Sunday, October 5, 2008

Embarassment of Riches

The week to come brings an unusually rich cinema schedule - even by Seattle's extremely high standards - as two renowned film makers come to town to present their work at our non-profit theatres, and one up-and-coming local arts collective premiers a very unusual series of new work at one of the City's brightest new spots for underground art.

On October 6, at the charming Grand Illusion in the U-District, animator Don Hertzfeldt presents a selection of his animated shorts, culminating in the regional premiere of his film I Am So Proud of You. Hertzfeldt developed a cult following after the release of his short film "Rejected" which features his disquieting, and ultimately declined, animated spots for the Family Learning Channel. His newest film is a sequel to the gorgeous and depressing Everything will be OK, which won the Sundance Film Festival’s Grand Jury Award in Short Filmmaking in 2007. The Seattle screening will be followed by "an embarassing live interview" and audience Q+A with Hertzfeldt.

On October 8, at the SIFF Cinema in Seattle Center, British Director Mike Leigh presents his latest film, Happy- Go- Lucky, followed by a public reception. Leigh began his career as a stage director in the 1960's, made a series of bleak and beautiful television dramas, and in the 1980's began work on his unique oeuvre of socially realistic films set in the hidden recesses of the English working-class world. Leigh may be best known in this country for his films Secrets & Lies and Vera Drake, and for his 1993 pitch-black comedy Naked, which won Leigh a Best Director award at Cannes and features David Thewlis as Johnny, one of the most physically charismatic and morally reprehensible characters to appear on film in many years. Though he is somewhat under-celebrated in the U.S., Mike Leigh is one of the giants of contemporary film, and is unquestionably one of the great directors in cinematic history.

Finally, at the soon- to- be- demolished Free Sheep Foundation in Belltown, the collective "Silvering Path" opens a two-week run of new works beginning on October 10th. Seattle dancer/performer Haruko Nishimura commissioned film maker Ian Lucero, installation artist Mandy Greer and sound sculptor Colin Ernst to create three new multi-media collaborations. The film by Lucero captures in microscopic detail the life of a “Slug Princess," played by Haruko, and features a sound track made from field recordings of grains and vegetables. Previews of the film are available here, and you can buy tickets for the show here.

We have a rainy week ahead, and there is simply no better way to save an otherwise dreary evening than by supporting our local non-profit cinemas and watching some excellent movies.

No comments: