May 10-17, 2006

French gangsters, Bette Davis, a very hungry shark, and how gay is Red River, anyway?

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Alice's Restaurant Somewhere between Bonnie and Clyde and Little Big Man, Arthur Penn took it upon himself to base a movie on the famous Arlo Guthrie song. (Turns out he and the musician both lived in Stockbridge, Mass.) Here, littering keeps Guthrie (playing himself) out of Vietnam. Various Stockbridge figures also play themselves, including the judge who actually bestowed Guthrie with his precious criminal conviction. Back in the age of the draft lottery, justice truly was merciful. Screened on video; ticket includes discussion and snack. (R) Movie Legends, 2319 N. 45th St., 206-632-2092. $5. 1 p.m. Sun. May 14.

All About Eve This is more a wine tasting event than a screening (presumably on video), but a few glasses of pinot noir will only make the 1950 Bette Davis backstage classic more quotable and amusing. Its six Oscars don't even do justice to director Joseph L. Mankiewicz's script, which only features about six million quotable lines. The film nominally centers around the conniving eponymous understudy (Anne Baxter—hiss!), but it's a battle between equals (and bitches) as she seeks to replace an aging diva (Davis) on the Broadway stage. Gay men of a certain age may relish (and emulate) the arch delivery of Davis' Margo Channing ("Fasten your seatbelts…"), but contemporary women may wonder who makes the more up-to-date professional role model. 21 and over. (NR) Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley, 206-443-3242. $20. 7 p.m. Sun. May 14.

The Bad Seed And you thought your kids were a handful. This 1956 horror flick is pretty tame and talky by today's standards, but its core conceit is still pretty creepy. Practically raising her prim, blonde daughter alone, Nancy Kelly gradually begins to suspect that her little girl (Patricia McCormack) is causing death and destruction among the elementary school set. Director Mervyn LeRoy was forced to compromise the ending of the tale (first a novel, then a Broadway hit), but he makes the most of his little porcelain-doll killer. And here's a scary thought: A remake has been announced for Eli Roth, director of Cabin Fever and Hostel. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 6:30 and 9:30 p.m. Thurs. May 11-Sun. May 14.

Classe Tous Risques The title of this old-school 1960 French crime flick by Claude Sautet is an untranslatable pun on tourism and insurance; the premise is existential. Sad-eyed, big-beaked Lino Ventura plays a brutally resourceful slab of beefcake—a French thug on the lam in Italy who needs to get back home, along with his wife and two little boys. A daylight robbery in Milan precipitates a remarkable chase through Italy topped by a shoot-out on the beach at Nice. Stuck with the kids, Ventura manages to make his way to Paris, thanks to guardian angel Jean-Paul Belmondo (fresh from Breathless). Classe is shot on city streets but unfolds in the world of the movies—in a Godardian touch that anticipates Godard, the Ventura character is identified by the cops as "an old pal of Pierrot le Fou." The new titles are flavorsome, and the restoration is impeccable—shades of gray with the pale glow of an overcast autumn sky. (NR) J. Hoberman Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. Fri. May 12-Thurs. May 18.

Independent Exposure This collection of nine short films from around the globe sounds cooler than it is. Untitled gives a visual explanation of an math theorem—great if you're a Ph.D candidate, boring for the rest of us. Wrong Place Wrong Time has the right idea, wrong development; it's narrated by friends of a murdered art student, bringing home the tragic randomness of his shooting death at a pay phone. Better, and presented in silent black-and-white close-ups, South Korea's The Moment illustrates the fleeting preciousness of infant development. How To Disappear Completely more explicitly (and pretentiously and morbidly) addresses the significance of photographs in human remembrance. The animated Rain is cool, inspired by Chinese watercolors to successfully render a cloudburst. Rocco Never Dies has moments of great cartooning, although its subject, Italian porn star Rocco Siffredi, is a turn-off. Australia's Mrs. Paruzel touchingly examines notions of death and the afterlife, generating real character development in only 12 minutes' time. (NR) EMILY PAGE Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9 p.m. Wed. May 10.

