Please note our Election Evening Extravaganza starts at 6pm, not 8pm! You can catch the national results AND the local numbers as they come in, on our two giant cinema screens.
Please note our Election Evening Extravaganza starts at 6pm, not 8pm! You can catch the national results AND the local numbers as they come in, on our two giant cinema screens.
Don’t miss this unique opportunity to view the work of rising stars working in the video art world of modern Russia – brought to us personally by Olga Tatosiyan, an artist-in-residence at NWFF and art curator from Nizhny Novgorod, Russia.
And it’s free!
November 6 at 7pm
With the Soviet Union gone and the concept of “unofficial art” formally extinct, there are no borders for the creativity of Russian contemporary artists. They are fully involved in the global process of contemporary art development. Video is a one of the main languages for artistic self-expression. For the new Russian “MTV generation” it is quite understandable and accessible form of art, and with time it’s becoming more and more popular.
The National Center for Contemporary Art in Nizhny Novgorod, Russia works with video art and video artists in its Arsenal space. This huge 5000-square meter former armory building has hosted dozens of Russian and international video art exhibitions and experimental films from 2003 through 2007. Many of them were made specifically for the Arsenal space.
In this screening you will see works of famous Russian video artists whose films were exhibited in Arsenal in the last few years.
The program includes:
PROVMYZA (Nizhny Novgorod): Wet chicken, Fugue, The Slippery Mountain
Viktor Alimpiev (Moscow)
Olga Chernyshova (Moscow): The Train
Blue Soup (Moscow)
Lyudmila Gorlova (Moscow): Happy End
Leonid Tishkov (Moscow): Nikodim
Blue Noses (Novosibirsk, Moscow): Sex-Art, If I Were Harry Potter
With all the Halloween festivities going on, you might have missed this exciting event coming up on Sunday and Monday at Benaroya Hall (put on by Music of Remembrance):
Fall 2008 Concert:
Sunday, Nov 2, 4:00 p.m
Monday, Nov 3, 7:00 p.m.
A concert to commemorate the 70th anniversary of Kristallnacht
Illsley Ball Nordstrom Recital Hall at Benaroya Hall
This fall MOR presents a live performance of Israeli composer Betty Olivero’s score for the German expressionist film The Golem (1920), led by German conductor Guenter Buchwald, accompanying a screening of the complete film. In her introductory remarks, Mina Miller will discuss how this classic silent film—based on a sixteenth-century legend—reflects perceptions of Jews and Jewish identity at a pivotal time in early 20th-century Germany. Before the silver screen lights up, we perform Simon Sargon’s Before the Ark, a haunting, ethereal work for violin and piano, and young Israeli composer Lior Navok’s Found in a Train Station, based on a note written in a Polish train station by a mother who—boarding a train to a Nazi camp—faced the agonizing decision to leave her child behind.
Here’s an article that sums up both the political and cinematic importance of the film:
The Golem (1920)
by Michael Koenig
A clay statue is brought to life in order to save the Jewish ghetto of Prague, but soon turns against his master in this German silent classic.
The Golem, played by Paul WegenerA man brings an inanimate object to life, an amoral monster whom he hopes to use as a slave. The monster then turns against his master, nearly destroying him in the process.
This is an archetypal story, told many times in literature and film. One of its first cinematic expressions was in THE GOLEM, made in Germany in 1920.
The film is based upon a medieval Jewish legend about a clay figure that is brought to life to serve as a protector of the Jews who live in the Prague ghetto in the year 1580.
Rabbi Loew (Albert Steinruck) sees danger for the Jews in the constellation of the stars and so begins building the Golem. The Golem looks like a cross between a Neanderthal and a totem. The prophecy is soon fulfilled as Emperor Rudolf II (Otto Gebuhr) issues an edict stating that the Jews must leave Prague before the end of the month. He believes that the Jews have started a plague in the city.
Meanwhile, the Rabbi’s own daughter Miriam (Lyda Salmonova) has fallen in love with Florian (Lothar Muthel), one of the emperor’s courtiers. Eventually, the rabbi’s assistant (Ernst Deutsch) finds out about their affair and betrays them.
