The Stranger's 2019 SIFF Picks

Slog PM: First Hill Radiation Spill Is a Real Mess, Fake Nancy Pelosi Video Goes Viral, Stamp Away Andrew Jackson This Weekend

Im not saying this is like Chernobyl but Im not not saying this is like Chernobyl.
I'm not saying the First Hill spill is like Chernobyl but I'm not not saying it's like Chernobyl. AVID_CREATIVE/GETTY IMAGES

Slog PM is brought to you by: This hand fan of Taron Egerton as Elton John in Rocketman, the upcoming Elton John biopic that looks as bad as Bohemian Rhapsody. I got it at R Place on Thursday as sponcon but it's actually a very nice fan!!! I'm not trying to relitigate the whole Bohemian Rhapsody debacle, but I'm sure I will hate it and Stranger's Christopher Frizzelle will love it because Taron Egerton is 100% his type.

It me.
It me.

The president, as you know, has been accusing people of treason: An example.

Treason is punishable by death. NBC's Peter Alexander reminded the president of this today during a press conference at the White House. Trump then rambled on about multiple people he believes has committed treason: Former FBI director James Comey, former FBI deputy director Andrew McCabe, and "people probably higher than that." Also Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, two FBI employees who sent text messages denigrating Trump. The Washington Post explained today how those people did not commit treason, but nevertheless the president of the United States, after being offered free counsel from a reporter that treason was a crime punishable by death, rattled off a list of names of people he thought fit for the punishment. As Slate put it, we're all "LOLing our way to the gulag."

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A $400 Dollar Emergency Would Overwhelm the Budgets of Nearly 40 Percent of Americans

Can I afford this mistake?
Can I afford this mistake? James Woodson/

A survey conducted by the Federal Reserve found that nearly 40 percent of the adults in the richest country in the world don't have the financial resources to absorb a $400 expense-shock without difficulty.

The key passage in the "Report on the Economic Well-Being of U.S. Households in 2018."

If faced with an unexpected expense of $400, 61 percent of adults say they would cover it with cash, savings, or a credit card paid off at the next statement—a modest improvement from the prior year. Similar to the prior year, 27 percent would borrow or sell something to pay for the expense, and 12 percent would not be able to cover the expense at all..

The deep meaning of this finding? Not just that a very large number of Americans can't afford an accident (medical or natural) that's not minor, but, more tellingly, can't afford to make mistakes. Because every aspect of our lives is monetized, mistakes (or bad decisions), which are made all of the time by all sorts of people in every level of society, are a luxury. If this understanding is grasped, then we can see that the US is composed of two great camps: one for whom mistakes are a normal part of life and another which is catastrophically punished for even the slightest mistake. Our jails are filled with the latter.

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The City Council Candidates Vying for Bezos Bucks, Young Democrats Diss Sawant, and More City Council Election News

Lester Black

Who wants to be the chamber candidate? The Chamber of Commerce is trying to flip the council this election and make it more friendly to big businesses. It’s not a secret—Amazon has already given $200,000 to the cause. The real mystery is who the chamber is going to fund. Which one of Sawant the Socialist's challengers will they fund? Will they find receptive candidates in this year’s open races? My colleague Nathalie Graham and I tried to unravel some of this mystery so we asked every single candidate running for office if they wanted the chamber’s support. We found 14 candidates already lining up to say “yes daddy!” to Bezos. Read our story to see where candidates in your district stand.

One candidate who answered our questions asked me after we published the story why we didn't also publish our questions. “I just saw some dang pretty evasive answers that seemed like perfectly reasonable answers if you didn’t know what the specific questions were,” the candidate said. After they brought it to my attention I kind of agreed so, drumroll please, here were our two questions:
1) Do you want help from Civic Alliance for a Sound Economy (CASE) in your race for city council?
2) Would you reject any spending by CASE in your district (including independent expenditures) to help you get elected?

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Inbox Jukebox Track of the Day: The Minimalistically Majestic "The Colour of Poison" by Seattle Heavy-Rock Icons Earth

Power couple is still powerful.
Power couple is still powerful. Sargent House

Earth, "The Colour of Poison" (Sargent House)

“I wanted this to be a ‘sexy’ record, a record acknowledging the ‘witchy’ and ‘sensual’ aspects in the music… sort of a ‘witch’s garden’ kind of theme," says Earth mastermind Dylan Carlson in a press release for their ninth studio LP, Full Upon Her Burning Lips. He goes on to allude to the album's "references to mind-altering plants and animals that people have always held superstitious beliefs towards. A conjuror or root doctor’s herbarium of songs, as it were.” Okay, you don't have to twist my arm. This longtime Earth fan is all in for the latest chapter in the Seattle band's quest to alchemize rock to its most stoic and majestic elements.

For Full Upon Her Burning Lips (released today), Earth have reduced ranks to mainstays Carlson on guitar and bass and Adrienne Davies on drums and percussion. These two veterans prove once again that they're masters of the methodical churn and slow burn. The new record's another minimalist masterpiece, as it hones Earth's patient rock into the sort of heavy haze and time dilation familiar to anyone who's partaken of the sweet leaf. And, yes, it's sexy and witchy.

