COMING SOON

The Brothers, Heartbreakers, The Price of Milk, Series 7, The Taste of Others, Too Much Sleep


NEW THIS WEEK

*Alphaville
Jean-Luc Godard's 1965 film stars Eddie Constantine as Lemmy Caution, a private detective in Alphaville to save the daughter of the scientist Vonbraun, as the evil supercomputer Alpha 60 has established itself as ruler of a technocratic society in which all forms of human individualistic expression have been supressed in the name of rationality. Utterly incomprehensible--and recommended! (Jason Pagano) Fri-Sat. Grand Illusion

Boys Life 3
You might like Boys Life 3, a hodgepodge (mishmash?) of film shorts by a smorgasbord (melange?) of directors that address gay sexuality. Like baby teeth, the films lack mature crunching power, but the miniature tongues explore familiar issues such as coming out, dating, and AIDS with a youthful curiosity--though it is, at best, a very uncontrolled curiosity. Whether it's the double standard of ménage à trois (the socially acceptable male-to-female ratio versus its inversion) or a prostitute helping a young boy embrace his homosexuality, the films usually act like teenagers whose only means of expressing emotionally charged experiences is by blurting them out in our faces. And this I found endearing and amusing, like an adolescent struggling to walk successfully in the still oversize boots of adulthood. (Suzy Lafferty) Opens Fri. Egyptian

Enemy at the Gates
The Europeans know a star when they see one: They chose Jude Law to star in this most expensive European film ever, about a sniper at the battle of Stalingrad. Opens Fri. Metro

Exit Wounds
Steven Segal shows off 50 new pounds of fat in this new drama about an overweight cop. Opens Fri. Varsity

*Kinetica 2: The Legacy
Film and music get all up in each other's business in this collection of 18 short works by some of the 20th century's most influential experimental filmmakers, including Hy Hirsh, Norman McLaren, and James Whitney. If you've previously only enjoyed the abstract visual interpretation of music via an occasional late-night programming on the stoner-friendly Arts channel, the opportunity to enjoy an entire program on the big screen awaits. (Jason Pagano) Wed March 21. JBL Theater at EMP

Mormons!
The genius of Mormon educational filmmaking is again on display in this trio of short works about the trials faced by the average Mormon teen. Fri-Sun. Consolidated Works

*The Mother and the Whore
See Stranger Suggests. Three and a half hours of French art film goodness! Mon-Thurs only. Grand Illusion

Nobody Wanted to Die
With a title that comes about as close to universal as it gets, this "Borscht Western" promises to put the "so?" back in Soviet filmmaking. Sat-Sun. Grand Illusion

Panic
Reviewed this issue. William H. Macy stars as a fragile, repressed hit man with a heart of gold. Opens Fri. Varsity Calendar

*SEATTLE JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
This year's ambitiously programmed festival features eight full days of Jewish obsession. Some of this weekend's highlights include The Optimists on Saturday and The Jazzman from the Gulag and Film and Memory Program on Sunday. The festival closes on Sunday with Les Fantomes de Louba. Through Sun. Cinerama

Tiny Picture Club
See Stranger Suggests. Portland's own Super8 club spreads the love around Seattle for one night only. Thurs March 15. Market Theater

VISUAL MUSIC
A four-part series exploring the relationships between music and film. Friday's program features classic works by Michael Snow and Ronald Mameth; while Saturday's program features a live performance by Vancouver's own Multiplex Grand. For more info, call 675-2055 Thurs-Sun. Little Theatre

The Widow of Saint-Pierre
Reviewed this issue. The burning passions of the French cool their heels in the frigid waters of Newfoundland in this new "art" film. Opens Fri. Harvard Exit

Wing Chun
We are not ashamed to say we have absolutely no clue what this film is about. Fri-Sat. Egyptian

