Coming Attractions in Film: February 2012

By Tim Jackson.

You may be still catching up on the Academy Award, Golden Globe, People’s Choice, or SAG picks. But this month offers some rare and wonderful treats for film fans of all kinds. The Boston area schools are back, and colleges, museums, and independent theaters are bringing in foreign delights, shorts, a German trilogy, a curious horror flick, and documentaries. There are even opportunities to participate in Q&As with directors. It’s why film buffs love Boston.

A scene from MY SPECTACULAR THEATER, part of the REELAbilitiesBoston Film Festival

REELAbilitiesBoston Film Festival. At various locations, February 2–8.

A gathering of movies that will enlighten and amaze you. These are joyous and inspiring stories of struggle and triumph, coming to Boston as part of a partnership with the Boston Jewish Film Festival.The films included are My Spectacular Theater, War Eagle, Arkansas, Shooting Beauty, Snow Cake, Warrior Champions, and Anita.

 The B.U. Cinematheque Series. At Boston University, February 3, 10, 17, and 24, 7 p.m.

Put together by longtime Boston critic, professor, and filmmaker Gerald Peary, this series is one the city’s hidden gems. Each Friday Peary invites a writer, producer, or director to discuss and screen his or her work. You may not have heard of all of them, but the conversations and Q&A sessions are enlightening and full of good humor. Why a film student would miss this is beyond me! Free and open to the public while seats last.

The Dreileben Trilogy (Three Lives). At ArtsEmerson, Paramount Center, 559 Washington St., Boston, MA, February 3–11.

Born from a conversation about genre among three of Germany’s leading contemporary filmmakers, Dreileben is a uniquely collaborative project, a trilogy of interlocking movies that focus on the same sensationalist news story. The escape of a convicted murderer in a small, German town is told from completely different points of view and in contrasting styles.

Beats Being Dead (Etwas Besseres Als Den Tod) (Feb. 3, 6 p.m. Feb. 10, 7:30 p.m. Feb. 11,  5 p.m.)
Don’t Follow Me Around (Komm Mir Nicht Nach) (Feb. 3, 7:45 p.m., Feb. 10, 9:15 p.m., Feb. 11, 6:45 p.m.)
One Minute of Darkness (Eine Minute Dunkel) (Feb. 5, 2 p.m., Feb. 11, 8:45 p.m.)

The Blue Kite. At The Brattle Theater, Cambridge, MA, February 8, 7 p.m.

Presented in conjunction with the American Repertory Theater’s production of Wild Swans. A beautiful film that explores modern Chinese politics, human nature, and the madness of the Cultural Revolution. Directed by a “5th Generation” Chinese filmmaker, The Blue Kite kicked up some controversy because of its “indirect” subversion.


The Theatre Bizarre. At the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA, February 10 and 11, 11 p.m.

Emerson College and the Boston Underground Film Festival present this bizarre sounding bit of horror for two more midnight screenings. Executive producer Daryl Tucker will be on hand for the Saturday, February 11th screening.

If Not Us, Who (Wer wenn nicht wir). At the Coolidge Corner Theatre, Brookline, MA, February 19, 11 a.m.

The Goethe Institute continues its long-running series of contemporary German films that for some reason or another have not received commercial distribution here. If Not Us, Who is based on the a true story of Red Army Faction members Bernward Vesper and Gudrun Ensslin. The story embraces German history, love, commitment, terrorism, and morality.

2012 Academy Award-Nominated Short Films. At The Institute of Contemporary Art, Boston, MA, February 20 through March 11.

The Academy Awards ceremony short changes the short film category. Now you have several opportunities to see these movies, which are often amazing and full of a creativity missing in feature films. The collection mixes animation, live action, and documentary short films.

Director Whit Sillman will be speaking at the Harvard Film Archive

The Discreet Charm of Whit Stillman. At The Harvard Film Archive, Cambridge, MA, February 24–26.

Whit Stillman is a relatively hidden treasure of American film. His dialogue is literate, his subjects often highbrow, and his observations subtle and full of dry wit. Discovering a Stillman movie is a treasure, and here are three, with the director in attendance. This is the kind of presentation that the HFA does so well.

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