Archive for November, 2008

Best gifts ever

November 17, 2008

Are free movies.  Especially when you don’t have to pay full price for them!

Check out our Waste Free Holiday Pass.

Northwest Film Forum is happy to partner again with Waste Free Holidays this year to help you give experiences instead of stuff.

Coming this November 15 through December 31, more than 140 local businesses and organizations will offer discounts of 15 percent or more on tickets, gift certificates and memberships for concerts, plays, sporting events, spa treatments, museums, restaurants and much more.

Northwest Film Forum is offering an “Admit-2” Gift Certificate at the enticing price of just $12.00 (regular price is $17.00).

King County Solid Waste Division and Seattle Public Utilities sponsor the King County program, which began in 1996. The City of Tacoma, Kitsap County and Thurston County also offer Waste Free Holidays programs with their local businesses.

Reducing waste is especially important during the holiday season. Americans throw away 25 percent more trash between Thanksgiving and New Year‘s Day than during any other time of the year. The Waste Free Holidays program rewards the public for reducing waste, and supports local businesses.

You can learn more about the program here, and purchase your Waste Free Holiday Pass on Brown Paper Tickets now through December 31.

Breaking News! Children Turned into Zombies at Corporate Movie Theaters

November 12, 2008

Watch the report:


November 11, 2008


The oldest of the detectives who share the title of MATAHARIS in this film is asked by her client (who has just observed for himself his wife and business partner’s infidelity) why people grow apart, not knowing that she has just painfully realized the life has gone out of her own marriage.  She replies, “Because you stop caring, or they stop caring about you.  Then one day you stop touching each other with your hands or even with words.”  Multiple GOYA-winning Director Iciar Bollain has created a lovely, warm and moving film about what we think we know, versus what really happens.  She shows us the lives of 3 different women investigators, one in her 40-50’s whose described above, one a wife and mother has just given birth for the second time and finds out a startling secret of her husband’s, and one up and comer seeking to advance her career whose assigned a corporate espionage case, that, of course, isn’t really that at all.  They all work for a private inquiry firm in Madrid, and it’s fascinating to see how even trained detectives miss what’s right in front of them in their private lives. And which path they choose to take when faced with the fuller picture.

It’s a worthy entry for the FESTIVAL OF NEW CINEMA FROM SPAIN.

Northwest Film Forum Welcomes Interim Executive Director Lyall Bush

November 10, 2008

Bush brings a passion, vision and history of working with nonprofit arts organizations to his new position.

SEATTLE – Northwest Film Forum (NWFF), Seattle’s nonprofit center for film arts, welcomes Lyall Bush as its interim executive director. Officially assuming his role on November 10, 2008, Bush joins the organization with a new spirit and energy that will build on the legacy left by Michael Seiwerath and continue to drive NWFF to greater community and artistic goals.

Bush comes from a nonprofit background and has worked in the area of film for over a decade. He organized film festivals when he worked for Humanities Washington and as written about film for a wide variety of publications.

Bush’s involvement at Northwest Film Forum began several years ago when he was vice-president of the board; over the years he has also moderated panel discussions and given talks on filmmakers.

“NWFF is thrilled to welcome Lyall as our interim executive director,” said president of the board Jennifer Roth. “He brings exciting new energy to the organization as well as valuable experience in strategic planning and the capacity for creating a strong vision for the organization.” Bush is assuming the role of previous executive director Michael Seiwerath, who announced plans to leave NWFF earlier this year.

“Northwest Film Forum is built on a strong foundation of passionate people working for a great cause,” said Bush. “I will be working for a great board of directors and a smart and dedicated staff. Michael’s work to bring Northwest Film Forum to where it is today, spearheading tremendous growth throughout his term, makes my work moving forward that much easier. I plan to continue that momentum while bringing my own experience and sense of organizational vision.”

Most recently Bush served as the executive director of Richard Hugo House, where he raised the organization’s visibility in the city and energized the board and staff around his new vision for programs and development.

In 2003 NWFF entered into a new era with its expansion into a well-equipped 8,000 square foot space in Capitol Hill. Bush plans to help NWFF become a leading nonprofit for the film arts in the region.

Traditionally, the role of executive director includes leading the organization’s flagship program, Start-to-Finish, which partners with a local artist to produce a feature length film. NWFF provides funding for the project, allowing local film artists and directors to bring their work to a much larger arena.

The most recent film, Robinson Devor’s Police Beat, premiered in Dramatic Competition at the 2005 Sundance Film Festival, and has played to great acclaim at festivals worldwide.

