Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, Seattle Screens

Seattle Screens: Cinerama’s First Annual Science Fiction Film Festival

Cinerama’s First Annual Science Fiction Film Festival opened Thursday, April 19 with a screening of Fritz Lang’s restored Metropolis accompanied live by The Alloy Orchestra, a show repeated for Friday evening and Saturday matinee shows. This same program played at the old SIFF Cinema a couple of years back, complete with the Alloy, but it’s hardly the same experience compared to seeing Metropolis across the big screen of the Cinerama. I reviewed the restoration and the Alloy score for Parallax View here.

Metropolis is presented from a HD-Cam digital master – there is no film print of the restored edition available in the U.S. – but the rest of the festival is all film, all the time, with five 70mm prints (including a new 70mm print of 2001: A Space Odyssey playing Saturday and Sunday this week) and a new 35mm print of the original 1953 War of the Worlds (playing Sunday afternoon). Also screening this week: Silent Running and Barbarella on Monday, Omega Man and Close Encounters of the Third Kind on Tuesday (the website doesn’t specify which cut of Close Encounters is being shown), and a matched set of apocalyptic burning rubber thrillers on Wednesday: Mad Max and The Road Warrior. The series picks up again on Friday for another six days of screenings.

Most tickets are $12 a show, higher for Metropolis, 2001, and War of the Worlds. Complete schedule and ticket information is at the Cinerama website here.


Austrian filmmaker Michael Glawogger is coming to Northwest Film Forum with his Globalization Trilogy, three documentaries about the underclasses around the world. Megacities, which looks at Mexico City, Bombay, Moscow, and New York, plays Tuesday, April 24, and Workingman’s Death, about manual labor in the 21st century, plays Wednesday, April 25, and Glawogger will discuss Werner Herzog and the film Fata Morgana at the Thursday, April 26 event “Herzog at Inspiration.” Whore’s Glory, his most recent film, plays for a week starting Friday, April 27. Details at NWFF website here.


“Béla Tarr claims The Turin Horse will be his last film,” wrote Kathleen Murphy in 2011. “If it is, the Hungarian director marks his departure with a masterpiece that earns a certain place of honor in the pantheon of top-tier world art. This ferocious meditation on humankind and all its works possesses the kind of terrible beauty that rivets your gaze, even as you yearn to turn away from its unrelenting images of futility and despair.” The Turin Horse opens for a week at NWFF. Showtimes and details here.

Rachel Weiss and Tom Hiddleston in 'The Deep Blue Sea'


The Deep Blue Sea, the latest from Terence Davies, is one of the loveliest, saddest, most gracefully bittersweet love stories you’ll ever see. “With a committed performance by Rachel Weisz, who stays honest even when the dialogue occasionally sounds old-fashioned, The Deep Blue Sea becomes an absorbing, nearly claustrophobic experience,” writes Robert Horton at The Herald. Opens at The Seven Gables. More reviews here.

The Hunter, starring Willem Dafoe as an assassin hunting down a supposedly extinct animal in Tasmania, opens at the Harvard Exit. Find the reviews here.

Five documentaries also open this week: Marley, a portrait of Bob Marley (reviewed by Gene Stout at Seattle Times here) and Surviving Progress, about the human race’s impulse to destroy itself (Tom Keogh at The Seattle Times), both at The Varsity, Force of Nature: The David Suzuki Movie at SIFF Film Center (John Hartl at The Seattle Times), and Lou Harrison: A World of Music (Michael Upchurch at The Seattle Times) and King For Two Days (playing Monday through Thursday) at Grand Illusion.


Carol Reed’s 1948 The Fallen Idol starring Ralph Richardson plays in the “Shadow Street: The Best of British Film Noir” series at Seattle Art Museum, on Thursday, April 26 on 35mm. Series passes are sold out but you can usually get tickets at the theater, but arrive early.

Casablanca is getting an encore digital screening for its 70th anniversary in select theaters on Thursday, April 26. You can find the nearest theater new you at the Fathom website here.

Three Dollar Bill Cinema celebrates the passage of marriage equality in Washington state with a Gay Wedding Celebration double feature: I Think I Do (1997) with Alexis Arquette and Ang Lee’s The Wedding Banquet (1993) play at Central Cinema on Wednesday, April 25. Details here.

American Graffiti plays SIFF Film Center on Friday, April 20 in their “Class Reunion” series, Sharkwater screens Saturday & Sunday at SIFF Film Center as part of Films4Families, and Repo Man plays The Uptown on Tuesday, April 24 as part of the “Back to the 80s” series.

Late nights: Serenity, Joss Whedon’s big screen spin-off of his TV series Firefly, plays midnight Friday and Saturday at the Egyptian, and The Snowtown Murders from Australia plays late nights at Grand Illusion. And after late night runs at NWFF and The Egyptian, the notorious Japanese high school gladiator satire Battle Royale is now showing late evenings at The Uptown, Friday, Saturday, and Thursday this week. Details here.

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