Through prayer, a circle of fire rises to engulf Rabbi Loew and in this trance-like state he is told that if he places the magic word “Aemaet”, the Hebrew word for “truth” or “God,” in an amulet and then puts it upon the Golem’s chest, the creature will come to life. If the amulet is removed, the creature becomes inanimate again.The rabbi’s assistant (Ernst Deutsch), the Golem (Paul Wagener), and Rabbi Loew (Albert Steinruck)
The Rabbi then brings the Golem (played by director Paul Wegener) to the Emperor. The Emperor commands the Rabbi to perform a feat of magic. As Loew shows them his vision of the Exodus of the Jews, the courtiers laugh and the building suddenly begins to crumble. Just as it seems as if the building is about to collapse, the Golem saves them by holding up the ceiling with his hands. The Emperor agrees to rescind his edict against the Jews.
Although the Golem has saved the people of the ghetto, the Rabbi knows from the texts he has read that the Golem may eventually destroy them. He resolves to smash the statue, but is called away to celebrate the Jews’ great fortune. He leaves the statue on the floor, with the amulet sitting beside it.
THE GOLEM is a film of great power, as hypnotic as a German Expressionist vision of life as a waking dream. The dim light and looming shadow were photographed by Karl Freund, who also shot two German Expressionist masterpieces: Fritz Lang’s Metropolis and F.W. Murnau’s The Last Laugh. Freund later emigrated to America and eventually became the head cameraman for I Love Lucy.
Hans Poelzig’s stylized sets convey the claustrophobia of ghetto life, with curved stone walls and sharply pointed roofs. The two sets of circular stairs the characters climb down to enter the rabbi’s study look like the twin chambers of a human heart.
A messenger plays the Schofa Horn to bring people together for prayerHowever, THE GOLEM is not really a German Expressionist story; it is more a combination of Jewish mysticism and fairy tale. Director Wegener portrays the supernatural elements of the story without irony or psychological explanation, as if we were truly in medieval Prague, when people would have believed that an amulet and an incantation could bring a clay figure to life.
Wegener’s acting performance in THE GOLEM is subtle as he plays a force of nature without conscience or emotion. The Golem is only capable of brute force; therefore violence is inevitable. He quickly learns that he can remain alive if he refuses to let anyone take off the amulet and so he pushes away anyone who tries to remove it. In one of the film’s most powerful scenes, the Golem dismissively tosses Florian from the roof of a building and drags Miriam by her braided hair through the narrow stone streets of Prague.
It is easy to see parallels between THE GOLEM and later horror films. For instance, the scene ofOriginal German poster for THE GOLEM the Golem playing with a group of children in a combination of innocence and malevolence would find a parallel in Frankenstein. It is difficult to say how much of a direct influence the film had, but certainly within the next few years, many of the leading figures of German cinema would end up working in the United States.
Wegener made three versions of the Golem myth: The Golem (1915), The Golem and the Dancer, (1917) and this film, subtitled How He Came into the World. (Both of the other versions are lost.) He shows an obvious affinity for Jewish culture in this film; although this is hardly a nuanced vision of the Jewish religion, his characters are free of the anti-Semitic stereotypes that were used casually in films of that period.
It is impossible for a modern audience to watch this film without an awareness of the even greater horror that would soon be inflicted upon the Jews of Europe. Sadly, director Wegener remained in Germany during the war and turned his talents to producing and acting in Nazi propaganda films, eventually winning a commendation from Propaganda Minister Josef Goebbels.
FIRST, RYAN CAME UP WITH THE GROOVY TITLE. (OBVIOUSLY, SHE IS A BETTER WRITER THAN I AM!) SECOND, I AM WRITING THIS WHILE SUFFERING FROM SLEEP DEPRIVATION–YOU WERE WARNED, THOUGH IT SHOULD MAKE IT A LOT MORE SCARY!)
MOVIES THAT TRULY SCARE THE BEJESUS OUTTA ME:
PEEPING TOM (1960); THE TOWN THAT DREADED SUNDOWN (2 FILMS I DON’T KNOW I COULD SEE AGAIN); DEAD RINGERS (ESP. FOR WOMEN–TRUST ME! MAKE THAT 3!); EYES WITHOUT A FACE; THE FACE OF ANOTHER (A DERMATOLOGICAL DOUBLE BILL OF FRIGHT!!); NIGHT OF THE HUNTER (THE ONLY FILM CHARLES LAUGHTON DIRECTED, MASSIVELY CREEPY AND ONE OF THE MOST IMITATED HORROR FILMS EVER.