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I Wish I'd Had Booksmart in High School

Annapurna Pictures

Booksmart is about Molly and Amy (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever), two accomplished girls who are currently enjoying their final day of high school—and realizing that they've alienated all of their peers by focusing only on school and each other. (Molly and Amy are fun! Just focused.)

Then something snaps, and Molly decides the pair needs a party experience before graduation, which kicks off an epic night of social awkwardness, attempted hook-ups, accidental drug use, and inescapable theater kids.

The love-you-to-death friendship between Molly and Amy is the heart of director Olivia Wilde and writers Susanna Fogel, Emily Halpern, Sarah Haskins, and Katie Silberman's movie, and major credit is due to Dever and Feldstein for crushing that chemistry.

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Seattle's Queen of Gospel Soul Receives Cinematic Hallelujahs in the Reverent Patrinell: The Total Experience

The woman of the hour
The woman of the hour

With the public primed by Amazing Grace, the documentary about the making of Aretha Franklin’s 1972 gospel album, it’s a propitious time to view Patrinell: The Total Experience. Reverend Patrinell Staten Wright is the closest thing Seattle has to the Queen of Soul (albeit with a heavier emphasis on church life), and this film portrays the septuagenarian gospel/R&B singer’s inspirational story with utmost reverence. A strict disciplinarian, Wright headed the multiracial Total Experience Gospel Choir and impacted hundreds of lives through her spiritual and artistic tutelage. Patrinell reveals a woman who’s battled racism, sexism, gentrification, and health problems to become what one of her protégés called “our Rosa Parks, MLK, and Barack Obama.”

Patrinell: The Total Experience screens this Sunday and Monday, May 26 and 27, at the 45th Seattle International Film Festival. Further details here. Check out The Stranger's complete SIFF guide here.

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Party in the Middle of Lake Union

Lester Black

I was sitting on a sailboat on Lake Union on a warm Tuesday in May when the ship's captain ran into a problem. We were minutes into the first Duck Dodge sailing race of the season, and the skipper was yelling at his crew to jibe—a difficult sailing maneuver where one sail goes slack and flips to the opposite side of the boat. No amount of rope tugging could put the sail in the correct position. Other ships raced past us. Our boat sat still. Disorder ensued.

"It's stuck on the cooler!" someone yelled. A young woman in khaki shorts freed the rope, letting the sail slide into position and catch the wind. Our cooler snafu had cost us precious minutes. But our captain, BJ, a fiftysomething retired Microsoft employee, seemed more concerned with the temperature of the boat's beer than our scuttled start.

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Regina Hall Is in the House at the 45th Seattle International Film Festival

Regina Hall (center) is the emotionally exhausted manager of a breastaurant in ‘Support the Girls.’
Regina Hall (center) is the emotionally exhausted manager of a breastaurant in Support the Girls. COURTESY OF MAGNOLIA PICTURES

The 1990s saw the birth of a new kind of black cinema. These were films that, despite being produced for black audiences, had real budgets. They cost millions to make and upheld basic Hollywood production standards. True, the budgets of these films were, in comparison to those made for white audiences (default Americans), small—but compared to earlier black-made films for black markets, the budgets were gigantic. The black people portrayed in these films—which were, if not a romantic comedy/drama, a straight-up comedy or drama—tended to be middle- or upper-class and not preoccupied with racism.

Black 1990s cinema also featured a new breed of black talent that was eventually identified as "black Hollywood," and its stars are now black-household names: Nia Long, Larenz Tate, Queen Latifah, Vivica A. Fox, Jada Pinkett Smith, Omar Epps, Ice Cube, and, of course, Regina Hall.

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Juan Antin’s César-Nominated Pachamama Is a Gorgeously Wrought Animated Incan Adventure

Our adventuring heroes
Our adventuring heroes

Named for the earth/fertility goddess revered by the indigenous people of the Andes, Juan Antin’s César-nominated animated adventure Pachamama follows two precocious youths and their trusty animal companions, as they embark from a small Peruvian village at the edge of the vast Incan empire on a quest to the royal capital (which ends up besieged by Spanish conquerors) to retrieve a sacred statue forcibly taken by an Incan overlord.

Antin’s gorgeously wrought 3-D CGI animation is inspired by vibrant indigenous art, and has a soft, simple, and whimsical feel, like a children’s storybook. Paired with a soundtrack that features pre-Columbian music (ancient water flutes included) and themes of love, respect, and gratitude to our earth threaded throughout, Pachamama manages to entertain, charm, and introduces a new culture to younger viewers. The film was acquired by Netflix and will be available for streaming in June.

Pachamama has its last screening on Monday, May 25, at the 45th Seattle International Film Festival. Further details here. Check out The Stranger's complete SIFF guide here.

PACHAMAMA - Movie Trailer

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Reader Advice Round-up: Cremasters, Huzzbenns, and Abortions in Georgia


Recent Savage Love Letters of the Day: His boyfriend made constant and baseless accusations of cheating and then he cheated, the man she married stole her car, he loves having his balls sucked but it hurts and that sucks, sexually inexhaustible husband expects too much from completely exhausted wife, and, as always, last week's column and Savage Lovecast.

