"It's rare to see this side of Africa on the screen," writes Charles Mudede about Wanuri Kahiu's Rafiki. See it this weekend as part of the Northwest Film Forum's Queer as German Folk series.

The Northwest Film Forum's Queer as German Folk film series continues with Wanuri Kahiu's Rafiki, SIFF and Grand Illusion are bringing back the iconic early concert film Jazz on a Summer's Day, and we'd be remiss not to mention that Selena Gomez is reluctantly dissecting octopi in her home kitchen on HBO Max's Selena + Chef. Below, we've rounded up all those and more of our top picks for movies and shows streaming through local theaters and national platforms this weekend. Longing for the big(ger) screen? Check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area, or check out our guide to streamable shows that received Emmy nominations.


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

New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses

Freaky Friday
A punk teen (Lindsay Lohan) and her straight-edge mom (Jamie Lee Curtis) make a chaotic switcheroo in the beloved 2003 remake of the 1973 film Freaky Friday. This virtual MoPOP screening comes complete with games and ideas for themed snack pairings.
Available via MoPOP as part of Pop+ Punk
Sunday only

Jazz on a Summer's Day
Filmed on a balmy night in Fort Adams State Park at the 1958 Newport Jazz Festival, this 4K-restored classic is believed to be one the first concert films ever recorded (!). It boasts Louis Armstrong, Thelonius Monk, Gerry Mulligan, Anita O'Day, Chuck Berry, Dinah Washington, and other legends among its lineup, closing with Mahalia Jackson's rendition of "The Lord's Prayer" at midnight.
Available via Grand Illusion and SIFF
Opening Friday

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words
The influential Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela, known by some as the "Banksy of fashion" for his public anonymity and his refusal to do interviews, went from Jean Paul Gaultier's assistant to the creative director at Hermès to leading his own Maison Margiela in Paris. This is a rare look into the designer's drawings, notes, and personal items. 
Available via SIFF
Opening Friday

Tickets are on sale now for The Stranger’s 1st Annual SLAY Film Festival!
Ghosts, zombies, slashers, witches, Eldritch beasts, gore-- SLAY has something for every horror fan!
Whim W’Him Releasing New Dance Films for Choreographic Shindig VI
Streaming on IN-with-WHIM starting Sept. 24, 2020. Visit whimwhim.org to learn more and buy tickets.

A Poetics of Living: Biomimetic Blueprints
Billing itself as an "interactive community vision board," Northwest Film Forum's Seattle Design Festival program contemplates how we relate to our built and natural environments through a series of vignettes that champion a collaborative, connected, community-centered way of life. You'll see Caroline Alder and Damien Faure's "A Poetics of Living," Heidi Duckler's "For the Time Being," and Jeff Frost's "Ghosts of the Future."
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Opening Saturday

River City Drumbeat
For three decades, the River City Drum Corp of Louisville, Kentucky has strived to connect Black youth to African art and cultural traditions. This documentary follows its new leader, Albert Shumake, and the student drummers who make up the band. 
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Opening Friday

Rafiki
For many in the United States, Rafiki, the second feature by the talented Kenyan director Wanuri Kahiu, will appear to be straightforward. There are two young black women. They fall in love, but their society is opposed to such unions. But what's interesting about this movie is not so much its story, but the type of black African society that's seen through the lens of a budding lesbian romance. We see a neighborhood in a part of Nairobi that's clearly middle-class. People have mortgages to pay and are engaged in forms of employment with secure incomes: nursing, civil service, the ownership of small businesses. My point: It's rare to see this side of Africa (middle-class, urban, post-postcolonial) on the screen. Also, Rafiki, which means "friends" in Swahili, has several utterly beautiful sequences, most of which involve the lesbian affair. This director knows how to capture on film the wonderful feeling of falling in love. CHARLES MUDEDE
Available via Northwest Film Forum as part of Queer as German Folk
Opening Friday

Represent
Three women in different parts of the country and on different sides of the aisle (Detroit's Myya Jones, Granville's Bryn Bird, and suburban Illinois' Julie Cho) fight to improve their communities in Hillary Bachelder's feature-length documentary debut.
Available via Northwest Film Forum
Opening Friday

