AGNES BROWN-Meridian 16

A MAP OF THE WORLD-Broadway Market


DROWNING MONA-Various theaters

MY DOG SKIP-Meridian, Metro, Oak Tree, others

THE NEXT BEST THING-Meridian, Metro, Oak Tree, others


WHAT PLANET ARE YOU FROM?-Various theaters









IRISH REELS FILM AND VIDEO FESTIVAL-911 Media Arts, Seattle Art Museum

LONDON BRIEF-Little Theatre

MAD MAX-Egyptian



RED TAPES-Little Theatre





March 10-Mission to Mars, The Closer You Get, The Ninth Gate, O, Onegin, X, Miss Julie

March 17-Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai, Erin Brockovich, The Terrorist, Mifune, Final Destination, Deterrence, Beyond the Mat


Agnes Brown
Some dreary Irish movie starring Angelica Huston. Meridian 16

Alaska: Spirit of the Wild
More of a nature documentary than a ghost story. Omnidome

*All About My Mother
Pedro Almodovar's highly acclaimed new film, a mature look at women (with the obligatory drag queen). Harvard Exit

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 (midlife crisis, bitchy wife, disaffected youth), throw in some admittedly excellent performances, and what you get is the front-runner in this year's Oscar race. (Andy Spletzer) Aurora Cinema Grill, Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center, Seven Gables

Angela's Ashes
Depressing story about Frank McCourt's depressing life, without the happy ending of a major book deal and subsequent movie. Starring Roberty Carlyle and Emily Watson. Meridian 16

The Beach
Leonardo DiCaprio descends into a tropical heart of darkness. A cautionary tale about the dark side of hippie utopias. Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Beautiful People
Like Welcome to Sarajevo and Cabaret Balkan, Beautiful People is well-intentioned. It encourages everyone to "get along," as Rodney King once pleaded, and make this world a better place. For its politics, I give at an A+ (yes, killing is a bad thing); but as a work of art I must give it a D-. Burdened by roughly seven interweaving narratives set in modern London, the movie literally implodes under its own enormous weight. One thread is about a Croat and a Serb who meet on bus and start fighting. Another thread is about an ineffectual doctor whose marriage has just collapsed. Another involves a Bosnian basketball player who seduces and marries a London women for immigration purposes. Another story concerns a BBC journalist who is going insane as he covers the crazy war. Yet another story is a about a young drug addled, soccer hooligan who accidentally winds up in the middle of the war in Bosnia. All of this is way too much for just one film; the director should have just picked one of these stories and developed it into something substantial. Why do these films dealing with the fall of Yugoslavia try to say everything at all once? Fri-Thurs March 3-9 at (Sat-Sun 2:20), 4:40, 7, 9:20. (Charles Mudede) Varsity Calendar

*Being John Malkovich
It's the best film of 1999 and it has a monkey in it. Coincidence? We don't think so. Meridian 16, Varsity

SAM's series of British comedies and dramas continues with David Lean's Breaking the Sound Barrier (1952), starring Ralph Richardson and Nigel Patrick (Thurs March 2 at 7:30); the series ends with John Boorman's Leo the Last (1970), in which elusive, wealthy aristocrat Marcello Mastroianni becomes involved with the "street urchins" surrounding his mansion in London (Thurs March 9 at 7:30). Call 625-8900 for more info. Seattle Art Museum

Boiler Room
Glengarry Glenn Ross for the Gen-X set, as if we needed that. Meridian 16, Metro, Redmond Town Center

Boys Don't Cry
Bellingham native Hilary Swank deserves every accolade she's received for her portrayal of Brandon Teena, a boy born in a girl's body who was killed by hateful people who couldn't, or just wouldn't, understand that. Broadway Market

Buena Vista Social Club
Director Wim Wenders and musician Ry Cooder collaborate on this documentary about the Cuban super-group the Buena Vista Social Club. Broadway Market

The Cider House Rules
Based on the John Irving novel, a period piece about life and abortion. Guild 45th, Uptown

Cinema in Transition Panel Discussion
A FREE discussion/lecture on how video has impacted the world of cinema, and the elements of film that are worth preserving. With panelists Fidelma McGinn (911 Media Arts), Steven Shaviro & Jenifer Bean (UW Cinema Studies), Robert Horton (Film Comment), and John Jeffcoat (Filmmaker). Sun March 5 at 5, FREE. Little Theatre

The Cup
Laughter erupts as Tibetan monks become obsessed with World Cup soccer! Broadway Market

Dead Heat on a Merry-Go-Round
James Coburn and Aldo Ray (and Harrison Ford in a bit part!) star in this "criminal masterpiece" about crooks planning a heist on an airport safe. Fri-Sat March 3-4 at 11:30. Grand Illusion

