OPENING

BEEFCAKE--Egyptian

ROSIE--Varsity Calendar


REPERTORY & REVIVAL

ARTIFICIAL LIFE: FILM SERIES--Consolidated Works

FILM NOIR FOREVER--Seattle Art Museum

FOR THE CASH--Sit & Spin

THE MAKING OF BEYOND THE CLOUDS--Little Theatre

THE PRODUCERS--The Grand Illusion

THEM!--Ethnic Cultural Center

UNIVERSAL SIRK--Grand Illusion

WTO: DOUBLE BILL--Little Theatre

WTO: "JUST DESSERTS"--Independent Media Center

WTO: RESISTANCE, SABOTAGE & MUSIC--911 Media Arts

WTO: THE GOLF WAR--Filipino Community Center

WTO: ZAPATISTA--911 Media Arts, Independent Media Center


COMING SOON

December 10--Ride With the Devil, Tumbleweeds,

Rosetta, The Green Mile, Deuce, Agnes Browne

December 3--The Adventures of Sebastian Cole, Get Bruce!, Holy Smoke, Man of the Century, Virtual Sexuality


MOVIES & EVENTS

Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
More of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omni- dome

Amazon
An IMAX examination of the lush forests and exotic animals of the Amazon river basin. Omnidome

American Beauty
Entertaining fluff. Take your typical suburban satire (mid-life crisis, bitchy wife, disaffected youth), throw in some excellent performances (Kevin Spacey hams it up brilliantly, while Annette Bening and Chris Cooper give life to the most cardboard of characters), and you've got an art-house crossover film that can appeal to everybody. Even me. (Andy Spletzer) Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Seven Gables

*American Movie
Mark Borchardt's life was going nowhere. Growing up in a lower-middle-class neighborhood on the northwest side of Milwaukee, he found his life spinning out of control through alcoholism and unrealized dreams. In 1994, he taught himself how to use 16mm film equipment and started making Coven [rhymes with "woven," not "oven"], and writing the script for the autobiographical feature North- western. After he had shot half of Coven, the project disintegrated, thanks in part to too much drinking and partying. Around that time, he met Chris Smith. The result is American Movie, a funny and inspiring film about overcoming obstacles in your life and your environment in order to realize your dream. (Andy Spletzer) Varsity Calendar

Anywhere But Here
Wayne Wang's Anywhere but Here tells the story of Adele (Susan Sarandon) and Ann (Natalie Portman), a mother-daughter pair who leave their cozy life in Wisconsin for Beverly Hills. The daughter is reluctant to leave her friends and family, and hates her impulsive mother for dragging her away. The mom, impatient and terrified of the stagnancy in their tiny hometown, craves more glamour and adventure for herself and Ann, and strains for a sunny California existence that simply isn't there. What could be just another sugary chick flick, in Wang's hands manages to become something interesting, honest, and significant. (Min Liao) Factoria, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

*ARTIFICIAL LIFE: FILM SERIES
The series devoted to "artificial life" wraps up this weekend. On Fri Nov 26 at 8, the once and brilliant Craig Baldwin curates a program he calls "Industrials Amok"; training and industrial films from the '50s. See the future of yesterday! Closing night, (Sat Nov 27 at 8), is a screening of Andy Warhol's Sleep, 5 1/2 hours of somebody sleeping. Apparently, it's much more hypnotic and engaging than you would think. Is this life? Or is this Living! Consolidated Works

Beefcake
Thom Fitzgerald, the Canadian filmmaker who scored with The Hanging Garden a few years back, captures a different queer sensibility in Beefcake. It's inspired by Valentine Hooven's gay coffee table tome, a compulsively lip-smacking history of male erotic photography at mid-century, featuring quaint muscle mag shots and nude "studies" of a scrumptious young Joe Dallesandro, among other seductive, hungry lost boys. Dallesandro's here along with other survivors of the naively sleazy era. They mostly comment on Bob Mizer, the enterprising founder of the Athletic Model Guild, the country's first closeted gay erotica publication headquarters which feigned an innocent obsession with health and fitness. Fitzgerald intercuts documentary material with a fictional tale of a sexy bumpkin who falls into Mizer's AMG set-up, but this coy original story is not half as fascinating as the real stuff (in fact, it's a bit dumb), but engages by being as sweetly erotic and campy as Mizer's magazines. Fri-Thurs Nov 26-Dec 2 at (Fri-Sun 1, 3:10), 5:20, 7:30, 9:40. (Steve Wiecking) Egyptian