*A Woman Under the Influence
In proto-indie-director John Cassavetes' most mainstream film, Gena Rowlands (Mrs. Cassavetes) earned her Oscar nom the hard way with a harrowing portrayal of one Mabel Longhetti, a woman variously under the influence of alcohol, the moon, and paternalism. Trying to negotiate the minefield of insecurities of her Italian American husband (Peter Falk), crammed into a noisy house full of kids, relations, and Nick's fellow construction workers, Mabel grows ever-more frantic to please, to keep things going until finally this fragile soul simply comes apart at the seams. In the pressure-cooker of Cassavetes' improvisational, cruelly intimate filmmaking, one feared it would all get out of hand--that the emotional violence and violations might exceed the limits of legitimate acting out. In 1974, beginning to reject marriage and motherhood as the Holy Grail, Mabel's briefings for a descent into domestic hell fairly took my breath away. 25 years later, it still does. (Kathleen Murphy) Fri-Sun. Grand Illusion


OPPORTUNITIES

WigglyWorld Studios presents an opportunity for King County artists to create an original trailer for the Grand Illusion or the Little Theatre through the Northwest FilmForum's Trailer Training program. Budget and honorarium included. Call 329-2629 for information; deadline is March 30.

Seattle Underground Film Festival is now accepting entries for its third year. All formats are welcome: Super 8mm, 16mm, 35mm. There will also be a Video category as well. Submissions may be in any length, on any topic, and in all languages. For festival guidelines and entry form via e-mail, contact bolexman@msn.com, or write to SUFF, PO Box 4477, Seattle, WA 98104. Deadline is June 1.

911 Media Arts is currently accepting applications for its Artist in Residence program, providing artists with a budget and honorarium towards the creation of a new media work. For more information, see www.911media.org, or call 682-6552. Deadline is March 26.

One Reel, producer of the best-attended short film festival in the U.S., is currently seeking submissions. Films must be under 30 minutes in length, completed after Jan. 1, 2000. Applications available at bumbershoot.org, or call 281-8111. Deadline is May 1.


CONTINUING RUNS

15 Minutes
15 Minutes is a crime drama/cop buddy/social commentary that doesn't establish its muddled manifesto with anything like the sort of swiftness it employs in merely establishing itself as a bad movie. Witless cliché, cardboard acting, implausible plot-- all are evident from the get go. It has no compunction about denying latecomers, saddened to have missed the previews, the time and luxury to take a comfortable seat and peacefully munch on their popcorn. It instead instantly informs them that they've stepped in something similar in smell and consistency to Steve Guttenberg. This is writer/director John Herzfeld's second Hollywood movie (his first was Six Days in the Valley); still, it wouldn't be too radical at this stage to suggest that a public stoning lingers somewhere in this man's future. (Kudzai Mudede) Factoria, Metro, Pacific Place 11, Redmond Town Center

3000 Miles to Graceland
This movie should be avoided like a sex change operation paid for by the Romanian National Health Service. It's bland and predictable; director Demian Lichtenstein's music video-style cinematography is a sublime irritation; and it appears that whole "starring Kevin Costner and Kurt Russell" thing wasn't a cynical prank after all. (Kudzai Mudede) Aurora Cinema Grill, Meridian 16, Redmond Town Center

Before Night Falls
In Julian Schnabel's new film, Before Night Falls, the life story of Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas manages to be utterly straightforward despite the hallucinatory, incantatory style of his writing. Furthermore, it makes Arenas sound like a hack poet. And that, my friends should be a punishable crime. (Emily Hall) Broadway Market

*Best In Show
The latest from the folks who brought you Waiting for Guffman follows several dog owners on their quest for the blue ribbon at the 2000 Mayflower Kennel Club Dog Show. Dogs are always funny. (Jason Pagano) Broadway Market

*Billy Elliot
Granted, the story is unoriginal (a small town boy beats the odds and becomes a ballet dancer), but its setting (a working-class family struggling through the worst of the Thatcher years) disrupts the sleep of the tired narrative and unexpectedly, steadily, it comes to life. I almost cried during this film--yes, it's that touching. (Charles Mudede) Broadway Market

