Seattle Cinema Almanac: August 16-22

Out-of-town and overnight trips for work are done and weeks consisting of 12-hour workdays are a thing of the past (for now!), so I’m able to get back to the Seattle Cinema Almanac after a two-week hiatus.

It’s another embarrassment of riches across Western Washington, with some very interesting programming at the Seattle Cinerama and the new Beacon theater. On the archival/repertory side of things, we have Apocalypse Now, The Dark Crystal, Do the Right Things, and Hedwig and the Angry Inch. Plus, we have a documentary about the first all-women crew competing in the Whitbread Round the World competition and Richard Linklater’s latest – Where’d You Go, Bernadette.

Happy moviegoing!

* Recommended Film

Sound + vision film series

From Seattle Cinerama: “This is why you come to Cinerama. Our Sound + Vision Film Series will blow your socks off. This series highlights the very, very best in audio and visual in the film world, all coming at you from the most technologically-advanced and powerful theater in Seattle.”

This series includes Blade Runner – The Final Cut, Pulp Fiction, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Pan’s Labyrinth, Labyrinth, Back to the Future, Inception, Amazing Grace, The Fifth Element, Mad Max: Fury Road – Black & Chrome, Apocalypse Now: Final Cut, Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure, Beetlejuice, The Royal Tenenbaums, Boogie Nights, Goldfinger, Eraserhead, A Hard Day’s Night, Saturday Night Fever, Singin’ In The Rain, Grease, Raging Bull, Trainspotting, Velvet Goldmine, Cabaret, Amélie, Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, and Blade Runner 2049.

The Seattle Cinerama is one of the best theaters in Western Washington to see big, visually arresting films, and their “Sound + Vision” series is bringing some very interesting films back to the very big screen. In and amongst the usual suspects – Blade Runner, Raiders of the Lost Ark, and Mad Max: Fury Road – there are some really delightful choices like The Royal Tenenbaums, Eraserhead, and Velvet Goldmine. This will be a great series, so catch as many as you can!

Seattle Cinerama
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

You Only Moved the Headstones: The Unburied Violence of Suburbia

From The Beacon: “The films in this series all grapple with, in one way or another, the uneasy dread that arises out of the sublimated violence necessary to establish and maintain the utopian illusion of American suburbia. As we careen into a new century of heightened fortress politics and racist nationalism, we have to understand the unbroken continuity of violence propping up the entire project of suburban life. These horrors have always been here.”

This week’s film include Invasion of the Body Snatchers, Serial Mom, No Man of Her Own, Celia, and The Virgin Suicides.

The Beacon continues to prove itself to be one of the most exciting new venues in Seattle. This series of films looking at the darker side of suburbia spans sci-fi classics, dark satire, and heartbreaking drama. Every film in this series is a gem and deserves to be seen on the big screen.

The Beacon
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

New This Week

Apocalypse Now: Final Cut *
From The Grand Illusion Cinema: “Francis Ford Coppola’s Apocalypse Now in its 40th year presents a new, never-before-seen restored version of the film. Remastered in 4K Ultra HD. it employs a ground-breaking sound system engineered to create a truly visceral experience.”

The Grand Illusion Cinema
SHOWTIMES


Blinded by the Light
From The Grand Cinema: “In 1987 during the austere days of Thatcher’s Britain, a teenager learns to live life, understand his family, and find his own voice through the music of Bruce Springsteen.”

The Grand Cinema
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The Dark Crystal *
From Central Cinema: “In an age of wonder and fantastic creatures, Jen, an orphaned Gelfing, is called upon to seek out the missing shard of the Dark Crystal and restore balance to the universe. One of the finest and visually stunning uses of puppetry, the film became one of the most beloved family films while managing to scare the pants of off an entire generation.”

It’s still one of the greatest works of cinematic fantasy and one of the most imaginative (and audacious) family films ever made. This is always worth seeing on the big screen.

