Archive for April, 2010

Seattle Times Gives Four Stars!

April 29, 2010

Full review here:

Movies | ‘Soundtrack for a Revolution’: a powerful mix of music, civil-rights history | Seattle Times Newspaper.

“Soundrack” plays Northwest Film Forum April 30-May 5.

Attention Hotmail customers

April 28, 2010

Are you a Hotmail user who is wondering why you haven’t received any email announcements from Northwest Film Forum in a while?  Well it turns out that there is an issue between our email provider, Speakeasy, and Microsoft that is barring communication.  It’s nothing specific to the Film Forum, but rather all Speakeasy customers.

Email service will hopefully resume shortly, but meanwhile, how about subscribing to our RSS Calendar feed to make sure you don’t miss anything?

Summer calendar sneak peek

April 27, 2010

Our summer 2010 calendar is now available for your viewing pleasure online!  Expect a few other exciting additions as well, as we finalize our late May-August lineup.

This summer can be summed with “music, music, music” and “guests, guests, guests.”  Just take a look at our Music Movies listings, and our Special Guests page.  Whew!

Harmony Korine to Peter Bratt… The Moody Blues to Mogwai…  I’d say it’s time to start marking your calendars!

Stay tuned for our summer workshop information.
(Our printed calendar hits the streets May 14!)

Good news for the Columbia City Cinema!

April 22, 2010

And for all film lovers in Seattle:

The Cinema Rides Again

Hooray we did it. Or rather you did it. The world’s longest rent party just keeps happening. We paid the rent and we’re half way to our goal of $20,000. That’s the magic number that will keep us going to live and movify another year. So thank you, thank you, thank you, everyone. We are humbled and deeply grateful for your generosity and your love for the cinema. Money has been pouring in just like that scene in It’s a Wonderful Life when the Building and Loan gets saved. So please keep it coming Thanks to those who have already donated and thanks to those who are about to donate (about 2000 of you). We’ve got your names. If you all give at least $10, we’ll be over the top. Haven’t donated yet? Too shy? Just click on the Donate online button at the bottom of the page. Not only does it help the cinema, clicking the button also gives you a colossal high.

Read more here

See “Little Dizzle” – on the big & little screen

April 22, 2010

Now that “The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle” has been picked up for distribution by the new Tribeca Films, seeing the film has become much easier!

Northwest Film Forum is pleased to announce that we will be presenting the Northwest theatrical premiere this summer, August 13-19. More information will be coming in our pending summer calendar, so check back soon.

If you live in New York City, don’t miss the official US theatrical premiere May 12 –18th at the Tribeca Cinemas.  Get your tickets now:

Finally, starting yesterday (April 21) the film will be available On Demand from Comcast, Time Warner, Cox, Cablevision, Brighthouse, Verizon FiOs, RCN and Bresan; on PPV from Directv Cinema; and online from Amazon On Demand and YouTube Rentals. For more information go to

You can watch the trailer for the film on the website:

Spread the word! And become a fan of the film on Facebook:

The Immaculate Conception Of Little Dizzle
(David Russo, USA, 2009, DigiBeta, 100 min)
David Russo’s witty and imaginative film debut (produced with the help of the Film Forum’s Start-To-Finish program) explores key issues of today, including corporate malfeasance, the search for religion and, of course, male pregnancy. Dizzle’s protagonist is Dory (Marshall Allman), a “data-meister” who processes useless information as he looks for life’s meaning. After getting fired, he joins the ranks of Spiffy Jiffy, a ragtag bunch of stoner janitors led by O.C. (Vince Vieluf), who dreams of attending art school. In the offices within Spiffy Jiffy’s purview is a market research firm, in the process of testing a batch of self-heating “oven fresh” cookies. Dory and his fellow sweepers sample the product, become addicted and are soon experiencing some comical but worrisome side effects. When these include giving birth to “semi-animate” beings, Russo’s film takes on a hugely entertaining hilarity and weight that is simultaneously odd, puzzling, invigorating and truly hilarious. As overheard on a bus at the Sundance Film Festival, “You have to see this!”

