Friday February 24 – Thursday March 2

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Featured Film:

Akira at the Central Cinema

If you’re my age, the first anime you ever saw was probably Katsuhiro Otomo’s 1988 epic Akira. Based on Otomo’s own 1982 manga, it’s the story of a biker kid named Tetsuo who has supernatural powers and rampages around a post-apocalyptic Neo-Tokyo as a variety of forces (his gang leader, the military, a resistance group) try to corral him and stop him from releasing the eponymous psychic who destroyed old Tokyo. Ground-breaking and breath-taking in its animation, it’s also one of the best examples of sci-fi anime’s tendency toward nigh-incomprehensible philosophical abstraction, it’s one of the essential films of the 1980s. The Central Cinema is playing it all week, but you should go on Saturday or Tuesday, when they’re playing it with its original Japanese soundtrack.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit) Fri-Thurs
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Central Cinema:

Akira (Katsuhiro Otomo, 1988) Dubbed: Fri, Mon, Weds; Subtitled: Sat & Tues
Tron (Steven Lisberger, 1982) Fri-Weds

Century Federal Way:

Beautiful Manasugalu (Jayatheertha) Fri-Thurs

Grand Cinema:

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
The Lure (Agnieszka Smoczynska) Fri & Sat Only Our Review
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Tues Only
I, Claude Monet (Phil Grabsky) Thurs Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Dark Night (Tim Sutton) Fri-Thurs
The Zodiac Killer (Tom Hanson, 1971) Fri Only 35mm
Saturday Secret Matinees: Presented by the Sprocket Society (Various directors & years) Sat Only 16mm
Death Warmed Up (David Blyth) Sat Only VHS
Trailer Apocalypse Redux Sun Only 35mm
Alex MacKenzie’s Apparitions Tues Only 16mm + Live Performance

Landmark Guild 45th:

A United Kingdom (Amma Asante) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Mon, Weds-Thurs
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

A United Kingdom (Amma Asante) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated and Live-Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
Rangoon (Vishal Bhardwaj) Fri-Thurs
The Ghazi Attack (Sankalp Reddy) Fri-Thurs
Jolly LLB 2 (Subhash Kapoor) Fri-Thurs

Regal Meridian:

Rangoon (Vishal Bhardwaj) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Seattle Asian American Film Festival Fri-Sun Full Program
Better Luck Tomorrow (Justin Lin, 2002) Sat Only
The Dazzling Light of Sunset (Salomé Jashi) Starts Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

A United Kingdom (Amma Asante) Fri-Thurs

Paramount Theatre:

Carmen (Cecil B. DeMille, 1915) Mon Only Live Wurlitzer

Regal Parkway Plaza:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
My Ex and Whys (Cathy Garcia-Molina) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Padre padrone (The Taviani Brothers, 1977) Thurs Only

SIFF Film Center:

Deconstructing the Beatles: Sgt. Pepper (Scott Freiman) Fri-Sun Only

AMC Southcenter:

The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit) Fri-Thurs
The Girl with All the Gifts (Colm McCarthy) Fri-Thurs
Everybody Loves Somebody (Catalina Aguilar Mastretta) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas:

The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit) Fri-Thurs
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Uptown:

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Weds Our Review
Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Tues, Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Tues, Thurs

In Wide Release:

The Great Wall (Zhang Yimou) Our Review
John Wick: Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski) Our Review
Split (M. Night Shyamalan) Our Review
Hidden Figures 
(Theodore Melfi) Our Review
Fences (Denzel Washington) Our Review
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Our Review
Moonlight 
(Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review

Friday February 17 – Thursday February 23

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Featured Film:

Noir City at the SIFF Egyptian

Eddie Muller’s annual festival of 35mm film noir returns to the Egyptian this week. This year’s theme is heist movies, and the titles range from John Huston’s The Asphalt Jungle to 2015’s Victoria. Muller always puts on a great show, a mix of recognized classics, under-known gems and genuine oddities. Among this year’s lineup, I’ve seen and recommend the following: The Killing, The Ladykillers, The Taking of Pelham 1-2-3,  and Rififi. The ones I haven’t seen that I’d line up for include: Charley Varrick, Cruel Gun Story, Violent Saturday, Straight Time and Blue Collar.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Confidential Assigmment (Kim Sung-hoon) Fri-Thurs
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Central Cinema:

