As we head into 2013, there will be some fine new films opening. Commercial houses and small independent theaters are jockeying for the next hit: my best bets include Michael Henke’s Amour, David Riker’s The Girl, Jacques Audiard’s Rust and Bone, and Beware of Mr. Baker (about Cream drummer Ginger Baker). And then there are the Christmas Day openings for Quentin Tarentino’s Django Unchained and Tom Hooper’s version of the musical Les Misérables.
By Tim Jackson.
The Boston Turkish Festival’s Documentary & Short Film Competition. At the Museum of Fine Arts, Goethe-Institut, and Boston University (PHO 206, 8 St. Mary’s Street), Boston, MA through December 6.
The MFA and Turkish American Cultural Society present this show of more than 35 documentaries and short films as a part of the seventeenth annual Boston Turkish Festival’s Documentary & Short Film Competition. North American Audience Awards will also be announced in addition to “Best Documentary” and “Best Short Film” prizes, which will be selected by a jury. The schedule is a bit confusing, so check the link above for times and venues. This show could yield some rare treasures!
Wild Horse, Wild Ride. At the Regent Theatre, 7 Medford Street, Arlington, MA, December 6.
This is the Boston premiere of a highly praised delight for equestrians that tells the story of the Extreme Mustang Makeover Challenge, an annual contest that dares 100 people to tame wild mustangs in order to help them transition from federal corrals into comfortable domestic lives. “Even its most interesting human subjects can’t compare to the beauty and enigma of the wild horses who, after a life of running free, find themselves forced to two-step and bow to bizarre commands,” enthuses The Village Voice.
On the Road. At the Boston University College of Communications, 640 Commonwealth Avenue, Room 101, December 7.
BU graduate Ryan Werner, director of publicity for IFC, will sneak preview his Cannes hit On the Road, the new feature of Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) based on the Jack Kerouac novel. The cast features Kristen Stewart, Kirsten Dunst, and Viggo Mortensen. This the last of Gerald Perry’s fall BU Cinematheqùe Screenings and promises to be a blockbuster.
My Worst Nightmare. At the Brattle Theater, Cambridge, MA, December 7–9.
This area premiere, directed by Anne Fontaine (Coco Before Chanel), features Isabelle Huppert as an uptight contemporary gallery owner who falls into an unlikely relationship with a crass contractor who is remodeling her apartment. She enjoys intellectual debates; he enjoys casual sex with large bosomed bedfellows. The plot thickens substantially—like bouliabase. It all sounds very French!
Barbara. At Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA, December 9.
The Goethe-Institut German Film Series presents the story of Barbara, a young pediatrician who is transferred from East Berlin’s prestigious Charité hospital to a small, provincial hospital as punishment for applying for a visa to emigrate to the West Germany. One German review argued, “Everything is just so in this film, nothing exaggerated or glorified. Mr Petzold [the director] has caught the spirit and atmosphere of the time. Each gesture, each tableau, from the hospital equipment and apartment furnishings to the smallest accessory, such as a folkloristic Bulgarian ashtray is rendered just right.”
Blues for Willadean. At the Brattle Theater. Cambridge, MA, December 10.
This second premiere of the month at the Brattle is a bit of Southern Gothic. It stars a great trio of female actors: Beth Grant, who will be present at the screening, Academy Award winner Octavia Spencer (The Help), and Dale Dickey (who crushed her husband’s head with an ATM machine in Season 2 of Breaking Bad!) The story centers “on abused housewife Willadean Winkler, her relationships with her friends, and her attempts at liberation.” These tickets could go fast!
Open Screen. At the Somerville Theatre, Somerville, MA, December 11.
At this long running series, independent filmmakers of any stripe are given an opportunity to screen their short film—apparently around a particular theme, though I am not sure about that. Filmmakers sign in as they arrive. Their mission follows: “At 7:30 we begin screening films in the order they were signed in. We continue screening films until we run out of time.” Curious?
Faust. At the Coolidge Corner Theater, Brookline, MA, December 17.
The Sounds of Silents series screens F. W. Murnau’s brilliant, mammoth version of the fable of Mephistopheles, who offers the aging Faust an opportunity to relive his youth in exchange for the latter’s mortal soul. Emil Jannings stars in the director’s last German film, which won him a contract with Hollywood’s Fox Studios. The soundtrack is performed by the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra under the direction of composer and professor Sheldon Mirowitz. If you haven’t seen one of these, you are missing one of the season’s great treats.