MOVIES THAT MADE ME CHECK MY CLOSETS AFTER WATCHING:
SEANCE ON A WET AFTERNOON (1964), ALSO CHECK OUT THE JAPANESE TAKE ON THE BOOK–NOT A REMAKE!!-SEANCE, AKA KORIE (2000); ALSO JAPANESE–PHONE; R-POINT (GHOST STORY SET IN WARTIME, ORIGINAL AND SPOOKY); & SPIDER FOREST. ALSO THE CELL; SHADOW OF THE VAMPIRE (NUMMY! AND IT SHOULD HAVE NETTED WILLEM DAFOE HIS FIRST OSCAR.); THE WICKER MAN (1973)–THE ORIGINAL!; AND NIGHTBREED–CRONENBERG AS WE DREAMED HE COULD BE…
CLASSIC YET A LITTLE OFF THE BEATEN PATH (OF BLOOD):
THE INNOCENTS (1961), FOR MY $$ THE BEST FILMED VERSION OF THE TURN OF THE SCREW); THE UNINVITED; THE BLACK ROOM (BORIS “THAT COCKSUCKER” KARLOFF–(REF: ED WOOD)–X 2!!!); THE OLD DARK HOUSE (THE ROCKY HORROR OF IT’S DAY, MINUS MUSIC, SO WEIRD IT DEMANDS TO BE SEEN!! WATCH FOR THE KITTEN SCENE!); THE UNDYING MONSTER; AND BASICALLY ANYTHING WITH BELA LUGOSI, BORIS KARLOFF, LON CHANEY (SR. OR JR.), VINCENT PRICE OR PETER LORRE OR FILMS MADE BY PRODUCER VAL LEWTON (HE MADE THE ORIGINAL CAT PEOPLE, THOUGH I DO LIKE PAUL SCHRADER‘S TAKE ALSO), OR THE FAB HAMMER STUDIOS, WHERE A LOT US US WERE INTRODUCED TO 2 PROMISING YOUNGSTERS, CHRISTOPHER LEE AND PETER CUSHING!
DAVID CRONENBERG–PATRICK MATHEWES, WHO WAS ONE OF THE FOUNDING EMPLOYEES OF SCARECROW VIDEO, SAID HE ALWAYS FELT D.C. WAS ONE OF THE MOST INNOVATIVE DIRECTORS OF HIS GENERATION. AND, DUDE, HE’S TOTALLY RIGHT–WHO COULD TAKE A RUN-OF-THE MILL 1950′S SCHLOCK MOVIE LIKE THE THE FLY, AND TURN IT INTO A TOUCHING LOVE STORY IN A SCI-FI FRAME, WITHOUT LOSING THE TENSION?!!! LIKE, HOW MANY TIMES IS THE REMAKE ACTUALLY FAR SUPERIOR TO THE ORIGINAL?!! I CAN’T THINK OF ANY OTHERS, CAN YOU? CHECK IT OUT!!!! I LOVES ME MY CRONENBERG!!!!
ALFRED HITCHCOCK–DO YOU WANT TO LIVE OR DON’T YOU?
ROGER CORMAN– WRITER, DIRECTOR, PRODUCER, ACTOR & TRUE KING OF INDIE FILM IN THE 60′S & 70′S–WITHOUT HIM (AND JACK) I WOULD NEVER BEEN HIRED AT THE ‘CROW. OH, AND I GUESS PETER FONDA, DENNIS HOPPER, JACK, JONATHAN DEMME, AND A NICE ITALIAN BOY NAMED MARTIN SCORSESE, MIGHT NOT HAVE MADE IT TO THE TOP EITHER WITHOUT HIS HELP. (TO MENTION BUT A FEW!) CHECK OUT JACK IN THE ORIGINAL LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS AND THE TERROR, TO WHET YOUR GRUESOME APPETITE. OH YEAH, AND THAT COPPOLA GUY HELPED MAKE THE TERROR AND DIRECTED A FUN TWISTED TALE CALLED DEMENTIA 13.
