolling the dice for Mookie and Bruce all year, but just haven't been posting reviews since a while ago, which means some of these posts are going to be shortish because the movies have kind of fallen out the back of my head.

A recap: Because I am terrible at choosing between multiple good options, I have set my "recently-purchased-but-unwatched" shelves of discs up like they are a game board and purchased a couple figurines to use as pieces, with a roll of a 20-sided die moving them along the path and in competition to earn more points than the other, with some completely arbitrary rules in effect for how things get rearranged as movies get watched and purchased. As of the end of Round 3, the movies Mookie had chosen earned 14 ¼ stars, while those Bruce landed on have rated 17.

Now it's Mookie's turn again:

That 13 catches Mookie up to where Bruce had landed in the "recent from the West" box, almost exactly, meaning he draws French oddity The Wild Boys.

How does Bruce respond?

… with a 17, which means he's the first to make it out of the top rowand into the second, landing on Twilight Time's release of Dragonwyck, which I readily admit that I tried to watch when i initially purchased it but conked out during.

So let's see how that went!

Les garçons sauvages (The Wild Boys)

* * * (out of four)
Seen 15 April 2022 in Jay's Living Room (off the shelf, Blu-ray)

Writer/director Bertrand Mandico's next feature would be Ultra Blue, another low-budget French fantasy that revels in its artifice and isn't shy with the nudity. It's a genre that seems to have been popping up at the likes of BUFF, Fantasia, and Nightstream (which I guess we're not doing this year) a little more frequently in recent years than a bit before, although that could just be a case of a biased sample: There could be a ton being cranked out and these are just the ones that happened to catch programmers' and distributors' eyes.

The premise for this one is pretty straightforward - a handful of troublesome teenage boys get into trouble, so their wealthy parents stick them on a boat with a stern captain to teach them some responsibility, but he takes them to a mysterious island where they get changed into girls, although not necessarily at the same rate - not terrific for those who change fast considering how their sins include a lot of mistreatment of women - and the captain and the mysterious woman on the island, quite possibly a man herself when she arrived, all have their own agendas.

I'm quite fond of gender-bending stories - there's enough on my shelf that I intended to do a sort of repertory-series-at-home when theaters were closed but never got around to it - but readily admit that they tend to fall into familiar patterns where a return to normal is almost fore-ordained (although the reasoning has kind of evolved in recent years) and there's not a lot of middle ground between the earnest comedies where nobody will find themselves on the opposite side of a sexual encounter from what they're used to to the porn where very little else happens. The Wild Boys, for better or worse, is kind of all over the place, treating the title characters' imposed femininity as a way to reveal themselves, whether as pragmatic, likely to double down on being aggressive monsters, or cowed by the more masculine people around them. The structure of it sometimes can feel like a lot of missed opportunities - all five castaways are played by women from the start and the island setting means that there aren't new clothes, identities to assume or conceal, etc. Maybe there's some method to it - Mandico is sort of positing a situation where the pressure on them comes from how they think of themselves and how women should be treated - but if you like this genre for watching people flail or thrive in new situations, there isn't much of that.

What there is, on the other hand, is a great deal of delightfully mad images. Mandico and cinematographer Pascale Granel shoot on 16mm film, with the crisp black-and-white of Paris and the ship giving way to color as the island, its strange flora, and the evil spirit that at times seems to goad them on exerts more influence. It's the sort of movie that seldom strives to look very realistic, not particularly hiding that it is being shot on relatively small soundstages, but also doesn't wink at the audience about how cute and cheap it is. It's that peculiarly French combination of busy and deadpan, sometimes seeming to hold back a bit because the filmmakers may not consider a bit important enough to potentially overshadow what they do care about, but even when the weirdness is a bit much and the material underneath is actually pretty thin, the intriguing usually squeaks ahead of the dull.

I don't know that it's a particularly good movie, and given that After Blue (Dirty Paradise) bored me to tears (as a lot of these lo-fi adults-only French fantasies have done), I suspect I like it as much as I do because it hits that one weird thing that I dig. On the other hand, I've certainly seen some real dreck in that category, an The Wild Boys balances its tendencies to be arch and chaotic better than the predictable body-swaps.


* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 16 April 2022 in Jay's Living Room (off the shelf, Hong Kong Blu-ray)

The fun thing about movies like Dragonwyck is that they weren't exactly prestige films; this one's an adaptation of a recent bestseller that played to a wide audience, so even though the book was 400+ pages, it can be cut down to 105 minutes because it's basically a genre movie and people aren't betting big reputations on it.

