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The Abortion Diaries One in three American women have had an abortion, but rarely are their stories rendered on film. In this half-hour documentary, director Penny Lane gives audiences a glimpse into the lives of 12 women, differing in age, economic status, race, and faith. Each shares the circumstances surrounding her decision with intimacy and candor. Lane also weaves in the story of her own abortion, and some troublesome questions raised by it, in a simple yet effective manner. Diaries isn't strictly pro-choice—Lane's purpose seems mainly to provide a forum for discourse. The screening is linked to the 33rd anniversary of the Roe v. Wade decision and will be followed by an audience Q&A. (NR) KELLIE HWANG 911 Media Arts Center, 402 Ninth Ave. N., 206-682-6552. $10. 8 p.m. Wed. Jan. 25. Keystone Church, 5019 Keystone Pl., 206-632-6021, www.theabortiondiaries.com. Free. 7-9:30 p.m. Fri. Jan. 27.
Arlington West Discussion follows this documentary screening about the interment of Iraq War fatalities in Southern California. (NR) High Point Branch Library (West Seattle), 3411 S.W. Raymond St., 206-932-9522. 2:30 p.m. Sat. Jan. 28.
Back to the Future And who wouldn't want to have a flying DeLorean today? What seemed cool in 1985—Michael J. Fox's traveling 30 years back in time to help hook up his parents—will probably seen even more nostalgic today. The Reaganite context before was how much purer, better, and more innocent were those good old days of the Cold War. Now in turn those Reagan years seem preferable to the Bush era. Robert Zemeckis built a very sunny and profitable trilogy upon the solid foundation of Fox and Christopher Lloyd's chemistry; he and co-writer Bob Gale knew their time-travel movies well, and the gags spring naturally from all sorts of butterfly-effect conundrums. TV pros both, Fox makes an ingratiating teenager and Lloyd a suitably nutty mad scientist. Lea Thompson is okay as the girlfriend/potential mother. Crispin Glover is marvelous as the weakling father-to-be, though he got shut out of the two sequels for being, well, too much like Crispin Glover. (PG) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. Jan. 27-Sat. Jan. 28.
A Chef in Love From 1997, this French film looks back at the journey of a French gourmet to Georgia during the 1920s, just before the Red Army sweeps across the old Russian empire. Chef Pascal finds love and opens the restaurant of his dreams (the New Eldorado), but he and his fellow revelers can only keep politics off their plates for so long. (PG-13) Shoreline Community College (Room 1102), 16101 Greenwood Ave. N., 206-533-6700. Free. 7 p.m. Wed. Feb. 1.
Children's Film Festival SEE SW THIS WEEK, PAGE 45. (NR)
Fellini at the Pink Door Call for screening details. 21 and over for this wine tasting event. (NR) Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley, 206-443-3241. $20. 7 p.m. Sun. Jan. 29.
The Hound of the Baskervilles Basil Rathbone and Nigel Bruce star as Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson in this 1939 favorite. The mystery film was so successful that the team was reunited 13 more times, with steadily decreasing returns that bore less and less relation to the original Arthur Conan Doyle material. Here, the moors and mysterious dog are scary, but not too intense for kids. Preceded by an organ show. (NR) Kenyon Hall, 7904 35th Ave. S.W., West Seattle, 206-937-3613. $5 (adults), free for kids. 8 p.m. Fri. Jan. 27.
Independent America Filmmakers Hanson Hosein and Heather Hughes will be on hand to discuss their 55-day, 13,000-mile documentary odyssey through corporate America. Wal-Mart is only one of their many targets as they consider how the demise of mom-and-pop retailers is changing our culture. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. 6:45 and 9 p.m. Wed. Jan. 25.