New & Noteworthy: Nationwide

Les Misérables
Some have criticized director Tom Hooper’s film adaptation of Les Misérables for its lack of subtlety, but to be fair, there’s never been anything subtle about Les Miz. Distilled from Victor Hugo’s sprawling 1,400-page novel into a syrupy liqueur of human sorrow, the Les Miz musical has always been a calculated sobfest from start to finish. This is a musical in which nearly every member of the expansive cast dies, often violently, and usually at the point of abject despair. You are going to cry, goddamnit, even if the ghosts of the dead have to come back for the finale and hand-massage your tear ducts. Which they do. (And Anne Hathaway’s “I Dreamed a Dream” is fucking amazing.) GOLDY
Available via Netflix
Starting Friday

Lovecraft Country
Based on Matt Ruff's 2016 novel, this new series directed by Misha Green takes place in the 1950s Jim Crow South, where a Black man enlists the help of his friend and uncle to find his missing father—a journey rife with racist obstacles and supernatural spooks. It's executive-produced by J.J. Abrams and Jordan Peele, so you know you're in for some existential scariness met with jump-out-of-your-seat moments. 
Available via HBO Max
Premiering Sunday

Project Power
Jamie Foxx, Joseph Gordon-Levitt, and Dominique Fishback star as an ex-soldier, a cop, and a teen (respectively) who hunt for the source behind a dangerous new pill that gives users five minutes of superpowers. You'll get your summer blockbuster fix from the sheer number of explosions and zoomy cars. 
Available via Netflix
Premiering Friday

Safety Not Guaranteed
Seeking a cure for her ailment as a disaffected magazine intern, Aubrey Plaza agrees to help her colleague (New Girl's Jake Johnson) with a story about an obsessive/paranoid/grief-stricken Mark Duplas on a time-travel journey, after seeing his ad in the local paper. This indie gem (filmed right here in Seattle!) is still as funny and sweet as it was back in 2012.
Available via Netflix

Selena + Chef
If a vacuum bag for celebrity quarantine content has taken up residence in your brain, look no further than this new amateur cooking show hosted by none other than singer and former Disney Channel teen wizard Selena Gomez, who leans on the virtual counsel of famous chefs (like LA's Antonia Lofaso and James Beard Award-winning duo Jon Shook and Vinny Dotolo) to whip up ambitious meals in her home kitchen.
Available via HBO Max

Sputnik
Alien meets Russia's real-life role in the Space Race in director Egor Abramenko's debut, in which an astronaut loses his memory and becomes host to a freaky extraterrestrial creature after a faulty 1983 Soviet space mission. 
Available via VOD
Premiering Friday

Ted Lasso
A gum-chewing American football coach is drafted to lead a British football (aka soccer) team, and he doesn't know he's in for a whole new game than what he's used to. This comedy series is a riff on the character Sudeikis, portrayed in a series of promos for NBC Sports' coverage of the Premier League. 
Available via Apple TV
Premiering Friday

Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week

Rebuilding Paradise
The November 2018 firestorm that devastated Paradise, California, killed 85 people, displaced 50,000 residents, and destroyed 95% of local structures, making it the worst fire in California history. Academy Award-winning director Ron Howard shows the community members who worked to rebuild the city in the aftermath. 
Available via Grand Illusion
Thursday only

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

Amulet
Seeking refuge in London from an ambiguous foreign conflict, an ex-soldier (played by Alec Secăreanu of God’s Own Country) finds room and board as a repairman in the decrepit estate of a mysterious young woman and her dying mother, who stays locked in a room in the attic and may or may not be possessed by an evil spirit. Romola Garai (Atonement) classifies her directorial debut as "feminist horror."
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Bloody Nose, Empty Pockets
There are only 18 hours left until the Roaring '20s, a dive bar off the Vegas Strip, closes for good—and its regulars hold out until the bitter end. "It's less a portrait of a long goodbye to a drinking establishment than it is an exploration of the community that calls such places home and their fellow barflies family—and what happens when you take away that collective space after the very last call," reads a Rolling Stone review. If you're not already pining to reclaim your spot at your favorite watering hole, this'll change that.
Available via SIFF

Carmilla
The residents of a vast country estate (a teenage girl, her father, and a strict governess) become the unexpected caretakers of a mysterious girl (spoiler: she is a vampire) after she gets in a gnarly carriage accident. Inspired by Joseph Sheridan's 1872 gothic vampire novel Le Fanu, Emily Harris's film looks spooky. And hot!
Available via Grand Illusion