Blow Dry
The British Hair Federation decides to host its annual hair dressing competition in a town that just happens to be the home of a legendary hair-cutting virtuoso, played by Alan Rickman, who scandalously lost his title years back when his wife (Rachel Griffith) ran off with their model (Natasha Richardson) the night before the final round of the competition. While the hamlet fills up with shear-swinging rivals and conniving hair fakirs, we wonder if the fractured trio will overcome their grievances and seize the title that is rightfully theirs. Blow Dry could top off a landfill with the carcasses of its failed jokes and the plot largely plagiarizes that of Strictly Ballroom. But for the hair-obsessed, the grand finale of spectacular hairdos takes affect like a Ruphinol, obliterating the dull journey to this Xanadu of extraordinary locks. (Suzy Lafferty) Meridian 16, Seven Gables

Cast Away
Cast Away takes lurid delight in cataloging the various losses that accrue upon once-wealthy FedEx international systems supervisor Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) after a freak plane crash strands him somewhere in the South Pacific. The stupid simplicity with which Hanks is shown crafting his world so utterly subverts any but the most priapic observations that one comes away from the film feeling a trifle molested, or just bored. (Jamie Hook) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16

Caveman's Valentine
Caveman's Valentine is about a madman named Romulus Ledbetter (Samuel L. Jackson) who lives in a cave in Central Park. A classical whodunit, set in the decadent sphere of New York's art elite. The process of solving a murder mystery leads not only to the person who committed the murder, but more importantly to a warm, glowing place where the mad father is finally forgiven by his bitter daughter. (Charles Mudede) Meridian 16, Metro

Chocolat
My straightforward review will open with a detailed plot summary ("The movie is about a French village whose serenity is shattered by a mysterious woman who moves into town with her illegitimate daughter and opens a sexy chocolate store."), and then state the truth ("The movie is unremarkable!"). (Charles Mudede) Aurora Cinema Grill, Guild 45th, Meridian 16, Redmond Town Center

Company Man
Milquetoast Alan Quimp, tweedy grammar instructor with a sideline in driver's ed, must fend off his ball-breaking wife Daisy (Sigourney Weaver) and her tycoon dad by pretending he's a deep-cover CIA agent. Through a series of inexcusably silly accidents, Quimp becomes an actual secret agent in Cuba, moments before Castro takes over. Company Man sucks in so many ways, but the cast is clearly having such a damned good time, its sins scarcely merit Biblical outrage. (Kathleen Murphy) Meridian 16, Metro

*Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon
The film is an attempt to wed emotionally reticent drama with the exhilarating freedom of Hong Kong-genre filmmaking, but director Ang Lee can't quite pull off the combination. The film finds its rhythm and earns the accolades it has received once it leaves the stars behind and gives its heart over to the young and engaging Zhang Ziyi. (Bruce Reid) Aurora Cinema Grill, Grand Alderwood, Majestic Bay, Neptune, Uptown

Down to Earth
A black bike messenger (Chris Rock) is suddenly killed by a truck and goes up to heaven. The angels, who look like mafia hit men, realize that the death was premature, and so return the brother back to earth in a body once owned by a white billionaire. With this white, bloated body he must win the heart of a beautiful soul sister from the hood. Need I say more? Simply amazing. (Charles Mudede) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Oak Tree

Finding Forrester
A kid from the Bronx excels at both basketball and composition, befriends a hermit writer, undergoes a crisis from which the writer must extract him, thereby helping the writer overcome his own reclusive blah blah blah. (Barley Blair) Lewis & Clark, Pacific Place 11

Get Over It
Yet another reminder that while the youth of those pesky Third-World contenders to America's world dominance prepare themselves with nuclear physics, political sciences, and developmental economics, our kids are just happily a-fuckin' in the bushes like there's no tomorrow. This time around said reminder comes in the form of a "laugh-a-minute-ride" with some plot about a young man getting dumped by his girlfriend and then falling for his best friend's sister. The truth is it's not actually too bad if you like this sort of thing. (Kudzai Mudede) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Metro, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