Notes on Kazan’s Wild River

April 21, 2010

Below are some notes on Elia Kazan’s 1960 film WILD RIVER, which we open this Friday in a newly restored 35mm print.

The working titles for this film were Mud on the Stars, Time and Tide, The Swift Season and As the River Rises. When initial grosses for the film fell below Twentieth Century-Fox’s expectations, the title was temporarily changed to The Woman and the Wild River to accompany an advertising campaign emphasizing the love affair between the characters portrayed by Montgomery Clift and Lee Remick. Both of the novels on which the film was based, William Bradford Huie’s Mud on the Stars and Borden Deal’s Dunbar’s Cove, examined the impact of progress on the rural South in the decades preceding World War II. Wild River was the first film based on a work by Huie, whose novels had earlier been deemed too controversial for the screen. In a New York Times interview dated February 1960, Huie noted that six films based on his work were currently in production, including Wild River, a situation made possible by “the recent liberalization of the industry’s self-censorship code.” The 1962 film The Outsider and the 1964 film The Americanization of Emily were also based on Huie’s works.

The film’s prologue consists of black-and-white footage of a raging flood and the devastation left in its wake, followed by a newsreel-style interview with a survivor. An offscreen narrator provides the film’s historical background, stating that on May 18, 1933, Congress created the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), a massive public works program designed to end the loss of life and property caused by the overflowing of the Tennessee River. According to a modern source, the black-and-white opening footage is taken from Pare Lorenz’s 1930 documentary, The River. Although reviews for Wild River list Robert Earl Jones’s character as “Ben,” his character’s name in the film is “Sam Johnson.” Wild River marked Bruce Dern’s motion picture debut.

Daily Variety news items dated August 1957 and September and October 1958 reported that first Ben Maddow and then Calder Willingham had been signed to adapt Mud on the Stars for Elia Kazan. However, these writers are not credited onscreen and the extent of their participation in the finished film has not been determined. A modern source reports that Kazan had hoped to write the script himself, but after a number of unsuccessful drafts, worked closely with Maddow and Willingham before hiring Paul Osborn. Nine drafts of the script were written and additional working titles reportedly included God’s Valley, The Coming of Spring and New Face in the Valley. According to Daily Variety and Hollywood Reporter news items dated March 1959, Marilyn Monroe was scheduled to play the female lead. In his memoirs, Kazan recounted that Twentieth Century-Fox executives urged him to hire Monroe, an idea he called “absurd.” Kazan added that he never considered anyone for the role but Lee Remick, whom he had directed in his 1956 film A Face in the Crowd.

Wild River was shot entirely on location in Tennessee, in the towns of Cleveland, where the cast and crew were lodged, and Charleston, and on Lake Chickamauga and the Hiwassee River. The large set used for the Garth farmhouse took two months to construct at a cost of $40,000 and was subsequently burnt down for one of the film’s final scenes. Eighty percent of the film’s approximately fifty speaking parts were filled by locals with no previous acting experience. According to an article published in LA Mirror-News in November 1959, Kazan sparked a controversy in Cleveland after he hired extras from a slum known as “Gum Hollow” to play Depression-era Southerners. A number of prominent townspeople were angered by Kazan’s casting choice and allegedly claimed that the “white trash” of Gum Hollow did not accurately depict the area’s Depression unemployed. Kazan reportedly had to reshoot a few scenes, this time using “respectable, legitimate unemployed” in place of the “squatters.” According to information in the production file on the film in the AMPAS Library, during filming, Remick’s husband, television producer William Colleran, was in a serious auto accident and Remick returned to Los Angeles, causing production to shut down for one week. That delay, coupled with bad weather, put the shoot one month behind schedule.

