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Cinema stuff for the week of March 15

Sure, this week brings us the long-awaited First Day of Spring, but the outside world won't be fully tolerable for several more months. While we wait out the chilly, rainy days, here's what's on some of what you can watch indoors on screens around town.


There are several films opening this week at SIFF Cinema. We start with 56 Up, Michael Apted's latest installment of the Up series, which started in 1964 with a group of then-seven-year-old-British schoolchildren and has checked in with them every seven years since. We have the entire series for rent in our British documentaries section if you want to catch up. Speaking of cool British people, Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Dame Maggie Smith star in Quartet, a "charming coming-of-old-age comedy" about residents of a retirement home for musicians who must confront old grudges to put on a show. It's the directorial debut of none other than Dustin Hoffman. For a more traditional coming-of-age film, the charming Israeli film The Matchmaker is set in 1968 and follows a teenager named Arik who learns about the world and the human heart through his work with a mysterious matchmaker. Lastly, Oscar nominee for Best Foreign Language Film War Witch tells the story of a teenage girl trapped in the guerilla warfare of the African jungle and features a fierce performance by fifteen-year-old Rachel Mwanza.

Continuing their SIFF runs this week are Dead Man Down, a crime/action/thriller from Niels Arden Oplev (director of the original The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo) starring Colin Farrell, Terrence Howard, and Noomi Rapace and Best Documentary Feature Oscar winner Searching For Sugar Man. It's all about singer/songwriter Rodriguez, who will be coming to our neighborhood in April at the Neptune Theatre.


The L.A. Rebellion series continues this weekend at Northwest Film Forum with more movies and events, including Saturday night's Cinema Salon with local filmmakers Shaun Scott, Brian McDonald, and Charles Mudede. Along with moderator Carmel Curtis, they'll discuss radical black filmmaking today and the movement's legacy. Visit the schedule page for  the full list of happenings Friday through Sunday.

This week NWFF welcomes The Rabbi's Cat, an enchanting animated film based on Joann Sfar’s beloved comic books about a cat who swallows a parrot and starts expounding on a number of important philosophical topics.

On Friday afternoon, join the Framing Pictures film discussion with esteemed local critics Richard Jameson, Robert Horton, and Kathleen Murphy. This month's topics include James Bond and Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. Tuesday evening, Dance Cinema Quarterly returns with "a surprising juxtaposition of two dance films, made by master choreographers, which explore the New York immigration experience." Those films are West Side Story and Ellis Island.  Then on Thursday the 21st, KPLU presents Ornette Coleman's Prime Time featuring a 1988 performance by the "Free Jazz badass."


Central Cinema this week has the Love/Hate of 1955 thriller Night of the Hunter starring Robert Mitchum and Shelley Winters and the sexy smolder of Alfonso Cuaron's Y Tu Mama Tambien, the film that introduced most of us to its stars Diego Luna and Gael García Bernal.

Sunday, aka St. Patrick's Day, Leprechaun 2 takes over the CC as the title creature returns to find himself a bride. On Wednesday, BadMovieArt returns with the 1982 movie Fake Out starring Pia Zadora (my nominee for First Lady of BadMovieArt) as a Vegas showgirl under the protection of two cops (Telly Savalas and Dezi Arnaz, Jr.) as she waits to testify against her gangster boyfriend. Thursday's Cartoon Happy Hour will be followed by another opportunity to experience the phenomena of Tommy Wiseau's The Room.


Down the street from us at Grand Illusion Cinema, the 007-A-Thon continues with lovely 35mm prints of You Only Live Twice (featuring Sean Connery as James Bond and a script by Roald Dahl) Friday through Sunday and On Her Majesty's Secret Service (starring George Lazenby and ultimate Bond girl Diana Rigg) Monday through Thursday. Thursday's show will be hosted by our friends at The MacGuffin Podcast.

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 1928 drama Our Dancing Daughters starring Joan Crawford, 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.


Last but not least, we recommed you head to the Moore Theatre on Thursday the 21st to see Nick Offerman on his American Ham tour. We really don't know what Mr. Offerman will be doing during his show, but we welcome any opportunity for an audience with the man who plays Ron Swanson. You should also check out Offerman in Smashed, which just arrived this week in our New Release section.



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