THE CLOSER YOU GET -- Seven Gables, Meridian 16

MISS JULIE -- Pacific Place

MISSION TO MARS -- Cinerama, Pacific Place, Southcenter, Northgate, others

THE NINTH GATE -- Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro, others

ORPHANS -- the Uptown

X -- Varsity Calendar



BEST OF BRITISH FILM -- Seattle Art Museum


FALLEN ANGELS -- Little Theatre

IRISH REELS FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL -- 911 Media Arts, Seattle Art Museum


LONDON BRIEF -- Little Theatre


MAD MAX -- Egyptian

REAR WINDOW -- Harvard Exit

SPIDER BABY 2000 -- Grand Illusion



March 17 -- Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Erin Brockovich, The Terrorist, Mifune, Final Destination, Deterrence, Beyond the Mat

March 24 -- Here on Earth, Whatever It Takes, Waking the Dead, Kadosh, Such a Long Journey


Academic Oscar Preview
Film critic/English professor Bill Taylor takes a sneak peek at and gives a humorous lecture on this year's Academy Award contenders. The cinematic wrap-up also features some behind-the-scenes info about the Big Night. Wed March 15, 6:30, $5; call Katherine Iverson, 296-5300, to RSVP. Seattle University

Agnes Brown
Some dreary Irish movie starring Angelica Huston. Meridian 16

Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
More of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omnidome

*All About My Mother
Pedro Almodovar's highly acclaimed new film, a mature look at women (with the obligatory drag queen). Metro

An IMAX examination of the lush forests and exotic animals of the Amazon river basin. Omnidome

American Beauty
Entertaining fluff. Take your typical suburban satire (midlife crisis, bitchy wife, disaffected youth), throw in some admittedly excellent performances, and what you get is the front-runner in this year's Oscar race. (Andy Spletzer) Aurora Cinema Grill, Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

And the Joke Would Be...?
Local group Women in Film's breakfast seminar for aspiring comic writers, featuring veteran Los Angeles sitcom writer Jeanne Romano. Learn how to make 'em chuckle. Sat March 11 at 9am; breakfast at 9, program at 9:30; $20, 447-1537 for reservations. Lake Washington Rowing Club

Antonio Gaudi/Baraka
Double feature! The first, Hiroshi Teshigahara's exploration of Catalan architect Antonio Gaudi's unique, whimsical, and sometimes erotic works (see Barcelona -- the city); shown with Baraka, Ron Fricke's "visual tone poem" spanning 24 countries, with music from Dead Can Dance and various indigenous musicians. Tues-Thurs March 14-16: Antonia Gaudi at 4:10, 7:30 and Baraka at 5:40, 9. Egyptian

The Beach
Leonardo DiCaprio descends into a tropical heart of darkness. A cautionary tale about the dark side of hippie utopias. Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro

Beautiful People
Like your standard black comedy dealing with the former Yugoslavia, Beautiful People is well-intentioned. It encourages everyone to "get along." For its politics, I give at an A+ (yes, killing is a bad thing); but as a work of art, I must give it a D-. Thurs March 9 at 4:40, 7, 9:20. (Charles Mudede) Varsity Calendar

*Being John Malkovich
It's the best film of 1999, and it has a monkey in it. Coincidence? We don't think so. Meridian 16, Varsity

SAM's series of British comedies and dramas comes to a close with John Boorman's Leo the Last (1970), in which elusive, wealthy aristocrat Marcello Mastroianni becomes involved with the "street urchins" surrounding his mansion in London (Thurs March 9 at 7:30). Call 625-8900 for more info. Seattle Art Museum

*Big Time
Chris Blum's chronicle of Tom Waits' 1987 concerts in San Francisco and Los Angeles. Everybody's favorite street poet/curmudgeon growls and sings favorites from his various albums. Fri-Sat March 10-11 at midnight. Egyptian

Boiler Room
Glengarry Glenn Ross for the Gen-X set, as if we needed that. Meridian 16, Metro

