Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, Seattle Screens

Seattle Screens: Mysteries of ‘Anatolia’

Not up for the American Reunion of the Pie-pals of the sex-comedy series? There’s plenty of alternatives arriving this week, including Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s mesmerizing Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, Joseph Cedar’s Oscar-nominated Footnote from Israel, and revivals of the classics Laura and North by Northwest.

The Mysteries of 'Anatolia'

“The best films I saw during my week at the Vancouver Film Festival were Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s Once Upon a Time in Anatolia and Béla Tarr’s incomparable The Turin Horse,” wrote Kathleen Murphy a few months ago. “Both ran two hours plus. The storytelling in the former unreels slowly, cumulatively, so mysteriously that if you don’t watch with intense concentration, you’ll miss moments when everything racks focus. The narrative in Tarr’s masterpiece is terrifyingly repetitive and monotonous, in the Beckettian sense, like a great engine grinding itself ever deeper into a hole, in circular slow motion that you fear might go on forever.”

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia arrives in Seattle this week for a week-long run at Northwest Film Forum (followed in a couple of weeks by The Turin Horse) and it is a mesmerizing film where, by Hollywood standards, nothing happens, and yet everything happens along the way of this hyper-real and dreamily surreal take on the police procedural in the middle of nowhere. In the words of Ms. Murphy: “as this strange, tedious drive toward a hole in the ground continues, Anatolia drifts out of the mundane into the mystical, invisibly morphing from police procedural into existential fairy tale.” Read her complete review on Parallax View here, and for more, read Robert Horton’s review at The Herald here.


Expect Anatolia to be a topic of conversation in this month’s round of “Framing Picturesat NWFF this Friday, April 6. Join Seattle film critics and Parallax View contributors Robert Horton, Richard T. Jameson, and Kathleen Murphy for a discussion of the movies of the moment and of the ages. According to the website, “On April 6, we talk about current Northwest Film Forum screenings including Laura and Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, and also the wider critical response to The Hunger Games.” Richard Jameson describes it into his own inimitable way at Straight Shooting. Starts at 5pm at NWFF, and it’s free.


“Occupy Hollywood! With David Spaner,” a special event with the Vancouver-based film critic and author of the new book Shoot It! Hollywood, Inc. and the Rising of Independent Film, also features special guest Stewart Stern. Thursday, April 12 at SIFF Film Center.

Checking his 'Footnote'


Joseph Cedar’s Footnote from Israel, one of the five films nominated for Best Foreign Language Film, opens at The Guild 45. Moira Macdonald’s review is here and more from Robert Horton at the Herald: ” rest assured that director Joseph Cedar knows how much charged-up drama there is in family tensions and academic rivalries.”

The Salt of Life, Italian director/star Gianni Di Gregorio’s follow-up to his lovely, low-key Mid-August Lunch, open at Seven Gables. Tom Keogh reviews it at The Seattle Times.

Four Lovers, a ménage-a-quatre from France, opens at The Uptown. Robert Horton isn’t that impressed in his review at the Herald, but he does confirm that it indeed has plenty of sex and nudity. You know, production value.

For the documentary They Call it Myanmar: Lifting the Curtain, playing for a week at The Varsity, producer Deborah C. Hoard will appear at the 7:05 shows on Friday, Saturday and Monday and 3:40 show on Sunday, and director Robert H. Lieberman will appear at the 7:05 shows on Wednesday and Thursday.

And still playing in theaters are the Belgian drama The Kid With a Bike, the Indonesian action blast The Raid: Redemption, and the Oscar-winning documentary Undefeated (all covered in last week’s Seattle Screens here).


A brand new 35mm print of Otto Preminger’s Laura plays for a week at NWFF. The 1944 film, with Gene Tierney as the beauty in a painting who obsesses homicide detective Dana Andrews, is one of the sleekest, silkiest noirs of all time. Brian Miller reviews it for Seattle Weekly.

Cary Grant's cocktail wit in 'North By Northwest'

Grand Illusion continues its Cary Grant festival with a week of North by Northwest, arguably Alfred Hitchcock’s most purely entertaining thriller. Everything clicks here: the set pieces are brilliant, the dialogue sparkles, the music magnificent, and sly fox Hitch slides sexual innuendo and erotic flirtation under the noses of the censors.

Carol Reed’s Odd Man Out is the second feature in the “Shadow Street: The Best of British Film Noir” series at the Seattle Art Museum on Thursday, April 12. And it is on 35mm film.

Screening Friday night at the SIFF Film Center is Dazed and Confused and Saturday & Sunday offers matinees of Big (part of Films4Families) while Brian DePalma’s Scarface plays at the Uptown on Tuesday, April 10. The latter will be screened in a new DCP (Digital Cinema Print) version, and you can probably assumed the others are digital projection. Details at the SIFF Cinema calendar.

Late night: 28 Days Later plays midnight at the Egyptian Theatre and the anime feature Chocolate Underground from Japan plays at the Grand Illusion this Friday and Saturday in the late night slot.

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

Schedules and Showtimes

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