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Cinema stuff for the week of August 16

This weekend the Scarecrow Video Screening Room has two nights of greatness only on VHS. Friday night at 8pm, we have the super-rare anthology horror film Tales From The Quadead Zone. Our colleague Rich will give a brief history of this shot-on-video film from 1987 before the show. Saturday at 8pm, we present a special double feature of Don Johnson's quasi music video Heartbeat, follow by Mr. T's 1984 motivational video Be Somebody...or Be Somebody's Fool--featuring songs with lyrics by Ice-T!.

Sunday's Classic Movie Matinee at 1pm is George Cukor's The Philadelphia Story with James Stewart, Katharine Hepburn, and Cary Grant.

Monday evening at 6pm, our original clip show celebrating all things weird on tape Viva VHS! makes its Scarecrow Screening room debut. Then on Wednesday, we host Seattle's most recent VHS Swap Meet with the makers of the new documentary Adjust Your Tracking (more on that below).

 

Adjust Your Tracking: The Untold Story of the VHS Collector will be playing down the street from us at Grand Illusion Cinema on Tuesday at 9pm. This documentary focuses on the passionate collectors who celebrate the glory days of the seemingly obsolete format (and rumor has it our store makes a brief appearence). Directors Dan Kinem & Levin Peretic will be in attendance for the screening.

This week, the GI also has Persistence of Vision, the fascinating story of acclaimed animator Richard Williams (Who Framed Roger Rabbit?) and The Thief and the Cobbler, the film he spent almost three decades working on before it was taken away from him. Director Kevin Schreck's documentary has rare archival footage and exclusive interviews with key animators and artists who worked with Williams on the ill-fated film.

Thursday at the GI, the 20/20 Awards presents The Fugitive with Harrison Ford and Tommy Lee Jones (in his Academy Award-winning role) for your reconsideration.

 

SIFF Cinema has two new films opening this week. First, Forest Whitaker leads an incredible ensemble cast including Oprah Winfrey, Alan Rickman, Mariah Carey, and John Cusack as Richard Nixon (!) in Lee Daniels' The Butler. The movie, directed by Lee Daniels (Precious) and written by Danny Strong (Game Change, also played Jonathan on Buffy), tells the remarkable story of a White House butler who served eight presidents over three decades.

Second, The Wall stars Martina Gedeck (The Lives of Others) as a woman vacationing the lovely Austrian mountains who is trapped when an invisible barrier suddenly materializes around her. It has one of the more intriguing and creepy trailers I've seen in a long time.

Continuing on at SIFF are the excellent coming-of-age summer movie The Way Way Back with Sam Rockwell, Toni Collette, Allison Janney, Steve Carell, and Liam James; the entertaining and inspiring 20 Feet From Stardom, a documentary on back-up singers such as Darlene Love and Merry Clayton; and Johnnie To's gritty crime thriller Drug War.

Next week, SIFF welcomes the Slapstick Savants series for a week of comedy from the early days of cinema. Check out the lineup and use the promo code SCARECROW+MOVIES when buying tickets to get $3 OFF regularly priced shows. You can also stop by our front counter & enter to win a series pass.

 

Northwest Film Forum begins the weekend Friday evening with Framing Pictures, their monthly film discussion with former Film Comment editor Richard Jameson, Everett Herald/KUOW critic Robert Horton and MSN.com critic Kathleen Murphy. Among the topics up for discussion are Blue Jasmine, Fruitvale Station, Wong-Kar Wai, and John Ford.

A new 35mm print of Un Flic, director Jean-Pierre Melville's 1972 gangster noir starring Alain Delon, Richard Crenna and Catherine Deneuve, plays Friday through Sunday. The new documentary Sign Painters, an anecdotal history of the craft of hand-painting and lettering billboards, murals, and other signage, runs Monday through Thursday.

NWFF also has a week-long run of The Pirogue. "In Moussa Toure’s powerful, epic fiction film, a group of 30 men sail to Europe in a pirogue, facing the sea—and the possibility of never reaching their destination—in exchange for the myth of a better life in Europe."

 

Central Cinema's Hot Summer Nights continue with the burrowing insanity of Tremors starring Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward the sweltering insanity of David Lynch's Wild at Heart with Laura Dern and Nicolas Cage. Thanks to David Schmader at The Stranger for reminding us it won the Palme d'Or at Cannes.

Thursday's all-ages & family-friendly Cartoon Happy Hour will be followed by the 1995 adventure Congo, ("Where you are the endangered species!") based on the Michael Crichton novel and starring Laura Linney and Tim Curry. Better yet, it will be presented in Hecklevision with your ape-tastic comments appearing on-screen via the magic of text messaging.

 

The last film in The Triple Door's Movie Mondays series is the 1979 musical/comedy Rock 'N' Roll High School starring P.J. Soles and The Ramones. "On behalf of the students from Vince Lombardi High who are here tonight, I'd just like to say one thing: Screw you, Principal Togar, we made it to the concert anyway!"

 

In outdoor cinema news, the penultimate movie in the Scarecrow-curated Outdoor Movie Nights series at Elysian Brewing is Alex Cox's 1984 punk classic Repo Man. The beer garden opens at 8pm (we can vouch for the Straight-To-Video IPA) and the movie starts at dusk (approx. 9-9:30pm) with Scarecrow-made pre-show clips playing beforehand. Admission is FREE and you're encouraged to bring a non-perishable food donation for Northwest Harvest.

Friday night, the I Need a Hero! Outdoor Movie Series from Three Dollar Bill Cinema presents the cheesy sword & sandals greatness of Conan The Destroyer with Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger and Grace Jones. It begins at dusk (around 8:30/9pm) at Cal Anderson Park.

Movies at the Mural continues Saturday around 9pm under the shadow of the Space Needle with The Help, which features incredible performances from its entire cast, especially Jessica Chastain, Viola Davis, and Octavia Spencer.

Saturday night stays classy at Fremont Outdoor Cinema with Anchorman. The entire film is great, but I could watch this scene over and over again with no decrease in enjoyment.

The Museum of History and Industry's Movies in the Park series presents Cameron Crowe's pratically perfect in every way Say Anything... Bonus points to anyone shows up in a tan trench coach, boom box in hand, ready to blast "In Your Eyes" across Lake Union.

Outdoor Movies at Magnuson Park continues Thursday, August 22 with another Cameron Crowe classic (and one of my personal favorite made-right-here movies): Singles. It's a lovely capusle of our city in its grungy glory and preserves civic treasures like The Rocket and the OK Hotel forever on celluloid.

 

 

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