Drowning Mona
A wacky comedy about a really mean woman (Bette Midler), and the town that is happy to see her die. Various theaters

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

Fantasia 2000
The latest Walt Disney sweeping-animation-and- classical-music extravaganza, this time in thrilling 3D. Bring your own mind-altering substances. Pacific Science Center

Festival of Family Films from Asia
A series of films suitable for the whole family from Japan, China, Taiwan, Korea, and India. This weekend's "Asian Panorama" includes Korean animation (Rain; Going Home after School), Taiwanese children's public television (The Little Monkey; Fruity Pie; Piano, My Friend), and a little girl's vindication tale from India (It's Got to Be a Boy). Sat March 4 at 1:30, FREE. Seattle Asian Art Museum

Jean-Luc Godard and Anne-Marie Miéville teamed up to interview and focus on French schoolchildren, asking them philosophical questions ("Do you think you have an existence?" "What does revolution mean to you?") while following them through their daily school-and-home-life routine. Wed March 8 (Parts 9-12, 2 hrs.) at 5, 7:15, 9:45. Little Theatre

Galaxy Quest
The cast of a Star Trek-like show are recruited by a (presumably good) alien race to save them from a (presumably bad) alien race. Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

The Green Mile
Tom Hanks' death row is forever changed when a magical prisoner is admitted. Meridian 16, Meridian 16

Hanging Up
Meg Ryan, Lisa Kudrow, and Diane Keaton are three sisters who love (and sometimes hate) one another. Walter Mathau is their crazy, sex-craved father! Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Guild 45th, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*Holy Smoke
Ruth (Kate Winslet), on vacation in India, attends the religious service of a guru and falls head over heels into it. Her family fears she's been brainwashed, so they force Ruth into meeting with cult deprogrammer P. J. Waters (Harvey Keitel), flown in from America at great expense. Inevitably, sex becomes a way to balance their power relationship. The two leads deserve credit for such brave, honest performances, but save most of the praise for director Jane Campion, once again pushing everything to its bitter conclusion and then, surprisingly but coherently, going past even that. (Bruce Reid) Harvard Exit


The last film in this popular series, Goodbye South, Good-bye (1996), explores the lives of three "lost souls" who are drifting on the fringes of modern-day Taiwan. Note: It is possible to get into the sold-out screenings, but you have to line up well before 11:30 am, and even then it's not guaranteed. Rumor has it, the Grand Illusion will be bringing back the "Sadness Trilogy" in March or April for those who missed it. Sat-Sun March 4-5 at noon. Grand Illusion

The Hurricane
Denzel Washington plays a boxer who was falsely imprisoned, who then becomes a folk hero when Bob Dylan writes a song about him. Aurora Cinema Grill, Meridian 16, Metro

If These Walls Could Talk 2
See it before it airs on HBO! The Seattle premiere of If These Walls Could Talk 2 deals with three decades of lesbianism between different couples in the same house. The screening is emceed by comic/actress Lisa Koch, features live music from Ranch Romance, and benefits Gilda's Club, a support group for cancer victims and their families. Thurs March 2 at 7:30; donation. King Cat Theater

Akira "Cinema God" Kurosawa's 1952 masterpiece about a quiet, low-level bureaucrat (Takashi Shimura) who finds out he only has six months to live. After briefly drowning in alcohol and depression, he ekes out a path to discover the true meaning of life. Thurs March 2 at 6, 8:45. Grand Illusion

*The Insider
Another chance to catch this Oscar-nominated film that slams Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes. City Centre, Lewis & Clark, Metro

Irish Reels Film and Video Festival
A collection of authentic Irish films, shorts, and documentaries that avoid the tired thick-brogue-and-Guiness cliches and stereotypes of Irish people. All the films are independently produced, with an emphasis on the young Irish and the Irish-emigrant experience. Presented by 911 Media Arts and the Seattle Art Museum. Tues-Sat March 7-11; call 682-1141 or visit for details. Reviewed this issue. 911 Media Arts

Island of the Sharks
Them there's SHARKS on the IMAX screen! Swim with the fishes at your peril. Pacific Science Center

Judy Berlin
In Judy Berlin, writer/director Eric Mendelsohn's breakthrough film, citizens of a sleepy town in upstate New York take to wandering the streets in the shadows of an unnaturally lengthy eclipse. It's such a hushed wonder that I hesitate to praise it for fear of overwhelming its subtle victories. Mendelsohn is guilty of some Bergmanesque deliberation, but he's also crafted a screenplay filled with tiny revelations in scenes that start small and stay small, their humor and pathos blooming modestly somewhere in between. He plays out this lilting darkness with a sincere, almost serene empathy for human fumblings that makes this small black-and-white film one of the finds of the year. (Steve Wiecking) Uptown

