Archive for April, 2007

In Anticipation of Search and Rescue

April 30, 2007

I stumbled across this page called Paleo-Future. It is a fascinating exploration of future as seen from the past. There are some really great links to YouTube clips of AT&T’s imagined techologies of the future. Our program on May 10th at 8pm will include some insteresting classics of this Paleo-Future genre including the Orson Welles “documentary” FUTURE SHOCK. It should be a real blast from the past!

Look, Ma! I’m marginally connected to this event with Lou Reed and Isabella Rossellini

April 29, 2007

I was having lunch with my parents last weekend across the street from the Village East Cinemas, and I couldn’t help but feel a sense of Seattle pride as they squinted and read off the marquee. I snapped a photo:

Tribeca has them all beat

April 27, 2007

At ticket prices that is. I read this insightful review of the festival and its loss of direction in the New York Post. What I found atrocius was the $18 ticket price. A Seattlite could see three-and-a-half Annie Hall’s, or get two tickets to a regular SIFF program, or drink nine beers at the Satellite Lounge, or eat a really great meal up the block at Crave. One more reason to stay in Seattle instead of New York!

Jack Valenti Dead!

April 27, 2007

Former MPAA president Jack Valenti, credited with “guiding Hollywood from the censorship era to the digital age” left the planet of the living today. Valenti, who always denied that fair use existed, also kept any number of films from seeing the eyes of our children, and our children’s children (in this case my own eyes). Granted, Valenti did abolish the Hays production code which forced movies to cut anything that was thought to be inappropriate for all viewing audiences, but his voluntary ratings system was anything but voluntary. Valenti was also known for his recent insisting that Hollywood could help the ‘war on terror’. Here’s his quote “We are at war. If I was in the White House, I’d reach out to the most powerful persuaders on earth, the movie industry, and ask, “What can you do to help?” Jack you’ll be missed.


I’ll have the alfalfa sprouts and a plate of mashed yeast.

April 26, 2007

Annie Hall is coming!!


Is there a finer man in Seattle?

April 26, 2007

Northwest Film Forum (then WigglyWorld Studios) began when Jamie Hook and Deb Girdwood had the idea to turn a hefty King County Arts Commission Grant into a film-arts organization. Knowing next-to-nothing about non-profits and bylaws, they were put in touch with Bob Cumbow, an attorney who volunteered his time to help them form the structure of the organization Having no budget for legal fees, how far would they have gotten without his pro-bono support?

Eleven years later, Bob remains the longest serving volunteer in the organization, and still generously offers his time to NWFF and Seattle filmmakers. Bob is also a respected film scholar, having written on everything John Carpenter to Sergio Leone- and introduced numerous screenings.

Bob has supported many other arts organizations, and been a critical part of Washington Lawyers for the Arts. So much so, that WLA has created a new award in his honor- the Robert C. Cumbow Brio Award. On Monday, Bob became the first recipient of the Brio award at a ceremony at NWFF. I read some lovely letters from NWFF’s co-founders, an and we screened a 35mm print of one of Bob’s favorite films, RIDE LONESOME.

Congratulations to Bob. There is no one more kind and deserving.




Notes from the co-founders:

We met with the lawyer we’d been referred to by WA Lawyers for the Arts, Bob Cumbow, before work in his favorite diner for breakfast. Over poached eggs, bacon, and coffee Bob reviewed our application for 501(c)3 nonprofit status, our bylaws, and articles of incorporation. Bob’s legal expertise was critical in establishing WigglyWorld–a youthful and idealistic enterprise. There were many such breakfast meetings; Bob invested his time generously. He helped us to draft and develop our nonprofit’s legal structure, one which could expand and mature into the future. And it worked beautifully as planned. That the Northwest Film Forum has always functioned with member participation, a healthy board, and clear and visionary principals was in no small part due to Bob’s early work and legal grooming. Every breakfast would end in talk of movies–Bob was not merely a legal volunteer for “the arts”, he was a critical part of our founding team.

-Deb Girdwood
Co-founder Northwest Film Forum

Bob Cumbow was with WigglyWorld from the start. When Deb and I decided to buy the Grand Illusion, Bob was the first and best supporter. It was a thrill to hear him say, “your plan looks good,” and to compliment us on how we’d structured the bylaws. At the time, I felt like such a profound trixster, a reckless dreamer foisting my ideas onto an unsuspecting public. Bob was the first one to really take those ideas seriously, and that made a huge difference.

