If you're a film buff who can't make up your mind in the crowded mayoral race—and who isn't?—head down to the Northwest Film Forum's Mayoral Movies for a screening of the candidates' cinematic favorites.
The festival kicks off with To Kill a Mockingbird, introduced by Mayor Mike McGinn. The 1962 courtroom classic stars Gregory Peck as Atticus Finch (McGinn) defending a black man unfairly accused of rape (defending the city from a deep-bore tunnel), as he confronts the realities of racism (conventional political groupthink) in a small Alabama town (Seattle). The parallels to McGinn's political career are striking! No wonder he loves this movie.
Next up is neighborhood activist Kate Martin's wistful screening of All the President's Men, the suspenseful telling of Woodward and Bernstein's pursuit in the Watergate scandal, from back in the era when journalists were heroes instead of corporate shills and typo-spewing, potty-mouthed bloggers. That's right, Woodward once looked more like an idealistic Robert Redford, rather than the bloated, self-important Beltway insider he's become today.
For a change of pace, Council Member Bruce Harrell brings us Papillon, the riveting memoir of Henri Charrière's (Steve McQueen) miserable life and daring escape from the infamous French penal colony Devil's Island. A metaphor for Harrell's experience on the city council? Maybe. But either way, it's a damn fine film and an interesting choice from the usually not-so-interesting Harrell.
Another film that could provide some insight into the mind of the candidate is state senator Ed Murray's choice of The Wind That Shakes the Barley, the 2006 Palme d'Or—winning dramatization of 1919 Ireland and the conflicting passions that drove young men to take up arms against British oppression. Interesting—given the bitterly factionalized struggle of the recent legislative session—that Murray would be drawn to a film where the protagonists resort to political violence. Hmmm.
And finally, former city council member Peter Steinbrueck will introduce Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America's Most Notorious Mayor. The film documents the career of Providence, Rhode Island's popular and long-serving mayor, Buddy Cianci, who was twice forced to resign from office due to felony convictions. It's a curious choice for a mayoral candidate. But then again, Steinbrueck has run a curious campaign.
Mayoral Movies runs July 5—8 at Northwest Film Forum, full info at nwfilmforum.org.
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