Friday June 23 – Thursday June 29

Featured Film:

After the Storm at the SIFF Uptown

Japanese director Kore-eda Hirokazu’s latest, hot off a run at SIFF, opens this week at the Uptown. It’s another of Kore-eda’s quiet examinations of family life, with a run-down father attempting to win back his ex-wife, connect with his son, cope with his mom and sister’s disapproval and avoid writing his second novel while working as a private detective to fuel his gambling addiction. Hiroshi Abe is excellent as the dad, as is Koreeda regular Kirin Kiki as the mother. We reviewed it at VIFF last fall.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta) Fri-Thurs

Central Cinema:

Jurassic Park (Steven Spielberg, 1993) Fri-Weds
Drop Dead Fred (Ate de Jong, 1991) Fri-Weds

SIFF Egyptian:

The Exception (David Leveaux) Fri-Thurs

Century Federal Way:

DJ Duvvada Jagannadham (Harish Shankar) Fri-Thurs
My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) Sun & Mon Only Dubbed Sun, Subtitled Mon
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

The Exception (David Leveaux) Fri-Thurs
Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta) Fri-Thurs
Zardoz (John Boorman, 1974) Sat Only
Truman (Cesc Gay) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

The Bad Batch (Ana Lily Amirpour) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta) Fri-Thurs
Tubelight (Kabir Khan) Fri-Thurs
DJ Duvvada Jagannadham (Harish Shankar) Fri-Thurs
My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) Sun & Mon Only Dubbed Sun, Subtitled Mon
What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

Tubelight (Kabir Khan) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

I’m Not Fascinating: The Movie! (Danny Plotnick, 1996) Fri Only Drummer in Attendance
Icaros: A Vision (Leonor Caraballo & Matteo Norzi) Fri-Sun Only
On the Banks of the Tigris: The Hidden Story of Iraqi Music (Marsha Emerman, 2015) Sat & Sun Only
YIPS Fest 2017 Sun Only

AMC Oak Tree:

Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta) Fri-Thurs
Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
The Hero (Brett Haley) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta) Fri-Thurs
Tubelight (Kabir Khan) Fri-Thurs
Can We Still Be Friends? (Prime Cruz) Fri-Thurs

AMC Seattle:

Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta) Fri-Thurs
Dean (Demetri Martin) Fri-Thurs
The Hero (Brett Haley) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Manifesto (Julian Rosefeldt, 2015) Fri-Sun Our Review

Regal Thornton Place:

My Neighbor Totoro (Hayao Miyazaki, 1988) Sun & Mon Only Dubbed Sun, Subtitled Mon

SIFF Uptown:

After the Storm (Koreeda Hirokazu) Fri-Thurs Our Review
The Wedding Plan (Rama Burshtein) Fri-Thurs
Dean (Demetri Martin) Fri-Thurs
The Hero (Brett Haley) Fri-Thurs
Mad World (Wong Chun) Thurs Only

Varsity Theatre:

Letters from Baghdad (Sabine Krayenbühl & Zeva Oelbaum) Fri-Sun
Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
Ripped (Brad Epstein) Fri-Thurs

In Wide Release:

Alien Covenant (Ridley Scott) Our Review
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (James Gunn) Our Review

The Frances Farmer Show #13: SIFF 2017 Part Two

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The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival has come to an end and Sean, Evan and Ryan get together to talk about what they saw, what they liked and didn’t like among the festival’s archival presentations and new releases. Film discussed include: The Dumb Girl of Portici, Taste of Cherry, Love and Duty, Brainstorm, A Ghost Story, Nocturama, Columbus, Godspeed, Gook and Mr. Long.

You can listen to the show by downloading it directly, or by subscribing on iTunes or the podcast player of your choice.

