JAN 22, 2013


Richard Rezac, Eric Elliott

Why: The “simpler the art, the more elaborate the rationale,” Peter Schjeldahl wrote about the mountains of theory that rose up around simple early European abstractions. “We need stories.” But in the stunningly pared-back works of Chicago-based sculptor Richard Rezac and Seattle-based painter Eric Elliott, the stories stay within the art objects and never need translation into words: The way one color lures out another or the specific way that two unusual shapes interlock, these things are basically unspeakable. The pleasure is quiet and clean. (James Harris Gallery, 312 Second Ave S, 903-6220, hours by appointment, free)

JAN 23, 2013


‘Hannah Arendt’

Why: Hannah Arendt, the opening feature of SIFF’s Women in Cinema festival, is about that peerless philosopher’s most significant contribution to popular culture: the banality of evil. In 1961, Arendt covered for the New Yorker the trial of the SS officer Adolf Eichmann in Jerusalem, and she came to realize that Eichmann was only a boring bureaucrat, that evil was about doing paperwork, going home, having dinner with the family, kissing the kids goodnight, turning off the lights, and going to sleep. The movie, starring Barbara Sukowa, examines the mood and tensions of this central moment in the philosopher’s brilliant career. (SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave N, siff.net, 7:30 pm, $25 reception and film/$11 film only)

JAN 24, 2013


Lesley Hazleton

Why: It’s not every day that a Stranger Genius of literature premieres the most ambitious work of her life. This is a launch party for the newest in Hazleton’s series of biographies about major religious figures—the first two were about Jezebel and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and this one is about Muhammad. In the days to come, Hazleton’s The First Muslim will no doubt be devoured by a controversy-hungry media, but for tonight, let’s just get together to celebrate a remarkable achievement from one of Seattle’s most brilliant writers. (Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave, townhallseattle.org, 7:30 pm, $5)


‘The Godfather: Part II’

Why: Central Cinema continues its month of sequels with the greatest sequel ever made, presented in all its underlit, narrative-splicing, three-hour-long glory. Francis Ford Coppola’s 1974 masterpiece finds Al Pacino ruling the Corleone crime family and giving the performance of his life, with exemplary support from Robert De Niro (who won his first Oscar for his role as young Vito), Michael V. Gazzo (as the gloriously overblown Frankie Pentangeli), and acting master Lee Strasberg. Also: food and booze brought right to your table! (Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave, central-cinema.com, 8 pm, $6 adv/$8 DOS)

JAN 25, 2013


‘A Doll’s House’

Why: Something marvelous happens at the very end of Seattle Shakespeare Company’s solid production of Henrik Ibsen’s A Doll’s House. Right after Nora, the subject of the play, shockingly leaves her husband and her children not for another man but to go it alone, a piece of pretty piano music begins to play. Though you’ve heard this work a thousand times before, it’s revived by the surprise of its unexpected appearance. I will not say what this piece of music is, as it would ruin the surprise. (Center Theater, Seattle Center, seattleshakespeare.org, 7:30 pm, $40)

JAN 26, 2013


Onn/Of Festival

Why: I loved last year’s “gloom-banishing” art light festival, Onn/Of. This year, it’s in a different location, an empty BMW dealership on Pine Street in Capitol Hill, but the simple premise and the organizers are the same. A mess of local artists present works (videos, sculptures, shadow plays, performances, music, beer garden) to warm you and light up your eyes. This year’s lineup includes Tivon Rice, Britta Johnson, Anthony Sonnenberg, Nicholas Nyland, NKO, and more. (A former BMW dealership, 715 E Pine St, onnof.us, 5 pm–midnight, $10; also Sun Jan 27, 11 am–10 pm, free until 7 pm/$8 after)

JAN 27, 2013


Udon at Hana

Why: This shoebox of a Japanese diner, plastered with posters and constantly blaring soft pop hits, has endeared itself to us for years with its screamin’ deals on fresh, straightforward sushi. But look beyond Hana’s sushi bar. The nabeyaki udon is made with those big wide noodles and served in a little metal cauldron full of yummy broth, then topped with—get all this—a fat tempura prawn, grilled chicken, seaweed, mushrooms, fish cake, and a gloriously poached egg on top. It’s literally one of the best things ever and an ideal winter meal at only $7.95. (Hana Restaurant, 219 Broadway E, 328-1187, 4–10 pm)

JAN 28, 2013



Why: It’s my own mom’s fault that I love horror movies so much. When a parent allows you to watch R-rated slasher films when you’re in grade school, by the time you’re an adult, you just crave more. Most films don’t give me nightmares, but Mama did. This new Guillermo del Toro–produced ghost thriller has some pretty memorable fucked-up-ness—kids running around on all fours like dogs, walls bleeding black blood, and a creepy, stubborn mother who just wants her dead baby back. It’s not perfect, but it’s actually scary, and a fine reminder that even your mom isn’t always to be trusted. (See Movie Times: thestranger.com/film)

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