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All That Heaven Allows Douglas Sirk is an acquired taste. For some, his 1955 cross-class melodrama of forbidden love between widowed Jane Wyman and hunky landscaper Rock Hudson is a romantic delight. Others will resist the kitsch of Sirk's artificial world and palette, but that's nothing a few strong drinks won't fix. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9:15 p.m. Wed. Feb. 15-Fri. Feb. 17.
Dr. Strangelove Our own Tim Appelo delivers an introduction to Stanley Kubrick's classic 1964 A-bomb farce. You know the plot: Sterling Hayden launches an attack wave of B-52s to wipe out Russia—which has a retaliatory doomsday machine. Intentions—for good or evil—have their opposite effect in Strangelove's satire. Our meek president (Peter Sellers) only hastens war with his pacifism. Wimpy Brit Lionel Mandrake (Sellers again) ends up feeding ammo to Hayden instead of stopping him. And in the sole remaining B-52, the resourceful bomber crew led by pilot Slim Pickens perseveres on its glorious flight—in a backhanded celebration of all the courage and determination that makes our country great. And we're rooting for them the entire way. (NR) Experience Music Project (JBL Theater), 325 Fifth Ave. N., 206-367-5483. $5-$6. 4 p.m. Sun. Feb. 19.
The Eyes of the Rainbow Black Panther figure Assata Shakur is profiled, including the period of her political exile in Cuba. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9 p.m. Wed. Feb. 22.
Eyes on the Prize The award-winning 1987 civil-rights miniseries is screened two episodes per evening through February. Discussion follows. (NR) Bethany United Church of Christ, 6230 Beacon Ave. S., 206-324-1041. 7 p.m. Fri. Feb. 17-Sat. Feb. 18.
Far From Heaven Todd Haynes made this 2002 film in the übersaturated style of Douglas Sirk's great '50s melodramas. He sets his domestic tragedy in smug and insular 1957 Connecticut, where TV sales-exec Frank (Dennis Quaid) and Cathy (Julianne Moore) are dubbed "Mr. and Mrs. Magnatec" by admiring neighbors. Quaid is unexpectedly touching as the perfect gray-flannel-suited husband who's blindsided by his growing recognition of his homosexuality. As the housewife who falls for her black gardener (the quietly magnetic Dennis Haysbert), Moore is at some nearly magical pitch: controlled yet incendiary. (PG-13) SHEILA BENSON Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 4:30, 7 and 9:30 p.m. Sat. Feb. 18-Sun. Feb. 19.
Film Lecture Everett Herald critic Robert Horton shows clips from Kubrick, Hitchcock, Polanski, and others to illustrate how directors use space on film, with reference to the Frye's current Candida Höfer show. Frye Art Museum, 704 Terry Ave., 206-622-9250. 2 p.m. Sun. Feb. 19.
Garden State In his 2004 directing debut, TV's Zach Braff plays an actor returning to his New Jersey hometown after making it as a small Hollywood star. He hangs aimlessly with his drug-saturated former schoolmates (including Peter Sarsgaard, in the film's one great performance) until he meets Natalie Portman, who doesn't come off as an outrageous outsider, just an elfin actress doing her waifly duty. Still, her charisma and Braff's every-guy affability get them a fair distance into a hazily enchanted Jersey woods. I can't wait for Scrubs to get canceled so Braff can concentrate on making his film career snap into better focus. (R) TIM APPELO Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. Feb. 17-Sat. Feb. 18.
The Greater Circulation Drama school students may be the best audience for this quietly arty feature by Bay Area avant-gardist Antero Alli. Three actresses and a male director—who had an affair with one of them previously—are rehearsing an adaptation of Rilke's Requiem for a Friend. Oh, but it's not a conventional stage performance; it's a "ritual," per the recently widowed director. Meanwhile, some nebbishy alt-weekly reviewer is spying on their workshop; in black-and-white flashbacks, the same actor plays Rilke, who originally wrote Requiem to eulogize an artist who died in childbirth. Themes of creation and mortality are solemnly addressed, while some guy called "the Embryo" rolls around on the floor among the three muses. ("I don't understand what's happening!" one exclaims.) Did Rilke's friend die for the wrong form of creation? Can women be both artists and mothers? Has anything changed in the last 100 years? Well, you can ask the filmmaker himself, as Alli will attend the screening. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $8. 8 p.m. Wed. Feb. 22.
