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The Blue Butterfly If you, too, were glad to see William Hurt make small but artfully crafted contributions to Syriana and A History of Violence this year, here's a festival orphan from 2004 in which he stars as a famous entomologist who takes a dying 10-year-old boy to Costa Rica to find the gorgeous titular insect. You can probably expect some tears in the rain forest, but director Léa Pool (Set Me Free) has a way with young actors. And one never has to worry about Hurt making a character too soft or accessible. The cinematography's reportedly amazing, with lots of insect close-ups like Microcosmos; and the kid's mother also goes along to tempt Hurt's lonely lepidopterist. (PG) Zoka's Coffee, 2901 N.E. Blakeley St., 206-527-0990. $8-$10. 7:30 p.m. Wed. Jan. 11.
Carmen Organist Dennis James supplies live musical accompaniment, and introductory remarks, to this 1915 silent version of the famous opera story of tragic love. Though you can't hear her sing, diva Geraldine Farrar reprises her stage acting treatment of the role. (She sang Carmen with Caruso at the Metropolitan Opera.) Cecil B. DeMille directed. (NR) Paramount Theatre, 911 Pine St., 206-682-1414. $12. 4 p.m. Sun. Jan. 15.
Ecological Design Sustainable architecture, natural building materials, solar energy, and R. Buckminster Fuller are addressed in this green-themed documentary screening. Pizza and organic beer are served. (NR) Re-Store, 1440 N.W. 52nd St., 206-2979119. $12. 7 p.m. Wed. Jan. 18.
Fargo Yah, sure, you betcha. The Coen brothers' 1996 double Oscar winner (for script and star Frances McDormand) is always a good occasion for a drink and meal (just finish your supper before the wood chipper scene). The Coens imparted "a gentle touch on a vicious story," William H. Macy later said, still grateful for the career-making "role I was born to play." Macy's dim but persistent Minnesota blackmailer is still a marvel of comic-malevolent invention, a perfect rival for McDormand's cheery moral steel as the pregnant sheriff who tracks him down. (R) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9:30 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 12-Fri. Jan. 13. 4:30, 7, and 9:30 p.m. Sat. Jan. 14-Sun. Jan. 15.
Fellini at the Pink Door Federico Fellini's first color film, Juliet of the Spirits, offers both a starring role for his wife (Giulietta Masina) and a snapshot into his overheated imagination, circa 1965. It's a surreal mid-life crisis flick in which Masina's pampered, childless doormat housewife confronts her husband's philandering. Buxom neighbor Sandra Milo offers a licentious portal to a world of flashbacks and fantasies, while our heroine is visited by voices from the beyond. "Love is a religion," a freaky oracle tells Juliet, although Fellini won't permit her to participate in the decadent orgies around her—if they're real at all. 21 and over for this wine tasting event. (G) Pink Door, 1919 Post Alley, 206-443-3241. $20. 7 p.m. Sun. Jan. 15.
The Gate 2: Trespassers Teens mess with the dark side in this 1992 horror sequel, with predictable results. Sure, having a portal to hell in your backyard seems like a great thing, but once you bring one of Satan's minions up to the surface, you've got to feed it and keep it entertained. (R) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. Jan. 13-Sat. Jan. 14.
Global Lens SEE SW THIS WEEK, PAGE 29. (NR)
Harold & Maude Hal Ashby's 1972 countercultural touchstone may now seem somewhat adrift, since that dominant, Nixon-era culture has disappeared. Suicidal Bud Cort falls for lively Ruth Gordon, each of them learning valuable life lessons along the course of their, ahem, romance. (They don't actually bridge the 60-year January-December age gap by having sex.) One indication of how times have changed is the score by Cat Stevens, as he was then known. Another is how Cort, then dressed like a dweeb of his era, could almost pass for a Williamsburg hipster today. (PG) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. Jan. 13-Sat. Jan. 14.
Hitchcock at MoHaI Since the Seattle Art Museum is closed for construction, this 10-title Hitchcock series moves to Montlake and runs through March. First up is the 1938 comic-thriller romp The Lady Vanishes. It's a spy movie in outline, but mainly it's an excuse for the director to have fun with trains, eccentric Brits lost on the Continent, mismatched lovers (Michael Redgrave and Margaret Lockwood), and treating vital espionage information like a badminton shuttlecock. Lady is Hitchcock's last English film before he went to Hollywood; in spirit, it's probably closest to North by Northwest. Says Lockwood to Redgrave, "You're the most contemptible person I've ever met in all my life!" He responds, "Confidentially, I think you're a bit of a stinker, too." In other words, they were made for each other. (NR) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $58-$65 (series), $7 (individual). 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 12.
