Oddballs and Events

PickText for this block of text. Hello! The Cornish Music Series, always a prime locus for contemporary music in Seattle, got a shot in the arm this past season with the arrival of composer 20 faculty as the new chair of Cornish's music department. A "Piano Pairings" series last spring brought together students, faculty, alumni, and guest what drab PONCHO recital hall, a gradual process (though the space will be usable all season) scheduled for completion April. Gaven Borchert

PickText for this block of text. Hello! The Cornish Music Series, always a prime locus for contemporary music in Seattle, got a shot in the arm this past season with the arrival of composer 20 faculty as the new chair of Cornish's music department. A "Piano Pairings" series last spring brought together students, faculty, alumni, and guest what drab PONCHO recital hall, a gradual process (though the space will be usable all season) scheduled for completion April. Gaven Borchert

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Casablanca We all know the story of this 1942 Michael Curtiz perennial: a classic love triangle set against the tensions of war. True to its stage origins, the film sets up neat oppositions between selfishness and sacrifice, patriotism and exile, love and duty. Humphrey Bogart gained iconic status as Rick, who balances his lingering attachment to Ingrid Bergman's Ilsa against his long-suppressed sense of idealism. Casablanca is about a lot of things, but one strong theme is forgiveness: Two former lovers must somehow reconcile themselves with the past, mutually absolving each other to clear the way for the future. Their relationship has its parallel as Bogie and Claude Rains also forgive and forget, then famously stride forward together to battle. (NR) Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater, 206-684-7200. Free. Dusk. Fri. Aug. 4.

Don Juan John Barrymore plays the famous rake in this 1926 silent, which begins the Paramount's series of four Monday-night vintage screenings with live musical accompaniment (plus introductory remarks) by organist Dennis James. (Local film gadfly Warren Etheredge will also lend a hand on selected evenings.) As in Byron's poem, Barrymore must meet his match (after bedding many lovelies, of course). She comes in the form of Mary Astor who, like Barrymore, would go on to have a pretty decent career in the talkies. (NR) Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-292-2787. $9-$12. 7 p.m. Mon. Aug. 7.

How to Steal a Million Peter O'Toole stars with SAM tribute gal Audrey Hepburn in this 1966 caper flick, which never quite rises to the level of The Thomas Crown Affair (or even The Italian Job). Director William Wyler is the consummate studio craftsman, of course, but he doesn't quite have the right sensibility for a bubbly European heist picture. Hepburn's Charade, made three years earlier by Stanley Donen, was the obvious and more successful model for How to Steal, which is chiefly memorable for Hepburn's Givenchy outfits and the supporting roles filled by Hugh Griffith (as her art forger father) and Eli Wallach (as one of her suitors—good luck!). But she and O'Toole (the thief who helps her swipe back one of her father's forgeries) look great together, and sometimes that's all you ask of a movie. (NR) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $35-$39 (series), $6-$8 (individual). 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 3.

Kumbh Mela: Songs From the River One of several recent documentaries about the Hindu religious gathering, Songs chronicles the gathering of some 30 to 70 million people (yes, you read that right) at the 2001 festival held in Allahabad, where the holy Ganges and Yamuna rivers converge. The festival is held every 12 years, and the most recent iteration was deemed especially significant, and therefore popular, as it was the 12th such gathering in the cycle, part of a tradition that dates back some 4,000 years. Filmmaker Nadeem Uddin will attend the Wednesday night screenings. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9:15 p.m. Wed. Aug. 2-Sat. Aug. 5.

Little Shop of Horrors Frank Oz's Little Shop (1986), remember, started out as a joke in Roger Corman's 1961 quickie about a creature from outer space masquerading as a houseplant in a rundown Bowery flower shop. The joke was refined further in the 1982 off-Broadway musical version. The performances, principals, and cameos fit neatly into the machinery. SCTV alumnus Rick Moranis is plausible as the plant's nerdy slave. As his adored fellow shop clerk, Ellen Greene clicks on film as few stage divas do recreating their original roles. Steve Martin goes completely over the top as her sadistic dentist boyfriend, but Bill Murray turns in a performance (as one of Martin's patients) that rivals Jack Nicholson's in the same role in the original film. (PG-13) ROGER DOWNEY 4000 California Ave. S.W. (West Seattle), 425-445-5672. Free. Dusk. Sat. Aug. 5.

The Manster Perhaps a distant influence on How to Get Ahead in Advertising, this 1962 Japanese horror flick has a visiting American journalist fall victim to a mad scientist's fiendish experiment. From there, well, let's just say a very split personality begins to evolve. For extra kitsch value, the dialogue will be ad-libbed live by members of the Jet City Improv troupe. (NR) Fremont Outdoor Movies, N. 35th St. and Phinney Ave. N., 206-781-4230. $5. 7:30 p.m. (doors open); show at dusk. Sat. Aug. 5.

