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recommended boston area events

tuesday, december 4th

kelly hogan

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 6th

conor oberst

@ converse hall, tremont st.

thursday, december 6th

jason isbell &

the 400 unit

@ the sinclair

friday, december 7th

the weisstronauts 14th

annual holiday jubilee

with guests tsunami of sound

preacher jack, & the derangers

@ the midway cafe, jp

friday, december 7th


moving mountains


@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

patrick watson

@ the sinclair

saturday, december 8th

the faint perform

"danse macabre"


icky blossoms

@ the paradise

sunday, december 9th

band of horses

@ house of blues

sunday, december 9th



@ the paradise

wednesday, december 12th

concrete blonde

jim bianco

@ the sinclair

thursday, december 13th

annual boston christmas cavalcade

benefit for the homeless

featuring tons of artists

(see fb event for details)

@ johnny d's

thursday, december 13th

nada surf

eternal summers

@ the paradise

thursday, december 13th

mates of state

in the valley below

@ brighton music hall

friday, december 14th

forgetters (blake from

jawbreaker's band)

& more tba

@ democracy center, harvard square

sunday, december 30th

sufjan stevens

sheila saputo

@ the royale

monday, december 31st

my morning jacket

@ agganis arena

monday, december 31st

deer tick

two gallants

@ the sinclair

monday, january 7th


@ the paradise

tuesday, january 8th


@ great scott

saturday, january 19th

mission of burma

@ the sinclair

sunday, january 20th

camper van beethoven


@ the middle east down

sunday, january 20th


@ the orpheum

sunday, january 20th

ra ra riot

@ the paradise

sunday, january 27th


@ great scott

tuesday, january 29th

kathleen edwards

sera cahoone

@ brighton music hall

wednesday, february 13th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

saturday, march 2nd

unknown mortal orchestra

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 12th

tame impala

@ house of blues

thursday, march 14th

jukebox the ghost

matt pond pa

lighthouse and the whaler

@ brighton music hall

tuesday, march 26th

yo la tengo

@ the paradise

wednesday & thursday

april 3rd & 4th

they might be giants

@ the paradise

visit tourfilter for more shows

Wednesday, September 07, 2005

The 2005 Boston Film Festival

Even though the 2005 Boston Film Festival starts this Friday, the website still isn't fully updated. Fortunately, the full lineup finally appeared online a few days ago, and tickets just went on sale.

It runs through Tuesday the 13th, and while it may be the 21st annual edition, this year's schedule feels a tad thinner than recent ones. Maybe I'm just spoiled by the ever-increasing excellence of the springtime IFFBoston, or how good last years 20th anniversary fest was, but choosing from 17 feature-length films over five days underwhelms, and none of them really jump out and grab me yet. In past years I've been excited about the guest of honor, an actor or director who receives the "Film Excellence Award". It's recently been presented to Steve Martin, William H. Macy, and Kevin Spacey. This year? It looks like it goes to director Ben Younger... for directing Boiler Room and Prime? Hmmm. Would make a little more sense if it was going to Prime's Meryl Streep, so maybe Younger is accepting it for her. (and, of course, I reserve the right to edit this if that's the case).

Maybe I'll be more psyched up for the fest after I see a couple films that interest me, like Kiss Kiss Bang Bang or Four Lane Highway, Swimmers or North Country. There's a bunch of interesting documentaries on tap, too, and I may check out Buddy or Casting About.

Locally-produced independent film Touched, will open this year's fest on Friday, Sept. 9 at 8pm at Loews Theatres Boston Common (where the entire event is taking place). Director (and Newton native) Tim Bogart and star Jenna Elfman will take questions after the screening. Randall Batinkoff, Samantha Mathis, Diane Venora, and Bruce Davison round out the cast.

