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Ty's picks for Friday, December 1

Posted by Ty Burr  December 1, 2006 08:35 AM

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Happy December, everyone; hope you're enjoying the lovely sub-tropical breeze. Where did I put that DVD of "An Inconvenient Truth"?

A quiet week for movie releases: "The Nativity Story" is the biggest item out there and perhaps the studios decided to keep their other movies out of the way, expecting another "Passion of the Christ" crush at the multiplex. They're not half wrong: "Story" is handsome, borderline dull filmmaking but it's also a perfectly effective visualization for the target audience.

Said audience probably not being the teenagers who will be interested in "Turistas" or "Van Wilder II: The Rise of Taj." the latter of which was not screened for critics (the Globe will run a review in tomorrow's paper) but looks interesting only because it stars Kal Penn, of the much-loved "Harold and Kumar Go to White Castle," instead of the deeply annoying Ryan Reynolds.

"3 Needles" at the Brattle, which will also host an appearance by David Lynch with his latest morsel of cinematic derangement, "Inland Empire," on Sunday evening. Sorry; long since sold out.

The Harvard Film Archive has a neat series on Russian fantastic cinema kicking off this weekend, with Tarkovsky's deathless "Stalker" tonight (Friday) and the 2004 Russian smash "Night Watch" tomorrow night.

Some things to look out for on Monday: The Coolidge has a one-shot screening of "Cinematographer Style," featuring interviews with over 100 cinematographers. Director Jon Feuer and others will be present; with luck, the documentary will come back for a full run.

And over at Jimmy Tingle's in Somerville on Monday night there'll be a "barn-raising" premiere for Rick Widmer's documentary, "American Fair," about vanishing farm life in Maine. Sounds like he'll be passing the hat for an improved audio mix and other things, but donations are voluntary. Anyway, you know how you keep telling yourself you should do more to support the local arts? This is how you do it.

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Ty Burr is a film critic with The Boston Globe.

Mark Feeney is an arts writer for The Boston Globe.

Janice Page is movies editor for The Boston Globe.

Tom Russo is a regular correspondent for the Movies section and writes a weekly column on DVD releases.

Katie McLeod is Boston.com's features editor.

Rachel Raczka is a producer for Lifestyle and Arts & Entertainment at Boston.com.

Emily Wright is an Arts & Entertainment producer for Boston.com.

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