Movie Forward is a weekly column designed to focus on particular occasions and repertory programming for the discerning Camberville filmgoer.
With the Covid-19 outbreak and social distancing restrictions nonetheless in place, film theaters have begun slowly to reopen. In consequence, “Movie Forward” will shift focus to movies new to streaming platforms and digital screening rooms of native theaters, digital native movie festivals and movies associated to our full critiques and present occasions.
Belmont World Movie’s Household Movie Pageant
Belmont World Movie kicks off its 18th annual household movie fest Friday – nearly. Usually the BWFFF performs the Brattle Theatre and Belmont Studio Cinema. The family-oriented fest is aimed toward youngsters as much as 12, shining a lightweight on worldwide and numerous cultures. This 12 months’s program will exhibit almost 50 options, documentaries and shorts via Jan. 24, together with movies to honor Martin Luther King Jr. on his federally noticed day of honor. Highlights embrace “Animal Magnetism,” shorts about animal that enchant; “The Bears Well-known Invasion of Sicily”; and “Fahim, the Little Chess Prince” starring Gerard Depardieu. Work retailers supplied embrace three classes on mannequin making for animated movies performed by the senior mannequin maker from Aardman (of the “Wallace & Gromit” movies) and a Junior Movie Critics workshop with WBZ’s Joyce Kulhawik and Boston Globe movie critics Ty Burr and Peter Keough. There can even be stay conversations with filmmakers and different native critics, journalists and consultants, together with one with me and South African filmmaker Shane Vermooten (“Kusasa”) on the conclusion of the competition. For listings and ticket data, go to belmontworldfilm.org.
Brattle’s new ‘Brattlite’ on-line cinema
As a part of its new “Brattlite” initiative, the Brattle Theatre launches “Brattle Selects” on Friday with a quartet of movies by Italian filmmaking icon Federico Fellini, who would have celebrated his a hundredth birthday in 2020. This system will embrace a brand new 4K restoration of his late-period characteristic “Intervista” (1987) from Janus Movies, together with unique runs of Fellini’s not often screened early works “Il Bidone” (1955) and “Selection Lights” (1950, his first), and his 1960 masterpiece “La Dolce Vita” starring Marcello Mastroianni and Anita Ekberg. Brattle Selects is a brand new, in-house curation to accompany its present, impartial targeted Digital Screening Room. Info is on the Brattle’s website.
‘Completely satisfied Face’ (2018)
Montreal-based director Alexandre Franchi’s movie is one thing of a contemporary rendering of Todd Browning’s eternally chilling “Freaks” (1932). The crew of societal castoffs and people shunned on the road listed here are people in a assist group for the disfigured. The rub is the brand new man Stan (Robin L’Houmeau), who beneath his bandaged face is a good-looking younger man who desires in for causes associated to his mom dying. The arc of the movie has Stan outed, however the group’s preliminary ire offers as Stan, one thing of an introvert himself (and into D&D), helps empower these usually afraid to stroll the road within the day or have a drink in a bar for worry of harassment. Franchi’s motion is just not all upswing; it strikes in some very darkish and perverse ebbs, and L’Houmeau within the pivotal function evokes a younger Bud Cort or Paul Dano. The movie was a part of 2019 Boston Underground Movie Fest on the Brattle, after we might all collect in a film home. Accessible on demand.
‘Pricey Comrades’ (2020)
Andrey Konchalovskiy might have one of many craziest filmmaker CVs on the market. In 1966 he co-wrote the good Russian Medieval epic “Andrei Rublev” with director Andrei Tarkovsky (“Solaris,” “Stalker”); his most famous work behind the lens is the sensible Alaskan jail break thriller “Runaway Prepare” in 1985 – after which there was that tacky cop buddy caper, “Tango & Money” (1989) pairing Kurt Russell with Sylvester Stallone. Right here Konchalovskiy goes again to his Russian roots in a docudrama concerning the Novocherkassk bloodbath in 1962, when manufacturing unit staff revolted after being requested to take meals and wage cuts throughout austerity measures. The response from authorities is self-righteous, indignant and incompetent (appears like one thing not too long ago seen on the information?). Konchalovskiy’s spouse, Yuliya Vysotskaya (wonderful), performs one of many loyalist bureaucrats caught between the generals and the mob, and all of a sudden on a quest to seek out her daughter on the opposite aspect of the dissent. Shot in stark black and white and with a somber tone, with sweeping occasions occurring simply off body, the movie would make an excellent double invoice with “The Painted Bird.” Not but streaming.
