The DocYard takes a break from The Brattle; HFA still French, Somerville still ‘Hard Boiled’


Film Ahead is a weekly column highlighting special events and repertoire programming for the discerning Camberville movie buff. It also includes capsule reviews of films that are not subject to a feature film review.

local orientation

For Mother’s Day, cheeky people at The Brattle play Alfred Hitchcock’s ‘Psycho’ (1960), starring Anthony Perkins as the ultimate mummy’s boy and innkeeper at the infamous Bates Motel – where taking a relaxing shower prompts more than just a catchy Bernard Herrmann riff.

The penultimate Docyard Season screening is Monday, with “Lo que dejamos atrás” (“What we leave behind”). Co-presented with CineFest Latino Boston, Iliana Sosa’s film follows the saga of an 89-year-old Mexican named Julián who takes a bus across the border to the United States every year to visit his daughters in El Paso, Texas. Due to age restrictions and borders, “What We Leave Behind” marks his final journey, while undertaking the incredible task of building an accessible abode for his blind son on native soil. Filmmaker Sosa will be present.

As we noted, and especially sad for the underserved documentary community, The DocYard is going on hiatus at the end of the month. Call me crazy, but may I suggest that the Boston Globe, owned by Sox owner John Henry and proud exhibitor of documentaries in his GlobeDoc Film Fest, support the program with current sponsor The Lef Foundation?

It’s a Wednesday night stand with musician Nick Cave on “This Much I Know to be True.” Directed by Andrew Dominik (“Killing Them Softly”, “The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford”), the documentary tackles the creative relationship between Cave and his longtime collaborator Warren Ellis.

The Brattle shifts gears with a unique collection of three films loosely linked by theme, director and once-“it” indie actress, Linda Manz. From Friday to Thursday, it’s a new restoration of Dennis Hopper’s “Out of the Blue” (1980), the spiritual sequel to “Easy Rider,” its 1969 debut capturing the rebellious angst of the era. (“Easy Rider” plays next week.) Hopper plays a truck driver who goes to jail after crashing into a drunk bus, his daughter’s rebellious evolution while inside, and their difficult reunion when he is released. On Saturday, The Brattle makes a double poster of Manz by showing a 35MM copy of Terrence Malick’s visually and aurally compelling “Days of Heaven,” in which a farmhand (Richard Gere) convinces his girlfriend (Brooke Adams) to marry the wealthy but dying Texas Landlord they work for (Sam Shepard). The shots of the golden wheat field and the staging of a swarm of locusts are breathtaking. Manz plays Adams’ daughter, who provides the dreamy, hypnotic voiceover. It’s a must-have on the big screen.

white space

The “Forgotten Films of the French New Wave” continue tonight at Harvard Film Archives with “Love at Sea” by Guy Gilles (1964). The rest of the week sees “A simple story (1959) and “America seen by a Frenchman” (François Reichenbach, 1960), “Witness in the city” (Édouard Molinaro, 1959), “The Doll” (Jacques Baratier , 1962) and “Moranbong” (Claude-Jean Bonnardot, 1960).

white space

More at Somerville Theater there are more hip, high-quality repertoire programs with meta spins on cinematic icons Jean-Claude Van Damme and eccentric Cantabrian John Malkovich, who play fictionalized versions of themselves in “JCVD” (2008 ) and “Being John Malkovich” (1999). Many are more likely familiar with Spike Jonze’s wildly brilliant deconstructive take (written by “Adaptation.” scribe Charlie Kaufman) that turned Malkovich’s brain into an otherworldly portal traversed by struggling puppeteer John Cusack. (The fantasy cast also includes Cameron Diaz, Charlie Sheen, Catherine Keener and Octavia Spencer.) Mabrouk El Mechri’s alter-reality and semi-biographical take on martial arts bad boy Van Damme is almost as stark, however, as with JCVD ​​caught in a fictional bank robbery situation in which he reflects on his personal life during the standoff. El Mechri never really did much before or after. Films show on Mondays and Tuesdays.

Wednesday’s “Hard Boiled Double Feature” couple serves John Frankenheimer’s gritty neo-noir “52 Pick Up” (1986), adapted from the Elmore Leonard novel by Leonard himself (the detective novelist only wrote a handful of storylines) and another crime drama that was widely dismissed when it was released, Christopher McQuarrie’s “The Way of the Gun” (2000). Frankenheimer (“Ronin,” “The Manchurian Candidate”) had been largely relegated to directing B movies by this time in his career, which goes a long way to deepening his seedy and nasty exploitative game involving the businessman married to Roy Schneider (to Ann-Margaret), who gets upset by a sadistic con man (John Glover, sublime) when he has an affair with an exotic dancer (Kelly Preston). McQuarrie, who won an Oscar for writing ‘The Usual Suspects’ (1995), would make his directorial debut with this Peckinpah-style frontier drama starring Ryan Phillippe, Benicio Del Toro and Juliette Lewis, then won’t direct a movie for another 12 years. years. Although ‘Way’ didn’t fare so well critically or financially, Tom Cruise was a fan of the film and worked with McQuarrie (screenplay only) on ‘Valkyrie’ (2008) – then hired him to direct several Jack Reacher” and “Mission Impossible”. ” chapters. McQuarrie is also the scribe of “Maverick”, the sequel to “Top Gun” (1985) which opens in two weeks.

Two dark tales from director Abel Ferrara (“The King of New York,” “Bad Lieutenant”) play Thursday: “The Addiction” (1995) and “Ms. 45” (1981). The first, starring Lili Taylor and Christopher Walken, chronicles the struggles of a graduate student bitten by a vampire trying to suppress her newly inflamed bloodlust; the latter is a classic revenge flick with B-trims in which a shy, mute woman, brutalized by men twice in one day, picks up a gun and takes to the streets to collect those who got it. Friday is “The Ring” with Naomi Watts, the 2002 remake of the Japanese horror classic “Ringu” (1998), co-presented with the Slaughterhouse Society. He’ll be doing a “Slaughterhouse Preshow” which appears to be a lot of gory cosplay and raucous “Rocky Horror Show” style skits.

white space

In theaters and streaming

‘Exhibition 36’ (2022)

Mackenzie Mauro’s feature debut is an apocalyptic, dreamlike neo-noir. Life on Earth is three days away from a climate cataclysm, but Cam (Charles Ouda), an aspiring photographer and prescription drug dealer, is resigned to staying in New York and filling the orders. When he hears a client’s call for help, Cam is unaware that he is walking into a crossroads between an underground criminal enterprise and local politics. If you’re coming for an apocalyptic rendition, you may feel cheated when this mumblecore indie transitions to a more conventional film about an ordinary man in over his head; However, Mauro is an ambitious director who manages to make a magnificent film. He also pays homage. Cam’s visions of death and danger recall the killer’s delusions in Michael Mann’s “Manhunter” (1986); the first action sequence has a Brian De Palma energy, as Cam wields his camera and flash as a weapon against tough guys; when specters appear to Cam, it is hauntingly reminiscent of “Donnie Darko” (2001); and the final shot pays homage to the last scene of “Take Shelter” (2011). Afterwards, viewers can claim to buy the soundtrack, which gives the odd impression that Cliff Martinez, the composer of Nicolas Winding Refn’s “The Neon Demon” (2016), did – he didn’t. did not. (Sarah Vincent) On Apple TV+ from Tuesday.

Tom Meek is a writer living in Cambridge. His reviews, essays, short stories, and articles have appeared in literary journals The ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston City Paper, and WBUR’s SLAB. Tom is also a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and bikes everywhere.


Comments are closed.