Friday, April 21, 2023

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 21 April 2023 - 27 April 2023

Is it IFFBoston season already? Time is flying, and not just because I've probably overbooked myself for some stuff coming up.
  • To answer the rhetorical question first, yes, Independent Film Festival 2023, the twentieth annual event (give or take a global pandemic) kicks off at the Somerville Theatre this coming Wednesday with Love to Love You, Donna Summer, with director Brooklyn Sudano expected to be on-hand and a Donna Summer dance party at the Crystal Ballroom upstairs afterward. On Thursday, the Somerville starts playing shorts, as well as features All Men Are Wicked, Stephen Curry: Underrated, and Free Time, while the Brattle has Master Gardener and Charcoal. After that, the festival continues for most of the next week, until Wednesday the 3rd.
  • A jumbo-sized film from Ari Aster, Beau Is Afraid, opens at Boston Common (including Imax Xenon), Kendall Square, South Bay, and Assembly Row; it features Joaquin Phoenix as a man with tremendous mother issues and fear of the world around him, with his attempt to visit her becoming a strange odyssey.

    The latest attempt to revive Sam Raimi's horror series, Evil Dead Rise, has the Necronomicon transforming a recently deceased mother into a Deadite, her family trapped in a high-rise apartment building with her. It comes from Lee Cronin, whose The Hole in the Ground was pretty good if a different sort of flick. It's at Fresh Pond, Boston Common (including Dolby Cinema), South Bay, Assembly Row (including Dolby Cinema), and Arsenal Yards.

    Director Guy Ritchie gets his name tacked on the front of The Covenant, a wartime thriller that has Jake Gyllenhaal as a US Army officer looking to rescue the Afghan interpreter (Dar Salim) and his family who hid him. It's at Boston Common, Kendall Square, South Bay (including Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row, and Chestnut Hill.

    Boston Common gets Somewhere In Queens, with star Ray Romano writing and directing in addition to playing a man who throws himself into helping his son attain a basketball scholarship after previously dismissing college as an option; Laurie Metcalf plays his wife. They also play To Catch a Killer, with Shailene Woodley as a misfit uniformed cop recruited by and FBI agent (Ben Mendelsohn) to help capture a serial killer. Boston Common and South Bay re-open Avatar: The Way of Water in 3D.

    Concert film Coldplay - Music of the Spheres: Live at River Plate encores at Kendall Square, Boston Common, Assembly Row on Sunday. Fortieth-anniversary screenings of Flashdance play Assembly Row, South Bay, Arsenal Yards on Wednesday. There are preview screenings of Polite Society at Boston Common on Saturday, Sisu at Boston Common on Monday.
  • The Coolidge Corner Theatre, the Capitol, West Newton, the Lexington Venue, Boston Common, and Kendall Square all pick up Chevalier, starring Kelvin Harrison Jr. as a Black musician who climbed high in Parisian society before throwing his lot in with the Revolution.

    The Coolidge also has late-afternoon shows of documentary Little Richard: I Am Everything, for those who would like more stories of great musicians, this one focusing on the man Elvis called the true king of rock & roll. The weekend's midnights include 35mm prints of Aliens on Friday and The Relic on Saturday, which is maybe not quite so obvious a pattern. Buried dangerous things? Monday's Big Screen Classic is the director's cut of Eve's Bayou, with Globe critic Odie Henderson giving an optional pre-screening seminar. Tuesday's anime presentation is Satoshi Kon's Perfect Blue (the 7pm show sold out, but a second is scheduled for 9:45), while Mamoru Hosoda's lates, Belle, closes out the series on Wednesday (though Suzume is still playing).
  • Apple Fresh Pond turns over their South Asian selection for Eid, with the big opening Hindi action-romantic-comedy on Friday being Kisi Ka Bhai Kisi Ki Jaan, with Salman Khan as the oldest of several brothers who has opted not to marry in order to fight crime, so his brothers try to set him up because they're ready and you apparently do these things in order. There's also Telugu thriller Virupaksha, with the investigation of various occult-related deaths, and Malayalam haunted house movie Neelavelicham. They appear to be bringing back The Legend (or opening a remake) starting Saturday, about a foreign-educated philanthropist fighting a local mafioso.

    For Urdu/Pakistani audiences, there The Legend of Maula Jatt on Friday and Money Back Guarantee on Saturday and Sunday.

