BIG DADDY--Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis &

Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

THE BOOK OF LIFE--Grand Illusion


AN IDEAL HUSBAND--Harvard Exit, Seven Gables

RUN LOLA RUN--Harvard Exit


BREATHLESS--Little Theater

CANDOR--Union Garage


ETERNITY AND A DAY--Grand Illusion

A FISH CALLED WANDA--Fremont Friday Outdoors





MOULIN ROUGE--Little Theater








June 30--The Loss of Sexual Innocence, South Park, Wild Wild West

July 2--My Son the Fanatic, The Wall, Tamas and Juli

July 9--American Pie, Dry Cleaning, Arlington Road, Defying Gravity, Xiu Xiu: The Sent-Down Girl


ALASKA: SPIRIT OF THE WILD--More of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omnidome

AMAZON--Follow an ethnobotanist through the lush rainforests of the Andes and along the rough-and-tumble Amazon River! Learn about exotic animals, medicinal plants, and Indian shamanism! Amazon's IMAX quality and the Omnidome screen vs. a back issue of National Geographic... you decide. Omnidome

*AUSTIN POWERS: THE SPY WHO SHAGGED ME--I have to admit, this movie cracked me up. A big, sloppy comedy chock full of nonsense jokes, sexual innuendo, and scatological humor, The Spy Who Shagged Me was obviously edited to keep in the favorite bits of Mike Myers and director Jay Roach. The story? Dr. Evil and his feral, midget clone, "Mini-Me," go back in time to steal Austin's libidinous power source, his mojo. A mojo-less Austin also goes back in time, where he meets American CIA agent Felicity Shagwell (Heather Graham, in a performance more sexy than inspired). Meanwhile, Scott Evil continues to search for approval from a father who doesn't believe he's evil enough. Plot is not the point, however--surreal comedy is. Biggest surprise: Rob Lowe, as the young Number Two, does a great Robert Wagner impersonation. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

*BESIEGED--Driven from her African home while her husband's still in prison, Shandurai (Thandie Newton) is in Rome studying to be a doctor, employed as a maid by Mr. Kinsky (David Thewlis), a pianist/composer of no import living comfortably off his large inheritance. Though Shandurai has her own story and life separate from Kinsky, the camera consistently gazes at her with such naked lust that it borders on the shameful. The last time Bernardo Bertolucci made a film, he was similarly fixated on a young lovely, but Stealing Beauty must rank as one of the most godawful movies ever put out by a director who has claims to greatness. Here he shows us what the world looks like from the perspective of someone deep in the midst of obsession. Everything is seen with the nervous, jumpy energy of a man who can't think of anything but the woman he loves. He eventually tries to buy her respect by working to get her husband out of prison, with mixed results. Though small-scale, this is a greatly effective and even beautiful film. (Bruce Reid) Uptown, Varsity

BIG DADDY--Adam Sandler adopts a kid, in an attempt to move from adolescent humor to post-adolescent humor. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

THE BOOK OF LIFE--For the smart, indie, art film lover/hipster in all of us: Hal Hartley's The Book of Life features sexy-scary PJ Harvey (who also provides music for the soundtrack), Martin Donovan, and a Mac Powerbook (as "the Book of Life") in an "experimentally created digital video" film about Jesus, the Devil, a potential apocalypse, and double-clicking on a laptop. Reviewed this issue. Grand Illusion

BREATHLESS--If you've already seen your share of Scorsese's graphic mobster movies, check out the new 35mm print of Jean-Luc Godard's Breathless (1959), a tribute to the American gangster flick, in which a small-time French gangster (Jean Paul Belmondo in his debut role) falls in love with an American journalist. Wed-Sat June 30-July 3 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Little Theater

BUENA VISTA SOCIAL CLUB--While scoring Wim Wenders' 1997 film The End of Violence, Ry Cooder gave him a copy of a tape he made with the Cuban "super-group," the Buena Vista Social Club. Wenders was instantly won over. When Cooder returned to produce another album, Wenders came with him, and brought a film crew along for the ride. With no script to follow, the story unfolds naturally. The camera leisurely cruises the streets of Havana, picking up bits and pieces. Compay Segundo, the 92-year-old patriarch of the group, strolls the streets pleasantly chatting with passers-by. The other distinguished members are equally charming. A story develops that mirrors the let's-put-on-a-show scenario of the Mickey Rooney/Judy Garland films, with a triumphant climax at Carnegie Hall. Winner of this year's Golden Space Needle for Best Documentary. (Gillian G. Gaar) Broadway Market

CANDOR--Candor, Brad Cook's new indie film, features local talent and locale while telling the story of a small town bursting with secrets and ugly realities. Don't miss the last screening! Sun June 27 at 5, 7, 9; $7.50. Union Garage

*CHILDREN'S CINEMA--The Grand Illusion's Children's Cinema series continues with the one thing that brings out the kid in all of us: 3-D. Bring the kids to see The Golden Fish and String Bean--with 3-D glasses provided, of course. Sun June 27 at 1, 3. $3.50 children/$5 grown-ups. Grand Illusion

DESERT BLUE--A big cola corporation called Empire Cola (a name no self-respecting soft drink company would ever use) gives out free cola to the 97 people in a small California town called Baxter, as a professor of popular culture looks for the biggest ice cream cone in the world to add to his photo of beloved Americana. Meanwhile, a young hick--whose father died in a burning hotel with some mystery surrounding his death (does it have anything to do with Empire Cola?)--falls in love with and seduces an emerging TV actress from a big city. The hick wants to live up to his father's great name, Baxter, who happens to be the very man who built the largest ice cream cone in the world. When a truck explodes and spills toxic waste on the highway (it's soon discovered that the truck is owned by Empire Cola! The mystery thickens), a group of multi-ethnic FBI agents investigate. Despite all of the different elements, the film adds up to nothing at all. (Charles Mudede) Varsity

*ELECTION--A brilliant dark comedy about an unctuous overachiever's campaign for student council president, and the high school teacher determined to foil her. Election's style serves to plunge us completely into its characters' tiny, highly charged world, rendering pathetic human pettiness on a nearly operatic scale. Director/co-writer Alexander Payne has infused his miniature world with enormous creativity and meticulous attention to detail: every character is unnervingly humane, the supporting cast is uniformly perfect, and you've never seen a contemporary high school so uncannily rendered. As the charmingly atrocious Tracy Flick, Reese Witherspoon gives an indelible performance; finally she has a role to compete with her star-making turn in the little-seen Freeway. And Matthew Broderick lays the ghost of Ferris Bueller to rest once and for all with his lovely portrayal of Tracy's beleaguered, would-be nemesis. (David Schmader) Uptown

THE ERUPTION OF MOUNT ST. HELENS--The mountain blew up in 1980, and has been blowing up on film ever since. Omnidome

*ETERNITY AND A DAY--Greek director Theo Angelopoulos' Eternity and a Day looks at regret, redemption, lost moments, and obtaining true happiness through the eyes of a terminally ill man trying to help a young Albanian refugee. Thurs June 24 at 5:30, 8. Grand Illusion

EVEREST--The first IMAX footage ever shot on top of the world. Pacific Science Center

*EXISTENZ--Cronenberg's is a world where virtual reality games have become so commonplace that most people think nothing of drilling a "bioport" directly into their spine in order to plug in. Once a game starts, the player becomes a cast member in an artificial world where everything looks and feels "real," where some actions are preprogrammed and others are not. The biggest celebrities of the day are game designers, and none is bigger or more brilliant than the reclusive Allegra Geller (Jennifer Jason Leigh), whose latest, greatest achievement, eXistenZ, has inspired somebody to put a death sentence on her head. David Cronenberg is working from his first original script since Videodrome, and what he's come up with is, in some ways, a revisitation to that movie's themes, and this is one of the wittiest, most perceptive movies about movies and how we think they affect us since Videodrome. (Bruce Reid) Uptown

A FISH CALLED WANDA--Fremont's second al fresco cinema series takes place in the Adobe parking lot, underneath the Aurora Bridge. All films will be presented with digital projection and sound. Be prepared to bust a gut this week, since the feature is A Fish Called Wanda, the beloved and very silly comedy worth watching for Kevin Kline's performance alone. Shown with a Wallace and Grommet animated short. Fri June 25 at 7, $5. Fremont Friday Outdoors

THE GENERAL'S DAUGHTER--Simon "Con Air" West's new "thriller" pretends to be about the importance of women to the armed forces. It features the graphic rape of a female captain, a brutal, fetishistic murder, and the idea that anything outside the missionary position can only be the result of emotional scarring. John Travolta spends his time questioning the kind of suspects who spill the beans after five minutes of scrutiny, and Madeleine Stowe is around to assure us that Travolta is heterosexual. James Woods, one of the only signs of life in this mire, plays a homosexual colonel, which is supposedly a surprise, but we quickly discern that he's a homosexual because he's slightly oily, enjoys classical music, and knows how to prepare a casserole. Travolta proves once again that he can carry a film, but why he's chosen to cart this offensive stinker around is the film's most compelling mystery. (Steve Wiecking) Factoria, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center, Southcenter

GET REAL--When two boys playfully wrestle in a gay film, you know it's not long before they both realize there's something else they'd rather be doing. In Get Real, warmly directed by Simon Shore, a heartfelt geek (Ben Silverstone) pursues the gorgeous class jock (Brad Gorton) and gains his self-respect. As a queer coming of age movie, this sweet British import doesn't really offer much of anything new, aside from fine acting (and respect for teenage girls, though they inevitably get lost in the dust). The film lacks momentum, and its stage origins are evident: Every conversation is layered and thoughtful to a fault; scenes lack the spontaneity of film dialogue, and suffer from a stillness that doesn't seem cinematic. Somehow, though, the same considerations that weigh everything down also contribute to a welcome gentleness. Unlike the trumpetings of its American counterparts, Get Real is smartly tender in conveying the idea that everybody is worthy of being loved. By the end, the film wins you over with that painful, universal longing that lies just beneath the surface of every slow dance. (Steve Wiecking) Broadway Market

*HITCHCOCK CELEBRATION--The party comes to an end with Thursday's screenings of The Trouble with Harry and Family Plot, then a weekend double-feature of Vertigo and Marnie. Then the Egyptian will close down for renovations (AIR CONDITIONING!), so the calendar will move back to the Varsity for a couple of months. Egyptian

AN IDEAL HUSBAND--Just what we needed, another British period piece dealing with class issues. Yawn. Sir Robert Chiltern (Jeremy Northam) is an upstanding politician being blackmailed by Mrs. Cheveley (Julianne Moore). Meanwhile, a comedy of matchmaking is going on between secondary characters played by Minnie Driver and Rupert Everett. Everyone in the movie seems like they're play-acting at being high society folks. I'm sure that's fun for them, but it's no fun to watch. Poor Minnie Driver seems like she doesn't belong in a period piece--like she's trying to break out from the stiffness of the role--which makes for an unnatural performance. On the other hand, Julianne Moore is once again the best thing about an otherwise mediocre but well-meaning film. Maybe the second half of An Ideal Husband turned into an action-adventure yarn, but I didn't stick around to find out. (Andy Spletzer) Harvard Exit, Seven Gables

INSTINCT--A celebrated anthropologist (Sir Anthony Hopkins) studying a family of gorillas in a remote jungle in Rwanda decides to abandon civilization and enter the world of the apes: following them, eating with them, sitting in the heat and rain, absorbing their mysterious ways and grunts. All of this comes to a sudden end when, in defense of his adopted family, he brutally murders two park rangers and is returned to civilization (Miami, to be exact) to pay his debt to society. In Miami, he refuses to talk with anyone. It's up to a brilliant young psychologist (Cuba Gooding, Jr.) to restore not only his voice but his humanity. Despite the evident chemistry between Gooding and Hopkins, the film feels unreal, not because of the incredible premise (in fact, I accepted the whole idea of a man joining a family of apes), but because of the absence of a realistic race context within the structure of the plot; as with Gooding's lack of reaction to the irony of a white man telling him, a black man, that he is too civilized to understand Africa. Strange. (Charles Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11

INTO THE DEEP--An IMAX film in 3-D, putting you right into the aquarium. Pacific Science Center

LATE-NIGHT SEX & RELIGION--Throughout June and July, Dennis Nyback will host the Grand Illusion's Sex and Religion Festival, which will include a wide range of arousing and divine cinema (from cartoons to silent films to stag films). This week's focus is on rare silent films, including the "part-talkie" She Goes to War (1929), the Russian Bed and Sofa (1927), The Messenger of the Blessed Virgin (1930), as well as films by Hitchcock and Rene Claire. Fri-Thurs June 25-July at 11. Call 523-3935 for more details. Grand Illusion

LIMBO--John Sayles has always been concerned primarily with the depiction of place in his films. In the best instances, his films seem to grow directly from the soil in which they take place, novelistic and natural, like a very old tree. Limbo, by comparison, seems transplanted and sickly, like an idea cast upon a barren field that has failed to take root. Sayles' place here is the last physical and emotional outpost of the American spirit: Alaska. Luminous cinematography by Haskell Wexler renders the land as a gilded promise, with golden light glancing in at acute angles, but the characterizations and heavy-handed plot fail to live up to this promise. This is the blunt and obvious Alaska of losers, dreamers, and schemers, peppered with a few de-facto modern appliances, like ex-Seattle lesbians and California tourism tycoons. The plot, which concerns ill-fated lovers on a ham-fisted backwoods adventure poorly extrapolated from Jack London's wastebasket, feels overworked and plodding. Moreover, this film is just too goddamn written: every word seems delivered in the death-throes of acting, like salmon at the end of their run. (Jamie Hook) Guild 45th

THE LOSS OF SEXUAL INNOCENCE--Mike Figgis (Leaving Las Vegas) directs this rumination of innocence and sex which will frustrate some and linger with others. Wed-Tues June 30-July 6 at (Sat-Mon 2:20), 4:40, 7, 9:20. Varsity

THE MATRIX--Morpheus (Laurence Fishburne) has been searching for the One, a cyber-Christ who will destroy the Matrix and wake people out of their preprogrammed idea of life. He thinks he has found Him in Neo (Keanu Reeves). With the knowledge that the Matrix is a computer-created dream, Morpheus and his rebels (with equally stupid names: Trinity, Cypher, Switch, Apoc, etc.) can run and jump and fight with superhuman power, but are hunted down by super-agents who want to cleanse the system. Sure, the character names are stupid, the barroom metaphysics ("Hey, what if life is just a dream?") are simplistic, and the cyber-Christ story is predictable, but the action scenes--even the ones that use that 180 degree near-freeze frame--make this otherwise boring movie worth seeing. From the directors of Bound. (Andy Spletzer) City Center, Grand Alderwood, Varsity

*MEETING PEOPLE IS EASY--This movie functions as Radiohead version 3.5, as Radiohead '99, as soul food for all the empty, starving people out there. The visual equivalent of their album OK Computer, it utilizes the latest in technique and technology to construct a hymn to Thom York's personal depression. It's not a very nice film. It kills journalists, drunken clubgoers, fans, record companies, and rock stardom. It's preachy, uncomfortable, and unpleasant. But that doesn't mean it isn't the best rock 'n' roll film of the '90s. Fri-Sat June 25-26 at midnight. (Philip Guichard) Egyptian

A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM--Director and adapter Michael Hoffman has an intensely melancholy take on the material; his idea of whimsy is to have Puck take a piss against a cave like some mythical barfly. The rest of the great cast deliver uneven results. Following Hoffman's lead, Kevin Kline is too somber as Bottom. Michelle Pfeiffer's Titania is fine, if a bit too grand. Calista Flockhart as Helena is, surprisingly, the only actor who consistently manages to hit the right tone (despite some McBeal-type pouts); she's as airy and just as sweetly heartstricken as the rest of this well-intended but plodding film should be. (Steve Wiecking) Pacific Place 11

