Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, screenings

The Seattle Cinema Scene: Thelma Schoonmaker Presents Michael Powell

Roger Livesey on the front lines of 'Colonel Blimp'

Oscar-winning film editor and longtime Martin Scorsese collaborator Thelma Schoonmaker, who has been a frequent special guest at Seattle screenings over the past couple of decades, is coming to the Seattle Art Museum to introduce a newly restored 35mm print of The Life and Death of Colonel Blimp, directed by Michael Powell (her late husband) and Emeric Pressburger, and Peeping Tom, Powell’s 1960 psychodrama of sex, violence, and the cinema.

Blimp plays Tuesday, March 6 and Peeping Tom screens on Wednesday, March 7, both at 7:30 pm. Series tickets still available, and individual tickets may be purchased at the door (if they have not sold out). Details at the SAM website here, or call the SAM box office at 206-654-3121.

Between the films, Ms. Schoonmaker will make a special in-store appearance at Scarecrow Video to talk with customers and sign copies of her films. Wednesday, March 7 at 2pm. Details via Scarecrow here.

NWFF inaugurates its own late night series with a month of Kinji Fukasaku’s Battle Royale, a pre-“Hunger Games” cult movie of teenage nihilism, adult paranoia, and social sadism revolving around a lottery that sends a randomly-picked high school class to a deserted island for a fight to the death. Call it “Rebel Without a Chance”: part Lord of the Flies, part Massacre at Central High, part Peter Watkins social commentary as a Japanese manga turned nihilistic video game. The 2000 film from Japan never received a formal American release—distributors were too anxious about the subject matter in the wake of Columbine—and still hasn’t been officially released on home video in the U.S. (but it’s coming soon). The Film Forum screenings are from a Blu-ray. More at NWFF here.

Northwest Film Forum presents “A Landscape of Memories: The Films of Lee Anne Schmitt,” a series of four programs with the filmmaker in attendance, beginning Friday, March 2. The feature-length documentaries California Company Town and The Last Buffalo Hunt play on March 2 and March 4 (respectively) and two programs of short films play on Saturday, March 3. Showtimes, notes and other information at the NWFF website.

Notable Seattle openings this week

Rampart, directed by Oren Moverman from a script co-written by James Ellroy and starring Woody Harrelson. (Harvard Exit)
We Need to Talk About Kevin, a “Bad Seed” drama for the post-Columbine culture directed by Lynn Ramsay and starring Tilda Swinton. (Meridian)
Kill List, the bloody British hitman thriller from director Ben Wheatley. (Uptown)

Windfall (NWFF)
On the Ice (SIFF Cinema at the Film Center)
Better Than Something: Jay Reatard (Grand Illusion)


Other late-night programs this weekend: Raw Force (a Filipino martial arts exploitation film from 1982) plays from an actual 35mm print at Grand Illusion on Friday at 11pm, and The Wizard of Oz plays midnight at the Egyptian on Friday and Saturday nights.

Portland Grindhouse Film Festival’s Kung-Fu Madness Double Feature: Fists of the White Lotus (1980, with the great Gordon Liu) and The Bastard Swordsman (1983), two Hong Kong martial arts thrillers, screen at Grand Illusion on Saturday, March 3 starting at 9 pm.

Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure plays matinee performances on March 3 & 4 as part of SIFF’s Films 4 Families series. Uptown.

The 1959 Ben-Hur screens at the Historic Everett Theatre from Friday, March 2 through Sunday, March 4. The website, however, doesn’t have any information about print source (35mm? DCP? Blu-ray?).

Schedules and Showtimes

For more alternative screenings, read Moira Macdonald’s At A Theater Near You roundup at The Seattle Times.

You can check your favorite independent cinemas, neighborhood theaters and multiplexes here.

Independent theaters:
SIFF Cinema
Northwest Film Forum
Grand Illusion
Seattle Art Museum
Central Cinema
The Big Picture
Majestic Bay Theatres

Multiplexes and Chains
Landmark Theatres (Egyptian, Guild 45, Harvard Exit, Metro, Varsity and others)
Regal Cinemas (Meridian 16, Thornton Place and others)
AMC Cinemas (Pacific Place, Oak Tree, Alderwood and others)
Kirland Park Place
Lincoln Square Cinemas
Village Roadshow Gold Class Cinemas