Tons of good stuff hitting Seattle cinemas this weekend.
*At Meridian 16, there's Reality, the new film from Matteo Garrone, the man who brought us the Italian mob drama Gomorrah:
Reality is Garrone's explosively colorful fable about a Neapolitan family man seduced (and eventually unhinged) by the promise of reality-TV fame. It's a film so different from its predecessor that it reintroduces Garrone-the-grim-hypernaturalist as a fearless genre-hopper of potentially unlimited gifts.
*At Northwest Film Forum, there's Leviathan, a wordless documentary capturing life on a commercial fishing boat from a thousand tiny angles. As Jen Kagan writes:
[Leviathan is] the new documentary by Lucien Castaing-Taylor and Verena Paravel, two instructors in Harvard's fittingly named Sensory Ethnography Lab. These people believe that artists, scientists, and academics have relied too heavily on the power of words to convey ethnographic experiences. To compensate, they are building a body of documentary work that relies primarily on images and sounds. In Leviathan, this means there is no voice-over to explain that you are following a fishing crew off the coast of New Bedford, Massachusetts, or to tell you that the disorienting footage you are watching was captured by a bunch of cheap digital cameras that the filmmakers either dangled in the water or attached to helmets, nets, and masts.
*At Harvard Exit, there's the Ryan Gosling motocross The Place Beyond the Pines. As Alison Hallett writes:
You'd think director Derek Cianfrance had never seen a movie before, given the disregard for narrative and visual conventions in his new film, The Place Beyond the Pines. It's like—and I mean this in the nicest way possible—an art therapist instructed him to dramatize his daddy issues, and all they gave him for reference was a motocross video, Hall & Oates's H20, and a beat-up copy of The Outsiders.
There are four films in Made in Seattle: Homegrown Documentaries (a two-day series at the Rainier Valley Cultural Center), and each deals with a significant social/political/cultural issue or project. Though all of the films are worth watching and talking about, one, Back to the Garden, Flower Power Comes Full Circle, fascinated me more than the others. The documentary, which is by Kevin Tomlinson, is about a community of hippies filmed in rural Washington in 1988—the last year of the 20th century (that century ran between the Russian Revolution in 1917 and the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989).
(Also opening today: The new comedy from the man who made the murderous-tire-on-a-rampage thriller Rubber, and an environmental documentary so honest you'll want to kill yourself. Find all things filmy here.)