Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984)

gremlins present

It all started with a little trouble in Chinatown. There a young boy said, “I told you everything was real”. That’s important. Christmas is closing in and a kind-hearted father is looking for the perfect gift for his son. In a basement junk shop he spies a creature that sounds like Howie Mandel. Like any sane person he feels compelled to adopt this “mogwai”. Then all hell breaks loose. Tying together strands of The Twilight Zone, the boomer ascendency, and the dominant milieu of executive producer Steven Spielberg, Joe Dante’s Gremlins transcends them all to become a masterpiece of mayhem.

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Tangerine (Sean Baker, 2015)

girls on street walking

It is Christmas Eve in Hollywood, a day in Tinseltown when everything is even more brightly showy than usual. It’s a town of glitz and dreams and fantasies, where stars soar higher than high and multitudes of others scramble below to make a living in those stars’ dusty grit. A few golden names will get a terrazzo or brass star on Hollywood Boulevard, an aspirational spot on the ground that is, perhaps ironically, open to be trod on by anyone in need of a sidewalk. And there is something of that sly irony in Sean Baker’s newest film, Tangerine, for Baker is a good deal more interested in those doing the treading on those stars, those who walk on and work in the streets, than in those who have their names emblazoned into them. And indeed, as the film opens – a shot of two pairs of hands clasping and exchanging a doughnut over a table at Donut Time, a place that couldn’t be farther from the showiness of the Walk of Fame – I am a good deal less curious about the stars whose names I might recognize than I am about to whom those hands on the table belong.

The hands are Sin-Dee’s (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) and Alexandra’s (Mya Taylor), two friends, two transgender sex workers, whose journey, set all in one day in the Los Angeles streets and in the day-to-day haunts of those who make a living on the streets, invites us to question what we know, or what we think we know, about Los Angeles and those who live in it. Is the city, and by extension its inhabitants, as one character in the film puts it, a “beautifully wrapped lie”? Continue reading

Friday July 24th – Thursday July 30th

Featured Film:

The Apu Trilogy at the SIFF Uptown

Following a sold out run at this year’s Seattle International Film Festival, the very fine digital restoration of Satyajit Ray’s Apu Trilogy plays this week at the SIFF Uptown. Released between 1955 and 1959 and comprising the great Bengali director’s first, second and fifth feature films (Pather Panchali, Aparajito and The World of Apu, respectively), adapting two novels by Bibhutibhushan Bandyopadhyay. Warm and naturalistic in style, evincing the influence of both Jean Renoir and the Italian Neo-Realists, Ray’s films were among the first (and remain some of the few) Indian films to crossover into the European/North American canon.
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Playing This Week:

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

The Muppet Movie (James Frawley, 1979) Weds Morning Only

Central Cinema:

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971) Fri-Weds
Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, 1994) Fri-Weds

Crest Cinema Center:

When Marnie was There (Hiromasa Yonebayashi) Fri-Thurs Early shows dubbed, evening shows subtitled – check showtimes Our Review
Far from the Madding Crowd (Thomas Vinterberg) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Egyptian:

Tangerine (Sean Baker) Fri-Thurs Our Review 

AMC Loews Factoria:

Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Kabir Khan) Fri-Tues

Century Federal Way:

Baahubali (S.S.Rajamouli) Fri-Tues Our Review (Hindi)
Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon) Fri-Thurs Our Review 
Testament of Youth (James Kent) Fri-Thurs
Charlie’s Country (Rolf de Heer, 2013) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

A Hard Day (Kim Seonghun) Fri-Thurs Our Review 
VHS Über Alles presents Demonwarp (Emmett Alson, 1988) Sat Only VHS
EXcinema presents The Clearing (Various) Tues Only

Landmark Guild 45th:

 Testament of Youth (James Kent) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Baahubali (S.S.Rajamouli) Fri-Tues Our Review (Telugu)
Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Kabir Khan) Fri-Tues
Gremlins (Joe Dante, 1984) Sun & Weds Only Our Review

Regal Meridian:

Only You (Zhang Hao) Fri-Thurs
Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Kabir Khan) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

A Pigeon Sat on a Branch Reflecting on Existence (Roy Andersson) Fri-Mon Our Review
Do I Sound Gay? (David Thorpe) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Heaven Adores You (Nickolas Rossi) Sun Only
Our Lives in Google (Adam Sekuler) Mon Only Filmmaker in Attendance, Live Performance
Cotton Road (Laura Kissel) Tues Only Filmmaker in Attendance

AMC Pacific Place:

Jian Bing Man (Dong Chengpeng) Fri-Tues

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Bajrangi Bhaijaan (Kabir Khan) Fri-Tues
Testament of Youth (James Kent) Fri-Tues

Scarecrow Video Screening Lounge:

Castle in the Sky (Hayao Miyazaki, 1986) Sun Only
Chris Marker Group Mon Only
Marnie (Alfred Hitchcock, 1964) Tues Only
Tarzana (Steve De Jarnatt, 1972) Thurs Only Filmmaker in Attendance

Seattle Art Museum:

The Palm Beach Story (Preston Sturges, 1942) Thurs Only 35mm

Landmark Seven Gables:

Me and Earl and the Dying Girl (Alfonso Gomez-Rejon) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Film Center:

3 1/2 Minutes, Ten Bullets (Marc Silver) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas Seattle:

Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman) Fri-Thurs
The Third Man (Carol Reed, 1949) Fri-Thurs
Unexpected (Kris Swanberg) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

The Apu Trilogy (Satyajit Ray, 1955-1959) Fri-Thurs
Gemma Bovery (Anne Fontaine) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Cartel Land (Matthew Heineman) Fri-Thurs

Varsity Theatre:

Caffeinated (Hanh Nguyen & Vishal Solanki) Fri-Sun Only
Shadows (John Cassavetes, 1959) Tues Only