On Friday night, MoPOP will host a special watch-along screening of the horror classic Alien. You can also stream the entire trilogy on HBO.

Gather all ye stoners, art lovers, music nerds, and cinema savants: This weekend's lineup of movies to watch at home (many of which are presented by local theaters, though we've included some new Netflix and VOD options, too) has something for everyone. Read on for details on Cesar Diaz's award-winning debut Our Mothers, on-demand screenings of SPLIFF 2020, the newly available Julia Garner movie The Assistant, and more great options.

New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Bobby Roberts writes, "Is there any more appropriate trilogy to our current moment than the three-film story of Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley? The Alien trilogy (yes, it's only a trilogy, there was never a part 4 or prequels, you must be thinking of Star Wars, sorry) is ultimately the story of a no-nonsense, brilliant, hyper-capable woman whose correct instincts to keep quarantine and prevent infection are ignored and overruled by corporate toadies and distracted, ineffectual 'leaders'—thus leading to a completely preventable biological catastrophe she has to clean up herself through increasingly powerful acts of heroism and self-sacrifice, often with no real help from the powers-that-be (who are supposed to be in charge but are really only concerned with protecting the status quo and covering their own ass while profiting off widespread misery). ALL WE HAD TO DO WAS LISTEN TO RIPLEY." On Friday night, MoPOP will host a special watch-along screening of the original (which is also, according to Charles Mudede, the best horror movie because it's not a horror movie), which will include a pre-film introduction from MoPOP's Robert Rutherford and the San Diego Natural History Museum's Dr. Michael Wall (who will share the real-world insect biology that inspired Alien's xenomorph life cycle), plus food and drink pairing ideas and more interactive fun. Afterwards, if you're inspired, you can continue streaming the series on HBO.
Available via MoPOP
Friday only 

In this Cannes Jury Prize-winning sci-fi tale of predation and resistance, a small Brazilian town bands together to repel murderous mercenaries and mysterious forces that want to drive them from their homes and erase the memory of their existence.
Available via Ark Lodge

Curious about tea? Learn all about different types of tea at Tea Discovery!
Learn the history, myth and lore of tea while tasting different samples in a fun, interactive class!
Get Your Tickets For The First Ever Confinement Online Film Festival!
A fun night of solitary entertainment featuring films exploring social distancing and quarantine!
The 15th Annual HUMP Film Festival is now online, hosted by Dan Savage!
16 sexy films, showcasing a huge range of sexualities, shapes and sizes, streaming from your home!

Annie Silverstein directs this coming-of-age story about an impoverished teenager who finds her potential in black rodeos in rural Texas, where she befriends an ex-bull rider (played by The Last Black Man in San Francisco's Rob Morgan). According to IndieWire, the film "stuffs conventional ingredients into a wondrous vision of life on the edge."
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Friday only

Capital in the Twenty-First Century
This documentary adaptation of Thomas Picketty's bestselling book sheds a light on today's growing financial inequalities and offers an explanation as to why millennials are the first since World War II's Greatest Generation to make less money than their parents. 
Available via Grand Illusion

Wacky director Quentin Dupieux (Rubber) is back with Jean Dujardin (The Artist) in a movie described as "a comic character study in which clothes make the man…mad."
Available via SIFF

An Engineer Imagines
From his work on the Sydney Opera House to the Pompidou Centre to the Lloyd's Building, Irish engineer Peter Rice was just as much an artist as he was a structural designer. If your eyes could use some beautiful things to look at, check out Marcus Robinson's documentary on Rice's life and work, leading up to his death in 1992. 
Available via SIFF

Fantastic Fungi
At its worst, Fantastic Fungi gets too woo-woo wacky for its own good (when the film’s discussion turns to magic mushrooms, the visuals turn into what is, as far as I can tell, a psychedelic screensaver from Windows 95), but at its best, the doc pairs fantastic time-lapse imagery with a good dose of actual, mind-blowing science. Affable, passionate mushroom researcher Paul Stamets is joined by talking heads Michael Pollan, Andrew Weil, and narrator Brie Larson to examine everything from massive fungal networks that carry signals between disparate, distant plants to the psychological benefits of psilocybin. It’s an uneven trip, but a good one. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Available via Ark Lodge