MOULIN ROUGE--Jose Ferrer and a young(er) and less embarrassing Zsa-Zsa Gabor star in John Huston's Moulin Rouge (1952), a Parisian romp of a film based on the life and times of 19th-century artist Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec. Thurs-Sun June 24-27 at 5, 7:15, 9:30. Little Theater

THE MUMMY--Neither a horror film nor action epic, The Mummy is actually a flat-out comedy. This latest retread of a horror icon throws itself into its period (the '30s) with gusto, derring-do, screwball comedy, and wisecracking sexual flirtation among the leads, and even cheerful sexism and racism. Except for the special effects, this movie may as well have come out in 1935. The very things that make The Mummy initially entertaining, however, begin to grate as the movie goes on. When Imhotep the mummy finally appears, he starts as a dull computer-generated corpse and becomes the even duller Arnold Vosloo. Despite the lack of a good villain, or even a good heroine, The Mummy remains a perfect matinee. Directed by Stephen Sommers, creator of the vastly underrated Deep Rising. (Bruce Reid) City Center, Grand Alderwood

NOTTING HILL--Chemistry this film has in spades: Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant can't appear onscreen together without firing off sparks of mutual attraction, despite the rumors of onset coldness to the contrary. What fails entirely here is any convincing reason for them to team up in the first place. He's a shy, burned-in-the-past seller of travel books; she's a universally acclaimed and desired actress. One brave scene even has him asking what on earth she sees in him, and her confessing utter confusion. I was confused the entire time on this score. As too often happens in modern day romantic comedies, the men have been thought out to the last detail, but on the female side motivations are left hanging. Add in two or three too many sentimental music-video interludes, and a propensity of obvious jokes, and the film ends up a disappointing mess, despite some sharply observed moments (especially about the movie business itself) and the aforementioned appeal of the stars. (Bruce Reid) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

OUT OF THE BLUE FUNDRAISER--A night of comedy at the Nippon Kan Theater, actually an auction and fundraiser for local filmmaker Susan McNally. McNally's in-the-works feature film, Out of the Blue, is sponsored by the Northwest Film Forum/ WigglyWorld's Start-to-Finish independent film production program. Support a local filmmaker while enjoying comedic performances and bidding for prizes. Wed June 30 at 7:30, $20 (including hors d'oeuvres and bar). Nippon Kan Theater

THE POSEIDON ADVENTURE--This week's Outdoor Cinema event will feature a classic disaster film with live musical accompaniment. Before curvy Kate Winslet rescued Leonardo DiCaprio in Titanic, voluptuous Shelley Winters saved the day in The Poseidon Adventure. The band Voyager One will perform before the movie. Sat June 26 at 7, $5. Fremont Outdoor Cinema

THE RED VIOLIN--For their follow-up to the marvelous Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, director François Girard and his co-writer Don McKellar have fashioned another loosely structured ode to music, this time following a legendary violin as it passes through various (well, three or four) owners before it winds up in auction. Unfortunately, the stories shown (a miraculous prodigy, a fiery virtuoso's love woes, and a crackdown on western music during China's cultural revolution) aren't particularly interesting, and if you know any violin lore already you'll wish they'd included variations on some of the instrument's wilder histories. The same willingness to accept less than admirable behavior from their protagonists that distinguished Glenn Gould pops up here (especially in Samuel L. Jackson's arrogant violin expert), and John Corigliano has contributed a wonderful score, but the movie's so unromantic and prosaic, you'd think it was about a coronet. (Bruce Reid) Guild 45th, Pacific Place 11

RUN LOLA RUN--Lola has 20 minutes to find enough money to stop her boyfriend from being killed, and director Tom Tykwer has her do it several times, with differing results. Reviewed this issue. Harvard Exit