‘A Vigilante’ (2018)
Earlier than Olivia Extensive ducked behind the lens in 2019 to provide us the good, barbed girl-nerd comedy “Booksmart,” she starred on this home abuse revenge thriller that’s extra of a hands-on “Promising Young Woman.” Wilde’s Sadie, a survivalist who hits the bag, finds ladies who’re abused by their male companions and liberates them by any means attainable. It’s not far off from “The Equalizer” by the use of “Sleeping With the Enemy” (1992) as Sadie’s darkish previous comes for her. Wilde is okay, however the movie by no means scores its punches because it retains packing increasingly on. On Amazon Prime and on demand.
‘Steamboat Invoice Jr.’ (1928)
I’ve not too long ago been cleaning my cinematic palate with latest masterpieces (“The Wolf of Wall Avenue,” “The Parallax View” and “Platoon”) and classics reminiscent of this Buster Keaton silent, about an effete son (Keaton) of a cantankerous riverboat captain who comes dwelling to throw in along with his father (Ernest Torrence as Steamboat Invoice). Greater forces are at play as a steamboat firm desires a monopoly and tries to get Steamboat Invoice off the river. The technical accomplishments of the movie in scope and FX is gorgeous by at this time’s requirements, particularly the stunts completed by Keaton sans a web or stunt double. He, together with Chaplin and Harold Lloyd, outlined bodily comedy, and what they did again then nonetheless stands to awe. On Amazon Prime and on demand.
Christian values abound on this valuable child/damaged grownup redemption mission. Tommy (Scott Pryor, who additionally co-writes and co-directs), a semi-functional alcoholic and drug person who suffers from PTSD, will get blindsided when 9-year-old Tulsa (Livi Birch), residing in an abusive foster care dwelling, tags him as her father out of religion, and due to a photograph left by her deceased mother. It’s a troublesome promote to social staff, however finally Tulsa leads to Tommy’s cost. It’s actually her operating the present, clearing out the booze and dragging Tommy to church – Birch is one thing of a firecracker. The remainder of the movie is limp, bouncing between somber drama and “Annie” raucousness. “Tulsa” has an earnest coronary heart and purpose, however its blocky woodenness and didactic messaging aren’t any motive to rejoice. Not but streaming.
‘Wander Darkly’ (2020)
Given it’s about childbirth and regret, I’m reminded of the not too long ago launched “Items of a Girl.” Each movies are properly acted, however that latter movie suffered from obscene banality; right here author/director Tara Miele retains you in your toes with a nonlinear narrative that threatens to interrupt the fact barrier. Adrienne (Sienna Miller) and Matteo (Diego Luna) have a new child child. Adrienne wakes up in the future and appears to be having an out of physique expertise. Is she lifeless? Why is her mom (Beth Grant) taking good care of the infant? The plot retains folding in on itself. The solutions won’t be as sharp and good as you’d like, however the disjointed journey there’s definitely worth the value of admission. Accessible on demand.
‘Gorky Park’ (1983)
The movie trade misplaced a real gentleman and a gifted filmmaker when Michael Apted handed this week. Outlined by his “7 Up” documentary sequence, his CV won’t be as loopy as that of Andrey Konchalovskiy, however it’s extra eclectic. Who else can say they labored with John Belushi (“Continental Divide”), Sting (“Carry on the Evening”) and Jennifer Lopez (“Sufficient’)? Different Hollywood hits included “Coal Miner’s Daughter” (1980), “Gorillas within the Mist” (1988), “Nell” (1994) and this Russian (Shot largely in Finland) espionage thriller penned by Dennis Potter and starring Willam Damage, Lee Marvin and Brian Dennehy – a forged value seeing irrespective of who’s helming the mission. The movie’s extra about character research than concerning the murders a Moscow police officer (Damage) should resolve. I had the skilled honor and privilege to host a night not too long ago with Apted on the Kendall Sq. Cinema (pre-Covid) for a screening of his final movie, “63 Up.” On Amazon Prime, Sling and on demand.
Tom Meek is a author residing in Cambridge. His critiques, essays, brief tales and articles have appeared within the WBUR ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston Metropolis Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom can also be a member of the Boston Society of Movie Critics and rides his bike in all places.