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Film Shorts

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The 34th Northwest Film & Video Festival

All screenings take place at the Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

ANIMATED YOUTH

An all-ages program with work from the Young People's Film & Video Festival.

FIDO

Shaun of the Dead kind of ruined the zombie comedy genre, didn't it? If Shaun had never happened, this film about stereotypical nuclear families living with stereotypical zombies would seem fresh and fun. But Shaun did happen, and Fido is boring. ERIK HENRIKSEN

 THE RISE OF THE RAT CITY ROLLERGIRLS

A fast-paced meet-and-greet documentary about Seattle's roller derby league. COURTNEY FERGUSON

SHORTS II & III

A whole lot of short films from the Northwest, of varying quality.

Amorous Nightmares of Delay: Film and Video by Michael Robinson
Artist Michael Robinson will be in attendance to present his work. More info: cinemaproject.org. Cinema Project at New American Art Union.

Before the Devil Knows You're Dead
See review. Fox Tower.

BELLA
Not screened for critics, the synopsis for this film about a soccer player contains the phrase "a heartwarming story about friendship, family, and our capacity for love in the face of the unexpected." You have been warned. Various Theaters.

Beowulf
See review. Various Theaters.

recommended Blade Runner: The Final Cut
Restored in fantastic detail, this theatrical re-release is amazing to see—never before have the film's dense, astounding visuals looked better, nor has Vangelis' score sounded more haunting. There are, supposedly, a few tightened-up effects shots, a few tweaked scenes—but if you've seen the '92 director's cut on DVD, nothing's going to be too new here. The real joy is seeing the film on the big screen, beautifully restored. Two-and-a-half decades after its initial botched release, Blade Runner is back, on the big screen, as it was meant to be seen. ERIK HENRIKSEN Cinema 21.

DarkBlueAlmostBlack
This week in "Films with Annoyingly Spelled and/or Capitalized Titles": DarkBlueAlmostBlack, a Spanish film about young people dealing with issues of pregnancy and homosexuality. Living Room Theaters.

Fat Girls
Rodney Miller—played by up-and-coming talent Ash Christian, who also wrote and directed the film—is a nerdy gay teenager in a shithole town in Texas, a place where the bullies make him drink piss and the high school quarterback secretly comes to him for handjobs. Luckily, Rodney has Sabrina (Ashley Fink), his fat gal pal, and the pair survive high school as best they can, while Rodney keeps his eye on the prize: moving to New York to break into Broadway. Meanwhile, Rodney's trying to find his "inner fat girl," which to him means "being comfortable being yourself," even if no one else is comfortable with that. It's a sweet, odd film—though a bit choppy, thanks to weird freeze-frame editing with Rodney narrating in voiceover—that turns the usually trite coming-of-age storyline on its head. AMY J. RUIZ Living Room Theaters.

Glass Lips
Lech Majewski's film about a poet who "recalls traumatic experiences from his life while locked away in an asylum." Director in attendance. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Gospel According to Harry
Lech Majewski's 1992 artsy allegory starring Viggo Mortensen. Director in attendance. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Grindhouse Film Festival
See review. Hollywood Theatre.

If I Didn't Care
Not screened for critics, this Hitchcockian drama is set in the Hamptons and features Jaws' Roy Scheider, who is still regularly and justifiably mocked for his participation in SeaQuest DSV. Hollywood Theatre.

Ira & Abby
Not yet screened for press, Ira & Abby follows "a neurotic loner husband and his free-spirited wife [who] question whether monogamy is the only way to lifelong happiness." Featuring Seinfeld's Jason Alexander, an actor who could not be more depressing. Living Room Theaters.

recommended Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten
There is a large segment of Joe Strummer: The Future Is Unwritten, the new documentary from Julien Temple, that is so sloppy and haphazard that it borders on unwatchable. That segment in question is actually the entire first half of the film, which deals with arguably the most important band ever, the Clash. Despite grainy lost footage, archival clips, and raw soundboard audio of this seminal and downright unstoppable band, one horrifying word can sum up how this film was nearly ruined: Bono. Temple marches out a nonstop parade of blowhards who wax poetic about the Clash: Want to hear Mr. U2, Matt Dillon, Johnny Depp, Flea, John Cusack, and Courtney Love all repeat the same old clichés about the Clash's greatness? Of course not. But thankfully, The Future Is Unwritten is saved by an absolutely stunning second act that focuses on Strummer's post-Clash output, his painfully lonely lost years, his family, and the man's storied legacy following his sudden death in 2002 from an undiagnosed congenital heart defect. The footage of Strummer's "wilderness years" is worth the ticket price alone. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Cinema 21.

Khadak
A feature film about, and set in, Mongolia—but delivered by two European co-directors with roots in documentary filmmaking. Khadak is a beautiful, sometimes psychedelic, and often perplexing film, in which Mongolian nomads are tricked into working in Soviet-controlled mining towns by government claims of a coming plague. Our protagonist, Bagi, experiences the cultural differences profoundly: In his traditional life, he has all the markings of a shaman, but in the eyes of modernity, his vision-filled fits are diagnosed as epilepsy. Beautiful shots of Mongolia backdrop the hallucinatory, hard-to-follow plot. MARJORIE SKINNER Hollywood Theatre.

Lions for Lambs
Robert Redford joins the well-intentioned, liberal baby-boomer chorus with his uniquely astute reaction to the War on Terror. At the very least, Redford one-ups the typical "we are irredeemably fucked" sentiment of similar political exercises by attempting to provide a few solutions—though I'm not entirely convinced that his seemingly pro-draft rhetoric is any better an answer. Still, if you simply can't get enough of Hollywood's cramped meditations on the current conflict, you could do a hell of a lot worse. ZAC PENNINGTON Various Theaters.

Love in the Time of Cholera
See review. Various Theaters.

Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium
See review. Various Theaters.

recommended No Country for Old Men
See review. Various Theaters.

Saturday Morning Cartoon Extravaganza
A whole bunch of cartoons. Plus: cold cereal! The Waypost.

Southland Tales
See review. Various Theaters.

recommended Thanksgiving Kung Fu Marathon
All day kung fu! $5 gets you in and out all Turkey Day long—so you wake up, catch some chop socky, take a quick break to cameo at your parents' and cram your face with mashed potatoes, and then head right back to the Clinton Street for what's really important. Clinton Street Theater.

War Made Easy
A film that "reaches into the Orwellian memory hole to expose a 50-year pattern of government deception and media spin that has dragged the United States into one war after another." Whoa. Dude. What's a "memory hole"? Anyway, it wasn't screened for critics, but director Norman Solomon will be in attendance on Saturday, November 17. Clinton Street Theater.

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