Other Music
This star-studded music documentary (featuring musicians like William Basinski, the National's Matt Berninger, Galaxie 500's Dean Wareham, and many other indie greats) will light up the early-2000s-loving circuit board in your brain with a look inside NYC's iconic record store Other Music. The store, like many long-running small businesses in big cities, was forced to close its doors due to rent increases.
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Friday only

Our Mothers
Cesar Diaz's debut, the winner of the Cannes Film Festival Camera d'Or in 2019, is set in the aftermath of Guatemala's bloody 20-year civil war. It follows Ernesto, a young anthropologist who's determined to track down his father, a guerillero who disappeared during the war. "Díaz’s approach is plain and solid, like a well-built wooden chair before varnishing," wrote the New York Times' Glenn Kenny. 
Available via SIFF

Police Beat
Police Beat, a fictional film I made with the director Robinson Devor (we also made Zoo), is also a documentary about a Seattle that's recovering from the dot-com crash of 2000 (a crash that sent Amazon's shares falling from nearly $100 apiece to $6—they're now around $2,400), and entering its first construction boom of the 21st century (between 2005 and 2008). The hero of my film, the police officer Z (played by the beautiful but sadly late Pape Sidy Niang), could actually afford a little Seattle house on his salary (around $45,000). The median price of houses in 2003 was a lot (about $300,000) but not out of reach for a middle-class immigrant with a stable job. Lastly, the film is a documentary about Seattle's beautiful and virid parks. How I love them all and wanted to film them all: Volunteer Park, Freeway Park, the Washington Park, Madison Park, the parks on either side of the Montlake Cut. So green, so urban, so natural. CHARLES MUDEDE
Available via The Stranger

SPLIFF 2019 & 2020
A new vibe of stoner entertainment is emerging—witness the rise of Broad City, High Maintenance, and basically every TV show created on Viceland. And, most importantly, The Stranger presents SPLIFF, your new favorite film festival created by the stoned for the stoned. Because we can no longer congregate in person, we're rescreening the 2019 and 2020 festivals (the latter of which is hosted by Betty Wetter and Cookie Couture) online! Got some weed on hand? Check it out from the comfort of your home. All contributions received will be shared with the filmmakers.
Available via The Stranger

Virtual Moving History — John Frankenheimer: As Seen on TV
The Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound will hark back to the 1950s with a compilation of black-and-white anthology dramas—campy commercials included. 
Available via Northwest Film Forum

New and Noteworthy: Nationwide

The Assistant
Kitty Green's The Assistant works quietly in its condemnation of abusive men in power. There's no passionate monologue about how a system enables a predator like Harvey Weinstein to comfortably exploit women, nor any cathartic scenes of abusers getting their comeuppance. Rather, the film focuses on the minutiae of office operations and existence, centering the person least in power—a female assistant—as a means of exploring exactly how abusers are enabled by everyone around them. While The Assistant is pretty self-contained, it’s perhaps one of the first films in this #MeToo-era to grapple with the people (men and women alike) and corporate structures that allow for abusers to flourish. They didn't arrive into their respective scenes that way, rather, a misogynistic culture that mandated we "look the other way" helped to normalize their behavior. Green did well to focus on the small actions of an assistant like Jane—the devil is in the details, after all. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Available via Amazon Prime

The Back to the Future Trilogy
There's a beloved trilogy new to streaming this month (Now available on Netflix!) that speaks directly to our current moment in a fairly eye-opening and retroactively disturbing way. You see, Once upon the 1980s, a young Republican in a life-vest, with the help of a way-too-old-to-be-hanging-out-with-teenagers science friend, traveled back in time where he had to prevent his mother’s sexual advances and instead steer her toward Crispin Glover’s dick. He succeeded in this fraught scenario, but accidentally transformed the future into Planet Las Vegas, which sounds cool, but was actually kinda shitty, because the president of Planet Las Vegas was Donald Trump—but in what dystopian hellscape of nuclear distraction would a populace ever elect that asshole, right? So our heroic young Republican then went all the way back to the Wild West, where Mary Steenburgen lives, and managed to set the timeline back on track and everyone learned that it’s never really a good idea to steal plutonium from angry Libyans. Co-starring Huey Lewis and Flea. BOBBY ROBERTS
Available via Netflix