Central Cinema
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Do the Right Thing *
From Central Cinema: “Thirty years later, Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing still remains as relevant as ever. As the temperature rises in Brooklyn, so does the racial tension surrounding an Italian owned pizza place in the middle of a black neighborhood.”

In a career full of brilliant films, Do the Right Thing is still one of Spike Lee’s best. It’s a monumental work, one that is just as relevant today as it was 30 years ago.

Central Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Hedwig and the Angry Inch *
From SIFF: “Actor/writer/director John Cameron Mitchell tears up the screen as the titular character in his feature debut, returning to the big screen in a new 4k restoration.”

It’s one of the best film musicals of the last 20 years – outstanding songs, great performances, and an unexpectedly moving story about finding yourself.

SIFF Cinema Uptown
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MacGruber
From The Beacon: “When MacGruber hit theaters in 2010, it was a bomb itself – the lowest grossing SNL wide release ever. It was pulled from theaters in just three weeks; Parade magazine deemed it the second biggest flop of the year. Critics checked out. Audiences never even checked in. But after the smoke cleared, the film was declared a cult hit.”

The Beacon
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Maiden
From The Grand Cinema: “Tracy Edwards, a 24-year-old cook in charter boats, became the skipper of the first ever all-female crew to enter the Whitbread Round the World in 1989. With their help she went on to shock the sport world and prove that women are very much the equal of men.”

The Grand Cinema
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Rose Theatre
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The Proposal
From Northwest Film Forum: “Known as ‘the artist among architects,’ Luis Barragán is among the world’s most celebrated architects of the 20th century. Upon his death in 1988, much of his work was locked away in a Swiss bunker, hidden from the world’s view. In a high-wire act of negotiation that explores how far an artist will go, artist and director Jill Magic attempts to resurrect Barragán’s life by democratizing access to his art.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Queen
From Northwest Film Forum: “More than 40 years before RuPaul’s Drag Race, this ground-breaking documentary about the 1967 Miss All-America Camp Beauty Pageant introduced audiences to the world of competitive drag. The film takes us backstage to kiki with the contestants as they rehearse, throw shade, and transform into their drag personas in the lead-up to the big event.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Spy Behind Home Plate
From Crest Cinema Center: “Morris ‘Moe’ Berg, a Jewish catcher during baseball’s Golden Age, joined the Office of Strategic Services to spy for the U.S. on the Nazis’ atomic bomb program.”

Crest Cinema Center
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Where’d You Go, Bernadette
From Ark Lodge Cinemas: “Based on the runaway bestseller, Where’d You Go, Bernadette is an inspiring comedy about Bernadette Fox, a loving mom who becomes compelled to reconnect with her creative passions after years of sacrificing herself for her family. Bernadette’s leap of faith takes her on an epic adventure that jump-starts her life and leads to her triumphant rediscovery.”

Ark Lodge Cinemas
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Continuing Features

The Dead Don’t Die *
From Olympia Film Society: “From writer-director Jim Jarmusch comes a star-studded horror comedy featuring an ensemble cast of Jarmusch regulars and newcomers to the fold in a raucous, rueful and satirical glimpse at American habits and desires at the end of the world — a comically terrifying state of the nation addressed in a true cinematic original.”

I absolutely loved this low-key zombie comedy, a genuinely mournful look at death and mortality, as well as the damage that we humans have done to our planet.

Olympia Film Society
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.”

Ark Lodge Cinemas
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Rose Theatre
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SIFF Cinema Uptown
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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.

Ark Lodge Cinemas
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

Firehouse Theater
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Grand Cinema
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SIFF Cinema Egyptian
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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 recently 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 Cinemas
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Late Night *
From Crest Cinema Center: “In this dramatic comedy, a hard-as-nails talk show host adds a woman to her all-male writing staff to avoid losing her show.”

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

Crest Cinema Center
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.”

This completely took me by surprise. The more I’ve thought about this one, the more I love it. It’s Tarantino’s warmest film and one of his most mature. There’s something lovely about his thoroughly optimistic belief that cinema has the power to rewrite history.

