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Cinema round-up for the week of November 23

If you've slept off your turkey/Tofurky hangover, bundle up and head to Scarecrow for some holiday weekend watching. Our special seasonally appropriate rental and sales sections are up now for your browsing and purchasing pleasure. When you're ready to venture further out into the world, here's what playing on some screens around town:

SIFF Cinema ths week continues their special 3D presentation of Life of Pi, Ang Lee's epic adaptation of Yann Martel's best-selling novel. Roger Ebert calls "miraculous;" The Stranger's Paul Constant says it's more like this. SIFF also has Cafe de Flore, a dazzling drama from writer/director Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y.) which combines two seemingly unrelated stories, one of a Montreal DJ feeling guility about leaving his high school sweetheart, the other a single mom taking care of her disabled son in Paris 40 years prior, in spectacular fashion. SIFF calls it "an uncommonly beautiful and haunting work." Entering its third week at SIFF is Ben Affleck's real-life political thriller Argo.

SIFF's Film Center has a special one-week engagement of Gregory Crewdson: Brief Encounters, documentary director Ben Shapiro's film on the acclaimed photographer which "follows, with unprecedented access, the 10-year journey of the artist, in the creation of one of his most acclaimed series, ‘Beneath the Roses’ - a project that compiles some of the most gorgeously haunting pictures in the history of photography."


Northwest Film Forum has two new films this week. First, there's Jack and Diane, a teen romance about two girls (Juno Temple & Riley Keough) who fall in love and must deal with the furious barrage of emotions that always ensue. If you needed further incentive to see it, there's also an animation sequence by the Quay Brothers and a cameo by Kylie Minogue. Second, Bel Borba Aqui follows artist Bel Borba thorugh the streets of his hometown, Salvador da Bahia in Brazil, spotlighting the abandoned spaces and reclaimed materials he's used to create his paintings and sculptures.

On Sunday, November 25, there's a screening of Big Boys Gone Bananas. It's Swedish filmmaker Fredrik Gertten's follow up to his 2009 film Bananas!, which focuses on a lawsuit filed by Nicaraguan plantation workers against Dole. The film angered the global fruit giant enough that it threatened the producers with legal action. Big Boys Gone Bananas chronicles Dole's numerous attacks on the producers. NWFF says, "this personal film reveals precisely how a multinational will stop at nothing to get its way - freedom of speech is at stake."


Central Cinema comes down from the post-feast hullaballoo with Casablanca and The Naked Gun, two timeless classics of their respective genres (I was thinking historical romance and absurdist humor; your genre defintions may vary). On Thursday, CC hosts a very special holiday event as the good people of The Onion AV Club present Bad Santa with director Terry Zwigoff in attendance! Ask him who chose the shirt The Kid is wearing at the end of the film.


Our good neighbors at Grand Illusion Cinema welcome a new 35mm print of the newly crowned "Greatest Film Ever Made" according to Sight & Sound magazine's Critics' Poll: Alfred Hitchcock's Vertigo. This is one of those times when our usual "don't miss a chance to see this on film!" reminders should not go unheeded. On Thursday, experimental filmmaker Robbie Land will be in attendance to present some of his new 16mm work. Land, "explores the world using methods such as time-exposure, Super 8 blow-ups and direct application animation. This program includes seven films about bioluminescence, photosynthesis, Florida coastlines and Appalachia."

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