Friday July 19 – Thursday July 25

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Featured Film:

The Beacon Cinema’s Grand Opening Week

I can’t recall the last time a new theatre opening in the Seattle area was as exciting as this week’s launch of the Beacon in Columbia City. Maybe when SIFF bought the Uptown? It seems like all the news over the past decade has been beloved movie houses closing. It’s a small venue (only 50 seats), but hopefully that will make it more viable in the long run. And if the programming retains the spirit of what they’ve put together for their inaugural week of shows, we have a new favorite Seattle Screen. This week all the shows are free: no tickets, first come first served, and they’ve got a wild mix of art house (Duelle, High and Low) and mainstream (Speed Racer, Magic Mike XXL), classic (City Lights, Gold Diggers of 1933, To Be or Not To Be) and cult films (Django, Buddha’s Palm, Starcrash). I’m planning on going to five of the first six shows, and I’m wondering if I can sneak out of the house to catch a couple more later in the week. 

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Super 30 (Vikas Bahl) Fri-Thurs 
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (Aaron Lieber) Fri-Thurs 

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 

The Beacon Cinema:

Gold Diggers of 1933 (Mervyn LeRoy, 1933) Fri & Thurs Only Free Screening
Magic Mike XXL (Gregory Jacobs, 2015) Fri & Thurs Only Free Screening
City Lights (Charles Chaplin, 1931) Sat-Mon Only Free Screening
To Be or Not to Be (Ernst Lubitsch, 1942) Sat & Sun Only Free Screening
Speed Racer (Lana and Lilly Wachowski, 2008) Sat & Mon Only Free Screening
Buddha’s Palm (Taylor Wong, 1982) Sat Only Free Screening
Duelle (Jacques Rivette, 1976) Sun Only Free Screening
Starcrash (Luigi Cozzi, 1978) Sun Only Free Screening
High and Low (Akira Kurosawa, 1963) Tues & Weds Only Free Screening
Django (Sergio Corbucci, 1966) Tues & Weds Only Free Screening

Central Cinema:

Ghostbusters (Ivan Reitman, 1984) Fri-Weds
Mandy (Panos Cosmatos) Fri-Weds 

SIFF Egyptian:

The Farewell (Lulu Wang) Fri-Tues, Thurs 
Artifishal (Josh Murphy) Weds Only Director, etc Q&A

Century Federal Way:

Ardaas Karaan (Gippy Grewal) Fri-Thurs 

Grand Cinema:

Echo in the Canyon (Andrew Slater) Fri-Thurs 
All is True (Kenneth Branagh) Fri-Thurs 
Space Jam (Joe Pytka, 1996) Sat Only Free Screening
The Hunger (Tony Scott, 1983) Sat Only 
To Dust (Shawn Snyder) Mon Only 
Ask for Jane (Rachel Carey) Weds Only 

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Pulp Fiction (Qeuntin Tarantino, 1994) Fri-Thurs 35mm
In the Aisles (Thomas Stuber) Fri-Thurs 

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

The Farewell (Lulu Wang) Fri-Thurs 
Aadai (Rathna Kumar) Fri-Thurs 
iSmart Shankar (Puri Jagannadh) Fri-Thurs 
Kadaram Kondan (Rajesh M. Selva) Fri-Thurs 
Super 30 (Vikas Bahl) Fri-Thurs 
Oh Baby (B. V. Nandini Reddy) Fri-Thurs 
Article 15 (Anubhav Sinha) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Meridian:

Maiden (Alex Holmes) Fri-Thurs 
Super 30 (Vikas Bahl) Fri-Thurs 
Wild Rose (Tom Harper) Fri-Thurs 

Northwest Film Forum:

Blowin’ Up (Stephanie Wang-Breal) Fri-Sun 
Instant Dreams (Willem Baptist) Fri-Thurs 
Parallel Love: The Story of a Band Called Luxury (Matt Hinton) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Pacific Place:

The White Storm 2 (Herman Yau) Fri-Thurs 
Sea of Shadows (Richard Ladkani) Fri-Thurs 
Looking Up (Deng Chao & Yu Baimei) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Super 30 (Vikas Bahl) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

Easy Living (Mitchell Leisen, 1937) Thurs Only 

SIFF Film Center:

For All Mankind (Al Reinert, 1989) Fri-Sun 

Regal Thornton Place:

Glory (Edward Zwick, 1989) Sun & Weds Only 

SIFF Uptown:

Diamantino (Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt) Fri-Thurs Our Review 
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Weds
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) Fri-Weds
Singin’ in the Rain (Stanley Donen & Gene Kelly, 1952) Sat Only 

Varsity Theatre:

Bottom of the 9th (Raymond De Felitta) Fri-Thurs 
Glory (Edward Zwick, 1989) Weds Only 
The Muppet Movie (James Frawley, 1979) Thurs Only 

Rafiki (Dir. Wanuri Kahiu, 2018)

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Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu’s marvelous, joyful Rafiki tells the story of two girls in love. It’s a story that has been told before, replete with obstacles en route to what we hope will be a happy ending, but two things set this film apart from the rest of the star-crossed crowd. One, the girls live in Kenya, where a colonial-era law marks out homosexuality as a criminal offense. Two, despite the seriousness of the dangers and challenges before our heroines, their story is wildly, vibrantly fun.

Continue reading Rafiki (Dir. Wanuri Kahiu, 2018)”

Friday July 12 – Thursday July 18

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Featured Film:

The White Storm 2 at the Pacific Place, the Meridian and the Lincoln Square

The first White Storm was a mediocre Hong Kong thriller starring Louis Koo, Nick Cheung and Lau Ching-wan. It was directed by Benny Chan, last seen here directing Koo in the space-cat family comedy MeowWhite Storm 2 is almost assuredly unrelated to the first film, in what is a Hong Kong tradition, and is directed by Herman Yau, which means it is certain to be significantly better. Koo is back, joined by Andy Lau. The last time Yau and Lau teamed up was in Shock Wave, two years ago, one of the better action films to come out of Hong Kong in recent years. I haven’t had a chance to see it yet, but it’s my top priority for this weekend. If it ends up being bad, just pretend I recommended Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (playing Thursday at the Uptown) in this space instead. That movie is a national treasure.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Wild Rose (Tom Harper) Fri-Thurs 
Super 30 (Vikas Bahl) Fri-Thurs 
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (Aaron Lieber) Fri-Thurs 

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 

Central Cinema:

ET: The Extra-Terrestrial (Steven Spielberg, 1982) Fri-Tues
Kick-Ass (Matthew Vaughn, 2010) Fri-Mon 
Black Dynamite (Scott Sanders, 2009) Tues Only 
Face/Off (John Woo, 1997) Weds Only 

Century Federal Way:

Munda Hi Chahida (Santosh Thite & Deepak Thapar) Fri-Thurs 

Grand Cinema:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 
The Adventures of Priscilla, Queen of the Desert (Stephan Elliott, 1994) Sat Only 
Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu) Tues Only 
The Queen (Frank Simon, 1968) Weds Only 

Grand Illusion Cinema:

The Shawshank Redemption (Frank Darabont, 1994) Fri-Thurs 35mm
Summer Night (Joseph Cross) Fri-Thurs 
Funan (Denis Do) Sat & Sun Only 

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

The White Storm 2 (Herman Yau) Fri-Thurs 
Super 30 (Vikas Bahl) Fri-Thurs 
Bethany Hamilton: Unstoppable (Aaron Lieber) Fri-Thurs 
Oh Baby (B. V. Nandini Reddy) Fri-Thurs 
Article 15 (Anubhav Sinha) Fri-Thurs 
Dorasaani (K.V.R. Mahendra) Fri-Thurs 
NVNN (Caarthick Raju) Fri & Sat Only 
Konttho (Shiboprosad Mukherjee & Nandita Roy) Sat Only 

Regal Meridian:

The White Storm 2 (Herman Yau) Fri-Thurs 
Super 30 (Vikas Bahl) Fri-Thurs 
Wild Rose (Tom Harper) Fri-Thurs 

Northwest Film Forum:

Too Late to Die Young (Dominga Sotomayor) Fri-Thurs 
Lumberjacks & Logrollers: Icons of Finnish Cinema Fri-Sun Full Program 
Stop Making Sense (Jonathan Demme, 1984) Weds & Thurs Only 

AMC Pacific Place:

The White Storm 2 (Herman Yau) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Super 30 (Vikas Bahl) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

Dick Dale: King of the Surf Guitar (Matt Marshall) Weds Only 
After the Thin Man (WS Van Dyke, 1936) Thurs Only 

SIFF Film Center:

The Silence of Others (Robert Bahar & Almudena Carracedo) Fri-Sun 

Regal Thornton Place:

Easy Rider (Dennis Hopper, 1969) Sun & Weds Only 

SIFF Uptown:

Halston (Frédéric Tcheng) Fri-Thurs 
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 
Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am (Timothy Greenfield-Sanders) Fri-Thurs 
Rock ‘n’ Roll High School (Allen Arkush, 1979) Fri-Thurs Our Podcast

Varsity Theatre:

Firecrackers (Jasmin Mozaffari) Fri-Thurs 

Suburbia (Penelope Spheeris, 1983)

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I first saw this film in the mid-1980s, when I was a mildly alienated, slightly chicken-hearted New Waver who was curious about what more dangerous versions of myself were up to. I remember thinking at the time that Suburbia was really cool. Its depiction of rebellious street punks who make a home together in a squat spoke to my need to feel affiliated with something wild and counter-cultural without actually taking any real risks myself. And as someone who was disillusioned with suburbia, I appreciated the movie’s frank commentary on the hypocrisies of middle-class life. Revisiting the film today, I realize that I overlooked a great deal the first time around—not just its major themes about the blindness of youth but also the directness of its depictions of the casual racism, misogyny, and homophobia of some of its characters (and their society as a whole). Watching it now, it looks like much more than a stylish time capsule of a not-so-great period in American history (the Reagan years). It looks like an honest attempt to tell the truth about the way that young people experience a harsh world.

This is not to say that the film is always good. The performances of its mostly non-professional actors (actual street punks) are often wooden, the dialogue is stilted, and the attempts at humor mostly fail. Even so, the film is bold and completely unflinching in its attention to human ugliness, to the simultaneous vulnerability and cruelty of the young, and to the way that disaster so often strikes with little warning and for no good reason.

Continue reading Suburbia (Penelope Spheeris, 1983)”

Friday July 5 – Thursday July 11

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Featured Film:

Three Colors: Red at the Grand Illusion

A couple of archival series kick off this week, led by the Grand Illusion’s annual celebration of 35mm film, their Sumer of Celluloid. First up is Krzysztof Kieślowski’s Red, the conclusion of the Three Colors Trilogy. If you haven’t seen Blue and White, I’d recommend watching them first. But also why haven’t you seen the Three Colors Trilogy yet? It’s great! Later in the week, SAM’s film program returns with a summer series devoted to American comedies, kicking off with William Powell and Myrna Loy as Dashiell Hammett’s alcohol-fueled sleuths in The Thin Man

Playing This Week:

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 

Central Cinema:

The Rock (Michael Bay, 1996) Fri-Weds
Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (Frank Oz, 1988) Fri-Tues 

Century Federal Way:

DSP Dev (Mandeep Benipal) Fri-Thurs 
Shadaa (Jagdeep Sidhu) Fri-Thurs 

Grand Cinema:

Pavarotti (Ron Howard) Fri-Thurs 
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 
Suburbia (Penelope Spheeris, 1983) Sat Only 
Non-Fiction (Olivier Assayas) Tues Only Our Review 
The Bikes of Wrath (Cameron Ford & Charlie Turnbull) Weds Only Filmmaker in Attendance

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Three Colors; Red (Krzysztof Kieślowski, 1994) Fri-Thurs 35mm
Queen of Diamonds (Nina Menkes, 1991) Fri-Thurs 
Funan (Denis Do) Sat & Sun Only 

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Oh Baby (B. V. Nandini Reddy) Fri-Thurs 
Kabir Singh (Sandeep Reddy Vanga) Fri-Thurs 
Article 15 (Anubhav Sinha) Fri-Thurs 
Brochevarevarura (Vivek Athreya) Fri-Thurs 

Northwest Film Forum:

Red White & Wasted (Sam Jones & Andrei Bowden Schwartz) Weds & Thurs Only 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Article 15 (Anubhav Sinha) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

Pavarotti (Ron Howard) Fri-Thurs 
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

The Thin Man (WS Van Dyke, 1934) Thurs Only 

SIFF Film Center:

Czech that Film Fri-Sun Full Program 

SIFF Uptown:

Meeting Gorbachev (Werner Herzog) Fri-Thurs 
The Last Black Man in San Francisco (Joe Talbot) Fri-Thurs 
The Cure – Anniversary 1978-2018 Live in Hyde Park London (Tim Pope) Thurs Only