Coming Attractions in Film: February 2010

By Justin Marble

Lots of John Ford westerns screening at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Harvard Film Archive this month. A scene from Ford

A stampede of John Ford westerns screen this month at the Museum of Fine Arts and the Harvard Film Archive. A scene from Ford's relatively unsung gem "Wagon Master."

Feb. 5-9, Recent Raves at the Brattle: Left out of the film talk at your last dinner party? Here’s your chance to get caught up. The Brattle is hosting a week of some of the best films of 2009, sponsored by the Boston Society of Film Critics. Harder to find titles like “Fantastic Mr. Fox,” “The Beaches of Agnes,” “The Hurt Locker,” and “Bad Lieutenant” are all being screened, each introduced by a different critic. Not a bad chance to get caught up before awards season.

Feb. 5-6, This is Spinal Tap w/live performances at the Coolidge: This one goes to 11—well, actually it starts at midnight. But the Coolidge is doing something a little different, presenting Rob Reiner’s classic rockumockumentary “This is Spinal Tap” with the bands Ramming Speed on Friday and Razormaze on Saturday. A good opportunity to catch up with the “Tap” while hearing some local bands perform the hilarious songs from the film.

Feb. 6, My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done at the Museum of Fine Arts: Werner Herzog’s new film, produced by David Lynch, tells the story of a young man convicted of murdering his mother with a sword after being inspired by Sophocles’ “Orestes.” Herzog is always a decidedly odd filmmaker, and this screening of “My Son, My Son, What Have Ye Done” includes a talk by Herb Golder, a Boston University classics professor who helped write the screenplay. My money’s on plenty of entertaining Herzog anecdotes and a fun (if not twisted) night at the movies.

A moment of heavy pouting in This is Spinal Tap

A moment of heavy pouting in "This is Spinal Tap."

Feb. 9, Free screening of In the Mood For Love at Harvard Film Archive: The Harvard Film Archive (HFA) is offering a free screening of a rare modern masterpiece, Wong Kar-Wai’s “In the Mood For Love.” The film tells the story of two friendly Hong Kong neighbors who each independently discover their spouses are being unfaithful.

Feb. 11-28, Lots of John Ford at the MFA and HFA: The Museum of Fine Arts (MFA) is screening many of master American director John Ford’s films from the 11th to the 28th, including “How the West Was Won,” “Rio Grande,” and “The Searchers.” Live on the other side of the river and don’t feel like making the trek? Well, the Harvard Film Archive is offering several Ford films at an overlapping time, from the 12th to the 15th. So there’s no excuse not to check out a few of Ford’s best films.

Feb. 19, 2010 Oscar Shorts at the Coolidge: If you want to pick up some points in your Oscar pool, you can get the edge by checking out the short films nominated every year. Nobody ever watches or cares about any of these, but they are a great chance to both recognize up-and-coming filmmakers and appreciate short-form film making. Go once and you’ll make it a habit every year.

March 1-2, Jonathan Demme receives the Coolidge Award at the Coolidge: So, this isn’t technically in February, but the logistics of posting these articles (and the fact that tickets will go fast) mean this is better to announce this month rather than next. Director Jonathan Demme, of “Silence of the Lambs” and “Rachel Getting Married,” fame is set to receive the Coolidge Award the weekend of the 1st to the 2nd. Demme will arrive at the theatre to accept the award and take place in the festivities. I had a chance to attend Thelma Schoonmaker’s ceremony a few years ago. The event really is a great celebration of film, and a unique experience that’s worth checking out.

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