The Grand Cinema
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Rose Theatre
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SIFF Cinema Uptown
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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.”

The Grand Cinema
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Rose Theatre
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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.

Crest Cinema Center
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
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Firehouse Theater
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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.”

Rose Theatre
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Filibus (with Live Score) *
From The Beacon: “Filibus, which follows the exploits of a futuristic female super-villain who pounces on her prey from a zeppelin manned by a crew of loyal henchman, is one of a kind. ‘Who is Filibus?’ asks the ad. Contemporary viewers might also wonder how this cross-dressing antiheroine, heralded by some as cinema’s first lesbian, managed to emerge from an Italian cinema dominated by swooning divas and historical epics.”

More “must-see” programming from The Beacon. I haven’t seen Filibus, but I always jump at the chance to see silents on the big screen with a live score. It’s always such an incredible experience.

The Beacon
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Hyenas *
From SIFF: “Nearly twenty years after he changed Senegalese cinema forever with Touki Bouki, director Djibril Diop Mambéty returned with his second and final feature Hyenas.”

I’m still formulating my opinions on this one, but there is something so beautiful about the film’s grounded lyricism and fable-like quality. It’s a dark, lacerating comedy about greed and the far-reaching consequences of colonialism and capitalism on African society.

SIFF Film Center
TICEKTS & SHOWTIMES


Ray & Liz *
From The Grand Illusion Cinema: “On the outskirts of Birmingham and the margins of society the Billingham family perform extreme rituals and break social taboos as they muddle through a life decided by factors beyond their control. At times shocking and laced with an unsettling humour, three episodes unfold as a powerful evocation of the experience of growing up in a Black Country council flat.”

I keep hearing great things about this cinematic memoir and am eagerly looking forward to catching this one.

The Grand Illusion Cinema
SHOWTIMES

One-Day Screenings

$100 & a T-Shirt
From Seattle Public Library: “In just under an hour, “100 & A T-Shirt” brings zine culture to life! Using broken and borrowed equipment, Joe Biel illuminates the world of self-publishing.”

Seattle Public Library
SHOWTIMES


Big Trouble in Little China
From IMDb.com: “A rough-and-tumble trucker helps rescue his friend’s fiance from an ancient sorcerer in a supernatural battle beneath Chinatown.”

Northwest Film Forum
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


A Boy Named Charlie Brown
From SIFF: “In 1969, Charles M. Schulz’s beloved Peanuts characters made their big screen debut with A Boy Named Charlie Brown. Experience the Oscar-nominated film once more with us, as we honor the 50th anniversary of this family-friendly animated classic.”

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
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Confessions of an Opium Eater
From IMDb.com: “In 19th century San Francisco’s Chinatown, American adventurer Gilbert De Quincey is saving slave girls owned by the Chinese Tong factions.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


Easy Rider *
From The Grand Cinema: “Through the open country and desert lands, two bikers head from L.A to New Orleans, and along the way, meet a man who bridges a counter-culture gap they are unaware of.”

The Grand Cinema +
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Freaked
From IMDb.com: “A vain actor, his best friend, and an activist end up at a mutant freak farm run by a weirdo scientist.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


The Funhouse
From The Beacon: “The dark horse in an unofficial trilogy, The Funhouse sits unassuming between the sun-baked docu-realism of The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and the heightened theatrical artifice of Eaten Alive. Hooper’s underseen first studio film is sometimes dismissed as a minor entry in the 80s slasher wave that followed the success of Halloween and Friday the 13th, but this belies both its true nature and the cosmic horror lurking beneath its surface.”

The Beacon
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Goonies *
From The Grand Cinema: “In order to save their home from foreclosure, a group of misfits set out to find a pirate’s ancient valuable treasure.”

