Tonight in Seattle:  

film

SIFF 2013 Preview: NW Connections

Time to outline my favorite SIFF program: NW Connections! Anytime I see a bunch of local filmmakers, local locations, or really -- ANY KIND OF CONNECTION to my hometown I get a little excited, so give me a minute. Because I am hyperventilating over this first one: 

Lynn Shelton's new film (YAYYYYYYY!) Touchy Feely, stars Rosemarie DeWitt (DOUBLE YAYYYYYYY!!) as a massage therapist who suddenly gets the ooks about touching other people. Whoops. That sounds like a career killer. It also has Ellen Page (TRIPLE YAYYYYYY!!!). Anyway. It sounds awesome. OBVIOUSLY. It is LYNN SHELTON. My only real complaint is that I'll be out of town when it screens. *sob* {Screens 5/23, 7pm at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center, and again 5/25, 1:30pm at The Egyptian} 

And you know I am ALL OVER Dead Meat Walking - A Zombie Walk Documentary, because HELLO. Awesome. Close-ups of zombie makeup, hoards of crawling living dead coming at the camera, and interviews with Zombie enthusiasts, as well as Norman Reedus (Daryl Dixon! I LOVE YOU), and special F/X maestro Tom Savini!!! YES. Side note: I hope someone tells us when the Zombie invasion of the Light Rail is, because I wanna be on it when it happens. (I have just given someone that idea for free. you're welcome). {Screens 5/24, 11:55pm at the Egyptian, and again on 5/25, 8:30pm at the Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center} 

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The Great Gatsby

{The Great Gatsby opens in Seattle on Friday, 5/10, and is playing at the Landmark Guild 45th, The Big Picture, and Thornton Place IMAX®. In both 2D and 3D! Check listings for 3D screenings.}

Ah, Baz Luhrmann. The Director people love to hate. I’m actually in the “love to love” category (with the exception of Australia. That fucking movie. Unnnnnngggghh.), but this guy’s work certainly divides film fans. So what happens when Baz gets ahold of beloved F. Scott Fitzgerald novel The Great Gatsby? Pretty much what you’d expect: A novel about excess adapted by a guy who specializes in excess. Including the application of another excessive thing—3D.

Set in the roaring ‘20s, the story starts with aspiring Wall Street mogul Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire. Ugh.) recalling how he moved into a quaint Long Island cottage that happened to be right next door to the mysterious GIGANTOR mansion of Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). In which the reclusive zillionaire stares out the windows broodingly while throwing lavish parties full of beautiful people, confetti, fireworks, and of course, enough illegal hooch to fill six Olympic swimming pools with.

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SIFF 2013 Preview: Face the Music

Hello, Imaginaries! This year's Face the Music program at the Seattle International Film Festival contains some music documentaries I AM SUPER EXCITED ABOUT!!! You can buy passes to SIFF now, and inividual tickets go on sale this week on Thursday, 5/2. And so, let us (stage) dive in: 

First up: a few special events put together by Ms. Hannah Levin of KEXP! The Maldives are doing their thing at The Triple Door this year, performing music for The Wind, a 1928 Lillian Gish film. And the documentary Muscle Shoals will also have a tribute evening at The Triple Door, with music provided by Patterson and Dave Hood with Jeff Fielder and friends. {The Maldives & The Wind, June 7 at The Triple Door, two shows: 7pm & 9:30pm; A Muscle Shoals Tribute, May 30 at The Triple Door, 7pm}  

Speaking of Muscle Shoals, in case you didn't know, it's the studio where "legendary musicians including Aretha Franklin and Wilson Pickett gathered to create music that would later inspire the likes of Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Lynyrd Skynyrd, and many more." I'm not gonna lie, the trailer makes me drool a little bit. {Screens 5/29, 7pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown, and again 5/30, 7pm at the Egyptian} 

Power Pop fans rejoice! Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me is coming to SIFF!!! Promising never-before-seen footage, rousing musical tributes, and in-depth interviews with members of the band and the musicians they’ve inspired. Yes, yes, yes, and YES. I was hoping this would make it to SIFF. Hooray! {Screens 5/21, 9pm, and again 5/26, 8:30pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown} 

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Latest comment by: Gloria Kirby: "A few other things rounding out the 2013 programming: Harana, about classical guitarist Florante Aguilar exploring his Filipino roots {5/25 and 5/26 at the Uptown}; Wagering cannot be superior on this wager site as well as the speedy setting online gambling ...

