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Cinema stuff for the week of November 30

The busy holiday season is here! We invite you to start your holiday shopping at Scarecrow with our fine selection of Blu-rays, DVDs, books, collectibles, and shirts. And if you can't decide, Scarecrow Video Gift Certificates are available in any amount. Once you've made a dent in your shopping, take a break and check out some of the great films on screens around town:


SIFF Cinema has not one, but two interactive cinema events this week. The first is The Princess Bride Quote Along, running Friday through Tuesday at the SIFF Uptown. In addition to the swashbuckling fairy tale of revenge and true love, there will be inflatable swords, Rodents of Unusual Size scurrying through the aisles, and subtitles for those of you can't already recite 50-90 percent of the dialogue off the top of your head. The other is the R. Kelly Trapped in the Closet Sing Along. On Friday and Saturday night you can experience the epic hip hopera that must be seen (and sung) to be believed. It's probably the only story-set-to-song in history that has a cherry allergy as a major plot point. If you're so inclined, maybe stop by the Mecca across the street beforehand for a beverage or two.

SIFF also has two new films this week at the Film Center. Barrymore stars Academy Award winner/Captain von Trapp portrayer Christopher Plummer as legendary actor John Barrymore. The film, which started as a Broadway play for which Plummer won a Tony, is set in the last year of Barrymore's life and looks back at his remarkable career on stage and screen. Citadel is an "an intensely suspenseful, paranoid horror-thriller" from Irish director Ciarán Foy that follows a group of housing estate residents as they fight off a brutal gang of hoodie-clad thugs. Future Oscar nominees Argo and Life of Pi continue their SIFF runs as well.

On Thursday, the Association of Moving Images Archivist's Festival of the Archives kicks off with an amazing 4k digital transfer of Lawrence of Arabia. We highly encourage you to check out the festival page and save the date for several of the truly classic films playing through next week, or get a pass to see them all. Did you miss the screening of Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan at the Cinerama this spring? Don't miss this chance to see the ear bugs on the big screen.

Festival of the Archives UPDATE!: Use the promo code SCARECROW+MOVIES at checkout and get $2 OFF a general admission  ticket. Whoo!


Northwest Film Forum this week has new documentary Radio Unnameable, a look on the "father of 'freeform' radio" DJ Bob Fass. Fass hosted the Radio Unnameable show in the 1960s in New York on one of the first listener-sponsored radio stations in the country. The film follows Fass' work in using his show to create and support a diverse and progressive community. Now, Forager is directors Jason Cortlund and Julia Halperin's drama about a the struggles between a husband and wife who make their living gathering mushrooms and selling them to restaurants in Manhattan. It "expertly weaves tension into the story of a marriage, punctuated by gorgeous glimpses of the food around which that marriage revolves, while challenging our ideals of romance both within relationships and without."

Oscar-winning animator Don Hertzfeldt's new film It's a Beautiful Day runs this week and next at NWFF. It's a biography of "the most three-dimensional stick man you’ll ever meet," as we follow Bill through his increasingly surreal world. On Saturday and Sunday, the whole family can go up, up and away with The Black Balloon, directors Josh and Benny Safdie's story of a balloon's adventures across the city. They'll also be screening a few other balloon-related shorts, including The Red Balloon. Sunday afternoon you can up your festive levels with Holiday High Notes, a collection of vintage film footage with live accompaniment by the Northwest Boychoir. Then on Thursday, December 6, NWFF presents the Stan Brakhage Showcase, a collection of restored 16mm short films by the experimental director. Marilyn Brakhage and film preservationist Mark Toscano will be in attendance.


Central Cinema invites you to spend a cozy, romantic weekend with Ghost, starring Demi Moore, Patrick Swayze, Whoopi Goldberg (in her Oscar-winning role), and a big lump of clay. You can also go the complete opposite of such mush with John Carpenter's The Thing starring Kurt Russell, Wilford Brimley, Keith David, a nasty shape-shifting alien, and a lot of snow. Tuesday's Buffy the Vampire Slayer Trivia is long sold out, but they've added another round on Tuesday, December 11, so get your tickets now. On Wednesday and Thursday, CC hosts the 2012 Found Footage Festival, as hosts Nick Prueher and Joe Pickett showcase their outrageous VHS clips (and you know how much we love random cool finds on VHS). Don't forget Thursday's tradtional Cartoon Happy Hour too.


Grand Illusion Cinema enters a new dimension of sound, sight, and mind with the Twilight Zone marathon. Film curator and historian Dennis Nyback presents a week of episodes on 16mm film. There will be three episodes a day--with classic commerical breaks--so check the GI's site for the full episode schedule to find your favorites. You can get tickets at the door each night or save an get a series pass.

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