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Local Sightings and other cinema stuff for the week of September 28

We're back from our one-day closure with bright new shelves and walls and floors and more! Come see it for yourself this weekend, then head out to the theaters. Here's what's new on some screens around town.

 

The 15th annual edition of the Local Sightings Film Festival opens Friday night at Northwest Film Fourm for a week of work by filmmakers from Alaska to Oregon. The Opening Night film is International Sign for Choking, following an American's experiences in Buenos Aires, written, directed, and starring Olympia's Zach Weintraub (who also made the 2010 Local Sightings' winner Bummer Summer). Variety's Robert Koehler called it "something of a hipster Ozu film" and The Stranger's Charles Mudede agrees. We encourage you to get a festival pass and then take look at the full schedule of movies and events on the NWFF site.

 

The Festival of New Spanish Cinema continues at SIFF Cinema through Sunday with a variety of films spotlighting the best in modern Spanish film. Check the festival site for the full schedule of films. In other new European film news, the Irish Reels Film Festival runs Friday through Sunday at SIFF with an exciting collection of contemporary Irish cinema. Again, visit their home page for the full schedule of films.

SIFF Cinema has Brooklyn Brothers Beat the Best, the humorous story of "perfectly paired weirdoes" who join forces to take on the music industry. When Alex, whose life is taking a dramatic turn for the worse, and Jim, a socially awkward misfit, are both dropped by their respective bands, they are forced to combine their talents. "Love, heartfelt hijinks, and yes, a 'Battle of the Bands' ensues."

SIFF's Films4Families matinee on Saturday and Sunday is Fly Away Home starring Academy Award winner Anna Paquin, Jeff Daniels, and a lost gaggle of geese that need Paquin to show them the way. On Tuesday there's a 3D Tim Burton Animated Double Feature with his new version of Frankenweenie followed by The Nightmare Before Christmas.The Milos Forman film series ends Tuesday at SIFF Film Center with his 2007 biopic Goya's Ghosts (if you missed any of his films, they're all in his section here at Scarecrow). On Wednesday, October 3, the Next 50 Film Series presents Inside Job, a chilling look at the 2008 financial crisis. Then on Thursday, the Women's Funding Alliance presents a screening of the excellent documentary on women in the media, Miss Representation.

Continuing their runs at SIFF this week are the dazzling snapshot of Earth Samsara and Josh Radnor's coming-of-almost-middle-age comedy Liberal Arts.

 

The big news this week at Central Cinema is that they now serve cocktails in addtion to wine and beer and food. Think about what liquor would pair well with this week's films: 80's nerd masterpiece Weird Science and Soapdish, which I am in no way ashamed to say I saw in the theater and totally loved, mainly due to a fabulous cast that includes Sally Field, Kevin Kline, Robert Downey, Jr., Whoopi Goldberg, Elizabeth Shue, and Carrie Fisher. CC also hosts the comedy festival SketchFest this Saturday with a whole night devoted to funny films. On Monday, October 1, Ed Wood's infamous Plan 9 From Outer Space gets the Hecklevision (your humorous texts appearing on screen) treatment. On Wednesday there's a TV Dinner with two episodes of The X-Files. Then on Thursday,there's the usual Cartoon Happy Hour with family-friendly fare from 5:30-7pm, followed by a Pop Parody Sing-Along presented by the good people at Action Pack.

 

Grand Illusion Cinema this week welcomes Thai auteur Pen-ek Ratanaruang's Headshot, "a noir-laced thriller about a hitman who is shot in the head and wakes up to find that he sees everything upside down." Greydon Clark's Joysticks!, which the GI rightly describes as a "shining kernel of corn in the turd of '80s teen sex comedies," makes an encore appearance in the friday and Saturday Late Night spot.

Also on Saturday, there's a screening of local filmmaker Erik Hammen's Time of the Robots, a epic space opera created from hours of silent and serial film footage. Hammen will be in attendance for the screening so you can ask just how he went about it.

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