You can feel that it was a book that had room to breathe, perhaps; Joseph L. Mankiewicz takes a story that has a pretty farmgirl (Gene Tierney) brought to the titular estate by distant cousin Nicholas Van Ryn (Vincent Price) and his ailing wife Johanna (Vivienne Osborne) to serve as governess for their daughter (Connie Marshall) to start and cuts it in a way that eventually requires some quick back and forth as she returns home, and then to Dragonwyck, and there's a little clumsiness in how the story is class-consciousness enough to fundamentally have problems with the aristocracy Nicholas represents. It's a streamlined gothic romance.

You can streamline it, of course, when you can cut description and let the production design team work, making the place lush but chilly, especially in comparison to the tiny house Miranda Wells grew up in, with Walter Huston's father underlining it a bit clumsily but earnestly. Mostly, though, it's got a fine central pairing: Gene Tierney is an appealing Miranda - luminous, of course, and naive enough to be seduced by Nicholas's wealth and sophistication, but she also sells that this girl is sensible and not prone to losing track of her kind nature. More importantly, though, is that this is the film where Vincent Price seems to be discovering his destiny as a screen villain: His early career played on his intelligence and sophistication, but this is one of the first movies where there's a haughty arrogance to it, and his Nicholas Van Ryn is smoothly casual in his entitlement, a suitable romantic villain even if the film hadn't slid in to thriller territory.

The rest of the cast isn't quite on Tierney's and Price's level - Walter Huston and Anne Revere don't just underline their intentions as salt-of-the-earth parents, but boldface them, for instance, although Glenn Langan's earnest solidity makes a fine contrast to Price, even if there's not necessarily greatness rather than just goodness being outshone. And it can, at times, be kind of middling genre entertainment, the basics rather than an exceptional, creative example of the genre despite its stars.

… And where does this leave us after Round 4?

Mookie: 17 ¼ stars - making a small gain

Bruce: 19 ¾ stars - still ahead, but not so far that Mookie can't catch up

Move some discs up, and we stand here:

Mookie's creeping up, but a couple uneven rounds could tighten things a lot more.

Wednesday, October 19, 2022

Fantasia 2022.21: Ring Wandering, Next Sohee, "They Call It… Red Cemetery", and Frágil

Well, this is it, and while I haven't been taking a while to get this last one posted on purpose, it's a bit of a bummer to be done with this festival again until 2023. I mean, obviously I have to come back home at some point, and I'm sure everyone involved with the festival can use the rest.

Nice day, though, starting with the observation that Ring Wandering could also have been the title of Sadako DX, through an impressive closing night film, to finally hitting the wall for real during the last feature.

So, one last guest:

July Jung here with her film Next Sohee, and as you can see, she won the Cheval Noir, which continues to surprise and please filmmakers with how terrific a trophy it is. She talked some about how the film was inspired by a true story that got under her skin. I haven't seen her first film, A Girl at My Door, but it almost looks like Bae Doo-na could be playing the same character in both, disgruntled police detectives, with her character in this one apparently just back from an assignment in the country, which was apparently what Bae played in that last one. Different names, though.

Amusingly-to-me, I took a note during the film and later tweeted afterward that it's crazy to see time march on and now Bae Doo-na is in the "world-weary police detective" stage of her career, which is in part because of how filtered her career has often been as it gets in front of my eyes: I see the early art-house oddities she did in Japan, The Host with Bong Joon-ho, the stuff she did with the Wachoskis, and that gets screens and festival slots on this side of the Pacific because it's unusual and noteworthy, but the steady work is TV and smaller moves built around a crime, and it just doesn't surface until one of them (like this) is unusually good. But it means you might see someone aging into that all at once rather than over time.

Once that Q&A was over, I headed out and saw that the passholder line for Bodies Bodies Bodies was already stretching out of its corral. Well, I figured, it was opening in Boston that weekend, so I might as well head across the street and see the underground queer Portuguese comedy, which probably wouldn't be.playing anywhere and might be very difficult to find on streaming. It was, to put it mildly, not really my thing, and I wound up kind of frantically taking notes to try and stay engaged but it was still a struggle.

Maybe I would have been better off back in Hall sending the festival off with a bang, but you should only go so far trying to script your festival experience. That I finished stretching a bit too far out of my comfort zone may not finish the story of this return to Montreal being delightful and reinvigorating quite the way one might hope, but it's still pretty thrilling.