Citizen Kane (Orson Welles, 1941) Fri-Weds Our Review
Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (Michel Gondry, 2004) Fri-Weds

SIFF Egyptian:

Noir City Film Festival Fri-Weds Full Program

Grand Cinema:

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Sat Only
Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Mel Stuart, 1971) Sat Only Free
Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts (Various) Tues Only
I, Claude Monet (Phil Grabsky) Thurs Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Fire at Sea (Gianfranco Rosi) Fri-Thurs
The Love Witch (Anna Biller) Sat Only Our Review 35mm
Saturday Secret Matinees: Presented by the Sprocket Society (Various directors & years) Sat Only 16mm
Antarctica: Ice & Sky (Luc Jacquet) Sat, Mon & Tues Only
Deep Inside Annie Sprinkle (Annie Sprinkle, 1981) Weds Only
Confessions from the War (Leon Shahabian) Thurs Only Work-in-Progress

Landmark Guild 45th:

Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

The Ghazi Attack (Sankalp Reddy) Fri-Thurs
Irada (Aparnaa Singh & Nishant Tripathi) Fri-Thurs
Running Shaadi (Amit Roy) Fri-Thurs
Jolly LLB 2 (Subhash Kapoor) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

The Son of Joseph (Eugène Green) Fri-Sun Only
The 2017 South Asian International Documentary Festival Sat & Sun Only Full Program
Trends in Latin American Experimental Animation Mon Only Curators in Attendance
Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991) Weds & Thurs Only Our Review
UNCODE at the Forum Thurs Only
Seattle Asian American Film Festival Starts Thurs Full Program

AMC Pacific Place:

Cook Up a Storm (Raymond Yip) Fri-Thurs
Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back (Tsui Hark) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Duckweed (Han Han) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
My Ex and Whys (Cathy Garcia-Molina) Fri-Thurs
Singam 3 (Hari) Fri-Thurs
Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) Thurs Only

AMC Southcenter:

Everybody Loves Somebody (Catalina Aguilar Mastretta) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas:

The Red Turtle (Michaël Dudok de Wit) Fri-Thurs
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Neruda (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Uptown:

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Weds Our Review
Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
Titanic (James Cameron, 1997) Sun Only

In Wide Release:

The Great Wall (Zhang Yimou) Our Review
John Wick: Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski) Our Review
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul WS Anderson) Our Review
Split (M. Night Shyamalan) Our Review
Hidden Figures 
(Theodore Melfi) Our Review
Fences (Denzel Washington) Our Review
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Our Review
Moonlight 
(Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review

The Great Wall (Zhang Yimou, 2016)

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The Great Wall, an experiment in co-production between Hollywood and China, opens with the spinning globe of the Universal Studios logo, its computer-generated image rotating slowly as it zooms in on the eponymous defensive fortification, helpfully orienting the hoped-for American audience by showing them where exactly the nation of China is located. Matt Damon is our audience surrogate, a white man on the road to China to trade for (that is, steal) gunpowder, heretofore undiscovered in Christendom. He encounters The Wall and learns that it is designed not to defend against the horse archers of the Mongolian steppes, but rather vicious alien lizards that hatch every 60 years and attempt to eat everything in sight: half giant iguana, half locust, half cicada. The well-organized and color-coordinated Chinese soldiers manning The Wall are initially suspicious of Damon and his friend, played by Pedro Pascal, but eventually they join the fight in a series of entertaining spectacles leavened by a few moments of such beauty that you remember that this is a Zhang Yimou film after all.

