Friday, October 20, 2023

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 20 October 2023 - 26 October 2023

Last weekend was the first time in a while that I didn't wind up in a movie theater or festival. It was weird; I hope the kids had fun. So to make up for it, we're getting new films from Martin Scorsese and Zhang Yimou today, plus IFFBoston hitting us with a shotgun blast of the noteworthy indies rolling out over the next few months, and the second weekend of Taylor Swift's Eras Tour.
  • The big feature is Killers of the Flower Moon, Scorsese's grand western crime story of how the Osage people were fortunate to find oil on the land to which they were relocated and the men who conspired to take control, with Leonardo DiCaprio, Robert DeNiro, and Lily Gladstone, a whole brace of great character actor faces, and some late-inning co-stars brought in for when you start to feel the long runtime. It's pretty great and plays at the Coolidge, the Somerville (4K laser starting Monday), The Capitol, Kendall Square, Fresh Pond, Jordan's Furniture (Imax), the Lexington Venue, The Embassy, West Newton, Boston Common (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), South Bay (including Imax Xenon/Dolby Cinema), Assembly Row (including Imax Laser/Dolby Cinema), Arsenal Yards (including CWX), and Chestnut Hill.

    Also opening wide is Dicks: The Musical, in which two young men discover they are long-lost identical twins (note: they are not played by the same actor or by twins), and plot to reunite their parents, with Megan Thee Stallion, Nathan Lane, Megan Mullaly, and Bowen Yang along for the ride. It's at the Somerville, Kendall Square, Boston Common, and Assembly Row.

    A new adaptation of Oscar Wilde's The Canterville Ghost opens at Fresh Pond; this one's animated and has Stephen Fry voicing the title character, a specter frustrated by the American family that has moved into the home he's been haunting for 300 years. It's one of those British animated features where the animation looks iffy compared to the Disney and Dreamworks trailers but the voice cast is killer, featuring Hugh Laurie, Imelda Staunton, Freddie Highmore, and Toby Jones in addition to Fry.

    Soul Mates, which has Annie Ilonzeh & Charlie Weber on a blind date from hell after being put together by a service that means to test compatibility under pressure, plays later shows at South Bay.

    The Nightmare Before Christmas gets a Halloween-season rerelease at Boston Common (including RealD 3D), South Bay, Arsenal Yards.

    Back to the Future plays Boston Common, South Bay, and Arsenal Yards on Saturday and Wednesday (no Wednesday at Arsenal Yards). There are 60th anniversary screenings of The Birds at South Bay and Assembly Row on Sunday and Monday. Documentary Beyond Utopia, focusing on families that fled North Korea, plays Boston Common and South Bay on Monday and Tuesday. There are Crossroads "Global Fan Event" shows at Boston Common and Arsenal Yards on Monday and Wednesday. The week's A24 horror screenings at Boston Common are Under the Skin on Monday and Midsommar on Wednesday.
  • Landmark Kendall Square opens two things getting courtesy theatrical runs before heading to Netflix this week: Nyad stars Annette Bening in the title role, a former marathon swimmer turned sports journalist who decides to return to sport for one of its most daring feats - swimming from Cuba to Florida, without a shark cage - at the age of 60. Jodie Foster plays her coach, and Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi & Jimmy Chin direct, their first narrative feature after a number of terrific human-versus-elements features.

    The other is Pain Hustlers, which stars Emily Blunt as a woman who gets a job helping to move painkillers as opiate addiction becomes a full-blown epidemic; it also features Chris Evans, Andy Garcia, and Catherine O'Hara.

    Tuesday's $5 Retro Replay for 1980s slashers is The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2, so you can check Leatherface off the dance card. Wednesday also has a $5 show of Ace in the Hole, apparently not part of a series, but one doesn't really need an excuse.
  • Zhang Yimou's second major Chinese holiday release of the year is Under the Light, a rare contemporary crime thriller from the director, after sitting on the shelf for various pandemic and censorship-related reasons for long enough that Zhang made and released at least three other films in the meantime. It features Lei Jiayin, Zhang Guoli, Yu Hewei, Zhou Dongyu, and Joan Chen, no doubt looks stylish as heck, and plays Boston Common.

    Two Indian action films opened Wednesday - Leo: Bloody Sweet in Tamil at Fresh Pond (which also has Telugu screenings) and Boston Common and Bhagavanth Kesari in Telugu at Fresh Pond, Boston Common, South Bay, and Arsenal Yards - and Apple Fresh Pond gets four more from the subcontinent this weekend: Ganapath is a Hindi-language sci-fi action/adventure starring Tiger Shroff; Yaariyan 2 is also in Hindi and follows three cousins having misadventures in Mumbai. Ghost (playing through Sunday) is a Kannada-language thriller centered around an attempted jailbreak, and Tiger Nageswara Rao (also at Boston Common) is a Telugu action flick about an infamous 1970s robber (not to be confused with Tiger Shroff above or the forthcoming Tiger 3).
  • In addition to the big movies, The Coolidge Corner Theatre has plenty of Halloween fare, with midnights of Rocky Horror and Urban Legend (35mm) on Friday, plus Re-Animator late Saturday. The Big Screen Classics are M. Night Shyamalan's The Sixth Sense on Monday, Arsenic and Old Lace on Tuesday, and the 1942 Cat People on Thursday, with the first two on 35mm film and Northeastern University's Nathan Blake delivering a seminar before the third.