BURTON-DUH. HOW CAN YOU NOT WATCH EVERYTHING EVER MADE BY A GUY WHO HATED ANIMATING FOR DISNEY SOOOO MUCH THAT HE WOULD STAGE FAKE SUICIDES AT HIS DESK (ALA THE GREAT HAROLD AND MAUDE)?!! LOOK FOR HIS EARLY STUFF, FRANKENWEENIE, AND THE SHORT VINCENT.
ANIME, ET AL: TRY AWESOMELY BIZARRE AND WONDROUS WORKS BY THE BROTHERS QUAY (THEY CREATED THE AMAZING ALL SOULS SEQUENCE IN FRIEDA), JAN SVANKMAJER, OR THE SECRET ADVENTURES OF TOM THUMB–NOT UNCLE WALT’S VERSION!
HOW ABOUT A SILENT FREAK-OUT?: AS I’M ON A CARL THEODORE DREYER KICK LATELY, TRY these CLASSICS: DAY OF WRATH; VAMPYR; OR THE PARSON‘S WIFE. ATMOSPHERICKY DELICIOUS!!
AND NOW FOR SOMETHING COMPLETELY DIFFERENT–CORNY, SILLY, FUNNY–I LIKE NOTHING BETTER THAT A GENRE THAT IS WILLING TO SHARE, SO FOR LOONEY, CULTISH TYPE FUN, HERE WE GO:
A CLASSIC THAT STARS AN ACTOR WHO STUDIED HIS CRAFT RELIGULOUS-LY, YES BILL MAHER, IN A PERFORMANCE (WITH SHANNON TWEED IN THE ROLE SHE WAS BORN TO PLAY–THE WORLD’S MOST FEMINIST ANTHROPOLOGIST!!) HE WISHES WE’D ALL FORGET–YES, IT’S CANNIBAL WOMEN IN THE AVOCADO JUNGLE OF DEATH“!!!!!!!!!!!! (EVEN I COULDN’T MAKE THAT ONE UP!)
PERHAPS YOU’RE IN THE MOOD FOR SOMETHING SWEET FROM CANADA, LIKE BLOOD AND DONUTS (CHECK OUT MR. CRONENBERG‘S REVIEW OF HIS OWN PERFORMANCE IN THE FILM ON IMDB!!!!)?
RIDE THE LIFT (1983) (NETHERLANDS-DISCOVERED THIS ONE AT THE ‘CROW–KILLER DANISH ELEVATORS, ANYONE?–LUV, LUV THIS MOVIE, A FREAK LIGHTENING STRIKE, AND OUR HERO BEING THE FEARLESS ELEVATOR REPAIR MAN–YOU GET THE IDEA!)
WATCH ROBERT FORSTER BATTLE THE ALLIGATOR (1980) AND HIS RECEDING HAIR LINE–WHICH HE ACTUALLY MAKES FUN OF IN THE MOVIE. HIS HAIR LOSS, NOT THE ALLIGATOR. WELL, THE ALLIGATOR TOO….
WE’RE GOING FROM CLOWNS, ELEVATORS AND REPTILES TO….AUSTRALIA. LOGICAL LEAP! IF YOU HAVEN’T SEEN THE UNDEAD (2003)–JOHN-WOO-TYPE KICK ASS ACTION, GREAT F/X, ALL ON A BUDGET OF $1.75–) YOU JUST HAVEN’T DIED YET! (SO THERE’S STILL TIME!)
AND LET’S NOT FORGET ONE OF THE STUPIDEST MOVIES ON GOD’S GREEN EARTH—WE ALL MUST FEAR–THE NIGHT OF THE LEPUS!!!!
SOME OF THE MOST TALENTED PEOPLE I KNOW MADE A FABUUUUU GAY HORROR FILM, STARRING QUENTIN CRISP , FOR GODSSAKE, HOMO HEIGHTS. IT WAS THE FIRST FILM THAT PLAYED IN THE WOMEN IN CINEMA FILM FESTIVAL WHICH WAS ASKED BACK TO SIFF THE SAME YEAR.
AND LASTLY, A FILM DEAR TO MY HEART AS I WAS PRIVILEGED TO PARTICIPATE IN IT’S CREATION:
CREATURES FROM THE PINK LAGOON!!!!!!