The most enduring memory I have of Mr. Cumbow, however, is not of his incredibly supportive role as a mentor to the arts, but rather something different. It was December 20th, 1996, and Deb and I had about a fortnight to go before we were to pay out some $40,000 for the Grand Illusion. I think we had about $3500 in the bank. We were downtown, having just met with some corporate goon or other, and we bumped into Bob in th one of the more vulgar atria downtown. He was, as he never isn’t, jovial. “How you doing?” he said, signing the greeting with a smile. I immediately launched into a monologue abut how much money we needed, how out of our league we were, what a disaster was looming, and did Bob have any suggestions for folks who might be able to make a donation, I could go meet them as early as that afternoon,, etc. etc. Bob looked at me and frowned. “It’s Christmas, guys,” he said. “You should relax. There’s more to life than art, you know.”

I have remembered those words ever since Indeed, there is. And, truly, when you think of what it is that we honor in Bob here today, it is that which is more than art, that which Bob so excels at bringing into the room. Thank you, sir! And Merry Christmas!!!

Jamie Hook
Co-President, The Film Company
Co-founder Northwest Film Forum

Zoo accepted to Directors’ Fortnight!

April 25, 2007

Zoo, the Seattle film directed by Robinson Devor has been accepted to the Director’s Fortnight section of Cannes.
Congratulations to all involved!

Additional screening of Jean Genet/Kenneth Anger program

April 25, 2007

Hot news from Three Dollar Bill Cinema:

Screening added for the popular SCANDALOUS film series

Classic Genet and Anger short films now at 7pm AND 9:15pm! 

Jean Genet’s UN CHANT D’AMOUR (1950) and selected short films of Kenneth Anger (including the premiere of ELLIOTT’S SUICIDE) will now be shown at 7pm and 9:15pm. Tickets for the 7pm screening are still available and can be purchased in advance on-line through Ticket Window (, or at any Ticket/Ticket walk-up location.

Tickets for the 9:15pm screening can be purchased day-of-show at the theatre box office. The box office will open at 6:15pm.

This program will conclude SCANDALOUS, Three Dollar Bill Cinema’s series of taboo-breaking queer films from the 1950s. Both screenings will be on Thursday, April 26 at the Northwest Film Forum.

Renowned artists Anger and Genet were cinematic pioneers in bringing explicit gay imagery to the screen. UN CHANT D’AMOUR (1950), Genet’s stunning silent film which was banned for decades, depicts graphic fantasies inside a men’s prison.

Often considered the godfather of independent avant-garde cinema, Anger’s films feature bold gay archetypes and use songs in a way that became the standard for films and music videos to follow. Screening are the classics FIREWORKS (1947), and SCORPIO RISING (1964), as well as the world premiere of his latest work, ELLIOTT’S SUICIDE, showcasing music and performances by Anger’s friend and former neighbor, the late singer-songwriter Elliott Smith.

Erotic, poignant, and occasionally camp – the range of films presented in the SCANDALOUS series are emblematic of their time, yet remain entertaining and relevant today.

“These are important films for anyone wanting to appreciate queer film history, but also just fun to watch,” says Plourde. “We’re thrilled to provide a rare opportunity to see them on the big screen.”

The Northwest Film Forum is located at 1515 12th Avenue (between Pike and Pine Streets on Capitol Hill).

Tickets are $10, $9 for Three Dollar Bill Cinema members.

For more information and to purchase tickets, go to

Mandance photos on Flickr!

April 23, 2007

If you don’t get the subject heading, you probably won’t find these very funny, but I still recommend taking a look.

and oh yeah, speaking of family life…

April 23, 2007

Does anyone watch the Disney Channel?

I just sent off some Northwest Film Forum posters today to be used on the show KYLE XY “as background set dressing in our fictional high school and for our standing set, The Rack,” according to the set designer.

I really have no idea what this means other than the show — which has something to do with cloning — is supposed to be set in Seattle and we’ll be helping with the authenticiy.

Does anyone have kids that watch this show that can shed some light?  If so, please also be on guard for the episode our posters actually appear in.  We’ll need a copy for our archives.

The set designer sent this official synopsis for our files:

“KYLE XY-  SEASON TWO” – Synopsis

KYLE XY – SEASON TWO premieres Monday, June 4th (8:00 – 9:00 PM ET/PT) on ABC Family. Picking up where the cliffhanger of season one left us, Kyle is separated from the Trager family, learning more about his past, his powers, and his potential with the help of his new mentor, Adam Baylin. But Kyle can’t ignore the pull of the Trager family and the only home he’s ever known. When he returns to the grateful Tragers, none of them are prepared for the consequences of the secret life Kyle must adopt. And the sudden emergence of Kyle’s mysterious female counterpart, XX, shakes up their lives in ways they never could have imagined. The 13 one-hour episodes are produced by Touchstone Television. Cast includes Matt Dallas, Jean-Luc Bilodeau, April Matson, Marguerite MacIntyre, Chris Olivero, Kristen Prout, Jaimie Alexander, and Bruce Thomas.