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Local Films, festivals, and faces

Fall preview of local film screenings, festivals

The Harvard Film Archive offers a free screening of the 1926 silent classic “The Last Days of Pompeii’’ on Sept. 23.

The Harvard Film Archive offers a free screening of the 1926 silent classic “The Last Days of Pompeii’’ on Sept. 23.

The fall season boasts the usual embarrassment of riches on the local film scene. Here are just a few of the highlights.

ArtsEmerson: The World on Stage continues its third season of independent and repertory films, with this year’s selections complementing two productions on the Paramount Mainstage. Screenings include the 1987 Oscar winner “Babette’s Feast” on Sept. 14 at 9 p.m. and Sept. 16 at 1 p.m., Frank Capra’s “Lost Horizon” on Sept. 15 at 1 p.m., and the 1929 Russian film “The New Babylon” (2009 restoration) on Sept. 16 at 4 p.m. See www.artsemerson.org.

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There are at least two reasons for cinephiles to drive to Portsmouth, N.H. The Music Hall’s Telluride By the Sea Festival offers six films over three days. Screenings include the highly anticipated “Hyde Park on Hudson” (Sept. 15, 6:15 p.m.) with Bill Murray as Franklin Delano Roosevelt; “Midnight’s Children” (Sept. 14, 7 p.m.), adapted from the novel by Salman Rushdie; and “No,” starring Gael García Bernal (Sept. 16, 1:30 p.m.). More details at www.themusic
hall.org. Then there’s the New Hampshire Film Festival, which runs Oct. 11-14 in Portsmouth. What began as a grass-roots event in 2001 now attracts residents and visitors for four days of indie films, workshops, discussions, and parties. Most events take place at the Francis Ford Coppola Main Stage at the Music Hall (28 Chestnut St.), with additional screenings at three other intimate venues in town. See www.nhfilmfestival.com.

The Coolidge Corner Theatre in Brookline hosts another of its popular Sounds of Silents screenings on Sept. 17 at 7 p.m. The Alloy Orchestra will provide live musical accompaniment for Alfred Hitchcock’s “Blackmail,” preceded by live accompaniment to Hans Richter’s classic short film “Filmstudie” (1926). The Coolidge also hosts a new season of live broadcasts from the National Theatre of Great Britain. Fall titles include “The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time” (Sept. 18), “The Last of the Haussmans,” starring Julie Walters (Oct. 11), and Shakespeare’s “Timon of Athens” (Nov. 1 and 10), directed by Nicholas Hytner (“The History Boys,” “Phèdre,” “Hamlet”). See www.coolidge.org.

The Boston Film Festival enters its 28th year with the latest edition running Sept. 20-24 at the new Theatre 1 (the former Stuart Street Playhouse). The adjacent Revere Hotel will be the site of opening- and closing-night parties. Films and galas are still to be announced. Stay tuned at www.bostonfilm
festival.org.

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The seventh annual Newburyport Documentary Film Festival (Sept. 21-23) offers a “best of” from past editions. The event kicks off with Patrick Shen’s “The Philosopher Kings” (Sept. 21, 8 p.m.) and concludes with Jennifer Steinman’s “Motherland” (Sept. 23, 8 p.m.). See www.newburyport
filmfestival.org.

The Harvard Film Archive hosts a free screening of the 1926 Italian silent classic “The Last Days of Pompeii” with live piano accompaniment on Sept. 23 at 4 p.m. Also notable is the HFA’s Werner Schroeter retrospective running Sept. 21 through Oct. 1. Schroeter, who died in 2010 at 65, was an important creative force within the New German Cinema of the 1970s. Among the 15 films in The Passion of Werner Schroeter series are the director’s idiosyncratic adaptations in 1970 of two stage dramas: Oscar Wilde’s “Salome” and Shakespeare’s “Macbeth” (screening back-to-back on Oct. 1 at 7 p.m.). One of Schroeter’s most blatantly homoerotic films, “The Rose King,” screens Sept. 28 at 7 p.m. See www.hcl.
harvard.edu/hfa.

The Massachusetts Independent Film Festival presents a variety of mostly short films in all genres spotlighting “independent filmmakers from around the globe and New England.” The fest kicks off at the Somerville Theatre on Sept. 25 with screenings starting at 4 p.m. and continues there on Sept. 26. The Brattle Theatre in Cambridge hosts the closing screenings starting at 2:30 p.m. on Sept. 28. For more information go to www.massachusetts
independentfilmfestival.com.