I talked about abortion rights and Georgia's abortion ban on the top of a recent Lovecast and someone involved in the fight on the ground there wrote in with some great points...

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A New Restaurant from the Chef Behind Il Corvo and More Seattle Food News You Can Use: May 24, 2019 Edition

Book your tables now: Il Corvo chef Mike Eastons newly opened West Seattle restaurant Il Nido is the most coveted new reservation in town.
Book your tables now: Il Corvo chef Mike Easton's newly opened West Seattle restaurant Il Nido is the most coveted new reservation in town. Kelly O

Il Corvo fans tired of waiting in line for handmade pasta, rejoice: This week, chef Mike Easton opens his buzzed-about restaurant Il Nido in West Seattle, and it's open for dinner five nights a week (snagging a reservation, however, might be easier said than done). Plus, Capitol Hill gets a new spot for Sichuan-style Chinese food, and a new chocolate factory opens in Pike Place Market this weekend. Read on for that and more culinary inspiration and food news for your weekend. For more ideas, try our list of Seattle food and drink specials to try in May, our Memorial Day calendar, and our full food and drink calendar.

Chuan on Capitol
This Chinese restaurant specializing in Sichuan-style "dry pots" (a hot pot dish without the broth) softly opened in Capitol Hill on Sunday, May 19, and plans to have its grand opening by the end of next week. The dry pots are customizable, with protein choices like rabbit, spare ribs, and fried shrimp and options for spice levels and add-ons. The menu also includes side dishes like wontons, beef noodle soup, and fried rice and drinks like iced tea and Hong Kong-style milk tea.
Capitol Hill

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SDOT Recommends Spending up to $420 Million on a New Magnolia Bridge

An artistic interpretation of one of Seattles wealthiest neighborhoods.
An artistic interpretation of one of Seattle's wealthiest neighborhoods. STEVIE SHAO

The city released their latest study yesterday on what to do with the aging Magnolia Bridge, which was built 90 years ago and needs to be demolished. The city’s Department of Transportation (SDOT) studied four options for after the bridge comes down and, surprise surprise, their recommendation is to spend between $200 to $420 million on building a new automobile bridge.

SDOT’s two preferred options are to either rebuild the Magnolia Bridge with a nearly identical, modern bridge ($340 to $420 million). Or replace the Magnolia Bridge with a new span positioned about a half mile north ($200-$350 million). If these projects seem expensive wait till I tell you the second part of this story: the city has not identified any local, state, or federal funding sources for these bridges, according to Ethan Bergerson, an SDOT spokesperson.

“What we’re looking at now is there are several different possibilities but funding hasn’t been identified for them,” Bergerson told The Stranger on Thursday. He also said SDOT does not have a specific year that the bridge needs to come down and that it is currently being monitored for safety.

Here were the four options studied:

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Going Hiking in the Mountains? You Don't Need to Take Your Car

Courtesy of King County

If you haven't been enjoying the mountain wilderness lately, you might not know that parking at the more popular hikes off Interstate 90 has become a nightmare.

Two weeks ago, as I pulled into the Mailbox Peak parking lot at 9 a.m., two county employees stopped me. They said the lot for the trailhead had been full since 7:30 a.m. If I wanted somewhere safe to park, I'd need to drive back to North Bend and catch a shuttle to the trailhead. Like an idiot, I ignored the recommendation, parked a mile away, and walked down a dangerous mountain road back to the trailhead, complaining that I'd never seen the Mailbox parking lot so full, especially not this early in the season.

This is exactly the kind of situation King County Metro and King County Parks were trying to avoid when they introduced the Trailhead Direct program in 2017.

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Human Nature Looks at a Powerful New Discovery, CRISPR, That Has the Potential to Change Humanity, for Better or Worse

Science fiction has become reality
Science fiction has become reality

CRISPR, a recently discovered molecular cleaver that revolutionized genetic editing, could end genetic diseases as we know them—but it could also usher in a new era of eugenics and designer babies. Adam Bolt's Human Nature doesn’t shy away from either of these extremes and offers no easy answers to the ethical minefield of tinkering with our DNA. Far from a dry science seminar, the beautifully shot documentary uses a clever combination of simplistic genetic animations and compelling characters to convey the power of this discovery and why it has the potential to change what it means to be human.

Human Nature screens this Saturday and Monday, May 25 and 27, at the 45th Seattle International Film Festival. Further details here. Check out The Stranger's complete SIFF guide here.

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What's Going on with Bumbershoot 2019?

It's been two weeks since Bumbershoot said they were going to announce their 2019 lineup. On May 6, they tweeted a big sparkly "B," which seemed to hint at their headlining act, telling us that the lineup would come that Friday. Since then, there's been near radio silence. After several hours of waiting, the festival simply tweeted "We're still tinkering. 'B' right back" with a "BRB" photo like some sort of AIM away message.

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