Last Sunday, Todd Solondz was in town to present his new film, Palindromes, to the membership of the Seattle International Film Festival. I just wanted to mention one local connection to the film. At the Q and A afterward, Solondz admitted that he's been lucky enough in his career to have control over the trailers and posters to his films. In Palindromes' case, the poster is designed around a large, storybook illustration by local artist Kathryn Rathke. It's a great poster, and when you see it you should feel a bit of local pride.

If you're a visiting filmmaker junkie and you're bummed you missed Solondz when he was in town, don't worry; there's plenty more filmmakers swinging through town this week. On Friday, April 29, midway through the run of his film The Girl from Monday at the Northwest Film Forum, indie-film royalty Hal Hartley will be present to introduce the film. If American films are too mainstream for you, though, check out the closing weekend of the Polish Film Festival at the Seattle Art Museum. On Saturday night, April 30, director Janusz Zaorski will present his film Saved by a Miracle. The next night, Lech Majewski will be introducing his film Garden of Earthly Delights, and probably be hanging around for some sort of closing night party. For more information, point your browser to www.polishfilms.org.

However, if you're more interested in local films and local filmmakers, odds are good that the folks who made Big City Dick: Richard Peterson's First Movie will be at the Rendezvous for the screenings that play through Sunday, May 1. In case you haven't seen it, it is a great and award-winning doc about the local street musician and personality Richard Peterson, who may very well show up to hawk some of his CDs. And if music docs are your thing, you'll want to head back to the Northwest Film Forum to see the Flaming Lips movie The Fearless Freaks, which plays through Wednesday, May 4.

Or maybe you're a big fan of Asian films? If so, you're in luck this week, as there are a ton of films playing in and around the University of Washington that are free and open to the public. The Thursday series of Japanese films continues at Savery Hall, room 239, with the rock 'n' roll zombie film Wild Zero on April 28 and the classic Kafka-esque Woman in the Dunes on May 5. Over at the Ethnic Cultural Theater (3940 Brooklyn Ave NE), a new Sunday series Sex and Food in the Films of Asia begins May 1 with The Vertical Ray of the Sun at 6:00 p.m., with some light snack beforehand, of course. Then on Monday, May 2, there will be an Akira Kurosawa double feature at Gowen Hall, room 201, with the story of a liberal professor forced out of a conservative school, No Regrets for Our Youth, at 6:00 p.m., and the classic memory mind-fuck film Rashomon at 8:30. This will be followed by a public lecture at 3:30 p.m. on Wednesday, May 4, at Thomson Hall, room 134, called "Kurosawa in Black and White." Or if you want to pay for your Asian films and get a little meditation in to boot, the Seattle Center is hosting the Himalayan Art & Film Festival April 28 to May 1, as part of the Third Annual Yoga and Meditation Festival (www.nwyogafest.com).

andy@thestranger.com

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