Next up… Well, we're done! Although I may have a very niche sort of bonus post coming up if I can get some stuff to work.

Ring Wandering

* * * ½ (out of four)
Seen 3 August 2022 in Salle J.A. De Sève (Fantasia Festival, DCP)

As it goes on, Ring Wandering does an odd sort of metamorphosis in how it changes from one sort of film to another without necessarily putting a distinctive twist on either, but impressing for how artfully filmmaker Maakazu Kaneko and his team navigate these paths. The film is quiet, charming, and built out of canny misdirections that coalesce into a different final picture than the obvious without being self-consciously outrageous.

Sosuke (Sho Kasamatsu) has a manga he wants to create, a tale of a hunter obsessively chasing a Japanese wolf, and while he is carefully scouting and sketching the setting, there's no way to capture the animal, which has been extinct for over a century, though a kid he meets thinks he can find one. Back in Tokyo, he works in a crew digging a foundation for a new high-rise, discovering animal bones a couple meters down but keeping it quiet, both because that's the sort of thing that can get a job shut down and because they may be the reference he needs. Returning to the site after hours, he meets Midori (Junko Abe), out looking for her brother's dog. She sprains her ankle, so he helps her get home, to a neighborhood that is strangely quiet, her parents waiting with a late dinner.

I find myself fascinated with what this is ultimately trying to say because it is easy to construct a plot which would have Sosuke actively accomplishing something, but instead the film reaches its end without moving in the direction of what the plot seemingly should be. There is something beautiful in the way that it does come together, that this is ultimately a story of finding self-confidence as opposed to figuring a mechanism out in order to defy fate. There are not clear parallels between the various threads, despite several characters pursuing a canid of some sort. The ultimate smallness of the story, and the ones not told, describe a small, personal lesson that applies to Sosuke but not necessarily anybody else. The world may not owe or provide explanations, and time down that rabbit hole is time wasted.

The film also handles its different environments and the transitions between in striking fashion, maybe not exactly letting the audience feel unsure about the transit between Sosuke's world and Midori's for far longer than might seem logical, but giving its characters reasons not to assume something extraordinary is afoot as one time becomes another in the dark. It's laid bare in the modern daylight, which is not exactly harsh, but revealing and unmysterious. The extended sequences inside the manga are kind of fascinating as well - the first, toward the beginning, seems a little off, amateurish, a good idea not quite executed right. The second, inked with a makeshift but meaningful tool, is filled with lush, beautiful compositions. Something clicked there.

Kaneko keeps things fairly quiet in between, but he and his cast have a good grasp of the way that this sort of low intensity can be used, establishing Sosuke's self-doubt but not exactly playing him as introverted otherwise: There's a pleasant sort of back-and-forth with a co-worker about various types of manga (it's neat to see working-class people talking about art seriously), and a genuine spark between Sosuke and Midori; Sho Kasamatsu and Junko Abe quickly home in on how these two are fundamentally similar but also very different, with Abe and the actors playing Midori's parents doing well playing just off enough that the audience notices it but still concentrates on how they have more in common with Sosuke than not. Kasamatsu does well to play Sosuke as a step behind many viewers without seeming slow, because he doesn't realize he's in a movie that's at least partly a fantasy.

That's important, because there are days when I watch a movie such as this and get frustrated at missed opportunities, and how the pieces laid out in front of the viewers don't quite fit together the way they seemingly should. I'm not sure whether it's the day or the film in this case, but I like how this all connects just fine.

Da-eum So-hee (Next Sohee)

* * * ½ (out of four)
Seen 3 August 2022 in Auditorium des Diplõmés de la SGWU (Fantasia Festival, DCP)

Movies are not necessarily the best way to depict the interconnected ways in which the world is seemingly rigged to make good people miserable; they're designed to mimic being there, and the issues July Jung looks at in Next Sohee are built to be things people experience obliquely, a little bit at a time. It means that she's got to stop and explain on occasion, but she's still got a fine knack for putting her characters through the wringer in between.

When the audience first sees Kim Sohee (Kim Si-eun-I), she's doggedly practicing dance moves, stumbling frequently but not without ability. She's not going to make a career out of it - she is a pet care major at a minor vocational school rather than a student at a performing arts academy - so the externship she is placed in is presented as a real opportunity. It's a call center job for a company that contracts with a cable & internet service (pointedly not part of that corporation), and it's miserable, reciting scripts seemingly designed to anger customers, with co-workers competing for bonuses that somehow never seem to come through. If it's already wearing manager Lee Jun-ho down, to the point where his replacement is making everyone sign NDAs, what chance does Sohee have?

