Seattle Cinema Almanac: July 26-August 1

It’s another great week of arthouse cinema across Western Washington. I’m especially excited to see that new theater The Beacon is bringing a selection of films by John Cassavetes to the big screen. And some really great, crowd-pleasing selections from this past year’s Seattle International Film Festival and starting to hit wider release. And, as always, there are so many incredible repertory screenings making the rounds this well.

Happy watching!

* Recommended Film

New This Week

A Bigger Splash
From Northwest Film Forum: “About and starring Hockney and his swinging friends, this immersive, formally daring work was shot over the course of three years when the artist was creating his most recognizable paintings, including Portrait of an Artist and the eponymous A Bigger Splash.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Hampstead
From The Grand Cinema: “Based on an inspiring true story, Hampstead is a buoyant, sparklingly witty tale of two underdogs who took on the system and showed a nation that heart is where the home is.”

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Love Doesn’t Stop: Gena Rowlands as Directed by John Cassavetes *
From The Beacon: “Gena Rowlands’ shattering performances are the source of the energy, lifegiving or toxic, which radiates out of this body of work. Created alongside her director husband with their own money, in their own home, surrounded by friends and family, these films pull us into the lived world of characters whose emotional realities exceed their limits and overflow.”

The films of John Cassavetes are incredible milestones of independent cinema – blistering and emotionally powerful character studies that are masterclasses in acting. This program proves that new arthouse theater The Beacon is coming out of the gate strong. Make sure to check out A Woman Under the Influence if you’re only able to see one film in theaters this week!

The Beacon
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The NeverEnding Story *
From Central Cinema: “A young boy gets caught up in a fantasy book which may not be as fictional as it seems. Come see the Rock Biter, Luck Dragon, Racing Snail, and The Nothing all on our big screen.”

Central Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Streetwise *
From The Beacon: “Seattle, 1983. Taking their camera to the streets of what was supposedly America’s most livable city, filmmaker Martin Bell, photographer Mary Ellen Mark, and journalist Cheryl McCall set out to tell the stories of those society had left behind: homeless and runaway teenagers living on the city’s margins.”

The Beacon
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Sword of Trust *
From SIFF: “In local filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s latest, two women attempt to unload an inherited Civil War sword onto a curmudgeonly pawnshop owner and reluctantly enter a world of conspiracy theory and Southern disillusionment.”

I loved this very quirky, low-key comedy about the ways in which white Americans have to deal with the complicated legacy of their ancestor’s racism. It’s surprisingly moving, explores some important ideas, and is an absolute delight from beginning to end.

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Tiny: The Life of Erin Blackwell *
From The Beacon: “Interweaving three decades’ worth of photographs and footage that includes previously unseen outtakes from STREETWISE, this is a heartrending, deeply empathetic portrait of a family struggling to break free of the cycle of trauma.”

The Beacon
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Wicker Man
From Central Cinema: “Come for Nic Cage in a bear costume, and stay for Nic Cage’s honey-covered head in AN ACTUAL CAGE!”

It’s not a great film, but it does have Nicolas Cage going full cage…

Central Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Wild Rose *
From Rose Theatre: “Jessie Buckley delivers an unforgettable, star-making performance as Rose-Lynn Harlan, a rebellious country singer who dreams of trading the working-class streets of Glasgow for the Grand Ole Opry of Nashville.”

It may hit all the notes of a traditional “artist pursuing their dream” narrative, but does so beautifully and with more depth and nuance that I expected. I defy anyone to hold back the tears.

Rose Theatre
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Continuing Features

The Biggest Little Farm
From Crest Cinema Center: “Two dreamers leave the city and embark on an odyssey to build one of the most diverse farms of its kind in complete coexistence with nature.”

Crest Cinema Center
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Echo in the Canyon
From Rose Theatre: “A celebration of the explosion of popular music that came out of LA’s Laurel Canyon in the mid-60s as folk went electric and The Byrds, The Beach Boys, Buffalo Springfield and The Mamas and the Papas gave birth to the California Sound.”

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Rose Theatre
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The Farewell *
From SIFF: “Awkwafina, the flamboyant breakout star of Crazy Rich Asians, plays a woman traveling back home to China to assist in an elaborate ruse to keep a truth from her terminally ill grandmother.”

Lulu Wang’s comedy is deeply moving and very funny, a lovely film about grief and family responsibility.

