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Cinema stuff for the week of March 8

There's a lot on screen around town this week, so we'll get right to it:

The Seattle Jewish Film Festival wraps this weekend at SIFF Cinema--check the SJFF schedule page for the full list of films and events, including the Closing Night conversation with Reel Difference Award recipient Micheal Benaroya followed by The Words starring Bradley Cooper, Jeremy Irons, and Zoe Saldana.

There are a bunch of new movies opening this week at SIFF Cinema. Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard, and Noomi Rapace star in Dead Man Down, a crime/action/thriller from Niels Arden Oplev (director of the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo). Vincent Cassel stars as a once pious man who unleashes his darkest desires in the Gothic tale The Monk. The controversial The ABCs Of Death is an anthology with twenty-six short films by twenty-six directors all portraying different ways to die. Be warned: it's is pretty much guranteed to offend, so proceed with caution. In more uplifting fare, Don't Stop Believin': Everyman's Journey chronicles the fairy-tale story of Journey's new frontman Arnel Pineda, a Filipino man who the band discovered on YouTube.

On Friday, Mystery Science Theater 3000's Joel Hodgson presents his one-man show Joel Hodgson: Riffing Myself,  "an incredible evening of stories and surprises about his forays into the depths of B-movie insanity, his search for the ultimate ventriloquist dummy (and how that dummy became the inspiration for both Tom Servo and Crow), and the origin story of MST3Ks."

Monday the Science on Screen series present a FREE screening of Future Weather, "director Jenny Deller's moving and humorous drama uses the refuge of science and the environment as a backdrop to examine the intertwining lives of three generations of women." It stars Amy Madigan, Lili Taylor, and Perla Haney-Jardine (who you may recognize as BB from Kill Bill: Volume 2). Tuesday, there's Chan-Wook Park's Oldboy (in 35mm!) followed by a special advance screening of his new disturbing thriller Stoker starring Mia Wasikowska, Matthew Goode, and Nicole Kidman. Wednesday, the epic hip-hopra R. Kelly Trapped in the Closet Sing Along returns in all its VIP area-appreciating, adultery-committing, cabinet-hiding glory. Then on Thursday, there's a sneak peak of Upstream Color, a love story from Primer director Shane Carruth, who stars in the film alongside The Off Hours' Amy Seimetz. "Impossible to describe yet beautiful to behold, Upstream Color strings together a series of incidents that hint at science fiction thriller, existential romance, and spiritual awakening into a stunning story of lives bewildered by forces beyond their control." Carruth will be in attendance for this special event.


The L.A. Rebellion series continues this weekend at Northwest Film Forum. On Friday, they welcome director Charles Burnett and his new film My Brother's Wedding (if you haven't seen his Killer of Sheep, come in and get it right now). Mr. Burnett will also be in attendance for Bless Their Hearts, a 1984 film that examines the effects of underemployment on a family and the entire community. Burnett served as cinematographer on the film, which will be screened from a new 35mm print. Visit the schedule page for the full list of films in the series and to learn more about the L.A. Rebellion film movement.

This week at NWFF there's Only The Young, a documentary on best friends/California skatepunks/evangelical Christians from directors Elizabeth Mims and Jason Tippet. NWFF says, "pairing the look of a classic coming-of-age soap with a story cut loose from order, Mims and Tippet depict the reality of growing up and make us recall an aimlessness we have actually experienced."

There are two special activist documentaries at NWFF this week. Monday there's Who Bombed Judi Barr?, a riviting portrait of Earth First! organizer Judi Barr. Director Mary Liz Thomson, Producer Darryl Cherney and Earth First! co-founder Mike Roselle will be in attendance for Q & A after the film. On Tuesday, Eco Warriors asks, "When did activism become terrorism? And why are America's heroes being jailed, while its corporations continue to be rewarded? These questions are front and center in [this] timely, heartfelt and engaging documentary..." Produced Jennifer Pickford will be in attendance.


Central Cinema offers up the extremely catchy tunes of Triplets of Belleville and the extremely steamy scenes of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife & Her Lover, each playing Friday through Monday. On Tuesday, gather your fellow Mathletes and challenge yourself to Freaks & Geeks Trivia. (Warm-up question: What song is playing at the end of the pilot as everyone's dancing? Answer at this link.) The Night & Day Film Noir series continues Wednesday with The Long Kiss Goodnight starring Geena Davis and Samuel L. Jackson. This Renny Harlin-directed, Shane Black-scribed film is a favorite among Scarecrow's action fans. Thursday's Cartoon Happy Hour will be followed by the epic diva battle Janet vs. Mariah vs. Beyonce Sing Along. Three women enter, one woman leaves.


Our friends and neighbors at Grand Illusion Cinema kick off a kick-ass series of James Bond movies with two of Sean Connery's finest: From Russia with Love Friday through Sunday and Goldfinger Monday through Thursday (speaking of Goldfinger, let's take this moment to relive one of the highlights from this year's Oscar telecast: Shirley Bassey singing the title song.) The GI will be screening Bond films for the rest of the month, all in glorious 35mm, so get a series pass and settle in for super suave spy action.

On Thursday, the GI presents I Am Secretly An Important Man, Peter Sillen's documentary portrait of the godfather of grunge, Steven (Jesse) Bernstein. Bernstein was a poet and performance artist who "performed stories and songs about society’s fringes—angry, tender, and sometimes corrosively humorous portraits of drifters, junkies, and ex-cons." After you see the doc, come check out his pieces on our Sub Pop compilations up in the Music section.

On Saturday the Sprocket Society presents another Saturday Secret Matinee, which features a different thrilling classic film each week from now through the end of the month. March's theme is Alien Encounters: "Humans confronted by the ultimate unknown, in worlds beyond imagining!"


Trader Joe's Silent Movie Mondays spotlighting the Women of Silent Film continues at the Paramount Theatre. This Monday's movie is The Scarlett Letter starring Lillian Gish, shown from a 35mm restored print courtesy of UCLA Film and Television archive. This and all of the films feature live accompaniment by Jim Riggs on the Mighty Wurlitzer Organ. You can get $2 OFF tickets to any of the five films with the promo code WOMEN.


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