The film has two clear acts, each designed to enrage the audience in a different way. The first half is told from Sohee's perspective, and that opening bit does a great job of setting the tone, highlighting her exuberance and willingness to get back up, with Jung getting a lot of mileage from how she serves as a sort of audience surrogate in that phone bank, rolling her eyes, questioning why they can't just cancel the service of callers looking to do that rather than trying to upsell them. Kim Si-eun-I's performance is winning and has bits that bring a smile even as the film turns more grim, and the tone-deaf nature of this semi-automated method of continuing to extract money from customers is recognizable as the sort of thing that gets on one's nerves but maybe just short of evil. The audience is going to pull for Sohee as long as they can, and they'll be able to.

Still, she's going to break down, and it seems to happen quickly. Kim Si-eun-I and Jung don't actually have Sohee change overnight - the audience has been watching the light go out of her eyes bit by bit - but they stress that losing Manager Lee is a breaking point, and that she has trouble reconciling what she's part of. They change the way she interacts with the other characters here, and for all that the film is still from Sohee's point of view, the view gets a little wider; and the audience gets the sense of how she is perhaps not the only one being broken here - dance partners are being bullied, co-workers are cracking, she's arguing with longtime friends. This may be a coming-of-age story, but there's no wisdom to be found in its lessons, and Sohee appears to be unusually capable of seeing that.

The aftermath of that realization shifts the point of view, with Bae Doona taking center stage as Oh Yoo-jin, the detective called in when everything goes to hell. World-weary and returning to the city after a sort of exile, Yoo-jin has seemingly been where Sohee wound up for a while, but maybe it's crushed her a little less - the other cops seem to resent her continued pulling at the threads of a case that won't lead to anything, but her resigned anger only looks like numbness. If Bae's performance looks muted, even when she's about to erupt, the audience can still appreciate her doggedness, even if it may not ultimately lead anywhere useful.

Bae and Jung manage an odd sort of alchemy during this back half of the movie, because by all rights it should become a crushing bore: Yoo-jin isn't discovering anything the audience doesn't know, either from watching the rest of the movie or from living in South Korea (or other capitalist economies where the structures are similar); spending a lot of her time following a trail from one institution to another and having someone explain that the systems she's encountering are either carefully designed to be technically legal or such that enforcement would cause a collapse with a lot of collateral damage. It's a lot of detail on how the system fails people and is seemingly designed to be too dreary and convoluted to keep one's attention, but actor and filmmaker are good at presenting how it's numbing but also managing to stoke anger despite that - Yoo-jin might not wind up radicalized by this, but she's at least guided the audience to what they should be angry at.

That isn't necessarily exciting - Jung knows these women are in a hole that is currently too deep for most people to climb out of on their own, and she's not going to make it appear otherwise in order to give her movie a thrilling climax. Still, there's value in pointing out the way that the mess is big and interrelated. Next Sohee isn't going to leave anyone feeling that a problem has been solved, but it maybe can point a viewer to thinking about them differently.

"Cemitério Vermelho" ("They Call It… Red Cemetary")

* * ¾ (out of four)
Seen 3 August 2022 in Salle J.A. De Sève (Fantasia Festival: Fantasia Underground, digital)

The great spaghetti westerns are so iconic that they can fool fans into not so much thinking that they're easy but that there's a schematic: Amorality plus widescreen framing plus a distinctive musical riff yields a moment indelible enough that it doesn't seem to need the rest of the movie around it. You see a lot more short pieces like "Cemitério Vermelho" trying to get those moments on their own than features that build up the whole world surrounding those moments, both because westerns can be a tough sell and because that steady approach is awfully fine work.

That's the sort of short this is, which isn't a complaint. Filmmaker Francisco Lacerda and his crew have found a terrific location in the Azores, and they've built a last confrontation that's good enough to skip to, packing in enough double-crosses and confrontation into its ten minutes that the audience can dive right in, not necessarily needing the two-hour simmer that would get them to the point where they're ready for the slightest twitch to lead to an explosion. Thomas Aske Berg and Francisco Afonso Lopes recall Eastwood and Wallach in The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly without quite seeming to imitate them. It's the sort of spaghetti western pastiche that works even does seem as much a declaration of love for the genre as a great example of it.

