Friday December 14 – Thursday December 20

Featured Film:

Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan at the Northwest Film Forum

Yeah, I know, it’s awards season and the theatres are packed with the respectable products of Hollywood and the international festival circuit. You got your Lanthimoses and Cuarón’s and Kore-eda’s, your respectable actors doing biopics and whatever it is Natalie Portman is up to in Vox Lux. Well, you can have all that if you want, for me, the undisputed highlight on Seattle Screens this week is a 45 year old rape-revenge film by Chor Yuen, the Shaw Brothers answer to Josef von Sternberg. Intimate Confessions kicks off what is to be a series of Hong Kong films over the next month, splitting between the Film Forum (who will be playing Come Drink with MeGolden Swallow, and The One-Armed Swordsman in coming weeks) and the Grand Illusion (who have a pair of Sammo Hung movies: Pedicab Driver and Blade of Fury). I will do my best not to name them the Featured Film every week. But no promises.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos) Fri-Thurs 
Vox Lux (Brady Corbet) Fri-Thurs 
At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel) Fri-Thurs 
Anna and the Apocalypse (John McPhail) Fri-Thurs  

Central Cinema:

Die Hard (John McTiernan, 1988) Fri-Tues 
Elf (Jon Favreau, 2003) Fri-Tues 

Cinerama:

Roma (Alfonso Cuarón) Fri-Thurs  

Crest Cinema Centre:

Roma (Alfonso Cuarón) Fri-Thurs  
The Wife (Björn Runge) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Egyptian:

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos) Fri-Thurs 

Century Federal Way:

Bhajjo Veero Ve (Amberdeep Singh) Fri-Thurs 

Grand Cinema:

Roma (Alfonso Cuarón) Fri-Thurs  
The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos) Fri-Thurs 
At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel) Fri-Thurs 
A Christmas Story (Bob Clark, 1983) Sat Only Free Screening
Rare Exports (Jalmari Helander, 2010) Sat Only 
Heavy Trip (Juuso Laatio & Jukka Vidgren) Sat Only 
Life and Nothing More (Antonio Mendez Esparza) Tues Only 
Bell, Book and Candle (Richard Quine, 1958) Weds Only 

Grand Illusion Cinema:

It’s a Wonderful Life (Frank Capra, 1946) Fri-Thurs 
Dial Code Santa Claus (René Manzor, 1989) Fri & Thurs Only  
The Great Buster (Peter Bogdanovich) Sat & Sun Only 
Best of VHSXMAS Sat Only VHS

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos) Fri-Thurs  
Mary Queen of Scots (Josie Rourke) Fri-Thurs 
Vox Lux (Brady Corbet) Fri-Thurs 
2.0 (S. Shankar) Fri-Thurs 
Anna and the Apocalypse (John McPhail) Fri-Thurs 
Kedarnath (Abhishek Kapoor) Fri-Thurs 
Hushaaru (Sree Harsha Konuganti) Fri-Thurs 
Odiyan (V. A. Shrikumar Menon) Fri-Thurs 
Thuppaki Munai (Dinesh Selvaraj) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Meridian:

Mary Queen of Scots (Josie Rourke) Fri-Thurs 
Anna and the Apocalypse (John McPhail) Fri-Thurs 
Christmas Vacation (Jeremiah S. Chechik, 1989) Sat Only 
They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson) Mon Only 

Northwest Film Forum:

Burning (Lee Changdong) Fri, Mon-Thurs 
People’s Republic of Desire (Hao Wu) Fri-Sun Our Review 
Impulso (Emilio Belmonte) Fri-Thurs 
In the Soup (Alexandre Rockwell, 1992) Sat Only
The Other Virginity (Juan Manuel Torres, 1974) Sun Only 
Intimate Confessions of a Chinese Courtesan (Chor Yuen, 1972) Weds Only Our Review

AMC Oak Tree:

The Favourite (Yorgos Lanthimos) Fri-Thurs 
Vox Lux (Brady Corbet) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Pacific Place:

A Cool Fish (Rao Xiaozhi) Fri-Thurs 
Vox Lux (Brady Corbet) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Kedarnath (Abhishek Kapoor) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

Vox Lux (Brady Corbet) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Film Center:

Blades of Glory (Josh Gordon & Will Speck, 2007) Fri & Sat Only 
Goon (Michael Dowse, 2011) Sat Only 
King Curling (Ole Endresen, 2011) Sat Only 
Miracle (Gavin O’Connor, 2004) Sun Only 

AMC Southcenter:

Vox Lux (Brady Corbet) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Thornton Place:

Christmas Vacation (Jeremiah S. Chechik, 1989) Sat Only 
They Shall Not Grow Old (Peter Jackson) Mon Only 

SIFF Uptown:

At Eternity’s Gate (Julian Schnabel) Fri-Thurs
Shoplifters (Kore-eda Hirokazu) Fri-Thurs 

Varsity Theatre:

Bathtubs Over Broadway (Dava Whisenant) Fri-Thurs 
Maria by Callas (Tom Volf) Fri-Thurs 
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People’s Republic of Desire (Hao Wu, 2018)

This film played earlier this year at SIFF,where bopth Evan and Sean reviewed it. But, because of SIFF’s embargo policy, they were only able to use 75 words apiece to do so. I’ve combined those two capsules into this, single review for ease of reference.

Evan:

Life in the People’s panopticon; that’s the idea anyways. Money sloshes around via exploding CGI coins—the digital puss of wealth accretion under authoritarian capitalism—yet the film fails to locate China’s live-stream stars in meaningful social context. Trapped in the machine, but never interrogating 21st century cinema’s central question: how do we watch people watching screens? Talking head aesthetics won’t cut it. It takes a poet to penetrate the human surge beneath the simulacra.

Sean:

Evan is right that there’s nothing in the aesthetic (PBS plus CGI) to match the radical transformations of a life spent online, but I think that’s kind of the point. That despite the newness of the technology and of this form of celebrity, of an economy built solely on loneliness and “prestige”, all the same old principles of exploitation and alienation apply. The virus of capitalism replicating itself anew. Pair it with All About Lily Chou-chou and The Human Surge and then go into the woods and read some Thoreau.