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Cinema happenings for the week of April 20

We'll begin this week's cinema round-up at Grand Illusion Cinema, where Saturday night you can experience the chills and thrills of the VHS Vareity Special, featuring comedy and live performance footage taken from our vast VHS library. From awkward celebrity exchanges to crazy stunts, this  Rumor has it the clips may include a tribute to Dick Clark.


The Science Fiction Film Festival series has begun over at Cinerama with a line up that, if I start to list all the amazing films you can see on actual wonderful film, would cause me to drool on my keyboard and break the computer. This weekend brings Metropolis with the Alloy Orchestra and a new 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey (just typing that made me do a little happy dance). Check the series schedule for the full list of films and times.


There's a whole weekend of films at the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival before it ends Sunday with Nigerian-born director Andrew Dosunmu's Restless City, an immgrant's love story to Harlem. You'll find the full schedule and ticket information on their site.


Enjoy a day of giggles and gore Saturday night with the BoneBat Film Festival at the Big Picture in Redmond. Your hosts Steve and Gord will present a variety of feature films and shorts from around the world, including the Seattle premiere of Monster Brawl starring Lance Hendricksen and Dave Foley . You can get the full schedule and ticket information on their site.


Three Dollar Bill Cinema presents a Gay Wedding double feature at Central Cinema on Wednesday, April 25 with I Think I Do and The Wedding Banquet. Representatives from Washington United for Marriage will be on hand to collect donations and present information on how you can get involved. On Thursday the 26th, there's a Gender Bender Sing-a-Long at the aforementioned Central Cinema with all the best from Culture Club, Dead or Alive, Rocky Horror & more. It's a prelude to Three Dollar Bill Cinema's upcoming Translations: The Seattle Transgender Film Festival, which starts Friday, May 3.


SIFF Cinema

Opening Friday, April 20

Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie--"In Canada, David Suzuki is an icon: a household name synonymous with nature and science...This engrossing documentary from director Sturla Gunnarsson interweaves Suzuki’s stirring and insightful lectures with candid interviews to create a captivating portrait of a man whose essential decency speaks volumes about the beauty of the planet he's trying so hard to save."


Friday, April 20

American Graffiti--SIFF's Class Reunion: High School Through the Decades series concludes with George Lucas' 1973 ode to his days growing up in the 50s cruising the streets of Modesto, California, starring Ron Howard, Cindy Williams, and Richard Dreyfuss (and keep your eyes out for a pre-Solo Harrison Ford.)


Friday, April 20 & Saturday, April 21

Sharkwater--"This remarkable documentary captures the beauty of sharks with stunning underwater photography, and chronicles the harrowing above-water adventures of the renegade activists who are attempting to slow their extinction." There will be shark experts in attendance to answer questions before each screening.

Battle Royale--If you haven't yet to see Kinji Fukasaku's 2000 adaptatoin of the Japanese novel that, yes, is thematically similar to The Hunger Games, you should go and experience its power on the big screen.


Sunday, April 22

One Day on Earth--"Celebrate Earth Day with a special global event screening of One Day On Earth. On November 11 (11.11.11), documentary filmmakers, students, and other inspired citizens across the planet recorded the human experience over a 24-hour period to contribute their voice to the second annual global day of media creation called One Day on Earth. They show both the challenges and hopes of humanity from many diverse perspectives, proving that the world is interconnected, enormous, perilous, and wonderful."


Tuesday, April 24

Repo Man--Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton star in Alex Cox's 1983 film about two repo men out to get the big score that will set them up for life. It is a great mystery how this didn't end up in our Best of the 1980s section.


Wednesday, April 25

Manufactured Landscapes--"On a tour of Asia, still photographer Edward Burtynsky takes large-format photographs of industrial landscapes: factory workers lined up to infinity, massive recycling dumps, expansive strip mines. A portrait of a luscious world of destruction that neither celebrates nor condemns but simply explores who we are in relation to our planet." It's part of SIFF and Seattle Center's Next 50 Film Series celebrating the legacy of the 1962 World's Fair.


Continuing runs

Natural Selection--This "part road trip, part oddly-matched romance, and part tale of the trials of marriage and morality" stars Rachael Harris a good Christian housewife who discovers her dying husband long ago fathered a child via sperm donation and sets out to find him. Harris has gained much critical acclaim for her performance, along with Matt O'Leary, who plays the drug-addicted son Raymond. It won the Grand Jury Prize and Audience Award at this year's SXSW.