Bad Education
In Cory Finley's 2019 film, Hugh Jackman breaks from his recent musical theatre shtick for a more dramatic role: Frank Tassone, the superintendent of a Long Island school who finds himself in the middle of a major embezzlement case (one based off of true events). Also starring Allison Janney and Ray Romano.
Available via Amazon Prime, Hulu, and HBO

Do the Right Thing
One of the best scenes in one of the best movies of the remarkable year 1989, Do the Right Thing, concerns something we are now very familiar with, gentrification. Set on a hot summer day in Brooklyn, the scene goes like this: Black Buggin Out (played by Giancarlo Esposito) gets accidentally run into by white Clifton (played by John Savage), who is wearing a Larry Bird top and leaves a mark on Buggin Out’s brand-new white Air Jordans. Buggin Out: “Who told you to step on my sneakers? Who told you to walk on my side of the block? Who told you to be in my neighborhood?” Clifton: “I own this brownstone.” Buggin Out: “Who told you to buy a brownstone on my block, in my neighborhood, on my side of the street? Yo, what you wanna live in a Black neighborhood for, anyway? Man, motherfuck gentrification.” Then Buggin Out asks: “Why don’t you move back to Massachusetts?” Clifton: “I was born in Brooklyn!” CHARLES MUDEDE
Available via Amazon Prime, YouTube, Google Play, and elsewhere—the New York Times is hosting a "viewing party" and encouraging everyone to watch the film by May 4 and discuss online

The Goonies Cast Reunion
Okay, here's today's last hit of pure '80s nostalgia (get it while you can, everyone's about to push all in on that '90s nostalgia here in a sec). Josh Gad started a new YouTube series last week called "Reunited Apart," which seeks to get the casts from your favorite movies together for some online fun. The first (and probably last, according to Gad) episode of this series is centered on the Steven Spielberg produced, Richard Donner directed 1985 adventure The Goonies. There's been many partial cast reunions at many a "geek" event over the past 20 years, but nobody's gotten everyone in the cast (everyone who hasn't already passed that is—RIP Anne Ramsey) back together at the same time...until now. That's right: Samwise Gamgee, Thanos, that one Michael Jackson impersonator, Short Round, Chunk, Joey Pants, they're all here along with some extra-special guests, and they spend a very jovial half hour reminiscing, sharing stories, and celebrating the film they made 35 years ago. Proceeds from all donations benefit The Center for Disaster Philanthropy's COVID-19 Response Fund. BOBBY ROBERTS
Available via YouTube

There's more than a few alternate-history shows that have captured the pop-culture zeitgeist recently. Hulu had 11.22.63 (What if you could stop the Kennedy assasination?), Amazon had Man in the High Castle (what if the Axis won World War II?), and HBO had The Plot Against America (What if Charles Lindbergh ran for president in 1940, won, and America became openly fascist?). You'll note all these alternate histories are pretty serious and dark, almost like there's a rule that alternate histories have to be dystopias. Well, here comes Netflix, and Ryan Murphy, and Hollywood, an alternate history whose primary question is "What if the golden age of Hollywood wasn't so sexist, racist, 'phobic, and gross?" and whose primary answer seems to be "It'd be pretty fun and fabulous—look at all these amazingly pretty people swan around for a couple hours." Is there an important lesson to be learned here? Probably not. Is there an "important lesson" to be learned from drinking champagne 'til you're dizzy and making out with hot people all night? Who gives a shit! Hollywood! BOBBY ROBERTS
Available via Netflix

