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Alexandria . . . Why? Youssef Chahine's autobiographical trilogy begins at the GI with Alexandria . . . Why?, a wonderfully energetic 1978 panorama of that city's multi-tiered society. Irrepressible teenage Yehia's showbiz aspirations can't be stopped, despite his family's declining circumstances and the political turmoil swirling around him during WWII. Rommel's advancing army promises "liberation" from the hated British, but also causes the city's Jewish population to flee. Meanwhile, Yehia's suave rich uncle can't decide whether to kiss or kill an alluring blonde English soldier. The story jumps around more than it should, but the exuberance reflects that of Yehia (Mohsen Mohiedine), a thinly veiled surrogate for the director. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. Fri. Sept. 1-Wed. Sept. 6.
Banana Split How are bananas harvested and exported? No surprise, there's labor exploitation involved. Learn more from this 45-minute documentary sponsored by the Central District Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ), which also presents the in-progress short Finding Solutions, about sustainable development and workers' rights. (NR) Judkins Park, 2150 S. Norman St., 206-405-4600. $10. 7 p.m. (dessert and discussion), 8 p.m. (movie). Sat. Sept. 2.
The Forgotten Refugees This documentary recounts what happened to Jews living in the Middle East outside the British-controlled Palestinian Mandate following WWII, and how those communities emptied out—generally under duress—following the formation of Israel. (NR) Stroum Jewish Community Center, 3801 E. Mercer Way (Mercer Island), 206-232-7115 x269. Free with RSVP. 2 p.m. Sun. Sept. 3.
Howl's Moving Castle Hayao Miyazaki only took over direction of the 2004 Howl after concluding that the director he'd hired wasn't up to Studio Ghibli standard. It's good animated fun, with many sequences of ineffable beauty that only Miyazaki could have conceived, but it still feels like a job-of-work, not a necessary unity. Howl takes place in a world powered by steam but magic-laced: a Dutch-decorous townscape surrounded by witch-haunted wastelands, prowled, among others, by the mysterious Howl, the shape-shifting master of a lurching assemblage of rusty hardware that moves through the mountain mists on chicken feet, powered by a hearth-demon. Heroine Sophie is another in the long line of sweet-natured but tough young women from Nausicaä to Mie. Still, the movie is essential viewing for lovers of Miyazaki. Motifs from his earlier films recur almost half-consciously, making the movie feel a bit Tempest-like, a summing up of a long career as a magician, and a half-welcoming, half-reluctant farewell to the role of enchanter. (PG) ROGER DOWNEY Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. Sept. 1-Sat. Sept. 2.
Jason 2000 Doubtlessly without permission from the studio, the influential 1980 horror flick Friday the 13th was apparently remade locally in only 13 days. And for probably about 13 bucks. Now you can scream at the results. 21 and over. (NR) Jewel Box Theater (Rendezvous), 2320 Second Ave., 206-441-5823. $5. 7 p.m. Fri. Sept. 1.
King Kong Peter Jackson's 2005 retelling of the great ape tale is a thrilling must-see love story between Naomi Watts' starving showgirl and the CGI creation of Kong. During the Great Depression, maverick filmmaker Carl Denham (Jack Black) takes his star (Watts) and screenwriter (Adrien Brody) to uncharted Skull Island, inhabited by bloodthirsty cultists (who resemble Rastafarian orcs), many dangerous CGI dinosaurs and giant bugs, and one very big monkey. Black is out of his league when the film turns serious, and Brody is merely the sensitive guy waiting in the wings. No matter. Jackson's effects are amazing, but it's the romantic tragedy that makes Kong majestic. (PG-13) Fremont Outdoor Movies, N. 35th St. and Phinney Ave. N., 206-781-4230. $5. 7:30 p.m. (doors open); show at dusk. Sat. Sept. 2.
Oddballs In this low-budget Canadian rip-off of Meatballs, a guy wins a summer camp in a poker game. Then he's got to keep the camp running, keep the boys and girls from commingling, and so forth. Unfortunately Bill Murray was not in the poker pot, so you may want to rent Meatballs instead. (PG) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. Sept. 1-Sat. Sept. 2.
Outdoor Movies at Linda's Jon Behrens and friends screen some of their own avant-garde works, guaranteed not to preach or instruct or make you better citizens. Expected to participate are Doug Lane, Steve Demas, Karl Krogstad, Eric Ostrowski, and Ryan K. Adams. 21 and over. (NR) Linda's Tavern, 707 E. Pine St., 206-325-1220. Free. Dusk. Wed. Aug. 30.
Rawstock Various local comedy shorts are screened. Promised is the final episode of Steve Davvers: Washroom Attendant, about an overzealous bathroom jockey (Dylan Noebels) with psychic powers. 21 and over. (NR) Jewel Box Theater (Rendezvous), 2320 Second Ave., 206-441-5823. $10. 6, 7:15, and 8:45 p.m. Wed. Aug. 30-Thurs. Aug. 31.
STIFF Preview The Seattle True Independent Film Festival offers a glimpse of what's coming next year. (NR) Jewel Box Theater (Rendezvous), 2320 Second Ave., 206-441-5823. Free. 6:30 and 8:15 p.m. Wed. Sept. 6.
The Uprising of '34 Discussion follows this documentary screening about a textile workers' strike that shut down much cotton milling in the South during the height—or nadir, really—of the Great Depression. Local labor organizer Jessica Lawson will also speak. (NR) Keystone Church, 5019 Keystone Pl. N., 206-632-6021. Free. 7 p.m. Fri. Sept. 1.