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Lancaster, Mirren, and Kerr in new prints series at the MFA

By Loren King
Globe Correspondent / August 14, 2011

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If you haven’t yet made it over to the Museum of Fine Arts to catch one of the well-known or deserving-to-be-known titles in its New and Restored Prints series, now is the time to make plans. Showing today at 11 a.m. is a restored print of Luchino Visconti’s opulent 1963 drama “The Leopard’’ starring Burt Lancaster, Alain Delon, and Claudia Cardinale. Awarded the Palme d’Or at the 1963 Cannes Film Festival, Visconti’s masterpiece traces the fall of Italy’s aristocracy and the rise of the middle class. The series wraps up with three British titles. Screening today at 3 p.m. is Michael Powell’s “Age of Consent,’’ which marks Helen Mirren’s screen debut opposite James Mason. “Went the Day Well?’’ (Aug. 17-21) is Alberto Cavalcanti’s highly regarded but rarely screened 1942 British war film based on a story by Graham Greene. Powell’s “Black Narcissus’’ (Aug. 26-28), a visually stunning psychological drama photographed by legendary British lenser Jack Cardiff, stars Deborah Kerr as an Irish nun in a remote convent in the Indian Himalayas who is dispatched with four other nuns to convert and “civilize’’ the native population.

Shakespeare on screen Eleven theaters in the Greater Boston area will be among more than 275 venues nationwide screening the London Globe Theatre’s acclaimed production of “Henry IV Part 2’’ on Aug. 18. The screening, part of the Shakespeare’s Globe London Cinema series, happens at 6:30 p.m. at Fenway 13, Braintree 10, Burlington 10, Showcase cinemas in Randolph, Revere and Lowell, Framingham 15, Blackstone Valley in Millbury, Patriot Place in Foxboro, Legacy Place in Dedham, and Solomon Pond Mall 15 in Marlborough.

Directed by Dominic Dromgoole, “Henry IV Part 2’’ stars Roger Allam, who won the best actor Olivier Award for his role as Falstaff in this production. The cast also includes Oliver Cotton as King Henry IV and Jamie Parker as Prince Hal.

The Shakespeare cinema series concludes with “Henry VIII’’ on Sept. 15 at 6:30 p.m. The four plays in the series were shot in 2010 at the renowned Globe Theatre in London and also feature interviews with the actors and creative personnel. Tickets are available at the theater box office or go to www.FathomEvents.com.

Local honors The Boston Jewish Film Festival has announced its honorees for Luminaries and Legends, the major fall fund-raiser set for Oct. 22 at WGBH in Boston. The program will recognize Judy Ganz of Belmont, who served as BJFF chair from 2002-09; Wayland filmmaker Lisa Gossels, whose documentaries include “The Children of Chabannes’’ and “My So-Called Enemy’’; and Kaj Wilson of Newton, BJFF artistic director for more than a decade. For more information, go to www.bjff.org.

Long on shorts The 15th annual Rhode Island International Film Festival closes today with more features, documentaries, and shorts at Providence venues. As an Academy Award-qualifying festival in the short film category, the RIFF is known for its strong slate of short films. Two “Indie Showcase’’ events today offer a short and a feature. At 2:15 p.m., Sam Handel’s narrative short “I’m Coming Over’’ screens with D.G. Brock’s feature “Montana Amazon - The Adventures of Dunderheads,’’ about an eccentric Montana family, starring Alison Brie, Haley Joel Osment, and Olympia Dukakis. At 4:30 p.m., “The Pillow,’’ a short codirected by Joshua H. Miller and Miles B. Miller, shows with Sam Jaeger’s romantic road movie “Take Me Home.’’ Films screen at The Vets, 1 Avenue of the Arts, Providence. For more information, go to www.film-festival.org.

All about Martha As the summer festival season winds down, island-hoppers can still look forward to the Martha’s Vineyard International Film Festival Sept. 8-11. In the meantime, the year-round Martha’s Vineyard Film Society is busy with weekly screenings of indie films. On Aug. 16, director Margaret Whitton will engage in a question-and-answer session following a showing of her 2011 romantic comedy “A Bird of the Air.’’ Based on the novel “The Loop,’’ by Joe Coomer, the film is about a sassy parrot and a free-spirited librarian who upend the well-ordered life of a solitary man. It stars Rachel Nichols and Jackson Hurst. The screening is at 8 p.m. in Union Chapel, Narragansett and Circuit avenues, Oak Bluffs.

Loren King can be reached at loren.king@comcast.net.

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