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Cinema stuff for the week of April 19 (and 4/20)

Saturday is April 20, a holiday of sorts for some. If you're looking to celebrate cinematically, head to Grand Illusion Cinema for Saturday Morning Confusion (emphasis on the confusion), a montage of weird and wacky clips from allegedly family-friendly fare culled from our VHS inventory. Watch the trailer and get your tickets in advance online.

For a less giggly and more contemplative 4/20, enjoy a 35mm print of Samsara, a gorgeous meditation on life on Earth (it was filmed over five years with footage from twenty-five countries on five continents) from the director of Baraka. I saw it completely sober during its theatrical run and was overwhelmed by its beauty. I imagine if you go in to it, uh, prepared, then it will be even more wonderous.

The GI this week has Antiviral, the directorial debut feature from Brandon Cronenberg (son of David) set in a dystopian future where society is obsessed with celebrity to the point where ordinary people pay to be injected with viruses from dying stars. On Thursday and next Saturday the 27th, the GI presents a 35mm print of The Boxer's Omen, the Shaw Brothers' 1983 martial arts freak-out involving "bat puppets, chicken monsters, neon-laced sets and surreal special effects, climaxing with the wildest wizard battle ever committed to celluloid."


The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival wraps up this weekend at Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute. Visit the festival's schedule page for ticket information and details on all the films, including Sunday's Closing Night film In The Hive, the latest drama from Hollywood Shuffle director Robert Townsend.


SIFF Cinema welcomes Mental, a new comedy from Muriel's Wedding director P.J. Hogan. It reunites him with Muriel star Toni Collette, who plays a charismatic and somewhat crazy nanny to a family with neurotic parents and a brood of five teenage daughters in need of inspiriation. It co-stars Liev Schreiber, Anthony LaPaglia, and Kerry Fox.

Continuing their runs at SIFF Uptown or Film Center this week are:

Upstream Color: SIFF describes it as "a gorgeous, poetic, experimental, and intelligent romantic story that is unlike anything you have ever seen before...[it]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." Primer director Shane Carruth writes, directs and stars with Amy Seimetz (from Megan Griffith's The Off Hours).

42: The Jackie Robinson biopic starring Chadwick Boseman as Jackie and Harrison Ford as Brooklyn Dodgers manager Branch Rickey. It was wriiten and directed Brian Helgeland (L.A. Confidential).

Blancanieves: The multi-Goya Award winning Spanish take on Snow White done as a silent film with an excellent Flamenco soundtrack.

Room 237: The Shining documentary that reveals all sorts of hidden meanings and conspiracies inside Kubrick's horror masterpiece.


Northwest Film Forum has two more performances of The Other Paris, a new work by writer and historian Luc Sante which, through various films such as Rififi and Fantômas, explores the grittier lives that lie in the shadows of the City of Lights. It's part of NWFF's ongoing Live at the Film Forum series featuring works that "reflect film's inherent collaborative energy and experimentation."

Pavilion, a dreamy snapshot of teenagers in the suburbs from director Tim Sutton and an original score by Sam Prekop of the Sea and Cake, runs all week at NWFF. For more, we refer you to Charles Mudede's review in The Stranger.

Sunday evening, there's We Are Winning, Don't Forget, an evening of short works by filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot, who creates powerful visual essays by editing together archival film and photographs and accompanying them with a driving soundtrack. Périot will be in attendance for Q & A.

The new documentary Band of Sisters continues through Sunday at NWFF. It follows the history of activist nuns in the Catholic Church from the 1960s to present day who have fought--and continue to fight--for civil rights and other social reforms despite objections from the Vatican.


Central Cinema presents Clue, a worthy nominee to the Best Movie Based on a Board Game Award. I missed it when our colleague Matt presented it last year at the CC and I was so mad about it that flames rose out of the side of my face. I won't make that mistake this time around. You can also celebrate Record Store Day with the misadventures of the staff of Empire Records. Kids, if you're looking to make an authentic 90s costume, this movie has everything you need. And there's also the fantastic soundtrack.

On Tuesday, test your film knowledge against fellow cinema enthusiasts with Movie Cat Trivia. Wednesday, the Night & Day film noir series continues with Quentin Tarantino's Reservoir Dogs. Thursday brings another all-ages, family-friendly Cartoon Happy Hour, then there's the epic face off of the  Janet vs. Mariah vs. Beyonce Sing-a-Long. Three divas enter, one diva leaves!


The French New Wave Masters series at Seattle Art Museum continues Thursday at the Plestcheeff Auditorium downtown with Mississippi Mermaid, Francois Truffaut's 1969 romantic drama set on Reunion Island starring Catherine Deneuve and Jean-Paul Belmondo.

Photo: Grand Illusion Cinema hosts SATURDAY MORNING CONFUSION, an evening of wacky and weird family entertainment clips culled from our vast VHS inventory, this Saturday April 20 at 9pm. Enjoy this poster by Marc Palm, then head to GI's site to get yr tickets.


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