It Came From Beneath the Sea Not one of the better monster movies of the '50s, and just as well: New dialogue will be ad-libbed and performed live by actors during the screening. As a result, busty starlet Faith Domergue—played by Kelli Garner opposite Leo DiCaprio's Howard Hughes in The Aviator—will never again be so witty or funny (especially when battling a giant octopus). Best of all, your suggestions go into each evening's script. (NR) University Theater, 5510 University Way N.E., 206-325-6500. $10. 8 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 26-Sat. Jan. 28.
Live Freaky! Die Freaky The first frame of this stop-animation re-telling of the Manson family murders warns, "Not for the easily offended," which could be the understatement of the year. The setting is L.A. in 3069, when a nomad finds a copy of Helter Skelter and interprets it as the Bible, with Manson as Messiah. Unfolding in flashback, the only thing worse than the cocaine-fueled orgy preceding the grisly murder of "Sharon Hate" is the dialogue, which aims to spoof, but fails. Interspersed songs like "Café 666" were written by Roddy Bottum (Faith No More) and Tim Armstrong (Rancid). In fact, a host of punk icons lend their voices to the film, including Billie Joe Armstrong as Manson and Kelly Osbourne as Sharon Hate. Taking bit parts and songwriting roles, members of the Go-Go's, Good Charlotte, AFI, X, and White Zombie all show they have too much time on their hands—the only condition under which anyone should see this film. (NR) RACHEL SHIMP Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. Jan. 27-Sat. Jan. 28.
Movies at the Sunset Note that all shows are 21 and over. You can't go wrong with the original Mad Max, mate. (R) Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206-784-4880. Free. 7 p.m. Wed. Jan. 25. The Toxic Avenger (1985) features one of the worst rubber-suit monsters ever, but that's why this Troma feature is so beloved. (NR) 7 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 26. Richard Linklater's Dazed and Confused perfectly captures what it meant to be young in the late '70s, and the cast of his 1993 stoner coming-of-age comedy includes Parker Posey, Ben Affleck, and Matthew McConaughey. (R) 7 p.m. Tues. Jan. 31. For sheer frenetic wit and lo-fi filmmaking imagination, Sam Raimi's The Evil Dead puts Hostel to shame. (R) 7 p.m. Wed. Feb. 1.
Mikio Naruse Retrospective The Aono Jikken ensemble performs a live score to Nightly Dreams, a 1933 silent melodrama about a beleaguered Ginza bar hostess trying to support her injured young son and no-good husband. It's preceded by Naruse's much lighter-spirited short Flunky, Work Hard! (1931), a workplace comedy that could have been the Office Space of its day. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. 7 p.m. Fri. Jan. 27. Wife! Be Like a Rose! (1935) is an early Japanese talkie, also set among the struggling strata of society, in which a mother and daughter try to get their errant family patriarch to come home. Naruse's wife, Sachiko Chiba, plays the urbanized daughter who travels to the country on her errand. (NR) 7 p.m. Sat. Jan. 28. Flowing (1956) recalls last week's When a Woman Ascends the Stairs, and again stars Hideko Takamine as one of four geishas trying to maintain their bar hostess jobs without resorting to prostitution. (NR) 7 p.m. Sun. Jan. 29.
Northwest Asian American Film Festival Five features and 50-odd shorts are programmed for this weekend fest. See Web site for full schedule and details. Among the highlights, director Grace Lee will attend the opening-night documentary, The Grace Lee Project, about her investigation into her ubiquitous name. The noted local author and activist is profiled in What's Wrong With Frank Chin? Much lamented for his recent departure from Pioneer Square, David Ishii: Bookseller is another local-interest documentary; director Doug Ing also examines the Seattle music ensemble Aono Jikken (see above) in Jikken. The music doc Sorceress of the New Piano: The Artistry of Margaret Leng Tan will be marked by a live piano performance by Tan. (NR) Theater Off Jackson, 409 Seventh Ave. S., 800-838-3006, www.nwaaff.org. $5-$15. Thurs. Jan. 26-Sun. Jan. 29.