The Grand Cinema +
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House *
From IMDb.com: “A schoolgirl and six of her classmates travel to her aunt’s country home, which turns out to be haunted.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


Inglourious Basterds *
From Central Cinema: “Brad Pitt is Lt. Aldo Raine, leading a team of Jewish American soldiers in occupied France who commit acts of violent retribution against the occupying forces. They team up with a German actress who works undercover to lead them to the leaders of the Third Reich. Their fates align with Shosanna Dreyfus, who seeks vengeance against the Nazis for the death of her family.”

It isn’t my favorite film from Tarantino, but it’s one that I’m definitely eager to see again – especially after watching Tarantino’s latest.

Central Cinema
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Killers *
From Rose Theatre: “The height of film noir, with Burt Lancaster and Ava Gardner. Hit men, a bank robbery, murder for life insurance, and a cinematic siren all play into this tantalizing tale from 1946.”

This is a fantastic little pulpy noir, taking a short story by Ernest Hemingway and using it as a launching pad to explore a merciless world of boxers and and bank robbers.

Rose Theatre
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

The Last Waltz
From The Grand Cinema: “Martin Scorsese chronicles the most legendary night in rock history, as an unparalleled lineup of rock superstars — including Bob Dylan, Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell and Van Morrison — take the stage for “The Band’s” 1976 farewell concert.”

The Grand Cinema +
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A Man Called Ove
From Seattle Public Library: “Ove, an ill tempered, isolated retiree who spends his days enforcing block association rules and visiting his wife’s grave, has finally given up on life just as an unlikely friendship develops with his boisterous new neighbors. Based on the bestselling novel.”

I really didn’t like this one when I first saw it – a little too cloying and sentimental for my liking. But there are some interesting ideas in here – they just never become fully formed.

Seattle Public Library
SHOWTIMES


The Matrix *
From IMDb.com:

Olympia Film Society
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Mirageman
From IMDb.com: “A club bouncer with a dark past and great fighting skills decides to become a superhero.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


My Own Private Idaho *
From Olympia Film Society: “In this loose adaptation of Shakespeare’s “Henry IV,” Mike Waters is a gay hustler afflicted with narcolepsy. Scott Favor is the rebellious son of a mayor. Together, the two travel from Portland, Oregon to Idaho and finally to the coast of Italy in a quest to find Mike’s estranged mother. Along the way they turn tricks for money and drugs, eventually attracting the attention of a wealthy benefactor.”

Olympia Film Society
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind
From Olympia Film Society: “Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind, written and directed by Hayao Miyazaki, is an epic masterpiece of sweeping scope and grandeur that remains one of the most breathtaking and exhilarating animated films of all time.”

Olympia Film Society
SHOWTIMES


Ophelia
From The Grand Cinema: “Something is rotten in medieval-era Denmark, where political intrigue swirls around the imperial court like dark magic. Caught between her desires and her loyalty, Ophelia has to decide where her devotion will ultimately lie. A re-imagining of Hamlet, told from Ophelia’s perspective.”

The Grand Cinema +
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


Slow Ride Home
From SIFF: “What happens when eight men with scooters set out to see the country on them, covering 3700 miles in 11 days on vehicles not intended from cross-country exploits?”

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES


The Stepfather
From IMDb.com: “After murdering his entire family, a man remarries a widow with a teenage daughter in another town and prepares to do it all over again.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


Vanishing Point
From IMDb.com: “During the 1970s, car delivery driver Kowalski delivers hot rods in record time but always runs into trouble with the highway cops.”

Scarecrow Video
SHOWTIMES


The Women
From SIFF: “Unbeknownst to Mary, her husband is engaged in an extramarital affair with a department store perfume girl. When news of the infidelity reaches the ears of Mary’s friends Sylvia and Edith, they conspire to get the word to Mary in a roundabout fashion.”

I love classic comedy, but this was a little too maudlin for my tastes. And it throws in some very dated beliefs about marriage and the role of women, making this a real slog to get through.

SIFF Cinema Uptown
TICKETS & SHOWTIMES

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