With the return of both the Langston Hughes African American Film Festival and the upcoming Polish Film Festival, not to mention the massive Seattle International Film Festival that is just over a month away, I was going to make a snarky comment about how film festival season is starting up again. Then I began thinking about all the mini-festivals and one-off events that have already taken place this year. You know what? Seattle is in a constant state of film festival. Every week there's too much going on for any one person to catch all of it; you have to pick and choose what you're going to see. That's awesome, and this week is no exception.

The Friday, April 8, opening night film of the Langston Hughes festival is Au Pair Chocolat, a romantic comedy described as a hiphop Mary Poppins on Martha's Vineyard. The stars include singer Maya Azucena and Martin Scorsese's daughter Domenica Cameron-Scorsese. Writer-producer Abigail McGrath will introduce the film and do a Q and A afterward. The three-day festival is dedicated to the memory of the late, great Ossie Davis, and you can get the full schedule by going to www.geocities.com/gumbomedia/lhaff/index.html. One other movie in particular should get a good crossover audience with the Capitol Hill music crowd: Saturday, April 9, night's documentary Afro Punk: The Rock 'n' Roll Nigger Experience. It follows four folks dedicated to the punk-rock lifestyle. These people of color move in a mostly white community and are dealing with loneliness, exile, interracial dating, and black power. Along with some live performances, there are interviews with members of Fishbone, the Dead Kennedys, and others. Director James Spooner will introduce and speak after the show.

Starting on Saturday, April 9, over at the Northwest Film Forum, there will be a two-day mini-festival dedicated to the artistry of architecture. If Christo emphasized architecture by wrapping bridges and castles in fabric, Gordon Matta-Clark worked by cutting pieces away with chain saws and power tools, exposing the insides. It's deconstruction in a literal sense, and the scope of his work is damn fascinating. "City Slivers" and "Fresh Kills" record a couple of his projects, and local architect Jerry Garcia (who designed the new NW Film Forum space) will talk about them. On Sunday, April 10, there will be a 5:00 p.m. show called Building North Pacific America: A Lecture and Dance Party. Special guest Matthijs Bouw, a Dutch architect who collaborated with Rem Koolhaas, has been investigating the Pacific Northwest and will share his findings.

On Sunday, April 10, First Hill's Frye Art Museum is once again host to The Magic Lantern, a lecture program that ties contemporary art to film. This week illustrious film critic Robert Horton will be supporting the current exhibit Celebrity Soul: Lenbach Portraits with a discussion of the work of directors Max Ophuls and Rainer Werner Fassbinder. Their film styles achieve similar ends to Lenbach's brushstrokes in their perception of "the skull beneath the skin" in late 19th- and early 20th-century European life.

Finally, I need to mention IFC's Ultimate Film Fanatic live game show at Fremont's Dubliner (Tues-Thurs from 6-9 pm). Throw down with our city's video-store employees to test your film knowledge and debating skills, while getting the chance to win an Apple iPod mini, an IFC home theater system, and a chance to win a trip for two to the Cannes Film Festival.


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