*Boys Don't Cry
Bellingham native Hilary Swank deserves every accolade she's received for her portrayal of Brandon Teena, a boy born in a girl's body, who was killed by hateful people who couldn't, or just wouldn't, understand that. Broadway Market

The Cider House Rules
Based on the John Irving novel, a period piece about life and abortion. Aurora Cinema Grill, Guild 45th, Uptown

*Closely Watched Trains
Czech New Wave director Jirí Menzel shuns the cynicism and boo-hoo-life-is-cruel vibe of his Eastern European artistic counterparts, and instead basks in the glow of his own brand of goofy, eccentric humor and witty sunshine. But Menzel doesn't just shove pain and suffering under the rug, either. In his debut film (among the seven-film retrospective at the G.I.), Mendel spins a tragicomic yarn about a teenage boy whose biggest problem during wartime and a German invasion of Czechoslovakia is how to escape his adolescent boredom and lose his virginity. An "offbeat, bittersweet" piece of cinematic "poetry." Fri-Thurs March 10-16 at (Sat-Sun 12, 3), 5, 7, 9. Grand Illusion

The Closer You Get
An Irish comedy? Potato famine! HA HA HA HA HA! Seven Gables, Meridian 16

The Cup
Laughter erupts as Tibetan monks become obsessed with World Cup soccer! Metro

*Doomed Planet
Digital-cinema impresario Alex Mayer will screen his underground film, a destined-to-be cult classic, in this sweaty ballet studio while presiding over the first official meeting of the "Happy Bee Cult." The meaning of the cult will be explained at the gathering (you see, this is how they get you). The screening will include outtakes from Mayer's film, along with other local shorts of interest. Sat March 11 at 9, $5 donation. Belltown Ballet Studio

Drowning Mona
A wacky comedy about a really mean woman (Bette Midler), and the town that is happy to see her die. Aurora Cinema Grill, Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11

The Eruption of Mount St. Helens
The mountain blew up in 1980, and has been blowing up on film ever since. Omnidome

An Evening with Bruce Bickford
Bruce Bickford, the Northwest's own revolutionary animator/pop culture visionary, will present an evening of his works and ideas, including examples from his past (MTV images, Prometheus' Garden) and current works-in-progress (Cas'l'), in addition to other related artwork. Discussion will follow (ask him about working with Frank Zappa and constructing the town and landscape for David Lynch's Twin Peaks). Mature audiences only. Fri March 10 at 7:30, $7; 625-8900 for more info. Seattle Art Museum

Fallen Angels
Hipster Hong Kong filmmaker Wong Kar-Wai's (Chung King Express) action/art film explores an underworld of neon-lit style and neo-new wave. Thurs-Sun March 16-19 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Little Theatre

Fantasia 2000
The latest Walt Disney sweeping-animation-and-classical-music extravaganza, this time in thrilling 3D. Bring your own mind-altering substances. Pacific Science Center

The Green Mile
Tom Hanks' death row is forever changed when a magical prisoner is admitted. Meridian 16

Hanging Up
Meg Ryan, Lisa Kudrow, and Diane Keaton are three sisters who love (and sometimes hate) one another. Walter Matthau is their crazy, sex-craved father! Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*Holy Smoke
Ruth (Kate Winslet), on vacation in India, attends the religious service of a guru and falls head over heels into it. Her family fears she's been brainwashed, so they force Ruth into meeting with cult deprogrammer P. J. Waters (Harvey Keitel), flown in from America at great expense. Inevitably, sex becomes a way to balance their power relationship. The two leads deserve credit for such brave, honest performances, but save most of the praise for director Jane Campion, once again pushing everything to its bitter conclusion and then, surprisingly but coherently, going past even that. (Bruce Reid) Harvard Exit

The Hurricane
Denzel Washington plays a boxer who was falsely imprisoned, who then becomes a folk hero when Bob Dylan writes a song about him. Meridian 16

*The Insider
Another chance to catch this Oscar-nominated film that slams Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes. Metro