Hannibal
Hannibal is a mess; an overblown, audacious, painstakingly long, gratuitous mess. Hannibal Lecter in his second outing is an annoying little old man, the sort you'd just love to push down a flight of stairs. Worse still he's a limey, a fish-and-chip-worshiping limey! That the man has killed over 15 Americans isn't a case for the fucking F.B.I.; it's a case for Immigration! (Kudzai Mudede) Factoria, Meridian 16, Metro, Northgate, Redmond Town Center

The House of Mirth
British director Terence Davies' The House of Mirth, starring Gillian Anderson and Dan Aykroyd, adapts Edith Wharton's 1905 novel about New York high society--the tragic story of a beautiful young woman looking to marry a rich husband and finding herself torn between her need for financial security and her desire for personal integrity. (Caveh Zahedi) Metro

The Mexican
This movie was never meant to be a singular entity: It feels like two movies, hemorrhaged by nature, that have been forcefully welded together. The first of these movies is The Mexican, it features Brad Pitt, an antique gun, and the mob. It is vaguely interesting and Brad Pitt is very handsome. Secondly, there is what I will call National Lampoon's Seventh Circle of Hell, it stars Julia Roberts, a green V.W., and a sensitive hitman. It is a disgrace and Julia Roberts' performance is criminal. (Kudzai Mudede) Factoria, Majestic Bay, Meridian 16, Metro, Oak Tree, Redmond Town Center

Monkeybone
All you need to know of this film is that it stars both Brendan Fraser and a cartoon monkey, and that at about 40 minutes in, the cartoon monkey has taken over control of Brendan Fraser's body. That's it. Directed by Henry Selick, of The Nightmare Before Christmas? Based on Kaja Blackley's graphic novel, Dark Town? Unimportant. Brendan Fraser. Cartoon monkey. (Jason Pagano) Meridian 16

*O Brother, Where Art Thou?
Set in Depression-era Mississippi, George Clooney stars as Everett Ulysses McGill, a suave and well-groomed petty criminal doing hard time on a chain gang. Shackled to Pete (John Turturro) and Delmar (Tim Blake Nelson), he convinces them to join him in escaping by promising to split a fortune in buried treasure. (Andy Spletzer) Factoria, Harvard Exit, Redmond Town Center

Pollock
This is actor Ed Harris' directorial debut (he also stars), and seems in too big a hurry to establish the iconic events of painter Jackson Pollock's life--see Pollock urinate in Peggy Guggenheim's fireplace, see Pollock overturn the Thanksgiving table, see Pollock accidentally discover drip painting--without letting any of these moments achieve any natural resolution. (Emily Hall) Guild 45th

Quills
Quills seeks to rehabilitate the Marquis de Sade's image into that of Brave Soldier in the Noble Battle against Hypocrisy. Which not only flattens and dulls the film's subject, it also makes for one hell of a hypocritical movie in its own right. (Bruce Reid) Pacific Place 11

Recess: School's Out
I loved the movie Recess: School's Out. It is full of exciting and hilarious scenes. It's funny because in the movie (and in the TV show), everybody does the same thing at recess. For example, there is a King of Recess, there are kids that dig holes, and the kindergartners always run around doing pesky stuff. I advise people to go to this movie. (Sam Lachow, age 10) Lewis & Clark, Meridian 16, Redmond Town Center

Save the Last Dance
A hip-hoppin' drama about a rhythmically challenged white girl from the Midwest who sets out to endear herself to the young brothers and sisters of a black, inner-city Chicago high school. And how responsibly does this movie handle the potential conflagration of bad racial stereotypes it presents? I ask you all to picture matches, dynamite, and a very drunk monkey. (Kudzai Mudede) Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark

Saving Silverman
Jason Biggs is about to marry "the wrong girl," and his two rowdy buddies (Jack Black and Steve Zahn) will stop at nothzzzzzzzzzzzz. (Jason Pagano) Lewis & Clark

