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DE NIRO & other cinema stuff for the week of March 29

Spring is here! Well, at least for now. One sign of the season is Sakura Con, happening all weekend downtown at the Convention Center (so keep an eye out for some excellent cosplayers wandering about). We'll be in our booth inside the Exhibitor's Hall playing My Neighbor Totoro on a continuous loop, so stop by and say hello. Here's some of what's playing elsewhere around town:

 

SIFF Cinema kicks off the aptly named Epic De Niro series Friday night with Goodfellas. The badassery continues through the week with another nine films, including Heat, Jackie Brown, and a 4k digital restoration of Taxi Driver. Check the schedule page for the full movie list and showtimes.

The Revolutionary Optimists also opens this week; it's the story of lawyer-turned-activist Amlan Ganguly's mission to empower children in the slums of Kolkata, India to actively change their communities. Ganguly, directors Nicole Newnham and Maren Grainger-Monsen, and some of the teen activist in the film are scheduled to attend the Thursday, April 4 screening.

Friday and Saturday night there's another chance to experience the joy of Miami Connection, the awesome 80s rock band vs. motorcycle ninjas martial arts film which some may say falls into the "So Bad It's Good!" category, but we and friend-of-the-store Zack Carlson know otherwise. On Saturday night, celebrate the wonder of Arrested Development with some of its best moments on the big screen, plus trivia, a Chicken Dance contest, and more. Does SIFF have Segway parking?

Thursday brings two special screenings--first the folktale Thale. We'll let the SIFF description speak for itself: "Thale, a Norwegian genre treat from SIFF 2012, follows a pair of crime scene cleaners who discover a seductive forest nymph with a cow's tail(!) locked in a basement." Second, SIFF Film center hosts Tony & Janina's American Wedding: A Deportation Love Story, an intense and affecting documentary about a Chicago couple and their young son separated by deportation. Proceeds will go to OneAmerica and the American Immigration Lawyers Association.

Continuing on at SIFF this week: Ginger and Rosa, starring Alice Engler and Elle Fanning as two teenage best friends growing up amongst the changing social landscape of early '60s Britain. It was written and directed by Sally Potter (Orlando); the "coming-of-old-age comedy" Quartet starring Tom Courtenay, Billy Connolly, Pauline Collins and Dame Maggie Smith (and approved by my film-savvy grandmother); 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.

 

Northwest Film Forum has Little Fugitive, a 1953 film directed by filmmaker Morris Engel, photographer Ruth Orkin, and writer Ray Ashley. It follows a seven-year-old Brooklyn boy named Joey who runs away to Coney Island, chronicling his journey and that of his older brother, who goes searching for him, across 1950s New York. The movie's production style was a big influence on Francois Truffaut and others of the French New Wave. Actor Rich Andrusco, who played Joey, will be in attendance on Friday & Saturday night.

Saturday evening's Indigenous Showcase spotlights issues of health and resiliency with two short films and a presentation by guest speaker Bruce Harrell. Thursday night, KPLU 88.5 presents Hancock, Shorter, Holland, Blade, a 2004 performance in Salzau, Germany by the jazz super group.

 

Head down to Central Cinema this week for Midnight Cowboy starring Dustin Hoffman as a shady con man and Jon Voight as an aspiring prostititue. Fun fact: it's the only X-rated (the NC-17 of its day) to have won an Oscar for Best Picture. If you're in the mood for something a bit less intense and a lot more early 90s, there's Death Becomes Her, the plastic surgery-gone-too-far comedy Robert Zemeckis in between Back To The Future III and Forrest Gump. It stars Goldie Hawn (!), Bruce Willis (!!) and Meryl Streep (!!!), who proves she can be awesome--and funny---in anything. Thursday's Cartoon Happy Hour will be followed by a Girls' Pajama Party with Don't Tell Mom, The Babysitter's Dead. I'll bet you didn't remember Josh Charles is in it!

 

Documentaries dominate this week at Grand Illusion Cinema, starting with Mark Hall's Sushi: The Global Catch, a thoroughly researched look at the history of sushi and the environmental problems caused the rise in demand for quality fish. Dave Grohl (of Foo Fighters and Nirvana, duh) creates an engaging homage to the L.A. recording studio where Nevermind was recorded in Sound City. Grohl gathers rock legends who've recorded at the studio like Stevie Nicks, Trent Reznor, and Tom Petty to reminisce, then they dust off the studio's legendary analog soundboard to start work on a new album. Side note: Were you aware Dave Grohl is an awesome human being?

On Friday, Saturday, and Monday, the GI has screenings of The Jeffrey Dahmer Files. "In the summer of 1991 Jeffrey Dahmer was arrested in Milwaukee and sentenced to 957 years in prison for killing 17 people and dismembering their bodies...Recollections from Milwaukee Medical Examiner Jeffrey Jentzen, Police Detective Patrick Kennedy, and neighbor Pamela Bass are interwoven with archival footage and everyday scenes from Dahmer's life, working collectively to disassemble the facade of an ordinary man leading an ordinary existence."

Lastly, on Thursday you can celebrate Quentin Tarantino's recent 50th birthday with a screening of True Romance, presented for your consideration by the good folks at The 20/20 Awards.

 

 

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