Free Men--"Free Men tells the little known yet remarkable true story of how France’s Muslim community worked to save Jewish lives during the Nazi Occupation. Younes (Tahar Rahim, A Prophet) is a young Algerian immigrant earning his living as a black marketeer on the streets of Paris. Arrested by the French police, he is given one chance to avoid jail: assist them by infiltrating the Paris Mosque and reporting back on their activities."

Kid With a Bike--"Winner of the Grand Jury Prize at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival, this deeply moving new film by the Dardenne brothers (L’enfant, Rosetta) delves into the emotional life of troubled 11-year-old Cyril (newcomer Thomas Doret). When his father abandons him, Cyril obsessively tries to find his bicycle—after all, his father must have cared about him enough not to sell that off, he reasons."

Pina-Wim Wenders' Oscar-nominated documentary is a dazzling tribute to choreographer Pina Bausch. SIFF is showing it in lovely 3D.



Northwest Film Forum

Friday, April 20--Thursday, April 26

The Turin House--"Announced as Béla Tarr’s last film, The Turin Horse is apocrypha fabricated from apocrypha. The story is based on the legend that philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche witnessed a man abusing a horse in Turin, Italy, which triggered the mental illness that disabled Nietzsche until his death. Knowing what happened to Nietzsche, this film speculates what happened to the horse.


Tuesday, April 24 & Wednesday, April 25

Michael Glawogger's Globalization Trilogy--NWFF welcomes the Austrian director to Seattle to present two of his three most well-known films. On Wednesday, there's MegaCities, "an artful look at the underclass in Mexico City, Bombay, Moscow and New York," and Workingman's Death, "which depicts manual labor at the beginning of the 21st century through the eyes of coal miners in the Ukraine, ship dismantlers in Pakistan, slaughterers in a Nigerian stockyard and sulfur harvesters on an Indonesian mountain," on Thursday. The trilogy conludes Friday, April 27 with Whore's Glory.


Thursday, April 26

Fata Morgana--Michael Glawogger presents Werner Herzog's meditation on the desert and creation (set to songs by Leonard Coen) and discusses how Herzog has inspired his work.



Central Cinema

Friday, April 20

The Fog--John Carpenter's horror classic starring Jamie Lee Curtis and Adrienne Barbeau feels appropriate for both 4/20 and Earth Day.

Friday, April 20--Sunday, April 22

Ghost World--That beer commerical is stupid but did reminded me it's definitely time to revisit Terry Zwigoff's film.


Saturday, April 21--Monday, April 23

Buffalo '66--Best movie ever that starts with someone really needing to use the bathroom.


Monday, April 23

Interview With a Vampire--Presented in glorious Hecklevision with your humorious texts on screen.  I'll start: "Crap! I didn't even remember Christian Slater was in this movie!"


Tuesday, April 24

MovieCat Trivia--Battle it out with fellow film nerds for awesome prizes!


Thursday, April 26

Cartoon Happy Hour--A family-friendly happy hour with classic cartoons from 5:30-7pm.



Grand Illusion Cinema

Friday, April 20--Thursday, April 26

Lou Harrison: A World of Music--"A documentary about the great American composer, artist, writer, activist, Lou Harrison (1917–2003). The documentary is the culmination of two decades of documentation and research resulting in 300+ hours of performances, rehearsals, and interviews that were made with Lou Harrison, his life partner William Colvig, and Harrison’s contemporaries and associates." Friday night's show features a performance of Harrison's guitar compositions by Michael Nicollela, and Saturday night's show has Seattle Chamber Players flutist and Cornish College professor Paul Taub, along with Cornish students Tommy Whiteside and Nick Iverson, peforming Harrison's First Concerto for Flute and Percussion.


Monday, April 23--Thursday, April 26

King For Two Days--"King for Two Days documents a two-night concert held at the Walker Art Center in Minneapolis, MN celebrating the music of Dave King and featuring performances by five of the bands he drums in (The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Buffalo Collision, Golden Valley Is Now, The Dave King Trucking Company). Through rehearsals, interviews, and concert excerpts, a world emerges where the concept of the band's performance is held above the need for individual showmanship."


Late Night: Friday, April 20 & Saturday, April 21

The Snowtown Murders--"Based on real-life crimes discovered in Snowtown, Australia in 1999, this brutal and unflinching film won the Special Jury Prize at Cannes' Critic's Week. 16 year-old Jamie falls in with his mother's new boyfriend and his crowd of self-appointed neighborhood watchmen, a relationship that leads to a spree of torture and murder."


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