London Brief
A hit at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, experimental filmmaker Jon Jost's London Brief is an atmospheric digital video about a 21st-century London. "Miles away from conventional video and filmmaking." Thurs-Sun March 9-12 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30; West Coast premiere! Little Theatre

Mad Max
A re-release (with a new 35mm print, digital sound, and original Australian accents) of the 1979 drama, with a young Mel Gibson as a futuristic cop. The first of the "Mad Max" series. Fri-Thurs March 3-9 at (Sat-Sun 1:30, 3:30), 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Reviewed this issue. Egyptian

In a cinematically fun package, Paul Thomas Anderson weaves together the story of eight generic characters. At three hours, the movie is way too long, particularly when it stops to try and flesh out the "characters," but some of the showy visuals make this movie worthwhile. (Andy Spletzer) Metro, Uptown

A Map of the World
Sigourney Weaver is getting great praise for leading this very depressing movie. Broad- way Market

*Mr. Death
Errol Morris made this documentary about a self-styled execution technologist who becomes a tool for Holocaust revisionists. Varsity

My Dog Skip
Another heartwarming tale of a boy and his dog. Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, others

The Next Best Thing
Madonna and Rupert Everett are two best friends (he's gay, she ain't) who accidentally have a kid. Whoops! Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, others

A screening of F. W. Murnau's truly frightening Nosferatu (1922), the first film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. Silent, with English titles and music. This event features live music by Ensemble Sub Masa. Fri-Sat March 3-4 at 8, 10; $8; 8 pm show is all-ages, 10 pm show 21+ only. Speakeasy

*Not One Less
Chinese director Zhang Yimou's (Raise the Red Lantern, To Live) story of a young schoolgirl left in charge of her entire class when their teacher leaves for a long trip. Mischief, obstacles, and interesting journeys ensue. Thurs Feb March 2 at 4:40, 7, 9:20. Varsity Calendar

Olympic Glory
International athletes and adrenaline junkies show off their skills and defy gravity at the 1998 Winter Olympics at Nagano. Omnidome

Pitch Black
Pitch Black starts out great, dropping you onto a planet by means of a rather exciting crash of a passenger ship (which, of course, is also transporting a dangerous criminal). We learn that the planet has three suns, so it is never dark. Ah, but an eclipse is coming, and the creatures that live underground, the ones that can't stand the light, will once again have free reign over the planet's surface, and will once again kill everything and everyone they find. The movie is actually pretty smart-until near the end when the filmmakers lose track of just how much light upsets these creatures, and when a couple of characters go from being complex to just being confused. Then again, those are minor flaws in a good genre picture. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11, Southcenter

The Northwest Alliance for Psychoanalytic Study's monthly film series pays tribute to solid mental health by exploring how we relate and respond to beauty and aesthetics. This month's film is The Quiet Man (1952), John Ford's Hollywood-ized Irish drama about an American ex-boxer (manly-man John Wayne) who returns to the Irish village he grew up in. Fri March 3 at 7, $7; call 443-1831 for details. Seattle Art Museum

*Rear Window
Hitchcock's Rear Window stands as perhaps the greatest film whose subject is film itself: sitting in the dark, watching stories play out on a screen/through a window. Now it has had a complete restoration by Robert Harris and James Katz-the same pair who cleaned up Vertigo a few years back, but foolishly "re-Foleyed" the soundtrack, resulting in egregiously loud sound effects that distracted from the film. Fortunately they commit no missteps here; Rear Window's meticulous soundtrack has merely been cleaned up and left in its original brilliance, while the picture's Technicolor seems as fresh as newly applied paint-the rosy Manhattan sunset and Grace Kelly's ivory skin becoming especially luminous. (Bruce Reid) Egyptian, Harvard Exit

Red Tapes
Vito Acconci's "epic masterwork" of the early video era, which focuses on his relationship to Americana. Part of the Cinema in Transition series. Sun March 5 at 7:30, 10. Little Theatre

*Reindeer Games
Staying true to his nature, veteran director John Frankenheimer steered clear of the neo-noir of John Dahl, the retrofitted-noir of Ridley Scott, and the art-noir of David Lynch, and produced a film with very little variation on the themes, codes, and moral concerns of classic film noir. The movie has your basic femme fatale (Charlize Theron) at the center of the plot; a basic heist, planned and executed by an amateurish team of criminals; a basic ex-con or "Everyman" (Ben Affleck), who is drawn moth-like into the femme fatale's elaborate labyrinth; and sharp contrasts between black and white, good and bad. The end result is that Reindeer Games (which opens with five dead Santas riddled with bullets, and boasts Ben Affleck's best performance yet) feels like a movie crafted by an old master, by someone who has been in the business for so long that he can do nothing else but produce expert entertainment. (Charles Mudede) Factoria, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Scream 3
The final chapter in the trilogy doesn't change the rules or break any new ground. What it lacks in scares, it makes up for with laughs. It's only a matter of time before Wes Craven answers his true calling: Hollywood comedies. (Andy Spletzer) Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11

