AMERICAN BEAUTY -- Guild 45th, Pacific Place 11, others

DOG PARK -- Pacific Place 11, Varsity, others

DOUBLE JEOPARDY -- Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, others

EARTH -- Egyptian

JAKOB THE LIAR -- Metro, Pacific Place 11, others

LEILA -- Varsity Calendar

THE MINUS MAN -- Broadway Market

MUMFORD -- Meridian 16, Metro, others


THE ACID HOUSE -- Varsity Calendar

AUTEURS OF THE '70s -- Seattle Art Museum


THE BOOK OF LIFE -- Grand Illusion

THE CENTURY OF CINEMA -- The Grand Illusion


FINGERMAN -- Grand Illusion

FORBIDDEN BARBIE -- Little Theatre


ITALIAN MINI FILM FEST -- Seattle Art Museum

JAPANESE FILMS -- Seattle Asian Art Museum



A STORY OF FLOATING WEEDS -- Seattle Asian Art Museum


TWO BY ROBERT ALTMAN -- Grand Illusion


October 1 -- Sitcom, Guinevere, Mystery Alaska, Romance, The Bone Collector, Elmo in Grouchland, Driving Me Crazy, Perfect Blue, Plunkett and Macleane, Three Kings, Sugar Town

October 8 -- The Seattle Underground Film Festival, The Seattle Human Rights Film Festival, The Limey, Happy Texas, Random Hearts, Bedrooms and Hallways, Lost Souls, Simpatico, The Big Tease, Bandits, Superstar


The 13th Warrior
Viking movie starring Antonio Banderas chock full of entertaining battle scenes and little else. Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Varsity

The Acid House
More vomiting and junkie-chic melodrama in this trilogy of stories from Irvine Welsh (of Trainspotting fame), with a great soundtrack and lots of dark humor. Thurs Sept 23 at 4:30, 7, 9:30; 18+ ONLY. Varsity Calendar

American Beauty
Kevin Spacey has his eyes on one of his daughter's friends, and Esquire magazine is out to stop him! Reviewed this issue. Guild 45th, Pacific Place 11, others

Last chance for true film buff cred! Scarecrow Video's "Auteurs of the '70s" series wraps up with a screening of Two-Lane Blacktop, an underrated (what else?) road movie. Personal appearance by director Monte Hellman! Thurs Sept 23 at 7:30, $6. Call 524-8554 for more details. Seattle Art Museum

Balkan Resolutions
As peacekeeping operations continue in Kosovo, 911 Media Arts presents two documentaries to help you understand the complex situations. Terry Moymount's On Tour with the Blue Berets follows the UN Preventative Deployment troops as they help Macedonia achieve a peaceful break from Yugoslavia. Todd W. Waller's War Kids shows the horror of the Bosnian war through the eyes of Serbian and Muslim teenagers -- young survivors of upheaval and unimaginable violence. Fri Sept 24 at 8, $4. 911 Media Arts

Better Than Chocolate
The setup is typical TV sitcom: Budding artist Maggie (Karyn Dwyer) falls in love with free-spirited Kim (Christina Cox), hours before she learns her mother and brother will be spending the summer with her. The catch? She's not out to mom yet. Despite complications, everything works out jim-dandy, like you knew it would. (Gillian G. Gaar) Broadway Market

*Black Cat, White Cat
Emir Kusturica charts three generations of corruption in the former Yugoslavia through two families of black marketeers. In a nod to nostalgia and to hope, the grandfather figures are noble in their corruption and the grandson figures have hope of living without corruption. It's that generation in the middle who muck it up for everyone else (and who presumably got the country into the trouble it's in now, even though the war is never mentioned). The whole thing builds to a marriage (are the young lovers going to get to be together?). Kusturica is brilliant at squeezing comedy out of violence, though the movie does stretch on longer than it needs to. Oh, and the music is fantastic. (Andy Spletzer) Harvard Exit

The Blair Witch Project
Fake documentary about students who get lost in the woods. The video will be released in October. Meridian 16, Varsity

