Sunday, June 16, 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. 


Local focus

Coming this week to The Brattle Theater is the apt New Year-themed program “Refreshed, Renewed, Restored,” featuring an array of recently restored classics and cult favorites. First up is the impeccable “Three Colours” trilogy from Krzysztof Kieślowski, contemplations on love, loneliness and the female experience featuring a young Juliette Binoche in “Blue” (1993), Julie Delpy and Zbigniew Zamachowski in “White” (1994) and Irène Jacob (so good in Kieślowski’s “The Double Life of Veronique”) and Jean-Louis Trintignant in “Red” (1994). The films play Monday through Wednesday. 


Andrew Lau pulls double duty Thursday as director and actor in the Chinese cop drama “Infernal Affairs” (2002), which would be recycled in 2006 and set in Boston under the infamous tyranny of Whitey Bulger as “The Departed,” striking Oscar gold for director Martin Scorsese. Also on the restored docket are Luis Buñuel’s “The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie” (1972) on Friday, and the sci-fi lesbian cult curio “Flaming Ears” (1992) and lesser-known blaxploitation flick “Solomon King” (1974) playing the late-show slots Friday and Saturday, respectively. And speaking of Marty: On Sunday, “The Last Waltz” (1978), one of the five best rock docs of all time, cues up with rock legends Eric Clapton, Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Neil Young and Muddy Waters joining The Band for its farewell concert. The right-up-on-stage cinematography is courtesy of Michael Chapman, who had just shot “Taxi Driver” (1976) for Scorsese and would go on to shoot “Raging Bull” (1980) for the director as well.


The Retro Replay at the Landmark Kendall Square Cinema gears up for the New Year with celebratory big-screen retrospectives of two of the very best filmmakers: Stanley Kubrick and Billy Wilder. January features a five-pack from Kubrick – four of the five are new digital restorations – beginning with the droll 1964 antiwar satire, “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb” with a classically gruff George C. Scott as a warmonger; Peter Sellars in three roles, including the titled adviser and sitting Potus; and Slim Pickens, who rides a nuke, bronco style. On the upcoming slate are classics “2001: A Space Odyssey” (1968), “A Clockwork Orange” (1971) and “Full Metal Jacket” (1987).


In theaters and streaming

‘Love in Kilnerry’ (2019)

In the small, fictional town of Kilnerry, New Hampshire (Portsmouth stands in), the EPA informs residents that the water has been infused with a chemical that increases libido. You’d think for a waning town with an aging population this would be a good thing, but sheriff Gary (a hunky Daniel Keith, who writes and directs as well), who hasn’t had a girlfriend in years, wants to put the town in carnal-knowledge lockdown to prevent STD transmission and prostitution. Others including the mayor, who also serves as the local barkeep, embrace the sexual awakening (“I haven’t had an erection in 20 years,” one denizen shrieks) and plan a townwide orgy. The comedy-cum-character study is a bit unsteady at times (the bickering and soapbox lecturing goes on too long, and the handling of same-gender sex is a notch off) but does score some good tongue-in-cheek moments. The real stars are the scenic seaside hills of New Hampshire, scrumptiously framed by J. Eric Camp and Jon Mercer. Streaming on Amazon Prime Video.

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.