SIFF 2019: Week One Preview

InvestinFailureNotesonFilm06CMonologue03

Here are some of the movies we’re looking forward to this first week of the 2019 Seattle International Film Festival:

The Third Wife – The debut feature from Vietnamese director Ash Mayfair has been making the festival rounds to some acclaim. This period drama, about a young girl who gets married off to a wealthy landlord looks to have some Raise the Red Lantern vibes. Could be the second good Vietnamese movie to hit Seattle Screens this year, after Furie.

The Phantom of the Opera – SIFF’s archival program is one of the highlights of this year’s festival, and it kicks off with this silent version of Phantom starring Lon Chaney. I last saw this more than 20 years ago, on Halloween, in a gothic-style Catholic church in Spokane, where it was accompanied by the church organ. It was pretty cool. It plays here at the Egyptian, with a live score by indie band The Invincible Czars.

A Family Tour – Ying Liang’s mostly autobiographical film about a director who is exiled from China after she directed a movie that looks exactly like Ying’s 2012 film When Night Falls, which got him exiled from China. The director hasn’t seen her mother in years, but they arrange a meet-up during a film festival in Taiwan. A quiet, deeply sad movie about the personal consequences of abstract repression.

3 Faces – The latest from Jafar Panahi promises to be a clever bit of meta filmmaking from the Iranian director mostly famous here in the US for continuing to make movies despite being officially banned from doing so.

The Nightingale – Babadook director Jennifer Kent’s new film is a Western set in 19th Century Tasmania. Her SIFF bio says “she was inspired to become a director after seeing Lars Von Trier’s 2000 film Dancer In The Dark and was able to assist the Danish director on his 2002 film Dogville.”

Storm in My Heart – The latest cinephile doc from Mark Cousins, whose very fine The Eyes of Orson Welles just finished its run at the Film Forum a couple of weeks ago. This one compares and contrasts Lena Horne and Susan Hayward via two of their musicals, Stormy Weather and With a Song in My Heart, respectively.

Ten Years Thailand – An omnibus of short films that imagine the future from four Thai directors, including Tears of the Black Tiger‘s Wisit Sasanatieng, Aditya Assarat (Wonderful Town) and Apichatpong Weerasethakul.

Knife + Heart – A  giallo-inspired film, the second feature from Yann Gonzalez. The Grand Illusion is going to play this on 35mm in June, along with Gonzalez’s first film, You and the Night. I haven’t seen either of these, but Evan tells me they’re good and I’m inclined to believe him.

Invest in Failure (Notes on Film 06-C, Monologue 03) – The SIFF description says that someone named “Norbert Pfaffenbichler pieced together clips from 160 James Mason films to examine the eternally urbane star’s career.” You sold me at “Norbert Pfaffenbichler”.

Between the Lines – A new restoration of Joan Micklin Silver’s 1977 film about an underground newspaper fighting to survive in Boston. Starring Jeff Goldblum and John Heard.

Spione – A revival of Fritz Lang’s 1928 silent film. The only time I saw this was very very late at night while taking care of a newborn, so I don’t really remember much about it. But Fritz Lang enthusiast Evan says it’s one of his very best.

A Faithful Man – Louis Garrel following in the footsteps of his father and every other French director in making a film about infidelity. Garrel also stars, along with his wife, Laetitia Casta, and Lily-Rose Depp, the daughter of Johnny Depp and Vanessa Paradis (who is in Knife + Heart).

Advertisements

Friday May 17 – Thursday May 23

thumb_59473_media_image_1144x724-1-696x440

Featured Film:

SIFF Week One

It’s time again for the marathon of movie-watching that is the Seattle International Film Festival. As usual we’ll be covering the festival with a variety of reviews, capsule reviews and probably a podcast. Some of the titles we’re looking forward to in this first week include: the Vietnamese drama The Third Wife, Mark Cousins’s new doc Storm in My Heart, Jafar Panahi’s latest 3 Faces, the neo-giallo Knife + Heart, omnibus film Ten Years Thailand, revivals of Fritz Lang’s Spione and Joan Micklin Silver’s Between the Lines, Louis Garrel’s A Faithful Man and Jennifer Kent’s The Nightingale.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Trial by Fire (Edward Zwick) Fri-Thurs 
Student of the Year 2 (Punit Malhotra) Fri-Thurs 

