04/18/2014 – 04/24/2014

FRIDAY, APRIL 18

Raging Bull 2

RAGING BULL    9:30PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1980    129 mins.    35mm

“An American masterwork, a fusion of Hollywood genre with personal vision couched in images and sounds that are kinetic and visceral, and closer to poetry than pulp. The film is a perfect match of form and content. Its sculptural weight can only be appreciated on the big screen. Scorsese has never again treated the history of a form, a medium, and a culture so radically, or made so complicated a meditation on the relations among spectacle, entertainment, and art.” – Amy Taubin, The Village Voice

 

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO    9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1988    86 mins.    DCP

“Miyazaki is a more than just a family filmmaker: he’s a poet, a philosopher, an artist. He makes every moment lyrical, every location alive, every blade of grass unique, every paved road imbued with its own characteristics and flaws. He takes a small story and shifts it into a transcendent experience; a vision of small-town life as low-to-the-ground as it is fantastical. It’s magical realism at its most magical.” – Jake Mulligan, Edge Boston

 

SPIRITED AWAY    7PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2001    125 mins.    35mm

“The most successful director in Japan, Miyazaki pursues his visions with unbridled imagination, and Spirited Away is as pure an expression of that vision as we’ve seen, melding the child’s-eye view of Kiki’s Delivery Service and My Neighbor Totoro with the dark, spiritualist overtones of Princess Mononoke. Miyazaki never fails to reimagine each aspect of his world; you can get the greatest joy from the tiniest of details.” – Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper

 

RAIN MAN    7PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144     1988    133 mins.    35mm

“I think the film is about acceptance. Charlie Babbitt’s first appearance in the movie has him wheeling and dealing in the face of imminent ruin, trying to control his life and the lives of others by blind, arrogant willpower. What Raymond teaches him is that he can relax, because try as he might, he will always be powerless over other people. Raymond has a lot he can teach Charlie about acceptance, even if it is the solitary thing he knows.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

BASTARDS    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2013    100 mins.     35mm

“A poet of the human face, Ms. Denis fills the movie with close-ups that give you a searching intimacy with the characters, allowing you to explore the creases in Mr. Lindon’s face and the curve of Ms. Créton’s lips. The pleasures are in the crystalline beauty and mystery of her images, and the way that she puts all these images, including her expressive faces, into play with the fragmented dialogue and vaporous themes.” – Manohla Dargis, The New York Times

 

THE DEVIL’S EXPRESS (GANG WARS)     11:59PM     At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA    02446    1976    82 mins.    35mm

“Now here’s a movie that would have a far larger audience if everyone knew exactly how insane it really is. Featuring a fantastic funk soundtrack trying its damnedest to ape Lalo Schifrin, outrageous fashion choices, a complete dearth of acting ability all around and a nutty cameo by Brother Theodore as a priest. This is as entertaining as ’70s cinematic junk food gets.” – Nathaniel Thompson, Mondo Digital

 

SATURDAY, APRIL 19

ET

E.T. THE EXTRA-TERRESTRIAL    2PM & 8PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1982    115 mins.    35mm

“The most striking thing about E.T. isn’t its timely touches, but its timelessness. The film now looks better than ever. The precisely executed uplift never seems phony, and the heroes’ goodness is never adulterated by cynicism or even ambiguity. Childhood wonder wouldn’t be nearly as sweet if it didn’t fade. That may explain the film’s appeal. It trapped that feeling, and its sense of possibility, in amber—then, now, and for any time.” – Keith Phipps, The A.V. Club

 

A REPORT ON THE PARTY AND THE GUESTS    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1968    71 mins.    35mm

“Nemec’s film had the distinction of being banned ‘forever’ in Czechoslovakia upon its completion. Nemec protested that his film was not a specific attack on his country’s communist regime but insisted that his depiction of authoritarianism could apply anywhere; ‘only the clothes would be different.’ One sees what he means, looking at it today. The film is both absolutely of its time and constantly prophetic.” – Glenn Kenny, The Aueturs’ Notebook

 

GANDHI    4:30PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1982     188 mins.    35mm