*Being John Malkovich
Being John Malkovich is better than most every other film out there right now because, beneath the surreal world it's so happy to exploit, there is an emotional vein that is so strong and so sad, if filmed as anything other than a comedy, the movie would be devastating. Not only does director Spike Jonze explore aspects of storytelling through filmmaking that more established directors would never think to try, not only does it thoughtfully explore philosophical issues like identity and desire (and eventually, immortality), and not only is it one of the most emotionally honest movies in theaters today, it's also damn funny and always entertaining. You gotta see it to believe it. (Andy Spletzer) Meridian 16, Neptune

The Best Man
Not only is this the best black film released this year, it's also the best romantic comedy. A group of college friends are reunited for the marriage of a professional football star and his college sweetheart. With the exception of the too-long wedding scene at the end, the movie is simply delightful. Directed by Malcolm Lee (Spike Lee's cousin), this is a strong debut full of good writing and superb performances. (Charles Mudede) Lewis & Clark, Uptown

The Bone Collector
The trailer for this film is grossly unfair. The Bone Collector is not that bad. The story concerns a brilliant NYPD detective (Denzel Washington), confined to his bed after a work-related accident, always afraid a sudden seizure will turn him into a vegetable. He decides life is not worth living, that he will not recover, and that death is better than becoming a "zucchini." But suddenly there is a brutal but brilliant criminal menacing New York City, and a beautiful woman (Angelina Jolie) to help him catch this psycho. Now life has meaning! In the end, he gets the criminal and the girl without ever leaving his bed. By the way, if you are expecting Denzel to kiss the lady lead, you will again be disappointed. As the woman sitting next to me at the screening said: "Damn! they only touch hands! In Pelican Brief he just got a big hug, and in Virtuosity he saved the white lady and her daughter and still he didn't get some!" (Charles Mudede) Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Boys Don't Cry
Boys Don't Cry pushes myriad societal hot buttons. Sexuality. Gender. Masculinity. Why we even care about such labels is an indication of how frightened we are about ambiguities. Boys Don't Cry is based on the true story of Brandon Teena, a girl who was murdered for living life as a boy. Hilary Swank, a Bellingham native, imbues Brandon with an infectious charisma, but the rest of the film could be seen as an indictment of the American psyche. Boys Don't Cry is not an easy film to watch; the rape and subsequent murder are unrelentingly harsh. Even the reason the story is "interesting" is depressing: Had Brandon been a real man killed in a senseless murder, his death wouldn't have merited one national headline. (Gillian G. Gaar) Broadway Market

Dogma
Of course, the controversy surrounding Kevin Smith's new film is overblown. Sure, God is a woman (Alanis Morissette), the Christ-figure (Linda Fiorentino) works in an abortion clinic, new characters like the 13th Apostle (Chris Rock) and a muse-turned-stripper (Salma Hayek) are added characters, but it's all a way for Smith to ruminate on the importance of faith. The plot begins when two angels who have been kicked out of heaven find a loophole that'll get them back in. Other angels believe their return would prove the fallibility of God, and negate existence. I never bought this premise (besides, The Prophecy took the idea of jealous angels striving to regain God's attention to a bigger and better extreme), but even so, Dogma has some nice ideas--particularly about the vengeance of the Old Testament God. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alder-wood, Guild 45th, Uptown

End of Days
Gabriel Byrne is the devil! Arnold is an alcoholic cop out to stop him! Yeeeeeeeehaw! Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

The Eruption of Mount

St. Helens
The mountain blew up in 1980, and has been blowing up on film ever since. Omnidome

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

Felicia's Journey
Director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter) excels at stories of older men who are lost within themselves, and Felicia's Journey is no exception. Bob Hoskins is a classy chef working in a factory cafeteria who has many unresolved issues with his dear dead mum. When he meets young Felicia, who's knocked up and looking for the dad, he helps her out. Then his help becomes a tad more sinister. The first half of this beautifully photographed movie is stunning. Once the characters are fully introduced, however, the plot stalls and even makes a turn toward the cliché. (Andy Spletzer) Harvard Exit