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

Central Cinema:

Cape Fear (Martin Scorsese, 1991) Fri, Sat, Mon-Weds
Ponyo (Hayao Miyazaki, 2008) Fri-Weds Dubbed and Subtitled, Check Listings 

SIFF Egyptian:

The 2019 Seattle International Film Festival Full Program 

Century Federal Way:

Steel Magnolias (Herbert Ross, 1989) Sun & Weds Only 

Grand Cinema:

The White Crow (Ralph Fiennes) Fri-Thurs  
Red Joan (Trevor Nunn) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki, 1989) Sat Only Two Showings, Dubbed or Subtitled Our Review 
Nureyev (David Morris, Jacqui Morris) Sat & Sun Only 
Bad Black (Nabwana IGG, 2016) Sat Only Our Review 
The Crow (Alex Proyas, 1994) Mon Only 
The Most Dangerous Year (Vlada Knowlton) Tues Only 
The Hate U Give (George Tillman Jr.) Weds Only Free Screening

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Her Smell (Alex Ross Perry) Fri-Sun Our Review 
Aniara (Pella Kågerman & Hugo Lilja) Fri-Thurs 
Instant Dreams (Willem Baptist) Sat-Sun, Tues-Weds 
Blood Lake (Tim Boggs, 1987) Mon Only Members Only, RSVP req.

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Maharshi (Vamsi Paidipally) Fri-Thurs 
Trial by Fire (Edward Zwick) Fri-Thurs 
Student of the Year 2 (Punit Malhotra) Fri-Thurs 
ABCD (Sanjeev Reddy) Fri-Thurs 
De De Pyaar De (Akiv Ali) Fri-Thurs 
Mr. Local (M. Rajesh) Fri-Thurs 
Steel Magnolias (Herbert Ross, 1989) Sun & Weds Only 

Regal Meridian:

Trial by Fire (Edward Zwick) Fri-Thurs 
The White Crow (Ralph Fiennes) Fri-Thurs 
Student of the Year 2 (Punit Malhotra) Fri-Thurs 

Northwest Film Forum:

The Most Dangerous Year (Vlada Knowlton) Fri-Tues 
The Feeling of being Watched (Assia Boundaoui) Fri-Sun 
Scott Walker: 30th Century Man (Stephen Kijak, 2008) Sun-Tues & Thurs Only 
A Tribute to Barbara Hammer: Making Movies out of Sex and Life Weds Only 
The Serengeti Rules (Nicolas Brown) Starts Weds 

AMC Pacific Place:

Shadow (Zhang Yimou) Fri-Thurs Our Review 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Student of the Year 2 (Punit Malhotra) Fri-Thurs 
De De Pyaar De (Akiv Ali) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

The Chaperone (Michael Engler) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Film Center:

The 2019 Seattle International Film Festival Full Program 

AMC Southcenter:

The Chaperone (Michael Engler) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Uptown:

The 2019 Seattle International Film Festival Full Program 

Varsity Theatre:

Red Joan (Trevor Nunn) Fri-Thurs 
We Have Always Lived in the Castle (Stacie Passon) Fri-Thurs 
The Professor (Wayne Roberts) Fri-Thurs 
Nausicaä of the Valley of the Wind (Hayao Miyazaki, 1984) Mon & Tues Only Our Podcast 
Steel Magnolias (Herbert Ross, 1989) Weds Only 

Friday May 10 – Thursday May 16

0*EAcB4ojf-SxH6ceY.png

Featured Film:

Shadow at the Grand Illusion and the Pacific Place

Zhang Yimou’s latest decorous wuxia opens this week at the Grand Illusion and the Pacific Place. It isn’t as great a film as Hero or House of Flying Daggers, but its black white and gray color palette, inspired by traditional ink wash painting, is certainly something we’ve never seen before, as is its impressive use of umbrellas. Set loosely in the Three Kingdoms era, Shadow spends a lot of time establishing a convoluted conspiracy the goal of which is to maneuver two states into war. Deng Chao plays a dual role as the evil general and his more honorable double, and his broad performances detract from whatever nuance there is to the movie. But the action is great and the whole thing looks pretty cool.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Student of the Year 2 (Punit Malhotra) Fri-Thurs 

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

Central Cinema:

Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) Fri-Weds
Kiki’s Delivery Service (Hayao Miyazaki, 1989) Fri-Weds Dubbed and Subtitled, Check Listings Our Review

SIFF Egyptian:

Ask Dr. Ruth (Ryan White) Fri-Sun 

Century Federal Way:

Lukan Michi (M. Hundal) Fri-Thurs 

Grand Cinema:

Maze (Stephen Burke) Fri-Thurs 
Hail Satan? (Penny Lane) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
253 Short Film Party Fri Only 
Cowboy in Sweden (Torbjorn Axelman & Charlie Wallace, 1970) Sat Only 
Babylon (Franco Rosso, 1980) Tues Only 
Cleo from 5 to 7 (Agnès Varda, 1962) Weds Only 
The Phantom of the Opera (Rupert Julian, 1925) Thurs Only Live Score

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Shadow (Zhang Yimou) Fri-Thurs Our Review 

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Maharshi (Vamsi Paidipally) Fri-Thurs 
Kee (Kalees) Fri-Thurs 
Student of the Year 2 (Punit Malhotra) Fri-Thurs 
Uyare (Manu Ashokan) Fri-Thurs 
Vellaipookal (Vivek Elangovan) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Meridian:

Maharshi (Vamsi Paidipally) Fri-Thurs 
The White Crow (Ralph Fiennes) Fri-Thurs 
Student of the Year 2 (Punit Malhotra) Fri-Thurs 

Northwest Film Forum:

If the Dancer Dances (Maia Wechsler) Fri-Thurs 
Adventures of Aladdin (Glenn Campbell) Fri-Thurs 
Carmine Street Guitars (Ron Mann) Fri, Sun & Thurs Only 
Shelf Life (Paul Bartel, 1993) Sat Only Q&A with Writers and Stars
Take it Down! (Sabine Gruffat & Bill Brown) Weds Only 

AMC Pacific Place:

Shadow (Zhang Yimou) Fri-Thurs Our Review 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Student of the Year 2 (Punit Malhotra) Fri-Thurs 
El Chicano (Ben Bray) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

The Chaperone (Michael Engler) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

The Wrong Box (Bryan Forbes, 1966) Thurs Only 

AMC Southcenter:

El Chicano (Ben Bray) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Uptown:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Sun
Hail Satan? (Penny Lane) Fri-Sun
High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Sun Our Discussion 
Her Smell (Alex Ross Perry) Fri-Sun Our Review

Varsity Theatre:

Red Joan (Trevor Nunn) Fri-Thurs 
Charlie Says (Mary Harron) Fri-Thurs 

Savage (Cui Siwei, 2019)

nc_savage_pogseol_02_copy-h_2018.jpg

Cui Siwei’s directorial debut is not, unfortunately, a remake of the classic blaxploitation film Savage (tagline: “On the streets, or in the sheets, he’s. . . SAVAGE!”). Instead, it’s another moody Chinese noir, this one headed by two excellent actors and set in a snowy mountain wilderness. Chang Chen plays a cop who stumbles across escaping gold thieves, led by Liao Fan. The bad guys shoot Chang and kill his partner. Chang suffers angst for a year, which even his friendship/romance with the pretty local doctor cannot cure. Then, he and another partner, in the course of chasing after some poachers hours before the biggest blizzard of the year, run into the very same gang of thieves who have returned for their stash of gold. Everyone shoots everyone with a seemingly endless supply of bullets and cartridges, until all the brilliant whites are stained with blood.

Given that Cui’s last credit was for the screenplay of The Island, a film which played here last year that I thought was quite well-constructed and clever, it’s a bit of a shock that Savage is so shoddy. Action thriller clichés abound: the dead partner, the pretty woman in peril, the double-crosses, the double deadlines of impending storm and the doctor leaving town. There’s a scene where the doctor watches Chang beat the hell out of three men in a restaurant and responds by making out with him, fully clothed, under a running shower. The plot collapses amidst a blizzard of coincidence, and very little in the final half hour or so makes much sense.

Chang and Liao are two of modern cinema’s finest serious face actors, they’re great at being sad and angry at the same time. But those are the only emotions they’re allowed. Still, Cui has a terrific eye, and in some alternate universe this could have been a solid elemental thriller along the lines of Track of the Cat, or at least Shoot to Kill. One stand-off takes place outdoors, in a field of tall grass covered by blinding snow, the score hinting at Morricone without the least bit of subtlety. And yes indeed two men do slide down a mountainside, firing rifles at each other as they go. Near the climax, someone drives a sno-cat into a building for no apparent reason other than it lets Cui backlight snow falling inside a room for the final showdown. But it does look pretty cool.

