by Michael Sarko
– The Capitol Hill Times –
Though winter occasionally attempts to reassert itself with cold fronts and unsuspected, but nonetheless pitiful, snowfall, spring is waking groggily in Seattle. As the weather warms, the sun shines brighter, and the eminently picturesque cherry blossoms bloom like white-pink fireworks suspended just out of reach, one can’t be blamed for wanting to spend more time outside. One should kick those vernal thoughts out of one’s own head right this instant, though, because the local cinema business depends on one and one’s friends to slink back into the comforting darkness of the movie theater, despite the allure of spring. Capitol Hill remains thankfully lousy with independent theaters that have loads of excellent programming on the horizon.
Northwest Film Forum
March 29 to April 4
The Northwest Film Forum is kicking off April with a curious picture from 1953 called “Little Fugitive.” Its star, Richie Andrusco, was all of eight years old when he helped a trio of directors (Ray Abrashkin, Morris Engel and Ruth Orkin) earn an Academy Award nomination for the film. Andrusco isn’t so little anymore, and he’ll be in attendance for the Friday and Saturday shows to talk about his experience playing an especially well-framed young runaway in Coney Island at its peak.
“Hancock, Shorter, Holland, Blade”
April 4In 2004, Herbie Hancock, Wayne Shorter, Dave Holland and Brian Blade got together to play a show in Salzau, Germany for a stop on the worldwide Forensic Music Tour. Jazz nerds went crazy for what basically amounts to the genre’s equivalent of a supergroup, and now the NWFF is screening the concert movie that captured the masters at work.
April 5 and May 17
The last two talks in the Framing Pictures’ series at the NWFF will be taking place this spring. Seattle-area film critics Richard Jameson, Robert Horton and Kathleen Murphy have been talking all things James Bond, Iranian film, and Fritz Lang this year, presumably just because it’s fun (“Framing Pictures” is a free event).
April 5 to April 11
This documentary about life on a commercial fishing boat keeps the camera on the prow, in the ship’s nets, and on the captain’s head, so viewers without their sea legs may have some trouble keeping their balance. Many of the images that directors Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel catch are stunning and well worth the dizziness.
“Cine Independiente: Discoveries From Argentina”
April 12 to April 14
South American film is ascendant in the global cinema world, and Argentina is among the most prolific nations in the bunch. The NWFF is giving a whole weekend to five Argentinian films from the past two years. This includes “Papirosen,” “El Estudiante,” “Dioramas,” “Los Dias,” and the Shakespeare-by-way-of-Buenos-Aires adaptation “Viola.”
The Egyptian Theatre
“Up on Poppy Hill”
Starts March 29
Studio Ghibli is like a daycare center for whimsical, emotional anime, and its latest is in good company around the likes of “Spirited Away” and “The Secret World of Arrietty.” “Up on Poppy Hill” is a lush, historical coming-of-age story by the father/son team of Hayao and Goro Miyazaki. Some purists may be put off by the dubbing, but let’s not get uppity in the face of something designed to delight and enlighten.
Harvard Exit Theatre
“The Place Beyond the Pines”
Starts April 5
Director Derek Cianfrance must have really liked “Drive.” Why else would he cast Ryan Gosling as a stuntman/mechanic who gets caught up in a world of crime while the innocence of a child is at risk? That’s the gist of “The Place Beyond the Pines.” Just a guess, but this more somber-sounding film probably won’t have a romantic-but-aloof soundtrack inspired by 1980s electro-pop.
3 Dollar Bill Cinema
2013 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Call for Entries
Deadlines in June
If one must spend time outside the theater this spring, perhaps it could still be in service to the art of movie-making. 3 Dollar Bill Cinema is currently accepting entries for the 2013 Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. The first deadline is on June 15, with a paltry $10 submission fee. Budding filmmakers dragging their budding feet will have the opportunity to submit as late as June 29 for twice the price. All films accepted into the festival will be eligible for awards.