With coronavirus cases spiking in Washington State and beyond, it's unlikely we'll get to escape into the air-conditioned womb of a movie theater to catch the latest summer blockbuster anytime soon. However! Lots of great movies and TV shows are hitting the streams this weekend, many of which are courtesy of local theaters. Read on for our top picks, from Praveen Morchhale's Widow of Silence to the 1990 horror-comedy Tremors to the new Netflix series Cursed. Longing for the big(ger) screen? Check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area.

Jump to: New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses | BIPOC-Focused Films | New & Noteworthy: Nationwide | Ongoing: Supporting Seattle Businesses | Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week

New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses

The Craft
Langston Seattle and dark-minded burlesque maven Isabella L. Price will continue their BIPOC-focused virtual film series Fade to Black with a watch-along of the 1990s cult film The Craft. Rachel True, who plays Rochelle, will join the party.
Available via Amazon Prime, YouTube, and other platforms; Langston watch-along Friday only

Guest of Honor
A father (David Thewlis) and daughter (Laysla De Oliveira) unravel their intertwined secrets in this 2019 time-weaving thriller from director Atom Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter). Luke Wilson plays a priest who kind of solves everything for everyone. Way to go, Luke!
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

It's A Disaster
Oscilloscope presents a special livestream screening of 2012's black-comedy of conversation and bad manners, It’s a Disaster, which starts as an awkward collection of quietly-seething people at an uncomfortable dinner party—and that’s before they discover they’re stuck inside as the world is ending. Not prescient or relatable at all, right? Certainly this aspect of the film won’t be brought up and examined at the post-film Q&A with the full cast, including America Ferrera, Julia Stiles, Rachel Boston, Erinn Hayes, and David Cross.
Available via Grand Illusion
Friday only

Repairmen Val McKee (Kevin Bacon) and Earl Bassett (Fred Ward) are tired of their dull lives in the small desert town of Perfection, Nevada. But just as the two try to skip town, they happen upon a series of mysterious deaths and a concerned seismologist studying unnatural readings below the ground. With the help of an eccentric couple, the group fights for survival against giant, worm-like monsters hungry for human flesh. Matt Baume wrote, "Tremors is an extremely goofy horror film, which is of course its great strength. Explosions, decapitations, scary monsters in the night — it’s an ideal blend of '80s schlock-horror with wry knowing '90s dialogue, and it’s as popcorny a film as films can possibly be." This screening is brought to you by MoPOP's It's Coming from Inside the House virtual series, and includes a pre-film introduction from special guest Kelly Sue DeConnick, a comics writer whose vision for Captain Marvel formed the basis for the character we know and love in the Marvel film.
Available via Netflix and other VOD platforms; MoPOP watch-along Friday only

Virtual Moving History XVII – Black Washington: Local Government & Community Activism
For this edition of MiPoP's archival video series, watch denizens of the PNW talk about civil rights, racism, and opportunities historically withheld from BIPOC communities within our region.
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Sunday only

Widow of Silence
Deep within the powder keg of Kashmir, a beleaguered Muslim “half-widow” repeatedly makes the hazardous trek to the nearest government center to try to claim the death certificate of her long-missing husband. Her attempts to move on, however, are stymied by a society where, to quote one of the wormier bureaucrats, it’s the “responsibility of the people to keep their government happy.” Writer/director Praveen Morchhale’s film isn’t exactly subtle about its message, beginning with the image of an elderly woman literally tied to a chair. Thankfully, though, much of the thematic heavy-handedness is leavened by an expert use of framing, Shilpi Marwaha’s clear-eyed lead performance, and a final moment of irony that’s keen enough to shave with. ANDREW WRIGHT
Available via SIFF
Opening Friday

BIPOC-Focused Films

I Am Not Your Negro
Sixteen years after Lumumba, Raoul Peck, who is Haitian, has directed I Am Not Your Negro, a documentary about one of the greatest writers of 20th-century America, James Baldwin. Now, it's easy to make a great film about Baldwin, because, like Muhammad Ali, there's tons of cool footage of his public and private moments, and, also like Ali, he had a fascinating face: the odd shape of his head, the triangle of hair that defined his forehead, and his froggy eyes. Just show him doing his thing and your film will do just fine. But Peck blended footage of Baldwin with dusky and dreamy images of contemporary America. These images say: Ain't a damn thing changed from the days of Baldwin and the Civil Rights Movement. But they say this with a very deep insight about the nature of time. CHARLES MUDEDE
Available via Grand Illusion and Ark Lodge

Ella Fitzgerald: Just One of Those Things
From her 1934 performance at the Apollo Theatre when she was just 15 years old to her late career, Leslie Woodhead's documentary celebrates the life of the iconic jazz singer Ella Fitzgerald through rare interviews and images.
Available via SIFF