Suburban Birds (Qiu Sheng, 2018)

suburban-birds

The Northwest Film Forum’s commitment to rethinking the movie release calendar continues this week, and part of last week, with the oddball Wednesday-Tuesday run of Suburban Birds, the feature debut of director Qiu Sheng. That the film should play here at all is somewhat remarkable, contemporary Chinese cinema releases being almost entirely limited to the small runs of pop genre films that we like to highlight here at Seattle Screen Scene. Sure, festival blockbusters like Jia Zhangke’s Ash is Purest White and Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night play too, but it’s exceedingly rare that a film by an unknown Chinese director gets an art house release. The film has been well-received at Locarno and the New York’s New Directors/New Films Festival, and has the backing of a solid distributor in Cinema Guild. That is likely because, like Bi Gan, who also had his debut feature released in one the art house circuit, Suburban Birds is heavily influenced by the works of established and well-known East Asian star directors. Audiences familiar with Jia and Apichatpong Weerasethakul and Tsai Ming-liang will have no trouble relating to this beautiful, dreamy, yet precise tour through the contradictions of modern China.

Set in an unnamed Chinese city, one of those meticulous and vast urban spaces that has cropped up over the past twenty years, where a surveying crew is attempting to account for the subsidence of various buildings. The new city is literally sinking into the ground. Exploring an abandoned elementary school, one of the crew, Xia Hao, discovers an old diary and the next hour or so of the film is an extended flashback, or dream, of his childhood, complete with title cards for the date and day of the week (but not the year), as if we too are reading the lost diary. There’s little forward momentum here: the middle school kids, almost entirely without adult presence, wander their town, in between forest and construction zones, exploring the city as the old is being demolished to make way for the new. The two timelines, past and future Xia Hao, intersect in minor ways, recalling more the temporal contradictions of Hong Sangsoo’s In Another Country than anything more serious (Bi Gan’s scrambling of time in Kaili Blues, for example). The middle section is less coming of age than slice of life, what plot direction it has is more toward a falling away than growing up, entropic rather than progressive.

Back in the present (or the future), Xia Hao is increasingly convinced that the whole city is resting on a groundwater leak, that its unstable foundations will eventually, possibly quite soon, lead the whole thing to collapse. The metaphor here is not the least bit subtle, but Qiu underplays it, relying on image and landscape and cityscape, captured in crystal clear and brightly colored 1.33 images, to build a mood of societal unease, of inevitable collapse. In this it recalls another recent Chinese film to have been released here (in the US, not Seattle, as far as I can tell), Zhao Liang’s 2015 documentary Behemoth, which ended its exploration of China’s coal industry in a vast, freshly-constructed ghost town, a space of cutting edge modernity that was nonetheless wholly empty of human habitation. The streets of Suburban Birds are similarly empty, we really only see Xia Hao and his companions, past and present, though the sounds of others are omnipresent. Birds chirp constantly in the past, but there’s only construction and traffic in the present, and the drip drip drip of the new city’s impending watery doom.

Friday May 3 – Thursday May 9

highlife-robertpattinson-group-staringup-700x313

Featured Film:

High Life at the SIFF Uptown

I’m either a week ahead or a week behind, having already reviewed the Chinese movie that’s opening here next week (Shadow) but not yet two of the ones that are playing this week (Suburban Birds and Savage). I’ll get to those in a couple of days, and I hope to catch up to Alex Ross Perry’s Her Smell (which opens on Sunday at the Uptown) soon as well. But I’m going with Claire Denis’s English-language sci-fi movie with Juliette Binoche and Robert Pattinson as the Featured Film this week, because it’s probably the last chance we’ll have to see it here in Seattle (yeah, I haven’t watched it yet either) and Evan and Lawrence had an excellent discussion about it a couple of weeks ago.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

El Chicano (Ben Bray) Fri-Thurs 

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

Central Cinema:

Airplane! (David Zucker, Jim Abrahams & Jerry Zucker, 1980) Fri-Weds
Porco Rosso (Hayao Miyazaki, 1992) Fri-Weds Dubbed and Subtitled, Check Listings

