Archive for June, 2010

9500 Liberty: an issue doc, and also a new model in film distribution

June 24, 2010

There are lots of reasons to catch 9500 Liberty this weekend (it plays Fri-Sun at 7 and 9pm). It tackles the timely issues surrounding immigration, it educates you about the debate swirling in Virginia (which strongly foreshadowed Arizona’s recent legislation), and it’s a great movie (The Stranger calls it “Excellent…If a viewer is unaware of the year the documentary was shot, 2007 (near the twilight of Bush’s presidency), he/she will easily think it was made mere minutes ago”).

But the movie is also about the process of documentary-making in today’s fast paced media environment. As the filmmakers discuss in what quickly becomes a meta-documentary, they decided the issue was too important and their footage too contentious to save for a theatrical release, often months (if not years) after the completion of a movie. So they started to release their footage on YouTube, with some clips going viral and getting over 40,000 views in a matter of days.

The editing process became almost open-source, and their YouTube channel became a place for people to comment and watch interview footage in a “safer” environment, rather than the charged atmosphere of public hearings. They then integrated that reaction in their final cut.

It’s an interesting approach, and perhaps one we’ll see more and more often, especially with these tightly issue-focus documentaries. Come check it out, see what you think, and perhaps join the conversation on their YouTube channel afterwards.


A Dad In Between

June 23, 2010

To paraphrase Tolstoy, all good parents are alike, but every bad parent is bad in his or her own way. This is certainly true in American movies, where portrayals of wayward moms and dads have ranged from lovingly eccentric (The Royal Tenenbaums) to unforgivably flawed (Lolita) to downright evil (The Manchurian Candidate).

Lenny, the divorced 30-something father who is the protagonist of Daddy Longlegs, playing this weekend at NWFF, is not easy to categorize. And that’s what makes the movie compelling. In many ways, Lenny is a pretty good guy; during the two weeks a year he has custody of his young sons, he does his best to clothe, feed and entertain them. He takes them waterskiing, introduces them to some colorful characters, and makes them actually look at the exhibits in the Museum of Natural History.

Lenny’s best, though, is severely limited by his lack of common sense. He swears at the boys’ principal, leaves them with strangers, and sends them out alone into the Brooklyn streets where he was just robbed at gunpoint. In a comedy, such behavior would be treated as charming and harmless; in a melodrama, one of the kids would end up in the hospital (or worse). But Daddy Longlegs is something else, which leaves you not knowing what to expect – or what to feel. It effectively communicates the confusion that such children experience.

Brothers Josh and Benny Safdie, who wrote and directed Daddy Longlegs (with some help from the lead, Ronnie Bronstein, also a director), describe it as “emotionally autobiographical,” meaning it is about their memories of their father, whom Lenny is based on, rather than facts. Regarding the delicate balance they achieve between accusal and sympathy, they write: “Our obligation to adulthood demands expose, whereas our dedication to childhood screams and cries love! It’s somewhere in between.”

Posters For Sale

June 23, 2010

Wondering if we have any Mala Noche posters left?  Original Easy Rider commemorative screen prints?  Herb & DorothyObjectified?  Double-sided lightbox edition Mister Lonely?  Harmony Korine-autographed Trash Humpers?

(The answer is yes to all of these, of course.)

There’s a crazy list of all the other posters for sale on Saturday at our first-ever-annual poster sale, which you can come by to browse for your favorite art.  Almost all of them are $2, and the ones that aren’t are all under $10 – and totally worth the extra cash (original giant sized Eric Rohmer poster anyone?).

The sale is 11am-3pm on Saturday, June 26. First come, first get!

Ta-da! We have a student discount

June 23, 2010

Students can now join the ranks of our elders and children.  We will now honor our $6.50 ticket price for our regular screenings to all students with a valid photo ID!  Spread the word.

Read our complete ticketing policy here.

The 49th Best Thing in Seattle

June 22, 2010

…is US!

Seattle Metropolitan’s 100 Reasons to Love Seattle

49. Our Films Screen with a Side of Karaoke
Even a $70,000 budget shortfall couldn’t keep Northwest Film Forum from climbing out on a limb this year—the idea was too good: Create a film-and-live performance hybrid, a self-described “spectacle” where people sing and dance as an original movie screens—then allow for karaoke at intermission. For the inaugural season of Live at the Film Forum (, NWFF recruited dancer Amy O’Neal and actress/writer Marya Sea Kaminski and gave them free reign to create. O’Neal jetted to Japan to film scenes of her modern dance piece Too at a love hotel, and Kaminski crafted a docudrama about the condominium-ization of the city. Sometimes the experiment worked, sometimes it didn’t. But it was a risk worth taking.