The Fight
Five civil rights attorneys fight for justice on behalf of a migrant mother separated from her child, a transgender soldier at risk of losing his career, and basic reproductive and voting rights that face threats from the Trump administration. This Kerry Washington-produced documentary will absolutely give you a new sense of appreciation for the ACLU.
Available via Northwest Film Forum and SIFF

A Girl Missing
When the nephew of a home-care nurse is arrested for kidnapping the daughter of the family she has long worked for, the woman's relationship with her employers is (understandably) threatened. 
Available via SIFF

Helmut Newton: The Bad and the Beautiful
A quick flip through a retrospective of Helmut Newton's work will reveal the legendary photographer's core subject: subversive and provocative portrayals of mostly-naked ladies, many of whom (Catherine Deneuve, Grace Jones, Charlotte Rampling, Isabella Rossellini) are famous. Gero von Boehm's documentary examines the artist's influences and features some of his home movies.
Available via SIFF

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

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 Good Trouble explores Lewis's childhood, his 1957 meeting with Martin Luther King, Jr., and his lasting legacy on social justice movements of the present.
Available via Ark Lodge, SIFF, and elsewhere

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

Out Stealing Horses
In this scenic, flashback-filled film based on the novel by Per Petterson, an aging man reflects on his childhood summers when he discovers that his neighbor in his new countryside town—where he moves after the death of his wife—is a man he's met before. These SIFF screenings include a post-film discussion between director Hans Petter Moland and Stellan Skarsgård.
Available via Northwest Film Forum and SIFF

Song Without a Name
The newborn baby of Georgina, an Indigenous Andean woman, is stolen from the clinic at which it was born and is never returned. When she's met with indifference by the Peruvian legal system, Georgina goes to a journalist, who uncovers an epidemic of fake clinics and abductions in 1980s Peru. Melina Leon's thriller is based on true events.
Available via Northwest Film Forum and SIFF

SPLIFF 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 2020 festival 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

2020 Sundance Film Festival Short Film Tour
See six short films selected from this year's Sundance Film Festival, including Malaysian director Diffan Sina Norman's "Benevolent Ba," about a devout woman's path to sacrificial slaughter, and Ashley Williams's "Meats," about a pregnant vegan's newfangled craving for meat.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Sunless Shadows
Like its 2016 predecessor Starless Dreams, Mehrdad Oskouei's new film follows the lives of teenage girls in an Iranian juvenile detention center. This time, however, the characters are serving time for the same thing: the murder of a male family member. "In this film we see murder through the eyes of murderers, both mothers and daughters. I wanted to scrutinize their act of killing from various perspectives, understand their reasons and find out whether the act itself was a difficult task," writes the director.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

A Thousand Cuts
"Just because you’re a journalist, you are not exempted from assassination," stated Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte in 2016. In Ramona S. Diaz’s documentary, Maria Ressa, the executive editor of the news website Rappler, literally puts her life on the line to investigate the administration's various anti-democratic injustices—most notably its violent anti-drug campaign—and to combat the misinformation that floods the news cycles.
Available via Northwest Film Forum and SIFF

The Tobacconist
A man named Franz walks into a Vienna tobacco shop frequented by Sigmund Freud et voila: a historically inspired fictional friendship is born. When Franz falls for music-hall dancer Anezka, he seeks advice from the renowned psychoanalyst, who admits that he, too, is baffled by the opposite sex. This film, which is being wide-released online, is based off of Robert Seethaler's bestselling novel.
Available via Scarecrow Video

The Wild
Documentary filmmaker Mark Titus (The Breach) returns to the Alaskan wilderness, where the people of Bristol Bay and the world's largest wild salmon runs are in danger of environmental devastation from Pebble Mine, a massive copper mine slated for construction.
Available via SIFF

You Never Had It: An Evening with Charles Bukowski
No one can resist the intrigue of restored tapes that have been newly snatched from the lost and found, and they're all the more exciting when they feature a household name. This documentary is based on a video of the iconic writer talking about sex, books, childhood, and life over clinking glasses of booze in his California home in 1981. 
Available via Scarecrow Video