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Cinema stuff for the week of September 21

First, an IMPORTANT PROGRAMMING NOTE: Scarecrow and VHSpresso will be CLOSED on Thursday, September 27 for remodeling and painting. We will reopen our spruced up store at 11am on Friday, September 28. We will not make any rentals due back that day, but our outdoor return slot will remain open should you need to drop off your movies. We apologize for any incovenience and hope you'll enjoy the changes we're making. Now on, to what's going on cinematically around town:


While we're dusting and painting on Thursday, you can see the premiere film of the Festival of New Spanish Cinema. It opens Thursday night at SIFF Cinema with multi Goya Award-winning film No Rest for the Wicked, the story of a policeman uncovering a world of crime as he searches for a lone witness to a murder. Visit the festival page for the full list of films and events. In other festival news, on Friday SIFF welcomes the Seattle Design Festival for three days of new films featuring architecture and design.

SIFF Cinema has several new films this week. First, they take the torch from the Cinerama for the dazzling Samsara, an awe-inspiring portrait of our world. If you've seen Baraka (it's from the same director, Ron Fricke) or Koyaanisqatsi, you know what I'm talking about. For everyone else, my stupid words won't do it justice--I encourage you experience it for yourself. Second, there's Liberal Arts from writer/director/How I Met Your Mother star Josh Radnor. He plays a 35-year-old who returns to his college and finds renewned inspiration from an eclectic assortment of people. SIFF says, "Much like his previous film HappyThankYouMorePlease, writer/director Radnor explores the challenges of coming of age—be it into young adulthood or middle age—with intelligence, grace, and a wicked sense of humor." They had me at "a sardonic literature instructor (the show-stealing Allison Janney)." Third, 17 Girls is a ripped-from-the-headlines drama of a group of teenager girls who decided to get pregnant all at the same time. It's the debut feature from sister directing duo Delphine and Muriel Coulin. Lastly, Brazilian film Neighboring Sounds, "delves into the lives of a group of prosperous middle-class families who live close to a low-income neighborhood on a quiet street in Recife, Brazil."

The Films4Famlies matinee on Saturday and Sunday is Charlotte's Web, the 2006 live action version featuring Dakota Fanning and the voice of Julia Roberts. If you're kids are more interested in making a movie, check out  SIFF Crash Kids on Saturday. On Tuesday the Milos Forman series brings Man on the Moon with Jim Carrey as Andy Kaufman, co-starring Courtney Love and an awesome R.E.M. song (not this one, though it's a classic). On Wednesday the Next 50 series FREE screening is Revenge of the Electric Car, director Chris Paine's follow up to Who Killed the Electric Car?, focusing on the next generation of electric cars and their place in America's future.


Northwest Film Forum this week has An Encounter with Simone Weil, filmmaker Julia Haslett's attempt to "with the French mystic by any means possible, from interviewing Weil’s friends and relatives to hiring an actress to play Weil in an exclusive 'interview.' The film hovers between biography and self-reflection, breaking traditional boundaries of documentary filmmaking in its compassionate exploration of the woman who 'died of love.'" The Stranger editor Christopher Frizzelle will give a special introduction before the Thursday shows.

On Tuesday, September 25, NWFF has a special screening of Battle For Brooklyn, which chronicles the eight-year standoff between graphic designer-turned activist Daniel Goldstein and mega-developer Forest City Ratner’s Atlantic Yards project--a gigantic mixed-use commerical and residential project that will inclulde a stadium for the Brooklyn Nets basketball team. On Wednesday, there's Brent Coughenour's Mysterium Cosmographicum, "a 3-part experimental video essay and performance incorporating materials culled from music videos, documentaries, YouTube and other sources, argues contrary to popular belief that manufacturing is indeed alive and well in the USA, the world's leading exporter of emotional catharsis."

In NWFF Save the Date news, the Local Sightings Film Festival starts Friday, September 28.


Central Cinema this week has The Crow, a film which inspired a whole new generation of goth teens, and Baz Luhrmann's Romeo + Juliet, a film which inspired a whole new generation of theater geeks and/or starry-eyed teens. CC's Epic Sunday series continues, yes, you guessed it, Sunday, with the king of modern epics: The Godfather. The wildly popular Arrested Development Trivia Night on Wednesday is already SOLD OUT. You'll just have to come to Scarecrow and rent it to study up for the next round. Thursday there's the usual Cartoon Happy Hour with family-friendly fare from 5:30-7pm, followed by the Madonna vs. Everyone Sing A Long, where 15 of the Queen of Pop's videos face off against 15 powerful videos by Prince, Janet Jackson, and Lady Gaga.


Our good neighbors at Grand Illusion Cinema have Yasujiro Ozu's Toyko Story, which recently topped the Sight & Sound Director's poll of The Greatest Film of All TIme. As we often say in this cinema round-up, if you haven't seen this undisputed masterpiece, the best way to experience it for the first time is in a theater in 35mm. Go see it and then head to Ozu's shelf in our Director's area for more.

Friday and Saturday's Late Night movie is Greydon Clark's Joysticks! The GI's description says it best: "Moronic humor, classic video games, and T&A abound in this shining kernel of corn in the turd of '80s teen sex comedies!!"

On Thursday there's an encore screening of Star Wars Uncut, a dazzling labor of love from 473 volunteers who recreated the entire film in 15-second segments. Advance tickets are recommended.


King's Hardware on lovely Ballard Avenue has a double feature of Old School and Rock and Roll High School starting at sundown on their back porch.

Lastly, Paul Thomas Anderson's The Master opens Friday at the Cinerama. It will be shown in 70mm. We'll see you there.




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