Seattle Cinema Almanac: April 26-May 2

Ah! It’s like my youth is coming back to haunt me with screenings of Back to the Future: Part 2, Stargate, and Pump Up the Volume all coming the theaters in Western Washington. But if you can only see one film this week, I’d highly recommend Rifiki at SIFF Cinema Uptown, Hotel By the River at Northwest Film Forum, or A Bread Factory at The Grand Cinema. And, as always, there are some really incredible screenings all across the region.

Happy watching!

* Recommended

New Features

Back to the Future, Part II *
From Central Cinema: “One of the finest Sci-Fi sequels ever invented! When Marty and Doc visit the future to save Marty’s son from disaster. But when they return to the present day, they find it’s become their worst nightmare; a place where Biff is rich and powerful. Can they get back to the actual future to save the present from a twist in the past? Will we ever get working hoverboards in real life?”

I’ve always loved the Back to the Future trilogy, and this looks like a great way to revisit the darkest chapter in the series!

Central Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Godfather, Part II *
From The Grand Illusion Cinema: “This brilliant companion piece to the original The Godfather continues the saga of two generations of successive power within the Corleone family. Coppola tells two stories in Part II: the roots and rise of a young Don Vito, and the ascension of Michael as the new Don.”

It’s the rare sequel that matches the power of the original. It’s so steeped into popular culture that moments can feel almost cliched, but I’m sure that getting the chance to see this in 35mm on the big screen will be revelatory.

The Grand Illusion Cinema
SHOWTIMES


Rafiki *
From SIFF: “Initially banned in Kenya for its positive portrayal of queer romance, Rafiki won a landmark supreme court case chipping away at Kenyan anti-LGBT legislation. Featuring remarkable performances by newcomers Samantha Mugatsia and Sheila Munyiva, Rafiki is a hip tale of first love “reminiscent of the early work of Spike Lee” (Screen Daily).”

This is one I’ve been eager to see since it hit the festival circuit last year, and I’m incredibly happy this is getting a theatrical release. It’s only playing for one week, so I’d highly recommend checking this out before it leaves.

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Russian Five
From SIFF: “Sports and politics clash in this documentary about five Russian hockey stars who defected to America to join the Detroit Redwings in the ‘80s, leading to the team’s back-to-back Stanley Cup championships.”

SIFF Film Center
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Stargate
From Central Cinema: “Who wants to travel to a distant planet with Kurt Russell and James Spader? We all do, of course! Let’s take a trip through the original Stargate, then, and have a delightful time. Striking visuals fill this fun sci-fi romp from the team behind Independence Day.”

Central Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Suburban Birds
From Northwest Film Forum: “A tantalizing mystery and a bittersweet coming-of-age comedy rolled into one. A team of young engineers is called in to investigate a series of craters that have opened up on the edge of the city. A young boy spends long afternoons playing with friends and making mischief until one-by-one, his playmates start to disappear. As these parallel stories unfold, the connections between them proliferate and grow stranger.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Wild Nights With Emily
From The Grand Cinema: “In the mid-19th century, Emily Dickinson is writing prolifically, baking gingerbread, and enjoying a passionate, lifelong romantic relationship with another woman, her friend and sister-in-law Susan. Beloved comic Molly Shannon leads in this humorous yet bold reappraisal of Dickinson, informed by her private letters.”

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Olympia Film Society
SHOWTIMES

Continuing Features

Amazing Grace
From SIFF: “In 1972, Aretha Franklin recorded the album Amazing Grace at a church in South Los Angeles. The film has never been released. Until now.”

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Apollo 11 *
From Crest Cinema Center: “Newly discovered film footage and audio recordings take us straight to the heart of NASA’s most celebrated mission—the one that first put men on the moon.”

I keep hearing amazing things about this documentary. It’s at the Crest now, which means it may be your last chance to see this newly restored footage on the big screen.

Crest Cinema Center
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Arctic
From Crest Cinema Center: “Stranded in the arctic after an airplane crash, a man must decide whether to remain in his makeshift camp or to embark on a deadly trek through the unknown.”

Crest Cinema Center
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


A Bread Factory *
From The Grand Cinema: “After 40 years of running their community arts space, The Bread Factory, Dorothea and Greta are suddenly fighting for survival when a celebrity couple – performance artists from China – come to Checkford and build an enormous complex down the street catapulting big changes in their small town.”

This looks absolutely delightful – and the director will be in attendance for some screenings! It’s one I’ve wanted to see for a long while – don’t miss it!

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES (Part One)
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES (Part Two)


Cat Video Fest 2019
From Dragonfly Cinema: “Cat Video Fest is a compilation reel of the latest and best cat videos culled from countless hours of unique submissions and sourced animations, music videos, and, of course, classic internet powerhouses.”