HAPPY HALLOWEEN (FROM THE MYSTERIOUSLY SHRINKING REVIEW)!!!!
To those of you who enjoyed our calendar RSS feed, thanks for your patience! This feature is now available again. Get our film calendar delivered to your news aggregator of choice here.
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One night, unable to sleep, I got to thinking about all my gay friends, and how they had influenced my life. Having been a fag hag for quite some time now, I thought to begin at the beginning of my life and try to come up with a list of gay people I had known, who’ve inspired me. I had expected that most of them would be of the gender who invented the phrase “the love that dare not speak it’s name.” But found that it was only LATER in life that the men (who I fondly think of as my “gay boyfriends”), the Gay&B&T of of the fab LGBT (as it were) community came into play. (Women First, then it’ll will be their turn.)
I am proud to have been enjoying friendships with my strong lesbian sisters since I was a kid in grade school–but that’s a story in itself, which I’ll get to later. So when I was a kid the first time I’d ever run across the expression “lesbian” was at a family reunion, used to describe my distant cousin. Divorced, she had finally found true love, so made that bold step to come out to the family and bring her partner to the family reunion. (This was ’60′s, early 70′s, where coming outta the closet didn’t automatically mean instant death, but it DID mean a considerable amount of pain, physically, emotionally, psychologically & spiritually. SO different form today. Sigh.) Which, unfortunately was inflicted on them when they showed up. The ultra-conservative Catholic Lithuanian (Orange County!!) half of the family had no truck with those people and they made that excruciatingly clear. I was told NOT speak to them……..isn’t it amazing how parents STILL don’t get the idea that by them saying something is forbidden, it’s taken by the child as a challenge? OY! So naturally I went over and talked to them. There were no visible horns or claws, their eyes didn’t blaze red or anything, they seemed like lovely people. Possibly because they WERE lovely people. They left soon after as my stupid relatives were giving them an iceberg shoulder. So I that day I understood that being lesbian meant to display courage, and the willingness to tolerate others’ ignorance while being true to yourself. Even when it’s a bitch.
Next family reunion, my 2 aunts got outta their minds drunk, and decided to wrestle. So they were running from room to room, breaking stuff and hurting anyone who came across their destructive path, ripping each others clothes off, screaming and laughing hysterically. As they were 50 (and definitely NOT GILTF’s!), this is something NO ONE wanted to see. EVER.
Let’s remember though, it’s LESBIAN behavior that’s unacceptable. Sheesh!!!
When I was in Campfire Girls, we all went off on a jamboree in the wilderness. In one place that you could climb up to there was an ancient factory, with only it’s foundation remaining. At sunset, it was the perfect place to be, you could dangle your feet off the edge and watch the spectacular NO FX entertainment, provided for you free of charge. I’ll never forget this, my classmate Jill’s mom and I were doing just that, and had a long, lovely conversation. She was really amused by my precociousness (Yeah, yeah, yeah!) and really encouraged her daughter to invite me over. She was one of the the warmest, caring, and most hopeful people I’ve ever met, she nurtured me, and provided me with an excellent female ideal to aspire to. Later she found out her own truth, and, fortunately, a partner. (She was also very kind.) For a young girl from a tempestuous house, I really needed the comfort being around them gave me. They were definitely more of a family than my own family.
But the absolute BEST experience I’ve ever in the company of a lesbian, was in Elementary School. Miss McKnight. Her teaching methods, creativity, and wonderfully curious mind was balanced by her love of form and preciseness. In all of my other classes to get an A all you had to do was provide more than the teacher called for, i.e., if they wanted 1 page, write 2, 5 gets ya 10, etc. Because, this precocious child had figured out that, those poor teachers, overworked and underpaid (and often without much of a social life), would generally just give you an A so they didn’t have to waste their precious time reading the damn thing. I was also used to straight A’s. So when I got a C on my attempt to write a proper paragraph (introduction, body and conclusion) I flipped out, ran to her desk and started to rail at her. She merely looked up and smiled and said, “I think your nickname will be Oscar, because you deserve one for that performance!” ( I’ve always felt that if, by the wildest chance, that happened, I’d make sure and thank her in my acceptance speech. How very IN AND OUT of me!) Every month, she’d put up on the wall the winning paragraph. None of mine ever made to the wall, and I STILL can’t write a cogent paragraph to this day, as gentle reader, you well know. (Can I help it if my sequiturs are non? It’s NOT MY FAULT, I was born this way!)