SIFF Cinema Egyptian
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Last Black Man in San Francisco *
From SIFF: “A wistful odyssey populated by skaters, squatters, street preachers, playwrights, and others on the margins of a rapidly gentrifying city. The Last Black Man in San Francisco is a poignant and sweeping story of hometowns and how they’re made-and kept alive-by the people who love them.”

I had the opportunity to see this last week and it is a gorgeous, heartbreaking film about gentrification and the sense that we’re all-too-often trapped by the stories we tell ourselves.

Ark Lodge Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Crest Cinema Center
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SIFF Cinema Uptown
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Late Night *
From The Grand Cinema: “Legendary late-night talk show host’s world is turned upside down when she hires her only female staff writer. Originally intended to smooth over diversity concerns, her decision has unexpectedly hilarious consequences as the two women separated by culture and generation are united by their love of a biting punchline.”

This is a really charming, fun little comedy that isn’t perfect, but makes some very interesting choices and manages to be a compelling crowd-pleaser.

Crest Cinema Center
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Midsommar *
From SIFF: “From the visionary mind of Ari Aster comes a dread-soaked cinematic fairytale where a world of darkness unfolds in broad daylight.”

I liked Midsommar so much more than Ari Astor’s previous feature, Hereditary. This is a slow-burn of a horror film, a creepy and intensely disturbing metaphor for grief, loss, and betrayal. I can’t wait to watch it again.

Ark Lodge Cinemas
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Grand Illusion Cinema
SHOWTIMES

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood
From SIFF: “Quentin Tarantino’s Once Upon a Time in… Hollywood visits 1969 Los Angeles, where everything is changing, including the television and film industry.”

I’ll wait to recommend this one until I have a chance to see it – there are things I love about Tarantino’s work, but his last film felt like he was too invested in pastiche and recycling his favorite exploitation films.

Firehouse Theater
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Rose Theatre
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

SIFF Cinema Uptown
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Pavarotti
From Crest Cinema Center: “Ron Howard directs an intimate, riveting documentary that lifts the curtain on Luciano Pavarotti, the icon who brought opera to the people.”

Crest Cinema Center
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Rocketman
From Olympia Film Society: “The film follows the fantastical journey of transformation from shy piano prodigy Reginald Dwight into international superstar Elton John.”

Olympia Film Society
SHOWTIMES


Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am *
From SIFF: “In this exceptional new documentary, legendary storyteller Toni Morrison examines her life, her works, and the powerful themes she has confronted throughout her literary career.”

Rose Theatre
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Yesterday
From The Grand Cinema: “Jack Malik is a struggling singer-songwriter in a tiny English seaside town whose dreams of fame are rapidly fading, despite the fierce devotion and support of his childhood best friend, Ellie. Then, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, Jack wakes up to discover that The Beatles have never existed… and he finds himself with a very complicated problem, indeed.”

Ark Lodge Cinemas
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Limited Engagements

Barbara Rubin and the Exploding New York Underground
From Northwest Film Forum: “Working with Jonas Mekas’ footage, the film takes us inside the world and mind of Barbara Rubin; a woman who truly believed that film could change the world.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


In the Aisles
From The Grand Illusion Cinema: “An affecting and bittersweet glimpse into the shared connections of a motley group of workers, In the Aisles quietly celebrates the beauty in the day-to-day and the collective pride we take in our jobs with dark humor and nuance.”

The Grand Illusion Cinema
SHOWTIMES


Jawline
From Northwest Film Forum: “In rural Tennessee, Austyn Tester, a 16-year-old newcomer to the live-broadcast ecosystem, attempts to ride a wave of optimism to become the next big internet crush.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Third Wife
From SIFF: “May, a 14-year-old girl in 19th-century Vietnam enters a dysfunctional polygamous marriage to an older wealthy landlord who demands a male heir in this beautiful, sensuously shot tale that interrogates the patriarchal practices of both May’s time and our own.”

SIFF Film Center
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

One-Day Screenings

Amazing Grace
From Northwest Film Forum: “Crafted from little-seen footage captured in 1972, Amazing Grace documents Aretha Franklin recording the most successful gospel album of all time.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Awful Truth *
From IMDb.com: “Unfounded suspicions lead a married couple to begin divorce proceedings, whereupon they start undermining each other’s attempts to find new romance.”

This is a masterpiece of screwball comedy and features great performances from both Cary Grant and Irene Dunne. This is definitely one to see with an audience on the big screen.