Keepers of the Dream: Seattle Women Black Panthers
Following its Oakland progenitors, Seattle was one of the first cities to form a branch of the Black Panther Party. Scored by SassyBlack, this series of five short documentaries, produced by Patricia Boiko and Tajuan LaBee, serves as an introduction to the courageous actions of women Black Panther activists, from Frances Dixon to Phyllis Noble Mobley.
Available via Seattle Channel

Miss Juneteenth
Channing Godfrey Peoples's debut feature centers around the fictional Miss Juneteenth pageant, an annual competition that awards the winner a scholarship to a historically black college or university of her choice. In a twist on the standard rivalries that drive the pageant genre (think Miss Congeniality and Drop Dead Gorgeous), the longtime winner in this case, Turquoise Jones, sees who she deems a more worthy winner in her daughter, Kai. "Instead of just depicting the myriad ways black women carry their communities, the movie goes further to explore how these women and black girls support each other in a world that often fails them," wrote Lovia Gyarkye for the New York Times.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am
The rise of the prolific Nobel-winning author Toni Morrison dishes on her life busting up the white male literary hegemony in Timothy Greenfield-Sanders's documentary, with appearances by Hilton Als, Oprah Winfrey, Russell Banks, and Angela Davis, among others. BOBBY ROBERTS
Available via Ark Lodge and PBS

Whose Streets?
Most of us remember scrolling through news about the Ferguson protests on Twitter in 2014, but Sabaah Folayan and Damon Davis’ directorial debut Whose Streets? fills in the blanks of the story, offering a humanizing, much-needed portrait of those involved. Dedicated to Michael Brown, the film captures the aftermath of the shooting of the unarmed 18-year-old—by a white police officer, while the Black young man had his hands in the air—using unflinching interviews with the still-grieving Ferguson residents who’ve seen their community unify against police brutality. JENNI MOORE
Available via Northwest Film Forum and Ark Lodge

See also: Our resistance roundup for more anti-racism resources.

New & Noteworthy: Nationwide

30 Rock Upfront Special
Liz Lemon and her staff of TV writers will return for a 30 Rock special, which doubles as a preview for NBC’s fall lineup and new streaming service, Peacock. Most NBC affiliates are refusing to air the show in response to Fey's consistent blindspots on several episodes of the sitcom (its tone-deaf jokes about blackface, most notably) but it will air on NBC.com and other services listed below, and will hopefully offer some damage control. 
Available via NBC, Peacock, and various cable networks

Brave New World
Aldous Huxley's 1932 dystopian novel gets the TV adaptation treatment from stars Alden Ehrenreich and Jessica Brown Findlay (of Solo and Downton Abbey, respectively).
Available via Peacock

In this comedy-drama, Claudine (Diahann Carroll in an Oscar-nominated performance) is raising six children on her own in Harlem. Though she receives welfare, it’s not enough to make ends meet, so she secretly works as a maid for a white family in the suburbs on the side. It’s there that Claudine meets a spry and funny garbageman, Roop (omg, James Earl Jones), who wants to wine, dine, and sixty-nine her every night of the week. At first unsure, Claudine eventually falls for that sexy garbageman. There are many memorable moments in this film: the way Roop gazes at Claudine in bed and tells her “When I look at you, my teeth hurt”; how Claudine and her six children rush to hide all their new appliances when the white social worker comes to visit; the way Claudine slips into her pantyhose after a late-night session with Roop; both characters reckoning with their respective stereotypes (Black Buck and Welfare Queen) and railing against the racist system that keeps them in poverty; the soundtrack, written by Curtis Mayfield and performed by Gladys Knight & the Pips. Carroll and Jones have crackling chemistry that's both hilarious and real in the way they navigate the highs and lows of love, family, and the financial difficulties facing their relationship. There’s no pretense of a “happily ever after” ending for the couple, but rather, “how can we make this work if you end up losing welfare.” Also, the last 15 minutes features one of the greatest bicycling sequences I've seen on film. Claudine melted my heart. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Available via Criterion Channel

If it looks an Arthurian-era Red Dead Redemption 2 and sounds like Game of Thrones, what is it? A new Netflix original series based on Thomas Wheeler and Frank Miller's graphic novel of the same name, starring Katherine Langford (13 Reasons Why).
Available via Netflix
Premiering Friday

Ongoing: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Ai Weiwei: Yours Truly
Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, who's known for his bold public criticisms of the Chinese government's stance on democracy and human rights, was a force behind the portrait exhibition @Large, which depicted images of prisoners from all over the world—from Nelson Mandela to Chelsea Manning—on the exterior of Alcatraz Island, and also featured an inmate letter-writing project. This documentary explores the exhibition's process from start to finish.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

