Film That Will Make Your Life Better This Fall
As Seattle heads into its soggy season of endless gray and dusk at 4:30 p.m., a miraculous thing happens: ART, which has been nourishing souls and curbing suicide rates since time began. Here for you are a multitude of events worth surviving autumn for. Attending these events will make you smarter, sexier, and less likely to become one of those people who relate primarily to cats and Law & Order reruns. Keep this guide in a safe place for future reference—autumn ain’t over till it’s over.
'Let Me In'
Obviously, the atmospheric and affecting Swedish creep show Let the Right One In is the best vampire movie in recent (or any?) memory. And the fact that America cannot control its impulse to remake and Americanize the shit out of every good thing is the most annoying phenomenon in recent memory. However, I am willing to give this grossly unnecessary remake (by the director of Cloverfield) a shot. Reason one: Richard Jenkins! Reason two: Cloverfield was pretty okay! Reason three: Let the Right One In still exists! Let's all unbunch our panties and take a nap. Opens Oct 1. LINDY WEST
The Action Pack
The Action Pack is the brand name given to cinema extravaganzas created by Clinton McClung, profiled previously in this issue in the Film Genius shortlist (see page 29). Among the Action Pack's autumn offerings: a return of this spring's sold-out Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory in Smell-O-Vision (Dec 10—12 at SIFF Cinema), a night of Halloween-themed TV specials (Oct 28 at Central Cinema), and the pièce de résistance, a monthlong Twin Peaks marathon with weekly screenings at Central Cinema (Nov 9: Pilot, Ep. 1; Nov 16: Eps. 2—4; Nov 23: Eps. 5—7; Nov 26—28: Fire Walk with Me.) Bonus: Events hosted by Central Cinema involve food and beer. SIFF Cinema, 321 Mercer St, 448-2186; Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave, 686-6684. DAVID SCHMADER
Yes, it's a very long film, but it's directed by Olivier Assayas—Irma Vep, Demonlover, Boarding Gate. If Assayas makes a fucking long film about a famous terrorist, Carlos the Jackal, who did most of his damage back in the 1970s, we have no choice but to watch all of it. Those are the rules of the cinema game. The film will certainly be better than that other long French film about another famous criminal of the 1970s, Jacques Mesrine. Nov 5—7. Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave, 829-7863. CHARLES MUDEDE
Right after releasing Countdown to Zero, a documentary about the real danger that loose nuclear weapons pose to big cities, the British born and bred director Lucy Walker is releasing a film about how an artist, Vik Muniz, and garbage pickers, catadores, transform urban waste into art. The documentary, which is set in Rio de Janeiro, got awards and lots of attention at Sundance 2010 and promises to be a far more interesting work than the gloomy but certainly slicker Countdown to Zero. Opens Nov 12. CM
'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part I'
Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows or Horcruxes? Hallows or Horcruxes? HAAAALLLOOOOOWWWWS OR HOOOOORCRUUUUUXES!!!?!!?!? (Horcruxes, you dick. Listen to Dumbledore for once. Jesus.) Opens Nov 19. LW
Judging from its awesomely awful trailer, Burlesque is a trash classic in the making—Glitter meets Coyote Ugly meets Showgirls meets Cher's unmoving face meets Christina Aguilera's floundering career meets OHMYGODICAN'TWAIT! Aguilera stars as the girl with a one-way bus ticket and dreams of stardom, Cher costars as the tough-lovin' burlesque matron with an entirely plastic head, and Burlesque—written and directed by Steven Antin, brother of the woman who created the Pussycat Dolls—promises an avalanche of clichés that should have camp-lovers rolling in the aisles. Opens Nov 24. D. SCHMADER
White Material completes a circle for one of the greatest directors of our moment, Claire Denis. The point at which she began her career in the late 1980s—with Chocolat (not the one with Johnny Depp), a film about postcolonial Africa—is the point that she returns to in her latest film, which is about white coffee farmers in an unnamed African country. The film stars Isabelle Huppert and none other than the Highlander himself, Christopher Lambert. It is a sin to miss anything made by Denis. A sin against the gods of cinema. Opens Dec 10. CM
Look! Look! Look! It's a Tron sequel! Whether or not you think it's a good idea to make a sequel to the 1982 Disney cult classic—about a bunch of computer programs in the form of glowy avatars riding really fast bicycles around a conceptual grid world—you have to admit you're curious. Eternal Dude Jeff Bridges and silver fox Bruce Boxleitner will reprise their roles from the original. Now that the animation has caught up to the imagination, will Tron lose its eight-bit charm? Or will it be totally fucking awesome? Or will it be one of those dumb Hollywood blips that opens and closes and you never think about it again? WE SHALL SEE. Opens Dec 17. LW
'The Green Hornet'
When word first landed that Michel Gondry was directing the film adaptation of the superhero comic The Green Hornet written by the guys who scripted Superbad and The Pineapple Express, the proper response was excitement. Pictures of stealth superstar Seth Rogen slimming down for the title role humanized the buzz. Then came trouble, in the form of contentious rumors about Sony execs' alleged hatred of what Gondry and Rogen were doing to the studio's would-be blockbuster, and a late-breaking announcement that Gondry's Green Hornet was being abruptly converted to 3-D. Can Gondry's quirky artistry survive the corporate onslaught? Or will The Green Hornet be a boringly repellent Frankenstein's monster, built from a would-be idiosyncratic spin on the superhero genre run through the mainstream wringer? Find out this January. Opens Jan 14. D. SCHMADER