A Very Imaginary Cause: Help the Northwest Film Forum Go Digital

There are Kickstarter campaigns galore, but I want to bring your attention to one that I think is MORE than worthy of your donations: the Northwest Film Forum needs to make the leap to DCP conversion, because eventually, whether we like it or not, 35mm is going to be gone for good. So, to help make sure NWFF can show as many new films as possible, and keep this amazing piece of Seattle film community going, they need to raise $50,000 to get new technology, as well as modernize a few other things. 

Where will your money go? 

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Latest comment by: Molly: "Amie, you guys at TIG are the best. Thanks for the shout-out!"

Imaginary film report: Antiviral and Mental open today in Seattle

Weekend movie time! There are a few Indies screening at The Grand Illusion and SIFF this weekend that I wanted to share with our imaginaries.

First up, Antiviral: screening at Grand Illusion Cinema , 4/19-4/25.

Antiviral is about an evolution in the way people view celebrity. Placed in a future bathed in clean white, the film centers on Syd, a salesman at a popular clinic where the commodity is live infections taken from celebs. A celeb gets infected or sick with something—herpes, the flu, etc.—and sells their virus to the clinic for a price, who in turn sells it back to super fans who want to be as close to that famous person as possible.

Gross, right? Imagine someone paying to get injected with Kim Kardashian's ... whatever.

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Imaginary Watch This: The Glamour & The Squalor

The trailer for The Glamour & The Squalor has finally been released! (And there was much rejoicing) Warning: I got a little choked up around the 1:43 mark. I’m super excited for this documentary about the amazing Marco Collins to hurry up and come out—although I know we have kind of a long road ahead of us. From the Facebook page:

The Glamour and the Squalor is a feature-length documentary film project about the rise, fall and reemergence of Hall of Fame radio personality Marco Collins, the creation of Seattle’s 107.7 The End, and how together they shaped the future of music – launching the careers of Nirvana, Pearl Jam, Beck, Weezer, Death Cab for Cutie, Foo Fighters, Garbage and others. The film will also explore Marco’s current battle to stay clean after a decade of drug abuse, his return to breaking contemporary music, as well as his role in the heated and historic marriage equality vote in Washington state.

Oh man I CANNOT WAIT. Coincidentally, I found a 107.77 The End sticker that I had saved from my community college days while spring cleaning yesterday. I loved listening to Marco on the radio during his heyday and I’m so, so, so pleased he’s still around and doing his thing on Jet City Stream, and that I’ll be able to see him sharing his story (and his struggles) on the big screen soon.

Who else is excited for this?!?!?!

My Amityville Horror

{My Amityville Horror is screening at Grand Illusion Cinema on Friday 4/12 & Saturday 4/13 at 11pm, and again on Monday 4/14 at 9pm}

When I was a preteen, I saw the 1979 version of The Amityville Horror, which kicked off an obsession with spirits and demon possession, and learning everything about the family that had lived in the real house and what they had experienced. So I was pretty psyched when I saw that Daniel Lutz, one of the kids who lived through the actual thing, was the subject of this new documentary, My Amityville Horror.

But whoa. WHOA. This guy, who is now in his mid-40s, is clearly messed up about whatever went down in that house. Whether is was actually poltergeists causing the scares, or the active imaginations of the children (via patriarch George Lutz), is left up to you to decide. Regardless, it’s clear that the scars Danny bears from it will never heal completely. 

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Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "

My interest is piqued! I can't wait to find out the full story.  I only recently heard the rumors that it wasn't all real, and that alone blew my mind (I live in a naive / paranormal bubble, I guess?).