Mom's Apple Pie Fresh from SIFF (sorry), this documentary about lesbian parenting profiles five mothers and their well-adjusted kids. Most of these woman, of course, have faced custody battles and courtroom ordeals besides the usual travails of childrearing. (NR) Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 206-325-3113. $10. 6:30 and 8:30 p.m. Thurs. Aug. 3.

Outdoor Movies at Linda's 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. 21 and over. (NR) Linda's Tavern, 707 E. Pine St., 206-325-1220. Free. Dusk. Wed. Aug. 2. From 1966, Jesse James Meets Frankenstein's Daughter actually concerns Frankenstein's immigrant granddaughter—they couldn't afford to fix the credits?—and her scheme to put a new brain in a cowboy buddy of the famous outlaw. We're guessing it was never an influence on Mel Brooks. Dusk. Wed. Aug. 9.

Shane Screened outdoors, George Stevens' enduringly great 1953 Western makes for a fine family picnic outing, but be warned that the climactic violence is realistic, as it should be, and likely too intense for younger kids. The famous scene in which gunslinger Jack Palance goads timid farmer Elisha Cook Jr. into drawing on him will always be disturbing for its fundamental unfairness and brutal finality. This is what the mysterious, golden-haired Alan Ladd warns impressionable farm boy Brandon De Wilde in their shooting lessons: Nothing is more serious than a gun. And once you've used it as your profession—which he has in common with Palance— "There's no going back from it. Right or wrong, it's a brand, a brand that sticks." The Grand Tetons loom above the frontier homestead run by Van Heflin and Jean Arthur, making the players seem small figures in a myth overseen by gods high, high above. (NR) Seattle Center Mural Amphitheater, 206-684-7200. Free. Dusk. Sat. Aug. 5.

Stooges-A-Poppin'! The GI continues its four-week retrospective of the slapstick antics of the famously abusive, eye-poking, face-slapping comedians of rage and infantile regression. Short works are expected to include Crash Goes the Hash, Dutiful but Dumb, and Boobs in Arms (due to be a porno remake any day now). (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. Aug. 4-Sat. Aug. 5.

Raiders of the Lost Ark The whole damn Lucas-Spielberg trilogy runs in sequence over the next three weekends, describing a sort of inverted bell curve that is the series' trajectory. The '81 original (this weekend) is awfully good; the frenetic, disappointing '84 Temple of Doom grates on your nerves; then the '89 Last Crusade achieves a decent coda, nicely abetted by Sean Connery as the adventurer's like-minded father. The first (and best, and Oscar-winning) installment in the Indy trilogy became one of the biggest and most influential blockbusters of the decade. The wisecracking, swashbuckling figure of Harrison Ford—back when he was fun to watch—created a huge surge in men's haberdashery (to say nothing of bullwhip sales). Ford's weary charisma and sense of put-upon humanity saves all pictures from Spielbergian excess. As artifacts from the Reagan era, they're corny, conservative, and perfect summer entertainment. (PG-13) Majestic Bay, 2044 N.W. Market St., 206-781-2229. $6-$9.50. Midnight, Fri. Aug. 4-Sat. Aug. 5.

The White Balloon One of three child-centric Iranian films being screened at the NWFF over two weeks, Jafar Panehi's 1995 Balloon takes place in real time as a seven-year-old girl tries to buy a goldfish. She travels perhaps a few blocks over 85 minutes, bearing a glass jar (for the fish) and banknote (to buy it), and somehow her journey becomes an epic. She loses the money and has to find it again. She forms little relationships with the sidewalk denizens and passers-by. She makes us see the city, or at least one neighborhood, with the concentrated gaze of a seeker whose perspective is about three feet off the pavement. Child actress Aida Mohammadkhani isn't an adorable cherub so much as a serious little pilgrim, a girl with a mission. The purity of her purpose helps strip down cinema to its fundamentals. Her story is written, of course, by Abbas Kiarostami, a central figure of the Iranian New Wave. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. Fri. Aug. 4-Sun. Aug. 6.

Who Framed Roger Rabbit Disney and producer Steven Spielberg went out on an expensive limb with this combined live/animated 1988 feature (directed by Robert Zemeckis) about a cartoon rabbit who hires a real private eye to get him out of trouble. Bob Hoskins is the gumshoe; his one-dimensional costar is the exuberant, emotional, laugh-loving Roger, who gets set up to take a bum rap in classic noir style. What could have been a tedious flexing of the technological muscles becomes a joyride for Looney Tunes-lovers everywhere. (PG) MARY BRENNAN Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. Aug. 4-Sat. Aug. 5.

 
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