    For non-spooky fare, there's a Goethe-Institut presentation of German multiple-personality film Franky Five-Star on Sunday morning, with star Lena Urzendowsky participating in a post-film Q&A.
  • The Brattle Theatre hosts Independent Film Festival Boston's annual Fall Focus, highlighting some of the fall's more notable foreign/independent releases, with Fallen Leaves and Fingernails on Friday; Robot Dreams, Evil Does Not Exist, Kore-Eda's Monster, and Dream Scenario on Saturday; All Dirt Roads Taste of Salt, Tótem, Perfect Days, and The Taste of Things on Sunday; and closing with Hayao Miyazaki's The Boy and the Hero on Monday. That one's sold out, but they play Miyazaki's Princess Mononoke on Tuesday, and there's a special screening of Aftershock with filmmakers Paula Eiselt and Tonya Lewis Lee present to discuss their documentary about how Black women, in particular, are at risk of complications and death when pregnant because of gaps in the American health care system.
  • The Somerville Theatre pushes Killers of the Flower Moon and Dicks down a screen to accommodate Johnathan Richman's main stage shows on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, also bumping Stop Making Sense for the weekend except for a midnight show on Saturday. The main midnight on Saturday is Carny, which has Jodie Foster joining a traveling show with Gary Busey and Robbie Robertson. Dumb Money also returns Monday. Honoring Eric Bentley: A Centennial Tribute Concert, plays the main screen Wednesday, and there's a program of local horror shorts on Thursday with cast & crew on hand (though it's currently marked sold out).

    (Idle thought: They should have swapped the numbers of screens 2 & 3 during the remodel so they'd represent the sizes of the rooms in descending order.)
  • The Harvard Film Archive begins a new series - "Filmmaker, Guest Worker: Zelimir Zilnik's Expatriates" - on Friday with feature The Second Generation preceded by short film "For Ella"; Oldtimer plays Saturday. On Sunday afternoon, they have the restored I Heard It Through the Grapevine on DCP rather than their 16mm print; that evening's presentation also features James Baldwin, with three shorts under the title "James Baldwin Abroad". On Monday, they have a "From the Archive" presentation of Shadows of Forgotten Ancestors, a strange, queer entry from Georgian/Armenian/Ukranian filmmaker Sergei Parajanov when all three nations were part of the Soviet Union, on 35mm film.
  • The Regent Theatre has a "Psychadelic Cinema" show on Friday night, with films shot on Super-8 by Ken Brown in the 1960s for use in musical shows accompanied by Ken Winokur's Psychadelic Cinema Orchestra. Documentary Common Ground plays on Tuesday, with a pre-film musical performance by Cosmica and a post-film panel discussion. The "Midweek Music Movies and More" show is on Thursday this week, with "AKA Doc Pomus" followed by a brief panel discussion.
  • Go On, Be Brave screens on The Museum of Science's Omni screen on Tuesday evening, with documentary subject Andrea Lytle Peet in person for a Q&A about the film chronicling her aim to be the first person with ALS to compete in a marathon in all 50 states. She will also be present for a screening at Kendall Square on Thursday.
  • This week's Thursday Bright Lights show in the Bright Screening Room is The Tuba Thieves, a collection of stories dealing with hearing loss inspired by the theft of the big brass instruments from Los Angeles high schools. Director Alison O'Daniel will be on-hand, with the Q&A interpreted via ASL with the whole presentation open-captioned. Free and open to the public.
  • The Boston Asian-American Film Festival welcomes Lulu Wang to ArtsEmerson's Paramount Theatre (Bright Screening Room) on Sunday for a preview screening of her new streaming series Expats; six shorts programs are available to screen through Sunday.
  • The Boston Palestine Film Festival continues its virtual screening of five features and six shorts available through next Sunday.
  • The Lexington Venue has The Eras Tour and Killers of the Flower Moon from Friday to Sunday and Thursday. John Carpenter's original Halloween also plays Friday, Saturday, and Thursday.

    The West Newton Cinema gets Killers of the FLower Moon, keeping Eras (no shows Monday-Wednesday), Flora and Son (Saturday/Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday), Paw Patrol, Golda, Past Lives, Barbie, and Oppenheimer (no show Sunday). Open all week.

    The Luna Theater has It Lives Inside on Friday and Saturday, Stop Making Sense on Saturday afternoon, E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial on Sunday, and featurette "18 lus Soli" as part of UMass Lowell's Global Cinema series, including a Q&A, on Wednesday afternoon, with the Weirdo Wednesday show in the evening.

    Cinema Salem has Carpenter's Halloween, Hocus Pocus, and The Exorcist: Believer through Monday. The weekend's Universal Monsters shows are The Wolf Man (Friday/Sunday/Monday), The Mummy (Friday/Sunday), Frankenstein (Friday/Saturday/Monday), Dracula (Saturday/Sunday), Bride of Frankenstein (Saturday/Monday), The Invisible Man (Saturday/Sunday), and The Creature from the Black Lagoon (Sunday).

    If you can make it out to Dedham (or live there), Scottish drama The Road Dance plays the Community Theatre. Irish/Finnish drama My Sailor, My Love moves from that theater to the Patriot Cinemas in Hingham.
  • Joe's Free Films shows an outdoors screening of Home Alone in Harvard Square on Friday night, and director Alex Winter on hand for a screening of his documentary The YouTube Effect in Wasserstein Hall at the Kennedy School on Monday.
Mostly living at the Brattle this weekend (but not sweating if most shows sell out before I get there because a lot will show up later), hopefully carving out time for Under the Light, Nyad, and Pain Hustlers during the week. Killers of the Flower Moon is also highly recommended.

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