SIFF Egyptian:

Ask Dr. Ruth (Ryan White) Fri-Thurs 

Century Federal Way:

Blackia (Sukhminder Dhanjal) Fri-Thurs 
True Grit (Henry Hathaway, 1969) Sun & Weds Only Our Podcast

Grand Cinema:

Wild Nights with Emily (Madeleine Olnek) Fri-Thurs 
Hail Satan? (Penny Lane) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
The Blair Witch Project (Eduardo Sánchez & Daniel Myrick, 1999) Sat Only 
Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (Pamela B. Green) Tues Only 

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Dogman (Matteo Garrone) Fri-Thurs 
Hard Ticket to Hawaii (Andy Sidaris) Fri, Sat & Tues Only 

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Jersey (Gowtam Tinnanuri) Fri-Thurs 
Kalank (Abhishek Verman) Fri-Thurs 
Nuvvu Thopu Ra (Harinath Babu B) Fri & Sat Only 
Oru Yamandan Premakadha (B.C. Noufal) Fri-Thurs 
Vellaipookal (Vivek Elangovan) Fri-Thurs 
True Grit (Henry Hathaway, 1969) Sun & Weds Only Our Podcast

Regal Meridian:

Red Joan (Trevor Nunn) Fri-Thurs 

Northwest Film Forum:

Suburban Birds (Qiu Sheng) Fri-Tues Our Review
Arcadia (Paul Wright) Fri-Thurs 
Suburban Birds (Qiu Sheng) Starts Weds 

AMC Pacific Place:

Savage (Cui Siwei) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Always Miss You (Chen Hung-i) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Kalank (Abhishek Verman) Fri-Thurs 
El Chicano (Ben Bray) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

Red Joan (Trevor Nunn) Fri-Thurs 
Maze (Stephen Burke) Fri-Thurs 
Family (Laura Steinel) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

I’m All Right, Jack (John Boulting, 1959) Thurs Only 

SIFF Film Center:

Be Natural: The Untold Story of Alice Guy-Blaché (Pamela B. Green) Fri-Sun 

AMC Southcenter:

El Chicano (Ben Bray) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Uptown:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Hail Satan? (Penny Lane) Fri-Thurs 
High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs Our Discussion 
Her Smell (Alex Ross Perry) Sun-Thurs 

Varsity Theatre:

Transit (Christian Petzold) Fri-Thurs Our Podcast
Hesburgh (Patrick Creadon) Fri-Thurs 
I’ll Take Your Dead (Chad Archibald) Fri-Thurs 
Tell It to the Bees (Annabel Jankel) Fri-Thurs 
True Grit (Henry Hathaway, 1969) Weds Only Our Podcast

Friday April 26 – Thursday May 2

fullsizephoto1042627.jpg

Featured Film:

Hotel by the River at the Northwest Film Forum

There’s a big new superhero movie this week of course, and the Grand Illusion has The Godfather Part II (good movie, imo) on 35mm, but if you know anything about us here at Seattle Screen Scene, you know that our Featured Film this week has got to be the latest from Hong Sangsoo, playing this weekend only at the Film Forum. It’s not our favorite Hong, something we talk about in a discussion which should be up here soon, nor even our favorite of the movies Hong made in 2018 (that would be Grass, which just opened in New York and should make its way here later this year) but it is definitely essential viewing.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Family (Laura Steinel) Fri-Thurs 

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

Central Cinema:

Back to the Future Part II (Robert Zemeckis, 1989) Fri-Tues
Stargate (Roland Emmerich, 1994) Fri-Weds 

SIFF Egyptian:

Hail Satan? (Penny Lane) Fri-Thurs 

Grand Cinema:

Wild Nights with Emily (Madeleine Olnek) Fri-Thurs 
Woman at War (Benedikt Erlingsson) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Alien (Ridley Scott, 1979) Fri & Sat Only 
Jinn (Nijla Mumin) Sun Only 
A Bread Factory Part One (Patrick Wang) Tues Only 
A Bread Factory Part Two (Patrick Wang) Tues & Weds Only 

Grand Illusion Cinema:

The Godfather Part 2 (Francis Ford Coppola, 1974) Fri-Thurs 35mm
Penguin Highway (Hiroyasu Ishida) Sat & Sun Only Subtitled
Little Woods (Nia DaCosta) Sat-Mon Only 

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Jersey (Gowtam Tinnanuri) Fri-Thurs 
Kalank (Abhishek Verman) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Meridian:

Kalank (Abhishek Verman) Fri-Thurs 

Northwest Film Forum:

Hotel by the River (Hong Sangsoo) Fri-Sun 
The Eyes of Orson Welles (Mark Cousins) Sat & Sun Only 
Suburban Birds (Qiu Sheng) Starts Weds 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Kalank (Abhishek Verman) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

William (Tim Disney) Fri-Thurs 
High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs Our Discussion
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Family (Laura Steinel) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

The Ladykillers (Alexander Mackendrick, 1955) Thurs Only 

SIFF Film Center:

The Russian Five (Joshua Riehl) Fri-Sun 

AMC Southcenter:

Family (Laura Steinel) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Uptown:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Rafiki (Wanuri Kahiu) Fri-Thurs 
High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs Our Discussion

Varsity Theatre:

Transit (Christian Petzold) Fri-Thurs Our Podcast
Sunset (László Nemes) Fri-Thurs 

Friday April 19 – Thursday April 25

ossjs6qnxld21.jpg

Featured Film:

True Stories at the Northwest Film Forum

The highlights for this week on Seattle Screens are mostly movies I haven’t seen yet. Claire Denis’s High Life expands throughout the area, as does the Aretha Franklin doc Amazing Grace. The Pacific Place has the new Emily Dickinson film Wild Nights with Emily, while the new Mike Leigh joint plays at the Meridian and the Theatre Formerly Known as the Metro. The Cinerama has a whole series of anime, I’d recommend Mamoru Hosada’s Wolf Children as the one that doesn’t get revived all that often but is nonetheless as great as the best of the oft-screened Ghibli classics. SAM’s playing Kind Hearts and Coronets, if you’re in the mood to see Alec Guinness get killed as like a dozen different characters. And the Grand Illusion has an actual Jean Grémillon movie, can’t remember the last time we’ve had a chance to see one of those around here. But while I haven’t seen it yet, I have seen the video for “Wild Wild Life” and I’m gonna be super jealous of all of you who get to go see True Stories at the NWFF on Saturday night. It’s on 35mm!

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

Central Cinema:

Monty Python and the Holy Grail (Terry Jones & Terry Gilliam, 1975) Fri-Weds
Night of the Living Dead (George Romero, 1968) Fri-Weds 

Cinerama:

Anime Film Series Fri-Thurs Full Program

SIFF Egyptian:

SPLIFF Film Fest Fri & Sat Only 
Hail Satan? (Penny Lane) Sun-Thurs 

Century Federal Way:

Manje Bistre 2 (Baljit Singh Deo) Fri-Thurs 

Grand Cinema:

High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs 
Woman at War (Benedikt Erlingsson) Fri-Thurs 
Buddy (Heddy Honigmann) Fri-Thurs 
Cat Video Fest 2019 Fri-Thurs 
Kid Flicks Two Sat Only 
Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (Terry Gilliam, 1998) Sat Only 
Anote’s Ark (Matthieu Rytz) Tues Only 
The New Frontier (Kanani Koster) Thurs Only 

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Penguin Highway (Hiroyasu Ishida) Fri–Thurs Dubbed Mon & Weds
Hagazussa (Lukas Feigelfeld) Fri, Sun, Mon, Weds & Thurs 
Little Woods (Nia DaCosta) Fri & Next Sat-Mon Only
Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Bi Gan) Sat & Sun Only Our Review In 2D
Harold & Kumar Go to White Castle (Danny Leiner, 2004) Sat Only 
Drone Cinema Film Festival – Selected Works Sat Only 
Pattes blanches (White Paws) (Jean Grémillon, 1949) Tues Only 

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Finding Julia (Igor Sunara) Fri-Thurs 
Chitralahari (Kishore Tirumala) Fri-Sun
Vellaipookal (Vivek Elangovan) Fri-Sun
Jersey (Gowtam Tinnanuri) Fri-Thurs 
Kalank (Abhishek Verman) Fri-Thurs 
Kanchana 3 (Raghava Lawrence) Fri & Sat Only
Athiran (Vivek) Sat & Sun Only 
Kavaludaari (Hemanth Rao) Sat & Sun Only 
Okko’s Inn (Kitarō Kōsaka) Mon & Tues Only Subtitled Tuesday