NWFF operates the region’s first and only non-profit center for the film arts. Community members can view films 360 days a year.  NWFF prides itself on attracting a wide variety of audience members from long-time cinephiles, to children and families, artists, students and more.

The current space, located at 1515 12th Ave (between Pike and Pine), is Seattle’s first proper cinematheque. It houses two theaters, facilities and equipment for filmmakers, and a dedicated space for workshops and filmmaker offices.

NWFF is unique in that it focuses not only on bringing great films to the community, but on fostering and championing local film artists.  NWFF presents educational programs with a curriculum by filmmakers and for filmmakers; provides access to filmmaking equipment; and grants funds directly to working film artists.

There are now several homegrown producers, cinematographers, writers, and other crewmembers that are working steadily, here and abroad, due to the connections made and experience achieved through Northwest Film Forum.

About Northwest Film Forum
Northwest Film Forum boasts nearly 1,000 members, several unique film festivals, and showings of hundreds of American and international films a year.  Movie screenings, film production and education aren’t the only focus of this organization – NWFF brings together a community of individuals dedicated to great film in Seattle and beyond. You can learn more at the organization’s Web site,


November 9, 2008


As all those cool reviewers brought up even more insights on this stunning film, esp. the eye-filling cast, it behooved me to add a few words as to WHY they look so erotic, radiant and alluring.  (I agree with the review from The Stranger, straight men who go see this film and let that fact slip into a casual conversation, well, I won’t guarantee WHAT will happen next, but suffice to say any straight woman of taste would at the very least go out with you!)  (Unless, of course you are NOT looking for straight women of taste.  Let’s say we went there and resume.)

One of the reasons I chose the “IN PRAISE OF OLDER FRENCHMEN!” commentary title is, from the first frame on, it’s obvious this film was directed by a European director, and most definitely a French director, with decades of experience being around some of the world’s most beautiful women.  His eye for making each woman glow within her our beauty, well, is just impeccable.  He caused to be created costumes that enhance and define each woman’s natural loveliness.

Any competent Costume Supervisor will tell you, (ahem), that the hardest thing in the Universe to make is a sheath.  Anything with less than 10 seams in it–well, cut and fit are paramount.  So it’s a bitch to get right.  Any French haute couture house (Coco Chanel having laid down the rules:  “Always take the last thing you put on off”, a philosophy The Stranger would agree with!) will tell you that the simpler the garment looks, the harder (and generally more expensive) it is to make.  When I was 17 I made what later was to become my wedding dress.  It was a simple sheath of very expensive eyelet, and it caused me MORE grief than some 3 piece suits I’ve made.   Director Eric Rohmer has supervised the creation of some deceptively simple looks, starting with sheaths that highlight each woman’s charms. Long strands of beads, flowers and other found objects in nature are used to enhance their individual beauty.  When more elaborate gowns are worn, they are perfectly matched to the actor’s skin tone, to complement and highlight it.  Ribbons etc, in the hair are chosen in such a way that some of them are iridescent, only 1 tone off their natural hair color, so when the woman turns and the light hits her, a delicate halo glows from behind.  Exactly as pastoral art pictures it.  Frankly, ONLY a Frenchman with decades of experience could pull this off.  (As having 20-ish year old actresses whose hands look pristine, when any average 20 year old girl in contemporary France would be totally into nail varnish!  (Which you can tell by the nail beds.)  The man is a genius!)

OK, so their best costumes are the ones they got on their birthday! ENJOY!

Rouge #12

November 8, 2008

The new issue of the great Australian-based online film journal, Rouge, is now up.  The main theme of the of this issue is around the Archive. Vinzenz Hediger leads off with a proposal about film archives and cinephilia in the contemporary scene. Jonas Mekas weighs in with some thoughts on the personal archive he has collected and filmed. And there’s a whole more. Plus, there’s a special section devoted to Manny Farber (1917-2008), with critics and collaborators paying tribute to the great film writer.

William Never Married – Saturday

November 8, 2008

It’s Saturday and we’re at the Sunset Tavern. We wrapped at 2am last night, I fell asleep at 3, then up again at 6:30. Feel strange. We’re looking for PA’s and a cheap Boom Operator.

A couple nights ago, Ryan had to give one of our actors a driving lesson. I told the kid, James Stone, not to turn the knob in the dash, or he’d set off the ejector seat and we’d have to pay to get the car’s roof reinstalled. He believed me for a few seconds.

New stuff to watch on YouTube

November 7, 2008

Thanks to the efforts of NWFF video archivist George Kloss, we now have some lovely video on our YouTube channel from events past.  Take a gander at the Film Saloon: Adaptations and Revisions panel discussion if you missed it, and listen with love to three songs performed live by Dallas Wayne at our You’re Lookin’ At Country night.  There’s also a Q&A with San Francisco experimental filmmaker Craig Baldwin.