A collection of authentic Irish films, shorts, and documentaries that avoid the tired thick-brogue-and-Guiness clichés and stereotypes of Irish people. All the films are independently produced, with an emphasis on the young Irish and the Irish-emigrant experience. Presented by 911 Media Arts and the Seattle Art Museum. Until Sat March 11; call 682-1141 or visit for details; see Stranger Movie Times. 911 Media Arts, Seattle Art Museum

Island of the Sharks
Them there's SHARKS on the IMAX screen! Swim with the fishes at your peril. Pacific Science Center

An impressive lineup of Jewish cinema (documentaries, features, and shorts) featuring several Northwest premieres, like (among many others) The Color of Jewish, about Ethiopian Jews; The Life and Times of Hank Greenburg, a documentary about the Jewish baseball great; The Schvitz, which chronicles the dwindling Russian bathhouse culture; and last year's SIFF favorite Emporte-Moi, about a 13-year-old's coming of age in a French-Jewish-Catholic household and Catholic school. Special events include a Bagel & Film Brunch, an opening night gala, "free for seniors" matinees, and post-film discussions. Sat-Sun March 11-19; call 622-6315 or visit for more details. See Stranger Movie Times for specific showtimes. Reviewed this issue. City Centre

London Brief
Experimental filmmaker Jon Jost's London Brief is an atmospheric digital video about a 21st-century version of London. Thurs-Sun March 9-12 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30; West Coast premiere! Reviewed this issue. Little Theatre

Love Reinvented
A collection of gay and lesbian shorts dealing primarily with HIV-related issues, commissioned by the sexy French government. Includes Close To, with Alexis Arquette (Last Exit to Brooklyn), and Cherish, directed by Australian Stephen Jones. Fri-Mon March 10-13 at (Sat-Sun 2, 3:50), 5:40, 7:30, 9:20. Reviewed this issue. Egyptian

Mad Max
A re-release (with a new 35mm print, digital sound, and original Australian accents) of the 1979 drama, with a young Mel Gibson as a futuristic cop. Thurs March 9 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Egyptian

In a cinematically fun package, Paul Thomas Anderson weaves together the story of eight generic characters. At three hours, the movie is way too long, particularly when it stops to try and flesh out the "characters," but some of the showy visuals make this movie worthwhile. (Andy Spletzer) Metro

A Map of the World
Sigourney Weaver plays Alice Goodwin, a school nurse from the city now living with her family on a farm in a small rural town. For the searing first third of the movie, Scott Elliot's camera paces with Alice, quietly picking up the tiny darknesses that will overcome her when a tragic accident involving the small child of a family friend occurs. Elliot leads Weaver to a truly discomforting, slow-burn nervous breakdown; her face has never looked so fragile, nor revealed someone so capable of faltering. The film, though, almost falls apart with her. Julianne Moore, as Alice's faithful, devastated friend, turns in another performance of such wrecked grace it's time she's granted sainthood. (Steve Wiecking) Broadway Market

Miss Julie
I would like to hate Mike Figgis, but I can't. I'm a sucker for pretentious films, and Mike Figgis (along with Peter Greenaway) makes the most pretentious films in the world. His latest effort, Miss Julie, is based on a play by Swedish playwright August Strindberg, written in 1884. Set during a midsummer festival, it's about a neurotic nobleman's daughter (Saffron Burrows) who seduces an ambitious footman (Peter Mullan) in a big kitchen. But their class and gender difference are so marked, they cannot find a point of agreement or reconciliation -- instead psychologically torturing each other for the rest of the film. Though both performances are fine, it's hard to believe that Saffron Burrows (Wing Commander, Deep Blue Sea) is of high birth; no matter what costume you put on her, she always looks like a supermodel from a big metropolis. But I have to be honest: I liked this film. I liked it for the very reasons many will despise it: the pretentious photography (entirely shot with a hand-held camera), the pretentious editing, and the pretentious screenplay. (Charles Mudede)

