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Cinema stuff for the sizzling week of August 17

It's going to be another hot weekend in Seattle. Here's some of what's playing in air conditioned theaters (and breezy outdoor spaces) around town.


SIFF Cinema this week brings back one of the highlights of SIFF 2012, the 15-hour epic The Story of Film: An Odyssey. This journey through the history of cinema is by film historian Mark Cousins, who crafts a love letter to film that starts in the silent era and leaves off in the digital age. SIFF is showing it in three-hour chunks over the weekend. Use the promo code ODYSSEY2012 online or at the box office for $2 OFF tickets.

SIFF also welcomes local writer/director Taylor Guterson's Old Goats this week; it's the story of three men, local actors Bob Burkholder, David VanderWal, and Britton Crosley, each playing themselves, who "refuse to go quietly into the night of retirement and old age." Guterson and cast member Benita Staadecker will be at the screenings on Friday, August 17 for Q & A after the movie. The Stranger

This weekend's Films4Families movie at SIFF is Mad Hot Ballrooom, the charming, inspirational documentary that follows a group of New York City public school students through the world of competive ballroom dancing. On Tuesday, SIFF hosts a Tugg screening of the sci-fi action spoof Iron Sky, in which alien Nazis attempt to take over Earth. Wednesday brings Finding Joe, "a gorgeously filmed examination of mythologist Joseph Campbell’s The Hero’s Journey, the narrative pattern found in tales throughout time" in stories ranging from The Wizard of Oz to Star Wars to the Harry Potter books and focuses on how we can follow Campbell's rule of "follow your bliss" in our everyday lives. It's another free screening in the Next 50 Film series.

Continuing their runs this week at SIFF are critically acclaimed identity mystery documentary The Imposter  (read friend-of-the-store Amie's review over on Three Imaginary Girls) and Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom, a film much loved by the Scarecrow Andersonphile Society.


Our friends on Capitol Hill Northwest Film Forum continue their 35mm: The Celluloid Dream series this week with a lovely new print of Robert Bresson's 1977 drama The Devil Probably, centering around a group of cynical Parisan youth. Local film critics Richard Jameson, Kathleen Murphy, and Robert Horton will be discussing the film and Bresson's work in their monthly chat Framing Pictures at NWFF on Friday at 5pm. They'll also talk about the recent Sight and Sound magazine's Greatest Movies Ever Made critic's poll, in which Vertigo topped Citizen Kane for the first time ever.

This week NWFF also has the surf documentary Splinters, a look at Papua New Guinea's surfing community and four surfers competing for the country's first-ever national title.


You can get away without leaving the 206 area code at Central Cinema. This week they're showing Roman Holiday starring Audrey Hepburn, Gregory Peck, and the lovely streets of Rome, along with National Lampoon's European Adventure starring Chevy Chase, Beverly D'Angelo, Big Ben and Parliament. On Wednesday, CC's Night & Day noir series continues with Rian Johnson's Brick (recommended especially for all those patiently waiting for Looper.) There's the usual Cartoon Happy Hour with family-friendly fare from 5:30-7pm on Thursday, followed by the old and new school jams of the Ladies of R & B Sing-A-Long at 8pm.


Our dear friends down the street at Grand Illusion Cinema have recent French thriller Sleepless Night about a seemingly normal cop whose involvement with a group of dangerous gangsters seriously threatens his family. UPDATE: Now heartily endorsed by the aforementioned Imaginary Amie at Three Imaginary Girls.

In Grand Illusion SAVE THE DATE news, on Friday, August 23 there's a very special screening of Computer Error: The Worst CGI in Movie History, a montage of truly awful computer generated images compiled by the good people at the Alamo Drafthouse in Austin. A direct quote from the GI's site: "CGI is hereby on trial, and there's enough evidence for you the jury to send it straight to the electric chair! So prepare yourself for a brutal barrage of twisters, scorpion kings, sharktopuses and farting little buddies, as we hack into the mainframe of CGI retardation and set that buuuuullshit on FIIIIRRRRE!!!"

Tickets are going fast for this, so get yours today.


And for your cinema alfresco pleasure:

Friday: Over on Capitol Hill, Three Dollar Bill Cinema's Road Trip! movie series at Cal Anderson Park ends with the marvelous Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert.

Saturday: Fremont Outdoor Cinema has a Kevin Smith-rrific double feature of Clerks and Mallrats.

It's Week Three of Seattle Center's Movies at the Mural Harry Potter-a-thon with Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix and follow it up Sunday with Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince.

The Museum of History and Industry's Northwest-centric movie series continues near their new home in South Lake Union with the wonderful glilmpse into our city's past through the eyes and ears of  Mr. Elvis Presley, It Happened at the World's Fair. Be sure to check out our colleague Spenser's review in the Scarecrow on Seattle column we write each week for the Seattle Office of Film + Music.

And across the bridge at The Junction in West Seattle, there's skies of blue and seas of green with the Beatles' Yellow Submarine.

Thursday: Outdoor Movies at Magunson Park is showing Monty Python and the Holy Grail. Bring your own coconut halves.

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