Friday February 24 – Thursday March 2

Featured Film:

Akira at the Central Cinema

If you’re my age, the first anime you ever saw was probably Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 epic Akira. Based on Otomo’s own 1982 manga, it’s the story of a biker kid named Tetsuo who has supernatural powers and rampages around a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo as a variety of forces (his gang leader, the military, a resistance group) try to corral him and stop him from releasing the eponymous psychic who destroyed old Tokyo. Ground-breaking and breath-taking in its animation, it’s also one of the best examples of sci-fi anime’s tendency toward nigh-incomprehensible philosophical abstraction, it’s one of the essential films of the 1980s. The Central Cinema is playing it all week, but you should go on Saturday or Tuesday, when they’re playing it with its original Japanese soundtrack.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit) Fri-Thurs
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Central Cinema:

Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988) Dubbed: Fri, Mon, Weds; Subtitled: Sat & Tues
Tron (Steven Lisberger, 1982) Fri-Weds

Century Federal Way:

Beautiful Manasugalu (Jayatheertha) Fri-Thurs

Grand Cinema:

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
The Lure (Agnieszka Smoczynska) Fri & Sat Only Our Review
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Tues Only
I, Claude Monet (Phil Grabsky) Thurs Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Dark Night (Tim Sutton) Fri-Thurs
The Zodiac Killer (Tom Hanson, 1971) Fri Only 35mm
Saturday Secret Matinees: Presented by the Sprocket Society (Various directors & years) Sat Only 16mm
Death Warmed Up (David Blyth) Sat Only VHS
Trailer Apocalypse Redux Sun Only 35mm
Alex MacKenzie’s Apparitions Tues Only 16mm + Live Performance

Landmark Guild 45th:

A United Kingdom (Amma Asante) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Mon, Weds-Thurs
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

A United Kingdom (Amma Asante) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated and Live-Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
Rangoon (Vishal Bhardwaj) Fri-Thurs
The Ghazi Attack (Sankalp Reddy) Fri-Thurs
Jolly LLB 2 (Subhash Kapoor) Fri-Thurs

Regal Meridian:

Rangoon (Vishal Bhardwaj) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Seattle Asian American Film Festival Fri-Sun Full Program
Better Luck Tomorrow (Justin Lin, 2002) Sat Only
The Dazzling Light of Sunset (Salomé Jashi) Starts Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

A United Kingdom (Amma Asante) Fri-Thurs

Paramount Theatre:

Carmen (Cecil B. DeMille, 1915) Mon Only Live Wurlitzer

Regal Parkway Plaza:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
My Ex and Whys (Cathy Garcia-Molina) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Padre padrone (The Taviani Brothers, 1977) Thurs Only

SIFF Film Center:

Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper (Scott Freiman) Fri-Sun Only

AMC Southcenter:

The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit) Fri-Thurs
The Girl with All the Gifts (Colm McCarthy) Fri-Thurs
Everybody Loves Somebody (Catalina Aguilar Mastretta) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas:

The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit) Fri-Thurs
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Uptown:

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Weds Our Review
Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Tues, Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Tues, Thurs

In Wide Release:

The Great Wall (Zhang Yimou) Our Review
John Wick: Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski) Our Review
Split (M. Night Shyamalan) Our Review
Hidden Figures 
(Theodore Melfi) Our Review
Fences (Denzel Washington) Our Review
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Our Review
(Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review

The Lure (Agnieszka Smoczynska, 2015)


“What is that fishy smell?”

Agnieszka Smoczynska’s debut feature film functions as a pastiche of “The Little Mermaid,” but it comes to us by way of smoky cabaret clubs of a Warsaw in the 80’s, New Wave synthpop music videos, and the queasy glamour of capitalistic excess. It’s a gritty fairy tale of slyly telepathic sister-mermaids whose siren calls satisfy carnivorous tastes – until one sister falls in love with her prey, and their world and their sisterly bond begins to disintegrate.

It’s more grim Grimm than gentle Hans Christian Andersen: no swift and bloodless magic here, just buzzing grinding surgeon’s tools, human legs and mermaid tails on beds of ice. But the surgeon drunkenly dances and the mermaid sings until her voice wheezes dry, and I remember I always did prefer the intoxicating horror of Grimm to Andersen anyway.

Does it all add up to a fairy tale moral or even a thematically cohesive whole? I’m not sure it does, but it does fully commit to its individual scenes: carnal, sordid, crunchy, or sexy, and like the immersive quality of a vivid dream, its overall sensations linger, far into the waking hours.


The Lure plays at Grand Cinema on February 24 and 25. 

(Note: This review is adapted from my notes on 5/25/16 on Letterboxd.)