Calendar: March 25 to March 31

Calendar: March 25 to March 31
American Grindhouse poster
Courtesy of American Grindhouse

Event of the Week – Unearthing films at Boston fest:

It sure isn’t Hollywood, but there are plenty of cinematic happenings afoot in Boston if you know where to look. This week, the place to look is “underground” – at the Boston Underground Film Festival (BUFF), that is. According to the website, BUFF is “a celebration of the bizarre and insane,” made up of “uncompromising, unflinching film and video” and – in general – “hazardous to your health.” Included among the area premieres is “American Grindhouse” (pictured) a documentary about the shameless-yet-fun B-movie “exploitation” films that were around long before Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez decided to emulate it in their own “Grindhouse” double-feature homage. Also expect tons of quirky features, shorts, and other goodies from the underground independent film realm. Screenings take place from March 25 to April 1 at the Kendall Square Theatre in Cambridge, Visit Bostonunderground.org for more information, schedules, and tickets.

Thursday,
March 25

Most people know about the Holocaust only from history books and of Oskar Schindler from the famous Spielberg film “Schindler’s List,” but Rena Finder, who will be speaking at Northeastern in an event sponsored by the Holocaust Awareness Committee, knows of both firsthand. As a young Jew living in Kracow, Poland, Finder was present both for the German invasion and the establishment of the Kracow ghetto. During the Holocaust, she worked in the factory of now-famous industrialist Schindler, who unlike other businessmen of his kind did everything he could to protect those working for him. Finder will tell her amazing story and participate in a question-and-answer session after her remarks. The Sacred Space, 2nd floor Ell Hall; 3 to 4:30 p.m.; Free; spiritual.life@neu.edu.

Friday,
March 26

In the crime-torn (and surprisingly kitschy) landscape of a dystopian future “Old Detroit,” armies of misanthropes, thieves and violent criminals have the police on the defensive. Mega-corporation OCP thinks they have the answer in the form of RoboCop, his directives to “Serve the public trust, protect the innocent, uphold the law.” But when the kick-ass crime fighting machine reconstructed from real police officer Murphy, who was killed in action, runs up against the evil corporation that created him and the humanity of his past, things really start to get ugly. The Coolidge is showing “RoboCop” as part of their “Metal Men in March” series, with screenings on the 26 and 27 right after midnight. As an added bonus, hardcore Robofans can enter a raffle to win an $180 gift certificate to Regeneration Tattoo in Allston – the catch being it can only be used for a “RoboCop” (or “Terminator”)-themed ink. “Excuse me, I have to go. Somewhere there is a crime happening.” 290 Harvard St., Brookline.; 11:55 p.m.; $9.75; 617-734-2500.

Saturday,
March 27

The massive video-game and interactive media conference PAX East might be completely sold out, but game (and rock n’ roll) fans can still head to the Middle East nightclub for Cambridge based video-game developer Harmonix Music Systems, Inc.’s (you know, the guys who did “Rock Band”) post-convention music showcase. If any gamers know music, it’s the ones who have spent years, and made millions, turning hit songs into playable fun. Give your fingers a break and head here to see performances by The Main Drag, The Konks, Anarchy Club, That Handsome Devil and Death of the Cool. Who knows? You might catch a song that will end up in a future “Rock Band” or “Guitar Hero” game. 472 Massachusetts Ave.; 8 p.m.; $10; 617-864-3278.

Sunday,
March 28

March 23 marked the would-be 100th birthday of legendary Japanese filmmaker Akira Kurosawa, whose influence on American filmmakers – especially within the genre of Westerns – is often considered unsurpassed. Local art-house theatres are celebrating in full force, with the Coolidge showing reprints of some of his most popular films and the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge showing a full complement of golden age-Japanese greats including (on March 27 and 28) “The Seven Samurai.” The film, which tells the tale of seven masterless samurai who band together, with little hope of payment or reward, to defend innocent villagers from bandits, has been emulated directly by seminal Western “The Magnificent Seven,” among others. See what the fuss is all about or, if already a fan, experience some of these important films on the big screen. 40 Brattle St., Cambridge; 2:45 and 7 p.m.; $7.75 and $9.75, respectively. 617-876-6837.

Monday,
March 29

Author David Shields has used his creative powers to cover the genre map, from sportswriting (“Baseball Is Just Baseball”) to memoirs and novels (“A Handbook for Drowning,” and “Dead Languages”). Monday, he will visit the Brookline Booksmith to discuss his latest effort, “Reality Hunger: A Manifesto.” In it, Shields makes the compelling argument that current culture is obsessed with so-called “reality” television programming precisely because of a perceived lack of reality in society and media. The Booksmith describes the book online as “An open call for new literary and other art forms to match the complexities of the twenty-first century.” 279 Harvard St., Brookline; 7 p.m.; Free; 617-566-6660.

Wednesday,
March 31

“Mornings with Mailer” is an emotional and intimate portrait of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning writer and journalist Norman Mailer written by another writer, Dwayne Raymond, who worked as an editorial assistant for Mailer from 2003 until the writer’s death in 2007, and thus helped put together his last four books. Though many only know Mailer as one of the master writers of the “New Journalism” genre of non-fiction writing, Raymond knew him as a person, and will bring some of his insights to this “meet the author” event to be held at Northeastern. 90 Snell Library; noon to 1 p.m.; Free; m.carpenter@neu.edu.

Calendar compiled by Taylor Adams, News Staff

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