Friday June 26th – Thursday July 2nd

Featured Film:

A Better Tomorrow at Scarecrow Video

John Woo, Chow Yun-fat and Tsui Hark revolutionized the modern crime film with a barrage of bullets, driving rain, brotherly bonds and slow-motion melodrama. Woo’s breakthrough film after a decade kicking around Hong Kong, it’s the film that made Chow an international icon. Also featuring Shaw Brothers superstar Ti Lung, up and coming genius Leslie Cheung and Waise Lee. We’ll be discussing the film this weekend on The George Sanders Show (along with Michael Mann’s Blackhat), but until then: Our Preview.
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Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Desperately Seeking Susan (Susan Seidelman, 1985) Fri-Weds 
Spice World (Bob Spiers, 1997) Fri-Weds

SIFF Cinema Egyptian:

The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle) Fri-Thurs
Paris is Burning (Jennie Livingston, 1990) Fri Midnight Only
Hairspray (John Waters, 1988) Sat Midnight Only

AMC Loews Factoria 8:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs

Grand Cinema:

Far from Men (David Oelhoffen) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Güeros (Alonso Ruiz Palacios) Fri-Thurs
7 Minutes (Jay Martin) Fri & Sat Only

Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas:

ABCD 2 (Remo D’Souza) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Fresh Dressed (Sacha Jenkins) Fri-Thurs
Tenet: Daisy Heroin VHS Release Fri Only
Dishonesty (Yael Melamede) Sun Only

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs
Just the Way You Are (Theodore Boborol) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Lounge:

Diva (Jean-Jacques Beineix, 1981) Fri Only
A Better Tomorrow (John Woo, 1986) Sun Only Our Preview
Garlic is as Good as Ten Mothers (Les Blank, 1980) Mon Only
Dial M for Murder (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) Tues Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Sunshine Superman (Marah Strauch) Fri-Thurs
Dark Star: HR Giger’s World (Belinda Sallin) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas Seattle:

A Little Chaos (Alan Rickman) Fri-Thurs
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A Better Tomorrow (John Woo, 1986)

a-better-tomorrow

After an up and down decade as a director for hire in the last days of the Shaw Brothers, working alternately in the wuxia and wacky comedy genres, John Woo finally hit it big in 1986 when he teamed up with Tsui Hark and the Cinema City studio to remake Patrick Lung Kong’s 1967 drama The Story of a Discharged Prisoner. One of the most influential films of the past 30 years, A Better Tomorrow established the formal and thematic template for a new era of crime movie: everything that has followed, from Woo’s follow-up masterpieces The Killer and Hard-Boiled to the triad films of Johnnie To, to myriad international imitators, has in some way been a response to it. Its impact on the Hollywood film has been less specific but no less real: raising the stakes of athleticism and complexity in action sequences, the bullet ballet being much more adaptable to the limited physical skills of American actors than Jackie Chan’s kung fu.

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Friday June 19th – Thursday June 25th

Featured Film:

The Fifth Element at the Central Cinema

Luc Besson’s 1997 comic sci-fi epic comes to the Central Cinema with an exhilaratingly unstable mix of actors (Bruce Willis, Milla Jovovich, Ian Holm, Gary Oldman and Chris Tucker) and comic book mythology, a bright pop masterpiece of form and energy over the mundane demands of logical plotting. Our Preview.
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Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Howl’s Moving Castle (Mahayo Miyazaki, 2004)  Fri-Mon (Subtitled Mon Only)
The Fifth Element (Luc Besson, 1997) Fri-Mon, Weds Our Preview
Pride (Mathew Warchus) Tues Only

SIFF Cinema Egyptian:

The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle) Fri-Thurs
Horror of Dracula (Terence Fisher, 1958) Fri Midnight Only
The Rocky Horror Picture Show (Jim Sharman, 1975) Sat Midnight Only

AMC Loews Factoria 8:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

5 Flights Up (Richard Loncraine) Fri-Thurs
Another Earth (Mike Cahill, 2011) Mon Only
Tangerines (Zaza Urushadze) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Elektro Moskva (Elena Tikhonova & Dominik Spritzendorfer, 2013) Fri-Thurs
Angst (Gerald Kargl, 1983) Sat Only
Industrial Soundtrack for the Urban Decay (Amélie Ravalec & Travis Collins ) Fri & Sat Only

Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas:

ABCD 2 (Remo D’Souza) Fri-Thurs
Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian 16:

The Ark of Mr. Chow (Xiao Yang) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, 1982) Fri-Sun
Christiania – 40 Years of Occupation (Robert Lawson and Richard Jackman) Sat Only
Field Niggas (Khalik Allah) Mon Only
The Tribe (Myroslav Slaboshpytskiy) Tues Only
The Blues Brothers (John Landis, 1980) Weds Only 35mm
Born in Flames (Lizzie Borden, 1983) Thurs Only 16mm

Paramount Theatre:

Snow White (J. Searle Dawley, 1916) Mon Only 35mm

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Lounge:

Song of the Sea (Tomm Moore) Fri Only
Krull (Peter Yates, 1983) Fri Only
Channeling Yourself Presents: The Golden Age of Seattle Public Access Sat Only Filmmakers in Attendance
Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs (Various, 1937) Sun Only
Gadjo Dillo (Tony Gatlif, 1997) Sun Only
Chris Marker Group Mon Only
Big in Japan (John Jeffcoat) Tues Only DVD Signing
Dragons Forever (Sammo Hung & Corey Yuen, 1988) Weds Only
Tootsie (Sydney Pollack, 1982) Thurs Only

Seattle Asian Art Museum:

Desperately Seeking Helen (Eisha Marjara, 1998) Thurs Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

The Wolfpack (Crystal Moselle) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll (John Pirozzi) Fri-Weds Our Preview
I Am Big Bird: The Caroll Spinney Story (Dave LaMattina & Chad Walker) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas Seattle:

Marie’s Story (Jean-Pierre Améris) Fri-Thurs
Madame Bovary (Sophie Barthes) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello) Fri-Thurs (No shows Saturday)
The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Felix Herngren) Fri-Thurs

Varsity Theatre:

Jaws (Steven Spielberg, 1975) Sun & Weds Only

The Fifth Element (Luc Besson, 1997)

The-Fith-Element

This week the Central Cinema, home of Seattle’s most adventurous double features, revives one of the key oddities of the late 1990s, Luc Besson’s The Fifth Element, as unstable a collection of genres, tones and actors as you’re likely to find in the mainstream cinema. 300 years from now, Bruce Willis, bleached but otherwise comfortably within his Die Hard star persona, is an ex-military agent who has the key to saving the universe fall into his lap (almost literally). That key is the by definition perfect form of Milla Jovovich, a genetically supreme being that is the fifth part of a machine some aliens have installed in the Egyptian desert as a device to defeat the periodically occurring onslaught of Evil, which takes the form of a planet sized black hole that devours everything like Orson Welles in Transformers the Movie. Because of Luke Perry, we’re not as prepared for Evil’s arrival as we should be and a bumbling priest (played by Ian Holm at the peak of the bumbling priest phase of his career) is the only one who knows what’s really going on: Evil has allied itself with Gary Oldman (playing Ross Perot with Hitler’s hair) to steal the magic rocks that make up the rest of the Milla-machine from an alien opera singer. And Chris Tucker is there playing Prince if Prince was really, really loud.

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The Film Critic (Hernán Gerschuny, 2013)

Screen Shot 2015-06-12 at 8.56.12 AM

“I’m trapped in a genre I don’t belong in.” So says Victor Tellez, the titular character in Hernán Gerschuny’s witty and winning movie, The Film Critic. Victor is Argentinian but he thinks in French. Why? Because his native tongue is less refined. In a voiceover he explains that he is suffering through la maladie du cinéma. His editor at the local newspaper calls him a “terrorist of taste” because Victor has not written a five star review in two decades.

