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Cinema stuff for the June 29 week & Fourth of July

Greetings, everyone! One programming note before we get in to what's on screens around town: Scarecrow will be open from 11am to 9pm on Wednesday, July 4 for all your Independence Day 2-for-1 rental needs. We wish you all a happy and safe holiday. Now, the roundup:


SIFF Cinema continues the truly amazing Studio Ghibli series with such benchmarks of animation as Spirited Away, My Neighbor Totoro, and the rarely-screened raccoon-fest Pom Poko. Visit the series homepage for the full schedule.

Friday through Sunday at SIFF, you can spend the weekend with the New Czech Films Tour, a five film series featuring the best in Czech cinema, including the secret agent thriller Walking Too Fast and Leaving, the directorial debut of late Czech president Václav Havel. Visit the series homepage for the full schedule of films. And if you like Czech film, we recommend the recent Eclipse set from Criterion Pearls of the Czech New Wave.

Also this week at SIFF, there's the Armenian love affair Here and two favorites from this year's film festival: The touching long-lost family drama People Like Us starring Chris "Kirk" Pine, Michelle Pfeiffer, and Elizabeth Banks; and Bobcat Goldthwait's scorching media satire God Bless America.

Northwest Film Forum begins its fabulous 35mm: The Celluloid Dream summer series with Jacques Rivette's dreamy 1974 fairy tale-of-sorts, Celine and Julie Go Boating.

Friday through Sunday, there's The Beat Hotel, a film by Alan Govenar that goes deep in to the legacy of American Beat authors like Ginsburg, Orlovsky, and Burroughs residency in Paris in the late 1950s and early 60s.

Monday and Tuesday, there's the Seattle premiere of Reach of Resonance, a philosophic and sonic journey" that begin "with the notion that music is simply vibrations moving through the air, the film exaines four 'noise making' musicians.  Each musician utilizes politics, nature and technology capturing sounds such as cockroaches, wars, fences and even Aurora Borealis's magnetic field."

On Thursday, July 5, there's Search & Rescue, an evening of educational and instructional films and other odd bits of 16mm cinema history from the Northwest Film Forum valuts.


Central Cinema celebrates this Fourth of July week with two American classics: Ghostbusters and Road House (which The Stranger's David Schmader says is what would happen "if Showgirls was a boy." If you haven't seen Road House, you are only doing yourself a favor by seeing it with a crowd where you can drink multiple beers. Monday's screening will be in Hecklevision with your throat-ripping texts appearing on screen.

CC is closed on the 4th but Thursday, July 5 brings a Cartoon Happy Hour from 5:30 to 7pm and then a great TV Dinner featuring the entire Series 2 of Red Dwarf. My favorite episode: "Queeg."


Grand Illusion Cinema this week (also closed on the 4th) has Rene Laloux's excellent psychedelic sci-fi animated classic Fantatstic Planet, and starting Tuesday they'll have local filmmaker Shaun Scott's 100% Off: A Recession-Era Romance. This is the first narrative feature from the director of great Seattle history documentary Seat of Empire.

Friday and Saturday Late Night screening is John Woo's The Killer. Do not miss this chance to see Chow Yun-Fat and thousands of bullets in glorious 35mm.

By popular demand, the "cold, hard slab of psychedelic sci-fi" Beyond the Black Rainbow, Vancouver, BC writer and director Panos Cosmatos' "Reagan-era fever dream" set in 1983 has been held over with screenings on Saturday, June 30 and Sunday, July 1.

And if you're out and about in Ballard on Monday night, stop by King's Hardware for a double feature of The Big Lebowski and O Brother Where Art Thou? out on their nice back patio (covered and heated should the weather be evil).

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