Best of the Day: Massachusetts Independent Film Festival – August 28, 2015

For a dose of fringe cinema, check out these indie films at the Brattle.

Welcome to Best of the Day, our daily recommendation for what to check out around town. If you do one thing in Boston today, consider this.


Poster for <i>Who Did It? The Clue VCR Game</i>

Poster for Who Did It? The Clue VCR Game

After two days at the Somerville Theatre, the Massachusetts Independent Film Festival moves to Brattle Theatre to close out a run of weird, wonderful cinema with this celebration of the “creative force that exists outside of mainstream film.” MassIFF brings two days of films—some having their world premieres—to the Brattle, and gives audiences the chance to meet some of the filmmakers.

As you might expect, there’s plenty of homegrown moviemaking muscle being flexed this weekend. Among the highlights:

Fans of 2014 female-focused psychological thriller The Babadook should check out Postpartum, from Massachusetts-born filmmaker Izzy Lee: This “domestic horror story” channels the claustrophobic fear of such films as The Bad Seed, Rosemary’s Baby, and Martha Marcy May Marlene, centering on a young mother who finds her sanity unraveling as she tries to care for her incessantly crying baby.

Spawned straight from Allston’s grimiest clubs, The Mayor of Rock and Roll is a full-length feature film about “music, love, and failure set against the backdrop of the Boston rock scene,” helmed by Boston’s own Brendan Boogie. While the characters are fictional, their struggles and triumphs should be all too familiar for anyone who’s spent time in the trenches.

Back in the Atari days, someone from the Parker Brothers brain trust came up with the idea to bring its massively popular board game Clue to another form of cutting-edge ‘80s technology: the VCR. And so, in 1985, the Clue VCR Mystery Game for VHS was born. To mark the 30th anniversary of its release, Frank Durant and Tim Labonte tracked down the cast and crew to piece together the history of this game, which turned out to be something of a game-changer for the home entertainment industry — and its regional roots run deep. Durant and Labonte’s documentary Who Did It? The Clue VCR Game reveals that, in a bold move, New England-based Parker Brothers decided pay tribute to local talent. “Filmed in Massachusetts, it would cast a group of unknown actors to portray the iconic Clue characters such as Col. Mustard and Professor Plum,” the filmmakers write. “While most productions were filmed in Hollywood and New York City at the time, Parker Brothers took a chance and broke the mold.”

Here’s the full schedule:

Friday, August 28

12:15 p.m.
Facing the Pitcher (world premiere)
Leaves of the Tree

2:15 p.m.
Alight
Voluntary Paralysis
(world premiere)
Slow Burn
Wander, Wonder, Wilderness

4:35 p.m.
Postpartum (filmmaker in attendance)
Rabbits (Massachusetts premiere)
Sidewalk Traffic (Massachusetts premiere)

7 p.m.
The Taking of Ezra Bodine (world premiere)
I Think You’re Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (Massachusetts premiere)

Saturday, August 29

2:10 p.m.
The Heebie-Jeebies
Who Did It? The Clue VCR Game
The Mayor of Rock and Roll (Massachusetts premiere)

4:40 p.m.
Echoes (world premiere)
The Secret Life of Balloons
Wildlike

Brattle Theatre, 40 Brattle St, Cambridge, 617-876-6837, brattlefilm.org.