I Just Keep Quiet The Refugee Women's Alliance presents a 20-minute short on human trafficking, preceded by a reception and followed by remarks by Seattle Police Chief Gil Kerlikowske. (NR) Harvard Exit, 807 E. Roy St., 425-707-2720. $10. 6:30 p.m. Thurs. Feb. 16.
Indian Film Lecture and Screening Currently teaching at the University of Pennsylvania, film scholar Gayatri Chatterjee delivers a talk on "the desirable and the good," followed by a subtitled screening of Jogan (1950), a tragedy set in the 16th century. (NR) UW Thomson Hall, Rooms 317 and 211. 1:30 (lecture) and 3:30 p.m. Fri. Feb. 17.
Infra-Man The Shaw brothers try their hand at the superhero game in this 1975 chopsocky spectacular, to hilarious cult-movie effect. If you like bad dialogue, non-stop wire work, bizarre costumes, and kick-ass kung fu, this movie's for you. And Roger Ebert loves it. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. Feb. 17-Sat. Feb. 18.
La Strada Most of Fellini's films exist in elaborate worlds of their own, but his 1954 La Strada has the edge of a simple, powerful parable about love and hope trampled by cruelty. Actress-treasure Guilietta Masina (Fellini's wife) stars as the waif sold as an assistant and de facto wife to an itinerant circus strongman (Anthony Quinn). The brute treats her like a beast of burden, punishing her for his own deepening feelings. It's a film about profound loneliness, a pellucid masterpiece. Screened on video; admission includes snack and discussion. (NR) TOM KEOGH Movie Legends, 2319 N. 45th St., 206-632-2092. $5. 1 p.m. Sun. Feb. 19.
Last Tango in Paris Not the way I want to remember Marlon Brando, but still powerful, Bernardo Bertolucci's 1972 study in sexual angst doesn't date that well; after two hours of Maria Schneider, you'll never want to see her face, or ass, again. Rated X at the time and yet still nominated for two Oscars (for direction and best actor), the film is a document of a time when the movies were desperate for revolution. Pauline Kael even compared its force to The Rite of Spring. Today, you'd rather listen to Stravinsky. 21 and over for this wine tasting event. (NC-17) Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley, 206-443-3241. $20. 7 p.m. Sun. Feb. 19.
Mother The Mikio Naruse retrospective continues with this 1952 sentimental family drama, which might be called an example of Japanese neorealism. It basically follows one family through a year of postwar hardship, as narrated by eldest daughter Toshiko (Kyoko Kagawa). Her hardworking father lost his laundry business during the bombing of Tokyo; her mother looks after four kids while peddling goods as a street vendor; education is a luxury the clan can't afford; and illness and death lie around every corner. At her lowest, teenage Toshi despairs, "What is a human being born for?" Yet she has a suitor in the handsome baker's son, and the Fukuharas somehow find moments of happiness amid adversity. There are street fairs and songs and picnics to punctuate the desperation, and even a bit of comedy when the baker's son thinks Toshi is engaged. When matriarch Masako (Kinuyo Tanaka) finally allows herself to cry, however, she does it outside in the street, alone. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. Fri. Feb. 17-Sun. Feb. 19.
Movies at the Sunset Note that all shows are 21 and over. A dealer (Ron O'Neal) tries to quit the biz in the lesser Blaxploitation picture Superfly (1972), whose theme song was written by Curtis Mayfield. (R) Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206-784-4880. Free. 6 p.m. Wed. Feb. 15. Cheech and Chong star in the 1978 stoner comedy Up in Smoke. (R) 6 p.m. Thurs. Feb. 16. Eric Idle's 1978 Beatles parody The Rutles: All You Need Is Cash actually has some clever songs, most by Neil Innes, in addition to the comedy. (NR) 6 p.m. Wed. Feb. 22.
