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  • January 09, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    If the supernatural critter Kyubey appeared and offered you the chance to become a Magic Girl who fights witches and harvests "grief seeds" that will purify your "soul gems," what would you do? Sounds like a good deal, but in Akiyuki Shinbo's anime Madoka Magica the Movie (2012) all is not sweetness and light; the fun comes at the cost of hard experience.

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  • January 08, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    What is it like to work at the Pine Street Inn and find that your long-estranged father is a resident there? And then write a book about it? And then have it made into a movie, Being Flynn, directed by Paul Weitz and starring Paul Dano and Robert De Niro? All of this is the subject of Nick Flynn's new memoir, The Reenactments, which the author will read from and discuss at the Brattle Theatre at 6 pm on Wednesday, January 9.

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  • January 03, 2013
    By Peter Keough

    Combine Peter Pan with the horrors of World War II and you might get something like Volker Schlöndorff's Oscar-winning adaptation of Günter Grass's The Tin Drum (1979). In it, a little boy recognizes the cruel absurdity of the world, refuses to grow up, and beats the title instrument to annoy the hell out of everyone.

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  • December 30, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Long ago, detectives in movies could drink martinis, smoke, banter with their spouses, and treat every night as if it were New Year's Eve - detectives like Dashiell Hammett's inimitable PI pair Nick and Nora Charles, played by William Powell and Myrna Loy. So it's fitting that the Brattle Theatre usher in the new year with two of the pair's best films, both directed by W.

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  • December 29, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Hollywood shows a bit of Francophilia in Vincente Minnelli's ambitious An American in Paris (1951; 2:30 + 7 pm). In it Gene Kelly plays an expatriate Yank artist who exults in the canvases of Renoir and Monet, the tunes of George and Ira Gershwin, and the gamine charms of 19-year-old Leslie Caron. It's paired with Kelly's first solo directorial effort, Invitation to the Dance (1956; 5 + 9:30 pm), a triptych of tales told entirely in music and dance.

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  • December 28, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    The days of winter brighten with the deft footwork and irrepressible geniality of Gene Kelly. Tomorrow, the Brattle Theatre's retrospective of his films offers a triple dose of terpsichorean therapy. In Charles Walter's Summer Stock (1950; 12:30 + 5 pm) he plays the head of a theatrical troupe who charms a small-town girl played by Judy Garland.

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  • December 25, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    It's a musical Wednesday to brighten the post-Christmas gloom. At the Brattle you can enjoy the Gene Kelly Centennial Tribute with the iconic hoofer in Stanley Donen's On the Town (1949; 2:15 + 7 pm) and George Sidney's Anchors Aweigh (1945; 4:15 + 9 pm).

    Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge :: Wednesday, December 26 :: Double feature $12; $10 students, seniors :: 617.

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  • December 18, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    After proving himself one of Hollywood's best comic performers in films like Meatballs and Ghostbusters, Bill Murray established himself as one of the screen's most appealing dramatic actors, refining his sardonically tragic persona in Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation (2003; 7:15 pm) and Jim Jarmusch's Broken Flowers (2005; 5 + 9:30 pm).

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  • December 17, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Cinema genius and convicted pedophile Roman Polanski bounced back from ignominy to film glory with The Pianist (2002), which may be the crowning achievement of his career. He won a Best Director Oscar, and Adrien Brody took Best Actor for his portrayal of real life Jewish musician Wladyslaw Szpilman, who evaded capture by the Nazis in occupied Warsaw.

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  • December 14, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    What happened to independent cinema? It's alive and well at Focus Features, which has kept the indie torch alive with films such as Cary Fukunaga's Jane Eyre (2011; noon and 5 pm), Joe Wright's Atonement (2007; 2:30 + 7:30 pm), and Rian Johnson's Brick (2006; 10 pm), all screening Saturday, December 22 at the Brattle as part of their Focus Features 10th Anniversary Retrospective.

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  • December 10, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Has anyone been paying attention to the rapid approach of the end of the world on December 21, as per the Mayan calendar? The Brattle has, and they're celebrating the impending event with Cinemapocalypse, which screens what they claim to be three of the best doomsday movies ever. It starts with a film we're not sure qualifies, Roland Emmerich's 2012 (2009; 8:30 pm), followed the next day by one we definitely agree belongs on the list, Terry Gilliam's 12 Monkeys (1995; 4:30, 7, 9:45 pm).

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  • November 27, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    Two tough-minded movies at the Brattle celebrate those folks whom Mitt Romney was referring to with his unfortunate 47% remark. In Do the Right Thing (1989; 7 pm) Spike Lee directs and plays a pizza deliverer who discovers that sometimes the right thing involves a trashcan and a plate glass window. And union stalwarts played by Richard Pryor, Yaphet Kotto, and Harvey Keitel become unlikely criminals in Paul Schrader's Blue Collar (1978; 4:30 + 9:30 pm).

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  • November 24, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    As proven in "Comedy Marathon: Universal Pictures Celebrating 100 Years," the aforementioned studio cornered much of the comic market in the '40s with stars W.C. Fields, here represented by The Bank Dick (1940; 3 pm) and Never Give a Sucker an Even Break (1941; 4:45 pm), and Bud Abbott and Lou Costello, yukking it up in Buck Privates (1941; 11 am + 6:30 pm) and Abbott & Costello Meet Frankenstein (1948; 1 + 8:30 pm), all screening at the Brattle.

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  • November 20, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    If you have any doubt that Alfred Hitchcock's Psycho (1960; 5:30 pm) is the most perverse and frightening film ever made, take another look when it screens tonight at the Brattle. Then stick around for a free sneak peek at Sacha Gervasi's Hitchcock (2012; 8 pm), a behind-the-scenes drama about the making of Psycho, starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role.

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  • November 14, 2012
    By Peter Keough

    According to "The Biology of B-Movie Monsters," a scientific paper by Professor Michael C. LaBarbera (see the Fun List, page TK), The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957; 5:30 + 9:15 pm) would have to eat his own body weight every day just to survive. Thanks for spoiling that fantasy, Teach. Luckily, we can still believe in The Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954; 7:30 pm).

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