Archive for June, 2009

Suddenly “Police Beat” discussion

June 30, 2009

On Friday July 3 we’ll be hosting a screening and discussion of the movie “Police Beat.”

At this screening of Police Beat, the film’s screenwriter, Charles Mudede, will speak with urban theorist Thomas Sieverts, author of Zwischenstadt, and writer Matthew Stadler about the new shapes of cities and the ways that film can make them legible.

The discussion is part of a great series of events going on in the city called “Suddenly.”

Seattle has been called a “picaresque city” because its geography is so episodic, an archipelago of hills divided by water and dominated by scenic vistas that stun us into forgetting. Z the peripatetic bike-cop hero of Police Beat is content to drift across this fragmented sequence of views, witnessing the petty humiliations and violent assaults that trigger 911 calls to the police. He is polite, but always looking outward, his mind on the mountains, somewhere west or east of here, and his absent girlfriend, gone camping with another man. 

 


What kind of city is this? It cannot be mapped, so it must be filmed. In Police Beat, Seattle’s fractured landscapes are remixed and made sensible by Z’s path through them.

To watch the film and join the discussion, be at the Film Forum on Friday at 1pm. Tickets are just $7 and available at the door.

If you are considering becoming a NWFF member

June 29, 2009

The time is now! Renew or become a member by June 30 (tomorrow!) and get all these special benefits:

• Join or renew your membership before June 30, 2009 and receive an admit-two pass (value $18 and good through December, 2009).
• Join or renew your membership before June 30, 2009 and we will extend your membership by two extra months – your membership won’t expire until September 30, 2010!
• Join or renew your membership before June 30, 2009 and be entered to win a year-long admit-two pass to all Film Forum films.

Members receive our calendar in the mail, discounts on tickets, and depending on the level of your membership, free popcorn, family discounts, invitations to press screenings, and other fabulous benefits. Everything you give above $50 is tax deductible.

Support what you love about Seattle! NWFF screens over 250 independently made and classic films annually, offers a year-round schedule of filmmaking classes for all ages, and supporting filmmakers at all stages of their careers with affordable equipment rentals and grant programs.

Join or renew your membership right now!

Local Sightings Submission Deadline

June 29, 2009

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Filmmakers, don’t forget that this week is the final week to submit your films to our 12th Annual Local Sightings Film Festival. The submission form is available to download at localsightings.org. What’s to lose, cash prizes are at stake and there’s no entry fee.

Another late addition to the calendar

June 26, 2009

In addition to the Michael Jackson Tribute, we’ve also added a special late-night program:

Family: A Webisodic Program

Terisa Greenan, Seattle actress and filmmaker, has created Family, a comic web series on the topic of polyamory. Family is an episodic tale of alternative love. Set in Seattle, the show follows the lives of Gemma, Ben & Stuart, 30-somethings living together in a polyamorous triad. The series is presented in 5-7 minute episodes viewed exclusively at online video portal sites like YouTube. The episodic story is loosely based on Greenan’s own poly life with her two male partners. Greenan has posted fifteen episodes online since November 2008, and this 100-minute feature is a compilation of those episodes, edited to fit our time slot.

Terisa Greenan and Family the web series have been profiled by The Seattle Times, KOMO 4 news, and Newsweek magazine. Family the web series has also been included in the Kisney Institute’s library, for its groundbreaking treatment of polyamory in entertainment media.

Tickets and more info here: http://www.nwfilmforum.org/live/page/calendar/997

(By the way, thanks to my Brown Paper Tickets weekly email of new events, I also learned of a screening of Calamari Union at the Georgetown Ballroom. This is all I know. But if you missed the movie at our special sold-out work-in-progress screening, I highly recommend it.)

“I like the way he pops!” Michael Jackson Tribute

June 26, 2009

mj3In 1983, outside of the Los Angeles location shooting of Michael Jackson’s “Thriller” music video, interviewers asked many among the throngs of young fans who’d shown up why they liked Michael Jackson so much. For the most part, the girls thought he was dreamy and the guys though he was super cool. Of course all of them praised his dancing. But I think one young boy said it best, and simplest: “I like the way he pops.” The kid was referring to the sharp and energetic movements in his dancing, and using a term from the break dancing craze that was just starting catch fire around the country. But I think his simple statement is so right on a larger level. In terms of both his singing and his dancing over four decades, what set Michael Jackson apart from the rest is his “popping”- from his screeches and moans to his kicks and glides. Like his childhood idol James Brown, Jackson’s whole body- his whole being- WAS the music. Besides the Godfather of Soul, one would be hard pressed to name another entertainer who committed half as much of himself to every performance and presentation. And it showed- it popped. That’s why the Jackson 5, fronted by a 11-year old Michael, was a phenomenon right out of the gate in the late 60s (their first four singles on Motown were all smash hits). And it’s why his solo career, a decade later when he was a young adult, changed popular music forever (1979’s ‘Off The Wall’ generated more top 10 hits than any other album before it, and you know 1982’s ‘Thriller’ topped that record by a mile.) Its why, when he busted out the moonwalk during a live TV performance of ‘Billie Jean’ in 1983, the whole world went completely silent for a moment before letting out a scream. (After seeing that TV special, Fred Astaire called him personally to praise his dancing.) And its why the world has memorized every move in his classic videos and still no one can pull them off like Michael. The guy just completely embodied his music, or vice versa. It was the magic of his delivery that moved us. When they call him the “King of Pop,” it doesn’t mean popular music so much to me as it signifies just how electrically charged Michael was when he was doing his thing, how much he popped out from the mundane, and how powerfully his music popped us all out of our lives and onto the dancefloor.
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We at the Film Forum love Michael’s music, and have always lived by the credo “Don’t stop ‘til you get enough.” That’s why we’re presenting a special Michael Jackson Tribute on Tuesday July 7 (8pm, doors at 7:30) to celebrate the great entertainer. We’ll show his classic music videos from the late-1970s and 80s on the big screen (and cranked up loud), as well as other stuff (including a 1968 performance of the Jackson 5, an excerpt of Michael in the 1978 musical ‘The Wiz,’ and the 1983 TV performance that introduced the “moonwalk.”) Of course we’ll have refreshments in the cinema, and all ages are welcome. Please join us in raising a glass to the one and only King of Pop and seeing his legacy of fantastic music videos on the big screen.

