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Cinema stuff for the week of April 5

I was in the middle of compiling this week's cinema roundup when I found out Roger Ebert had died. Many of us here at Scarecrow, like so many of you, had our love of movies sparked by reading his work and watching him and Siskel chat and sometimes argue every week. He visited our store once and were honored by the kind words he had to say. As the Internet fills with tributes--here's the Chicago Sun-Times obituary and a collection of remembrances from filmmakers via Slate (please scroll down to the end and listen to Werner Herzog talk about his good friend)--I would recommend that sometime this week you should most definitely watch a movie, or two, or three. Talk about them with friends. Debate, question, revel, appreciate. That's what he would want us to do. Rest in peace, sir.

 

SIFF Cinema welcomes Room 237, which SIFF describes as a "fascinating documentary explores Stanley Kubrick's landmark film The Shining and the bizarre theories about the subtext and symbolism within." The movie in question is also playing Friday through Tuesday. John Ryan, the creator of The Shining: Forwards & Backwards, will be Skyping in for a Q+A after the 6:45pm shows on Friday and Saturday night. Ryan's film will be playing on its own on Wednesday, and is just as it sounds--The Shining is run in backwards projection superimposed over itself. What matches up? What patterns form? You'll have to watch for yourself. This may be a good time to remind everyone that it is legal to possess up to one ounce of usable marijuana in Washington State.

Lore has a week-long engagement at SIFF; its the story of five children traveling across the German countryside at the end of WWII and witnessing firsthand the atrocities committed by the Nazis, including their parents. This haunting drama is from Australian director Cate Shortland.

Joshua Tree, 1951: A Portrait of James Dean plays Friday thorugh Sunday. It's a poetic, dreamlike look at Dean's pre-super fame life as he and a group of friends drive out to the desert. Writer/director Matthew Mishory will be in attendance on Friday and Saturday. During its run, SIFF will also show two of Dean's best: East of Eden on Saturday and Rebel Without a Cause Friday through Sunday.

Thursday evening, there's Sound of Silents with a Side of Schtick. SIFF promises an "unique evening combining silent cinema, live music and unconventional vaudeville performance: this one-night-only event is bursting at the seams with entertainment."

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 playing in our neighborhood on Thursday, April 25 at Neptune Theatre.

 

Northwest Film Forum has the groundbreaking documentary Leviathan which "follows a commercial fishing boat from whatever viewpoints it can, be they the hands of a fisherman or a helmet containing a tiny camera as it tumbles across the deck." Directors Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel's unconventional narrative is "orphaned from the idea of a storyteller, even as the story itself—which roams through the daily lives of fishermen, ethical issues in the industry and ecosystems far out at sea—bears us forward helplessly in its net." This one is not to be missed.

Spur your weekend viewing into action with lively film chat Friday at 5pm with Framing Pictures. Esteemed local critics Robert Horton, Richard Jameson, and Kathleen Murphy will discuss, among other things, Leviathan and the workd of director Stanley Kubrick. I imagine they may also spend some time talking about Mr. Ebert.

Tuesday is Movie Night at NWFF with another evening of feature films and vinyl remixed by DJs Jon Francois and Nik Gilmore, then on Wedesday and Thursday they welcome Floating Energy: The Films of Nathaniel Dorsky--two nights of films, Program 1 on Wednesday and Program 2 on Thursday--from the innovative filmmaker who "creates immersive, rhythmical worlds with his visually handsome films" exploring themes of poetry and prayer. Dorsky will be in attendance both nights for Q+A moderated by Jonathan Marlow. Save with a series pass for both programs.

 

Don your bathrobe and head to Central Cinema this week for one of our staff's favorite films: The Big Lebowski (you may have noticed our Lebowski calendar up behind the counter). Roger Ebert ends his excellent review with this thought: "If a man has a roof over his head, fresh half-and-half for his White Russians, a little weed and his bowling buddies, what more, really, does he need?" Amen, sir.

On Wednesday, Jen Gilleran brings silent films with live musical accompianment with GRID, "an enchanted and thoughtful night of music, film and life!"

Thursday's Cartoon Happy Hour will be followed by another opportunity to experience the phenomenon of Tommy Wiseau's The Room. This time it will be presented in Hecklevision with your humorous insights appearing on screen via text messaging.

 

Grand Illusion Cinema hosts the Seattle premiere and a two-week run of Wrong, the new movie from fearless cinematic surrealist Quentin Dupieux (director of Rubber aka that tire movie). The movie follows a man (Jack Plotnick) on a bizarre search for his lost dog. It co-stars William Fichtner, who dicusses the film on a recent episode of The Nerdist podcast.

Late Night on Friday and Saturday, there's My Amityville Horror, the story of Daniel Lutz, whose family experienced the infamous haunting that inspired the novel and subsequent films. "This documentary reveals the horror behind growing up as part of a world famous haunting and while Daniel's facts may be other's fiction, the psychological scars he carries are indisputable."

 

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