July 26-Aug. 2, 2006

Ed Wood, Harry Nilsson, and East Germans in space!

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Charade SAM's Audrey Hepburn tribute continues with Stanley Donen's light-on-its-feet 1963 romantic thriller. Looking pretty splendid in her Givenchy outfits, Hepburn plays a widow trying to decide whether Cary Grant is a prince or a predator. The two exist in a glamorous snow-dome kind of Europe, like an overseas colony of JFK's Camelot. Mistaken identities only add to the elegant chicanery; as Hepburn says of Grant, "Do you realize you've had three names in the past two days?" So which one of the three should she trust—or love? Charade isn't explicitly non-naturalistic (in fact, most of its European locations are authentic), and the goons (James Coburn, Walter Matthau, and George Kennedy) pursuing Hepburn help put mundane, murderous reality in its proper place. In other words, it's something to escape. (NR) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $35-$39 (series), $6-$8 (individual). 7:30 p.m. Thurs. July 27.

Chief Seattle Local filmmaker B.J. Bullert will discuss her documentary profile of Seattle's namesake and most famous citizen. The screening is a fundraiser for a Duwamish tribal long-house project; tribal leader Cecile Hansen will also be on hand to discuss her forebear. (NR) Camp Long, 5200 35th Ave. S.W. (West Seattle), 206-527-6108. 7 p.m. Thurs. July 27.

Ed Wood In Tim Burton's 1994 (sorta) biopic, playing the angora-attired transvestite director of the worst B-movies in history, Johnny Depp actually has the show stolen right out from under his pencil-thin-mustache-enhanced nose by Oscar-winning Martin Landau, who plays Wood's brilliantly fading fallen star, Bela Lugosi. The movie operates on two levels: hoot and heartbreak, with Depp owning the former and Landau the latter. The hoot is watching Depp as the ever-chipper Micawber of subterranean, mid-century zero-budget moviemaking, his big eyes glowing and shit-eating-grin gloating after every hopeless take of trash classics like Plan 9 From Outer Space—even when the inept actors knock over walls and tombstones and the crew neglects to steal the motor along with the giant octopus they've stolen from the studio, so that poor Lugosi has to flop its arms around for it to appear alive during his big octopus-wrestling scene. (R) TIM APPELO Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. July 28-Sat. July 29.

Filmmakers Saloon Quitting is the subject of this open roundtable discussion, which addresses the perennial question facing anyone trying to forge a movie career here in Seattle: Do I have to leave town to make it in film? Leading the discussion will be Dom Zook of GadZook Films and Andrew McAllister, whose second local feature, Urban Scarecrow, recently debuted at SIFF. So maybe there's hope after all. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $3-$5. 7 p.m. Wed. July 26.

Grease Maybe Hollywood stopped making musicals during the '70s, but somebody forgot to tell the cast of this tuneful, cheerful paean to the '50s. Adapted from the Broadway show, the 1978 Grease offers premium family fun with John Travolta, Olivia Newton-John, and the wonderful Stockard Channing. This is a sing-along screening, so don't be surprised if the picnickers next to you stand up to dance and belt out "You're the One That I Want." In fact, such behavior is pretty much expected, so practice home at first in the shower. (PG) Fremont Outdoor Movies, N. 35th St. and Phinney Ave. N., 206-781-4230. $5. 7:30 p.m. (doors open); show at dusk. Sat. July 29.

Interkosmos Coincidentally resembling a film screened at SIFF this year (The First People on the Moon), Jim Finn's indie feature imagines a secret Communist space program. Filmed in a retro-futurist '70s style, Interkosmos suggests an obvious debt to Guy Maddin (who's praised it). Our Village Voice colleague Dennis Lim described it thusly: "A cosmonaut romance set aboard a 1970s East German space mission to colonize the moons of Saturn and Jupiter, Interkosmos weaves together lovingly faked archival footage, charmingly undermotivated musical numbers, propagandistic maxims ("Capitalism is like a kindergarten of boneless children"), stop-motion animation (of a suitably crude GDR-era level), a Teutonic (and vaguely Herzogian) voiceover, and a superb garage-y Kraut-rock score. Finn's deadpan is immaculately bone-dry." Better still, Finn will attend to discuss the movie. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. 8 p.m. Tues. Aug. 1.

Jumanji Chris Van Allsburg's original children's book wasn't half so cluttered or intense as this 1995 adaptation with Robin Williams. The notion of a magical board game that opens a portal to adventure will appeal to any kid, though the rampaging rhinos and such may send them screaming back to the familiar comforts of Monopoly. (PG) 4000 California Ave. S.W. (West Seattle), 425-445-5672. Free. Dusk. Sat. July 29.