See Spot Run
See Spot Run was a great movie about a dog named Agent 11 who was trained by the F.B.I. since he was a puppy. Agent 11, is trying to catch these bad Mafia guys. The head Mafia guy hires these two other Mafia guys to kill Agent 11, but he escapes and winds up staying with the main character played by David Arquette. The funniest part was David Arquette doing his great George Jefferson breakdance. (Maggie Brown, age 10) Factoria, Grand Alderwood, Lewis & Clark, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11

*Shadow of the Vampire
E. Elias Merhige's Shadow of the Vampire revisits the set of film director F. W. Murnau's 1922 horror classic Nosferatu to tell an imagined story of Murnau (John Malkovich) and his obscure star Max Schreck (played brilliantly by Willem Dafoe). Full of charm and whimsy, the film walks a subtle tightrope between creepiness and hilarity. (Caveh Zahedi) Metro

Snatch
I remember reading that after he saw a screening of Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels in London, Tom Cruise leapt to his feet and screamed, "This movie rocks!" I'm sure he'll probably scream the same thing about Snatch. So, there you go. If you liked Lock, Stock & Two Smoking Barrels, you're gonna like Snatch. (Bradley Steinbacher) Meridian 16, Metro

*State and Main
A Hollywood film crew descends on a small Vermont town to make a movie, bringing their sophisticated mores with them. David Mamet has said that he was thinking of Preston Sturges when he put this film together, and it's a worthy successor to the Master. (Barley Blair) Pacific Place 11

Sweet November
Sometimes the soiling of a film comes with one stroke. Keanu Reeves, the workaholic ad exec, is trying to perform his American duty of reinventing the hot dog. He is running on his treadmill, sweating bullets and thinking of hot dogs. Then he pops off his mill and bounds toward the microwave. Keanu pops it open and spears the microwaved hot dog with a fork and puts the sweaty hot dog in his mouth. That's when it was over for me. (Paula Gilovich) Grand Alderwood, Pacific Place 11, Southcenter

Thirteen Days
Taking its title from Robert Kennedy's book but its worldview from hagiography, Thirteen Days portrays the Cuban missile crisis as an episode in the life of St. Jack Kennedy. You may enjoy this movie, and that's okay, but I want you to hate it too. You should hate anything--any work of art, any literature, any fiction, any history--that pretends there is an obvious answer to any serious question. (Barley Blair) Admiral, Crest, Lewis & Clark

Traffic
The big message in Traffic is perfectly laid-out by its tagline: "Nobody gets away clean." All the flashy directorial touches and sterling performances in the world can't cover the fact that Traffic is just another example of Hollywood tackling a complex problem with the simplest and most conservative of solutions. (Bradley Steinbacher) Grand Alderwood, Majestic Bay, Oak Tree, Pacific Place 11, Varsity

The Wedding Planner
Jennifer Lopez, playing Maria, the titular Planner, manages to be successful, self-deprecating, beautiful, and devoid of love. She is rescued from death by dumpster by Matthew McConaughey, hunky blond pediatrician and Perfect Catch, but discovers that he is engaged to one of her customers. Predictable hilarity ensues. (Traci Vogel) Pacific Place 11

When Brendan Met Trudy
Shy boy meets brash girl, girl loosens up boy, girl pursues career despite occupational hazards. Roddy Doyle's first original screenplay is mighty insistent on filmic knowingness--no scene is without its quotation, comment, or reworking. If (like me) you like romantic comedies, you're willing to put up with attraction by authorial fiat and characterization by mannerism; in exchange, you get the pleasure of a happy ending. (Barley Blair) Uptown

*You Can Count on Me
In Kenneth Lonergan's You Can Count on Me, "adult" and "sadness" and "American" become a knot of synonyms as the story focuses on the pure inability a brother and sister have with one another now that they're adults. It's as though being an adult, and a member of a grownup American family, is the path of loneliness and sadness. (Paula Gilovich) Broadway Market

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