Belladonna of Sadness (Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973)

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Forty years after its original release in Asia and Europe, four decades after this initial commercial failure bankrupted its production studio, the psycho-sexual phantasmagoria, Belladonna of Sadness, finally arrives on American movie screens. The sexually explicit animated film charts one woman’s erotic journey from hamlet to Hell, as she is abused by her village’s male-dominated power structure until she finds some semblance of solace in the arms of Satan himself. Continue reading Belladonna of Sadness (Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973)”

SIFF 2016: Our Little Sister (Hirokazu Kore-eda, 2015)

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Our Little Sister tracks a gentle arc, where drama develops through quotidian domesticity, gradually deepening emotion, small personal revelations. Hirokazu Kore-eda dares, in an age of superheroes, to believe audiences want to see something as simple as sisters sharing a series of meals, making family recipes, scratching a height measurement in a door-frame. He trusts these things carry emotional weight that will wrap viewers into the film’s world and hold them. In this slow accumulation of delicate specificity, tastes, and textures, is a gift: a celebration of the very fabric of being.

Our Little Sister screens for the 42nd Seattle International Film Festival at SIFF Cinema Uptown on May 21 and May 22.  (Note: Full review to be published when Our Little Sister opens for its Seattle theatrical run in July.) 

SIFF 2016: Angry Indian Goddesses (Pan Nalin, 2015)

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Contemporary Hindi cinema is not the most hospitable place for women’s stories. Bollywood largely casts them as doting mothers or arm candy for buff heroes. Angry Indian Goddesses begins with an actress (Amrit Maghera) being told by a director to make sure her hips and butt are shaking while she’s struggling against her captors. She blows up at him, declares Bollywood to be fake, and storms off. So, the film explicitly positions itself as a realistic alternative to this brand of escapist cinema which sees women only as sex objects, and a society that mistreats them at every turn. The other opening vignettes show the other main characters lashing out at their oppressors as well.

Billed as India’s first all-out female buddy film, Angry Indian Goddesses concerns the relationship between a group of friends gathering at a bungalow in Goa in order to celebrate the wedding of Freida (Sarah-Jane Dias) to a mystery suitor. This allows for director Pan Nalin to let a host of personalities bounce off each other and let things flow from there. Indeed, it is a pleasure to see these talented actresses inhabit the screen together, free of the pressures of the roles they might have in a normal Bollywood production. It’s a shame that this is such a rare sight.

Continue reading “SIFF 2016: Angry Indian Goddesses (Pan Nalin, 2015)”

Friday May 20 – Thursday May 26

Featured Film:

The Seattle International Film Festival, Week One

The first week of SIFF promises a plethora of interesting cinema, from well-known auteurs like Terence Davies and Whit Stillman, to more obscure finds from Thailand, Japan, China and the wilds of Portland, and established classics from Orson Welles and Douglas Sirk. We previewed the festival on the last episode of The Frances Farmer Show and here we take a closer look at Week One.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Drop Dead Gorgeous (Michael Patrick Jann, 1999) Fri-Tues
Fight Club (David Fincher, 1999) Fri-Tues

SIFF Egyptian:

The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program

Century Federal Way:

Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Lassie Come Home (Fred M. Wilcox, 1943) Sat Only Free
How to Let Go of the World: and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change (Josh Fox) Sat Only Director in Attendance
White Lies (Dana Rotberg) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

High-Rise (Ben Wheatley) Fri-Thurs
VHS Über Alles presents Hawkeye (Gordon Chung, 1988) Fri Only VHS
The First Legion (Douglas Sirk, 1951) Sun Only 35mm

Landmark Guild 45th:

A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino) Fri-Thurs
It’s So Easy and Other Lies (Christopher Duddy) Thurs Only

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino) Fri-Thurs
The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program
24 (Vikram Kumar) Fri-Thurs In Tamil
Brahmotsavam (Srikanth Addala) Fri-Thurs
Top Gun (Tony Scott, 1986) Sun & Weds Only

Majestic Bay:

The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program

Regal Meridian:

The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams) Fri – Thurs Our Podcast 

Northwest Film Forum:

Belladonna of Sadness (Eiichi Yamamoto, 1973) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Men in War (Anthony Mann, 1957) Fri Only 35mm
Moomins on the Riviera (Xavier Picard & Hanna Hemilä, 2014) Sat & Sun Only In English

AMC Pacific Place:

A Bigger Splash (Luca Guadagnino) Fri-Thurs
The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Kaptaan (Mandeep Kumar) Fri-Thurs
This Time (Nuel C. Naval) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Nelly and Monsieur Arnaud (Claude Sautet, 1996) Thurs Only

SIFF Film Center:

The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program

Sundance Cinemas:

Tale of Tales (Mateo Gerrone) Fri-Thurs
The Family Fang (Jason Bateman) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

The 2016 Seattle International Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program

Varsity Theatre:

Manhattan Night (Brian DeCubellis) Fri-Thurs
How to Let Go of the World: and Love All the Things Climate Can’t Change (Josh Fox) Fri-Thurs Q&A Friday

In Wide Release:

Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater) Our Review Our Other Review

SIFF 2016 Preview Week One

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The latest edition of the Seattle International Film Festival begins Thursday, May 19 and we at Seattle Screen Scene are once again planning on some extensive coverage. We discussed the festival and some of the films we’re looking forward to on the last episode of The Frances Farmer Show, and here are some more titles to look out for over the week ahead. We’ll add links to our reviews here as we write them.

