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Cinema stuff for the week of September 14

We begin this week's cinema roundup at Grand Illusion Cinema. Saturday, September 15 is their annual fundraiser, a fabulous party complete with a  35mm print of Jacques Tati's M. Hulot's Holiday. Tickets are available online, and the price includes one beverage of an alcoholic or nonalcoholic nature. There will be treats from Chaco Canyon Cafe, Pizza Pi, and Georgetown Brewing, and they'll also be raffleling off items from Criterion, SIFF, Northwest Film Forum, and us here at Scarecrow.

Back by popular demand on Thursday, September 20 is Computer Error: The Worst of CGI.  The GI warns you to "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!!!" It sold out quickly the first time around; we recommed you get your tickets soon.

Dead Men Don't Wear Plaid is playing at the GI all week. I know everyone loves The Jerk, and rightly so, but this Steve Martin noir parody deserves another chance, especially in fine 35mm fashion. The Spanish cult zombie movie REC 3 makes an encore appearance in the Late Night spot. It's not recommended for those who fear chainsaws.


SIFF Cinema has a few new films this week. The first is China Heavyweight, a documentary following Chinese boxing coach Qi Moxiang as he travels rural areas recruting teenagers to train for the Olympics. SIFF says its "all at once thrilling sports drama, astute social commentary and a beautifully crafted portrait of an athlete." The second is For Ellen starring Paul Dano as a young rock star in the middle of a divorce fighting for the chance to stay in contact with his young daughter. This emotional story is from In Between Days director director So Yong Kim. And Friday through Sunday at the Film Center, there's Las Acacias, the story of a gruff truck driver and his emotional transformation as he ferries a young woman and her infant child from Paraguay to Buenos Aires. It's the debut feature from Argentinian director Pablo Giorgelli and won the Camera d'or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival.

Also this week at SIFF is a new 4k digital transfer of Otto Preminger's 1958 masterpiece Bonjour Tristesse starring David Niven, Deborah Kerr, and Jean Seberg. This gorgeously shot film is one you should definitely make a point to see on the big screen.

SIFF hosts the Noor Iranian Film Festival  this Saturday and Sunday, starting with the short documentary Nasseredin Shah and His 84 Wives, "an investigation into how things became as they are in Iran, but from a perspective that is all too often overlooked, namely, the influential role played by women in the political processes." Visit the festival page for the full schedule of films.

In other shorter SIFF runs this week, the Films4Familes film this Saturday and Sunday is Babe, which in my opinion is the best of the non-animated talking animal movies. On Monday there's a special screening of The Loop, a Twilight Zone-like short film about a man lost in a seemingly endless stretch of road. On Tuesday the Milos Forman series continues with Amadeus.There will be free masquerade masks at the door and prizes for the best fancy costumes. On Thursday the Next 50 Series free screening is Something Ventured, a documentary chronicling the early days of venture capitalism. And on Thursday and Friday, there's BURN, a documentary on Detroit firefighters produced by Rescue Me star Denis Leary.

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, 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 weekend has Bill W., an inspiring look at the life and legacy of the man who helped found Alcoholics Anonymous. On Friday and Saturday there's the last two performances of Maldoror, a new live production from the innovative performance troupe UMO Ensemble. "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."

On Friday at 5pm, join esteemed local film critics Richard Jameson, Kathleen Murphy, and Robert Horton for their monthly chat Framing Pictures.


Central Cinema this week as the 80s sci-fi cult hit and subject of a recent Twitter exchange between Patton Oswalt and star Ellen Barkin: The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension. Fun fact: It's one of those movies that promises a sequel that never happened (see also Masters of the Universe). There's also one of the Scarecrow staff's most beloved films: Pulp Fiction. Monday's screening is in Hecklevision with your humorous insights appearing on screen via the magic of text messaging. Start preparing your witty answers to "Whose chopper is this?"

On Tuesday there's a TV Dinner with four episodes of Saved By The Bell. CC's film noir series Night and Day continues Wednesday with Memento. Then on Thursday, there's the usual Cartoon Happy Hour with family-friendly fare from 5:30-7pm, followed by a Girls Pajama Party with  Mannequin starring Andrew McCarthy, Kim Cattrall, Meshach Taylor, and a delightfully evil James Spader. I think it has one of the best non-sports montages of any 80s film.


King's Hardware on lovely Ballard Avenue will be playing Mean Girls on Monday evening on their nice back patio.

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