Friday June 16 – Thursday June 22

Featured Film:

Funeral Parade of Roses at the Northwest Film Forum

In addition to a program of eight of his short films (playing Sunday only) the Northwest Film Forum this weekend presents the restoration of the late Toshio Matsumoto’s 1969 Japanese New Wave classic Funeral Parade of Roses, which I haven’t seen, but which they describe as a “shattering, kaleidoscopic masterpiece . . . one of the most subversive and intoxicating films of the late 1960s: a headlong dive into a dazzling, unseen Tokyo night-world of drag queen bars and fabulous divas, fueled by booze, drugs, fuzz guitars, performance art and black mascara.” Sold.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
Dean (Demetri Martin) Fri-Thurs
Warriors of the Dawn (Jeong Yoon-cheol) Fri-Thurs

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

The House on Coco Road (Damani Baker) Thurs Only

Central Cinema:

But I’m a Cheerleader (Jamie Babbit, 2000) Fri-Mon
Ma vie en rose (Alain Berliner, 1997) Fri-Mon

SIFF Egyptian:

Collide-O-Scope Best of the Worst World Tour Kick-Off Party Weds Only

Century Federal Way:

Warriors of the Dawn (Jeong Yoon-cheol) Fri-Thurs
Resident Evil: Vendetta (Takanori Tsujimoto) Thurs Only
El Dorado (Howard Hawks, 1967) Sun & Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach) Fri-Thurs
Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
Water Horse (Jay Russell, 2007) Fri-Thurs
Logan’s Run (Michael Anderson, 1976) Sat Only Our Podcast
Semi-Iconic: The Ballad of Dick Rossetti (Isaac Olsen) Sun & Tues Only
Nise: The Heart of Madness (Roberto Berliner) Tues Only
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (William Dieterle, 1939) Weds Only
The Best Democracy Money Can Buy (Greg Palast & David Ambrose) Thurs Only Free Screening

Grand Illusion Cinema:

Stefan Zweig: Farewell to Europe (Maria Schrader) Fri-Thurs

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta) Fri-Thurs
Resident Evil: Vendetta (Takanori Tsujimoto) Thurs Only
El Dorado (Howard Hawks, 1967) Sun & Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

Didi’s Dreams (Kevin Tsai) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Funeral Parade of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto, 1969) Fri-Sun Only
The Short Films of Toshio Matsumoto Sun Only
Last Men in Aleppo (Feras Fayyad) Weds & Thurs Only
Awake, A Dream from Standing Rock (Josh Fox, James Spione & Myron Dewey) Sun Only
Moving History Strikes Back: Battling the Magnetic Media Crisis Thurs Only

AMC Pacific Place:

Beatriz at Dinner (Miguel Arteta) Fri-Thurs

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
Hindi Medium (Saket Chaudhary) Fri-Thurs

AMC Seattle:

Dean (Demetri Martin) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

Deconstructung the Beatles: Rubber Soul (Scott Freiman) Fri-Sun

SIFF Uptown:

Dean (Demetri Martin) Fri-Thurs
The Wedding Plan (Rama Burshtein) Fri-Thurs
Best of SIFF 2017 (Various) Fri-Thurs
Roosevelt Film Club’s Summer Screening Weds Only

Varsity Theatre:

Letters from Baghdad (Sabine Krayenbühl & Zeva Oelbaum) Fri-Sun

In Wide Release:

Alien Covenant (Ridley Scott) Our Review
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (James Gunn) Our Review

SIFF 2017: Mr. Long (Sabu, 2017)

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The SIFF program describes this as “Yojimbo meets Tampopo“, which definitely has an “I can only think of two Japanese movies” vibe, in that it isn’t really like either of those movies except its main character is a man who slices up people for hire and also sometimes makes noodles. It’s more akin to Johnnie To’s Where a Good Man Goes, but I’m probably only saying that because I’m the kind of person who compares everything to a Johnnie To movie.