Dragonfly Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Climax *
From Dragonfly Cinema: “20 dancers join together for a post-rehearsal party where a strange madness seizes them. It’s soon impossible to resist to their neurosises and psychoses, numbed by the hypnotic and the increasing electric rhythm of the music. While some feel in paradise, most of them plunge into hell.”

This is maybe one of the purest explorations of dance and cinema that I’ve ever seen. It is strange, hallucinatory, disturbing… and I absolutely loved it.

Dragonfly Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Everybody Knows *
From Crest Cinema Center: “A woman and her children travel to the small Spanish village where she was born, but unexpected events lead to a crisis that exposes her family’s hidden past.”

This is a really compelling mystery from Asghar Farhadi that also proves to be a lacerating exploration of the ways in which the masculine drive to save or rescue can be incredibly toxic.

Crest Cinema Center
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Eyes of Orson Welles *
From Northwest Film Forum: “Cinema historian Mark Cousins charts the unknown territory of the imagination of one of the twentieth century’s most revolutionary artists. Granted unprecedented access, Cousins sheds new light on the experiences, dreams, desires, and obsessions that fueled his creativity and inspired his masterpieces.”

I’m a die-hard fan or Orson Welles, so I can’t wait to get a chance to see this glimpse into the master filmmaker and his craft.

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Friday
From Dragonfly Cinema: “It’s Friday and Craig Jones (Ice Cube) has just gotten fired for stealing cardboard boxes. To make matters worse, rent is due, he hates his overbearing girlfriend, Joi (Paula Jai Parker), and his best friend, Smokey (Chris Tucker), owes the local drug dealer money – and that’s all before lunch.”

Dragonfly Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Hail Satan? *
From SIFF: “Chronicling the extraordinary rise of one of the most colorful and controversial religious movements in American history, Hail Satan? is an inspiring and entertaining new feature documentary from acclaimed director Penny Lane (Nuts!, Our Nixon).”

Director Penny Lane has created some of the most compelling documentaries of the last decade and her latest looks just as intriguing.

SIFF Cinema Egyptian
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


High Life *
From SIFF: “Monte (Robert Pattinson) and his daughter are the last survivors of a damned and dangerous mission to space. The crew has vanished. As the mystery of what happened onboard the ship is unraveled, father and daughter must rely on each other to survive.”

I absolutely loved this film. It’s a powerfully visceral look at humanity on the edge of oblivion and despair. One of the great works of cerebral science fiction. Note: The film does contain a scene of violent sexual assault that may be triggering for some viewers.

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Hotel Mumbai
From The Grand Cinema: “The true story of the Taj Hotel terrorist attack in Mumbai. Hotel staff risk their lives to keep everyone safe as people make unthinkable sacrifices to protect themselves and their families.”

Firehouse Theater
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Little Woods
From The Grand Illusion Cinema: “llie is a reformed drug runner in an economically depressed small town in North Dakota, who was caught coming back from Canada with medicine for her terminally ill mother and has been toeing the line ever since. After her mother dies, Ollie’s sister Deb shows up on her doorstep with a hungry child and an unplanned pregnancy. Ollie can only see one viable option: quickly raise money.”

The Grand Illusion Cinema
SHOWTIMES


The Mustang
From The Grand Cinema: “A convict in a rural Nevada prison is accepted into a selective wild horse training section of the program, where he finds his own humanity in gentling an especially unbreakable mustang.”

Rose Theatre
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Penguin Highway
From The Grand Illusion Cinema: “Budding genius Aoyama is only in the 4th grade, but already lives his life like a scientist. When penguins start appearing in his sleepy suburb hundreds of miles from the sea, Aoyama vows to solve the mystery. When he finds the source of the penguins is a woman from his dentist’s office, they team up for an unforgettable summer adventure!”

The Grand Illusion Cinema
SHOWTIMES


Spirited Away *
From Seattle Cinerama: “During her family’s move to the suburbs, a sullen 10-year-old girl wanders into a world ruled by gods, witches, and spirits, and where humans are changed into beasts.”

I absolutely adore this film. Like all Miyazaki, it’s breathtakingly beautiful and a film that takes childhood seriously.

Dragonfly Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Us *
From The Grand Cinema: “A family’s serenity turns to chaos when a group of doppelgängers begins to terrorize them.”

Jordan Peele has crafted another brilliant social thriller about that calls into question our underlying assumptions about class and savagely critiques our tendency to hide the unsavory aspects of our past. If you haven’t seen this yet, stop everything you’re doing and see it now.

