Friday, January 26, 2024

Next Week in Tickets: Films playing Boston 26 January 2024 - 1 February 2024

A movie whose release was built around the Oscars gets no nominations, enough nominees were released early enough that they have to get brought back, and that squeezes the movie I most wanted this weekend out. It's a goofy weekend!
  • That big release is Origin, which looks to be something between Ava Duvernay adapting Isabel Wilkerson's book Caste and making a film about the research and writing of it, starring Aunjanue Ellis-Taylor as Wilkinson, and the trailers certainly had the look of something meant to be more grand and ambitious than usual. It's at The Coolidge Corner Theatre, Kendall Square, Boston Common, the Seaport, South Bay, Assembly Row..

    The Coolidge's midnights this weekend feature two cases of weird satellite dishes linking the televised and real worlds, with a 35mm print of TerrorVision on Friday and Stay Tuned on Saturday, plus one last January Giallo with StageFright on Saturday. There are also Saturday & Sunday matinees of the 2023 NYICFF Kid Flicks One program, a Big Screen Classics show of Jean Renoir's Grand Illusion on Monday, an "Projections" wrapping up with the original Westworld on 35mm Tuesday and Metropolis with the Anvil Orchestra on Wednesday. February's program, "Destination Romance", kicks off Thursday with An American in Paris on 35mm.
  • Most of the action at the multiplexes is Oscar Nominees expanding or returning. The Zone of Interest is the one picking up screens as it adds The Somerville Theatre and Assembly Row to the Coolidge, Kendall Square, Boston Common, and the Seaport. Oppenheimer had a re-release planned, playing at the Somerville (70mm), Jordan's Furniture (Imax), West Newton, Boston Common (Imax Xenon), the Seaport, South Bay (Imax Xenon), Assembly Row (Imax Laser), and Chestnut Hill.

    Among the returnees are The Holdovers at the Capitol, Kendall Square, the Embassy, West Newton, Boston Common, Causeway Street, and the Seaport; Barbie at Boston Common, South Bay, Assembly Row, Arsenal Yards, and Chestnut Hill; Anatomy of a Fall at Kendall Square, the Embassy, CinemaSalem, Boston Common, and the Seaport (with single shows at the MFA and Brattle); Past Lives at Kendall Square, Boston Common; Maestro at the Embassy (on and off); and Godzilla Minus One was already slated for a return before its surprise nomination for Best Visual Effects, in a special black & white "Godzilla Minus One Minus Color" edition; that's at Boston Common, Causeway Street, the Seaport, South Bay, and Assembly Row (where the color version never left!).

    Thanksgiving is not nominated for any Oscars, but also returns to Boston Common, but apparently this sort of thing is good for promoting Tuesday's disc release.

    In terms of genuine new releases, there's Miller's Girl, a comedy starring Martin Freeman as a teacher and Jenna Ortega as his student, whose relationship gets tricky due to a creative writing assignment. It's at Boston Common.

    The Wizard of Oz plays 85th anniversary shows Sunday, Monday, and Wednesday at Boston Common, South Bay, and Arsenal Yards (no Wednesday show). There's an "AMC Screen Unseen" preview at Boston Common, Causeway Street, and Assembly Row on Monday. Concert film Pet Shop Boys "Dreamworld": The Hits Live plays Boston Common and Kendall Square on Wednesday.
  • The biggest blockbuster opening this weekend is Bollywood action film Fighter, which features Hrithik Roshan, Deepika Padukone, and Anil Kapoor as members of an elite "Air Dragons" unit of the Indian Air Force directed by Siddharth Anand, who recently made War and Pathaan and tied them together in a "spy universe" that this film is not connected to. It's at Fresh Pond and Boston Common, with both Imax 3D and RealD 3D showtimes at the latter.

    Also opening at Apple Fresh Pond for Republic Weekend are Malayalam-language historic action drama Malaikottai Vaaliban, plus Tamil comedies Singapore Saloon (about an ambitious hairstylist) and Blue Star (about rival cricket players). Telugu-language adventure Hanu Man is held over at Fresh Pond.