Blue Streak
Martin Lawrence plays a thief who, after robbing a bunch of jewels, goes on a rampage waving a gun around uncontrollably in the middle of the street, and eventually nearly dies of exhaustion. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro, Northgate

*The Book of Life
Hal Hartley's The Book of Life is a movie about Jesus, the Devil, a potential apocalypse, and the power of double-clicking on a laptop. Thurs Sept 23 at 5:30, 6:45, 8, 9:15. Grand Illusion

Steve Martin's clever script celebrates a low-rent would-be producer (Martin) who dedicates his life savings ($2,184) to finally directing a feature film in which he surreptitiously films the world's biggest action star (Eddie Murphy), and builds the film around him. The laughs are plentiful, Murphy gives two of his best performances, and director Frank Oz moves things along at an energetic clip. (Bruce Reid) Aurora Cinema Grill, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro

The Grand Illusion's weekend matinee series reaches a millennial crescendo with the 10 greatest films of the 10 decades of the 20th Century. This weekend, get thoroughly creeped out and explore criminal deviance with Fritz Lang's M (1931), wherein a child murderer roams the streets, eventually gets nailed by a furious crowd, and all the while makes your hair stand on end as he whistles an eerie signature tune while ambling around town. Sat-Sun Sept 25-26 at noon. Grand Illusion

Dog Park
A love story about two people brought together by a lovable little dog. Pacific Place 11, Varsity, others

*Doomed Planet
An 85-minute, all-digital Armageddon comedy about two rival cults, featuring a handful of wacky "cameos" (Mary Kay LeTourneau, Jerry Garcia, and Charles Manson) and all sorts of digital video eye candy. Directed by graphic designer/filmmaker/ Internet film innovator Alex R. Mayer. (This sneak preview screening will also include a performance by Pleaseeasaur.) Fri Sept 24 at 9, $6; see also Stranger Suggests. Sit & Spin

Double Jeopardy
Libby Parsons' (Ashley Judd) perfect life is straight out of J. Crew, at least until she's framed for her husband's murder and goes to jail. While in prison, Libby discovers her husband is very much alive and shacked up with a family friend. Six years later she's released and she heads out on an obsessive quest to get her son back. Tommy Lee Jones is the gruff 'n' tough parole officer who tracks her down when she violates parole, but ends up taking her side when he sees how driven she is to clear her name. Despite the tense moments and brief thrills, the movie asks too much of you. Judd is supposed to be so sympathetic and likeable, they must have thought you'd be too busy rooting for her to notice the farfetched circumstances or gaping holes in logic. Even with her undeniable beauty and talent, Judd can't possibly save this blurry mess. (Min Liao) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

In 1947, India was split up by the British and Pakistan was born. It was not an easy split. Muslims fled to Pakistan, Hindus went back to India, and Sikhs were caught in the middle. Much of the violence that inevitably erupted was focused on the towns situated on this new border. Director Deepa Mehta sets her new melodrama, Earth, in one such border town, but the movie comes nowhere close to capturing the chaos and confusion of the time. Characters symbolically represent various sides of the conflict, so not only does everything become oversimplified, you never believe any of these "people" would interact with each other, even for the chance to hang around a very pretty girl. A documentary about the chaotic events would have been much more dramatic. (Andy Spletzer) Egyptian

In this relatively unknown 1955 piece of film noir, an ex-con (Frank Lovejoy) and his hoodlum friend (Timothy Carey) try to point the "finger of blame" at the jerk responsible for turning his sister into a junkie. Fri-Sat Sept 24-25 at 11:15. Grand Illusion