Mission to Mars
A bunch of astronauts go to Mars and something terrible happens. Brian DePalma rips off Stanley Kubrick, god bless him. Cinerama, Pacific Place, Northgate

My Dog Skip
Another heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog. Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

The Next Best Thing
Madonna and Rupert Everett are two best friends (he's gay, she ain't) who accidentally have a kid. Whoops! Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

The Ninth Gate
Roman Polanski's new film, starring Johnny Depp as a brilliant filmmaker who anally rapes a 13-year-old girl in Jack Nicholson's hot tub and is forced to live in exile in Paris. Or something like that. Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Metro, Lewis & Clark

*Not One Less
Chinese director Zhang Yimou's (Raise the Red Lantern, To Live) story of a young schoolgirl left in charge of her entire class when their teacher leaves for a long trip. Mischief, obstacles, and interesting journeys ensue.

Olympic Glory
International athletes and adrenaline junkies show off their skills and defy gravity at the 1998 Winter Olympics at Nagano. Omnidome

Open Screening
Aspiring filmmakers, enthusiasts, and armchair critics gather and enjoy wacky homemade shorts. A perfect chance to receive feedback from a supportive crowd. VHS tapes only, 10 minutes max (first come, first serve). Mon March 13 at 8, $1. 911 Media Arts

Peter Mullan's indie effort, about four siblings in a tough Glasgow town coping with their mother's death. Part of the Shooting Gallery films series. Uptown

Pitch Black
Pitch Black starts out great, dropping you onto a planet by means of a rather exciting crash of a passenger ship (which, of course, is also transporting a dangerous criminal). We learn that the planet has three suns, so it is never dark. Ah, but an eclipse is coming, and the creatures that live underground, the ones that can't stand the light, will once again have free reign over the planet's surface, and will once again kill everything and everyone they find. The movie is actually pretty smart -- until near the end, when the filmmakers lose track of just how much light upsets these creatures, and when a couple of characters go from being complex to just being confused. Then again, those are minor flaws in a good genre picture. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11

*Rear Window
Hitchcock's Rear Window stands as perhaps the greatest film whose subject is film itself: sitting in the dark, watching stories play out on a screen/through a window. Now it has had a complete restoration by Robert Harris and James Katz -- the same pair who cleaned up Vertigo a few years back, but foolishly "re-Foleyed" the soundtrack, resulting in egregiously loud sound effects that distracted from the film. Fortunately they commit no missteps here; Rear Window's meticulous soundtrack has merely been cleaned up and left in its original brilliance, while the picture's Technicolor seems as fresh as newly applied paint -- the rosy Manhattan sunset and Grace Kelly's ivory skin becoming especially luminous. (Bruce Reid) Harvard Exit

*Reindeer Games
Staying true to his nature, veteran director John Frankenheimer produced a film with very little variation on the themes, codes, and moral concerns of classic film noir. The movie has your basic femme fatale (Charlize Theron) at the center of the plot; a basic heist, planned and executed by an amateurish team of criminals; a basic ex-con or "Everyman" (Ben Affleck), who is drawn moth-like into the femme fatale's elaborate labyrinth; and sharp contrasts between black and white, good and bad. The end result is that Reindeer Games feels like a movie crafted by an old master, by someone who has been in the business for so long that he can do nothing else but produce expert entertainment. (Charles Mudede) Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Scream 3
The final chapter in the trilogy doesn't change the rules or break any new ground. (Andy Spletzer) Pacific Place 11

*The Sixth Sense
A little boy sees dead people while Bruce Willis sees his marriage disintegrate. Meridian 16

Snow Day
The dream pairing of Chevy Chase and Chris Elliot, in this movie geared toward kids who like fart jokes. Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16