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Friday February 10 – Thursday February 16

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Featured Film:

Toni Erdmann at the SIFF Uptown

Maren Ade’s three-hour bittersweet German screwball comedy was the sensation of the 2016 Cannes Film Festival, and unlike many an opinion formed at that most prestigious of gatherings, this one actually holds up months later. Sandra Hüller plays a consultant working in Romania who is visited by her goofy but well-meaning father (Peter Simonischek). The two of them fail to properly connect, so after pretending to leave, he returns in disguise as a bewigged life coach improbably named Toni Erdmann. He insinuates himself among her friends and coworkers, creating chaos and joy wherever he goes. Not since Yasujiro Ozu died has there been a film that so beautifully captured the absurdity and pain of both being a parent and having a parent.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Confidential Assigmment (Kim Sung-hoon) Fri-Thurs

Central Cinema:

Moulin Rouge! (Baz Luhrmann, 2001) Fri-Tues
Amélie (Jean-Pierre Jeunet, 2001) Fri-Tues

SIFF Egyptian:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Weds Our Review
Noir City Film Festival Starts Thurs Full Program

Century Federal Way:

Singam 3 (Hari) Fri-Thurs Telugu with No Subtitles
The King (Han Jae-Rim) Fri-Thurs
An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, 1957) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts (Various) Tues Only
Blood Simple (Joel & Ethan Coen, 1984) Weds Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Accidental Courtesy (Matthew Ornstein) Fri-Thurs
Saturday Secret Matinees: Presented by the Sprocket Society (Various directors & years) Sat Only 16mm
54th Ann Arbor Film Fest Tour: 16mm Program Sat Only
Sailor Moon R: The Movie (Kunihiko Ikuhara, 1993) Sun (Subtitled) & Mon (Dubbed) Only
The Love Witch (Anna Biller) Tues Only Our Review 35mm

Landmark Guild 45th:

Oscar Nominated Live-Action Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
Oscar Nominated Animated Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Singam 3 (Hari) Fri-Thurs Telugu with Subtitles
Nenu Local (Trinadha Rao Nakkina) Fri-Thurs
Om Namo Venkateshaya (Kovelamudi Raghavendra Rao) Fri-Thurs
Jolly LLB 2 (Subhash Kapoor) Fri-Thurs
An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, 1957) Sun & Weds Only

Northwest Film Forum:

Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991) Fri, Sun & Weds Only Our Review
Children’s Film Festival Seattle Fri-Sat Full Program
This Is the Way I Like It 2 (Ignacio Agüero) Fri & Sat Only
I Think You Are Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (James Franco) Weds Only
MA (Celia Rowlson-Hall) Sat & Sun Only Filmmaker in Attendance
Documenting J20: Protest and Resistance in the streets of DC (Georg Koszulinski) Fri Only Filmmaker in Attendance
Veracity Shorts Program (Various) Thurs Only
Torrey Pines (Clyde Petersen) Thurs Only Live Score

AMC Pacific Place:

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back (Tsui Hark) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Duckweed (Han Han) Fri-Thurs
I Am Jane Doe (Mary Mazzio) Fri-Thurs

Paramount Theatre:

Daughter of Dawn (Norbert Myles, 1920) Mon Only Live Wurlitzer

Regal Parkway Plaza:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Singam 3 (Hari) Fri-Thurs Telugu with Subtitles
Raees (Rahul Dholakia) Fri-Thurs
Kaabil (Sanjay Gupta) Fri-Thurs
Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

I Knew Her Well (Antonio Pietrangeli, 1965) Thurs Only

SIFF Film Center:

The Well-Digger’s Daughter (Daniel Auteuil) Weds Only

Sundance Cinemas:

Neruda (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Oscar Nominated Documentary Shorts (Various) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Uptown:

Toni Erdmann (Maren Ade) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Weds
Titanic (James Cameron, 1997) Tues Only

Varsity Theatre:

Alone in Berlin (Vincent Perez) Fri-Thurs
An Affair to Remember (Leo McCarey, 1957) Weds Only

In Wide Release:

John Wick: Chapter 2 (Chad Stahelski) Our Review
Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul WS Anderson) Our Review
Split (M. Night Shyamalan) Our Review
Hidden Figures 
(Theodore Melfi) Our Review
Fences (Denzel Washington) Our Review
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Our Review
Moonlight 
(Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review

