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Cinema stuff for the week of October 4

Happy October! Our Halloween and Kids' Halloween special rental sections are up now to get you in the mood for the season. A lot of people in our Twitter feed seem to be watching nothing but horror movies all month--a practice we heartily endorse.

Spookiness wafts in over our screening room Friday night at 8pm when our colleague Kevin presents the rarely screened Tales From The Dark Side. These two surreal, animated anthologies, inspired by Gary Larson's comic, straddle the line between comedy and horror. Saturday at 8pm, there's the '80s shot-on-video slasher Blood Cult with an introduction by our colleague Rich. Expect severed heads and dropped salad.

Monday evening, our colleague Kirsten presents an evening of 1980s Bollywood horror films starting at 7pm. What's '80s Bollywood horror like? I don't know, but I definitely want to find out. If you too are curious, she'll be showing such films every Monday in October. Our regular night of Geeks Who Drink trivia is Tuesday at 7pm. Stay tuned to their Facebook page for updates.


The Seattle South Asian Film Festival starts Friday night at SIFF Cinema with an Opening Night Gala featuring Miss Lovely, a melodrama that explores the seedy Bollywood underground in the 1980s through the work of two brothers who make sleazy cinema. The film will be followed by a reception with its director Ashim Ahluwalia. SSAFF continues through Sunday, October 13 at SIFF and UW Bothell with films, workshops, forums and more. Visit the schedule page for the all the details. We recommend Sunday's screening of The Reluctant Fundamentalist followed by a live video chat with director Mira Nair.

SIFF is also hosting screenings this weekend for The Seattle Latino Film Festival which celebrates the art and entertainment of Latin American cinema. Check out their festival schedule page for the full roster of movies, including Friday night's Opening Night dramedy Melaza followed by Q & A with director Carlos Lechuga.

Alfonso Cuaron's highly anticipated new thriller Gravity opens this week at SIFF Cinema starring Sandra Bullock and George Clooney as astronauts adrift in space. Word on the street is that it's far more intense than Cuaron's last film, Children of Men. SIFF offers screenings in both 2D and 3D to accomodate all movie-going / glasses-wearing preferences.

The gross-out horror comedy Bad Milo also opens at SIFF. It stars Ken Marino as a man who finds his gastrointestinal maladies are being caused by stress but by a crazy demon living in his butt. Among the hilarious co-stars witnessing such evils are Gillian Jacobs, Peter Stormare, Stephen Root, Patrick Warburton, and Mary Kay Place.

Monday's Samurai Cinema film is Kihachi Okamoto's "maelstrom of violence" The Sword of Doom (1966) starring Tatsuya Nakadai and Toshiro Mifune. The Totally '80s Tuesday double feature is The Wizard (starring Fred Savage and the Power Glove) and The Last Starfighter. Warning: The Wizard has some mild spoilers for Super Mario Bros. 3.

Wednesday, National Theatre's production of The Audience, starring Helen Mirren as Queen Elizabeth II in conversation with UK Prime Ministers from Churchill to Cameron, returns to SIFF for one night only. On Thursday at SIFF Film Center, there's Not My Life, a documentary on the global crisis of human trafficking of children. The World Affairs Council will host a post-film panel discussion.

The highly acclaimed thriller Prisoners starring Hugh Jackman, Jake Gyllenhaal and Melissa Leo continues its SIFF run as well.


Northwest Film Forum this week has a new 35mm print of Michelangelo Antonioni's 1960 classic L'Avventura. As we always say when a film of this caliber plays on film, we encourage you to see it, especially if you haven't seen the movie before. "In this early postmodern fable,  a rich girl disappears on an island and no one knows either how that could have happened or how long they can care...After 50 years, this controversial Cannes winner and classic of world cinema still shocks and haunts in equal degrees, musing on entertainment and happiness, and drawing us into a world of beautiful dislocation."

NWFF also has Herb and Dorothy 50 x 50, director Megumi Sasaki's documentary on modern art collectors Herb and Dorothy Vogel, the million-dollar collection they've amassed over the years, and their donations to art instutions in each of the 50 states. Catharina Manchanda, contemporary art curator at Seattle Art Museum, will introduce Wednesday's screenings.

Sunday at 5pm, there's Print Generation, director J.J. Murphy's 1974 rarely screened film experiment in which he "took one minute of footage and re-printed it fifty times, pushing the limits of film’s materiality, radically transforming the image, and creating a profound journey from abstraction to representation (and back again)." Murphy will be in attendance with this newly restored print.

Thursday night at 9pm, the Flower Boy Drama Club meets for another installment of the Korean TV drama Coffee Prince.


Central Cinema gets into the Halloween spirit this week with two humorous and scary films on opposite ends of the gory spectrum. On the grosser end, there's original Sam Raimi-directing, Bruce Campbell-starring The Evil Dead. For those like myself with weaker constitutions, there's Ghostbusters, a film that remains great no matter how many times you see it.

Thursday's all-ages and family-friendly Cartoon Happy Hour will be followed by Peter Jackson's 1993 gore-fest Dead Alive (aka Brain Dead). They specifically want you to know "This is the Unrated Peter Jackson Director's Cut (Not the stupid rated R cut)."


Grand Illusion Cinema is also hosting screenings in the Seattle Latino Film Festival through the week. Friday night, Portland's Kung Fu Theater travels up 1-5 to present a double feature of the genre's greats: Seven Grandmasters (1977) and The Victim (aka Lightning Kung Fu, 1980). Their fellow PDXers from the Grindhouse Film Festival have a "night of 35mm exploitation madness" with a Grindhouse Trailer Spectacular followed by Lucio Fulci's "surreal Italian gutmuncher" The Gates of Hell.

Also on Saturday, there's an encore screening of Musicwood, the story of three world-renowned guitar makers who travel to Alaska on a mission to negotiate with Native Americans on how a forest is logged in order to preserve the trees from which they make their instruments. "The film features exclusive acoustic performances and interviews with acoustic virtuoso Kaki King, The Antlers, Yo La Tengo, Steve Earle, Turin Brakes, and Kurt Wagner of Lambchop."

We recommend you get tickets now for the GI's Fourth Annual Fundraiser on Saturday, October 14, featuring food, beverages, mingling, and a 35mm print of Singin' In The Rain.


Ride the Night: The 36th Annual Film Noir series at Seattle Art Museum continues Thursday with Dead Reckoning (1947) starring Humphrey Bogart and Lizabeth Scott. Like all the films in the series, it will be presented on lovely 35mm film.

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