*Fight Club
With Fight Club, David Fincher has made his best film yet, taking a bleak story--written in the first person with a detached sense of humor--and matching its tone perfectly. A disenfranchised guy (Edward Norton), hooked on support groups for the terminally ill, gets a grade-school crush on a fellow support group tourist (Helana Bonham Carter), then meets a rebel (Brad Pitt) with whom he starts a masochistic fight club. (Andy Spletzer) Meridian 16, Metro

FILM NOIR FOREVER
SAM's popular series continues with The Killer that Stalked New York (1951), with Evelyn Keyes and Dorothy Malone (Thurs Dec 2 at 7:30). Call 625-8900 for more details. Seattle Art Museum

Flawless
Philadelphia for the Van Damme set. Robert DeNiro is a homophobic ex-cop who suffers a stroke; Philip Seymour Hoffman is the drag queen he goes to for singing lessons (a form of speech therapy). The acting is atrociously bad (DeNiro's affected speech only a hair more annoying than Hoffman's inability to straighten his wrists), the characters are sloppy caricatures, the plot holes gape wide enough to lose yourself in, the look of the film is cluttered and garish--yet none of these take the cake as the most embarrassingly stupid aspect of the story. That comes from finally having the two men bond by teaming up to dispatch a pair of vicious drug dealers looking for stolen drug money. Joel Schumacher's quest to go down in history as the worst movie director ever continues apace. (Bruce Reid) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Pacific Place 11

For the Cash
Seattle's own scenesters and rock stars will appear in this film by local director Matt Matsuoka. A "rock 'n' roll action comedy," complete with stunts, special effects, and a kooky plot. See Stranger Suggests for more details. Wed Dec 1 at 9, $5. Sit & Spin

*The Insider
Despite the ad campaigns, The Insider is not an indictment of big, evil tobacco. The real story is about bungled journalism and broken integrity, with a healthy dose of paranoia thrown in for good measure. As a big-budget Hollywood drama, perhaps even as a thriller, The Insider is just about as perfect as you can get. Mann is one of the best technical directors around, able to put together a glossy-looking film without it appearing like one big commercial. However, though meant to be a cautionary tale about media accountability and how easily good journalism can be corrupted, The Insider is far too slick, and comes across as typical Hollywood mayhem instead of the "based-on-actual-events" drama originally intended. (Bradley Steinbacher) Aurora Cinema Grill, Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Red-mond Town Center

Island of the Sharks
Island of the Sharks works hard to find some stunning imagery, and succeeds. One of the most breathtaking shots is beneath a large school of hammerhead sharks, a fish whose appearance is both disturbing and compelling. Don't worry if you're faint-hearted, though; the film's violence is boringly PG, mostly. (Gillian G. Gaar) Pacific Science Center

Last Night
The sun doesn't set anymore. You've known for months that the world was about to end, and now it's your last night on earth--what do you do? That's the Twilight Zone-like premise of Last Night, the first feature of Canadian film sensation Don McKellar (screenwriter of Thirty-Two Short Films About Glenn Gould, The Red Violin, and many more; actor in eXistenZ, Exotica, and many more). The movie charts the odd and interesting reactions of several characters--from performing as many different sexual acts as possible before the end, to dinner with the family, to double suicide--as they face their inevitable demise at midnight. (Andy Spletzer) Broadway Market

Legend of 1900
Now dig this: There's this black guy (Bill Nunn) who works in the steamy belly of a transatlantic ship called the Virginian. One day he finds a small white boy abandoned in the ship's ballroom by some desperate immigrants. The black man becomes the father to this boy, and names him 1900. Suddenly the big black man dies for no real reason (except that, well, most black fathers leave their kids soon or later). The boy, who never leaves the ship, grows up to be Tim Roth. One day he attempts to leave the boat and start a new life on land, but he can't. The ship eventually meets a fateful end. Sure it's Giuseppe Tornatore--you know, the Cinema Paradiso guy--but have you noticed he has not made a decent film since Cinema Paradiso? Jesus, I wish some people would get a clue. (Charles Mudede) Pacific Place 11

Light it Up!
What were they thinking? Everybody knows we need a Republican president before anyone can sell a students-under-siege, pro-militia movie like this. Lewis & Clark