Regular or Super: Views on Mies van der Rohe Put on your little round designer spectacles and prepare to debate the legacy of the famous modernist, whom Dwell magazine and Rem Koolhaas have perhaps helped to bring back into fashion. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. 8 p.m. Tues. Feb. 21.
Ruggles of Red Gap Stagy but still charming, Leo McCarey's 1935 Broadway adaptation stars Charles Laughton as a very proper English valet lost in a poker game to parvenu yokels living in the fictitious town of Red Gap, Washington, circa 1908. Amid the cowboys and frontier townsfolk, the uptight and unfailingly polite Ruggles is gradually won over by the spirit of democracy. "You're as good as I am," his kindly new master tells him, as they bond over beers. Meanwhile there are comic misunderstandings, a pompously villainous in-law, and even a love interest (Zasu Pitts) for the manservant, who takes to reading Lincoln in his spare time. Snobs have no place in this rough-hewn new republic, and Ruggles—despite the stiff upper lip—is no snob. Laughton plays him almost priggishly fey at first, making it a double pleasure when he gives someone a kick in the pants. Propriety literally gets the boot. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. Fri. Feb. 17-Thurs. Feb. 23.
Screenwriter's Salon Five local screenwriters pitch their scripts to the five local directors just named for this year's SIFF Fly Films Challenge—Inheritance director Kris Kristensen among the latter group. Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., 206-322-7030. $2-$5. 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Feb. 16.
Seattle Human Rights Film Fest Two films about illegal immigration on our southern border (El Immigrante and De Nadie) begin four days of film (19 in all) and discussion. Other worthy topics include Darfur, Rwanda, female genital mutilation in Africa, death-row appeals in the USA, atrocities in Bosnia, Shining Path terrorism in Peru, and our own Bangor nuclear submarine base. Various filmmakers and experts are expected to attend, and will conduct various Q&A sessions and moderated panels. See Web site for full program and details. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-782-5206, www.amnestyusa.org/filmfest. $5-$7. Wed. Feb. 15-Sat. Feb. 18.
A Self-Made Hero Supposed Resistance heroism masks wartime defeat and collaboration for shyly undistinguished Albert (played by Mathieu Kassovitz as a young man, and by Jean-Louis Trintignant as a defiant old geezer). Mixing mock-documentary contemporary interviews with Albert's upward progress in this 1996 satire, director Jacques Audiard makes clear how easily the newly consolidating political order of post-WWII France is duped by Albert's meticulous prevarications. Albert is a hollow enigma to both of the two women he eventually marries, but also a buoyantly resourceful survivor like the heroes of Zelig and Being There. Although the final outcome to Albert's masquerade is a bit muddled, it doesn't limit our enjoyment of his drolly amusing deceit. (NR) Shoreline Community College (Room 1102), 16101 Greenwood Ave. N., 206-533-6700. Free. 7 p.m. Wed. Feb. 22.
Shadow of a Doubt Hitchcock's 1943 small-town suspense movie is one of his best and least flashy works. (He sometimes claimed it as his favorite effort.) Joseph Cotten plays the mild-mannered favorite uncle to Teresa Wright, who alone begins to suspect his involvement in a string of Bluebeard-style killings. The bucolic small-town Northern California vibe is insidiously poisoned by Cotten's arrival—and Wright's growing doubts. Written by Thornton Wilder, it's like Our Town gone bad. (NR) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $7. 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Feb. 16.
Third Eye Cinema Jon Behrens and Sarah Biagini curate an evening of avant-garde shorts, most of them classics like Un Chien Andalou and Meshes of the Afternoon. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. 8 p.m. Mon. Feb. 20.