In conjunction with the HFA’s retrospective, Boston University and the Goethe-Institute, Boston, present a two-day conference Sept. 27-29. Cinema, Opera, Art: The Passion of Werner Schroeter offers lectures and additional free screenings at the Goethe-Institute. These include “Mondo Lux,” a documentary portrait of Schroeter (Sept. 26, 7 p.m.); and two of his early films: ”Der Bomberpilot” (Sept. 26, 9 p.m.) and “Palermo oder Wolfsburg” (Sept. 29, 3 p.m.). See www.goethe.de/boston.

The Massachusetts Flash Film Festival offers anyone the chance to be a filmmaker and compete for a $500 prize. There’s one catch: Everything must be done within a 72-hour period. The event starts Sept. 27 at the Belmont Media Center (9 Lexington St.). Teams have to write, shoot, and edit a four- to seven-minute fictional narrative film in the genre they draw at the event kickoff. All films will be screened on Oct. 6 at the Belmont Studio Cinema. See www.belmontmedia.org/mass-flash-film.

In Maine, the 8th annual Camden International Film Festival takes place Sept. 27-30, beginning with the opening night feature, “Betting the Farm.” Its fourth annual Points North Documentary Forum — billed as the largest gathering in New England of independent documentary filmmakers and industry pros — runs concurrently with the festival on Sept. 28 and 29 at the Camden Opera House. See www.camdenfilmfest.org.

The Institute of Contemporary Art presents An Evening of Recent Film by the Brothers Quay (Sept. 29 at 7 p.m.) in the Barbara Lee Family Foundation Theatre. The event features a pair of new works by two of the most distinctive voices in animated film. On Oct. 20 at 7 and 9 p.m., the ICA presents the Boston premiere of Sam Green’s documentary “The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller” with a live musical performance by Yo La Tengo. The ICA also screens a full-length program of Green’s short films called “What We Need Is the Impossible” on Oct. 21 at 2 and 4 p.m. For tickets, call 617- 478-3103 or go to www.icaboston.org.

The 6th Annual Boston Palestine Film Festival runs Oct. 4-14 at the Museum of Fine Arts with additional free programs at Harvard Law School on Oct. 9 and 10. See www.
bostonpalestinefilmfest.org.

Yes, there are people who actually want to watch your home movies. Home Movie Day is a worldwide event that invites viewers to share their 8mm, 16mm, or video home movies with area audiences. This year’s event will be held on Oct. 20 at Somerville Community Access Television (90 Union Square) beginning at 11 a.m. Submissions should be delivered to the Somerville Community Access Television offices or the Harvard Film Archive programming office (24 Quincy St., Cambridge) at least one week before the event. Film archivists not only inspect films for damage, they provide information on caring for them. See www.homemovieday.com.

The comedians of Mystery Science Theater 3000 return to select movie theaters nationwide, doling out commentary as they watch delightfully bad movies. “RiffTrax Live: BIRD-EMIC” screens Oct. 25 at 8 p.m., with wisecracking commentary provided by Michael J. Nelson, Kevin Murphy, and Bill Corbett of RiffTrax.com. Area cinemas presenting the event include AMC Framingham and Burlington; Randolph Showcase; Lowell Showcase; Randolph Showcase; and Legacy Place in Dedham. For tickets and information go to www.fathomevents.com.

ArtsEmerson and the Boston Book Festival present a Book to Film series featuring films related to authors appearing at the fourth annual Boston Book Festival on Oct. 27. Screenings (Oct. 12-21) at Emerson College’s Paramount Center include “Mystic River,” “Election,” “Persepolis,” “Howl’s Moving Castle,” and “Ghost World.” See www.artsemerson.org.

The Halloween spirit extends into November as the Killer Film Fest delivers a lineup of indie horror shorts and features from around the world. It takes place at the Somerville Theatre Nov. 1-3. For more information, go to www.killerfilmfest.com.

The 24th Boston Jewish Film Festival runs Nov. 7-19 at various venues in and around Boston. See www.bjff.org.

The Buzzards Bay Film Festival (Nov. 9-11) presents screenings and other events at venues including First Congregational Church of Falmouth and New Bedford’s Gallery X and Zeiterion Theatre. All proceeds go to the Buzzards Bay Coalition, a nonprofit dedicated to the restoration, protection, and sustainable use and enjoyment of the bay and its watershed. See www.buzzards
bayfilmfestival.org.

Loren King can be reached at loren.king@comcast.net.
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