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At the Earth's Core Doug McClure madness continues at the GI with this 1976 adaptation of Edgar Rice Burroughs' adventure tale. McClure and Victorian-era scientist Peter Cushing accidentally drive their "Iron Mole" drilling machine to the Earth's core. There, of course, they encounter a lost branch of the human race ruled by freakazoid telepathic birds. And, just as inevitably, there's a hottie princess—pin-up queen Caroline Munro, a future Bond girl—for McClure to romance. (PG) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. June 2- Sat. June 3.
Au Revoir, les Enfants Seeing Louis Malle's 1987 Oscar nominee Au Revoir Les Enfants on the big screen is necessary for anyone who likes straightforward, honest storytelling. The somewhat autobiographical film follows two young French boys at a Catholic boarding school during WWII. Jean (Raphael Fejtö) is the new kid (secretly Jewish) and Julien (Gaspard Manesse) is the resident outsider. Both fiercely intelligent, the boys compete and later bond as the German occupation becomes increasingly threatening. Boasting a remarkable cast of young performers headlined by the fantastic leads, Enfants expertly captures the way war shatters innocence yet also forces an adult understanding of the world. Malle allows the film to gently unfold in a natural rhythm, which heightens the level of suspense. Jean and Julien may only partly understand the consequences of their friendship, while we see, too clearly, the harsh penalties of a time when children grow up in a single devastating instant. (PG) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $7. 7:30 p.m. Thurs. June 1.
Battle for the Minds SEE BRAIN CITY, PAGE 14.
Festival! Director Murray Lerner stated that his intent with Festival! (a document of the '63, '64, and '65 Newport Folk Festivals) was to "make a film about something bigger than music." What he captured with his warm footage was an unfolding, an artistic evolution, and the direction it would be headed in the years to come. A smattering of performance clips, artist interviews, and audience interviews, Festival! is more like a black-and-white daydream in which bands that now sound about as dated as phonograph recordings were then hip vanguard artists. Today, some may perhaps cringe at the utterly soulless, yet wildly popular performances of Peter, Paul & Mary, Judy Collins, and Joan Baez (a singer who has always made me wish I was born without ears), but it's reassuring to note that history has since proven how playing it safe is akin to taking the high road to obscurity. The film's most enthralling performances come from the likes of Howlin' Wolf, the Blue Ridge Mountain Dancers, Eck Robertson, and the wonderfully cantankerous Son House. But it's Bob Dylan who, of course, shines brighter than the rest. Teamed with the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, Dylan's razor-sharp 1965 performance of "Maggie's Farm" is not so much a pivotal point in rock 'n' roll history as it is the purest culmination of everything that had happened in American popular music, and a signal for the directions it was about to go. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. 7 and 9 p.m. Mon. June 5-Thurs. June 8.
Johnny Cash, Riding the Rails: The Great American Train Story Apparently a TV documentary made some time back, this history chronicle also features some songs, in addition to narration, from the late, great musician. (NR) Klondike Gold Rush National Park, 319 Second Ave. S., 206-464-1212. Free. Noon. Wed. May 31.
M "I can't help myself!" Or, if you want it in the original Berlin slang: "Ich kann nit wos dafür!" However it's translated, Peter Lorre's anguished squeal is one of the defining lines of early sound cinema. Playing a compulsive child murderer in Fritz Lang's great 1931 thriller (his first talkie), with the entire criminal underworld helping the cops to catch him, Lorre is the perhaps the most pathetic, tremulous, and weirdly sympathetic serial killer ever committed to film. And maybe the first, Franz Becker fathering a genre that runs through Norman Bates and Hannibal Lecter. Lorre makes this innocuous little man the corrupt emblem of pre-Nazi Germany—not much to look at, but capable of monstrous acts. By 1933, Lorre and Lang would both flee Germany as another unremarkable little fellow came to power. What did they know? Only that Germany was rotten, and the crooks seemed more decent than ordinary citizens. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. Fri. June 2-Thurs. June 8.
Pizza SEE REVIEW, PAGE 68.
Rawstock All manner of short films are shown. Male strippers, office assassinations, space travel, and telepathic washroom attendants are involved. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $10. 8 p.m. Wed. May 31.
Seattle International Film Festival SEE RELATED NEWS AND PICKS, PAGE 69.
Seattle's True Independent Film Festival SEE PREVIEW, PAGE 70.
The T.A.M.I. Show One of the most sought-after movies of the rock era, this is a concert film for the ages—and it's rarely been shown in the last 20 years. Filmed in 1964, at the peak of many of the featured artists' careers, it's like an episode of Shindig gone to heaven. The participants are (deep breath): Jan and Dean, Lesley Gore, Chuck Berry, the Beach Boys, Smokey Robinson and the Miracles, Gerry and the Pacemakers, Marvin Gaye, the Rolling Stones, and—doing what he himself termed the hardest dancing of a hard-dancing career—James Brown. Can I get an amen? (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. 7 and 9 p.m. Fri. June 2-Sun. June 4.
The Triplets of Belleville Who needs modern CGI animation? This charming French 2004 throwback takes its cues from the past. Sylvain Chômet's warm, wiggy first feature boasts great line drawings with offbeat, collectable sounds and music: part Django Reinhardt, part scat-singing, part Stomp. Blissfully, there's no dialogue. Set in '50s France, Triplets centers around a cyclist's kidnapping by Mafioso, who transport him across the ocean to Belleville, tracked by his grandmother and faithful dog. There's never quite time enough to absorb Triplets' décor, allusions, and sumptuous drawing, which Chômet is too cool to underline. (PG-13) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9:15 p.m. Thurs. June 1-Fri. June 2.