Can the likes of this rise above being that sort of pastiche? Probably, although it doesn't necessarily happen very often. As much as it generally works, it's still one that feels like it's imitating a style and peeling up the edges as much as coming by it naturally.


Seen 3 August 2022 in Salle J.A. De Sève (Fantasia Festival: Fantasia Underground, digital)

Maybe I've always been an old man, but I've got the feeling that I wouldn't have like the characters of Frágil even if we were the same age; they are, almost to a one, obnoxious, juvenile supposed-adults who have more personality than drama and not necessarily a lot of that. By the end of the movie, one gets a sort of sense of how central character Miguel is maybe more fragile than his bluster, but there's not a lot to it. You can sort of infer a generic story about him being directionless and on his own because of his queerness, trying to find his tribe (despite his mother's frequent phone calls), but it's so formless that it has to rely on style to get there.

And for all that filmmaker Pedro Henrique hits the audience with a lo-fi fire hose - stylized color choices, square low-res/grainy images for that home-movie feel, animation, inventive cutting - most of the many chapters come and go without a good sting, characters popping in and out without the dynamics being that interesting. The characters are high half the time but that seldom leads to them doing anything interesting. It wants to be a hangout movie with style, but never quite finds a vibe that works.

Or at least, not for me; I readily admit that I was both a little too wiped for this sort of film at the end of a 21-day festival and this group, with their focus on drugs, booze, and "the club", just didn't seem to care about anything that interested me. I nodded off a lot, enough that I can't really say whether the movie was good or bad at being what it was going for but that it most certainly wasn't my thing.

Friday, October 14, 2022

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 14 October 2022 - 20 October 2022

Good stuff opening this weekend, at least where the Oscar bait is concerned.
  • Among the contenders is Triangle of Sadness, the new one from Ruben Östlund, in which some fashion industry types wind up on a ship that sinks and then they must hilariously try to survive, with what looks like a lot of barfing and other fluids. It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre (including a Sunday masked matinee), Boston Common, and Kendall Square.

    There's also TÁR, with Cate Blanchett as conductor Lydia Tár in what looks like a heck of a stylish biography from director Todd Field. It's at also the Coolidge, Boston Common, and Kendall Square.

    There's also a new release among the Coolidge's midnights, with Dario Argento's Dark Glasses playing Friday and Saturday, with daughter Asia as a woman blinded by a serial killer trying to avoid him as he comes to finish off the job. The Coolidge also continues their Carpenter midnights with The Thing on Friday and a 35mm print of Christine on Saturday. Monday's Science on Screen show has Harvard physicist Dr. Jacob Barandes introducing the Coen Brothers' A Serious Man. The third "Three Colors" restoration, Red, plays Wednesday, and Thursday's Cinema Jukebox show is a sing-along presentation of The Greatest Showman.
  • Horror sequel Halloween Ends is the week's big mainstream opening, with David Gordon Green's fork off the original continuity promising to be the final confrontation between Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) and Michael Myers (Nick Castle) until the inevitable threeboot. It plays the Somerville Theatre, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), Boston Common (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Fenway, South Bay (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), Chestnut Hill, and on Peacock Premium.

    Very limited shows at Boston Common for Traveling Light, with Tony Todd reuniting with Candyman director Bernard Rose to play a delivery driver looking for his homeless son in the early days of the pandemic (a rare movie that shows people wearing masks and not ignoring the issue). They also have a special Imax show of Fire of Love Sunday afternoon.

    Latino Heritage month screenings wrap at Boston Common finish this weekend with The Curse of La Llorona on Friday and Pan's Labyrinth on Saturday and Sunday. In the Heat of the Night has 55th anniversary shows at Fenway, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards on Sunday, plus Wednesday at Fenway and Assembly Row.
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square picks up the new German adaptation of All Quiet on the Western Front, directed by Edward Berger and starring Daniel Brühl; it's Germany's submission for the non-English award at the Oscars and arrives a couple weeks ahead of its Netflix debut. The Good Nurse, with Jessica Chastain and Eddie Redmayne, also shows up a week before it arrives on Netflix, with the thriller opening Wednesday.

    Another film playing the Kendall, 1982, arrives three years after opening in its home territory of Lebanon, following an 11-year-old boy trying to work up the nerve to confess to his crush as the conflict with Israel inches closer to his isolated school. Opening with more limited showtimes is Stars at Noon, the new one from Claire Denis, which is also set in the tumultuous 1980s, with Margaret Qualley and Joe Alwyn as lovers in Nicaragua attempting to flee the country.