Spider Baby 2000
A revival premiere of Jack Hill's (Switchblade Sisters, Foxy Brown) 1964 bizarre classic, about the eery home life of the demented Merrye family, who all suffer from a mental disease that causes them to regress to a psycho-"infantile" state of savagery and cannibalism. With Lon Chaney Jr. as the sick & twisted family's caretaker and chauffeur. Three weeks of late-night screenings! Fri-Sat March 10-11 at 11. Grand Illusion

The Story of Frank Iny/I Miss the Sun
UW's Jewish Studies Program's film series continues with two short films that study the history of two prominent Middle Eastern Jewish families (from Iraq and Egypt, respectively). Told from the perspective of the families' American-born grandchildren. Mon March 13 at 7, FREE. Kane Hall

The Talented Mr. Ripley
Matt Damon is typecast as a loveable psychopath who falls in love with the life of Dickie Greenwood (played by the fantastic Jude Law). Meridian 16

Tales of Hoffman
For the high-culture aficionado in all of us: The Little Theatre's Opera Series continues with British director Michael Powell's Tales of Hoffman, his "whimsical adaptation" of Jacques Offenbach's three-part opera. Wed March 15 at 7:30 only. Little Theatre

Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train
The death of a famous painter brings friends, lovers, and devoted students together, and the mourners experience loss, attraction, and other intense emotions. In 35mm CinemaScope. Thurs March 9 at 4:45, 7, 9:15. Grand Illusion

Three Strikes
A comic adventure about an African American ex-con desperately trying to avoid his "third strike" and a long-ass prison sentence. Lewis & Clark, Redmond Town Center, Uptown

The Tigger Movie
From the fever dreams of Christopher Robin comes this movie about a maniac tigger who gets into all kinds of trouble. Meridian 16, Metro, Redmond Town Center

Movie based on the early, violent play by William Shakespeare, with plenty of scenery chewed by Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. Broadway Market

Director Mike Leigh takes his flair for social realism and points it straight at the Victorian struggles of mediocre artists/high-minded entertainers, Gilbert and Sullivan. Broadway Market

What Planet Are You From?
HBO star Garry Shandling -- who has the uncanny ability to always look like he just smelled a fart -- plays a horny alien sent to Earth on an intergalactic mission to woo and impregnate a single female of the species. What a kooky wham-bam! The overripe premise of a recently arrived outsider gazing in perplexity upon the illogical workings of society quickly falls on its sorry extraterrestrial ass: penis jokes, bad pick-up lines, and all those quirky sexual politics give way to a schmaltzy, totally stale reconsideration of the uplifting benefits of monogamy and parenthood. As a comedy, it's gutless and predictable; as a romance, it's as cold and lonely as deep space. Annette Bening, in beautiful bed-head, almost saves the movie with her simmering, sweetly Marilyn Monroe-like rendition of "High Hopes" at the bottom of a stairway. Otherwise, director Mike Nichols proves himself an unconscionably outdated and opportunistic hack: He should have his post-Graduate degree revoked by the Academy. (Rick Levin) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

The Whole Nine Yards
Matthew Perry freaks when he discovers a professional killer (Bruce Willis) has moved in next door. Hilarity, of course, ensues. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

Wonder Boys
Any film that can make an audience stomach Michael Douglas is a minor accomplishment. Curtis Hanson's film does more than that -- this is Douglas' finest performance in years. Vulnerability is far from his forte (and so is likability, for that matter), but somehow Douglas relaxes into a casual, harried weakness, and it's actually his reserve that allows you to believe that so much of what happens could unfold so naturally. Hanson, fresh from the success of L.A. Confidential, wisely stays cool and lets his camera pick up the quirks as they come. There's an appealing looseness to the dialogue, yet when Douglas says he has to save Toby Maguire because "sometimes people just need to be rescued," like the film around it, the scene has a gentle gravity. (Steve Wiecking) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Neptune, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

From the director of Astro Boy and Kimba the White Lion comes the millennial adventure X, in which the fate of humankind rests on one young man's shoulders. Fri-Thurs March 10-16 at (Sat-Sun 1:30, 3:30), 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Reviewed this issue. Varsity Calendar