For Love of the Game
For love of misogyny! Billy Chapel (Kevin Costner) is a 40-year-old pitcher throwing in his last game, which happens to be a perfect game, a no-hitter. Jane (Kelly Preston) is his girlfriend who has decided to end their relationship because... well, Billy has been nothing but an asshole to her for the past five years. Over the course of the game, Billy is "in the zone," flashing back to the past, re-living his mistakes. By the end, he has thrown the perfect game and learned absolutely nothing about himself. Still, Jane takes him back. Costner's attempt to resurrect the magic of his '80s baseball movies does little but make women look stupid -- stupid for falling for someone like Billy Chapel, stupid for staying with him when he's such a prick, and stupid for taking him back simply because he's thrown a perfect game and now that he's retiring he needs something in his life to replace baseball, a woman. Ugh. (Bradley Steinbacher) Cinerama, Factoria, Guild 45th, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

*Forbidden Barbie
America's favorite doll/cultural icon/symbol of conventional beauty/sex toy was born to be a movie star: Barbie Nation looks at the history and subculture of Barbie-worship; two other "Barbie shorts" and a famous "illegal" film (on video) about a famous person's struggle with anorexia features an entire cast of Barbies will also be screened. Thurs-Sun Sept 23-26 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Reviewed this issue. Little Theatre

Grand Illusion
This 1937 masterpiece about WWI prisoners of war is one of those handfuls of films I can't ever imagine seeing enough. Renoir focuses on the fading aristocratic ideals, the class and racial antagonism masked by politeness, the pain of missed communication, the tragedy of an empty dining table -- all packed into a beautifully acted and photographed story. Thurs Sept 23 at 4:30, 7, 9:30. (Bruce Reid) Egyptian

*Independent Exposure
The line up for this Northwest edition of Independent Exposure stands as the best I have seen thus far. At the top of this sudden surge of creativity is one of the strangest shorts I have ever seen: "Fran's Fantastic Feasts" by Sue McNally. To go into any detail about this short would rob it of its surprising oddity, so let me just say that it borders on genius. The other worthy shorts are Serge Gregory's "Flow," which contains great footage of our modern downtown which often makes it seem bigger and more jaded than it actually is. Then there's a bizarre but funny mix of mid-century American TV and movie images that is called, I think, "The Vyrotonin Decision." Finally, I must mention a dramatic short called "Interior Latex," directed by Matt Wilkins and containing a fine performance by the actor Keith Fox. If you have never been to any Independent Exposure screening before, I highly recommend you go to this one. Thursday, Sept 23 at 7:30, $4. (Charles Mudede) Speakeasy

The Iron Giant
Giant robot falls to earth, befriends a local boy, and eats lots of metal. An animated film from Warner Brothers. Uptown

Italian film editor started his career with Orson Welles in 1962, and went on to work with many other great directors. He will be in town to present two of his films: Michael Radford's Il Postino on Sun Sept 26 at 7, and Bernardo Bertolucci's The Spider's Stratagem on Mon Sept 27 at 7. The cost is only $5. Call 282-0627 for more information. Seattle Art Museum

Jakob the Liar
Life is Beautiful meets Patch Adams in this heartwarming tale about the holocaust. Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Southcenter

In conjunction with SAAM's Modern Masters of Kyoto exhibit (and the geisha craze sweeping the nation), this brief film series looks at the impact of Western culture on traditional Japanese ways. The Ceremony spans a decade of a powerful family's weddings, funerals, and events. Will strict customs remain the same even as time passes and changes things? Sat Sept 25 at 1:30, $6; call 625-8900 for more details. Seattle Asian Art Museum

A woman discovers that she cannot conceive children, and she is devastated. Her husband is supportive, and doesn't really mind their childless future. But her mother-in-law's solution? "Bring in a second wife!" Don't even get us started on in-laws and their goddamn meddling. Fri-Thurs Sept 24-30 at (Sat-Sun 1:30), 4:20, 7, 9:35. Reviewed this issue. Varsity Calendar

Mark Twain's America in 3D
Officially the scariest title currently at the IMAX Theater. But hey! Take a risk! Who knows? Maybe you'll LOVE Huck Finn, "Injun Joe," life on the Mississippi, and examples of racist times in U.S. history on a GIGANTIC screen. Pacific Science Center