JawsJaws is the best movie Steven Spielberg has ever made; Jaws is the best movie Steven Spielberg will ever make. His long record of playing it safe has pretty much extinguished his early '70s promise. So venture back to the days before he dutifully reminded us that racism is bad, the Holocaust is bad, and divorce is bad; during that summer of '75, Spielberg reminded us that giant man-eating sharks are very, very bad. Robert Shaw takes Roy Scheider and Richard Dreyfuss on a boat trip they'll never forget. (Never mind Dreyfuss' current appearance in Poseidon.) Buy yourself a ticket for the ride. Like the captain says, "For that you get the head, the tail, the whole damn thing." (PG-13) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. May 12-Sat. May 13.

Louis Malle Retrospective Jean-Paul Belmondo stars in The Thief of Paris (1967), about a bourgeois layabout who discovers that his family fortune has been squandered. He turns to crime to revenge himself, hoping also to win the heart of Geneviève Bujold in the process. (Though he's not above bedding various other beauties as his illicit reward.) You can read whatever class significance you want into this lesser caper comedy; set around 1900, it looks both forward and backward to Marx and the sexual revolution. (NR) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $7. 7:30 p.m. Thurs. May 11.

Out of the Lion's Mouth Screened in conjunction with an exhibit of his photographs, he'll introduce this travelogue about his travels through Tibet. His travels include the Mt. Kailish pilgrim trek, kayaking the uppermost Indus River, and the arid, remote regions of Western Tibet . The event benefits a fund for indigenous Tibetan artists. (NR) REI, 222 Yale Ave. N., 888-873-1938. $6. 7 p.m. Thurs. May 11.

Red River Okay, okay—Monty Clift was almost certainly gay. But that shouldn't be the only post-Brokeback reason for revisiting Howard Hawks' classic 1948 Western, one of the greatest oaters ever made. John Wayne plays the Ahab-like cattleman riding herd over both cows and a rebellious crew. Clift stands out among them as Wayne's surrogate son; the two men rub each other the wrong way for reasons neither seems to understand. Then there's the matter of Clift and handsome rival cowpoke John Ireland, who tells him, "You know, there are only two things more beautiful than a good gun: a Swiss watch or a woman from anywhere. You ever had a Swiss watch?" The documentary The Celluloid Closet already covered the innuendo quite thoroughly, but there will be some introductory remarks to help clarify the gay subtext—if it really needs further clarification. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $7-$9. 7 p.m. Thurs. May 11.

The Sad Boy Local filmmaker Todd Redenius screens his latest work. 21 and over. (NR) Jewel Box Theater (Rendezvous), 2320 Second Ave., 206-441-5823. Free. 8:30 and 9:30 p.m. Sat. May 13.

Tramp, Tramp, Tramp Musicians Robbie Fulks (Georgia Hard) and Danny Barnes (formerly of Bad Livers) provide a new, live score to this 1926 silent comedy, starring Harry Langdon as a poor schlemiel entered in a cross-country footrace in order to pay his father's mortgage. As the girl whose hand he also hopes to win, look for a young Joan Crawford. Briefly a great star of slapstick cinema, Langdon plays a somewhat childish and passive sort of clown—no imp, like Chaplin, or stone-face, like Keaton. Frank Capra was instrumental in writing most of Langdon's hits, including this one. Langdon remains an innocent and somewhat forgotten archetype of early cinema. As such, the hour-long comedy is a pretty good bet for older children also developing an interest in music. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $10-$15. 3 and 7 p.m. Sat. May 13-Sun. May 14.

Warlords of Atlantis Fading TV star Doug McClure appeared in a series of '70s fantasy-adventure flicks, basically cheap knock-offs of the original stories by Verne, Wells, Doyle, Burroughs, et. al. Warlords (1978) is neither the best nor the worst, but it embodies a certain kid-friendly matinee spirit that Spielberg would later perfect in Raiders of the Lost Ark. (Let's remember that Harrison Ford started out doing TV Westerns, too.) Here McClure and fellow 19th-century sailors are captured by the undersea denizens of Atlantis—who turn out be aliens (okay, it's the '70s, so cut a little slack). Various sea creatures force manly battles with McClure—whose name, along with fellow beefcake icon Troy Donahue, becomes The Simpsons amalgam "Troy McClure"—while he's not courting a slave girl hottie. Look for Cyd Charisse in a supporting role. Hollywood is a crueler place than Atlantis ever was. (PG) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. May 12-Sat. May 13.

 
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