Formed in April 1968, the Seattle Black Panthers were the first Panther chapter to exist outside of California. Along with their ideological protests, the Seattle Panthers did a lot of real-world good, launching a series of programs providing free breakfast to children and founding the Sidney Miller Medical Clinic, which carries on today as the Carolyn Downs Family Medical Center. In honor of Black History Month, Ark Lodge Cinemas is hosting the Seattle Black Panther Party Film Festival, three days of rare film curated by Billy X Jennings, archivist for the Black Panther Party alumni. Among the offerings: Lords of the Revolution, a vérité documentary of Panthers in Chicago, New York, and Los Angeles; COINTELPRO 101, a documentary about the US government's secret program targeting America's progressive movements; and In the Land of the Free, a documentary narrated by Samuel L. Jackson about the Angola 3, the three Black Panthers accused of murdering a guard in Louisiana's Angola Prison.
The Seattle Black Panther Party Film Festival runs Feb 14–16 at Ark Lodge Cinemas. For a full list of films and screening times, see brownpapertickets.com.
Meanwhile, at SIFF Cinema Uptown, Eddie "Czar of Noir" Muller gives this soggy gray city another dose of just what it needs: 16 classic films drenched in human desperation, spiritual desolation, and glorious, glorious shadows. Among the delights at Muller's Noir City 2014: the opening-night Orson Welles double-whammy of Journey into Fear and The Third Man; a featured screening of Ida Lupino's The Hitch-Hiker, the first female-directed film noir; and, spoiling the notion that noir is an American thing, choice films from Argentina, Germany, Norway, Spain, Japan, and France. For a full list of films, head to siff.net, where just reading the plot synopses bestows a light buzz: "Four men, trapped in a pestilent South American village, agree to transport a dangerous shipment of nitroglycerine through treacherous terrain." (Wages of Fear!) "A doctor, haunted by his service as a Nazi, falls in love with a camp survivor." (The Murderers Are Among Us!) "A suburban housewife's decision to keep a satchel of money accidentally tossed into her convertible results in mayhem and murder." (Too Late for Tears!)
Noir City 2014 runs Feb 13–17 at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Full info at siff.net.