Film This Weekend at the Movies
posted by April 11 at 16:16 PMon
If you missed it Wednesday, the opening night film at SIFF this year is Battle in Seattle. I think it’s a good choice, even though the film itself is bound to be disappointing. We’re all so invested. The party will be full of people bitching about which direction the wind pushed the tear gas and whether it was a Starbucks or a Gap store that got its windows bashed. Fun times!
Pedro Almodóvar is starting a blog. Sample self-consciousness: “I get the impression that we’re skipping a stage in the natural process of ‘living to tell the tale.’” (If you don’t believe Almodóvar would say such-and-such a thing, blame the translator. The blog is also available in Spanish and French.)
A dish to whet your appetite for next week’s releases: Wong Kar Wai talks about his My Blueberry Nights. Apparently blueberry pie is not, in Wong’s judgment, cinematic. Good. I’m working on the review now and the word that keeps coming to mind is “rubbery.”
Opening this week:
In On Screen this week: Smart People (me: “Smart People isn’t reliably smart (even the most preternaturally talented college students don’t get their first poems published in the New Yorker*), but it is extremely funny and sweet”), Chaos Theory (Bradley Steinbacher: “In this middling dramedy, Ryan Reynolds stars as Frank, an efficiency expert whose life is calculated down to the second. ‘List-making is your harbor in the storm of life,’ Frank’s motto goes, and to help live up to it he scribbles incessantly on note cards.”), Sex and Death 101 (Andrew Wright: “Daniel Waters’s reunion with former muse Winona Ryder offers only trace hints of the satirical magic that once was”), Blindsight (Paul Constant: “One of the kids says, ‘We are blind, but our hearts are not blind!’ and you can practically hear the director moan ecstatically offscreen”), Street Kings (Steinbacher says it’s “an unthinking man’s cop movie, complete with a laughably dense protagonist”), Muriel (Brendan Kiley: “This chilly, melancholy portrait of sex and its discontents—jazzed up with occasional bursts of disorienting new wave style—is a vintage pleasure”), and The Year My Parents Went on Vacation (me: “With its pretty cinematography and the novel milieu of a Sao Paulo Jewish quarter in the 1970s, The Year My Parents Went on Vacation is entertaining enough, but you won’t remember much of it a week later”).
You will remember this embroidered cutie, though:
Why are the most charismatic child actors always from other countries? It’s so alarming when you haven’t heard anything about them forever and then—remember that sweet child from Fucking Åmål? According to Wikipedia, she now has two kids.
Plus: Lindy West on The Ruins.
Limited runs are absolutely packed this week. The Seattle Jewish Film Festival is wrapping up this weekend with the Seattle premiere of Jellyfish and more. A Tibetan series kicks off at SIFF Cinema to coincide with the Dalai Lama visit. The Langston Hughes African American Film Festival starts tomorrow with two docs by St. Clair Bourne and continues through next week. Tron in 70 mm is returning to Cinerama for almost an entire week. If that’s not enough stoner movie for you, try Super High Me at the Admiral—it’s a spoof of Super Size Me (duh) with pot subbed for Big Macs. Three fairly obscure films (Irina Palm, starring Marianne Faithfull, and two special-interest docs) are playing at the Varsity; we didn’t love any of them. We do, however, love Bette Davis, who’s getting a retrospective at the Grand Illusion for the next month or so. There are plenty more opportunities to see Senator Obama Goes to Africa this week—pick the venue to suit your demographic. And for avant-gardists and microcinema fans, you have a bunch of intriguing options this week: Jon Behrens at Vermillion tonight, Janice Findley at Northwest Film Forum tomorrow, an LA magic lanternist/film restorer in a program called Keep Warm, Burn Britain! at the Rendezvous Sunday night, and a bunch of Apichatpong Weerasethakul shorts on Tues-Wed, also at NWFF.
* It has come to my attention that several talented college students have had their first poems published in the New Yorker, including Seattle’s own Heather McHugh, Caroline Kizer, and (sort of) Elizabeth Bishop. But the movie makes it sound like getting a gold star on your homework or something.