Wild River received a number of positive reviews and was voted eighth runner-up for best picture of 1960 by the National Board of Review. A number of critics, however, felt that the romantic plot distracted viewers from the film’s powerful social themes, while the Hollywood Reporter review declared that Wild River‘s exploration of racial conflict “put the real story out of focus.” Other reviewers focused their criticism on Clift, with Films in Review declaring that Clift was “no longer capable of acting” and that “his tense form and visage devitalize[d] every scene he [was] in.” In his memoirs, Kazan termed the film a commercial “disaster” and placed part of the blame for its poor showing at the box office on Twentieth Century-Fox, which, Kazan alleged, did not distribute the film widely and pulled it too quickly from the theaters. Nevertheless, the film remained one of Kazan’s favorites and has received praise from modern critics, one of whom termed it Kazan’s “finest and deepest film.”

According to a modern source, Kazan’s earliest inspiration for Wild River came after a visit to Tennessee in the mid-thirties and a stint working for the Department of Agriculture in 1941. In his autobiography, Kazan stated that he had planned for many years to make a film which would be “an homage to the New Deal,” but that by the time he began working on the script, he had developed sympathy for the anti-progress stance represented by the character of Ella Garth, making Wild River his most ambivalent film in terms of its treatment of political and moral issues. A modern source reports that Kazan wanted Marlon Brando for the male lead, but he was unavailable. Kazan, who had directed Clift in a 1942 production of the play The Skin of Our Teeth, was at first adamently opposed to hiring Clift because of the actor’s drinking problem. Clift reportedly promised Kazan that he would stay sober for the duration of the shoot and he was accompanied to Tennessee by a secretary assigned to keep an eye on him. With the exception of one brief binge near the end of production, reported Kazan, Clift kept his promise. A modern source adds Hardwick Stuart (Marshal Hogue) to the cast.

According to J Hoberman, “Kazan was not only revising his past, but also falling in love with Barbara Loden, the young actress who would be his second wife. Although this feisty “hillbilly,” as he calls her in his memoirs, has but a small role in Wild River, she likely inspired Kazan’s conception of the Remick character: The passionate mixture of confidence and vulnerability this country girl brings to her affair with a big-city intellectual crescendos in her unexpected plea that he marry her for his own good: ‘I’m smarter than you in some ways . . .'”

Viva La France, Cannes Film Festival Line Up Announced

April 15, 2010

While the year in film for most people starts in January, Cannes’ May opening usually marks the beginning for those of us in the programming world. Today festival organizer’s began the two-week process of unveiling their line-up and thus far it ain’t looking too bad. If this is any indication of what’s in store for the next 7 months, we’re in pretty good shape. Here’s a list of titles announced thus far:

The Cannes Film Festival runs May 12-23.

“Robin Hood,” U.S.-U.K., Ridley Scott

“Another Year,” U.K., Mike Leigh
“Biutiful,” Spain-Mexico, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu
“Burnt by the Sun 2,” Germany-France-Russia, Nikita Mikhalkov
“Certified Copy,” France-Italy-Iran, Abbas Kiarostami
“Fair Game,” U.S., Doug Liman
“Hors-la-loi,” France-Belgium-Algeria, Rachid Bouchareb
“The Housemaid,” South Korea, Im Sang-soo
“La nostra vita,” Italy-France, Daniele Luchetti
“La Princesse de Montpensier,” France, Bertrand Tavernier
“Of Gods and Men,” France, Xavier Beauvois
“Outrage,” Japan, Takeshi Kitano
“Poetry,” South Korea, Lee Chang-dong
“A Screaming Man,” France-Belgium-Chad, Mahamat-Saleh Haroun
“Tournee,” France, Mathieu Amalric
“Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives,” Spain-Thailand-Germany-U.K.-France, Apichatpong Weerasethakul
“You, My Joy,” Ukraine-Germany, Sergey Loznitsa