"

Evil Dead (2013)

{Evil Dead opens in Seattle on Friday, 4/5 and is screening at the Regal Meridian 16, the Landmark Varsity, and Thornton Place}

Holy shit you guys. Holy. Shit. I was really hoping the Evil Dead reboot would be awesome, but I had no expectations that it would be as fantastically amazing as it turned out to be. As a horror fan, I gotta tell you that this is one of the finest examples of the genre that I’ve ever seen. Ever.

Fans of the original don’t need to be worried—it’s not a straight-up remake. It’s more of a reboot that uses the basics of The Evil Dead story as a starting point to create a new legend, combined with some really clever nods to Raimi’s work. Which include a new take on his signature camera moves and some great twists on everything you loved about the 1981 flick.

The opening sequence sets you up for the glorious splatter that follows in a surprisingly original way. And you probably know the rest, more or less: five friends head to a cabin in order to help their heroin-addicted friend Mia (Jane Levy, I will never be able to look at you on Suburgatory the same way again) dry out. The group includes Mia’s somewhat estranged brother, David (Shiloh Fernandez); his blonde girlfriend, Natalie; dark-haired nurse Olivia, and bespectacled hipster-nerd Eric.

Unfortunately, the group soon stumbles onto a creepy basement filled with ominous ritualistic items, like strung-up rotting cats (so many rotting cats), and The Book of the Dead (not yet named as such), and Eric, the genius (!!!)  brings it upstairs and starts reading the words contained within. AND WE ALL KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS

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Room 237

Room 237 a documentary about The Shining

{Room 237 opens in Seattle on Friday, 4/5 and is screening at SIFF Uptown Cinemas through 4/11. Director Rodney Ascher will be on Skype for a Q&A after the 6:45pm showings on both Friday and Saturday night—and you can catch a screening of The Shining directly after the documentary on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday}

“This is not “The Making of The Shining.” This is not a biography of Stanley Kubrick. This is: After the film has left the filmmaker’s hands, how does the audience grapple with it and make sense of it?” ~ Director Rodney Ascher from an interview with Vulture

After viewing a film (in particular, viewing a film over and over and … over) some fans latch onto the tiniest details, stringing them into clues that they then weave into a larger meaning that is personally important to them—and then convince themselves that the Director obviously meant that ONE THING.

In Room 237, the film in question in Stanley Kubrick’s The Shining, and those “one” things include The Holocaust, the massacre and betrayal of the Native Americans, something-something about a Minotaur and the maze, an analysis of impossibly constructed rooms and hallways, a look at the interesting imagery created when it’s played backwards and forwards at the same time, and awestruck respect at how the whole thing is inlaid with hidden meanings.

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Latest comment by: Kristy: "I think my favorite blowhard was the guy who thought-*ahem*-KNEW that The Shining was Kubrick's only-slightly-veiled admission of his involvement in faking the Apollo Moon Landing. That dude... wow. But the blowhard-ness I think is really important to the audience's ...

Imaginary Watch This: Dirty Girls

Thanks to Metafilter, I found this cool short documentary shot in 1996 by Michael Lucid about a group of 13-year-old Riot Grrls trying to spread the message that society's expectations of the way women should act, dress, and groom themselves is Bullshit -- and sexism, racism, and homophobia are not okay, on any level. Because of their self-expression,  they earned the nickname "Dirty Girls" and the neverending scorn of most of their classmates ("That's the girl who didn't take a shower since Kurt Cobain died."), especially when they published their first zine. 

It's a really fascinating peek into the world of teenage girls, and I recommend you watch it. Props to the one guy at the end who actually stands up for these girls by saying their zine is a brilliant, Marxist critque of the world -- even though his friends are yelling at him that it's not. So great.

"The reason why people put so much negative energy towards us is to make themselves feel higher. And I totally believe that, because a lot of people -- if they're popular or not popular -- it doesn't matter. The reason why they put people down is to make themselves feel higher and give themselves more self-esteem, more self-power, more self-confidence. And that's SO dumb. To change somebody else, to make yourself different. The only way to change yourself is to change yourself." 

I'd LOVE to see an update on these ladies now. 

And VICE posted one a few days ago! YAY! 

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "YAY! That is so rad, V. Thank you for finding and sharing! xoxo "