The Minus Man
Yet another boring serial killer movie. 'Nuff said. Reviewed this issue. Broadway Market

Lawrence Kasdan makes movies about whiney white people; movies like The Big Chill and Grand Canyon (often referred to as "the worst movie ever made" here at the office). His new film, Mumford, is no exception. Dr. Mumford (Loren Dean) is the town of Mumford's #1 psychologist, only he's not really a psychologist, but rather a man in hiding who is only pretending to be a psychologist. This, by itself, is a fine premise for a film, but (surprise!) Mumford never really goes anywhere. In fact, it's rarely even funny. There are a lot of fine actors wandering through, but they never have anything very funny to say or do, which is a problem since Mumford is supposed to be a comedy. Still, it's no Grand Canyon, so there is an upside to everything. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro

*The Muse
Through the advice of a successful friend (Jeff Bridges), screenwriter Albert Brooks employs the services of Sharon Stone, a purported Divine Muse, in hopes that she will inspire him to write a smash comedy for Jim Carrey. Brooks takes a wily and well-deserved stab at the superficial industry that has kept him second-string for so many years. Albert Brooks has always been just as brutal to himself as he is to society, and it's this brutal quality that is somewhat lacking in The Muse, despite the fact that you probably won't find a smarter comedy this year. (Steve Wiecking) Meridian 16, Metro

*My Son the Fanatic
This is not an exploration of the culture clash between father and son as much as a portrait of a Pakistani taxi driver in Britain who's taken his life for granted, never realizing how far he's been drifting from his wife and son. Rebelling against his father's drinking and fraternizing with prostitutes, the titular son turns to religion. (Andy Spletzer) Crest

2nd Ave. Pizza is at it again, this time giving pizza lovers and film buffs a huge dose of reality. Catch the last week of this film fest, featuring titles like Gertrude Stein: When This You See Remember Me, Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise, and Yum, Yum, Yum. Snap out of it! FREE; call 956-0489 for more info. 2nd Ave. Pizza

North by Northwest
New print of the classic and highly entertaining Hitchcock film. Held over for its second straight week! Neptune

Outside Providence
Tim "Dump" Dunphy is your average '70s burnout from a boring small town who gets sent to prep school. Alec Baldwin stands out as Dump's emotionally crippled dad in a film we've all seen many, many times before. (Bradley Steinbacher) Uptown

The Red Violin
A loosely structured ode to music that follows a legendary violin as it passes between various (well, three or four) owners before it winds up in auction. Broadway Market

*Return With Honor
A potent look back at the experiences of American POWs in North Vietnam, via a wealth of previously unavailable enemy propaganda footage. Broad-way Market

*Run Lola Run
A young Berlin hipster named Lola has 20 minutes to find enough money to stop her boyfriend from being killed. German filmmaker Tom Tykwer tells the story three times, each with different but equally incredible twists, surprises, tangents, and endings -- which is exactly what makes this movie fun to watch. (Charles Mudede) Harvard Exit

Runaway Bride
Director Garry Marshall (Pretty Woman) reunites with Julia Roberts and Richard Gere to make another cheerful movie about two opposites who attract and (of course) end up together. What develops is typical Hollywood Lite. (Min Liao) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11

*The Sixth Sense
Months after being shot by a former patient, child psychologist Bruce Willis has become obsessed with that failure, and his marriage is suffering. Meanwhile, he has started treating a new patient who, as you probably know from the ads, sees dead people. Though the direction of the story by M. Night Shyamalan is often obvious, the structure of his script is very smart. Most impressive is that we don't see the boy's ghosts for half the film. When we do it's quite scary, particularly knowing these are the dead people he sees all the time! (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Star Wars: Episode I
The threadbare plot is nothing compared to the hype and nostalgia of the George Lucas marketing machine. (Jamie Hook) Pacific Place 11

