The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events

WEDNESDAY 3/28

Film: Over and Over the Line

It's got its own festival, action figures, costume contests, and about 20 different flavors of DVD box sets. It defines Jeff Bridges even more than his Oscar for Crazy Heart. It has rabid fans who know every line, which is the entire point of this evening's special quote-along screening. We are talking, of course, about the Coen brothers' cult comedy The Big Lebowski, the 1998 stoner noir that sends the amiable Dude on an endlessly quotable quest to recover his stolen rug, restore some decency to an overly stressed-out world, and go bowling. Everyone has their favorite line, from the Dude's "nice marmot" to the "world of pain" promised by the raging Walter Sobchak (John Goodman) to the nihilists' "We believe in nothing!" But even if you can't recite the script from memory, the full text will be projected as subtitles, so you can shout along. Yes, there will be a costume contest, trivia, and silly props (but no White Russians in the theater, please). And finally, the former Seattle radical-turned-film producer Jeff Dowd, the original Dude, will be on hand to discuss the beloved movie he helped inspire. (Additionally, $50 gets you into a preshow 21-and-over bowling party/happy hour at Garage on Capitol Hill.) SIFF Cinema at the Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., 324-9996, siff.net. $7–$12. 8:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

THURSDAY 3/29

Dance: Undress and Assault

Mark Haim combines the tricky, pattern-oriented puzzles of postmodern dance with images from older, more traditional dance forms. Then he adds non sequitur bits of everyday life, so that a reference to Nijinsky sits next to a turntable and a series of indecipherable hand gestures. The results are always more than a sum of the parts, simultaneously heartbreaking and hilarious. For his new show at OtB, he's extending his 2010 This Land Is Your Land, an oddball parade of characters who shed their clothes as they accumulate weaponry. Their repetitive walking patterns makes predicting the changes in their props into a game—we're pleased and a bit nauseated when we guess right about the assault rifles. Also on the bill, Haim is debuting The Time (with music by Louis Andriessen and designs by Etta Lilienthal and Ben Zamora), which is supposed to be as complex as This Land is straightforward. (Through Sun.) On the Boards, 100 W. Roy St., 217-9888, ontheboards.org. $20. 8 p.m. SANDRA KURTZ

Comedy: Lost in the Stars

I've been going through Eugene Mirman withdrawal since FOX's Bob's Burgers, on which Mirman voices child keyboard prodigy Gene Belcher, went on hiatus. Luckily, there's Mirman's Twitter feed ("If Romney just made an ad of himself in his bedroom singing 'Sweet Child o' Mine' in his underwear, then voters would finally connect with him") and the traveling all-star Eugene Mirman Comedy Festival. The Brooklyn fest was initially started as a joke, but with the help of his funny friends, it's now in its fifth successful year. Here's how it'll all go down: Tonight at the Croc, Mirman and Bobby Tisdale will co-host their wildly popular standup show "Invite Them Up." Friday at the Neptune, he'll postulate on UFO sightings and alien invasions with celebrity astrophysicist Neil deGrasse Tyson and acclaimed laugh-physicists Kristen Schaal and Paul F. Tompkins (this for a taping of the StarTalk Radio podcast). If your sides are still intact, the festival wraps up with two shows at both venues on Saturday (times are staggered, so you can hit both). The Croc features This American Life's Tacoma-born Elna Baker, and the Neptune lineup includes the raucous late-night veteran Bobcat Goldthwait. But as any fan knows from Mirman's Bumbershoot appearances, the roster always changes with drop-by guests. The Crocodile, 2200 Second Ave., 877-784-4849, stgpresents.org. $23. 8 p.m. ERIN K. THOMPSON

FRIDAY 3/30

Film: Still Leading

It's possible that George Clooney is today, for younger viewers, the Hollywood equivalent of Cary Grant (1904–1986). And it's possible that some millennial and Gen-Y filmgoers have never even seen Grant's movies. But because he retired early and still handsome, kept his private life scrupulously guarded, and gracefully expired without scandal, Grant retains an aura that stars of the TMZ era will never attain. His whole image was perfected and protected by the studios. And before the former Archibald Leach reached America, he had shed his lower-class British accent and begun to develop a poshly assured persona that owed much—he would later admit—to Noel Coward. Yet, crucially, he undercut his good looks and tailored image with humor. An erstwhile circus performer, he was no snob, and he knew how to do a double-take or pratfall (Chaplin was another formative influence). You can see all these traits in the GI's four-film salute to Grant, which begins tonight with Howard Hawks' 1938 screwball comedy Bringing Up Baby, which pits Grant's meek paleontologist against Katharine Hepburn's overbearing heiress. That they're two of the most beautiful people on the planet, plainly meant to fall in love, matters not a whit. Grant cowers behind his specs at the sight of her, fumbles his fossils, flees from her pet leopard, and does everything possible to pretend he's not Cary Grant. And all the while, of course, we're laughing at the ruse. Also note: Running Sat.–Thurs. is the classic newspaper farce His Girl Friday; weeklong engagements follow for North by Northwest (April 6) and Charade (April 13). Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935, grandillusioncinema.org. $5–$8. 7 & 9 p.m. (Repeats Sun.) BRIAN MILLER

SUNDAY 4/1

Books/Nerds: Working It

Running Friday through today, the always festive Emerald City Comicon annually draws a cheerful, nerdy throng of sci-fi and comic-book enthusiasts, often dressed in colorful costumes. Somehow their arrival, like so many bright-hued migratory superheroes, marks the beginning of spring. Then there's the rather darker sensibility of Kevin Smith, who appears tonight with his old Clerks cohort, Jason Mewes. The duo are touring and recording their Jay & Silent Bob Get Old podcast; indeed, Smith appears to be going through a midlife crisis. He had a very public falling-out with the producers of his violent, underrated satire Red State last year and finally self-released the movie, a great way to go bankrupt. Yet he survived, announced he'll retire from filmmaking after a planned hockey movie (Hit Somebody), and just wrote a new book, Tough Shit: Life Advice From a Fat, Lazy Slob Who Did Good. But we don't get the title—with his constant tweeting, podcasting, and stage appearances, the 41-year-old is anything but lazy. Washington State Convention Center (Room 4A), emeraldcitycomicon.com. $40–$85. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

 
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