fb-pixel Skip to main content

The local movie scene welcomes the fall season with a robust lineup of film festivals and innovative repertory programming. Here are some important dates to mark on your calendar.

Museum of Fine Arts: Reagan in Hollywood: The Origins of a Conservative Icon offers a timely look at politics through films starring the only screen star to reach the White House. Running through Sept. 30, the series includes “Smashing the Money Ring” (1939), “Kings Row” (1942), and “Desperate Journey” (1942). The Boston Palestine Film Festival celebrates its 10th year, Oct. 14-30. This year’s lineup kicks off with Mai Masri’s topical prison drama “3,000 Nights” and closes with a film trilogy by Larissa Sansour, who uses the science fiction genre to address the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.



Emerson/Paramount Center: Running Sept. 13 through November, the free Bright Lights Film Series opens with “Swiss Army Man,” followed by a discussion via Skype with filmmakers and alums Daniel Scheinert and Daniel Kwan. “Rose Chumbe,” Sept. 29, features director Jonathan Relayze and actress Liliana Trujillo. National Theatre Live kicks off Sept. 16 with “A View From the Bridge” and runs through the fall.


Brattle Theatre: The Wicked Queer series of flashback hits kicks off Sept. 16 with “The Watermelon Woman” and “Bound.” It runs to Sept. 19. The Only at the Arthouse series, Sept. 23-29, includes “Room,” “Phantasm: Remastered,” “Rear Window,” and a double feature of “The Dying of the Light” and “Out of Print,” two documentaries about film projection. www.brattlefilm.org

Somerville Theatre: New England’s first-ever 70mm and Widescreen Festival takes place Sept. 16-25 and includes a screening of the sole circulating 70mm print of Walt Disney’s “Sleeping Beauty” (1959); a rare 35mm IB Technicolor print of “Ben Hur” (1959); and the comedy classic “It’s a Mad Mad Mad Mad World” (1963), shown in Ultra Panavision, the same super-wide anamorphic 70mm format as Quentin Tarantino’s “The Hateful Eight.” Other films include “Lawrence of Arabia,” “Ride Lonesome,” “The Wild Bunch,” “Tron,” and “Interstellar.” www.somervilletheatre.com


Boston Film Festival: The 32nd annual BFF runs Sept. 22-26 at AMC Boston Common, Revere Theatre One, and the Boston Public Library. Highlights include “First Girl I Loved,” with director Kerem Sanga attending; and the Connecticut-shot “Delinquent,” with director Kieran Valla and actor Bill Sage in person. www.bostonfilmfestival.org

Harvard Film Archive: Pam Grier gets her own well-deserved series, Pam Grier, Superstar!, running Sept. 23-Nov. 28. Grier will appear in person to accept the Hutchins Center’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal and discuss her work in ’70s films including “Foxy Brown” and “Coffy.” In conjunction with the Grier retrospective, the HFA presents ’70s Black Cinema Revolution from Oct. 21-Nov. 28, with a slate that includes “Super Fly,” “Space Is the Place,” “Shaft,” and “The Harder They Come.” hcl.harvard.edu/hfa

Boston Latino International Film Festival: The 14th annual BLIFF runs Sept. 29-Oct. 2 at Emerson’s Paramount Center and other venues. www.bliff.org

Coolidge Corner Theatre: The Science on Screen series opens Oct. 3 with the prescient “A Face in the Crowd,” from director Elia Kazan and writer Budd Schulberg. Andy Griffith plays drifter Lonesome Rhodes, who becomes an overnight TV star and political king-maker. Massachusetts General Hospital’s Dr. Steven Schlozman offers a pre-screening talk on the public’s fascination with politically charismatic speakers. Science on Screen continues with “Chinatown,” on Oct. 17, and “Planet of the Apes,” on Nov. 21. Sounds of Silents brings back “Phantom of the Opera,” Oct. 27, with the Berklee Silent Film Orchestra. The 16th Annual Halloween Horror Marathon, featuring “Scream” and “Scream 2,” runs Oct. 29, from midnight to noon. www.coolidge.org


Arlington International Film Festival: This sixth annual showcase for shorts, documentaries, and features runs Oct. 27-30. The AIFF also hosts a shorts program Sept. 16,7 p.m., at the Rose Kennedy Greenway. www.aiffest.org

BIKFF: Running Nov. 3-6 at the Somerville Theatre, this event offers films made for kids and by kids. www.bikff.org

Boston Asian American Film Festival: Running Oct. 20-23 at Emerson’s Paramount Theater, this is billed as New England’s largest Asian-American film festival. www.baaff.org

Boston Jewish Film Festival: The 28th annual BJFF runsNov. 9-21 with a diverse slate of features and documentaries at the MFA and other venues. www.bjff.org

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