Friday February 3 – Thursday February 9

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Featured Film:

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back at the Pacific Place

The sequel to Stephen Chow’s adaptation of the classic Chinese novel about a Buddhist monk who travels all the way to India to retrieve sacred scriptures, and is defended along the way by super-powered ex-demons, including the legendary Monkey King. The first part, Conquering the Demons, played here in 2014, exclusively at the Grand Illusion. Nowadays, the multiplexes have a lock on Chinese (and Korean, and Indian) imports, and the new film will be playing only at the Pacific Place. That is, unless it follows Chow’s The Mermaid, from last year, and proves enough of a hit to make its way onto more screens. Chow wrote and produced The Demons Strike Back, but Tsui Hark directed. I’ll have a review of the new movie once I get a chance to see it, in the meantime I wrote a survey of Tsui’s career to date for Movie Mezzanine and I have a index of everything I’ve written about Tsui at The End of Cinema.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Wheeler (Ryan Ross) Fri-Thurs
Raees (Rahul Dholakia) Fri-Thurs
Un Padre No Tan Padre (Raúl Martínez) Fri-Thurs

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

Central Cinema:

The Royal Tenenbaums (Wes Anderson, 2001) Fri-Tues
The Jerk (Carl Reiner, 1979) Fri-Tues

SIFF Egyptian:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Century Federal Way:

The King (Han Jae-Rim) Fri-Thurs
Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1954) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven) Fri-Thurs Our Review
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs
Raiders of the Lost Ark (Steven Spielberg, 1981) Mon Only with Science Discussion
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World (Charles Wilkinson) Tues Only
Love & Solidarity (Michael Honey & Errol Webber) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven) Sun, Mon, Weds & Thurs Only Our Review
Emily (Ryan Graves) Fri-Thurs Filmmakers in Attendance Fri & Sat
Saturday Secret Matinees: Presented by the Sprocket Society (Various directors & years) Sat Only 16mm
54th Ann Arbor Film Fest Tour: Digital Program Tues Only

Landmark Guild 45th:

Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar) Fri-Thurs
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs
Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii) Tues & Weds Only Subtitled Tues, Dubbed in English Weds

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Bogan (Lakshman) Fri-Thurs
Kirik Party (Rishab Shetty) Fri-Thurs
Nenu Local (Trinadha Rao Nakkina) Fri-Thurs
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs
Raees (Rahul Dholakia) Fri-Thurs
Kaabil (Sanjay Gupta) Fri-Thurs
Ti Sadhya Kay Karte (Satish Rajwade) Sun Only In Marathi, No Subtitles
Sabrina (Billy Wilder, 1954) Sun & Weds Only
Ghost in the Shell (Mamoru Oshii) Tues & Weds Only Subtitled Tues, Dubbed in English Weds

Regal Meridian:

Silence (Martin Scorsese) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Northwest Film Forum:

Children’s Film Festival Seattle Fri-Thurs Full Program 
The Prison in 12 Landscapes (Brett Story) Fri Only
Quinceañera (Richard Glitzer & Wash Westmoreland) Weds Only Free Event
I Think You Are Totally Wrong: A Quarrel (James Franco) Starts Weds
This Is the Way I Like It 2 (Ignacio Agüero) Thurs-Sat
Daughters of the Dust (Julie Dash, 1991) Starts Thurs Our Review

AMC Oak Tree:

War on Everyone (John Michael McDonagh) Fri-Thurs
Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

Journey to the West: The Demons Strike Back (Tsui Hark) Fri-Thurs
Kung Fu Yoga (Stanley Tong) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven) Fri-Thurs Our Review 
Raees (Rahul Dholakia) Fri-Thurs
Kaabil (Sanjay Gupta) Fri-Thurs
Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari) Fri-Thurs
Sailor Moon R: The Movie (Kunihiko Ikuhara, 1993) Fri & Sat Only Re-edited in English

Seattle Art Museum:

The Passionate Thief (Mario Monicelli, 1960) Thurs Only

SIFF Film Center:

Ocean Waves (Tomomi Mochizuki) Fri-Sun
Beach Club (Leo Galen Rauf) Fri & Thurs Only

AMC Southcenter:

Youth in Oregon (Joel David Moore) Fri-Thurs
Un Padre No Tan Padre (Raúl Martínez) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs
Midsummer in Newtown (Lloyd Kramer) Fri-Thurs

Regal Thornton Place:

Silence (Martin Scorsese) Fri-Thurs Our Review

SIFF Uptown:

20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul WS Anderson) Our Review
Split (M. Night Shyamalan) Our Review
Hidden Figures 
(Theodore Melfi) Our Review
Fences (Denzel Washington) Our Review
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Our Review
Moonlight 
(Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review

I Am Not Your Negro (Raoul Peck, 2016)

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Haitian filmmaker Raoul Peck’s documentary about the great American author and essayist James Baldwin is neither a biographical film nor a typical talking head documentary, with various experts and narrators explaining to us, the regular people, the importance of the people and events depicted on screen. It’s an essay film, built around notes Baldwin compiled for a project he ultimately abandoned, a personal history of Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King Jr, African-American activists who were murdered in the few years between 1963 and 1968. Samuel L. Jackson, in a hushed, yet determined voice, narrates Baldwin’s notes, and Peck freely cuts between them, recited over archival footage both past and present, and images of Baldwin himself lecturing, participating in panel discussions, chatting with Dick Cavett and generally just being himself (the fear in his eyes as he drives around Mississippi street with Evers is palpable, as is his anger at being condescended to by an aged white professor on Cavett’s show). The result is a rambling, discursive film that captures the essential genius of Baldwin’s work, the uniqueness of his mind and the eloquence and power of its expression.

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Resident Evil: The Final Chapter (Paul WS Anderson, 2016)

Turning and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

Surely some revelation is at hand;
Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
                               —William Butler Yeats “The Second Coming”

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The long-awaited sixth film in Paul WS Anderson’s survival horror saga has finally arrived, and it’s everything his believers could have hoped for. When the last film in the series came out, Anderson attracted a lot of attention in certain quarters as a symbol of so-called “Vulgar Auteurism” sparked by comparison of Resident Evil: Retribution with The Other Paul Anderson’s The Master, released the same week in September of 2012. The White Elephant/Termite art comparisons were irresistible to the wags of film twitter, and thus a movement was born, or at least a trend piece. The next six months or so were abuzz with discussions pro- and contra- Auteurism such as the film world hasn’t seen since the heady days of the Paulettes and the Sarrisites, a veritable Algonquin Roundtable of blog posts and tweet threads. Not above drifting with the winds myself, and binging on contemporary action cinema in a desperate attempt to keep conscious while caring for a newborn, I wrote a multipart essay on the Resident Evil films, Anderson and Auteurism in general, using the director and his films as raw material for an application of the critical method as Andrew Sarris initially described it back in the 1960s. I concluded that Anderson hadn’t quite reached the highest echelons of Sarris’s scheme, because he hadn’t yet established the kind of tension between himself and his material that marks the nebulous “interior meaning” that is the hallmark of personal filmmaking. I therefore placed him in the “Lightly Likable” category and wrote:

Anderson’s films can more rightly be described as competent treading of well-worn terrain. His last few movies, however, show potential, and so I’m unwilling to write Anderson off as an impersonal filmmaker. Perhaps he has it in him to perform the auteurial jujitsu necessary to turn the generic qualities of his movies into virtues, into a truly compelling and original statement about the world and/or the cinema itself, merging the blankness and fungibility of his characters with the schematic structures of their worlds and the interchangeability of their dialogue to say something truly meaningful. But I don’t think he’s made that complete a filmic statement yet.

Well, it’s four years later, and Resident Evil: The Final Chapter is that statement.

