At a Theater Near You
"The Cruise," "Oskar" highlight Polish Film Festival
Seattle Times movie critic
The 14th annual Seattle Polish Film Festival begins tonight at the Museum of History & Industry with screenings of the dramas "Temptation" (with actor Magdalena Cielecka present) and "Tulips" (with actor Andrezj Chyla present).
It continues through the weekend and May 5-7 with a variety of features, documentaries and short films. Highlights include the 1970 Polish classic "The Cruise," presented by director Marek Piwowski, as well as Piwowski's latest film, "Oskar," about the last days of a terminally ill child.
The festival begins a new tradition this year: partnering with the Polish Film Festival in Gdynia (Seattle's sister city) to present the winner of Poland's Excellence in Independent Film award. This year, the award goes to "The Devil," a short feature from Tomasz Szafranski, who will attend his film's screening May 6.
Tickets can be purchased at the door prior to screenings or can be reserved by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org. (Reservations must be made at least one day in advance.) Ticket prices are $8 for regular screenings, $10 for screenings with guests and $50 for a six-day festival pass. For more information and a full schedule, see www.polishfilms.org. The Museum of History & Industry is at 2700 24th Ave. E., Seattle.
"Mouchette," the 1967 drama from French master Robert Bresson, shows at Northwest Film Forum this week through Thursday. Filmed in stark black and white, it's the tale of a sad-eyed, angry teen (Nadine Nortier) in droopy pigtails whose life seems nothing but misery. Her mother is dying, her father is a drunk and she takes care of her infant brother when not at school, where she hurls dirt at classmates in the schoolyard.
Told with little dialogue, the tragedy is almost unrelenting, but the details are startlingly resonant: the metallic sharpness of the baby's wailing; the sordidness of Mouchette's home where the sick mother lies in filthy sheets; the poignant smile of the girl at a carnival, where she's allowed to be a child for just a few minutes. 1515 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-267-5380 or www.nwfilmforum.org.
Three Dollar Bill Cinema begins a three-week Thursday-night series called "Tough Love," presenting classic Westerns with subtle or not-so-subtle gay subtext. The series begins Thursday at 7 p.m. with "Johnny Guitar," the 1954 Western with Joan Crawford as a saloon owner feuding with a tough rancher (Mercedes McCambridge), at NWFF. Tickets are $9 ($7 for Three Dollar Bill members) and can be purchased at the door or through www.seattlequeerfilm.com.
The Big Picture in Seattle is also going classic this week with the 1967 French film "Belle de Jour" opening tonight. Spanish surrealist Luis Buñuel, late in his career, directed this film about a young doctor's beautiful wife (Catherine Deneuve) who works part-time in a brothel. 2505 First Ave., Seattle; call 206-256-0572 or see www.thebigpicture.net for details.
The Grand Illusion continues its Louis Malle documentary series with "And the Pursuit of Happiness," Malle's 1986 film in which he ponders his status as a new American, and 1968's "God's Country," in which the director examines the troubled farming community of Glencoe, Minn. Both screen through Thursday (separate admission), 1403 N.E. 50th St., Seattle; 206-523-3935 or www.grandillusioncinema.org.
On Sunday, The Clearwater School presents the local premiere of Danny Mydlack's documentary "Voices from the New American Schoolhouse" at 1 p.m. at Central Cinema. The film, narrated completely by students, was shot at Fairhaven School in Maryland (which, like Clearwater, is a Sudbury school, emphasizing freedom and democracy among students).
The screening is a benefit for The Clearwater School; suggested donation is $10 per person. The event includes prizes, a raffle and a Q&A panel including Mydlack. Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., Seattle; for more information, contact Stephanie Sarantos or Shawna Lee at 206-306-0060 or email@example.com.
The International Rescue Committee, Seattle Public Library and KCTS sponsor a free film this Thursday at the Capitol Hill Library. "The Lost Boys of Sudan," an Independent Spirit Award winner in 2004, follows two Sudanese refugees on their way to America. Refreshments at 5:30 p.m., screening at 6, followed by a post-film discussion. 425 Harvard Ave. E., Seattle; see www.theirc.org or call 206-623-2105, ext. 114, for more information.
Finally, this week's midnight show at the Egyptian is: "Riki-Oh: The Story of Ricky," an ultra-gory 1989 Hong Kong sci-fi/horror/comedy about a man determined to get revenge on the thugs who killed his girlfriend. Midnight tonight and Saturday, 805 E. Pine St., Seattle; 206-781-5755.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org
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