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Friday June 12th – Thursday June 18th

Featured Bookstore:

The Last Days of Cinema Books

To our great sadness, last week Stephanie Ogle, owner and founder of Cinema Books, the U-District store specializing, as its name indicates, in books about all things movie-related, announced the imminent closure of the store. She hasn’t set a final date yet, but all inventory is on sale at 50% off. We interviewed her back when the site launched in February. Our Interview.
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Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

The Philadelphia Story (George Cukor, 1940)  Fri-Weds
Chungking Express (Wong Kar-wai, 1994) Fri-Tues

SIFF Cinema Egyptian:

Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello) Fri-Thurs
Roar (Noel Marshall, 1981) Fri & Sat Midnight Only

AMC Loews Factoria 8:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

5 Flights Up (Richard Loncraine) Fri-Thurs
Red Army (Gabe Polsky) Tues Only
Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson, 1964) Weds Only
A Dangerous Game (Anthony Baxter) Thurs Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

The Film Critic (Hernán Guerschuny, 2013) Fri-Thurs Our Preview
Angst (Gerald Kargl, 1983) Fri & Sat Only
The Search for Freedom (Jon Long) Sun & Mon Only

Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs
Tanu Weds Manu Returns (Anand L. Rai) Fri-Thurs
The Terminator (James Cameron, 1984) Sun & Weds Only

Northwest Film Forum:

Heaven Knows What (Josh & Benny Safdie) Fri-Thurs
Losing Ground (Kathleen Collins, 1982) Fri-Thurs
Drylongso (Cauleen Smith, 1998) Mon Only
Crossroads: An Evening of Seattle History Tues Only
Black Lizard (Kinji Fukasaku, 1968) Thurs Only

Paramount Theatre:

The Unholy Three (Tod Browning, 1925) Mon Only 35mm

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs

Scarecrow Video Screening Lounge:

The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai (WD Richter, 1984) Fri Only
Southlander (Steve Haft, 2001) Sat Only
The Rules of the Game (Jean Renoir, 1939) Sun Only
The Unholy 3 (Jack Conway, 1930) Sun Only
The Producers (Mel Brooks, 1967) Mon Only
Psycho (Alfred Hitchcock, 1960) Tues Only
Police Story (Jackie Chan, 1985) Weds Only
Monkey Hustle (Arthur Marks, 1976) Thurs Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

The Connection (Cédric Jimenez) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Charlie’s Country (Rolf de Heer) Fri-Thurs 
The Nightmare (Rodney Ascher) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas Seattle:

Heaven Knows What (Josh & Benny Safdie) Fri-Thurs
Saint Laurent (Bertrand Bonello) Fri-Thurs
Madame Bovary (Sophie Barthes) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

The Yes Men are Revolting (Laura Nix and The Yes Men) Fri-Thurs
The 100 Year Old Man who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared (Felix Herngren) Fri-Thurs
Frame by Frame (Alexandria Bombach & Mo Scarpelli) Fri Only
The Dark Horse (James Napier Robertson) Fri Only
Liza the Fox Fairy (Károly Ujj-Mészáros) Fri Only
The Red Shoes (Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger, 1948) Sat & Mon Only 35mm
Best of SIFF Shorts (Various) Sat Only
Messi (Álex de la Iglesia) Sat Only
Behavior (Ernesto Daranas) Sat Only
Vincent (Thomas Salvador) Sat Only 
Paper Planes (Robert Connolly) Sun Only
The Great Alone (Greg Kohs) Sun Only
Romeo is Bleeding (Jason Zeldes) Sun Only
Good Ol’ Boy (Frank Lotito) Sun Only
Henri Henri (Martin Talbot) Sun Only
Chatty Catties (Pablo Valencia) Mon Only
Roar (Noel Marshall, 1981) Tues Only

Varsity Theatre:

Hungry Hearts (Saverio Costanzo) Fri-Thurs

Friday June 5th – Thursday June 11th

Featured Film:

