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IFFBoston Preview 1: Middle schoolers, art thieves, Jean-Michel Basquiat

 
 

It’s hard to believe that it’s already that time of year, but the Independent Film Festival Boston (henceforth referred to as IFFBoston), the city’s largest gathering of the cinephiles, is upon us. This year’s line-up is one of the best in recent memory, as it’s positively chock-full of amazing and interesting titles, which will show from April 25 to May 2 at a variety of theaters across the city. Here’s our first round of recommended titles, whose screenings span from Wednesday through Friday. We have a comedy director striking out on his own dramatic path, a bizarre and incredible art heist, an off-the-grid father and daughter, and the teenage years of the greatest artists of the 1980s. Be sure to come back tomorrow, when we’ll be spotlighting films showing this weekend.

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Eighth Grade

Directed by comedian and Danvers native Bo Burnham, this year’s opening night film, about a middle schooler (Elsie Fisher) navigating the rocky waters of self-image and confidence in our increasingly social media-stacked world, is shaping up to be a can’t-miss-screening. We had the chance to see this film at SXSW (though time constraints prevented us from reviewing at the time), and the exaggerated levels of hype surrounding it — about Burnham’s understated direction, about Fisher’s fantastic performance — are mostly justified by the final product. Don’t go into this expecting a laugh riot, because Burnham’s not afraid to dig in deep to that real shit that makes middle school an utterly harrowing experience for most. It’s an incredible debut, and you better bet tickets are going fast, especially given that Burnham will be on hand for an introduction and a Q&A after the screening.

‘EIGHTH GRADE’ :: Wednesday, April 25 at The Somerville Theatre, 55 Davis Square in Somerville, MA :: 7:30 p.m., all ages, $12 to $20 :: Advance tickets

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