Seattle Art Museum
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
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Dina: A Real Life Unconventional Romantic Comedy
From Seattle Public Library: “In this 2017 Sundance and IDA award-winning film, Dina, an eccentric and outspoken 49-year-old in suburban Philadelphia, invites her fiance Scott, a Walmart door greeter, to move in with her. Having grown up neurologically diverse in a world blind to the value of their experience, the two are head-over-heels for one another, but shacking up poses a new challenge.”

Seattle Public Library
SHOWTIMES


Ghost Fleet
From SIFF: “An engrossing and impactful documentary about Thai human-rights activist Patima Tungpuchayakul as she and her team attempt to rescue the enslaved fishermen forced to work the southeast Asian seas.”

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Harry Potter Movie Marathon
From The Grand Cinema: “Born July 31, 1980, beloved wizard Harry Potter will turn 39 this year. We’re throwing this famed Gryffindor a party: a 24-hour party, to be exact! Starting Saturday, July 27 at 11am and going until Sunday, July 28 at 11am (or so)—it’s 24 hours of Harry Potter movies, back to back. Can’t do it all in 24 hours? Each film will have one additional screening.”

The Grand Cinema (24-Hour Marathon)
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Grand Cinema (Individual Screenings)
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Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
From Central Cinema: “Considered by many to be the best stand-alone film in the series, Harry’s third year at Hogwarts is one of transition. Dangerous criminal Sirius Black escapes Azkaban prison, and he’s coming for Harry Potter. New Dark Arts teacher Professor Lupin helps train Harry to deal with Sirius, while secrets about Harry’s family reveal a greater threat may be on the way.”

Central Cinema (Happy Hour Matinee)
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Central Cinema (Birthday Bash)
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The King
From Seattle Public Library: “Taking a musical road trip across the U.S. in Elvis Presley’s 1963 Rolls Royce, filmmaker Eugene Jarecki compares Presley’s trajectory from country boy to ‘The King’ of rock ‘n’ roll to the crumbling state of the American Dream.”

Seattle Public Library
SHOWTIMES


Mildred Pierce *
From SIFF: “In one of her most towering performances, Joan Crawford plays Mildred Pierce, a woman who saves herself and her daughters from a bad marriage, rising from the ashes to become a self-made restauranteur, all while attempting to give her eldest daughter Veda a good life, despite clear signs that Veda resents Mildred to no end.”

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Nureyev – Нуре́ев
From Northwest Film Forum: “This striking documentary from BAFTA nominated directors, Jacqui Morris and David Morris, traces the extraordinary life of Rudolf Nureyev, the most famous male dancer that transcended fame in the dance world to become a pop culture icon of his time.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


NYICFF Kid Flicks
From Olympia Film Society: “NYICFF Kid Flicks 2 bridges the gap between little and big for young audiences growing in experiences and ideas.”

Olympia Film Society
SHOWTIMES


The Rebound
From Seattle Public Library: “An independent documentary following the underdog journey of the Miami Heat Wheels, wheelchair basketball team in their quest for their first NWBA National Championship.”

Seattle Public Library
SHOWTIMES


Rock ‘n’ Roll High School
From The Grand Cinema: “Teen punkette Riff Randall has one abiding fantasy: to meet the dreamy Ramones, and get them to perform one of her songs. Standing in her way is Principal Togar, who runs Vince Lombardi High like a despot — until the boys from Forest Hills lead a student body putsch and rock the school down to its foundations. A tribute to the after-school bedroom sexual awakening, when one daydreams of Joey joining you in the shower.”

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Sorry to Bother You *
From IMDb.com: “In an alternate present-day version of Oakland, telemarketer Cassius Green discovers a magical key to professional success, propelling him into a universe of greed.”

This was my favorite film of 2018 – a scathing satire of capitalism and comic fantasy about the ways in which corporations exploit their workers. It’s crazy, wild, and off-the-wall – and it’s also absolutely brilliant.

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


The Tomorrow Man
Ed Hemsler spends his life preparing for a disaster that may never come. Ronnie Meisner spends her life shopping for things she may never use. In a small town somewhere in America, these two people will try to find love while trying not to get lost in each other’s stuff.

The Grand Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Trollhunter
From IMDb.com: “A group of students investigates a series of mysterious bear killings, but learns that there are much more dangerous things going on. They start to follow a mysterious hunter, learning that he is actually a troll hunter.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES

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