“This is the sort of rare epic film that spans the decades, that uses the proverbial cast of thousands, and yet follows a human thread from beginning to end. The movie earns comparison with two classic works by David Lean, Lawrence of Arabia and Doctor Zhivago, in its ability to paint a strong human story on a very large canvas.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

A HOLE IN THE HEAD    9PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1959    120 mins.    35mm

“This is another of those wonderfully colloquial American comedies that has the recklessness, the sentiment, the flavor and the stabbing pathos of what we like to reckon as average American life. But the prize goes to Mr. Sinatra, who makes the hero of this vibrant color film a softhearted, hardboiled, white-souled black sheep whom we will cherish as one of the great guys that Mr. Capra has escorted to the American screen.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

 

SPIRITED AWAY    12PM, 4:30PM & 9PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2001    125 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

MY NEIGHBOR TOTORO    2:30PM & 7PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1988 86 mins. DCP

See above.

 

THE DEVIL’S EXPRESS (GANG WARS) 11:59PM At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1976    82 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

SUNDAY, APRIL 20

Labyrinth

LABYRINTH    3PM & 7:15PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1986    101 mins.    35mm

“I identified with Jennifer Connelly’s protagonist, Sarah, and not just because we’re both drop dead gorgeous.Labyrinth‘s fascination for me is its way of merging the darker Jim Henson from Saturday Night Live and those Wilkins Coffee commercials with the sweet, lovely man whose voice and puppetry hosted the Muppet Show and Sesame Street News. It brings him full circle and reconciles the two sides of his genius.” – Odie Henderson, The House Next Door

 

THE DARK CRYSTAL    1PM, 5:15 & 9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1982    93 mins.    35mm

“Here, as in such ambitious films as Blade Runner and Diva, texture is more important than text. The slow funeral procession of Mystics across an undulating desert; the Skeksis’ cruddy doge’s palace, in which these hilariously sloppy eaters dine on live Podlings and scheme for ascendancy; Jen’s dream sequence, briefly sparkling with hope and memory—all are set pieces that justify the expense and the viewer’s attention.” – Richard Corliss, Time Magazine

 

THE PRINCESS BRIDE    2PM & 7PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1987    100 mins.    35mm

“A full-length fairy tale full of fanciful characters, madcap adventures and a lot of other things surely not to every taste. But The Princess Bride has sweetness and sincerity on its side, and when it comes to fairy tales, those are major assets. It also has a delightful cast and a cheery, earnest style that turns out to be ever more disarming as the film moves along.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

BEETLEJUICE    4PM & 9PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1988    92 mins.    35mm

“Michael Keaton plays the eponymous spookmeister as a live-action Tex Avery creation—part used-car huckster, part irrepressible horndog, part Groucho Marx-like putdown artist, and all-around malevolent force of nature. My colleague Nathan Rabin floated the theory that Heath Ledger’s performance as The Joker in The Dark Knight owes something to Keaton’s Betelgeuse, and I think there’s something to that.” – Scott Tobias, The New Cult Canon

 

LADIES OF LEISURE    5PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1930    99 mins.    35mm

“The photoplay is a searching portrayal of a type of metropolitan girl known as a ‘gold-digger’ and stands quite alone for its amusing dialogue, the restrained performances of nearly all the players and a general lightness of handling that commends the direction of Frank Capra. The picture is sufficiently variegated in drama and more amusing moments to be attractive film fare.” – Mordaunt Hall, The New York Times

 

IT HAPPENED ONE NIGHT    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1934    105 mins.    35mm

It Happened One Night still feels unbeatably fresh and shiveringly touching. It’s partly in the way Gable, with his whip-smart devilishness, softens just enough to reach out to meet Colbert, saucily innocent yet nobody’s fool, more than halfway. And Colbert, with her wisenheimer smirk and stylishly trim frame, represents cultured coolness that’s as far as you can get from coldness.” – Stephanie Zacharek, Salon

 

MONDAY, APRIL 21

The Silence Of The Lambs

THE SILENCE OF THE LAMBS    8PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1991    118 mins.    35mm

