I couldn't believe my eyes: Modern Masters of Kyoto at the Seattle Asian Art Museum. Modern? At SAAM? No way! At an art museum that excludes 20th-century work to a level that approaches racism -- if you're going to call yourself Asian, it would seem to be your duty to explore all aspects of Asian art, including work which isn't in traditional forms -- we will finally see a show of modern work. But don't hold your breath for work by Naim June Paik, Yoko Ono, Mariko Mori, Roger Shimomura, Rirkrit Tiravanija, or Takashi Murakami, cause you're not going to see them at SAAM, at least not while long-time Curator of Asian Art William Rathbun is ruling the roost. (He's due to retire soon.) Modern Masters is modern only in that the early 20th-century artists involved had at least seen a little late 19th-century European painting, and let it have some influence on their work. But this is not the modernism of Picasso or Kandinsky, let alone Duchamp. We're talking hanging scroll paintings, women in kimonos, the whole bag. As ever, the only truly modern Asian art on view at SAAM will remain Black Sun, the beautiful Isamu Noguchi sculpture which stands across from the museum's front steps.

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I got some more information about the various misguided remakes of perfect '60s and '70s sci-fi movies I trembled about two weeks back. James Cameron is apparently no longer slated to direct Planet of the Apes, blowing a hole in my half-baked "you have to be 14 when a sci-fi movie comes out to want to remake it" theory. However, John McTiernan, currently in the cinemas with his remake of Norman Jewison's Thomas Crown Affair, is planning on remaking Jewison's Rollerball as well. (What Jewison movie is McTiernan -- who was all of 24 when Rollerball was released -- going to remake next? F.I.S.T.? Jesus Christ Superstar?) Lastly, the American remake of the brilliantly world-weary Italian satire The Tenth Victim has found its replacement for the original's Ursula Andress: Catherine Zeta-Jones, who certainly has the ass for it, if I may say so myself.

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The death of Richard Pappas at the age of 68 this past July marked the end of an era in Seattle's movie history, in more ways than just those enumerated in Janet Burkitt's obituary in the Seattle Times of July 19. Pappas, a lifelong movie lover who at various points owned a Portland drive-in and the Guild 45th, also ran the Seattle Motion Picture Service on Aurora Avenue for almost 40 years. According to Pappas' wife, Lela, he "repaired projectors, sold them, bought new ones, and resold them."

But what the Times doesn't tell you is that Pappas was also the major distributor of X-rated movies to local theaters. There's no money in that business in this home-video age, and the Apple and Midway, the last porno houses in Seattle, closed their doors last year, victims of redevelopment. So now there's an immense adult-film library on Aurora Avenue -- described by one visitor as numbering in the low thousands -- that has no natural outlets anymore. A historic treasure trove like this demands preservation: I hereby call on Paul Allen to stop fucking around with Jimi Hendrix and create a museum worthy of this vast collection!

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