The fest, which takes place in Cambridge at the Brattle and Harvard Film Archive and runs from March 22 to the 26, is one of the great gems of the local film scene. The schedule is absolutely fantastic this year, which we should know, because we’ve saw a lot of the major films in the line-up at SXSW a week ago.
In addition to the already-reviewed Hounds of Love, here are our takes on three of the fest’s biggest gets, and some other picks for a packed weekend of off-the-beaten-path filmgoing.
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Also of note around BUFF
There are plenty of other cool things to check out at this year’s Boston Underground Film Festival, and we put together a short list of things that sound pretty cool that we haven’t seen yet or haven’t revisited in a while.
We highly recommend going to the Secret Screening, because how often are you going to be able to have that experience? When was the last time you walked into a movie free of the burden of expectations and trailers and buzz? Probably not recently. So throw your preconceived notions out the window and go get surprised at the Brattle on Friday, March 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Richard Kelly’s been back in the news recently since Donnie Darko’s about to get another re-re-release to celebrate its 15th anniversary, but the BUFF is showing Kelly’s sophomore effort, Southland Tales, which will celebrate the 10th anniversary of its release this year. We feel so old! But really, this is one of those rare films where it’s both under- and over-rated at the exact same time. It’s definitely not nearly as bad as anyone would have had you believe at the time, and is absolutely a blast to watch with a crowd (Dwayne Johnson is worth watching alone simply to hear him say “Pimps don’t commit suicide” during the runtime). On the other hand, it’s not nearly as good as the revisionist critics would claim it is, as the literary and political references are a little too twee for their own good and the plot is a giant mess (which we won’t even try to explain here). So check Southland Tales for yourself when it screens at the Brattle on Wednesday, March 22 at 9:15 p.m.
We’ve heard lots of good things about music documentary A Life in Waves, about musician Suzanne Ciani, who is one of the female pioneers of electronic music and, to nerds like us everywhere, also made sound effects for the Meco Star Wars disco album released back in the ’70s. We really don’t mean to be reductive by that, but it’s an incredibly cool factoid in a life absolutely full of them, which the film tracks from her days as a classical pianist to her introduction to the world of computer music. A Life in Waves screens at the HFA on Saturday, March 25 at 3:15 p.m.
Finally, you should most definitely go eat a bunch of free sugary cereal and watch the expertly curated Saturday Morning Cartoon program that the BUFF puts on every year. Seriously, it’s an all-you-can-eat cereal buffet, accompanied by three hours of classic cartoons with of-the-era commercials spliced in. This year’s curator is film historian and expert programmer Kier-La Janisse, and it promises to be one hell of a time. The sugar rush starts at 10 a.m. at the Brattle on Saturday, March 25.
Of course, we can’t highlight everything showing at the festival this year, so you should check out the BUFF schedule on their website and make up your own damn mind. See you out there this week, weirdos.