Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)


There is no tiptoeing around the subject matter of Elle, a study into the ramifications of sexual violence seen through a particularly perverse lens. This lens is of essentially three people: the central character Michèle, Isabelle Huppert as the actress that plays her, and the director Paul Verhoeven. Together, the two collaborators create an indelible and often frightening world filled with constant paranoia and even more black comedy, all while the mystery—surrounding both the identity of the attacker and Michèle’s motivations—moves further and further along, culminating in a place both completely logical and totally unexpected.

In the first of many salvos, Elle quite literally opens with the sounds of Michèle being raped in her home by a masked assailant, who leaves behind a scene filled with broken objects. Michèle, however, demonstrates she is no mere object, quickly cleaning up the mess and ordering sushi in a manner that both feels like a subversion and a natural extension of the personality that Huppert has already crafted, almost entirely nonverbally. Interestingly enough, Elle remains consistently nervy, even utilizing a scene like one where Michèle bathes for maximum effect, as blood appears under the suds and she stares before quickly wiping it away.

Continue reading Elle (Paul Verhoeven, 2016)”

Friday, January 13 – Thursday, January 19

Featured Film:

Paterson at the Regal Meridian

Jim Jarmsuch’s best movie in more than twenty years, and probably the best movie of 2016 (at least, that’s what I’ll say right now), stars Adam Driver as a poet named Paterson, who lives and drives a bus in the city of Paterson, New Jersey, which was itself the subject of an epic poem by William Carlos Williams called Paterson. Jarmusch deftly tracks a week in Paterson’s life: the habitual necessities and routines, and the small spaces within them that he carves out for writing (think Frank O’Hara’s Lunch Poems). Small details accrete: the job, the dog, the regulars at the neighborhood bar, and an infinite, livable world is created. Rarely has a film so elegantly captured creative work as process, as an integral part of everyday life. When Driver reads Paterson’s poems, he doesn’t recite them, the words in voiceover come with the halting, tentative speed of composition. Neil reviewed the film for us last fall at VIFF, and Ryan wrote about it this week.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Ok Jaanu (Shaad Ali) Fri-Thurs

Central Cinema:

The Maltese Falcon (John Huston, 1941) Fri-Tues
The Thing (John Carpenter, 1982) Fri-Tues

Century Federal Way:

Khaidi No. 150 (V. V. Vinayak) Fri-Thurs
Sarvann (Karaan Guliani) Fri-Thurs
Master (Cho Uiseok) Fri-Thurs
Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952) Sun & Weds Only
One Piece Film: Gold (Hiroaki Miyamoto) Tues Only

Grand Cinema:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs
Olympic Pride, American Prejudice (Deborah Riley Draper) Tues Only
Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1942) Weds Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Mifune: The Last Samurai (Steven Okazaki) Sat & Sun Only
Saturday Secret Matinees: Presented by the Sprocket Society (Various directors & years) Sat Only 16mm
Up, Up and Away (Andy Liotta) Thurs Only

Landmark Guild 45th:

One Piece Film: Gold (Hiroaki Miyamoto) Sat & Tues Only

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Khaidi No. 150 (V. V. Vinayak) Fri-Thurs
Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari) Fri-Thurs
Bairavaa (Bharathan) Fri-Thurs
Gautamiputra Satakarni (Krish) Fri-Thurs
Ok Jaanu (Shaad Ali) Fri-Thurs
Shatamanam Bhavati (Satish Vegesna) Fri-Thurs
Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952) Sun & Weds Only
One Piece Film: Gold (Hiroaki Miyamoto) Tues Only

Regal Meridian:

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952) Sun & Weds Only

Northwest Film Forum:

Il Solengo (Alessio Rigo de Righi & Matteo Zoppis) Fri & Sat Only
Notes on Blindness (Peter Middleton & James Spinney) Fri-Sun Only
The Road to Nickelsville (Derek McNeill) Sun Only Filmmaker in Attendance
Goodnight Brooklyn – The Story of Death by Audio (Matthew Conboy) Starts Weds

AMC Pacific Place:

Some Like it Hot (Song Xiaofei and Dong Xu) Fri-Thurs
Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952) Sun & Weds Only
One Piece Film: Gold (Hiroaki Miyamoto) Tues Only

Pacific Science Center:

Voyage of Time (IMAX) (Terrence Malick) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven) Fri-Thurs
Sarvann (Karaan Guliani) Fri-Thurs
Ok Jaanu (Shaad Ali) Fri-Thurs
Shatamanam Bhavati (Satish Vegesna) Fri-Thurs
Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs
Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Europa ’51 (Roberto Rossellini, 1952Thurs Only

Seven Gables:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Nordic Lights Film Festival Fri-Mon Full Program
You Will Be My Son (Gilles LeGrand) Weds Only Pastries and Wine

Sundance Cinemas:

Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Uptown:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

Varsity Theatre:

Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952) Weds Only

In Wide Release:

Silence (Martin Scorsese) Our Review
Live by Night (Ben Affleck) Our Review
Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) Our Review
Fences (Denzel Washington) Our Review
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Our Review
Assassin’s Creed (Justin Kurzel) Our Review
(Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review