“Hopkins plays the monster with a fine, cold relish: he gives the character a mesmeric animal stillness, the terrifying opacity of a cobra. And the impact of his performance is heightened by its contrast with everything surrounding it: the scrupulous realism of Demme’s style, the mundane details of police procedure, and, in particular, the emotional transparence of the heroine. It has an unnerving intimacy.” – Terrence Rafferty, The New Yorker

 

AMERICAN MADNESS    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1932     75 mins.     35mm

“This embryonic Capra template would be directly used (and improved upon) in Mr. Deeds Goes To Town and Mr. Smith Goes To Washington, where a folksy man underestimated by his opponents is vindicated at the very moment where his emotional strength and sanity is about to crack. As a model for the later common men vs. institutions sagas, American Madness is pretty essential for anyone interested in Capra.” – Vadim Rizov, The House Next Door

 

THE MUPPET MOVIE    11:30AM & 5:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1978    95 mins.    35mm

“The Muppet Movie was released in 1979, just in time to sum up much of what 1970s pop culture had to offer: soft rock, self-help, and crafting. In the wrong hands, these could be insipid, but Jim Henson had great hands. With his Muppets, Henson found a balance between fuzzy post-hippie positivism and self-deprecating wit.” – Noel Murray, The Dissolve

 

THE GREAT MUPPET CAPER    1:30PM & 7:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1981    95 mins.    35mm

The Great Muppet Caper succeeds by following a different rule of film sequels: Go bigger. It’s a film that positively revels in its big, broad artificiality, deriving tremendous comedic freedom from direct takes to the camera and the running gag that the reporter characters ‘played’ by Kermit and Fozzie are identical twins. Not bad for a second try.” – Erik Adams, The A.V. Club

 

THE MUPPETS TAKE MANHATTAN    3:30PM & 9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1984    94 mins.    DCP

“The plot of your movie has been seen before. I doubt if that will come as news to you. The Muppets Take Manhattan is yet another retread of the reliable old formula in which somebody says ‘Hey, gang! Our senior class musical show is so good, I’ll bet we could be stars on Broadway!’ The fact that this plot is not original does not deter you, Kermit, nor should it. It’s still a good plot.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

TUESDAY, APRIL 22

Where The Wild Things Are

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE    9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2009    101 mins.    TBD

“What stays with you is the sadness. There’s an almost unbearable undertow of melancholy in director Spike Jonze’s awkward, arty adaptation of Maurice Sendak’s 1963 picture book that is entirely unexpected. Jonze’s film is both magical and strange. It’s an extraordinarily subjective experience, burrowing so deeply into its child hero’s perspective that the movie works something like a Rorschach test for viewers.
” – Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly

 

THE MARK OF ZORRO    7PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1920    90 mins.    35mm

“Douglas Fairbanks capitalized on his physical agility and devil-may-care attitude to play the lead in The Mark of Zorro and, in the process, became the prototype for a new kind of hero. While modestly budgeted in comparison to later swashbucklers, it serves up a succession of spectacular swordfights and gravity-defying stunts in lieu of an opulent production.” – Jeff Stafford, Turner Classic Movies

 

JURASSIC PARK    8PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1993    127 mins.    35mm

“Steven Spielberg’s Jurassic Park is a true movie milestone, presenting awe-and fear-inspiring sights never before seen on the screen. The more spectacular of these involve the fierce, lifelike dinosaurs that stalk through the film with astounding ease. Sometimes matching the scare value of Jaws (though they also occasionally suggest an educational trip to the World’s Fair), this film’s dinosaurs trample its humans both literally and figuratively.” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23

Pee Wee

PEE-WEE’S BIG ADVENTURE    3:30PM, 5:30PM, 7:30pm & 9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1985    90 mins.    TBD

“To my mind, Tim Burton has never matched the sustained invention of his debut comedy, Pee-wee’s Big Adventure, a near-perfect synthesis of two sensibilities (the other belonging to Pee-wee creator Paul Reubens) stuck in the blissful Neverland of eternal childhood. Burton was an animator before he was a filmmaker, and that cartoony playfulness hasn’t entirely left him.” – Scott Tobias, The New Cult Canon

 

WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE    1PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2009    101 mins.    TBD

See above.

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