La Sapienza at the Northwest Film Forum

Oddball expatriate Eugène Green’s latest rumination on life, love and the Baroque comes to the Film Forum this week for an exclusive run. Fabrizio Rongione (Two Days, One Night) plays a depressed architect on vacation with his also depressed wife, a social worker. When the couple meet a young brother and sister, the four bond over a shared anachronism, in love with old buildings, wasting sickness and the Chaldeans of the Ninevah Plain. Our Preview.
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Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Mean Girls (Mark Waters, 2004)  Fri-Mon, Weds
The Dark Knight (Christopher Nolan, 2008) Fri-Weds
Billy Mize and the Bakersfield Sound (William J. Saunders) Tues Only

SIFF Cinema Egyptian:

2015 Seattle International Film Festival Program Details Our Preview

AMC Loews Factoria 8:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

About Elly (Asghar Farhadi, 2009) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

The Kidnapping of Michel Houellebecq (Guillaume Nicloux) Fri-Thurs

Harvard Exit Theatre:

2015 Seattle International Film Festival Program Details Our Preview

Cinemark Lincoln Square Cinemas:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs
Tanu Weds Manu Returns (Anand L. Rai) Fri-Thurs
Goldfinger (Guy Hamilton, 1964) Sun & Weds Only
2015 Seattle International Film Festival Program Details Our Preview

Northwest Film Forum:

La Sapienza (Eugène Green) Fri-Thurs Our Preview
Now, Voyager (Irving Rapper, 1942) Thurs Only 35mm

AMC Pacific Place:

2015 Seattle International Film Festival Program Details Our Preview

Paramount Theatre:

My Best Girl (Sam Taylor, 1927) Mon Only 35mm

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Dil Dhadakne Do (Zoya Akhtar) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Black Box 2.0: Landscapes, Revisited Fri Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

The Connection (Cédric Jimenez) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

2015 Seattle International Film Festival Program Details Our Preview 

Sundance Cinemas Seattle:

Results (Andrew Bujalski) Fri-Thurs Our Preview
The Mafia Kills Only in Summer (Pif) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

2015 Seattle International Film Festival Program Details Our Preview

Varsity Theatre:

Clouds of Sils Maria (Olivier Assayas) Fri-Thurs Our Preview

La Sapienza (Eugène Green, 2014)

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La Sapienza opens this week at the Northwest Film Forum. I caught the film last fall at the Vancouver International Film Festival and the following is adapted from  the dispatch I wrote last year.

Like director Eugène Green’s other films (I watched 2001’s Toutes les units and 2004’s Le Pont des Arts in preparation for the festival, having never seen any of Green’s other work), La Sapienza features an unusually declamatory acting style, with a Bressonian minimization of emotion (though notably not as extremely robotic). Also Bressonian is a penchant for introducing scenes and characters with close-ups of their feet, or rather, their shoes. Green apparently is a big fan of shoes (not that there’s anything wrong with that). He films his characters’ conversations at right angles, a two-shot with them facing each other, perpendicular to the camera, followed by medium close-ups of each actor as they face the camera directly and speak in turn, Green not cutting until they’ve finished what they have to say. This combination of effects reminds me very much of Manoel de Oliveira, though the artifice is apparently indebted as much to Baroque theatrical technique as any cinematic fore-bearer. Green is said to be an expert in this, and knowing absolutely nothing about the subject myself, I’m in no position to disagree.

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Love & Mercy: The Atticus Ross Interview

atticus ross

This week sees the nationwide release of the Brian Wilson biopic Love & Mercy. As part of the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival, Seattle Screen Scene was lucky enough to sit down with the soundtrack’s composer, Atticus Ross, to talk about the Beach Boys and his own meticulousness in the studio.

Below is an edited version of the twenty minute interview. To hear the complete segment, tune your dial over to Episode 61 of The George Sanders Show podcast.  Continue reading

SIFF 2015: Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock & Roll (John Pirozzi, 2014)

This is part of our coverage of the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival.

Unknown Cambodian soldier

Fans of Seattle’s essential record label Sublime Frequencies may already be familiar with the sound of Cambodia’s music scene from the 1950s, ’60s and ’70s. The country’s music during that time was often a unique blend of Western-style rock and traditional Eastern singing styles. Sublime Frequencies gets a shout out in the credits of John Pirozzi’s documentary Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock & Roll, which tracks the country’s wild regime changes over those years and the concurrent development of their music.

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