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Nigerian-made ‘Eyimofe’ and a Covid anthology lead a week’s movies, and ‘Who You Think I Am’

Film Ahead is a weekly column highlighting particular occasions and repertory programming for the discerning Camberville filmgoer. It additionally consists of capsule evaluations of movies that aren’t characteristic reviewed. 

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Local focus

The Brattle Theatre rolls on this week with its “Tales of the Muppet Diaspora” program, with “The Muppets Take Manhattan” (1984) on Sunday and “Follow That Bird” (1985) on Monday. On Wednesday the Brattle screens the very best of the “Star Wars” triple trilogy – and considered one of its darker chapters – “The Empire Strikes Back” (1980), whereas Thursday brings one of many weaker entries, “The Return of the Jedi” (1983), during which the furball Ewoks show as goofy and distracting because the overly loquacious and obnoxious Jar Jar Binks did in “The Phantom Menace” (1999). Come Friday, along with the Roxbury International Film Festival, the Brattle runs the world premiere of the Nigerian story “Eyimofe” (“This Is My Desire”) about two strangers making a human connection: Mofe (Jude Akuwudike), an electrician coping with the fallout of a household tragedy, and Rosa (Temiloluwa Ami-Williams), a hairdresser supporting her pregnant teenage sister. For tickets and info, go to the Brattle’s website. 

Cineastes and bargain-hunters alike ought to know that tickets are solely $7 on Tuesdays at Landmark Kendall Square Cinema, 355 Binney St., Kendall Square – costs the nation hasn’t seen on common since around 2008, and that Greater Boston most likely hasn’t seen for for much longer.

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In theaters and streaming

‘The Year of the Everlasting Storm’ (2021)

Covid lockdown movies are actually a factor. So far we’ve had Anne Hathaway and Chiwetel Ejiofor in “Locked Down” and James McAvoy and Sharon Horgan in “Together” (let’s not overlook “Borat Subsequent Moviefilm”), and now this transferring anthology from seven administrators all over the world, whose pandemic vignettes shine via in various tones. All artfully executed, they resonate partly as a result of we’ve all been there. The most wholly affecting is the opener “Life,” by Iranian filmmaker Jafar Panahi, below authorities home arrest in Tehran, the place his digital camera quietly observes the doings of a pet iguana and a pair of nesting pigeons on a ledge. Then there’s the go to from his 90-year-old mother, who involves the door in full-on PPE regalia, sanitizing all the things in sight earlier than sitting down for a meal. Another nonfictional account comes from Laura Poitras, Oscar winner for the Edward Snowden documentary “Citzenfour” (2014), who via Zoom joins an investigation of an Israeli know-how agency specializing in cyberweapons, with some unsettling eye openers about who’s watching and what they’ll do to you. Also notable is “Dig Up My Darling” from David Lowery (“Ghost Story” and the current “Green Knight”) during which an unnamed girl (Catherine Machovsky) dwelling out of a automobile and following directions from discovered letters tries to make amends for the previous. Many of the opposite chapters have themes of households in turmoil and transition, particularly Anthony Chen’s “The Break Away” – with motion filmed in China, but directed from London over Zoom – and Malik Vitthal’s “Little Measures,” about a father making an attempt to reconnect along with his three youngsters scattered in foster houses. From Chile, there’s director Dominga Sotomayor’s “Sín Titulo, 2020” (translation: “No Title, 2020”); the concluding chapter is “Night Colonies” from Thai director Apichatpong Weerasethakul (“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives”), one thing of a “Microcosmos”-esque take a look at bugs. At Landmark Kendall Square Cinema, 355 Binney St., Kendall Square.

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‘The Gateway’ (2021)

An energetic however unnecessarily advanced thriller about an alcoholic social employee named Parker (Shea Whigham) who takes on the case of a younger woman (Taegen Burns) whose mother, Dahlia, (Olivia Munn) drinks a bit herself and can’t get her child to highschool. Parker’s a bit too invested within the case – obsessed, you would possibly say. Things get sophisticated when Parker loses his job however retains making visits and Dahlia’s hubby Mike (Zach Avery) will get out of the slammer and executes a murderous drug seller takedown for a shadowy determine often known as Duke (Frank Grillo). The initially quiet psycho-drama jumps deep into the “King of New York” (1990) wannabe realm, however with out the killer forged to hold it. Whigham has his moments, however wanting a lot like Grillo, with the identical coif, goatee and stature, it made me surprise for a few go-rounds if Parker was not a double agent of types. On Amazon Prime.

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‘Who You Think I Am’ (2019)

Here in director Safy Nebbou’s grim, fateful film tailored from a novel by Camille Laurens, the ethereal Juliette Binoche (“The Truth,” “The English Patient”) takes on the position of Claire, a sophisticated 50-something literary professor who plugs a false persona into the Internet to suss out a youthful lover (Guillaume Gouix) who’s all of a sudden gone aloof on her. Her catfish goal is her lover’s roommate, Alex (François Civil). What ensues is a sophisticated love triangle with hidden agendas, deepened by the insertion of Claire’s therapist (Nicole Garcia) into the combination. Nebbou’s nonlinear narrative retains the viewer off steadiness with subtly performed twist and turns. It’s a movie deeply rooted in Claire’s POV, and I can’t think about one other actress as in a position to carry it off as Binoche, along with her lengthy, emotive face, deep soulful eyes and sensual comportment. The movie has many uncooked, specific scenes to which Binoche applies the identical convincing gravitas she did in “Damage” (1992) and “High Life” (2018). Nebbou is smart to maintain his focus and digital camera relentlessly on Claire, as a lot of the remainder of story is so underdeveloped. At Landmark Kendall Square Cinema, 355 Binney St., Kendall Square.

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‘Fever Dreams’ (2019)

A lo-fi sequence of vignettes within the mode of “Creepshow” (1982) that’ll tickle the style bone of these with a yen for the horror-cum-comedy schtick. The 4 chapters (three about filmmaking), narrated by a devilish bum (Jeff Briggs) embody “The Agent,” about an alcoholic screenplay agent who will get trapped inside a script handed to him; “The Entertainer,” during which a useless beloved one resides in a espresso desk; “The Cameraman,” about a wannabe documentary filmmaker whose reluctant topic activates him; and “It’s My House,” during which a commodities dealer dupes an aged couple out of their life financial savings and there’s eerie retribution to pay. It’s all executed tongue-in-cheek and will get a large push from Briggs’ merry court docket jester of doom. On Amazon Prime. 

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‘Worth’ (2020)

With the twentieth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist assaults looming ominously, Netflix drops this intriguing footnote starring Michael Keaton as Brockton lawyer Kenneth Feinberg, the lawyer tasked by Congress to move the 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund. Sounds easy, however because the title implies, totally different lives have totally different worths; $14 million for a CEO, $300,000 for a janitorial employee. You can solely think about among the outrage: “My son was boots on the ground as a first responder – he’s not worth as much as a guy pushing a pencil in an office?” Much of the opposition to Feinberg’s algorithm will get voiced within the type of Stanley Tucci’s widower and neighborhood organizer, Charles Wolf. The actors imbue their characters with nuanced compassion and humanity in a transferring story that captures the grief and outrage of the households of those that perished on that tragic day. Keaton dons a Bahston accent convincingly, as he did as a Boston Globe editor in “Spotlight” (2015). On Netflix.  


Tom Meek is a author dwelling in Cambridge. His evaluations, essays, quick tales 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 can also be a member of the Boston Society of Film Critics and rides his bike in all places.

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