Normal People
Hulu's latest miniseries aims to fill your quarantine hours with meaningful sweetness via their 12-episode adaptation of Sally Rooney's acclaimed best-seller, Normal People. And as the title hints, there are no superheroes involved in this narrative; no sci-fi hooks to grab onto, no world-threatening scenarios to conquer. It's just a love story. A regular, low-stakes, small-town love story set in Ireland. A love story that pretty quickly stops feeling low-stakes as its two principals meet, hook up, grow, break up, leave, come back, hook up again, regress, break up again, and come to exemplify the absolutely commonplace but never-not-terrifying tightrope that you have to walk if you want to be really intimate with someone, especially when you still don't quite know who you are yet. BOBBY ROBERTS
Available via Hulu

The Princess Bride
This movie, finally made available on Disney+ this month, is 100 percent pure charm in film form. That’s not to say Rob Reiner’s adaptation of William Goldman’s bestselling novel isn’t also shot through with moments of real romance (“As you wish”) and cathartic satisfaction (“I want my father back you sonofabitch,”) but the reason this movie occupies such a precious place in so many hearts is the charm radiating off its styrofoamy sets, through a score that sounds like it’s coming out of a Casio keyboard’s single built-in-speaker, humming under dialogue written so beautifully the actors can’t help but smile at the magic flowing out of their mouths. It proves you don’t need $200 million and two years of post-production to realize pure imagination. Not when you’ve got a big heart and all the charm in the world. BOBBY ROBERTS
Available via Disney+

Raiders of the Lost Ark
It's so bizarre to see the CBS Sunday Night Movie come back to brodcast TV after being made more-or-less obsolete by cable back in the '90s. And then cable was made obsolete in the '00s by the internet, and now because the movie industry doesn't know what it's going to be in the near future, media companies like Viacom/CBS are looking at all these watch parties, looking at their network programming, noticing their large back catalogs, and boom: The Sunday Night Movie returns with a slightly different name at 8pm tonight, presenting a perfect excuse for everyone to get together at the same time, in the same place, and watch 1981's Raiders of the Lost Ark, maybe the most perfectly constructed film in cinema history. Maybe. I’m sure someone out there has an argument on deck, but I’m betting their champion of choice doesn’t include a giant pit of snakes; a fight inside, on top of, and hanging off the front of a truck at 50 mph; a holy box that melts Nazi faces like Totino’s Party Pizza; and—most importantly—the presence of peak Harrison Ford in all his sweaty, smirky, silly-yet-sexy glory. BOBBY ROBERTS
Available via CBS

Set in the year 2033, the sci-fi romantic dramedy Upload stars Robbie Amell as a party-hard coder whose consciousness is uploaded into Lakeview, a luxurious digital afterlife, after getting in an accident in his self-driving car. The New York Times calls it "a hybrid of The Good Place, Black Mirror, and Idiocracy."
Available via Amazon Prime

Ongoing: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Americana Kamikaze
NYC's interdisciplinary performance group Temporary Distortion blends theater, film, and installation to freakily contort Japanese ghost stories and horror (aka J-Horror) through an American musical tradition. In a 2009 New York Times review of the play, Jon Weiss wrote, "Hard-core horror fans should take notice, because with Hollywood’s rarely risking something truly upsetting anymore, preferring funny zombies and by-the-numbers remakes, you might have to go to the theater to see death performed live to really test your limits."
Available via On the Boards

Best of CatVideoFest: Creature Comforts Edition
Local feline enthusiast and Henri the Cat creator Will Braden, bless his heart, has plucked 40 minutes of quality content from SIFF's CatVideoFest—an annual celebration of the divine conjunction of cats and internet—for your viewing pleasure.
Available via SIFF

Colonel Redl
This pre-WWI-set Hungarian film, which won the Cannes Grand Jury prize in 1985, chronicles Alfred Redl's ascension to head of counter-intelligence of the Austro-Hungarian Army, all the way up to his (spoiler, sorry) apparent suicide.
Available via SIFF

In this 1980 Academy Award-nominated film, two resistance members in WWII-era Hungary pretend to be husband and wife in an effort to hide in plain sight from Nazi occupiers. The woman, Kata, is married in real life, which causes turmoil when she and her fake husband start to develop feelings for each other. 
Available via SIFF