“Adrienn Pal,” Hungary-Netherlands-France-Austria, Agnes Kocsis
“Aurora,” Romania, Cristi Puiu
“Blue Valentine,” U.S., Derek Cianfrance
“Chatroom,” U.K., Hideo Nakata
“Chongqing Blues,” China, Wang Xiaoshuai
“The City Below,” Germany-France, Christoph Hochhausler
“Film Socialisme,” Switzerland-France, Jean-Luc Godard
“Ha Ha Ha,” South Korea, Hong Sang-soo
“Les Amours imaginaires,” Canada, Xavier Dolan
“Life Above All,” France, Oliver Schmitz
“Los labios,” Argentina, Ivan Fund, Santiago Loza
“Octubre,” Peru, Daniel Vega
“Qu’est-il arrive a Simon Werner?,” France, Fabrice Gobert
“Rebecca H.,” France, Lodge Kerrigan
“R U There,” Taiwan, David Verbeek
“The Strange Case of Angelica,” Portugal, Manoel de Oliveira
“Tuesday, After Christmas,” Romania, Radu Muntean
“Udaan,” India, Vikramaditya Motwane

“Tamara Drewe,” U.K., Stephen Frears
“Wall Street: Money Never Sleeps,” U.S., Oliver Stone
“You Will Meet a Tall Dark Stranger,” U.K.-Spain, Woody Allen

“Kaboom,” U.S.-France, Gregg Araki
“L’autre monde,” France, Gilles Marchand

“Abel,” Mexico, Diego Luna
“Chantrapas,” France, Otar Iosseliani
“Draquila — L’Italia che trema,” Italy, Sabina Guzzanti
“Inside Job,” U.S., Charles Ferguson
“Nostalgia de la luz,” France, Patricio Guzman
“Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow,” Netherlands, Sophie Fiennes

Tim Burton, president
Alberto Barbera
Kate Beckinsale
Emmanuel Carre
Benicio Del Toro
Victor Erice
Shekhar Kapur
Giovanna Mezzogiorno

Longhouse Media’s Tracy Rector’s film accepted into Cannes

April 15, 2010

Congrats go out to Longhouse Media Executive Director Tracy Rector.  Her short film UNRESERVED: THE WORK OF LOUIE GONG is on its way to Cannes!

Call for entries reminder – Concert Film Challenge & Local Sightings

April 13, 2010

Film ChallengeSubmit Your Work to the Concert Film Challenge

Screening is May 18 at 8pm
Deadline is May 4

Seattle is a haven for live music, and Northwest Film Forum is the home for many concert films that pass through our city. This quarter alone we screened films featuring Leonard Cohen’s performance at the Isle of Wight, the White Stripes tour through Canada, and a Bill Withers doc that includes plenty of concert footage.

To honor our musical heritage, this quarter we ask local filmmakers to turn their eyes on the music scene and make concert films no longer than 5 minutes for the Concert Film Challenge. Since we expect the response for the challenge to surpass previous challenges, we reserve the right to curate this program, and possibly host multiple screening dates and times.

The project is open to all levels of skills and experience. Send submissions to: Northwest Film Forum, c/o Adam Sekuler, 1515 12th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122. For more information email Adam Sekuler at Formats: 35mm, 16mm, super-8, digiBETA, BETA SP, DVCAM, and DVD. Please Include title, filmmaker’s name and contact info with submission.


Tickets to the screening are $6/NWFF members, $6.50/seniors, $9/non-members

Support independent cinema!  Join a community of film lovers!  Become a member today.

Also accepting entries…

13th Annual Local Sightings Film Festival

Entry Deadline is July 1

Local Sightings is our annual showcase of current narrative, documentary and experimental film by Northwest artists. The week long festival also features panel discussions, historic NW films, a filmmaker lounge, a stellar opening night party, and juried awards for a winning short and feature film! Submit your work by downloading the submission form from our website: ( and send us your screener copy on DVD. The deadline for submission is July 1.
Buy yourself a houseplant, there’s no entry fee!

“My Son” held over – additional dates through April 22

April 12, 2010

It was a very busy weekend here at the Film Forum, with the popular Visual Music playing against the Herzog/Lynch curiosity My Son My Son What Have Ye Done.

Though we were excited by the great turnout, we weren’t pleased to have to turn away so many filmgoers!
With that in mind, we are happy to announce we are extending the run of My Son through April 22.

The film will now play daily at 7 and 9pm through April 22. Please note, the one exception is Saturday, April 17 when the movie will ONLY show at 5pm.

Spread the word!