Regal Meridian:

Peterloo (Mike Leigh) Fri-Thurs 
Kalank (Abhishek Verman) Fri-Thurs 

Northwest Film Forum:

Ramen Shop (Eric Khoo) Fri-Thurs Our Review 
The Venerable W. (Barbet Schroeder) Fri & Sun Only 
Mosquita y Mari (Aurora Guerrero, 2011) Sat Only Director Q&A 
True Stories (David Byrne, 1986)  Sat Only 35mm
The Eyes of Orson Welles (Mark Cousins) Sun & Next Sat & Sun Only 
Tomorrow Never Knows (Adam Sekular) Weds Only Director Q&A
Cadence Video Poetry Festival Thurs Only 

AMC Pacific Place:

Wild Nights with Emily (Madeleine Olnek) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Kalank (Abhishek Verman) Fri-Thurs 

AMC Seattle:

Peterloo (Mike Leigh) Fri-Thurs 
High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
The Brink (Alison Klayman) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

Kind Hearts and Coronets (Robert Hamer, 1949) Thurs Only 

SIFF Film Center:

Babylon (Franco Rosso, 1980) Fri-Sun 

AMC Southcenter:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Finding Julia (Igor Sunara) Fri-Thurs 

Regal Thornton Place:

High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Uptown:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Diane (Kent Jones) Fri-Thurs 
High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs 

Varsity Theatre:

Mary Magdalene (Garth Davis) Fri-Thurs 
Breaking Habits (Rob Ryan) Fri-Thurs 

In Wide Release:

Captain Marvel (Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck) Our Review Our Other Review 

Ramen Shop (Eric Khoo, 2018)

ramen_shop_still-h_2018.jpg

Opening this weekend at the Northwest Film Forum is this perfectly fine food drama by one of Singapore’s leading directors. After his father, a successful ramen chef, dies, a young man heads to Singapore in search of his mother’s family. Gauzy flashbacks fill in his parents’ back story in-between meetings with his estranged uncle and grandmother. His father, Japanese, and his mother, Chinese, married against her mother’s wishes, her hostility a result of lingering hatred of the Japanese following their occupation of the city-state during World War II. But as resentments and hatred are passed down through the generations, so too are recipes, taught from parent to child, adding personal touches learned from their own life experience. The cuisine of Singapore, with its influences from throughout East and South Asia as well as Europe is the blunt instrument of metaphor in Eric Khoo’s quiet, yet maudlin melodrama. The young man’s journey is as much about learning the recipes of his mother’s family as it is reconciling himself to the past atrocities of his father’s homeland. English serves as the lingua franca, bridging the gap between ancient hatreds, facilitating the fusion of Japanese ramen (itself a combination of Japanese flavors with Chinese noodles) with Singaporean pork rib soup (a combination of Chinese soup with Southeast Asian flavors).

As a vision of transnational solidarity dramatized by a Japanese person’s trip to Singapore, it’s vastly more conventional and less interesting than Daisuke Miyazaki’s Tourism, which also played at last year’s Japan Cuts festival but which is not getting, as far as I know, even a very limited North American release. Probably because the food, at least, looks much better. Though even that pales in comparison to the food in the quiet Korean drama Little Forest (a second adaptation of a manga, the first of which, a Japanese version, played in two parts at SIFF a few years ago), which likewise won’t see American theatres, but you can stream it on Amazon.

Regardless, I too hope to one day pass down to my grandchildren my own ramen recipe, which I’ll also share with you here:

1. In a small pot, bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Add noodles, breaking up if desired. Cook 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.
2. Remove from heat. Stir in seasoning from soup base packet.
3. Try adding an egg, vegetables, or meat as desired.