    Tuesday's 1980s horror show is David Cronenberg's Videodrome. Korean Oscar submission Decision to Leave, the latest from Park Chan-wook, plays Thursday, but it's not entirely clear if this is a one-off or a night-before show.
  • The big release from India this week appears to be a comedy, with Ayushmann Khurrana playing Doctor G, the only male student in a medical schools gynecology department; it's in Hindi and plays Apple Fresh Pond and Boston Common. Also opening at Fresh Pond on Friday are Hindi drama Aye Zindagi, Hindi satire Love You Loktantra, and action/adventure Code Name: Tiranga (not sure which language). Bangladeshi drama Poran returns for another show Saturday; Pakistani period action flick The Legend of Maula Jatt plays Sunday.

    Ponniyin Selvan: Part One continues to play in Tamil at Fresh Pond , Boston Common, and South Bay; Vikram Vedha stays at Boston Common, Kantara at Fresh Pond, and GodFather at Fresh Pond.
  • The Brattle Theatre is the main base for GlobeDocs from Friday to Sunday with 11 films playing there, many with post-film Q&A and discussion. Two others play the Coolidge on Saturday afternoon and a number of others are available to stream.

    The Brattle also hosts the Sustainable Business Networks's screening and discussion of Fish & Men on Tuesday, as well as the Revolutions Per Minute presentation of a program of films from Peggy Ahwesh on Wednesday, with Ms. Ahwesh and Sarah Keller on-hand for Q&A afterward. Then, on Thursday, they host the opening night presentation of The Boston Asian-American Film Festival, Dealing with Dad, with director Tom Huang there in person for a Q&A. A streaming shorts program also comes on-line that night, with the festival moving to the Paramount starting on the 21st.
  • The Somerville Theatre boots Halloween Ends off the big screen on Saturday and Sunday for a 35mm Hitchcock double feature of Psycho & Frenzy; they also have a Saturday Midnight Special of The Psychopath, apparently an IB Technicolor 35mm print.

    The Capitol kicks off its Halloween programming with The Silence of the Lambs on Friday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has four shows in four different programs this week, with Tsai Ming-liang, Lee Kang-sheng, and Anong Houngheuangsy on hand Friday to show Days (listed as sold out, but you might get lucky if there are still no-shows at 6:50pm). Sunday offers a shorts program featuring the works of Narcissa Hirsch and Marie Louise Alemann as part of "¡Rebeladas! Una aproximación al cine de mujeres en Latinoamérica". Monday offers the next entry in their series of silence from Soviet Georgia, Saba, a temperance drama playing on 35mm film with Robert Humphreville offering live accompaniment. Thursday is the start of a short run of The African Desperate, with director Martine Syms hosting that night's presentation of her comedy about an artist who has just finished her MFA.
  • The Boston Palestine Film Festival begins on Friday, with five shows at The Museum of Fine Arts through Sunday. Seven virtual programs (features and shorts) also come online that day, available through next Sunday.

    Bright Lights has Salma's Home on Thursday as part of the festival (although it is still free and open to the public with tickets available day-of); director and Emerson professor will be at the Paramount's Bright room to talk about her film featuring three Jordanian women - wives and adopted daughter of the same man - coming together after he dies. It plays with short "Hush", and that film's director, Samar Qupty, is also there.
  • The Regent Theatre has another sort of hybrid event on Wednesday, with "An Evening with Ram Dass and Friends" including a screening of Dying to Know: Ram Dass & Timothy Leary hosted by director Gay Dillingham, as well as a memorabilia exhibit and book signing..
  • The West Newton Cinema opens Israeli thriller Plan A, in which a team of Holocaust survivors aim to take revenge on their former captors by poisoning them at an American prison camp. That also keep Young Plato (Saturday/Sunday), Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, Bros (no show Thursday), Don't Worry Darling, See How They Run, Where the Crawdads Sing (no shows Friday/Thursday), Hallelujah (Saturday/Sunday), Minions (Saturday/Sunday), and The Bad Guys (Saturday/Sunday). The theater appears to be dark Monday.

    The Lexington Venue has The Good House, Bros, and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile playing through Sunday.

    The Luna Theater has a fairly straightforward schedule leading up to Halloween, with Pearl on Friday, The Craft all day Saturday, The Monster Squad all day Sunday, and Weirdo Wednesday.