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Friday January 27 – Thursday February 2

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Featured Film:

Resident Evil: The Final Chapter in Wide Release

Sure there are a ton of Oscar contenders I haven’t caught up with yet, like 20th Century Women or Hidden Figures or Jackie or even Hacksaw Ridge, playing around town. And sure, one of the all-time greatest films in the history of the medium is playing one night only at the Seattle Art Museum, with Roberto Rossellini’s Voyage in Italy. But the movie I’m going out of my way to see this week is the sixth and final film in Paul WS Anderson’s video game-adaptation saga. Milla Jovovich and her army of clones and clone-friends make their last stand against a never-ending glut of zombies, mutants, clone-friends turned clone-enemies, homicidal computers taking the form of little girls, and shockingly athletic blond scientists and capitalists. An endlessly fascinating dive through our fungible reality, told in Anderson’s unique blend of crisp imagery and stale dialogue, the Resident Evil films are the better collectively than any series to come out of Hollywood since the Matrix movies. Be the Alice Clone you want to see in the world right now.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

The King (Han Jae-Rim) Fri-Thurs
Raees (Rahul Dholakia) Fri-Thurs
Kaabil (Sanjay Gupta) Fri-Thurs
Un Padre No Tan Padre (Raúl Martínez) Fri-Thurs

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

The Eagle Huntress (Otto Bell) Fri-Thurs

Central Cinema:

Groundhog Day (Harold Ramis, 1993) Fri-Tues, Thurs
Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure (Stephen Herek, 1989) Fri-Tues Our Podcast
Peace for the Streets Benefit featuring Breakin’ (Joel Silberg, 1984) and Breakin’ 2: Electric Boogaloo (Sam Firstenberg, 1984) Weds Only

SIFF Egyptian:

20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

Raees (Rahul Dholakia) Fri-Thurs
Kaabil (Sanjay Gupta) Fri-Thurs
Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino, 1987) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven) Fri-Thurs Our Review
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs
The Autopsy of Jane Doe (Andre Ovredal) Fri & Sat Only
The Brand New Testament (Jaco Van Dormael) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven) Sat-Weds Our Review
All Governments Lie (Fred Peabody) Fri-Thurs
American Angels: Baptist of Blood (Anthony Spinelli, 1989) Fri Only VHS
Saturday Secret Matinees: Presented by the Sprocket Society (Various directors & years) Sat Only 16mm

Landmark Guild 45th:

Julieta (Pedro Almodóvar) Fri-Thurs
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs
Raees (Rahul Dholakia) Fri-Thurs
Kaabil (Sanjay Gupta) Fri-Thurs
Dirty Dancing (Emile Ardolino, 1987) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review 
20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs
Silence (Martin Scorsese) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Northwest Film Forum:

Children’s Film Festival Seattle Fri-Thurs Full Program

AMC Oak Tree:

Get the Girl (Eric England) Fri-Thurs
Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

Kung Fu Yoga (Stanley Tong) Fri-Thurs
Buddies in India (Wang Baoqiang) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

20th Century Women (Mike Mills) Fri-Thurs
Raees (Rahul Dholakia) Fri-Thurs
Kaabil (Sanjay Gupta) Fri-Thurs
Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari) Fri-Thurs

Seattle Art Museum:

Voyage in Italy (Roberto Rossellini, 1954) Thurs Only

SIFF Film Center:

Deconstructing the Beatles’ White Album (Scott Freiman) Fri-Sun

AMC Southcenter:

Hacksaw Ridge (Mel Gibson) Fri-Thurs
Un Padre No Tan Padre (Raúl Martínez) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs
They Call Us Monsters (Ben Lear) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

Split (M. Night Shyamalan) Our Review
Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) Our Review
Fences (Denzel Washington) Our Review
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Our Review
Moonlight 
(Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review

Friday January 20 – Thursday January 26

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Featured Film:

Kurosawa on 35mm at the Grand Illusion

The first movies I ever watched after I moved to Seattle were a series of Akira Kurosawa films at the Varsity. Throne of Blood and The Bad Sleep Well were among them, and it was a revelation seeing them on the big screen. Of course it was on 35mm then, digital video wasn’t a thing yet. Kurosawa remains one of the most reliable figures on the repertory film scene, but prints are becoming harder and harder to find. The Grand Illusion is one of the very few venues in town to reliably seek out and exhibit films on actual film, so take this opportunity to see a couple of great films from a great director while you can. We talked about The Bad Sleep Well on The George Sanders Show, and I wrote a little bit about Throne of Blood a long time ago.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Sailor Moon R: The Movie (Kunihiko Ikuhara, 1993) Fri-Thurs Re-edited in English

Central Cinema:

Howl’s Moving Castle (Hayao Miyazaki, 2004) Fri-Weds Subtitled Tues & Weds Only
Death Becomes Her (Robert Zemeckis, 1992) Fri-Weds

Century Federal Way:

Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs
Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001) Sat Only English Dub, Free
Haida Gwaii: On the Edge of the World (Charles Wilkinson) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Elle (Paul Verhoeven) Fri-Sun, Tues & Thurs Our Review
Throne of Blood (Akira Kurosaw, 1957) Fri & Tues Only An Old Review 35mm
Sailor Moon R: The Movie (Kunihiko Ikuhara, 1993) Sat & Sun Only Re-edited in English
Saturday Secret Matinees: Presented by the Sprocket Society (Various directors & years) Sat Only 16mm
Dixie Ray, Hollywood Star (Anthony Spinelli, 1983) Sat Only
The Bad Sleep Well (Akira Kurosaw, 1960) Sun & Weds Only Our Podcast 35mm

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

XXX: The Return of Xander Cage (DJ Caruso) Fri-Thurs Dubbed in Hindi
Khaidi No. 150 (V. V. Vinayak) Fri-Thurs
Gautamiputra Satakarni (Krish) Fri-Thurs
Shatamanam Bhavati (Satish Vegesna) Fri-Thurs
Pushpaka Vimana (S. Ravindranath) Sat & Sun Only
Rebel Without a Cause (Nicholas Ray, 1955) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

Paterson (Jim Jarmusch) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Other Review

Northwest Film Forum:

Goodnight Brooklyn – The Story of Death by Audio (Matthew Conboy) Fri-Weds
Deluge (Felix Feist, 1933) Fri-Sun Only
The Ardennes (Robin Pront) Fri-Sun Only
Loa (Georg Koszulinski) Weds Only Filmmaker in Attendance
Children’s Film Festival Seattle Starts Thurs Full Program

AMC Oak Tree:

Bakery in Brooklyn (Gustavo Ron) Fri-Thurs

Pacific Science Center:

Voyage of Time (IMAX) (Terrence Malick) Fri-Thurs Our Review

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Sarvann (Karaan Guliani) Fri-Thurs
Dangal (Nitesh Tiwari) Fri-Thurs

Seven Gables:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Jackie (Pablo Larraín) Fri-Thurs

Sundance Cinemas:

Nocturnal Animals (Tom Ford) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Uptown:

Tampopo (Jûzô Itami, 1985) Fri-Sun Only

In Wide Release:

Split (M. Night Shyamalan) Our Review
Silence (Martin Scorsese) Our Review
Live by Night (Ben Affleck) Our Review
Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) Our Review
Fences (Denzel Washington) Our Review
La La Land (Damien Chazelle) Our Review
Moonlight 
(Barry Jenkins)  Our Review
Arrival (Denis Villeneuve) Our Review

Split (M. Night Shyamalan, 2016)

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Preposterous in all of the best ways, and some of the worst, the latest film from once-overhyped, now underrated auteur M. Night Shyamalan is as confounding as any film Hollywood is likely to produce this year. Ostensibly a horror film of the ‘girls trapped in a basement by a madman’ subgenre, like last year’s 10 Cloverfield Lane, it somehow ends up being a rape-revenge superhero movie, like a DC Comics version of Elle. With a barely taped together plot, a streak of goofy black comedy and a cheap, exploitative perspective on real-life trauma, the movie is clearly the work of some kind of a lunatic. But what a lunatic!

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