Exhibition on Screen - Leonardo: The Works
Leonardo da Vinci has been dead for centuries, but his legend lives on. This documentary, released on the 500th anniversary of his death, explores the Renaissance artist's life and work. 
Available via SIFF 

Lucian Freud - A Self Portrait
London's Royal Academy of Arts and Boston's Museum of Fine Arts will present an on-screen exhibition of 50 paintings, prints, and drawings by the late British painter Lucian Freud.
Available via SIFF 

The 1981 Academy Award winner for Best Foreign Language Film went to Hungarian director István Szabó's Mephisto, which follows a struggling actor who cooperates with Nazis in occupied Germany in order to become a star. Ingmar Bergman deemed "an impassioned work of art." 
Available via SIFF

Now I'm Fine
Sean Nelson wrote, "Ahamefule J. Oluo, of Stranger Genius Award winning band Industrial Revelation, remounts his autobiographical odyssey, a harrowing, hilarious personal story punctuated by astoundingly strong songs, brilliantly arranged and performed by several of the most talented musicians in Seattle." Originally staged at On the Boards, Now I'm Fine received rave reviews during its recent New York run, and will now be screened online. 
Available via On the Boards

Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and The Band
With Once Were Brothers, Roher presents a conventional contextualizing rock doc with marquee-name talking heads—Van Morrison, George Harrison, Bruce Springsteen, et al.—and efficiently reveals Robertson's early family life (his mother was indigenous, his father Jewish) and musical evolution. Robertson is an articulate, passionate memoirist; the film is based on his 2016 autobiography, Testimony. With equanimity, he registers the Band's soaring highs and devastating lows, while his French ex-wife Dominique adds crucial observations about the inter-band dynamics and substance abuse that dogged the members. Tracing a story of relentless, upward mobility through the music industry, the doc emphasizes Robertson's inner strength and boundless ambition, which helped him to avoid the booze- and drug-related pitfalls that afflicted his mates. For fans of the Band, this film will inspire tears of sorrow and joy, if not rage. Now more than ever, their music stirs emotions with a profundity that feels religious, but without the stench of sanctimony. DAVE SEGAL
Available via SIFF and Ark Lodge

The Roads Not Taken
Sally Potter's new film The Roads Not Taken follows Leo (Javier Bardem), a man tortured by visions of alternate versions of his life. In one, he lives in Mexico with his first love, Dolores. In another, he's an aging bachelor on a Greek island. In reality, he's confined to a sparse Brooklyn apartment, not far from his daughter (Elle Fanning).
Available via Ark Lodge

If you want some serious cinephile cred, you can't do better than this seven-and-a-half-hour epic by the Hungarian master Béla Tarr, known for making long, grimy, long, dark, strangely poetic, long movies like Werckmeister Harmonies and The Turin Horse. Sátántango (1994), restored in 4K, is based on László Krasznahorkai's brutal experimental novel about a collective farm collapsing under the weight of its members' greed, betrayal, and hopelessness.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Slay the Dragon
Barak Goodman and Chris Durrance's documentary investigates how gerrymandering has damaged our democracy, and how citizen-led activist groups have been crucial agents of change when bigger systems fail. 
Available via SIFF and Ark Lodge

Thousand Pieces of Gold
Based on the novel by Ruthanne Lum McCunn (with a screenplay by novelist and filmmaker Anne Makepeace), this 1990 film follows a young Chinese woman (Rosalind Chao) whose family ships her to an Idaho mining town to be sold as a bride. To make matters worse, she's bought by a gross barkeeper in an Idaho mining town who forces her into prostitution. 
Available via Northwest Film Forum

The Whistlers
Festival favorite Corneliu Porumboiu (The Treasure, Police, Adjective) delves into the noir genre, complete with a beautiful crook, a crooked inspector, and...a secret whistling language? 
Available via SIFF

A White, White Day
In Hlynur Pálmason's follow-up to Winter Brothers, an off-duty police chief in a remote Icelandic town begins to suspect a local man of having had an affair with his late wife. In thriller-meets-Nordic-art-house fashion, the man becomes obsessed with finding the truth, at the expense of his (living) loved ones. 
Available via SIFF