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Olympia Film Society
SHOWTIMES


Woman at War *
From The Grand Cinema: “Halla is a fifty-year-old independent woman. But behind the scenes of a quiet routine, she leads a double life as a passionate environmental activist. Known to others only by her alias ‘The Woman of the Mountain,’ Halla secretly wages a one-woman-war on the local aluminum industry.”

This one surprised me – it could have been too preachy, too saccharine, too sentimental – but it maintains delicate balance and ends up a surprisingly moving film about what it takes to save the world.

Rose Theatre
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Limited Engagements

Alien *
From The Grand Cinema: “After a space merchant vessel perceives an unknown transmission as a distress call, its landing on the source moon finds one of the crew attacked by a mysterious lifeform, and they soon realize that its life cycle has merely begun.”

While the franchise has started to get a little long in the teeth, the original is just as compelling and brilliant as it was back when it first arrived.

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Hotel By the River *
From Northwest Film Forum: “An aging poet, summons his two estranged sons to a solitary hotel beside the Han River because he feels his death is near. While waiting for them to arrive, he meets two women out walking in the new-fallen snow and is struck by their angelic beauty. But they have come to the hotel to do some healing of their own.”

I have yet to start exploring the films of Hong Sang-soo, but I’m eager to start. His latest has been getting great reviews and I’m eager to see it.

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

One-Day Screenings

Calcutta Is My Mother
From SIFF: “Calcutta Is My Mother is a documentary telling the story of one transracial adoptee’s return to the city of her birth. Calcutta Is My Mother is the emotional documentation of Reshma’s journey home; of her losses, gains, and search for identity.”

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Cartoon Happy Hour
From Central Cinema: “A Happy Hour for the whole family! Every Thursday we have two hours of free classic Cartoons and wacky animation along with our Happy Hour food and drink specials. Expose your kids to all the splats and konks you remember while relaxing with a cold one. See you next Thursday!”

Central Cinema
SHOWTIMES


A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night
From IMDb.com: “In the Iranian ghost-town Bad City, a place that reeks of death and loneliness, the townspeople are unaware they are being stalked by a lonesome vampire.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


Hearts Beat Loud
From Seattle Public Library: “A comedy drama about a Brooklyn record-store owner who disrupts his daughter’s life plans after the song they record together goes viral.”

Seattle Public Library
SHOWTIMES


Hiroshima Mon Amour *
From IMDb.com: “A French actress filming an anti-war film in Hiroshima has an affair with a married Japanese architect as they share their differing perspectives on war.”

The films of Alain Resnais continue to captivate and beguile me, and Hiroshima Mon Amour is one of the director’s greatest triumphs. If you haven’t seen it yet, make sure to use this as the opportunity to finally check it out.

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


Jinn *
From The Grand Cinema: “Summer is a 17-year old carefree black girl, whose world is turned upside down when her mother, a popular meteorologist named Jade Jennings, abruptly converts to Islam and becomes a different person, prompting Summer to reevaluate her identity.”

I’m very sad I missed this at last year’s Seattle International Film Festival, but I’m glad it’s starting to get some limited screenings. I’ve heard great things about this one and am eager to check it out.

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Ladykillers *
From Seattle Art Museum: “A gang of thieves pretend to be chamber musicians who rent out a flat from a dear old lady in her genteel Victorian house, using the place as their base of operation for a big heist. Sweet as she can be, she has no idea she’s causing the wicked men so much trouble.”

It took me awhile to come around to The Ladykillers, but now I’m convinced that it’s an absolutely delightful, darkly comic masterpiece. It’s rare to get the opportunity to see this in theaters, so do your best to make it to the Seattle Art Museum.

Seattle Art Museum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


My Neighbor Totoro *
From Seattle Cinerama: “When two girls move to the country to be near their ailing mother, they have adventures with the wondrous forest spirits who live nearby.”

Another anime from Miyazaki that’s perfect for the whole family, My Neighbor Totoro is one of the sweetest and gentlest films out there, and an absolute treat from beginning to end.

Olympia Film Society
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Osiris Child
From IMDb.com: “Set in the future in a time of interplanetary colonization, an unlikely pair race against an impending global crisis and are confronted by the monsters that live inside us all.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


Pump Up the Volume
From IMDb.com: “Mark runs a pirate radio station and causes an uproar when he speaks his mind and enthralls fellow teens.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


Wild Society Film Fest: Who Eats Who? Cascading Carnivores
From Northwest Film Forum: “Three local naturalists, several short documentaries, and one live raptor! Join Wild Society for their 4th annual film fest to explore the beauties, challenges, and connections of meat-eating organisms around the world. Wolves, snow leopards, bears, yes—but also orcas, deep sea jellies, and Venus fly-traps!”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

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