Something old and something new this weekend. A new movie theater opened last night, the Galeria, located in that space-age shopping mall on Boylston Street. Their first film, A Boy and His Dog with Don Johnson and Jason Robards, is also about the space-age. The hype for the movie warns "no one admitted after the performance starts...it has to be seen from the beginning!" It's based on a science-fiction novella by Harlan Ellison of the same name. Blast-off.
Tom Blanton is enthused about some short films showing at Off the Wall (see above) and he claims it's worth the wall over there. Show times are 4:30 ($1), 7:30, 10, and, on Saturday, midnight (all $2). A little closer to home, at the Carpenter Center, there's a free showing tonight of Independent Experimental Animated Films. The title sounds a bit pretentious, but the films have names like divine miracle and jabberwocky. What can you lose?
For those tired of the great white shark, or behind in their English 70 reading, John Huston's Moby Dick, with wooden Gregory Peck as Captain Ahab, continues at the Orson Welles. The footage of whaling is impressive, and the movie sticks close to Melville's opus. --Jeff Flanders
King Lear. Peter Brook's film is superb-he rightly rejects any possible amelioration of Lear's pessimism. He shot the film in Jutland and although it is technically in color the only colors present are black, white, grey and sometimes dark brown. Paul Scofield is adequate though not perfect as Lear, although his "Never, never, never, never, never" is disappointing. Brook (what a long way this is from his version of Midsummer-Night's Dream) cut about 1/3 of Shakespeare's lines and even a few whole scenes, but he was justified by his results. The kind of film that guarantees you'll just sit in your seat and stare for a good half hour after it's over.
The Producers. Marcel Carne's pre-war classic of romantic love.
Rebel Without A Cause. The fount and origin of the James Dean legend. Brando'll seem like a poor parody once you've seen this. Watch out for the famous parent-child argument.
Bunny Lake is Missing. An absolutely dreadful film.
Day of the Jackal. A well put together thriller about the attempted assassination of Charles de Gaulle by a professional hit man hired by the O.A.S.
The Seven Samurai. The Japanese classic, almost as if Fists of Fury had been re-made by Ingmar Bergman.
The Discreet Charm of the Bourgeoisie and Phantom of Liberty. Bunuel growing progressively more commercial, more boring and more simplistic. Epater les bourgeois really pays off, he learned. If you're in the mood for Bunuel, see Simon of the Desert instead.
Women in Love. What can you say about films by Ken Russell? Go smashed, or not at all.
Butley. The American Film Theater's version of Simon Gray's very funny play about a college professor and the way his life falls apart. On stage this was nearly the proverbial laugh a minute.
Lion In Winter. Much fun. Katherine Hepburn plays Eleanor of Aquitaine and gets to turn all her regal frigidity on Henry II. Not to be relied on for your History 30 midterm, but good clean fun without the masochism of Becket or the high-flown rhetoric of Man for All Seasons.
The Ruling Class. The cliche "brilliantly uneven" might have been coined for this film. Too long and, finally, stupid, but some of the scenes are superb-the Marxist butler (stolen by Tom Stoppard for Travesties) and a skeletal, cobweb-bedecked House of Lords singing a rousing "Dem Bones Gonna Rise." Peter O'Toole plays a balmy earl who thinks he's Jesus Christ. The opening hanging scene and the parody of La Boheme are worth the price of admission.
Smiles of a Summer Night and Wild Strawberries. Two of Bergman's most endearing and least cerebral.
Hester Street. Carole King makes her film debut as a Jewish mother on the Lower East Side in the early part of this century. The film has gotten good advance notices and is supposed to be a tapestry of immigrant life and an analysis of assimilationism.
Lancelot du Lac and Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Two very different treatments of the Arthurian legend, although both are concerned with deromanticizing the Once and Future King. Monty Python is funnier. Bresson's film, savaged by the critics, has some good moments and some scenes of positively unearthly beauty.