Keep in touch

June 24, 2009

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Tonight and Tomorrow

June 24, 2009

Bjork this weekend

June 23, 2009

Don’t forget!

Bergman’s House and Belongings Auctioned Off

June 23, 2009
Cineuropa has the story:
Ingmar Bergman’s iconic home on the Baltic island of Färö and some of his personal belongings (including the famous magic lantern) are up for auction, in accordance to the Swedish legendary filmmaker’s last wishes.

“This is my wish and no discussion or emotional tumult must come as a result,” said Bergman.

His house on Fårö has been up for auction by Christies since May 18, and potential buyers have until August 20 to make an offer on the estate worth at least €4m.

Bergman’s personal possessions will go under the hammer of Bukowski’s in Stockholm on September 28. Interested parties will have three days (September 24-27) to view the historical items, including his magic lantern, which triggered his desire to become a filmmaker; a decorative figurehead, used for his company Cinematograph’s logo, and featured in the film Persona; a 1965 b&w portrait of Bergman by legendary photographer Irving Penn; and the desk at which he wrote his screenplays.

The auction of Bergman’s house has already created much furore amongst many Swedish political and cultural personalities who accuse the government of not doing enough to preserve Bergman’s legacy. “I think it’s a real scandal that Sweden cannot protect the home of one of our greatest and most celebrated artists around the world,” said production designer Anna Asp, who collaborated with the Swedish master on his later films and won an Oscar for Fanny & Alexander.

The Fårö Bergman Centre Foundation, which currently owns Bergman’s estate, has been trying to raise funds to turn his house into a museum. It also holds the annual Bergman Week in Fårö, which kicks off tomorrow and runs through June 28.

For special guests Wim Wenders, Mexican filmmaker Enrique Rivero (winner of the 2009 Ingmar Bergman Debut Award) and all the fans and friends of the Swedish director, this week’s gathering will feel like a second farewell to the iconic filmmaker who passed away on July 30, 2007 at the age of 89.

– Annika Pham

Amin Maher, Actor in Abass Kiarostami’s “Ten” and Son of Mania Akbari Arrested

June 23, 2009

This email just came across my desk from a colleague in Iran:

Amin Maher, the actor in Abass Kiarostami’s movie “Ten” and son of Mania Akbari artist and director got arrested. Mania states:” It was Tuesday around ten in the evening, when I first heard of my son’s arrest. I got shocked and I found myself in total despair. Amin is only seventeen years old and is currently in eleventh grade and attending the  program in his school. I immediately started to look for him, experiencing very hard and painful moments. Moments that neither cinema nor any other kind of art will ever be able to express. What I went through and witnessed that night is not easy to describe…I had no idea where they had taken my son to, therefore I stared looking in every ambulance, every police station and every
hospital in town. I came face to face with other parents looking for their children as well. Mothers screaming and calling the names of their sons and daughters. Fathers weeping silently. Terrified kids in police stations awaiting their faith…it was a total nightmare. A nightmare that will remain with all of us for the rest of our lives. It was early Wednesday morning when I finally found my son at the Pasdaran’s police station. The reasons for his arrest were that he was wearing a green band to show his support for Mr. Moussavi and also that he had been identified as an active participant during the presidential campaign. Finally on Wednesday he was released with the intervention of some friends, artists and some related police authorities. Amin had been  subjected to serious beatings and emotional disturbance. I felt ashamed of seeing him in his condition. I had created a false illusion for him regarding the country he had been born in, about prevailing humanism and democratic atmosphere. I had always encouraged him to consider going to top universities in Iran, instead of opting
for studying abroad. I remember talking to the press a while ago, mentioning humanity, the love for people, patriotism and the positive way of thinking towards a democratic society.

Unfortunately now I have to express my disagreement with the
ever-increasing violence in our society today. Violence is not the answer and freedom will only be attained through
respecting the democratic rights of each and every human being. Although my son took the beating from the opposition group, I as a mother and an artist oppose to any violence under any circumstances. Today I would like to take this opportunity to ask my fellow artists, friends and family to participate in promoting a peaceful approach and strongly condemn any kind of violence. Therefore I hope to be able to live in my country Iran, where I will never have to see another club nor another whip.

– Mania Akbari