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Theatrical goings on for the second weekend in December

Hello and welcome to the theatrical happenings for the second weekend in December. On your must-see list this weekend should be WILLY WONKA AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY at SIFF Cinema. Not only will you get to see the classic 1971 film starring Gene Wilder in full big screen glory, but you'll also experience the amazing SMELL-O-VISION, complete with a bag of tasty confections and the smell of snozzberries wafting through the cinema. Last year's screenings sold out fast so act quickly and get your tickets soon. There's two must-sees begin this weekend at Northwest Film Forum. The first is STRANGE POWERS: STEPHIN MERRITT AND THE MAGNETIC FIELDS, an intricate portrait of The Magnetic Fields and its creatively charged frontman. If you're like me and still kicking yourself for missing it at SIFF this summer, don't let it pass you by a second time. The second is Martin Scorsese's RAGING BULL in lovely 35mm (you already know why this is a must see). Also at NWFF on Saturday is a FREE screening of NEW ANIMATED WORK by Seattle Experimental Animation Team members Tess Martin and Stefan Gruber. Then on Sunday, they have the festive HOLIDAY HIGH NOTES concert with the prestigious Northwest Boychoir. Central Cinema will scare you into the holiday spirit with GREMLINS (our second favorite non-traditional holiday film behind DIE HARD). On Monday they're paying tribute to the late Leslie Nielsen with a screening of THE NAKED GUN. And if you're needing a quick shot of Christmas cheer, on Thursday there's a Christmas Pops Sing Along with all your favorite songs and holiday special moments. I hope they have the Life Day song from the Star Wars Holiday Special! Two films we've been eagerly awaiting arrive in theaters this week: Darren Aronofsky's ballet thriller/award-show bound BLACK SWAN (read what the MacGuffin Film Blog thought of it) and the dark holiday humor of Finland's RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE, which our co-worker Elicia recommended on the fourth episode of The Scarecrow Podcast. They're playing at the Guild 45th and The Varsity respectively. Lastly, this weekend marks the 40th anniversary of IT'S A WONDERFUL LIFE at Grand Illusion Cinema. If there was ever a definitive Seattle holiday experience, this is it! Make this the year you finally go. Happy viewing to all.