I like to think that my beautiful city of Seattle is home to so much wonderful film because there are so many brainy, intellectual film geeks here. In reality, it's probably as much because of the rainy weather here as anything else. Sure, we have an abundance of mainstream theaters like every other big city, but we also have lots of film that will feed your soul through the rest of your mundane week. Why settle for what's playing at the multiplex, when you can open the windows of your world through such a wide range of glorious world cinema, right here in your own backyard? We have lots of film here for the cinephile, and my fellow Emerald City residents will be able to come here to find out what's going on in film in Seattle, every week, from now until the end of time. Well, maybe not until the end of time; life is impermanent. But film? Film is forever.
UW Film Club - South Asia Film Series - The Guide (1965): Directed by Vijay Anand and Tad Danielewski, The Guide is an adaptation of the book by R.K. Narayan. The story is about an Indian man named Raju, a tourist guide, who goes through a series of ups and downs including an affair with a married woman, the loss of his home, and a prison sentence. After getting out of prison, he is mistaken for a holy man, and assumes that identify; in the process he finds himself growing into the role of spiritual guide of the village - until he is forced to endure a fast to save the village from a drought. Friday, March 3, 3:30PM, Smith 211
African Film Festival, Ethnic Cultural Theater, 3940 Brooklyn Ave NE- This touring festival of African film gives an overview of the evolution of African film over the past fifty years. Why should you care? For the same reasons Paradise Now shouldn't be pulled from the Oscars. From the AFF website: "This kind of art is a powerful intellectual and emotional force for social change. As the twenty-first century begins, we are witnessing a great revolution in mass communications capabilities that drastically reduces the distances between cultures." Amen, Shalom, Salaam, and Blessed Be to that. Each feature-length film is paired with a short film, too. The festival is winding down, but here are the films you can still catch:
Niiwam (1991, Clarence Thomas Delgado, Senegal, 80 mins) : This film, the director's feature-length debut, is based on a novel by Ousmane Sembene. The film tells the tale of a young couple trying to save the life of their very ill infant son. Friday, 3/3 @ 7PM, Saturday, 3/4 @3PM
Be Kunko/Everybody's Problem (2004, Cheick Fantamady Camara, Guinea, 30 mins): This short is about a group of teenagers on a downward spiral into crime and violence in a refugee camp, as their grandmother struggles helplessly against the odds to save them. Friday, 3/3 @ 7PM, Saturday, 3/4 @3PM
Dôlé (1999, Imunga Ivanga, Gabon 92 mins): Mougler and his friends, strapped for cash, decide to rob a dôlé (instant lottery) stand. Saturday, 3/4 @ 7PM and Sunday, 3/5 @ 3PM
Safi, la petite mère (2004, Rasó Ganemtoré, Burkina Faso, 30 mins): When her mother dies in childbirth, eight-year-old Safi flees her village with her infant brother so he won't be murdered by the villagers in sacrifice to rid the village of the bad luck they believe her mother's death has brought upon them. Safi must find a way in the city to keep herself and her brother alive. Saturday, 3/4 @ 7PM and Sunday, 3/5 @ 3PM
Seattle Jewish Film Festival March 5-19 - This year marks the 11th year of the Seattle Jewish Film Festival, and they have a fantastic lineup. This year's fest runs at three venues: Seattle's Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), AMC Pacific Place, and Majestic Bay Theaters in Ballard. The festival opens this weekend with a VIP luncheon at Il Fornacio at Pacific Place at 11:30AM, followed by a screening of Fateless, about a Hungarian Jewish boy's experience in a concentration camp. The fest doesn't really get going until next weekend, so be sure to check back here next week for the lineup and our recommendations.
American Beauty - This film won five Oscars including Best Pic in 1995. Come celebrate Oscar weekend by watching this great film. March 1-4 @ 6:45 and 9:30
Independent Exposure - This traveling curated independent film series originated in Seattle and is now in its 11th season. This season kicks off on Wednesday, March 8 at 7 and 9PM, and the eclectic program includes Man, an Australian doc short about the fragility of life; Marvelous, Keen Loony Bin, an animated short about "a day in the life of the headless, limbless, faceless and brainless"; The Option of War, a social-political animated adaptation of a Kafka story, in which a soldier is kidnapped by a pack of jackals who demand he kill his sleeping friends; and Silver Seeds, an avant-garde animation. Independent Exposure shows the second Wednesday of every month at Central Cinema, so mark your calendars.
Darwin's Nightmare (Hubert Sauper) : Don't miss your chance to catch this Oscar-nominated documentary about the Nile Perch, a fish that in a few decades ate everything in Tanzania's Lake Victoria, and the foreign capitalists who put the non-native fish in the lake in the first place, destroying the economy and livelihoods of the people who relied on the lake's natural bounty for survival. HELD OVER - Saturday, 3/4 and Sunday, 3/5 @ NOON and 4:3OPM
Duma (Carroll Ballard, USA/South Africa, 2005, 35mm, 100 mins): This long-awaited and critically-acclaimed film was shelved after it finished filming, and is now finally getting released. The film is about a boy named Xan who must return his best friend - a cheetah named Duma- to his native habitat. March 3-16, Fri-Thurs @ 6:30PM, 8:30PM Sat and Sun @ 2:30PM
Who Gets to Call It Art? (Peter Rosen, USA, 2006, 80 mins): Curator Henry Geldzahler helped shape the world of modern art, influencing a generation of artists. A "whirlwind introduction to the prominent faces and places of the New York City art scene", Who Gets to Call it Art blends archival footage and recent interviews with prominent artists in a film that both showcases Geldzhaler's contribution to the art world, and serves as a tribute to the man himself. March 3-9 @ 7:15 and 9PM.
Currently showing at Landmark Theaters
The Neptune: Night Watch
Seven Gables: Brokeback Mountain
Strangers on a Train (1951, Alfred Hitchcock), Thursday, March 9 @ 7:30PM at MOHAI - Museum of History and Industry
The Time Machine, Sunday, March 5 @ 7PM at Experience Music Project
Videos by Iranian artist Shirin Neshat: Tooba, Mahkdokht and Zarin, Thursday, March 9 @ 7PM, Seattle Asian Art Museum
NOTE: If you're in the Seattle area and have a film event you'd like listed here, email me at email@example.com.