Sept. 27-Oct. 4, 2006

Who's more noble—Gregory Peck or Harry Dean Stanton?

Big Fix 2006 Three thousand miles and only one gear. On a bicycle. With no brakes. That's the story behind director Kevin Lynch's own month-long two-wheel odyssey from California to Massachusetts this summer, which he undertook as a fund-raising effort for medical research into histiocytosis, a cancerlike condition that often afflicts small children. DVDs will be sold to benefit the same cause. (NR) Bainbridge Cinema, 403 Madison Ave. N. (Bainbridge Island), 206-855-8169. $4-$8. 11 a.m. Sat. Sept. 30.

Borderless Sounds Accordion virtuosos, klezmer masters from Brooklyn, and the curious Swiss alphorn (think Ricola commercials) are featured in this collection of music features (most made in Switzerland). Also look for a portrait of avant-gardist Fred Frith, Swiss jazz pianist Irène Schweizer, and a fusion of musical styles in Namibia. See Web site for full schedule and details. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380, www.nwfilmforum.org. $5-$8 (individual). Continues through Thurs. Sept. 28.

Evil Aliens Bringing the blood, and buckets of the stuff, back into midnight movies, this English horror import has a TV crew looking for stories of alien abduction. Needless to say, anal probes are merely the starting point for comic gross-out moments to follow. Even Peter Jackson started out in this territory, so maybe grander things can be expected from writer-director Jake West. Maybe. (NR) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. Sept. 29-Sat. Sept. 30.

Four Eyed Monsters This festival-circuit indie is screened on four successive Thursdays in September. Co-directors Arin Crumley and Susan Buice evidently incorporate part of their own dating history in their tale of two N.Y.C. artists who meet over the Internet, then decide to continue their romance via paintings, sketches, e-mail, videos—anything other than talking directly, in other words. It's probably no less improbable than any number of other love stories among the Funny Ha Ha/Meetup.com generation. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 8 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 28.

Granito de Arena Schoolteachers in Oaxaca, Mexico, try to maintain local control over their curriculum in this U.S.-made documentary. Some 25 years of history and numerous strikes are explored. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. Donations accepted. 6 p.m. Wed. Oct. 4.

Independent Intervention Because we really haven't read enough about the Iraq War, and because there's evidently some widespread media conspiracy of silence on the subject, hear from antiwar voices including Michael Moore, Howard Zinn, Noam Chomsky—still alive, no matter what Hugo Chávez said at the U.N!—and Jim Hightower. (NR) Keystone Church, 5019 Keystone Pl. N., 206-632-6021. Free. 7 p.m. Fri. Sept. 29.

Independent South Asian Film Festival Music, dance, and workshops are also part of the program for this celebration of cinema from Pakistan, India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, and other nations not often represented on local screens. Among the festival standouts, also seen at SIFF this year, is the affecting neorealist Man Push Cart (7 p.m. Fri. Sept. 29), about a former Pakistani pop star turned N.Y.C. street vendor. Endlessly dragging his cart to serve Manhattanites their coffee and bagels, he's like a figure out of The Myth of Sisyphus, clinging to his dignity no matter how invisible he seems to his customers. Then one, also a native of Lahore, takes an interest, possibly luring him back into music. Then another vendor, a cute girl from Spain, notices his sad, soulful eyes. Might things finally change for Ahmad (the excellent Ahmad Razvi)? Without pushing his film into fairy tale or melodrama, debut director Ramin Bahrani's Cart carries a load of significance not just about post-9/11 New York, but about the immigrant experience generally. See Web site for full schedule and details. (NR) Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway, 206-228-6007, www.tasveer.org. $6-$12 (individual), $35-$65 (series). Wed. Sept. 27-Sun. Oct. 1.

Madman From 1982, you've got your standard slasher-film premise of teenagers, dark and spooky woods, a murderous fiend ("Madman Marz"), and a plot that pretty much writes itself. Since Jamie Lee Curtis actually does not star in the movie, and because there haven't been 13 sequels to date, you can judge Madman's obscurity accordingly. (R) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. Sept. 29-Sat. Sept. 30.

Scandinavian Film Series Not to be confused with the film by Jean Renoir, The River (2001) is an episodic Finnish tale of how a half-dozen villagers spend a Saturday night. Among the low-key anecdotes, suicide is attempted, romance erupts at a pizza parlor, and a teenager realizes he's gay. In Finnish with subtitles; admission includes popcorn and coffee. (NR) Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 N.W. 67th St., 206-789-5707. $5. 7 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 28.

Eric Ostrowski Films Selections from his new DVD of shorts, Magnificent Forest, are part of an evening that also includes his solo violin work. (NR) Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave., 206-322-1533. $5. 8 p.m. Sat. Sept. 30.

Push Fall has officially begun, so it's time to think about ski season. This all-ages show (with an after-party at EVO in Ballard) looks forward to all things snowy and white with footage of riders and skiers including Ingrid Backstrom, Shane McConkey, Simon Dumont, Sarah Burke, Mike Douglas, and Hugo Harrisson. Locations range from Alaska to Norway to China (!). Expect big air, steep couloirs, and unforgiving half-pipes. Then start getting your legs in shape and cross your fingers that El Niño grants us a winter instead of a drought. (NR) Fremont Studios, 155 N. 35th St., 970-249-0102. $15. 8 p.m. Fri. Sept. 29.

Ray of Darkness Seen at last year's Local Sightings festival (which returns Oct. 6), J.K. Realms' indie suspense flick takes place in an ominously reimagined Inland Empire—that is, that strange land east of the Cascades, where Seattle investigators stumble upon a dreadful secret out of The X-Files. Realms is scheduled to attend the screening. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. 11 p.m. Sat. Sept. 30.

Repo Man There are certainly worse ways to spend a late night than driving around with Emilio Estevez and Harry Dean Stanton in this 1984 punk comedy. Not yet a member of The Breakfast Club, Estevez is suitably blank as the L.A. teen who stumbles into the auto repossession trade, and Stanton is suitably sage as the geezer who mentors him. Englishman Alex Cox made a big impression with this shaggy satire of La-La Land losers; unfortunately, his cantankerous career really tailed off after Sid and Nancy. Despite the film's famous tagline in Stanton's gutter-existentialist monologue (" . . . ordinary fucking people, I hate 'em"), Repo Man is actually quite warm in its view of humanity. That affectionate spirit is embodied, of course, by Tracey Walter's gentle, alien-seeking soul, who alone can drive that fateful 1964 Chevy Malibu. Then there's the soundtrack: Iggy Pop, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, the Circle Jerks, and those great pioneers of punk: the Andrews Sisters. (R) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Thurs. Sept. 28-Sun. Oct. 1.

To Kill a Mockingbird Subject of a new biography, Harper Lee achieved her first and only literary success with her Pulitzer Prize-winning 1960 novel, then saw it adapted into this 1962 Gregory Peck vehicle (which, in truth, surpasses the source material). Some will recall Philip Seymour Hoffman, as Lee's best friend in Capote, sniffing, "I don't see what all the fuss is about," at the movie's premiere—but he was already well on his way to being a bitter old drunk by then. Peck plays the upright Alabama lawyer defending a black man accused of raping a white woman during the Depression. Mary Badham plays the attorney's daughter, Scout, who witnesses the courtroom proceedings—and befriends reclusive Boo Radley (Robert Duvall)—with a gradually dawning awareness of life's unfairness and the unreliability of adults (Peck excepted, of course). Screenwriter Horton Foote, director Robert Mulligan, and composer Elmer Bernstein helped make the film an enduring classic. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. Fri. Sept. 29-Sun. Oct. 1.

 
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