*The Limey
In Steven Soderbergh's latest, fading '60s icon Terence Stamp plays an unstoppable force of vengeance searching for the person responsible for killing his daughter. Peter Fonda plays a downwardly mobile record exec who used to date her. Soder-bergh expands on the style he began to explore in Out of Sight: the layering of visual flashbacks and flash-forwards grounded with dialogue, compressing what would normally be a two-hour movie into 90 action-packed minutes that keep moving and keep you thinking. (Andy Spletzer) Broadway Market

The Making of Beyond the Clouds
Behind the scenes as Wim Wenders assists Michelangelo Antonioni's Beyond the Clouds. Wed Dec 1, call for showtimes. Little Theatre

Mansfield Park
Another snappy adaptation of a Jane Austen novel. Reviewed this issue. Harvard Exit

Mark Twain's America in 3D
Officially the scariest title currently at the IMAX Theater. Pacific Science Center

The Messenger: The Story of Joan of Arc
It's your basic French epic: Girl has visions from God, girl leads French armies to victory, girl gets burned at the stake. This is actually a remake of Braveheart, the only differences being that The Messenger's battle scenes are not as good (though there are some hilarious Monty Python-style decapitations), and Milla Jovovich is prettier than Mel Gibson. (Andy Spletzer) City Centre, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Music of the Heart
Meryl Streep plays Roberta Guaspari, a woman who taught inner city kids how to play violin, then had a documentary and a big feature film made out of her story. Unfortunately, they've taken the film crews out of the story. Lewis & Clark, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Pokémon
Reviewed by 9-year-old film critic Sam Lachow: "I would give the movie four stars. It was just like, at the, um, beginning, it was kind of boring. And Mewtwo was kind of like, he was weird. I like how it showed Mewtwo, like what he really is. He was really bad. There wasn't enough pokémons. Some parts were a little boring, but when they got to that big war--when Ashe was walking out, and saying, 'I'm not gonna let you do this,' I thought it was dramatic. I kinda liked the ending, but it wasn't really alot like a happy endingÉ. No victory, like the person didn't faint, or anything." (Compiled by Jamie Hook) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*Princess Mononoke
As anyone who's seen a Hayao Miyazaki film will attest, the story you follow is secondary to the sights you behold. The craggy reality of his twisting tree trunks capped with windblown tufts of leaves; the weighty presence of the rocks, whether rough or slicked smooth by water; the breathtaking vividness of light when the clouds part; the crouched expectancy of animals at rest--all of these are rendered as gorgeously as any animation I've ever seen, and in fact make a better plea for ecological sanity than the sometimes heavy-handed script. (Bruce Reid) Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center, Varsity

The Producers
Trying to make a money-losing musical, Gene Wilder and Zero Mostel fail with Springtime for Hitler. Neither theater people nor Nazis have ever been as funny since. Fri-Sat Nov 26-27 at 11:15. Grand Illusion

Rosie
A sympathetic look at a young girl from the wrong side of the tracks, and the trouble she gets herself into. Fri-Thurs Nov 26-Dec 2 at (Fri-Sun 2:40), 4:50, 7, 9:10. Reviewed this issue. Varsity Calendar

*The Sixth Sense
A little boy sees dead people while Bruce Willis sees his marriage disintegrate. Aurora Cinema Grill, Meridian 16

Sleepy Hollow
Johnny Depp plays Constable Ichabod Crane, sent to upstate New York in order to solve a rash of beheadings utilizing his newfangled "forensic science." The year is 1799, and the townsfolk believe the Headless Horseman is behind all these killings. Turns out they're right. Tim Burton's latest film is as dark as the original Grimms fairy tales, full of witches, stormy nights, and lots and lots of beheadings. Really, it's impressive just how many heads get cut off. The horseman's vengeance is tied in with a conspiracy of the town elders, and it's up to Crane and the bewitching Katrina Van Tassel (Christina Ricci) to uncover their secrets. The deadpan politeness and mannered acting style is often amusing, but it keeps the movie from becoming rip-roaring fun. Still, I liked it. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, Meridian 16, Oak Tree