Chang Chen’s a hitman in Kaohsiang who gets sent to Japan to kill someone. The job gets botched and he barely escapes. Recovering in a dilapidated slum, he’s befriended by a young boy (whose mom is a junkie) and eventually a whole community of locals, who figure out that he’s an excellent cook and, in like two days, build him an apartment and a noodle cart, while at the same time he helps the mom kick her heroin habit. It’s a story of rebirth fostered by community, and its portrait of the unity of people living on the margins recalls the spirit of no less than Sadao Yamanaka’s Humanity and Paper Balloons. The fairy tale approach is leavened by a harder edge, but director Sabu (last seen here as Samurai #1 in Scorsese’s Silence) keeps things brisk and light, with long wordless stretches scored jauntily by Junichi Matsumoto. Chang’s deadpan performance is a delight, even as his hair comes perilously close to “Gary Oldman in The Fifth Element”. Befuddled as to why the locals seem to like him, the kid explains “it’s because you keep cool and don’t say anything”. Taiwanese actress Yao Yiti is unconvincing as a junkie (she cleans up into super-adorable way too quickly), but shines in her extended flashback, providing the unlikely link between her and Chang. That that link should go undiscovered by the characters involved is one of the many small idiosyncrasies of Sabu’s storytelling, one which defies both Hollywood notions of causality and Hong Kong traditions of cosmic coincidence.

SIFF 2017: Week Four Preview

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This weekend the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival comes to an end, with three more days featuring another handful of interesting titles. here are some of the ones we’re anticipating.

The DoorRogue One star Jiang Wen’s brother Jiang Wu (A Touch of Sin) stars in this interdimensional comedy about a mechanic who discovers a time-portal.

The Feels – Constance Wu stars in Jenée LaMarque’s film in which “a lesbian bachelorette weekend goes awry when one of the brides admits she’s never had an orgasm.”

A Ghost Story – In one of the year’s most-anticipated American films, Casey Affleck plays a white-sheeted ghost haunting his wife, Rooney Mara.

The Witches – SIFF-honoree Anjelica Huston stars in Nicholas Roeg’s 1990 Roald Dahl adaptation, which is apparently a kind of touchstone for people younger than me.

Free and Easy – A variety of oddballs and conmen interact in a Northern Chinese town in Jun Geng’s film. SIFF compares it to Jarmusch and Kaurismaki.

Taste of Cherry – The late Abbas Kiarostami’s most famous film, winner of the 1997 Palme d’Or, about a man looking for someone to bury him after he kills himself. Stick a jazz band on my hearse wagon/Raise hell as I stroll along.

 

Friday June 9 – Thursday June 15

Featured Film:

The Seattle International Film Festival, Part Four

The never-ending festival finally ends this weekend, as SIFF 2017 comes to a close with a handful of anticipated films, including Nocturama, Mr. Long, A Ghost Story, The Door, Gook, The Feels, and archival presentations of The Witches and Taste of Cherry. Last week, we reviewed Columbus, Have a Nice Day, The Little Hours, Landline, Wind River, and The Dumb Girl of Portici. We’ll have more reviews in the coming week, along with another episode of The Frances Farmer Show.

Playing This Week:

AMC Alderwood:

3 Idiotas (Carlos Bolado) Fri-Thurs
Churchill (Jonathan Teplitzky) Fri-Thurs

Ark Lodge Cinemas:

The Man Who Fell to Earth (Carlos Bolado) Thurs Only Remixed with DJ NicFit performing a decades-spanning all-Bowie score!

Central Cinema:

What Ever Happened to Baby Jane? (Robert Aldrich, 1962) Fri-Tues
Tommy Boy (Peter Segal, 1995) Fri-Tues

SIFF Egyptian:

The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival Full Program Our Coverage

Century Federal Way:

Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) Weds Only

Grand Cinema:

Obit (Vanessa Gould) Fri-Thurs
The Lovers (Azazel Jacobs) Fri-Thurs
Churchill (Jonathan Teplitzky) Fri-Thurs
Dr. Jekyll & Mr. Hyde (John S. Robertson, 1920) Fri Only
Dr. Strangelove (Stanley Kubrick, 1964) Sat Only
Hidden Figures (Theodore Melfi) Mon Only Our Review
Heal the Living (Katell Quillevere) Tues Only

Grand Illusion Cinema:

The Survivalist (Stephen Fingleton) Fri-Thurs
Resist, Rebel, Survive (Various) Tues Only

Cinemark Lincoln Square:

Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
Ami Tumi (Mohan Krishna Indraganti) Fri-Thurs
Raabta (Dinesh Vijan) Fri-Thurs
The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival Full Program Our Coverage
Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) Weds Only

Regal Meridian:

God of War (Gordon Chan) Fri-Thurs Our Review
Didi’s Dreams (Kevin Tsai) Fri-Thurs
Sachin: A Billion Dreams (James Erskine) Fri-Thurs

Northwest Film Forum:

Violet (Bas Devos) Fri-Sun
Maurizio Cattelan: Be Right Back (Maura Axelrod) Fri-Sun Only
The Maury Island Incident (Scott Schaefer) Sun Only Filmmakers in Attendance
The Short Films of Toshio Matsumoto Weds, Thurs & Next Sun Only
Last Men in Aleppo (Feras Fayyad) Starts Thurs
Funeral Parade of Roses (Toshio Matsumoto, 1969) Starts Thurs

AMC Oak Tree:

Norman: The Moderate Rise And Tragic Fall of a New York Fixer (Joseph Cedar) Fri-Thurs

AMC Pacific Place:

Beautiful Accident (Wi Ding Ho) Fri-Thurs
Paris Can Wait (Eleanor Coppola) Fri-Thurs
The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival Full Program Our Coverage

Regal Parkway Plaza:

Lowriders (Ricardo de Montreuil) Fri-Thurs
Raabta (Dinesh Vijan) Fri-Thurs
Hindi Medium (Saket Chaudhary) Fri-Thurs
3 Idiotas (Carlos Bolado) Fri-Thurs

AMC Seattle:

Middle Man (Ned Crowley) Fri-Thurs

SIFF Film Center:

The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival Full Program Our Coverage

SIFF Uptown:

The 2017 Seattle International Film Festival Full Program Our Coverage

Varsity Theatre:

A Quiet Passion (Terence Davies) Fri-Thurs Our Review Our Podcast
Some Like it Hot (Billy Wilder, 1959) Weds Only

In Wide Release:

Alien Covenant (Ridley Scott) Our Review
Guardians of the Galaxy 2 (James Gunn) Our Review

SIFF 2017: Columbus (Kogonada, 2017)

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Note: as this film is under embargo until its release in the Seattle area, here are exactly 75 words.

20 days into #SIFF2017 and this is the first time I’ve seen something truly unique, a new cinematic voice. An elegant mashup of Ozu (the plot: convincing a young woman to move on with her life), Linklater (a man and a woman talk about art and life) and Antonioni (architecture!), a Platonic romance with lovely performances from John Cho and Haley Lu Richardson (and Parker Posey!), Kogonada’s debut feature is precise and warm but never sentimental.

SIFF 2017: Have a Nice Day (Liu Jian, 2017)

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Note: as this film is under embargo until its release in the Seattle area, here are exactly 75 words.

The second feature from director Liu Jian is an animated network-noir that in its amoral glee at the interconnected machinations of crooks and losers recalls early Tarantino, or at least his Korean imitators. A bag of money is stolen and passes through many vicious hands in dingy, bleak sections of a city at night (the pale, grimy animation recalls a hungover Duckman), a world away from the glitzy capitalist paradises of recent Chinese urban rom-coms.

SIFF 2017: The Little Hours (Jeff Baena, 2017)

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Note: as this film is under embargo until its release in the Seattle area, here are exactly 75 words.

No doubt parallels abound between Boccaccio’s plague-ridden Renaissance and our own apocalyptic present, so surely the time is ripe for this adaptation of a story from The Decameron, about vulgar nuns fighting the patriarchy the only way they can: sex, alcohol and witchcraft. Very funny, with Aubrey Plaza, Alison Brie, Kate Micucci leading the improv-ed script. Dave Franco is adequate, but fortunately his role mostly just requires being yelled at and looking pretty.

SIFF 2017: Wind River (Taylor Sheridan, 2017)

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Note: as this film is under embargo until its release in the Seattle area, here are exactly 75 words.

Like Hell or High Water and Sicario, for which he wrote the scripts, Taylor Sheridan’s directorial debut is the story of manly men and women doing manly things in a manly genre and a manly wilderness. This time, it’s a park ranger (Jeremy Renner) helping an FBI agent (Elizabeth Olsen) track down a murderer on a reservation. The ending’s a disaster, but strong performances from Native actors Gil Birmingham and Graham Greene almost redeem it.