    The new film from mainland China this week is The Storm, an animated adventure from the director of The Guardian, which was if nothing else eye-popping when I saw it at Fantasia six years ago. That plays at Boston Common and Causeway Street. The new one from Hong Kong is Rob N Roll, an action-comedy starring Richie Jen and Aaron Kwok. Johnny Keep Walking! is also held over at Causeway Street (and in fact has more showtimes than it had last weekend).

    The Boy and the Heron is still at West Newton, Fresh Pond, Boston Common, and returns to the Embassy and CinemaSalem.
  • The Brattle Theatre has a special event on Friday evening with Nightingale Vocal Ensemble - Photoplay, in which a 9-person chorus will improvise soundtracks to short films from early silence to recent contest winners. Stop Making Sense has a special screening Saturday night, RPM Fest welcomes Kelly Sears on Sunday for a collection of ten shorts titled "We Were Given These Instructions", and there's a free Elements of Cinema show of Wim Wenders's Alice in the Cities on Monday.

    Otherwise, "(Some of) The Best of 2023" continues with Dungeons & Dragons: Honor Among Thieves (Friday/Saturday), Asteroid City (Saturday), Scrapper & Polite Society (Sunday), How to Blow Up a Pipeline (Monday), Orlando, My Political Biography & Mutt (Tuesday), Anatomy of a Fall & Passages (Wednesday), Joan Baez: I Am a Noise (Thursday), and Infinity Pool (Thursday).
  • The Alamo Seaport rep calendar has 1999 Time Capsules of The Matrix (Friday/Monday), The Talented Mr. Ripley (Saturday), Jawbreaker (Monday). There's also a Clueless movie party on Sunday and a preview for She Is Conann on Tuesday.
  • The Capitol brings back Priscilla. They also have their monthly VHS trading/"Disasterpiece Theater" night on Monday.
  • The Harvard Film Archive begins the program "Victor Erice, Full Circle", with The Spirit of the Beehive on 35mm film Friday and Sunday, plus his new film, Close Your Eyes, on Saturday. "Ousmane Sembène, Cinematic Revolutionary" continues with the newly-restored Ceddo on Sunday evening, and Wind from the East, one of a number of screenings paying tribute to the journal Afterimage, plays Monday night.

    Joe's Free Films also shows three films at various other spots on the Harvard campus this week: Plan 75 on the Longwood Campus on Monday, Oqlanmagan - The Unexonerated in Tsai Auditorium on Tuesday, and Afghan Dreamers at the Kennedy School on Thursday.
  • The Museum of Fine Arts has Anatomy of a Fall on Friday night, and two art documentaries during the weekend afternoons: Klimt and the Kiss on Saturday and Art for Everybody, covering the life of Thomas Kinkade, on Sunday.
  • In addition to Origin and the returning nominees Landmark Kendall Square also has a 50th anniversary show of Amarcord on Tuesday.
  • This week's Bright Lights presentation upstairs at the Paramount is Israelism, a documentary about/by two young Jewish Americans raised to be staunch supporters of Israel whose perspective is shaken when they learn more about the country's treatment of Palestinians. It was originally scheduled for October but pushed for the obvious reasons, but will be showing free for all on Thursday, with a post-film Q&A with directors Erin Axelman and Sam Eilersten.
  • The Lexington Venue is open Friday to Sunday with Driving Madeleine and American Fiction.

    The West Newton Cinema brings back Oppenheimer to join The Boys in the Boat (Friday-Sunday) American Fiction, The Boy and the Heron (subtitled all week, dubbed matinees Friday to Sunday), Migration, Poor Things, and The Holdovers (no show Wednesday).

    The Luna Theater has The Iron Claw Friday to Sunday and a Weirdo Wednesday show.

    Cinema Salem is open through Monday with All of Us Strangers, Mean Girls, The Boys and the Heron, Anatomy of a Fall, American Fiction, and Poor Things. The Friday "Night Light" show is Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai.
I'm seeing Fighter in Imax 3D tonight, and I'll probably catch the Chinese movies, Anatomy of a Fall, and maybe Origin as well, on top of seeing what's playing at a good time when I finish work. And, of course, trying to resist the temptation to fume at Boston not getting Alienoid: Return to the Future when there's clearly room and I've been waiting for a resolution to that cliffhanger for a year and a half!

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