SILENT MOVIE MONDAYS--The Seattle Landmark Association's "Silent Movie Mondays" returns this summer with a collection of comedies, mysteries, and adventures. Enjoy classic silent films, live organ accompaniment, and the gilded elegance of the Paramount. Catch That Certain Thing this week, an early Frank Capra film about a young, poor woman who wants to marry a millionaire. Mon June 28 at 7, $10. Paramount Theatre

SOUTH PARK: BIGGER, LONGER, UNCUT--The boys of Summer bring forth a virtual shit-storm of potty humor. Opens Wed June 30. Varsity

STAR WARS: EPISODE I--What does it matter what we say? You'll see it anyway. The threadbare plot involves a trade dispute between the emperor-controlled "alliance" and the peaceful, enlightened Naboo people. The Jedi appear to negotiate a settlement, but alas, it won't be. And so the "drama" begins: the race to flee the planet; the crash-landing on Tattooine; the mystery-boy who joins the mission; the simmering Oedipal set-up as the Boy leaves his Mother and discovers, in her stead, Natalie Portman; and the inevitable 11th-hour solution to all problems. Lucas' obsessions with technology, with money, with salability and easy-access, too often overwhelm his abilities as a director. It is as if Lucas himself has been seduced by the Dark Side of CGI effects. Indeed, the young Darth Vader is merely a surrogate for Lucas the Director: a natural with great promise somehow given to the evil, inorganic pleasures of power and money for their sake alone. (Jamie Hook) Cinerama, Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Neptune, Northgate

TARZAN--Oddly enough, there's never been a cartoon feature film about the Lord of the Apes. Leave it to Disney to fill the gap. Initially, the film has an awkward start. Young Tarzan's friends are the usual too-cutesy comic sidekicks, and the father/ son conflict is a bit too obvious--and trite. The adult Tarzan is another matter entirely. Tarzan's flights through the trees are an astonishing display of state-of-the-art animation; he doesn't so much swing through as surf the forest. When other humans enter the story, there's further emotional depth, and rather than bogging the whole thing down with numerous musical numbers, the characters hardly sing at all. The songs are largely performed by an off-screen narrator, Phil Collins. (Gillian G. Gaar) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Redmond Town Center

TEA WITH MUSSOLINI--Franco Zeffirelli's autobiographical film, set in Florence on the brink of WWII, is about a little Italian boy who was born out of wedlock. A bastard. His father doesn't want him, so he ends up adopted by his father's English secretary, who shares babysitting duties with her female friends, also English. The ladies don't want to leave Florence, even after the war breaks out, thinking Mussolini won't want to hurt them. Turns out (surprise, surprise) that Mussolini doesn't care about them. Zeffirelli has never been a subtle filmmaker, but here he is so enthusiastic about stereotypes and manipulating emotions that the film eventually becomes tiresome. Tea with Mussolini sentimentalizes the war years in much the same way as Life Is Beautiful did, never really acknowledging the atrocities of that--or any--war. As the wealthy American debutante, Cher sings one song. (Andy Spletzer) Metro, Pacific Place 11

THREE SEASONS--This movie interweaves four thin short stories: a flower picker who meets her leperous master; a cyclo driver and deluded prostitute; an American ex-soldier (Harvey Keitel) looking for his long-lost daughter; and the last, the meanderings of a little boy who peddles cigarettes and lighters at local nightclubs for his father. Why has this film been popular at festivals? Because it is virtually content-free. There's no action, no hunks, one prostitute with a heart of gold, no sex, and above all no plot. Tony Bui's film is not about the "new" Vietnam (as is supposed), but instead glorifies Vietnam's poverty from the point of view of an American tourist. (Charles Mudede) Broadway Market

THE WILD WILD WEST--Will Smith battles giant mechanical spiders in the Old West. Huh? Opens Wed June 30. Metro

YOUNG PRODUCERS SCREENING--Support young producers and filmmakers by attending a screening of collected works. Fri June 25 at 7; FREE for kids, $2 for adults. 911 Media Arts

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