A new award for Best Documentary will be presented this year, and it'll be named in honor of the late David Brudnoy, who passed away last December. Beloved around New England, Brudnoy was founder of The Boston Society of Film Critics, chief movie critic for The Tab newspapers for more than two decades, an extremely popular and successful radio talk-show-host, and a professor at Boston University. (update 9/8: The first ever award will go to Buddy, about former Providence, RI Mayor Buddy Cianci.)

Other films that will be showing at the 2005 Boston Film Festival:
"Kiss, Kiss, Bang, Bang" (Boston debut)
Directed by Shane Black (who will be at the screening)
Starring Val Kilmer, Robert Downey Jr., & Michelle Monaghan

"North Country" (Boston debut)
directed by Niki Caro
starring Charlize Theron, Frances McDormand, Woody Harrelson, Sissy Spacek, & Sean Bean

"Rex Trailor's Boomtown"
A documentary from director Michael Bavaro

Director: Richard Keith (appearing at the screening)

"Four Lane Highway"
Director: Dylan McCormick (appearing at the screening)

"A Previous Engagement"
Director: Joan Carr-Wiggin

"A Thousand Roads"
Director: Chris Eyre (appearing at the screening)

"When Do We Eat?"
Director: Salvador Litvak (appearing at the screening)
Starring: Michael Lerner, Lesley Ann Warren, Jack Klugman, Ben Feldman, Shiri Appleby, Adam Lamberg, Max Greenfield, Cynda Williams, Meredith Scott Lynn

"Love, Ludlow"
Director: Adrienne Weiss (appearing at the screening)
Starring: Alicia Goranson, Andrea Maulella, Brendon Sexton III

Director: Doug Sadler (appearing at the screening)

"Closed on Sundays"
A documentary directed by Rudi Schwab, which premiered earlier this year at the Independent Film Festival of Boston.
Executive Producer Eran Lobel will do a Q&A after the screening

Directed by Ben Younger
starring Uma Thurman, Bryan Greenberg, & Meryl Streep

"Johnny Slade's Greatest Hits"
Directed by and starring Soprano's cast member John Fiore, who will be appearing at the screening with other cast members

"Casting About"
A documentary by Concord filmmaker Barry Hershey (appearing at the screening)

From Rhode Island filmmaker Cherry Arnold (appearing at the screening)
A documentary about former Providence, RI Mayor Buddy Cianci.

There's also a bunch of short films, showing in two blocks:

Short Program #1:
Winning The Peace
Live At Five
String Of The Kite
Locked In

Short Program #2:
The Malt Shop In The Sky
Man Of The House
Ladies In Waiting
It's very cool that nearly all of this year's screenings feature Q&A sessions with filmmakers, definitely a higher proportion of them than past years.

You can download a full .pdf file with dates and descriptions right here, and to buy advance tickets online, head to Fandango. Adult tix are $10 plus a $1 service charge. I just grabbed a couple for Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which I'm betting will sell out first.

Post-script to a post: I occasionally feel like I've got some kind of weird blog-based sympatico thing going on with Frank and his Toronto-based Chromewaves. More than once I've got a subject in my draft folder that he covers (mo' fully, of course) the very same day. He'll write something reflecting my exact thoughts on a band (like his recent DCFC post), or mention the Toronto stop of a Boston rock show that I'm excited about. He's got my comic-book obsession covered, shares my long-standing Richard Thompson love, and hell, he named his site after one of my favorite Ride songs.

And so last week I start to write-up this here post about the impending Boston Film Fest, and the daily Chromewaves missive appears in my RSS reader... previewing the Toronto Int'l Film Festival, of course. I stand in CW's ever-present shadow. And it's a fine place to be.

But If I ever start posting something new every single damn day, you'll know that I've either been cloned or lost my job...

(And, of course, I wrote that last bit before I found out Frank actually just lost his. Sorry 'bout that, chief.)

featured mp3 download
neil halstead
live in cambridge, ma
on november 14th, 2008
previously: joy formidable - boston 2011

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