All I Can Say
Blind Melon frontman Shannon Hoon recorded himself on his Hi8 video camera for the better half of the '90s, all the way up to the hours preceding his death at the age of 28. The hundreds of hours of footage show everything from his creative process to the birth of his daughter to his struggles with addiction to the rising power of the internet. This film, released in 2019, compiles key moments of that footage into a video diary.
Available via Scarecrow Video and Northwest Film Forum

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

And the Birds Rained Down
In Louise Archambault's melancholy film, which won the Dragon Award at the 2020 Göteborg Film Festival, three hermits living in remote cabins in the Quebec countryside have their way of life upended by forest fires.
Available via SIFF

The Audition
Nina Hoss plays a tightly wound high school violin teacher on the verge of a nervous breakdown in this 2019 feature from German director Ina Weisse. 
Available via SIFF

CĂ©sar and Rosalie
In Claude Sautet's classic romantic drama César et Rosalie, two men (the wealthy César and David, an old flame) battle for the affections of a beautiful, recently divorced lady (played by Isabelle Huppert in her first film role). 
Available via Ark Lodge

Alla Kovgan traces the career of Merce Cunningham, a Cornish alum who emerged from a struggling dancer in New York to a visionary modern choreographer. In addition to interviews with those who knew him and a peek into his gorgeous love-letter correspondence with his longtime lover and collaborator John Cage (e.g. "I have nothing to say, and I am saying it. And that is poetry as I need it."), this documentary has some great excerpts of Cunningham's work—including a piece performed in the middle of a forest.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

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

First Cow
Kelly Reichardt is a household name for moviegoers who worship thoughtful, gritty films about the American frontier. Though only her 2010 drama Meek’s Cutoff was actually set in a period we’d think of as frontier times, many of Reichardt’s other films, like Wendy and Lucy and Certain Women, revolve around moments of freedom and opportunity mixed with exposure and danger. Through Reichardt’s lens, undiscovered wilderness is simultaneously fruitful and treacherous. First Cow continues this cinematic conversation, dropping in on Cookie (John Magaro), an aimless frontiersman/cook for hire. The first part of the film is a mix of forage porn and manly intimidation, as Cookie (who, apologies to Magaro, never stops looking like a bearded Shia LaBeouf) nears the end of a contract with some threatening beaver trappers. He spends long stretches away from them, mushroom hunting in the woods, where Reichart and cinematographer Christopher Blauvelt craft scenes that are simultaneously uneventful and strangely rewarding—each chanterelle breaks with a satisfying crunch. SUZETTE SMITH
Available via SIFF
A note from SIFF: "A24 is making First Cow available to us one day early, before its VOD release. This rental (available starting 7 pm on July 9) includes a pre-taped Q&A with director Kelly Reichardt. As a thank-you to our SIFF community, use code FC2020 for a $5 discount!"

Her Effortless Brilliance: A Celebration of Lynn Shelton Through Film and Music
Acclaimed Seattle director Lynn Shelton died too soon, and the grief felt by her fans, collaborators, and loved ones comes through in this documentary by Shelton's longtime friend Megan Griffiths. It's free to watch on YouTube and features a star-studded lineup of appearances, including Emily Blunt, Kaitlyn Dever, Rosemarie DeWitt, Mark and Jay Duplass, Jeff Garlin, Joshua Leonard, Sean Nelson, Michaela Watkins, and Reese Witherspoon, as well as live music from her partner Marc Maron, Andrew Bird, Ben Gibbard, Laura Veirs, and Tomo Nakayama.
Available via YouTube

House of Hummingbird
Fourteen-year-old Eunhee has little comfort in life, whether at middle school (actual teacher quote: “We die every day”), with her tense family, or among fickle friends and crushes. She finds unexpected solace when she gets a new Chinese tutor: Youngji, a gentle, independent woman who recognizes Eunhee’s acute loneliness and confusion. Bora Kim’s debut film, set in the outskirts of 1990s Seoul, explores the teenager’s relationships rather than following a single narrative. Though we focus on Eunhee, played by an incredibly natural Ji-hu Park, every character seems to be hiding an inner universe, and we’re soon invested in the friendships, loves, and heartbreaks of this parochial world. JOULE ZELMAN
Available via SIFF

The Infiltrators
In this docu-thriller, two young immigrants purposely get themselves thrown into a shady for-profit detention center to dismantle the corrupt organization from the inside. Their detainers don't know that they're members of the National Immigrant Youth Alliance, a group of radical DREAMers who are on a mission to stop unjust deportations.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

John Lewis: Good Trouble
The late civil rights activist and Georgia congressman John Lewis fought for voting rights, gun control, healthcare reform, and immigration over the course of his long career. Using archival footage and interviews from his late years, Dawn Porter's documentary explores Lewis's childhood, his 1957 meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and his lasting legacy on the social justice movements of the present.
Available via Ark Lodge and Northwest Film Forum