Shooting Gallery Film Series
Indie film studio (and much-lauded industry favorite) Shooting Gallery presents a six-week film series, featuring movies that were well-received at various international film festivals. Films that might have been overlooked by distributors will finally get the proper opening and big-screen showing they deserve. This week, Peter Mullan's Orphans, about four siblings in a tough Glasgow town coping with their mother's death, is in the spotlight at the Uptown theater. "Club Night" screening with panel discussion on Mon March 6, $15 (call 877-905-3456 for more info); the film gets a regular, two-week release starting March 10. Uptown

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

Snow Day
The dream pairing of Chevy Chase and Chris Elliot, in this movie geared toward kids who like fart jokes (read: all kids). Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

Stop Making Sense
A late-night screening of Jonathan Demme's documentary about '80s new wave gods Talking Heads. Features live performance footage. Fri-Sat March 3-4 at midnight. Egyptian

The Talented Mr. Ripley
Matt Damon is typecast as a loveable psychopath who falls in love with the life of Dickie Greenwood (played by the fantastic Jude Law). Meridian 16

Those Who Love Me Can Take the Train
The death of a famous painter brings friends, lovers, and devoted students together, and the mourners experience loss, attraction, and other intense emotions together. In 35mm CinemaScope. Fri-Thurs March 3-9 at (Sat-Sun 2:30), 4:45, 7, 9:15. Reviewed this issue. Grand Illusion

Three Strikes
A comic adventure about an African American ex-con desperately trying to avoid his "third strike" and a long-ass prison sentence. Uptown, Redmond Town Center, Lewis & Clark

The Tigger Movie
From the fever dreams of Christopher Robin comes this movie about a maniac tigger who gets into all kinds of trouble. Meridian 16, Metro, Redmond Town Center

Movie based on the early, violent play by William Shakespeare, with plenty of scenery chewed by Anthony Hopkins and Jessica Lange. Cinerama

Director Mike Leigh takes his flair for social realism and points it straight at the Victorian struggles of mediocre artists/high-minded entertainers, Gilbert and Sullivan. Broadway Market

Wax, or The Discovery of Television Among the Bees
David Blair's quirky piece about a man obsessed with weapons guidance design and beekeeping. When his bees drill a hole in his head and insert a TV camera, his entire world unfurls into a hallucinatory reality.... The first feature film ever shown on the Internet (in 1993), with a cameo by William S. Burroughs. See Stranger Suggests. Thurs-Sat March 2-4 at 5:30, 7:30, 9:30. Little Theatre

What Planet Are You From?
HBO star Garry Shandling-who has the uncanny ability to always look like he just smelled a fart-plays a horny alien sent to earth on an intergalactic mission to woo and impregnate a single female of the species. What a kooky wham-bam! The overripe premise of a recently arrived outsider gazing in perplexity upon the illogical workings of society quickly falls on its sorry extraterrestrial ass: penis jokes, bad pick-up lines, and all those quirky sexual politics give way to a schmaltzy, totally stale reconsideration of the uplifting benefits of monogamy and parenthood. As a comedy, it's gutless and predictable; as a romance, it's as cold and lonely as deep space. Annette Bening, in beautiful bed-head, almost saves the movie with her simmering, sweetly Marilyn Monroe-like rendition of "High Hopes" at the bottom of a stairway. Otherwise, director Mike Nichols proves himself an unconscionably outdated and opportunistic hack: He should have his post-Graduate degree revoked by the Academy. (Rick Levin) Factoria, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

The Whole Nine Yards
Matthew Perry freaks when he discovers a professional killer (Bruce Willis) has moved in next door. Hilarity, of course, ensues. Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Northgate, Pacific Place 11

Wonder Boys
Any film that can make an audience stomach Michael Douglas is a minor accomplishment. Curtis Hanson's film does more than that-this is Douglas' finest performance in years. Vulnerability is far from his forte (and so is likability, for that matter), but somehow Douglas relaxes into a casual, harried weakness, and it's actually his reserve that allows you to believe that so much of what happens could unfold so naturally. Hanson, fresh from the success of L.A. Confidential, wisely stays cool and lets his camera pick up the quirks as they come. There's an appealing looseness to the dialogue, yet when Douglas says he has to save Toby Maguire because "sometimes people just need to be rescued," like the film around it, the scene has a gentle gravity. (Steve Wiecking) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Neptune, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

Support The Stranger

Washington Ensemble Theatre presents amber, a sensory installation set in the disco era
In this 30-minute multimedia experience, lights & sounds guide groups as they explore a series of immersive spaces.