    Cinema Salem is as all-in for Halloween as you'd expect, with Halloween Ends and Universal Monsters classics Friday to Sunday; The Hills Have Eyes on Friday; Rocky Horror with Teseracte on Saturday (Full Body Cast is at the Common as usual); "A Magical Evening with Alice Hoffman" on Tuesday, featuring a screening of Practical Magic (adapted from her book) and the launch of her new sequel novel; and VideoCoven presenting indie horror Alone with You and Threshold on Thursday.
  • Joe's Free Films has the Summer Shack pop-up in Harvard Square persisting pretty late into fall with Rocky Horror on Saturday and Hocus Pocus on Thursday.
  • 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.
After a lot of nothing for the past few weeks, I'm down for both TÁR and Triangle of Sadness, with my eyes on The Good Nurse, some of the Indian stuff, and the 35mm at the Somerville. Plus, it looks like I may actually be running out of chances to see Top Gun 2 on the big screen. Heck of a run there (and fare-thee-well to Everything Everywhere All at Once, which stuck it out at Kendall Square for months after the disc was on my shelf, and super mad props to whoever is still checking out the matinees of The Bad Guys in Newton every weekend).

Friday, October 07, 2022

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 7 October 2022 - 13 October 2022

Oscar Season starts this weekend, with Javier Bardem's new movie… Wait, I gather he is the one actor not in the big release.
  • The big release is Amsterdam, the latest from David O. Russell with Christian Bale, Margot Robbie, and John David Washington as a mismatched trio of ex-soldiers drawn into a murder mystery with enough big names in the cast that there's no obvious candidate to do the sudden shift when the mystery is solved. It's at the Somerville, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), Boston Common (Including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Fenway, Kendall Square, South Bay (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    Bardem, meanwhile, is in Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, based on a kids' book that sounds vaguely familiar (though after my time and maybe that of my brothers) with a kid finding an apparently non-predatory reptiloid in his new apartment's attic, that doesn't talk but can sing (voice of Shawn Mendes). Constance Wu & Scoot McNairy as the parents; Bardem the circus person who apparently left the guy behind. It's at Fresh Pond, the Lexington Venue, West Newton, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), Fenway, South Bay (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill.

    With Halloween Ends opening next week, theaters offer the chance to catch up, but it can be tricky - Fresh Pond and Arsenal Yards appear to have the original 1978 Halloween, while Boston Common has the 2018 sequel (also named Halloween) and Halloween Kills, timed to run as a double feature. I think; Fandango has listed the wrong thing with the same title before, and it seems odd Fresh Pond would do a whole week when it was just me for a single screening four years ago, so you may not know what you're getting until you sit down. In other spooky presentations, Fenway, South Bay, Assembly Row, and Arsenal Yards have 25th Anniversary screenings of Scream 2 on Sunday and Monday (no Monday show at Arsenal Yards). Terrifier 2 also shows up again, at Boston Common, South Bay, and Assembly Row on Sunday and Monday.

    Billy Joel Live at Yankee Stadium has an encore show Sunday afternoon at Boston Common, Fenway, Kendall Square, and South Bay. Spanish-subtitled Latino Heritage month matinees at Boston Common include Selena (Friday/Saturday/Monday/Tuesday), The Curse of La Llorona (Sunday/Thursday evening), and Pan's Labyrinth (Thursday)
  • Landmark Theatres Kendall Square gets The Storied Life of A.J. Fikry, with Kunal Nayyar as a windowed bookseller who has a rare manuscript stolen, though something else may be entering his life; it also plays Boston Common. Tuesday's Retro Replay 1980s horror film at Kendall Square is Tony Scott's The Hunger.
  • The new Indian film opening at Apple Fresh Pond this Friday is Goodbye, with Rashmika Mandanna as a woman whose mother has recently passed, with her father (Amitabh Bachchan) not doing well as the family comes together for the traditional mourning period. Ponniyin Selvan: Part One continues to play Fresh Pond (Tamil/Telugu), Boston Common (Tamil & Hindi), and South Bay (Tamil); also hanging around are Vikram Vedha (Fresh Pond & Boston Common), Kantara (Fresh Pond), GodFather (Fresh Pond & Boston Common), The Ghost, and Brahmastra: Part One - Shiva at Fresh Pond.

    Anime A Silent Voice has a 5th anniversary show at Boston Common, Fenway, and Assembly Row on Wednesday (dubbed).
  • The Brattle Theatre offers up A Centennial Celebration of Ruby Dee with Uptight (Friday/Sunday), The Incident (Friday), Saint Louis Blues (Saturday/Sunday), A Raisin in the Sun (Saturday), Buck and the Preacher (Saturday), American Gangster (Sunday), Do the Right Thing (35mm Monday), and Jungle Fever (Monday), with two-for-one double features on Friday, Saturday, and Monday. They also pay tribute to Jean-Luc Godard with a double feature of Breathless & Band of Outsiders (the latter in 35mm) from Tuesday to Thursday.

