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The Brattle keeps cinema alive in Harvard Square

The documentary “The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José González,” about the Swedish folk artist and musician, is screening at the Brattle Theatre on Monday.

The documentary “The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José González,” about the Swedish folk artist and musician, is screening at the Brattle Theatre on Monday.

The shuttering of the AMC/Loews Harvard Square cinema, set for July 8, leaves the venerable Brattle as the last theater standing in the Harvard-Central Square areas of Cambridge. If you haven’t been to the Brattle in a while, this week is the perfect time to support some of its original and signature programs. On Monday, the Doc­Yard continues its twice-monthly summer series of international nonfiction films with the New England premiere of “The Extraordinary Ordinary Life of José González,” by Swedish filmmakers Mikel Cee Karlsson and Fredrik Egerstrand. The
8 p.m. screening will be followed by a Skype conversation with both directors. Their documentary explores the day-to-day rituals and creative process of Swedish folk artist and musician José González as he prepares to record his long-awaited second album. Tickets are $10 and can be purchased online at or at the Brattle box office. For more information on the DocYard, go to www.thedocyard

The always-innovative Balagan series at the Brattle returns Tuesday at 8 p.m. with seven short films that explore “the ideas of reflection and refraction, through content, composition and structure.” Among the films are “Memory Worked by Mirrors” by Stephen Broomer (2011); “Au Bord Du Lac” (“By the Lake”) by Patrick Bokanowski (1994); and “Mirror Animations” by Harry Smith (1956-57). The final piece of the program will be a unique performance of 16mm film manipulation and live sound by Architecture of the Sun. Tickets are $10; $8 for students and seniors. For more information, go to


If you’re the kind of film buff who arrives early to see the trailers, the Brattle is offering the chance to participate in making a movie trailer of your own. On July 12, the Brattle presents its 10th annual Trailer Smackdown, part of the Brattle’s annual summer party, Trailer Treats. The event will feature selected trailer entries shown on the big screen along with the Brattle’s collection of campy and hilariously bad trailers. The theme of this year’s trailer competition is a fictional film called “Ten” — not the Blake Edwards comedy; this one is entirely invented in honor of the party’s big anniversary. Contestants must create an original trailer for “Ten.” A maximum of 20 trailers will be allowed to participate. The deadline to register is Friday and the deadline to submit the trailer on DVD is July 9. For the complete guidelines and more information, go to www.brattle

Starry nights

With so few drive-in theaters left in New England, the folks at Newport Film in Newport, R.I., are providing the rare chance to view new, independent films under the stars with its Newport Film Outdoors summer series. The next screening is July 12 starting at sunset (approximately 8:30 p.m.) at King Park (films are shown outdoors in various parks and open spaces around Newport). Billed as one of the most remarkable rock ’n’ roll stories in years, “Don’t Stop Believin’: Everyman’s Journey” is director Romona Diaz’s documentary on the real-life fairy tale of Arnel Pineda, a native of the Philippines who was plucked from YouTube to become the new frontman for the iconic American rock band Journey. This screening is free, donations are encouraged, and picnics allowed. Coming up on July 20 is Newport Film’s third summer fund-raiser at the International Tennis Hall of Fame. Cocktails and hors d’oeuvres from 6 to 8 p.m. will be followed by a sunset screening of “Ethel,” a compelling portrait of Ethel Kennedy by her daughter, acclaimed documentary filmmaker Rory Kennedy. The movie portion of the evening will take place on the horseshoe court in front of the piazza and will be free and open to the public.

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For tickets and more information, go to www.newport

Monster smash

The Coolidge Corner Theatre’s Big Screen Classics series Monday at 7 p.m. screens a new 35mm print of “Godzilla” (“Gojira”), the monster movie that spawned nearly 30 films in Japan. Released in 1954, Ishirô Honda’s drama about a 167-foot sea monster unleashed by an H-bomb explosion and seeking revenge on the world is widely seen as the physical manifestation of postwar Japan’s national anxiety about the Atomic Age. Godzilla became a pop cultural icon, featured in video games, novels, comic books, television shows, and a 1998 American remake. The restored film includes the original Japanese soundtrack. Tickets are $9.75 general admission; $6.75 for Coolidge members and seniors.

For more information, go to

Family mission


The British documentary “Mission to Lars” makes its Boston debut July 12 at 7:30 p.m. at the New England Aquarium. It’s a benefit for the Fraxa Research Foundation, a nonprofit dedicated to finding treatments and a cure for Fragile X Syndrome, the most common known cause of autism. “Mission to Lars” is about a young autistic man, Tom Spicer, who travels from Devon, England, to Las Vegas to meet his hero, Metallica’s Lars Ulrich. Accompanying Spicer on the once-in-a-lifetime road trip are his brother, filmmaker William Spicer, and his sister Kate Spicer, a journalist. Tickets may be purchased in advance for $25 at
ets.aspx. Doors open at 7 p.m. A limited number will be sold at the door the evening of the event for $35. Proceeds will benefit Fraxa Research Foundation (

Loren King can be reached at
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