05/02/2014 – 05/08/2014

FRIDAY, MAY 2

Motel Hell 2

MOTEL HELL    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1980    101 mins.    35mm

What Motel Hell brings to this genre is the refreshing sound of laughterIt’s to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre as Airplane! is to Airport. This movie is disgusting, of course. It’s impossible to satirize this material, I imagine, without presenting the subject matter you’re satirizing. But Motel Hell is not nearly as gruesome as the films it satirizes, and it finds the right stylistic note for its central characters, who are simple, cheerful, smiling, earnest, and resourceful cannibals.” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

THE HANDMAID’S TALE    7PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1990    109 mins.    35mm

German director Volker Schloendorff and screenwriter Harold Pinter scoop the surface aspects of Margaret Atwood’s novel carefully. Once you get pulled into this movie, The Handmaid’s Tale does turn out to be an otherworldly bad dream, with a time-delayed effect that hangs with you for days afterward, rapidly improving — or alarming — with age. What remains afterward is the sense of menace, the threat of this world.” – Deeson Howe, The Washington Post

 

THE WIZARD OF GORE    10PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1970    95 mins.    35mm

“The most interesting product from cinematic gorehound Herschell Gordon Lewis presents its Grand Guignol violence within a surreal, self-referential framework. Written pseudonymously by the director himself, The Wizard of Gore could be taken as a pointed poke at the appetites of Lewis’ own audience. Viewers of the film are indicted along with the onscreen spectators, as guilty for the eventual dismemberments as the evil magician himself.” – Fred Beldin, AllMovie

 

ALPHAVILLE    11:00AM, 1:35PM, 4:00PM, 7:15PM & 9:45PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1965    99 mins.    DCP

It’s an irrevocably bleak hallucination, and one of a future that has in some ways already arrived. Raoul Coutard’s photography looks like the flip side of the all-sleek-all-white-everything Apple-look that’s currently in vogue; inky blacks flattening out each frame; coming from the night skies, from Karina’s coat, from a shadow cast by menacingly-angled piece of architecture. If an iPod commercial had a nightmare, it would look like Alphaville.” – Jake Mulligan, Movie Mezzanine

 

GODZILLA    5:15PM, 7:45PM & 9:55PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1954    96 mins.    TBD

From the scary thuds and depth charges that accompany the no-frills titles to the bizarrely poignant final image of Godzilla standing alone at the bottom of the ocean, the movie is all business and pure dream. As crass as it is visionary, Godzilla belongs with—and might well trump—the art films Hiroshima Mon Amour and Dr. Strangelove as a daring attempt to fashion a terrible poetry from the mind-melting horror of atomic warfare.” – J. Hoberman, The Village Voice

 

SATURDAY, MAY 3

Magic

MAGIC    5:15 & 9:15PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1978    107 mins.    35mm

Magic is above all lonesome and lovesick. It’s the tale of a strange little guy who earns the keys to the kingdom and falls out the window of his castle’s parapet, seeking a way to express himself and discovering instead a voice that won’t stop expressing itself. If you buy into it as an allegory for the terrible price of fame and fortune, then Magic becomes a canny, terrifying look at what the pursuit of acceptance can do to those who are essentially unacceptable.” – Walter Chaw, Film Freak Central

 

THE MAD MAGICIAN    3:30 & 7:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1954    70 mins.    TBD

“An often overlooked and decidedly minor effort, but it’s still well worth revisiting mainly due to its lovable iconic leading man, Vincent Price. Although he had essayed a number of sinister roles since the 1930s, Price has to turn from mild mannered inventor to homicidal nutcase almost instantly, so his usual ham is sliced thick when enacting frequently visited acts of rage.” – George R. Reis, DVD Drive-In

 

ALPHAVILLE    11:00AM, 1:35PM, 4:00PM, 7:15PM & 9:45PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1965    99 mins.    DCP

See above.

 

GODZILLA    2:30PM, 5:15PM, 7:45PM & 9:55PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1954    96 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

MOTEL HELL    11:59PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1980    101 mins.    35mm

See above.

 

SUNDAY, MAY 4

It Happened One Night

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

 

THE BATTLE OF RUSSIA    5PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1943    83 mins.    35mm

“Capra wasn’t above cribbing from the greats, and he does so in an interesting montage which is culled from Sergei Eisenstein’s Alexander Nevsky. This particular entry in the Why We Fight series has come under probably the most blistering attack for its blatantly propagandistic approach to the subject. Still, the film has a certain emotional sway, especially when it concentrates on some of the everyday Soviets.” – Jeffrey Kaufmann, Blu-Ray.com

 

SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES    3PM, 5PM & 7PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1983    95 mins.    35mm

The gee-whiz quality to this adventure is far more excessive in Mr. Bradbury’s novel than it is hereSomething Wicked This Way Comes, which also features the beautiful Pam Grier as a demonic temptress (she is first seen fondling a pet spider) and Diane Ladd as Jim’s vaguely neglectful mother, shouldn’t bore adults in the audience. But its fancifulness makes it a film best suited to children, though it may scare them at times. ” – Janet Maslin, The New York Times

 

LORD OF ILLUSIONS    9:15PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1995    109 mins.    35mm

“Clive Barker’s specialty, in this film as in the Hellraiser series, is a bloody finale with lots of special effects, and this time he outdoes himself. Faces morph into bones and rotting sores, characters fly through the air, tunnels are opened into the bowels of the earth, nightmares become real, and Nix’s evil lusts are horrifyingly revealed. Horror fans will get their money’s worth. ” – Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

 

ALPHAVILLE    11:00AM, 1:35PM, 4:00PM, 7:15PM & 9:45PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1965    99 mins.    DCP

See above.