    They also have late shows of Mona Lisa and the Blood Moon from Friday to Monday. The latest from Ana Lily Amirpour, which stars Jeon Jong-seo as a young woman in a mental hospital who had been unresponsive for a dozen years but escapes and manipulates others with her psychic powers. It also features Craig Robinson, Ed Skrein, and Kate Hudson.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre has a new restoration of Jack-O at midnight Friday and Saturday; it's apparently a cult classic even though it came out in 1995 and I don't recall it playing Worcester, although maybe that's just Worcester. There's also two John Carpenter flicks late, with The Fog at midnight on Friday and Escape from New York on Saturday. Monday's Big Screen Classic is Pierrot le Fou, while Thursday gives you a head start on next weekend's Carpenter stuff with a pre-show seminar before a 35mm print of They Live.
  • The Capitol and West Newton open Young Plato, a documentary about a school administrator working to turn a rough Irish inner city neighborhood around, with Hallelujah coming (back?) to the Capitol after playing West Newton for a couple months.

    The Somerville Theatre has a 35mm print of Scream '96 at midnight on Saturday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive has guests this weekend, with "The Return of João Pedro Rodrigues & João Rui Guerra" featuring the pair hosting Will-o'-the-Wisp on Friday, and their new one Where Is This Street? Or, WIth No Before and After on Saturday, and not necessarily part of The Green Years earlier on Saturday. "The Face of Time… Recent Films by Tsai Ming-liang" offers Your Face on Sunday and then Tsai on-hand for Afternoon on Monday evening, along with muse Lee Kang-sheng. The pair will also be around next Friday for Days.
  • The Regent Theatre continues to host the Loney Seal Festival through Monday, though many will be in the Underground room as other things play upstairs.

    Rock doc Forever Everly, for instance, plays Friday, billed as a combination of movie and live concert. There are other live events Saturday and Sunday, with the latter's John Lennon birthday celebration "A Day in His Life" featuring archival materials as well. Documentary film Gratitude Revealed plays Wednesday, a project 40 years in the making from Louie Schwartzberg, who made Fantastic Fungi, a highlight of the virtual cinemas at the start of the pandemic. Remember those? I kind of figured they might linger afterward.
  • The Bright Lights show in the Bright Screening Room of Emerson's Paramount Theater this Thursday is Subject, which takes a look at the ethics of documentary filmmaking, with both director Jennifer Tiexera and subject Ahmed Hassan on-hand afterward.

    It's presented "in association with" GlobeDocs, though it's not technically on the schedule. That festival opens Wednesday with The Disruptors and Good Night Oppy at the Coolidge, with No Time to Fail playing there Thursday; the festival continues through the following Monday and also has a number of films available to stream via Eventive.
  • The Lexington Venue has The Good House and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile playing through Sunday.

    As mentioned, The West Newton Cinema is opening Young Plato and Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile, joining Bros, Don't Worry Darling, See How They Run, Mrs. Harris Goes to Paris (Saturday to Monday), Where the Crawdads Sing (Saturday to Tuesday), Hallelujah (Saturday), Minions (Sunday), and The Bad Guys (Sunday).

    The Luna Theater plays Pearl on Friday but appears otherwise dark, with a Weirdo Wednesday show the other thing on the schedule.

    Cinema Salem Friday to Sunday line-up is Bros and Barbarian. The spooky stuff includes Re-Animator on Friday, The Lost Boys on Saturday, The Wolf Man on Sunday, and two from VideoCoven on Thursday: Bad Girl Boogey & Death Drop Gorgeous.
  • Joe's Free Films shows that there are still some outdoor programs going, with BeetleJuice at the Loring Greenough House in Jamaica Plain on Friday and the Summer Shack pop-up in Harvard Square showing Little Shop of Horrors on Saturday and Coco on Thursday.
  • 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.
Some places that only have limited showtimes most days are open all day Monday for Indigineous People's Day (as I believe it is called in most local precincts), if you've got that off. I kind of don't want to support a David O. Russell movie - being a bully and a creep doesn't make one more talented, so why not give your business to non-jerks - but, man, not much else out this week, is there?