Stigmata basically refashions the possession of The Exorcist as a no-big-deal event that not only cheers up its protagonists, it might even save the world. Patricia Arquette -- a truly awful actress who will probably always get juicy parts for her willingness to play out any humiliation on camera -- stars as Frankie Paige, a twentysomething hairdresser/party girl who suddenly gets stigmata. The Catholic Church sends out an investigator (Gabriel Byrne). Before long the antagonistic Cardinal (Jonathan Pryce) is ordering a suspicious halt to the Church's investigations. Stigmata is atrocious: bad acting, silly attempts to generate mood by dumping a monsoon season rain on Pittsburgh, an annoying rock video aesthetic. It's so atrocious, in fact, that it sometimes threatens to become fun, but by the end turns out even worse than you could have imagined. (Bruce Reid) Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Stir of Echoes
Screenwriter David Koepp is squarely behind the storytelling controls on Stir of Echoes, his latest directorial effort. Kevin Bacon stars as a working-class family man in Chicago who goes under hypnosis and awakens with frighteningly powerful psychic intuition. Once the setup is over, the film starts to crumble away into formula, allowing us to notice the gaps in its logic -- deadly in a genre piece. Unlike the superior The Sixth Sense, which it resembles (psychic child, restless ghosts, unwitting adults), Stir of Echoes doesn't twist itself into something surprising. You'll know halfway through what Koepp takes the entire film to reveal. (Steve Wiecking) Metro, Pacific Place 11

*A Story of Floating Weeds
Directed by Yasujiro Ozu, this silent film (1934) about a traveling actor who arrives in a small town to spend time with his long-lost son will be screened with a new live score, presented by local experimental music ensemble Aono Jikken. Instruments used include children's toys, found objects, metal, plastic, and kelp. Sun Sept 26 at 3, $6; for more info call 654-3121. Seattle Asian Art Museum

Super 8 Thugs: Open Screening
WigglyWorld starts up its small gauge filmmaking group, the Super 8 Thugs, with an open screening meet-and-greet. Bring a super 8 film to show, or just stop by to say hello. Mon Sept 27 at 7, FREE. Little Theatre

Surrender Dorothy
Writer/director/actor Kevin Di Novis' bleak story about a sadistic bully who cruelly dominates his homeless junkie "friend" into helpless submission by withholding his heroin and forcing him to dress in drag, do housework, and become a slave. Thurs-Sun Sept 30-Oct 3 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Little Theatre

*The Thomas Crown Affair
The new Thomas Crown Affair is that it manages to keep the fun tone of the '68 version and update it at the same time, which is not an easy trick. Thomas Crown is a billionaire businessman who likes to rob art museums on the side. When a beautiful insurance investigator (Rene Russo) comes to town to recover a painting, she immediately suspects Thomas Crown. They fall for each other, all the while playing a flirtatious game of cat and mouse. (Bradley Steinbacher) Grand Alderwood, Meridian 16, Metro

When director Jim Fall's feature film debut is really working (which is surprisingly often), it's smiling gently at the notion that anything between two people could ever be simple. There's some misplaced romanticism and more than a little gay fantasy involved in rooting for the Nerd and the Stripper, but Jason Schafer's amiable script is as erotic and funny as it is unlikely. (Steve Wiecking) Broadway Market

1974's California Split isn't just a great film, it's the overlooked masterpiece of Robert Altman's career, the one that should be rattled off as readily as Nashville, McCabe & Mrs. Miller, and Short Cuts but, for some reason, never is. George Segal and Elliott Gould are perfect as two compulsive gamblers thrown into friendship by a fight at a card table. Their good times together are a virtual compendium of arrested-adolescent male bonding, which Altman views with much humor and sympathy, but ultimately with a weary helplessness that somehow avoids defeatism. H.E.A.L.T.H., his 1979 slapdash satire of the American crazes for politics, religion, and fitness, is far from an overlooked wonder, but it is a little better than reputation suggests, with a fine, rambling cast, some good gags, and a rather prescient sense of where this country would be heading once the '70s dribbled to a close. (Bruce Reid) Grand Illusion

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