My Darling Vivian
Johnny Cash's first wife, Vivian Liberto (for whom the country singer wrote his famous song I Walk the Line), has long been obscured in stories of Cash's life (see: 2005's Walk the Line, in which she's played briefly by Ginnifer Goodwin). Matt Riddlehoover's documentary, featuring interviews with Cash's children and archival footage of Liberto, reframes her narrative. 
Available via Scarecrow Video

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

One Day in the Life of Noah Piugattuk
Zacharias Kunuk (The Fast Runner, Searchers) directs this comedy of errors about Inuit settler Noah Piugattuk and his band of nomadic hunters, who are pressured to abandon their traditional way of life in place of settlement housing by a white government emissary they meet on the sea ice.
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

Queen of Lapa
Luana Muniz, now in her late 50s, houses a new generation of fellow trans sex workers in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. This documentary explores their day-to-day lives and the guidance they receive from Muniz, who has long dealt with the anti-LGBTQ+ attitudes in the city.
Available via Scarecrow Video and Northwest Film Forum

When he was just eight years old, Guor Mading Maker (later known as Guor Marial) fled war-torn Sudan to seek safety in the US, where he went from running track in high school to qualifying for the 2012 Olympics. As a means of taking ownership over his new life and condemning the acts of violence in his birth country, he refused to represent Sudan and instead ran independently. This documentary depicts the athlete's journey, including a reunion with his parents after a 20-year separation.
Available via SIFF

Skate Kitchen
If Crystal Moselle's new HBO series Betty has you hungry for more scenes of womxn landing tricks on their skateboards and displaying acts of friendship in its purest form, you should watch its 2018 feature-length predecessor Skate Kitchen, which has all the same actors playing the same characters. It centers on Camille (Rachelle Vinberg), an introverted skater from Long Island who falls for the mysterious Devon (Jaden Smith) just as she's falling out with her mom and making friends with a new group of gals rightly hellbent on reclaiming kickflips from the boys who overcrowd the NYC skate scene.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

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

Good movies can sometimes give off a hum—a feeling that the energy and chemistry on screen can't be constrained by the edges of the frame. Tangerine fits this description and then some, creating a kinetic rush with enough spillover juice to light up LA for a year. While chock-full of innovations both welcome (a story about transgender characters, played by transgender performers) and potentially eye-strainingly worrisome (the movie was shot entirely on tricked-out, stabilized iPhones), the main takeaway is just how alive it seems. ANDREW WRIGHT
Available via Northwest Film Forum

There's something so singular about the pacing and acting style of Canadian actor Grace Glowick's directorial debut Tito. The protagonist is like a more paranoid Edward Scissorhands without scissors for hands. He makes friends with a cheery dude who doesn't mind that Tito is scared to leave the house for fear of being hunted by elusive predators that he claims prowl the streets. We can't tell if it's a heartwarming friendship movie or a reflection on the terror of moving through the world, but you should see it either way.
Available via Grand Illusion and Scarecrow Video

We Are Little Zombies
Described by Vulture's Emily Yoshida as a "rainbow-colored, RPG-inspired scream into the abyss," Makoto Nagahisa's We Are Little Zombies follows four teenage orphans who, after watching their parents' bodies turn to dust ("like fine Parmesan atop a plate of spaghetti Bolognese," as Grand Illusion aptly put it), decide they must start a cyber-punk band and conquer the world.
Available via Grand Illusion

Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week

Boaz Yakin's expressive dance film explores the fluidity of gender through two characters, Eden and Aviva, who toggle both mentally and physically (each character is played by two different actors) between strong masculine and feminine identities. "The dancing is gutsy, sensual, uninhibited and a little too full of itself. Pride in frank eccentricity pushes at times into the unintentionally absurd. Still, it’s exciting how these dance sequences are treated like any other scene, and disappointing when the compulsion to justify them takes hold," reads a New York Times review.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

The Invisible Witness
A wealthy Italian businessman becomes the chief suspect of his young lover's murder when he wakes up next to her dead body. But did he do it?! In a Night Of-style series of events, the man in question, Adriano Doria, struggles to piece together the night leading up to the crime (like how he got the cut on his forehead, why the floor was covered in scattered banknotes, and why he wound up in bed with Laura, whom he was allegedly planning to break up with in an effort to save his marriage). If you're a sucker for moody blue-grey lighting and tough defense attorneys who've never lost a case, give Stefano Mordini's thriller a go.
Available via Grand Illusion
Thursday only

The Last Tree
A Nigerian British teenager moves from rural Lincolnshire to the unfamiliar London to live with his mom in Shola Amoo's debut feature.
Available via SIFF
Thursday only

Marona’s Fantastic Tale
For a wholesome mental recharge, turn to Anca Damian's expressionistic French animated film told through the eyes of a stray dog who just wants a loving human to hang out with. 
Available via SIFF
Thursday only