Posted in: by Sean Axmaker, Contributors, Seattle Screens

Seattle Screens: Silent Rarities and ‘Children of Paradise’

Tim Burton will try to cast his Dark Shadows across the worldwide domination of The Avengers this weekend, but while these splashy, fantastical Hollywood heavyweights battle it out for box supremacy (and The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel reaches out the older demographic), there are plenty of alternatives for discerning filmgoers.

Leatrice Joy teases in 'Eve's Leaves'

The UCLA Festival of Preservation continues at NWFF with a long weekend of four silent features, each on 35mm and presented with live accompaniment, none of them available on American home video in any form.

Rex Ingram was one of the great directors of the 1920s Hollywood (thanks to films like The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse and the original The Prisoner of Zenda) but no longer as well known as contemporaries D.W. Griffiths, Cecil B. DeMille, and King Vidor. Two of his early features will be screened: The Chalice of Sorrow (1916), his first Hollywood film, on Friday, May 11 (presented with a live score by Lori Goldston and Jessika Kenney), and The Flower of Doom (1917), a mystery in a Chinatown setting, on Monday, May 14 (live score by Jason Staczek and Ian Moore).

Leatrice Joy, one of the largely forgotten superstars of the silent era, stars in the comedy Eve’s Leaves (1926), a Cecil B. DeMille production (Saturday, May 12, with a live score by Carla Torgenson, John Leighton Beezer, Gerry Amandez and Glenn Slater), and Marie Dressler is The Goose Woman (1925), a Clarence Brown-directed drama inspired by a real-life murder mystery (Sunday, May 13, with a live score by Paris Hurley).

All shows at 7pm. Complete schedule and film notes at NWFF website.


A brand new restoration of the French classic Children of Paradise plays for a week at The Uptown. As Richard T. Jameson explains, the film has been “often described as “the French Gone With the Wind”—except that this movie isn’t kitsch, and its artistic excellence and superb production values were achieved under the Nazi Occupation, with key creative personnel obliged to work clandestinely.” More from Jameson at his blog Straight Shooting. This is a digital presentation of a new 4K restoration, the highest quality currently available to commercial cinemas.

Framing Pictures, the monthly discussion of films old and new with Robert Horton, Richard T. Jameson, and Kathleen Murphy at NWFF, returns on Friday, May 11. Jameson throws out some conversation starters at Straight Shooting. And it has a Facebook page too. “Like” it and keep up with the discussion.


And, of course, the 38th annual Seattle International Film Festival kicks off with an opening night gala screening of Seattle filmmaker Lynn Shelton’s My Sister’s Sister on Thursday, May 17, and begins in earnest with hundreds of screenings spread across nine screens in Seattle and Renton. Schedule, showtimes, tickets, and other information at the SIFF website.


Patience (After Sebald), a documentary on German author W.G. Sebald directed by Grant Gee, opens for a week at NWFF. Seattle Times film critic Tom Keogh describes it as “A visionary composition on a series of spoken reflections about a literary work” in his rave review.

Nobody Else But You, the French murder mystery about a Marilyn Monroe lookalike in rural France (featured in SIFF 2011 under its original title, Poupoupidou), opens at The Varsity. Moira Macdonald’s review at The Seattle Times.

Michael, an Austrian drama about a pedophile holding a 10-year-old boy prisoner, opens for a week at the Uptown. Tom Keogh’s review at The Seattle Times.

The Cup, a horse racing drama from Australia directed by Simon Wincer, opens at The Admiral Twin in West Seattle. Brian Miller reviews it for Seattle Weekly.

Steve Jobs: The Lost Interview, filmed in 1995 before his triumphant return to Apple, plays at Grand Illusion for five days starting Sunday, May 13.


The Artist, the Oscar-winning love letter to silent cinema and Hollywood glamour, will return to select screens for a brief re-release over the weekend.

Fresh, a documentary on new approaches to sustainable agriculture, plays free as part of “The Next 50” film series at The Uptown on Wednesday, May 16.

The Deadly Affair (1965), starring James Mason and Simone Signoret and based on a novel by John Le Carre, plays in the “Shadow Street: The Best of British Film Noir” series, on Thursday, May 17 on 35mm at the Seattle Art Museum. Series passes are sold out but you can usually get tickets at the theater, but arrive early.

Late nights at the Egyptian this weekend is Darren Aronofksy’s Black Swan.

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, 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