She taught us all about Banshees, and would turn out the lights and tell ghost stories. Even better, she’d turn spelling tests into impromptu story time by making up a story as she went along, making a connection from, say, the word finance, to the next word, say, zebra. I KNOW my love affair with words came from her teaching. She also told an autobiographical tale for all of us girls, who, (living 10 blocks from the ocean–you could see it from the other side of the school) were always paranoid of their bodies. A field trip to a certain beach was arranged, but most of the girls didn’t want to go, as the boys would see them in their swimsuits, and they were ashamed of their bodies, afraid of being ridiculed. (And this is an Elementary School in the 60′s, mind! Before we’d become saturated with the need for THE absolutely perfect body!) When she heard THAT, she told us of going on vacation to a Scandinavian country when she was in her teens. It was quite a walk from the house they were staying at to the water. When they finally got there, everybody matter-of-factly took off all their clothes in front of each other, and put on their swimsuits, and dove in. Miss McKnight was so intimated by this (American religious hypocrisy–those who believe their bodies were made by God seldom believe showing them in their original packaging is acceptable.) She was so embarrassed by her inability to do as they did, she hiked all the way back to the house to change. She was embarrassed that she was embarrassed!! She told us that if you don’t go do what you want to do, what’s good for you to do, simply because of what you look like, you’re gonna miss a lot of life!
What was also delightful about Miss McKnight was her girlfriend, Miss WiIliams, though stereotypically, I’m afraid, she was the Gym Teacher. They would walk around, holding hands, sometimes even kissing briefly. Everyone knew that they loved each other, that they lived together, and didn’t want boyfriends. EVER. NO PTA meeting was ever called. I never even heard 1 kid call them any unflattering names. AND Miss Williams was a hero! One day at the School Bus Zone, somehow some kids who were exiting 2 buses were going around the back of one, while the others were exiting in front of another, and somehow the buses rolled into each other. Unfortunately, many children were crushed. Miss W. ran into the fray, saving child after child and gently laying those who were no more on the lawn. (I was SOOOO glad I was not there!) So when it was over she was covered in blood, and Miss McKnight, her lover and partner, races up to her, sees the blood and promptly faints. No comforting for the hero!! (Miss W. said she was always doing stuff like that. But she loved her anyway.) Miss W. was one of the most courageous people I ever knew–talk about showing character and integrity under pressure–she was rescuing those kids while some guys on the lawn merely looked on, too terrified to move!
So to all my favorite lesbians (and you KNOW who you are!), and to you who I’ve yet to know—THANK YOU!!!! You have DEFINITELY ENRICHED my life TENFOLD!!
GAY PEOPLE UNITE! MARRIAGE IS YOUR RIGHT!
(That way you can get married and find out it might bite!)
Fest financing is hand-to-mouth,” says fest vet Christian Gaines, now director of festivals for the web resource Withoutabox. “While you have to appear optimistic and forward-thinking, the thought of raising money keeps you up at night. It’s completely unpredictable.”
Gaines warns that the financial crisis could shake other smaller events out of the crowded fest calendar entirely, a notion echoed by event overseers.
Yet the picture overseas seems entirely rosier:
Sponsors continue to see film fests as a great value for their money across Eastern Europe, where there is little sign of an economic downturn so far. And a slew of upcoming fests in Europe and the Mideast actually boast, in some cases, stronger-than-usual commercial support.
As you figure out where you want to spend your November 4, make sure to put NWFF on the list.
We’ll be working with Strawberry Theatre Workshop to turn NWFF into the epicenter of election information, complete with major network broadcasts in our two cinemas, radio coverage in the lobby, dead presidents, and live blogging all night long! As each state gets called, watch our master of ceremonies MJ Sieber post red and blue light bulbs on our giant map of the country, marking wins for Obama or McCain.
Raise a glass in celebration or dilute your beer with your tears–either way, it beats being home and yelling at your television.
The Extravaganza is a fund–raising party for Northwest Film Forum and Strawberry Theatre Workshop, with a suggested donation of $10.