Friday October 5 – Thursday October 11

Featured Film:

The Atomic Café at the Grand Illusion

We’re still in Vancouver, watching as many movies as we can, which is why this is going up a couple of days late this week. So far we’ve seen and reviewed The LoadMiraiAsako I & IIDiamantino, four Short Films by Sofia BohdanowiczSpice It Up, and Fausto. That’s in addition to the movies that are here at VIFF that we covered when they played earlier this year at other festivals (Grass, People’s Republic of Desire, Girls Always Happy, Microhabitat and Matangi/Maya/MIA). We’ll have lots more to come over the next couple of weeks, once we return to America, including a special all-VIFF episode of The Frances Farmer Show.

But while all that is going on, the Grand Illusion has a new restoration of the excellent 1982 documentary The Atomic Café, built out of archival footage of nuclear America during the cold war. It’s horrifying and hilarious in all the best ways. Don’t miss it. Or maybe trek down to Tacoma to check out the Film Festival they’ve got going on at the Grand. This year’s is the best one yet, with a lot of movies that won’t make their way to King County for awhile yet.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

The Great Battle (Kim Gwangsik) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Feng Shui (Park Heegon) Fri-Thurs

Central Cinema:

Rear Window (Alfred Hitchcock, 1954) Fri-Mon
Get Out (Jordan Peele) Fri-Tues

SIFF Egyptian:

Mandy (Panos Cosmatos) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

Asfar (Gulshan Singh) Fri-Thurs
Parahuna (Amrit Raj Chadha & Mohit Banwait) Fri-Thurs
The Great Battle (Kim Gwang-Sik) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Qismat (Jagdeep Sidhu) Fri-Thurs
Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968) Sun & Tues Only

Grand Cinema:

Tacoma Film Festival Fri-Thurs Full Program
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos) Fri-Thurs
Pick of the Litter (Dana Nachman & Don Hardy) Fri-Thurs

Grand Illusion Cinema:

The Atomic Café (Kevin Rafferty, Jayne Loader & Pierce Rafferty, 1982) Fri-Thurs
Heavy Trip (Jukka Vidgren & Juuso Laatio) Fri-Sun
Saving Brinton (Tommy Haines & Andrew Sherburne) Tues Only
Hot to Trot (Gail Freedman) Weds Only Filmmaker in Attendance

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard) Fri-Thurs
Collette (Wash Westmoreland) Fri-Thurs
Chekka Chivantha Vaanam (Mani Ratnam) Fri-Thurs
96 (C. Prem Kumar) Fri-Thurs
Andhadhun (Sriram Raghavan) Fri-Thurs
Devadas (Sriram Aditya) Fri-Thurs
NOTA (Anand Shankar) Fri-Thurs In Tamil or Telugu, Check Listings
TCGN (Girish Joshi) Fri-Thurs
Sui Dhaaga-Made in India (Sharat Katariya) Fri-Thurs
Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968) Sun & Tues Only

Regal Meridian:

The Sisters Brothers (Jacques Audiard) Fri-Thurs
Monsters and Men (Reinaldo Marcus Green) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Tasveer South Asian Film Festival Sat Only Full Program
Kusama: Infinity (Heather Lenz) Sun-Thurs
Time for Ilhan (Norah Shapiro) Sun Only
Wacko (Greydon Clark) Weds Only

AMC Oak Tree:

Hello Mrs. Money (Wu Yuhan) Fri-Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

Project Gutenberg (Felix Chong) Fri-Thurs
Hello Mrs. Money (Wu Yuhan) Fri-Thurs
Cry Me a Sad River (Luo Luo) Fri-Thurs
Collette (Wash Westmoreland) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Miss Granny (Joyce E. Bernal) Fri-Thurs
Exes Baggage (Dan Villegas) Fri-Thurs

AMC Seattle:

Summer ’03 (Rebecca Gleason) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Force of Evil (Abraham Polonsky, 1948) Thurs Only 35mm

SIFF Film Center:

The Apparition (Xavier Giannoli) Fri-Sun
Headhunt Revisited (Michele Westmorland) Weds Only

AMC Southcenter:

El día de la unión (Kuno Becker) Fri-Thurs
Trico Tri: Happy Halloween (Christian Vogeler) Fri-Thurs

Regal Thornton Place:

Collette (Wash Westmoreland) Fri-Thurs
Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968) Sun & Tues Only

SIFF Uptown:

Matangi/Maya/MIA (Stephen Loveridge) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Blaze (Ethan Hawke) Fri-Thurs
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos) Fri-Thurs
Soufra (Thomas Morgan) Thurs Only

Varsity Theatre:

Love, Gilda (Lisa Dapolito) Fri-Thurs
Seattle Latino Film Festival Sat-Thurs Full Program
Manhattan Short 2018 Film Festival Fri Only
Bullitt (Peter Yates, 1968) Tues Only

In Wide Release:

Mission: Impossible–Fallout (Christopher McQuarrie) Our Review
Ant-Man and the Wasp (Peyton Reed) Our Review

VIFF 2018: The Load (Ognjen Glavonić, 2018)


Gunfire crackles beyond the horizon, the relationship between sound and image established at the outset: death will be heard, not seen. The Load envisions the Bosnian War as an on-the-ground abstraction, where violence is an echo, bombing raids hide behind a scrim of gray sky, and bodies are invisible. After delivering his cargo to its terminal destination, Vlada, our hangdog Odysseus, returns home to tell his son a story about a different war, “A real war, not this video game war,” as if in knowing response to the world Ognjen Glavonić crafts around him. The profondo foley track and the ashen palette make for art direction à la Call of Duty, an effect amplified by Glavonić’s three dimensional mise-en-scène. More than once the camera suddenly detours from the main road to track a peripheral character, suggesting explorable spaces beyond the confines of the truck’s cabin (and the film’s central narrative). These are, presumably, the same spaces occupied by those not-so-far off NATO bombs and the fly-ridden freight that Vlada hauls behind him, but which he never sees. Physical and moral dangers are intruding on Vlada’s craven sense of simulation—no matter how distant those explosions, this is not a video game war—and it is a slow refusal of alienation that emerges as Vlada’s eventual cause.

It’s Glavonić’s too: he’s obviously a filmmaker of considerable ethical and aesthetic intelligence, and The Load is nothing if not carefully constructed. Like the unobserved violence booming behind the hill, Glavonić keeps his anger at the periphery, as if to call it forth through deemphasis. Absence, of one kind or another, is both subject and structure. But The Load can get only so far by discreetly substituting, say, a full-frame image of decayed sheet metal for the scarred corpses that it so clearly connotes. Which is another way of saying that The Load is smarter than any number of like exercises in European historical reckoning, which are frequently eager to play circus showman to the continent’s worst atrocities, but also too smart by half. Glavonić’s abstractions expose him to the same alienation that he condemns, even if the closing moments tacitly acknowledge his film’s limitations: Vlada’s belated act of resistance is to photograph not the bodies that he transported—long since dumped into an anonymous construction pit—but the empty truck bed. To what end? The tangible consequences of war remain undocumented in visual terms, and yet the echoes keep thrumming in the distance, like a ringing in the ears that never quite fades away.