Arts Picks




No Raymond Burr. That's the first thing you notice about this restored 50th-anniversary version of the classic monster movie. This is the original 98-minute Japanese cut, a third of which was trimmed for U.S. viewers to make room for the boring Burr footage, with a new print and subtitles that help restore Godzilla to its rightful place in Japanese screen history. There's nothing kitschy about it; this is a thoroughly serious film whose atomic-age anxiety could not be more explicit. Shots of Tokyo after the monster's rampage are obviously modeled on Hiroshima and Nagasaki. There's also a love triangle involving the daughter of a paleontologist (Ikiru's Takashi Shimura) and a strongly Shinto sense that nature's balance, once upset by man, will restore itself with righteous fury. (NR) Fri., July 2–Thurs., July 8. Varsity Theater, 4329 University Way N.E., 206-781-5755. BRIAN MILLER




Remember Afghanistan, that other country in the War on Terror? Photojournalist Barbara Kinney traveled to Kabul last April and came back with images of a country experiencing substantial change—and yet which in many ways is still fiercely traditional. Even though the Taliban's draconian restrictions are gone, women haven't exactly traded in their burkas for bikinis. In a show from that trip, Kinney—a Seattle resident and former White House photographer for the Clinton administration—documents moments of beauty emerging in a city hammered by drought, poverty, and turmoil. Reception: 8 p.m. Thurs., July 1. 10 a.m.–8 p.m. through Sat., July 31. Retail Therapy, 905 E. Pike St. 206-324-4092. ANDREW ENGELSON




If you think you prefer watching fireworks on television, you're lying to yourself. We know, we know—the crowds, the heat, the waiting. Think of it as an adventure: Pack a cooler full of sandwiches, soda, and chips, grab an old blanket, gather some friends, and head out to the park (Gas Works for the WaMu Family Fourth, Myrtle Edwards for Fourth of Jul-Ivar's). Claim your spot, lie back on the blanket, and watch the sky slowly darken. If you're not too pleased with your country at the moment, forget the patriotic symbolism. Bottom line: Fireworks are pretty. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Sun., July 4. Free. Gas Works Park, 2101 N. Northlake Way, 206-587-6500. Myrtle Edwards Park, 3130 Alaskan Way, 206-281-7788. NEAL SCHINDLER




A vulgar man and, by his own estimation, a patriot, the paraplegic pornographer has parlayed his First Amendment fame into a writing career. Sex, Lies & Politics: The Naked Truth (Kensington, $24) collects his latest thoughts on Bush, Ashcroft, the Iraq war, and right-wing sanctimoniousness in general. American culture has coarsened considerably since Flynt founded Hustler three decades ago, but it's also a lot more honest as a consequence. And if there's one principle he's stuck to for the past 30 years, it's that liberty necessarily includes the freedom to offend. 7:30 p.m. Mon., July 5. $5 (advance tickets available at Elliott Bay Book Co.). Town Hall, 1119 Eighth Ave., 206-652-4255. BRIAN MILLER




If Carl Newman didn't exist, middlebrow rock critics would have had to invent him, and in a sense they did—the New Pornographers' main man is something like the fever dream of the great, lesser-known, power-pop semigenius. If The Slow Wonder (Matador), his first album under the A.C. Newman sobriquet, doesn't touch the ridiculous heights of last year's N.P. offering, Electric Version, it's decent enough to get you through until the next Pornographers disc. It should be easy for Newman to fill his live show—in addition to Wonder, he's got both N.P. albums, as well as a healthy back catalog from his previous band, Zumpano. 8 p.m. Tues., July 6. $10 adv. Neumo's, 925 E. Pike St., 206-709-9467. MICHAELANGELO MATOS

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