Peep "TV" Show Yutaka Tsuchiya attempts to shock in this bizarre, documentary-like look into the lives of two dysfunctional young Tokyo characters, who have lost grip on reality after viewing 9/11 footage. Hasegawa becomes a digital voyeur, while Moe, a "Lolita Goth," is on the verge of suicide (though still open to friendship). The two try to recapture reality through a Web site where similarly withdrawn youth can relate to actual people. Thing is, I wouldn't be surprised if kids became even more screwed up after visiting the site. Everyone moves about the film apathetically, like robots questioning their existence, which makes the trite symbolism all the more numbing. You begin to feel like the drones they've become—until they do something completely messed up, like suffocating a cat. Tsuchiya may be right to criticize the media's alteration of reality, but his ideas are muddled by painfully slow, shaky camera work and uninteresting characters. (NR) KELLIE HWANG Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. Fri. Jan. 27-Thurs. Feb. 2.
Peter Ibbetson Gary Cooper loses his beloved twice in this 1935 rarity, gets imprisoned for murder, and is beaten until he's crippled. And yet the movie's fondly remembered as a surreal love story in which our hero is visited by the dreamy apparition of his sweetheart (Ann Harding), who somehow sustains him through years of hardship. The film was a favorite of Luis Buñuel for its rejection of the real world for fantasy. (Or is it?) In a way, it's a relic of the silent era (when the film was first produced as Forever), a time when realistic narrative conventions weren't so rigidly codified. Screened on video; admission includes discussion and snack. (NR) Movie Legends, 2319 N. 45th St., 206-632-2092. $5. 1 p.m. Sun. Jan. 29.
Princess Mononoke Hayao Miyazaki's epic 1999 fantasy is grounded in a mythology as richly complex as Disney's fairy tales are simplistic. The last of a lost clan, Prince Ashitaka leaves his peaceful paradise on a quest to find a cure for the demonic disease threatening to devour him. He travels west into a medieval Japan in the early stages of industrialization, where he finds forests razed and the earth sucked dry of resources. Yet the natural world has rallied to fight the human incursion. Miyazaki paints his figures in moral shades of gray—presenting the yin and yang within both man and nature. His figurehead is Mononoke herself, a wolf child and primal eco-warrior who leads the charge against her blood kin, humankind, in a battle of apocalyptic proportions. (NR) SEAN AXMAKER Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 3:30, 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sun. Jan. 29.
Rawstock Film Fest The feature Something for Nothing debuts, along with other unspecified works. (NR) Jewel Box Theater (Rendezvous), 2320 Second Ave., 206-441-5823. $10. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Wed. Feb. 1.
Screenwriting Lecture The Northwest Screenwriters Guild presents a talk by Dave Trottier (The Screenwriter's Bible), which is free to members of the NWSG, 911 Media Arts Center, Northwest Film Forum, and other local organizations. (NR) Clear Channel Building, 351 Elliott Ave. W., www.nwsg.org. $10. 7 p.m. Fri. Jan. 27.
The 39 Steps Hitchcock's impeccable 1935 thriller stars Robert Donat and Madeleine Carroll, who at first can't stand each other, but then are handcuffed together while trying to elude and defeat a gang of spies. It's the film that put Hitchcock on the map as a director, and it contains most of his signature elements: a man (Donat) wrongly accused of a crime; the mismatched lovers on the run; the "MacGuffin" device that misdirects our attention (and the protagonists'); and a bravura sense of visual storytelling. (NR) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $58-$65 (series), $7 (individual). 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 26.
Valley of the Dolls Ron Anders provides live commentary for the first showing of this pill-popping 1967 camp document, based on Jacqueline Susann's trashy novel. Sharon Tate, Lee Grant, and Barbara Parkins are among the cast. Sample dialogue: "They drummed you out of Hollywood, so you come crawling back to Broadway. But Broadway doesn't go for booze and dope—now get out of my way, I've got a man waiting for me!" Did we mention the trivia contests? (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 6:45 and 9:30 p.m. Fri. Jan. 27-Sat. Jan. 28.