Friday April 12 – Thursday April 18

1*Nf_1bH2or-TwO0CDvFusiw

Featured Film:

Long Day’s Journey Into Night at the SIFF Uptown

It’s another very strong week on Seattle Screens, with runs of An Elephant Sitting Still and The Fate of Lee Khan continuing at the Northwest Film Forum, Yuen Woo-ping’s solid fight film Master Z: Ip Man Legacy opening at the Meridian and a couple of suburban theatres, and Mark Cousins’s very good doc The Eyes of Orson Welles beginning its sporadic run at the NWFF. There are also a bunch of solid rep options: Clue and Clueless at the Central Cinema, The Matrix and The General at the Grand, Life of Brian at the Uptown, and a whole bunch of films from 1999 at the Cinerama. But the must-see films of the week are Claire Denis’s Robert Pattinson-starring sci-fi movie High Life, opening at the Lincoln Square and the Uptown, and Bi Gan’s Long Day’s Journey Into Night, playing exclusively at the Uptown. I’m giving the edge here to Bi Gan, because I’ve actually seen his movie and it’s terrific. The hour-long continuous 3D take will get the headlines, but it’s the movie’s mood that will stick with you: film noir mystery and Wong Kar-wai romanticism condensed into a meandering labyrinth of memory and loss.

Playing This Week:

Central Cinema:

Clueless (Amy Heckerling, 1995) Fri-Tues
Clue (Jonathan Lynn, 1985) Fri-Weds 
Candyman (Bernard Rose, 1992) Weds Only 

Cinerama:

1999 Film Series Fri-Thurs Full Program

SIFF Egyptian:

Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 

Century Federal Way:

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (Yuen Woo-ping) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Manje Bistre 2 (Baljit Singh Deo) Fri-Thurs 
Penguin Highway (Hiroyasu Ishida) Sun Only English Dubbed
Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959) Sun & Weds Only 

Grand Cinema:

The Aftermath (James Kent) Fri-Thurs 
Woman at War (Benedikt Erlingsson) Fri-Thurs 
The Matrix (Lilly and Lana Wachowski, 1999) Sat Only 
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World (Catherine Bainbridge & Alfonso Maiorana) Sun Only 
Sharkwater Extinction (Rob Stewart) Tues Only 
The General (Buster Keaton, 1926) Weds Only 
Colour Me (Sherien Barsoum) Weds Only 
The Way He Looks (Daniel Ribeiro) Thurs Only 

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Ruben Brandt, The Collector (Milorad Krstic) Fri–Thurs 
Vampire Raiders Ninja Queen (Godfrey Ho, 1988) Sat Only VHS

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs 
Amazing Grace (Sydney Pollack) Fri-Thurs 
Majili (Shiva Nirvana) Fri-Thurs 
Manje Bistre 2 (Baljit Singh Deo) Fri-Thurs 
Chitralahari (Kishore Tirumala) Fri-Thurs 
The Tashkent Files (Vivek Agnihotri) Fri-Thurs 
Vellaipookal (Vivek Elangovan) Fri-Thurs 
Wedding Cha Shinema (Saleel Kulkarni) Sat & Sun Only 

Regal Meridian:

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (Yuen Woo-ping) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Northwest Film Forum:

The Fate of Lee Khan (King Hu, 1973) Fri Only Our Review 
The Competition (Claire Simon) Fri-Sun 
Race (RAZA): A Cuban Documentary (Eric Corvalán, 2009) Sat Only 
An Elephant Sitting Still (Hu Bo)  Sun & Weds Only 
The Eyes of Orson Welles (Mark Cousins) Weds Only 
Slumber Party Massacre II (Deborah Brock, 1987) Thurs Only 
Cadence Video Poetry Festival Thurs Only 

AMC Seattle:

The Brink (Alison Klayman) Fri-Thurs 

Seattle Art Museum:

The Man in the White Suit (Alexander Mackendrick, 1951) Thurs Only 

SIFF Film Center:

In Search of Greatness (Gabe Polsky) Fri-Sun 

AMC Southcenter:

Master Z: Ip Man Legacy (Yuen Woo-ping) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Storm Boy (Shawn Seet) Fri-Thurs 

SIFF Uptown:

Long Day’s Journey Into Night (Bi Gan) Fri-Thurs Our Review 
High Life (Claire Denis) Fri-Thurs 
BoneBat “Comedy of Horrors” Film Fest 2019 Sat Only 
Life of Brian (Terry Jones, 1979) Thurs Only 

Varsity Theatre:

Mary Magdalene (Garth Davis) Fri-Thurs 
Ben-Hur (William Wyler, 1959) Weds Only 

In Wide Release:

Captain Marvel (Anna Boden & Ryan Fleck) Our Review Our Other Review