Friday, September 7 – Thursday September 13

Featured Film:

Andrei Rublev at the SIFF Film Center

The Northwest Film Forum has a fine lineup of documentaries this week, led by In the Intense Now and Cielo, and including Andy Warhol’s Mrs. Warhol, and the Cinerama kicks off its annual 70mm film festival (my highlights: Howard the Duck and Days of Thunder), but our Featured Film this week is an easy choice, as Andrei Tarkovsky’s Andrei Rublev is quite simply one of the greatest films ever made, and it’s playing here for the first time in quite awhile, as far as I can remember. The sweeping portrait of a famed icon painter and the medieval world he lived in, the Film Center has it in its latest restoration. If you haven’t seen it, this is the unmissable film event of the week.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Tremors (Ron Underwood, 1990) Fri-Weds Hecklevision Wednesday
The Sandlot (David Mickey Evans, 1993) Fri-Tues
Waking the Sleeping Giant (Jon D. Erickson & Jacob Smith) Weds Only

Cinerama:

70mm Film Festival Full Program

SIFF Egyptian:

The Wife (Björn Runge) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

Mar Gaye Oye Loko (Simerjit Singh) Fri-Thurs
The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965) Sun & Weds Only Our Podcast

Grand Cinema:

Woman Walks Ahead (Susanna White) Fri-Thurs
Puzzle (Marc Turtletaub) Fri-Thurs
Arizona (Jonathan Watson) Sat Only
The Catcher was a Spy (Ben Lewin) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

SECS Fest Fri-Sun
Never Goin’ Back (Augustine Frizzell) Sun-Thurs
An Invisible College: Illuminated Jewels by Elder Masters of Experimental Cinema, 1936 – 1978 Tues Only 16mm

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

The Wife (Björn Runge) Fri-Thurs
Stree (Amar Kaushik) Fri-Thurs
Geetha Govindam (Parasuram) Fri-Thurs
C/O Kancharapalem (Maha Venkatesh) Fri-Thurs
Manu (Phanindra Narsetti) Fri-Thurs
Premaku Rainchek (Akella Peri Srinivas) Fri-Thurs
Silly Fellows (Bhimaneni Srinivasa Rao) Fri-Thurs
Savita Damodar Paranjape (Swapna Waghmare Joshi) Sat & Sun Only
The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965) Sun & Weds Only Our Podcast

Regal Meridian:

Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997) Mon Only

Northwest Film Forum:

In the Intense Now (João Moreira Salles) Fri-Sun Our Review
Betty: They Say I’m Different (Phil Cox) Fri-Sun, Weds & Thurs
Mrs. Warhol (Andy Warhol, 1966) Sat Only
Cielo (Alison McAlpine) Weds Only Our Review
Mammon, Moloch, and the False Maria: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and the Cult of Capitalism Thurs Only

AMC Pacific Place:

Destination Wedding (Victor Levin) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Ya veremos (Pedro Pablo Ibarra) Fri-Thurs
The Hows of Us (Cathy Garcia-Molina) Fri-Thurs

AMC Seattle:

The Bookshop (Isabel Coixet) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Andrei Rublev (Andrei Tarkovsky, 1966) Fri-Thurs

Regal Thornton Place:

Perfect Blue (Satoshi Kon, 1997) Mon Only
The Sound of Music (Robert Wise, 1965) Sun & Weds Only Our Podcast

SIFF Uptown:

The Bookshop (Isabel Coixet) Fri-Thurs
We the Animals (Jeremiah Zagar) Fri-Thurs

Varsity Theatre:

Puzzle (Marc Turtletaub) Fri-Thurs
The Miseducation of Cameron Post (Desiree Akhavan) Fri-Thurs
3100 Run and Become (Sanjay Rawal) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

Mission: Impossible–Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie) Our Review
Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham) Our Review
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed) Our Review
Ocean’s 8 (Gary Ross) Our Review
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In the Intense Now (João Moreira Salles, 2017)

In-the-Intense-Now-featured-image

One of the better documentaries of the year plays this weekend only at the Northwest Film Forum. In the Intense Now is built out of archival images, some shot by director João Moreira Salles’s mother, when she visited China in 1966, but mostly from amateur and independent film footage of France and Czechoslovakia and Brazil in the revolutionary summer of 1968. It’s one of the centerpiece presentations of the Film Forum’s fall series 1968: Expressions of a Flame, which is presenting a wide variety of films, fiction and non-, well-known and obscure, from that year. It would also have been a fine addition to their Home Movies series, which began this spring and continues this weekend with Andy Warhol’s Mrs. Warhol, with its focus on filmmakers documenting and exploring their own families (which we highlighted here when they played Liu Jiayin’s Oxhide II and Chantal Akerman’s News from Home). In the Intense Now is built around this tension, between the personal and the political, as much as it is about the disconnect between the hopes of the past and the failures of the present.

Reminiscent of the films of Chris Marker, the film is entirely composed of archival images, over which the director narrates his thoughts in a soft, unassuming voice. His mother’s trip to China, where she appears not to notice the Cultural Revolution going on around her in favor of the sheer beauty of the country and its landscape, forms the apolitical counterpoint to the footage of the May protests in France two years later, where students march in the streets in support of striking workers (who seem generally bemused by the students, whom the refer to as “their future bosses”). Moreira Salles focuses less on the ideology of the protestors or their opponents, exemplified by young firebrand Daniel Cohn-Bendit on the one side and aged General DeGaulle on the other, than on the small moments captured almost accidentally by the filmmakers: minute gestures; expressions of unself-conscious joy and happiness; the fact that there are hardly any black people in the movement, and that they always are wearing suits; and so on. This fine eye for detail gives us a new way of looking at old footage, and a new angle on well-worn territory.

As does the film’s second half, the aftermath of the events of May, not just in Czechoslovakia, where Soviet tanks bring an end to the flowering Prague Spring, but in France, where the youth movement fizzles out and is co-opted by commercial interests. In fact, those interests were there from the start, fueling some of the most enduring memories of ’68, the slogans, bite-sized sentiments more surreal than Marxist that were not the organic output of youth rebellion they seemed to be at the time. For all the expressions of optimism and joy captured in the early days of the movement, In the Intense Now is ultimately a tragedy, a story of how movements fade away, how people, left and right, become grist for the content mills. In the face of all this inevitability, the film becomes a call to focus instead on experience, the individualized moment, the textures of existence, as a break from systemic thought or dreams of collective action. That it was made by the heir of one of Brazil’s most powerful banking families, a man worth close to 4 billion dollars, is probably important.