Archive for May, 2007

The Crowd of KONG

May 29, 2007

Yesterday I attended entertaining and engaging 1:30pm screening of THE KING OF KONG at the Egyptian.  The film tells the Rocky-esque saga of Redmond’s own Steve Wiebe, a  highly talented but frequently frustrated competitive videogame player.  The cinema was packed; in fact, I think the experience was especially satisfying due to the highly energetic and participatory crowd.

I would certainly recommend THE KING OF KONG to anyone looking for a fun, feel-good night out.  This film should be seen in circumstances similar to mine — indeed, I can’t say for sure if it will hold up otherwise.  I was pleasantly surprised by the full house, which may have to do with the local connection, but it should be said that though the film received a sizeable public interest piece in the Seattle Weekly, it recieved just one star from The Stranger, and acceptable, if small, capsule reviews from the Seattle Times and PI, from what I could amass with brief Google searching.

After the screening, I found myself wondering what grabbed the decidely diverse audience that came out on Memorial Day to see THE KING OF KONG.  If the film was at a Landmark Theater (or, indeed, Northwest Film Forum) I might expect to share the cinema with a dozen or so 30-somethings, nostalgic for their glory days of classic gaming.  The crowd — like so many SIFF screenings — was full of children, teens, seniors, foreigners, all cheering with enthusiasm equal to that of said 30-something gamers.

So I have to ask, what draws such a crowd for a show like THE KING OF KONG?  It is possible to draw some parallels to a recent opening at NWFF, AIR GUITAR NATION, which also featured charming failed protagonists and a rousing soundtrack, benefitted from lively and involved movie-goers, and risked attracting only a niche audience.   If the same amount of people who came out for THE KING OF KONG took a chance on AIR GUITAR NATION, we would have sold out over five shows opening weekend.

Admittedly, these are not the same movies — but I’m still curious, fellow KING OF KONG viewers.  What caught your eye about this film?  Is it just SIFF fever?  I can vouch that the entire audience was not a competitive gamer as a youth or somehow related to the Wiebe family.  Why did THE KING OF KONG fill the Egyptian — and where do all of you open-minded movie watchers go on June 17th?


We have reached our Flickr upload limit

May 22, 2007

Check out the cast of characters that attended The Mashup here. More coming as soon as Flickr allows.

Pan Redux

May 21, 2007

The unmentioned and sensational reason to have seen Peter Pan this weekend was the cinematography.  One of the early Hollywood masters, James Wong Howe, created shot after shot of  intense formal beauty.  The most telling result of his work is that Peter Pan, America’s best loved drag fairytale is charged with both a sexuality and sexual ambivalence denied in later versions.

Count Rockula performance photos posted!

May 20, 2007

Pictures from Count Rockula’s live performance before AIR GUITAR NATION are now on our Flickr page.

Some notes on PETER PAN

May 17, 2007

This weekend’s screening of the 1924 silent PETER PAN is sure to be enjoyed by adult and child audiences alike. At all 7pm screenings, Vashon-based harpist Leslie McMichael will be here to perform her new score — and the woman is bringing THREE harps! We’re still trying to figure out how it is all going to fit.

Meanwhile, SIFFblog posted this article about the film, which provides a more intelligent and informative description than I can muster. Read away and enjoy.

Tickets are available here. I would recommend getting yours in advance, as this is likely to be popular.

Andy Spletzer thinks this blog post will be very dated in 20 or 30 years

May 15, 2007

Read all about it in his response to last week’s SEARCH AND RESCUE screening on

Free Parking

May 15, 2007

As those of you who regularly check for updates on our directions page are well aware, NWFF has arranged for free parking after 9pm for our second-show patrons!

You are welcome to park in the Richmark Printing lot on 11th and Pine Street, just east of Cal Anderson Park (parking is not guaranteed). [map]

For this reason, we have delayed many of our second screenings (usually at 9pm) to 9:15 to accommodate drivers who wish to snag a Richmark spot.

You are still welcome to try your luck with street parking (unlimited after 6pm and on Sundays), and you are always welcome to tether you bike in front of the cinemas.

Chance to win AIR GUITAR NATION tix at Scarecrow!

May 11, 2007

Look for these upon your next visit:


Thanks, Jen!

help! where do you go to develop your film?

May 11, 2007

Now that Film Stop is no longer on Capitol Hill (at least, I don’t think its.  Their website would lead to you believe otherwise) I’m not sure where to take my 120mm film for processing.  Any tips?  Close to Capitol Hill is preferred, but I’ll travel for quality!

SICKO being stored in an undisclosed location

May 11, 2007

My mother just told me about the latest Michael Moore scandal involving 9/11, health care, and travel to Cuba, a current interest of mine.  Has anyone else been following this story more closely?  Please fill me in with some details not filtered by CNN.