*The Straight Story
Rather than making the journey of hundreds of miles on a riding mower a quixotic, life-defining quest, The Straight Story is even more about an interesting but unremarkable road trip taken by a quite remarkable man. David Lynch's name is so synonymous with violence and twisted sex that it's sometimes hard to remember that nearly everything he's done has been about decent people who were seduced, often literally possessed, by an evil force outside themselves. (Bruce Reid) Broadway Market

T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous
The 3D FX are so realistic, you'll swear you can feel the breath of Big Mama TR, and no matter how many times you've seen 3D films, you'll still be hard pressed to not duck when boulders and dino bones come whizzing straight at you. (Gillian G. Gaar) Pacific Science Center

Them!
Jet City Improv makes up new dialog for the brilliant "giant ants on a rampage" film Them!. $1 discount for anyone who brings donations to Northwwest Harvest. Fri-Sat Nov 26-27 at 10:30, $7. Ethnic Cultural Center

*Toy Story 2
Tom Hanks and Tim Allen return as the voices of Woody and Buzz in this sequel that outdoes the brilliant original. Reviewed this issue. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*UNIVERSAL SIRK
A week of films by the undisputed master of melodrama, Douglas Sirk. Written on the Wind and Magnificent Obsession play Nov. 26-28, Has Anyone Seen My Gal? plays at noon on Sat-Sun Nov. 27-28, and Tarnished Angels and Imitation of Life play Nov. 29-Dec. 2. Not to be missed. Reviewed this issue. Grand Illusion

The World Is Not Enough
Poor Pierce Brosnon. In his third Bond outing, he finally gets the whole secret agent act down, even giving classic Bond Sean Connery a run for his money, only to watch it undermined by an inept director. The fact that said director is classy Brit Michael Apted only adds a dash of salt to the wound. The World Is Not Enough has some of the best bad guys Bond has seen in years, only they're not given anything to do. Instead, the story tosses in Denise Richards as a nuclear scientist in hot pants, and the rest of the film is pure paint-by-numbers. Apted proves to be so bad at directing action that even when Brosnon and Richards are disarming a nuclear bomb aboard some sort of speeding tunnel contraption at 70 mph, I was forced to stifle a yawn. Even the flashy credit sequence is dull. After 19 films, maybe grandpa needs to go to bed. (Bradley Steinbacher) Factoria, Meridian 16, Metro, North-gate, Redmond Town Center, Southcenter

WTO DOUBLE BILL
See the dangers of world trade, of money freely crossing borders, of financial slavery, with Our Friends at the Bank (Fri-Sun Nov. 26-28 at 6, 9:15) and Coffee Is the Gold of the Future (Fri-Sun Nov. 26-28 at 7:45). Reviewed this issue. Little Theatre

WTO: "JUST DESSERTS"
Celebrate Thanksgiving with a bunch of Anti-WTO lefties and a world premiere double feature of Pressure Point and A Pig's Tale, two movies about (surprisingly enough) activism in the face of global economic policies. Thurs Nov 25 at 7:30.

Independent Media Center

WTO: Resistance, Sabotage & Music
Two-hour video documentary that traces the history of radical resistance to industrial capitalism. Thurs Dec 2 at 7, $4. 911 Media Arts

WTO: The Golf War
There's an irritating flaw in "The Golf War," a short documentary by Jen Schrader and Matt Devries. Schrader and Devries attempt to portray Tiger Woods as an ignorant asshole for being paid by some corporation to promote golf in the Philippines for one measly day. Meanwhile, 100 miles away on another Philippine island, 7,500 peasants are about to get evicted from their rightful land to make way for an affluent new development that will boast yachts, condos, and four golf courses. Tiger, it's later revealed, didn't know anything about any of this when he came to the Philippines! Whattaya know about that? The movie actually has plenty of punch without this ridiculous juxtaposition. The peasants are dignified, while the golf-course developer and the corrupt Filipino government are thoroughly evil. It's enough to make any bleeding-heart activist visiting for WTO literally hemorrhage to death. But attacking an overpaid, apolitical American athlete only muddles the real issues. Mon Nov 29 at 6:30, donations accepted. (Phil Campbell) Filipino Community Center

WTO: Zapatista
A "definitive" look at the indigenous uprising against the forces of globalization in Chiapas, Mexico. Or so they say. 911 Media Arts, Independent Media Center

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