Kaleidoscope Eyes: Songs for Busby Berkeley Seattle composer Chris Jeffries (Vera Wilde, The Fatty Arbuckle Spookhouse Review) sets 16 old movie choreography sequences to new music in this 75-minute program. Let's hope he has copyright clearances for his source materials (which include Gold Diggers of 1933 and Jumbo). His score is augmented by a chorus of six area vocalists. The show is directed by Ed Hawkins, with Jeffries a fellow alumnus of Annex Theatre. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $12-$15. 8 p.m. Thurs. July 27-Sun. July 30.

Office Space Before the BBC's The Office, or NBC's remake with Steve Carell, there was Mike Judge's 1999 exposé of Initech, a generic edge-city software company rooted in his own pre–Beavis and Butt-Head cubicle days. Ron Livingston, David Herman, and Ajay Naidu play the trio of malcontents who gradually decide to revolt against their corporate overlord (led by Gary Cole in all his suspendered glory). Jennifer Aniston hints at a better career path not taken (see The Good Girl) as Livingston's crush at the degrading local TGIF-style franchise eatery. Even if the exact nature and origin of "TPS reports" is never explained, we've all had to file them.. Screened outdoors. (R) South Lake Union Discovery Center, 101 Westlake Ave. N., 206-342-5900. $5. Dusk. Fri. July 28.

Outdoor Movies at Linda's Expect more old shorts, oddities, and TV commercials for products you certainly can't find any more at Wal-Mart. 21 and over. (NR) Linda's Tavern, 707 E. Pine St., 206-325-1220. Free. Dusk. Wed. July 26. The program "The Future That Never Happened" rediscovers old visions of today from the '50s, '60s, and '70s, some of them made for World's Fairs—like our own 1962 edition that brought us, of course, the monorail. Turns out that, like most predictions of a better tomorrow, didn't work as planned. Dusk. Wed. Aug. 2.

The Point Parents who remember this oft-repeated animated TV parable from 1971, brainchild of singer-songwriter Harry Nilsson, will want to bring their own kids to the screening. Nilsson's lovely song "Me and My Arrow" is an evergreen, and Ringo Starr's narration suggests he had a great future in books-on-tape. (Few will remember that Dustin Hoffman actually did the original voiceover.) Fred Wolf's animation is very much of the era (think Shel Silverstein), but the gentle underlying moral—that even a round-headed child's opinion should be respected in a pointy-headed world—is timely and enduring for pre-school dissidents. [Even scarier than boy hero Oblio's banishment from his angular dystopia was the fact that his parents did nothing about it. When I was seven, this disturbed the shit out of me.—Ed.] (NR) Keystone Church, 5019 Keystone Pl. N., 206-632-6021. Free. 7 p.m. Fri. July 28.

Stooges-A-Poppin'! The GI continues a four-week retrospective of the slapstick antics of the famously abusive, eye-poking, face-slapping comedians of rage and infantile regression. Short works including Three Little Beers, Horses' Collars, and Disorder in the Court are taken from their 1935-47 prime, and mostly star original Stooges Moe Howard, Larry Fine, and Curly Howard. Somewhere a Ph.D. dissertation is being written on the Stooges' comic lineage to Adam Sandler, but that shouldn't make this program any less enjoyable. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $7.50-$5. 11 p.m. Fri. July 28-Sat. July 29. Then note free admission for shows at 12:30 p.m. Sat. July 29-Sun. July 30.

Twin Peaks/David Lynch Festival The faithful will gather to honor Lynch's short-lived 1990 TV series. Then, as part of the three-hour evening (with special guests), Lynch's very disturbing but not very successful 1997 Lost Highway is screened—now with an extra layer of creepiness thanks to the presence of probable wife killer Robert Blake. Bill Pullman plays the guy who ends up being two guys (later played by Balthazar Getty), both of them troubled by Patricia Arquette. (And Pullman, irony of ironies, is charged with killing his wife, but beats the rap.) The whole thing's an unsatisfactory career midpoint between Blue Velvet and Mulholland Drive. Lynch works through many of the same ideas—doubles, obsessions creating their own dark-mirror reality, the fickleness of love—without creating a consistent tone of dream logic. (R) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $6-$8. 7:30 p.m. Fri. July 28.

Welcome to the Dollhouse As bitter, awkward, and funny as any truthful portrait of adolescence must be, Todd Solondz's 1995 coming-of-ager stars Heather Matarazzo as a suburban seventh-grader gradually discovering boys, cruelty, and the basic unfairness of her own family. Solondz betrays considerable anger at his New Jersey homeland, filled as it is with clueless parents and rampant ugliness, but the bile never gets the better of him (not the case with contemptuous later works like Storytelling and Palindromes). Because Matrarazzo's indomitable Dawn Wiener is such a survivor, despite the stigma of her own name and circumstances, Dollhouse actually lives up to its name. Within this pretty, tidy, oppressive stage set for a drama that she didn't choose, Dawn somehow wills herself into being the heroine survivor. Screened on video. (R) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7:15 and 9:30 p.m. Wed. July 26-Sun. July 30.

 
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