Monday, June 24, 2024

Film Ahead is a weekly column highlighting special events and repertory programming for the discerning Camberville filmgoer. It also includes capsule reviews of films that are not feature reviewed. 

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Things are pretty quiet for this holiday week, though there is still The Brattle Theatre’s ongoing “Holiday Adjacent” program (of films that take place on or around Christmas) with some quirky treats for those seeking cinematic presents after a filling meal. On the week’s slate is Martin McDonagh‘s devilish 2008 entry “In Bruges,” starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson as hitmen at odds in the city of the title. The pair re-teamed with McDonagh for the critical hit  “The Banshees of Inisherin,” which is still in theaters as well as streaming on HBO Max. “In Bruges” plays Monday. Then on Tuesday it’s Kristen Stewart as Lady Di in Pablo Larraín‘s “Spencer” (2021), which, given its not-so-flattering and unwavering look at the royals, might make a piquant chaser after binge-watching the new Netflix series “Harry & Meghan.” Rounding off the program are two deeply emotive films shot in opulent black and white: Rebecca Hall’s impressive directorial debut “Passing” (2021), about a young black woman (Tessa Thompson) passing for white in 1920s New York, plays Tuesday; and Wim Wenders’ classic tale of longing, “Wings of Desire” (1987), starring Bruno Ganz as an angel looking down on Berlin and in love with a mortal – a desire he cannot realize – plays Wednesday and Thursday. 

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Come Friday, The Brattle shifts gears and jumps into the multiverse with an eight-day celebration around “Everything Everywhere All at Once,” the widely embraced gonzo epic from Emerson grads the Daniels. Pairings to the film include the 2007 hit animated rat-in-the-kitchen flick “Ratatouille” (which is referred to repeatedly in “Everything”) and the Daniels’ first collaboration, “Swiss Army Man” (2016), with a flatulent Daniel Radcliffe as the incarnation of the title. Both play Friday. On Christmas Sunday and Dec. 26, it’s “The Goonies” (1985), the quirky team-of-misfit-teens romp directed by Richard Donner (“Lethal Weapon”). The tie-in? The film stars Ke Huy Quan, who plays Michelle Yeoh’s somewhat estranged husband in EEAAO. Quan and Yeah were honored recently for their acting by the Boston Society of Film Critics (writer Ally Johnson and I are members), and they and the film are likely to be on the list of Oscar nominees next month.


Cambridge writer Tom Meek’s reviews, essays, short stories and articles have appeared in WBUR’s The ARTery, The Boston Phoenix, The Boston Globe, The Rumpus, The Charleston City Paper and SLAB literary journal. Tom is also a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike everywhere.