Read the whole article here

The Emotionally Sloppy Safdie Brothers

June 21, 2010

The Safdie brothers on their incredibly impressive feature Daddy Longlegs, which opens with the brothers in attendance this Friday. It’s probably the best film in the recent crop of Cassavettes-esque titles that have been burning through the festival circuit over the last five years.

The boys will also be teaching a class while they’re here entitled Emotionally Sloppy. I’m taking it, are you?

Another little gift from Harmony Korine

June 21, 2010

(click for bigger version)

And PS. Have you seen our Wall of Fame lately? Buried back in a corner of the building is this lovely wall of signatures from visitors passed. Click for more detail.

Harmony Korine pictures posted

June 21, 2010

Harmony Korine

Originally uploaded by nwfilmforum

Check them out at our Flickr page!

Art Cars invade Northwest Film Forum!

June 18, 2010

Art Cars on Capitol Hill

Originally uploaded by nwfilmforum

Enjoy these photos from last night’s screening of AUTOMORPHOSIS, up now on our Flickr page.

Couple more chances to see BASS ACKWARDS on the big screen

June 16, 2010

Hello! So there’s a couple more chances to see my movie on the “big” screen at Northwest Film Forum (tonight, Thursday June 17 at 7 and 9 pm)  Again, sorry I can’t be there. I’m busy preparing to shoot a new film and babysitting by day (in my new home; nyc).  Ryan, who does press stuff at NW Film Forum, said I should mention that I’m busy babysitting in this blog.  Like as the reason I couldn’t be there. I guess she thought that was funny. I’m not sure why. I guess people think it’s funny cause I’m supposed to be some slick filmmaker guy or something and instead of doing music videos or commercials I’m busy working with kids.  If you’ve seen BASS ACKWARDS you may recall a scene where my character, also named Linas, says that he wishes he could be a filmmaker but will probably end up working with kids again. Christopher Frizelle, from the Stranger, brought up this scene and asked if I was ashamed of being a struggling filmmaker/babysitter.  I said kind of. I party quit working with kids in 2003 to focus on filmmaking.  It may sound cheesy but I felt that at a certain level it was becoming a lie for me because I believe the most important thing to teach kids is to follow their dreams and I wasnt really doing that for myself.  But yesterday I realized that I was now doing both in a way. It was a really good day… This girl I take care of and make videos with Sarah is obsessed with the Beatles. I put a video that i made of her  lip synching one of their favorite songs below. (That’s, Liz, my fiance we got to “act” in the video)  Sadly Sarah’s moving to Austin next week. I thought it’d be great to help her create her own song before she left.  So I found a friend, a musician, to write one with her. Yesterday they had a great first rehearsal of her first song; Meet Me On The Other Side Of My Life.  You should’ve seen the smile on her face.  I also got some news yesterday about the possibility of doing a new movie.  Dreams were coming true left and right.  I love seeing how excited kids get about life; it’s an important reminder.  I’m really gonna miss babysitting her.  Hope you like the video below. Email me if you wanna see the video that I’ll make for her first original song next week entitled “Meet Me On The Other Side Of My Life”  Since I didn’t talk too much about BASS ACKWARDS, I’ve also posted a video of some deleted scenes. Me and the Alpacas; shot on Vashon island at Bill Green’s farm. He is one of the sweetest men I’ve ever met. SO grateful he acted in the film.  Shout out to him too. And to Sebastien who helped me shoot out there when everyone else was busy. I wish I had a photo of him head locking one of the Alpacas that he let out of the gate.  That’s a photo I would have on my wall if it existed.  And while I’m at it Shout out to Tara Jane O’Neil and Lori Goldston who scored the film so amazingly.  Also recorded in Seattle.  And shout out to the old guy playing harmonica outside the coffee shop on Vashon.  He said his musical inspirations were Tony Bennett, Dolly Parton, and Marky Mark. “Come on! Come on! Feel it! Feel It! Feel the vibrations!”