 

GODZILLA    2:30PM, 5:15PM & 7:45PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1954    96 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

MONDAY, MAY 5

North By Northwest

NORTH BY NORTHWEST    7PM    At Coolidge Corner Theatre. 290 Harvard Street, Brookline MA 02446    1959    136 mins.    35mm

“In a way, it’s one of Hitchcock’s least personal films, but that also means it’s free of the troubling (and sometimes sickening) psychological baggage that makes a movie like Vertigo such a study in conflicting emotions. It’s about the only Hitchcock picture that’s sexy without being salacious, thanks mainly to Ernest Lehman’s barbed dialogue and the scalding rapport between Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint.” – Sam Adams, Philadelphia City Paper

 

STATE OF THE UNION    7PM    At Harvard Film Archive. 24 Quincy Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1948    124 mins.    35mm

But regardless of partisan reactions—and there are bound to be plenty of those, in view of the frank and intensely topical nature of the yarn—it cannot be denied that this picture which Frank Capra has made from the popular Lindsay-Crouse stage play, is a slick piece of screen satire. If anything, it is sharper in its knife-edged slicing at the hides of pachyderm schemers and connivers than was the original.” – Bosley Crowther, The New York Times

 

THE MAGICIAN    5PM, 7:15PM & 9:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1958    100 mins.    35mm

The Magician is one of Bergman’s most enigmatic films, perhaps his underground masterpiece, one of the keys to his cinema. Mourning his past, he makes an inventory of his themes in order to proclaim their end, bringing back all his characters, all his actors, who return for a bow. Everything is there, everyone is there, but beneath, abstraction is at work, mystery rumbles, doubt is gnawing at the whole. ” – Olivier Assayas, Cahiers Du Cinema

 

ALPHAVILLE    1:35PM, 4:00PM, 7:15PM & 9:45PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1965    99 mins.    DCP

See above.

 

GODZILLA    5:15PM & 7:45PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1954    96 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

TUESDAY, MAY 6

Trancers 2

TRANCERS    7:30PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    1985    76 mins.    Digital Video

“Helen Hunt is very hot in this, as she usually is. I wonder what Tim Thomerson thought when she won her Oscar, or even before that when she was on Mad About You, making $1 mil an episode the final season. Did he think ‘I had a love scene with her’ or ‘I carried her over my shoulder while she wore a cute Santa’s elf costume?’ Maybe he didn’t, but I thought that as I watched this film.” – Matt Poirier, Direct To Video Connoisseur

 

ALPHAVILLE    1:35PM, 4:00PM, 7:15PM & 9:45PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1965    99 mins.    DCP

See above.

 

GODZILLA    5:15PM & 7:45PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1954    96 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

WEDNESDAY, MAY 7

Unforgiven

UNFORGIVEN    7:30PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1992    131 mins.    35mm

Clint Eastwood’s defining commentary on – and deconstruction of – the gunslinger persona that made him an icon, Unforgiven remains the actor/director’s crowning achievement. The film exhibits Eastwood’s trademark directorial classicism (expert framing, sharp editing, quiet grace without a showy moment to speak of) and a soul-wracking despair born from Munny’s acknowledgement that ‘killing a man is a hell of a thing.'” – Nick Schager, Lessons Of Darkness

 

LONE STAR    10PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1996    135 mins.    35mm

“Brilliant. A mystery that is really a stunning panorama of America with all of its open landscape and closed-mindedness. This is a so-called small film because it has none of the special effects or explosions that mark other summertime releases. Come December, when Lone Star makes a lot of critics’ best-of-the-year lists, moviegoers will say, ‘Gee, I missed that one.’ It doesn’t have to be that way, you know.” – Gene Siskel, Chicago Tribune

 

DECEPTIVE PRACTICES: THE MYSTERIES AND MENTORS OF RICKY JAY    8PM & 10PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2012    88 mins.    DCP

“This renowned sleight-of-hand artist and magic-history expert began his illusionist apprenticeship at age four, building a card-based repertoire that would lead to a run of highly successful one-person shows. The man himself has rarely been profiled without noticeable reluctance, though documentarians Molly Bernstein and Alan Edelstein delve fairly deep by allowing their subject to guide them where he may. ” – Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

 

ALPHAVILLE    1:35PM, 4:00PM, 7:15PM & 9:45PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1965    99 mins.    DCP

See above.

 

GODZILLA    5:15PM & 7:45PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1954    96 mins.    TBD

See above.

 

THURSDAY, MAY 8

The Prestige

THE PRESTIGE    8PM    At Brattle Theatre. 40 Brattle Street, Cambridge MA 02138    2006    130 mins.    35mm

An epic, wildly homoerotic dick-measuring contest between two turn-of-the-century magicians played by Christian Bale and Hugh Jackman, The Prestige is an intricately structured, relentlessly propulsive puzzle-box—one that, unlike the modern ‘twist movies’ I so frequently despise, actually plays fair with the audience, and becomes richer and more rewarding after you’ve finally parsed out its many secrets.” – Sean Burns, The House Next Door

 

ALPHAVILLE    1:35PM, 4:00PM, 7:15PM & 9:45PM    At Kendall Square Cinema. 1 Kendall Square, Cambridge MA 02139    1965    99 mins.    DCP

See above.

 

GODZILLA    5:15PM & 7:45PM    At Somerville Theatre. 55 Davis Square, Somerville MA 02144    1954    96 mins.    TBD

See above.

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