And check back regularly.  More will be coming.


November 7, 2008


Shamefully, I think this is my first Rohmer film.  I knew it was important to see his work, but you know how it is, so many films, so little time!  I will now reorder my Netflix queue.  The screening for this film was held right before Halloween and Election Day, both events conjuring up bad spirits in the form of ghoulish fun and mud-slinging depravity.  So the counter-programming  of this absolutely gorgeous film, with it’s themes of Freedom, Truth, Beauty and, primarily LOVE, was refreshing.   I find my mind keeps going back to contemplate it, weeks later.  First, it is a absolutely stunning LOOKING film, with pristine pastoral settings, and a breathtakingly beautiful young cast.  You absolutely can believe that they exist in a higher plane than the one we do, where their days are consumed with discussing the lofty ideals, philosophies, and mysteries of the universe, in between their picturesque ceremonies, picnics, and love-making. (No iPods in sight!)  The film tells the story of 2 lovers who part due to a misunderstanding.  Astrea erroneously thinks her lover Celadon has betrayed her with another woman, and impulsively bids him out of her sight.  Where he is to stay until she decides to allow him back into her presence.  Celadon is so overcome by this he hurls himself into the river.  Fortunately for him, he is rescued by a triumvirate of nymphs (OK, at this point I can’t help myself, “Zoot, naughty, naughty Zoot!–has she been turning on the Grail light again?!!!”).  (Sorry!)  The rest of the film shows us the arduous paths the lovers have to travel to reunite, with pauses for spiritual and philosophical discussions.

What I loved about this films is it’s ideas, and ideals.  It was so lovely to watch a film that represented LOVE as being a living, breathing organism that exists in the Universe, one that is enriched or diminished by how we respect it and treat each other. It spoke to me about boundaries. It is an issue I am keenly interested in. (Mainly ’cause I suck at it!)  So the idea that in Celadon’s view that not only would his love for Astrea be damaged if he did not obey her rash wish (even though it causes him much grief and a great deal of actual physical discomfort), he would be damaging LOVE itself.  And dishonoring himself in the process.  In other words (if I have this right), he is willing to sacrifice whatever it takes to show her that her wishes, needs and desires are of vital importance to him.  And it’s important for the world he does so.  It’s the ultimate act of truly listening to and respecting another human being.  Yeah, I know.  WOW.  If all of us could think THAT way……..

My favorite book when I was young was Tolstoy’s Resurrection, the last book he wrote before he died.  In it is decades of his wisdom, his summation of his life experience.  At 87, this will most likely be Director Eric Rohmer’s last film, his cinematic equivalent of his life experience.  DO NOT deprive yourself of it!

The allure of the well-reviewed movie

November 7, 2008

Didn’t think THE MONKS: THE TRANSATLANTIC FEEDBACK or THE ROMANCE OF ASTREA AND CELADON (both opening today) were for you?  Check out these glowing reviews and see if you don’t change your mind.

Romance of Astrea & Celadon:
“There’s a purity to the emotional turmoil of tormented lovers, but it’s the rich simplicity of the filmmaking and the seductive sensuality of a bucolic Eden where maidens innocently fall out of their artfully revealing dresses that makes the romantic frolic so delicious.” -Seattle PI

“By the time this medieval story reaches its surprisingly homoerotic finale (think “Some Like It Hot” blended with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”), it seems astonishingly contemporary…Watching them, especially at this point in his career, is a bit like discovering the purity and straightforwardness of the earliest silent films.” -Seattle Times

Single straight men of Seattle, this is the movie for you. If a lady has been giving you no play (date after date), she will melt for you after watching The Romance of Astrea and Celadon. This is no exaggeration. Go and see for yourself. Set in fifth-century Gaul, the movie has a lightness and erotic magic you’d expect from a story that has a hidden castle, a mysterious river, an enchanted forest, lively nymphs, lost shepherds, and helpful druids. It’s hard to believe that the French director of this visual feast, Eric Rohmer, is 88.” -The Stranger

The Monks:
For all its genius and invention, ‘Monk Music’ didn’t make sense to the majority of kids who bought records and went to dances. But Transatlantic Feedback makes for awesome watching: it’s the invention of concept as the Monks unlearned, then relearned to play!” -The Stranger

“Who were the Monks, you wonder? If pop trends had favored avant-garde innovation over the British Invasion, you probably wouldn’t have to ask…They never got rich, but as this film attests, the Monks have achieved rock immortality.” -Seattle Times