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Cinema stuff for the week of September 7

Happy late summer, everyone. Here's some of what's playing on screens around town:

SIFF Cinema has Spike Lee's new film Red Hook Summer, which follows a young man from middle-class Atlanta to Brooklyn, where he spends the summer in a housing project with his extremely religious grandfather. Lee also reprises his role as Mookie from Do The Right Thing.

Also new this week at SIFF Cinema are Marina Abramovic The Artist is Present, an exploration in to the life, art, and struggles of the renowned performance artist, and The Ambassador, director and "international provocateur" Mads Brügger's journey to the Central African Republic. SIFF describes this genre-bending film as such: "Armed with a phalanx of  hidden cameras, black-market diplomatic credentials and a bleeding-edge wit, Brügger transforms himself into an outlandish caricature of a European-African consul. Immersing himself in the life-threatening underworld of nefarious bureaucrats, he encounters blood diamond smuggling, bribery, and even murder—while somehow managing to crack razor-sharp barbs at every step along the way."

In shorter SIFF runs, on Saturday there's a screening of Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory, the final chapter of Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky’s documentaries on the West Memphis Three and their almost two-decade-long fight to prove their innocence in a series of murders. The screening is a benefit for the WM3 Freedom Fund, and film subject and current Seattle resident Jason Baldwin is scheduled to attend. We recommend you read David Schmader's interview with Baldwin in The Stranger.

On Tuesday, SIFF's Milos Forman series continues with One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, his famous film adaptation of Ken Kesey's novel, starring Jack Nicholson and Louise Fletcher. Then on Thursday, Beatles' scholar Scott Frieman thoroughly examines of the best albums of all time in Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper. It's followed by a screening of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, the 1978 film starring the Bee Gees. We sometimes play it in the store, much to the disgust/delight of our staff and patrons.

***SIFF UPDATE*** SIFF added several screenings to their site since we posted this Friday morning. The Films4Families matinee this Saturday and Sunday is March of the Penguins. On Saturday, SIFF celebrates Seattle Center's 50th anniversary with three FREE screenings of It Happened at the World's Fair. And on Wednesday, the aforementioned David Schmader hosts Flickering Genius, an evening of short films by The Stranger Genius Award finalists Megan Griffiths, Drew Christie, and Shaun Scott, followed by a wine reception with the fimmakers. Nice!

Continuing their SIFF runs this week are Beasts of the Southern Wild, the crticially acclaimed story of a young girl (Quvenzhané Wallis), her father (Dwight Henry), and a group of their misfit neighbors from the backwaters of New Orleans fleeing in the wake of a large storm, sci-fi action spoof Iron Sky, in which alien Nazis attempt to take over Earth, and local writer/director Taylor Guterson's Old Goats, the locally made story of three men who "refuse to go quietly into the night of retirement and old age."


Northwest Film Forum this week has The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, a documentary on groundbreaking performance artist and musical pioneer Genesis Breyer P-Orridge, his soul mate Lady Jaye, and the extensive physical transformations they've undergone to "merge into a single hermaphroditic identity and deconstruct the '"fiction of self.'" There's also Beauty is Embarrassing, a look at the career highs and lows of artist (and Pee-Wee's Playhouse co-creator) Wayne White.

On Tuesday night at the Moore Theatre, NWFF and Seattle Theatre Group present The Love Song of R. Buckminster Fuller, Sam Green's live documentary tracing the life of the legendary and experimetal architect and inventor. The combination of film clips and narration will feature a score performed live by great indie rock band Yo La Tengo.

Thursday night, NWFF hosts UMO Ensemble: Maldoror, a new live production from the innovative performance troupe who mix theatre, photo-surrealism, acrobatics, music, and sound to create an incredible theatrical experience. "Inspired by the 19th century Surrealist writer le Comte de Lautréamont (pen name for Isidore Ducasse), Maldoror springs to life in UMO's dark, giddy, hallucinatory production...a thrilling and terrifying exploration of a true villain. Join UMO to look behind the mask as they unearth the highly-relatable passions behind a resolutely violent and nihilistic personality."



Central Cinema has two cuss-tastic films this week: Ferris Bueller's Day Off and The Fantastic Mr. Fox. Ferris feels like a good way to rebel against the beginning of the school year, while the gentle orange and brown hues of Mr. Fox will charmingly ease you in to fall. Tuesday brings Arrested Development Trivia Night (just how much money was in the banana stand?) Wednesday's noir night with Orson Welles' Touch of Evil. Thursday has Cartoon Happy Hour with family-friendly fare from 5:30-7pm, followed by another opportunity to experience the wonder of Tommy Wiseau's The Room


Grand Illusion Cinema welcomes Apocalypse: A Bill Callahan Tour Film, "a concert film/tour documentary/psychedelic thingamajig" with the songwriter and his band, along with Decasia: The State of Decay, Bill Morrison's hypnotic found footage collage of decaying silent films. They've also held over  Side by Side: The Science, Art and Impact of Digital Cinema, a documentary exploring how digital filmmaking has changed and advanced the medium, for two shows on Sunday, September 9. Catch it while you can.

Late Nights at the GI return Friday & Saturday night at 11pm with REC 3, the third installment in the cult Spanish zombie series.

You should continue saving the date for the GI's Fundraiser on Saturday, September 15 with a big fancy party and M. Hulot's Holiday.


King's Hardware on lovely Ballard Avenue will be playing Fast Times at Ridgemont High and the aforementioned Ferris Bueller's Day Off out on its back porch on Monday night.


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