Continue reading “SIFF 2016 Preview Week One”

The Frances Farmer Show Ep. 6: SIFF Preview, The Long Day Closes and Tokyo Sonata

With the Seattle International Film Festival fast approaching, we discuss earlier films by two prominent directors whose films will be bookending this year’s SIFF. Terence Davies will be kicking the festival off with his Sunset Song, while Kiyoshi Kurosawa will bring it to a close with Creepy, and so we talk about Davies’s 1992 masterpiece of poetic memory The Long Day Closes and Kurosawa’s 2008 surreal domestic melodrama Tokyo Sonata. We’re joined as well by Melissa to preview this year’s festival, running down some new obscurities, interesting documentaries, much-anticipated archival presentations and more. All that, plus cameo appearances from TS Eliot and Paul Verlaine.

You can listen to the show by downloading it directly, or by subscribing on iTunes or the podcast player of your choice.

Friday May 13 – Thursday May 19

Featured Film:

SPL 2: A Time for Consequences at the Pacific Place

A sequel in name only to the 2005 Donnie Yen/Sammo Hung hit, Soi Cheang’s SPL 2: A Time for Consequences is being released here in North America as Kill Zone 2 by the WellGo organization, opening Friday at the AMC Pacific Place. The two greatest martial arts performers of their generation, Tony Jaa and Wu Jing, team up with Simon Yam to take on an international organ-trafficking ring led by the always-degenerating Louis Koo. With an outlandishly interconnected plot, Cheang, as in his brilliant 2009 film Accident, pushes Milkyway Image’s metaphysics of coincidence beyond the most daring ploys of Johnnie To and Wai Ka-fai, and what are quite simply the best hand-to-hand combat scenes of the decade, whatever you call it, SPL2 is without a doubt one of the most vital and necessary martial arts films since Jackie Chan and Jet Li went Hollywood. We talked about it on the last episode of The Frances Farmer Show, along with Edward Yang’s classic A Brighter Summer Day.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001) Fri-Tues Japanese on Tues Only
The Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson, 2077) Fri-Tues

SIFF Egyptian:

High-Rise (Ben Wheatley) Fri-Weds

Century Federal Way:

2 Bol (Vinnil Markan) Fri-Thurs
Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes, 1986) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Sweet Bean (Naomi Kawase) Fri-Thurs
Francofonia (Alexander Sokurov) Tues Only Our Review 
Gone with the Wind (Victor Fleming, 1939) Weds Only Our Ancient, Disjointed Musings

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Mad Tiger (Jonathan Yi & Michael Haertlein) Fri-Thurs
The Crime of Doctor Crespi (John H. Auer, 1935) Sat Only 35mm
Bachelor’s Affairs
(Alfred L. Werker, 1932) Sun Only 35mm

Landmark Guild 45th:

Harmony (Michael Arias & Takashi Nakamura) Tues (Subtitled) & Weds (Dubbed) Only
The First Monday in May (Andrew Rossi) Fri-Sun, Tues-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

24 (Vikram Kumar) Fri-Thurs In Tamil or Telugu, check showtimes
Azhar (Tony D’Souza) Fri-Thurs
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes, 1986) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

Phantom of the Theatre (Raymond Yip) Fri-Thurs
The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams) Fri – Thurs Our Podcast 

Northwest Film Forum:

Spring Night, Summer Night (J.L. Anderson 1967) Fri Only 35mm
I Am Thalente (Natalie Johns) Mon Only
Under the Cherry Moon (Prince, 1986) Thurs Only Live Score

AMC Oak Tree:

Love Addict (Charis Orchard) Fri-Thurs
Finding Mr. Right 2 (Xue Xiaolu) Fri-Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

SPL 2: A Time for Consequences (Soi Cheang) Fri-Thurs Our Podcast
Green Room
 (Jeremy Saulnier) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Finding Mr. Right 2 (Xue Xiaolu) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Just the 3 of Us (Cathy Garcia-Molina) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Vincent, Francois, Paul and the Others (Claude Sautet, 1974) Thurs Only

SIFF Film Center:

The Huntington’s Disease Project presented by “We Have a Face” (James Valvano) Sun Only

Sundance Cinemas:

Viva (Paddy Breathnach) Fri-Thurs
The Family Fang (Jason Bateman) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

L’Attesa (Piero Messina) Fri-Thurs
Songs For The Firmament (Chris Mathews, Jr.) Sat Only

Varsity Theatre:

How to Plan an Orgy in a Small Town (Jeremy Lalonde) Fri-Thurs
SCUFF – The Seattle College and University Film Festival Sun Only
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (John Hughes, 1986) Weds Only

In Wide Release:

Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater) Our Review Our Other Review

Friday May 6 – Thursday May 12

Featured Film:

The UCLA Festival of Preservation at the Grand Illusion and the Northwest Film Forum

Even before their Seijun Suzuki series wraps up (with Branded to Kill on Wednesday), the Northwest Film Forum and Grand Illusion have combined to bring yet another welcome series of films to Seattle Screens. Featuring a selection of 35mm prints of films restored by the UCLA Film & Television Archive. The first week features Mary Pickford in My Best Girl, Bela Lugosi in White Zombie and Bing Crosby’s first feature starring role The Big Broadcast. In coming weeks, the two theatres will present John Ford’s atmospheric Eugene O’Neill adaptation The Long Voyage Home, with cinematography by Gregg Toland and Swedish accent by John Wayne, Anthony Mann’s apocalyptic Korean War drama Men in War, J.L. Anderson’s Spring Night, Summer Night, Adolphe Menjou in the fast-paced pre-Code comedy Bachelor’s Affairs and Erich von Stroheim in The Crime of Dr. Crespi.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Mrs. Doubtfire (Chris Columbus, 1993) Fri-Mon
Mommie Dearest (Frank Perry, 1991) Fri-Mon
Mary Poppins (Robert Stevenson , 1964) Tues Only Sing-along

Century Federal Way:

Zorawar (Vinnil Markan) Fri-Thurs
Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Sweet Bean (Naomi Kawase) Fri-Thurs
Elstree 1976 (Jon Spira) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

11 Minutes (Jerzy Skolimowski) Fri-Thurs
Dou kyu sei — Classmates (Shoko Nakajima) Sat & Sun Only
White Zombie (Victor Halperin, 1932) Sat Only 35mm
The Big Broadcast 
(Frank Tuttle, 1932) Sun Only 35mm

Landmark Guild 45th:

Sing Street (John Carney) Fri-Thurs
The First Monday in May (Andrew Rossi) Fri-Sun, Tues-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Sing Street (John Carney) Fri-Thurs
24 (Vikram Kumar) Fri-Thurs In Tamil or Telugu, check showtimes
1920 London (Tinu Suresh Desai) Fri-Thurs
Supreme (Anil Ravipudi) Fri-Thurs
Enter the Dragon (Robert Clouse, 1973) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

Sing Street (John Carney) Fri-Thurs
Phantom of the Theatre (Raymond Yip) Fri-Thurs
The Force Awakens (JJ Abrams) Fri – Thurs Our Podcast 

Northwest Film Forum:

My Best Girl (Sam Taylor, 1927) Fri Only 35mm
Daisies (Věra Chytilová) Sat Only 35mm, Live Score
Branded to Kill (Seijun Suzuki, 1967) Weds Only Our Suzuki Podcast
Electonomicon – Art Walk Thurs Only Free Event
I Am Thalente (Natalie Johns) Thurs Only

AMC Oak Tree:

Sweet Home (Rafa Martinez) Fri-Thurs
Finding Mr. Right 2 (Xue Xiaolu) Fri-Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Finding Mr. Right 2 (Xue Xiaolu) Fri-Thurs
MBA Partners (Jang Tae-Yu) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Just the 3 of Us (Cathy Garcia-Molina) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Cesar and Rosalie (Claude Sautet, 1972) Thurs Only

Landmark Seven Gables:

Dough (John Goldschmidt) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Neon Bull (Gabriel Mascaro) Fri-Thurs
Hockney (Randall Wright) Fri-Thurs

AMC Southcenter:

Purple Rain (Albert Magnoli, 1984) Fri-Thurs Our Podcast
Compadres (Enrique Begne) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas:

Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier) Fri-Thurs Our Review
The Family Fang (Jason Bateman) Fri-Thurs

Regal Thornton Place:

Green Room (Jeremy Saulnier) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Cinema Uptown:

Men & Chicken (Anders Thomas Jensen) Fri-Thurs
L’Attesa (Piero Messina) Fri-Thurs
The LEGO Movie (Phil Lord, Christopher Miller) Sat Only

Varsity Theatre:

Mothers and Daughters (Paul Duddridge) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

Everybody Wants Some!! (Richard Linklater) Our Review Our Other Review