Coming Attractions in Film: October 2011

New England theaters, and especially Boston’s, have compiled a fantastic lineup of programs for October, a classically-great month for films (especially if horror is your thing).

There’s most likely not enough space in your calendar to fill all the fairy tales, culture, science, and gag-inducing gore that area theaters are rolling out, but here’s a little compilation of the not-to-be-missed. The Arts Fuse will have a Halloween film preview later this month, but for now, here’s plenty to keep your eyes busy.

By Maraithe Thomas.

What a cute baby bud — the meat-eating plant chows down in 1960's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS.

Little Shop of Horrors. Science on the Screen at the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA, October 3, 7 p.m.

In the great tradition of October horror film marathons, the Coolidge Corner Theatre is kicking off theirs early this year—in the name of science! The seventh season of Science on Screen—a wonderful program that pairs great films with brief, interesting lectures from an expert on a subject related to that film—eases into the horror genre starting Monday with The Little Shop of Horrors. The 1960 classic black comedy about a flesh-eating plant isn’t horror per se, but it’s sure to whet your appetite for an entire month of flesh and blood. For the science aspect, ecologist Aaron Ellison will outline how exactly carnivorous plants function in an ecosystem (remember those?).

Peter and Alice Repertory Series. At the Brattle Theatre, Cambridge, MA, October 11–13.

The Brattle is paying homage to two of the most beloved names in fairy tales, juxtaposing a pair of double features with new and old variations on Peter Pan and Alice in Wonderland. Celebrating the two stories with a melange of films based on the classic books, including a double feature of the 1933 Alice in Wonderland starring Cary Grant and a host of others with 1985’s Dreamchild and another pairing Steven Spielberg’s “sequel,” Hook with 2003’s Peter Pan.

Recent Raves Repertory Series. At the Brattle, October 15–26.

If you’re like me, there’s no way to get to all the new releases that come out in a given season, and let’s face it: not every film gets a three-month theater run (ahem, Midnight in Paris). That’s where the Brattle heroically steps in with their Recent Raves series, a group of great films from this summer in case you missed them or want to go back for a second viewing. They’re showing Errol Morris’s documentary Tabloid, Miranda July’s The Future, and Meek’s Cutoff, to name a few.

The Legend of Taylor Mead. At the Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA, October 21–24.

Avant garde and 60s counterculture acting icon Taylor Mead will be honored in October at the Harvard Film Archive. Not only that, Mead will be there in person for three nights of a four-night tribute. The performer, who also starred in the 1969 classic Midnight Cowboy and, more recently, in Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes, will be present at screenings of The Flower Thief, a film inspired by the poetry of Allen Ginsberg, on October 21.

The Boston Palestine Film Festival. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA, October 21–30.

To add a little culture and perhaps controversy to your October film schedule, the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) presents its fifth annual Boston Palestine Film Festival. They’ve crammed 20 films that celebrate Palestinian culture into 10 days at the end of the month. (The trailer above is from the opening film of the festival: The Time that Remains) Also worth noting is that the MFA continues to show Christian Marclay’s 24-hour film The Clock, which samples thousands of movie clips featuring time-telling devices, syncing the clips with the actual time in the piece.


For those who can’t get enough Ryan Gosling this month (read everyone), George Clooney’s got you covered with the political drama The Ides of March. In the heat of a tight, democratic presidential primary in Ohio, in which Clooney plays one of the candidates, Gosling, an adviser to the campaign, gets mixed up in the cutthroat dealmaking and coverups of today’s American politics. Gosling shines high above Clooney’s ramblings in this one, accompanied by great performances by Phillip Seymour Hoffman (but really, when is he not great?) and Paul Giamatti.

Sigh. I can’t even read about this movie without feeling physically ill, so I’m just going to say that if you want more information on what The Human Centipede 2 (one of only a handful of movies ever to be banned by the British Board of Film Classification) involves, you might have to brave Google. Here’s a hint: It involves barbed wire. Director Tom Six made some concessions to allow the film to be screened in America, and, lucky you, it opens at the Coolidge Corner Theatre on October 17. But for The Arts Fuse readers who have the nerve, here is the trailer. Click if you dare . . .

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