    Hong Kong comedy Say I Do to Me, featuring Ng Ping as a vlogger who arranges a "wedding to herself" for clout only to have it actually result in some self-discovery. Interestingly, director Kiwi Chow Kwun-wai also worked on Ten Years and Revolution of Our Times, which means this getting a prime Lunar New Year release in Hong Kong (and playing here) kind of surprising.

    Anime hit Suzume continues at the Coolidge, Boston Common (including Imax), South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards. Subtitled and dubbed showtimes in many locations, so check before reserving tickets. The Ghibli-fest selection this week is the Japanese stage production of Spirited Away, playing Boston Common Sunday, Tuesday, and Thursday
  • The Retro Replay at Landmark Theatres Kendall Square this week is Woman of the Year, the first romantic comedy to pair Katharine Hepburn and Spencer Tracy, here playing married newspaper reporters.
  • As is traditional, The Brattle Theatre more than bides their time until IFFBoston with the rest of The Emperor & the Wolf: The Films of Akira Kurosawa & Toshiro Mifune. This week's 35mm presentations of The Hidden Fortress & Throne of Blood on Friday, Red Beard on Saturday, Seven Samurai on Saturday and Sunday, The Lower Depths on Sunday, I Live in Fear on Tuesday, and a twin bill of Yojimbo and sequel Sanjuro on Wednesday.

    On Monday, they have a free screening (RSVP required) of Oscar-winning documentary Navalny presented by the Shorenstein Center of Harvard's Kennedy School of Government, with a post-film discussion.
  • The Harvard Film Archive begins Still LIfe with Hong Sangsoo this weekend, featuring the prolific Korean director's most recent seven films, reaching back to 2018 (there was a pandemic in there to slow him down, after all). This week's selections are Walk Up (Friday/Sunday), Introduction (Friday), and In Front of Your Face (Sunday). They also have one from Med Hondo, with Fatima, the Algerian Woman of Dakar playing Monday on 35mm film.
  • Joe's Free Films shows "BlackBox" film Festival at BU on Friday and Femocracy at Goethe-Institut on Wednesday.
  • The Somerville Theatre again has live events in the main room before IFFBoston, which mean's Saturday's Midnight Special of Caged Heat is downstairs on screen #3.

    The Capitol wraps its April vacation film series with DC League of Superpets Friday through Sunday, and also picks up Refield when the festival bumps it from Somerville on Wednesday.
  • Wicked Queer pops back up for one last in-person screening, with Lie With Me playing at the French Library on Friday evening, and still has virtual encores of many of this year's festival selections available to stream through the end of April.
  • Boston Jewish Film has a special screening of Vishnaic at West Newton on Sunday for Yom HaShoah Holocaust Remembrance Day, with a Zoom Q&A with filmmaker Laura Bialis afterward.
  • Belmont World Film continues to stream Farewell Mr. Haffmann through Sunday, before the series moves to Arsenal Yards for its second half with an in-person screening on Monday. The next film in the series, Chile '76, begins streaming Tuesday night.
  • GlobeDocs has a virtual screening and discussion of Sacred Cow: The Nutritional, Environmental, and Ethical Case for Better Meat; RSVP for a link to watch the film over the weekend and then join the discussion on Monday afternoon.
  • The Lexington Venue is open through Sunday with Air and Chevalier.

    The West Newton Cinema adds Chevalier to Air, Super Mario Brothers, Dungeons & Dragons, Women Talking (Saturday), A Man Called Otto, Everything Everywhere All at Once, and The Fabelmans. They also screen An Egypt Affair, a location-shot thriller by a director apparently best known for travel films, on Thursday, preceded by a short written and directed by that film's screenwriter, "Love Don't Fade Away". Closed Monday.

    The Luna Theater has Little Richard: I Am Everything on Friday and Saturday; Paint on Saturday, Enys Men Saturday evening, The Birds on Sunday, and a Weirdo Wednesday mystery show.

    Cinema Salem is open through Monday with How to Blow Up a Pipeline and Super Mario Bros.. They also play host to the Salem Horror Fest from Friday to Sunday. I don't know that I can make it out, but a friend co-wrote the "Bruja" segment in anthology feature Pendulum, so check that out if Salem is more doable for you than it is for me!.
So much to see/catch up with even if I skip all the Kurosawa and Perfect Blue! I am intrigued by Say I Do to Me, Evil Dead Rise, Farewell Mr. Haffmann, and Little Richard and would normally go for The Covenant and Beau Is Afraid in their first weekends, but it's just too busy before even thinking of getting out to Salem.

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