I Am Cuba HELD OVER. Lost and rediscovered in '92 after decades of revolutionary obscurity, this 1964 Russian-Cuban co-production features one of the most amazing long-take shots ever made; kids have gone to film school after seeing it. Mikhail Kalatazov (The Cranes Are Flying) hurtles his camera from hotel top to swimming pool, passing down through vertiginous stairs and through Batista-era revelers—oppressors all!—who dance with debauched indifference to their poor, brown-skinned servants, a kind of Inferno in reverse, from pristine sky above and pure water below—and a capitalist shit sandwich between. The rest is an agitprop anthology film in four chapters, the best and saddest of which—considered merely as narrative—is that of beautiful prostitute Maria (Luz María Collazo), who allows an American client to follow her home to her shack. Voiceovers speak for the once pristine land—which, by implication, Castro will redeem—in poetic passages by Yevgeny Yevtushenko. Much of Cuba is maudlin, all of it is unforgettable. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. Continues through Jan. 22.
Independent Exposure A dozen shorts are presented in this repeating one-hour program of indie oddities. Half work, half don't, and none overstays your patience. Among the standouts are a funny collage piece by Andre Silva that sets still images from a Google search to form a pictorial grammar for one of those Internet scam letters from Nigeria offering millions for a cash advance. Ken Wardrop's Undressing My Mother is, literally, about his naked old mom with her pendulous breasts and proudly sagging gut. It's beautifully shot, not at all creepy, an anatomy study that also surveys marriage and memory. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9 p.m. Wed. Jan. 11.
Movies at the Sunset From 1975, Roger Corman's Death Race 2000 is overdue both for a remake (ideally with original stars Sylvester Stallone and David Carradine) and a new videogame. 21 and over. (NR) Sunset Tavern, 5433 Ballard Ave. N.W., 206-784-4880. Free. 7 p.m. Wed. Jan. 11. Harry Dean Stanton got his best screen role, and Emilio Estevez has never again been so good as in 1984's Repo Man. Then there's the soundtrack: Iggy Pop, Black Flag, Suicidal Tendencies, the Circle Jerks, and those great pioneers of punk: the Andrews Sisters. 7 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 12. Louis C.K. sends up blaxploitation pictures in Pootie Tang, crusading to keep kids away from malt liquor and cigarettes marketed by a despicable WASP corporation. 7 p.m. Tues. Jan. 17. The wonderful 2001 skateboard documentary Dogtown and Z-Boys will nicely erase Lords of Dogtown from memory (though even that's worth a DVD rental for one of Heath Ledger's several lesser-known roles of 2005). 7 p.m. Wed. Jan. 18.
Music and Short Films Live new soundtracks to new local movies are performed. First, from Danielle Mortan, Doug Lane, and others, a set of super-8 shorts, to be accompanied by Angelina Baldoz. Then follows Devon Damonte and Eric Ostrowski's multiple-projector work Cat vs. Clown, accompanied by Bonus (Scott Goodwin and Jamie Potter). (NR) Gallery 1412, 1412 18th Ave., 206-322-1533. $5. 8 p.m. Fri. Jan. 13.
Seattle Neutrino Project A guerilla film crew will take your suggestions for ideas for its shoot. Then the filmmakers leave the building with their camera, later returning to screen the results. It actually sounds quite fascinating, and you can drink while the show is being prepared and screened. 21 and over. (NR) Jewel Box Theater (Rendezvous), 2320 Second Ave., 206-441-5823. $10. 8 p.m. Fri. Jan. 13-Sat. Jan. 14.
Sneak Films Anything could be shown. (NR) Metro Cinemas, 4500 Ninth Ave. N.E., 206-719-6261. $12. 10 a.m. (snacks), 10:30 a.m. (show). Sun. Jan. 15.
We Go Way Back Local filmmaker Lynn Shelton debuts her first feature, about a woman aged 23 looking back at her 13-year-old self, prior to its festival bow at Slamdance. The soundtrack includes contributions by local players including Laura Veirs and Harvey Danger. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. Noon and 2 p.m. Sat. Jan. 14.
White Heat There's no restraining James Cagney in this classic 1949 gangster flick, relentlessly directed by Raoul Walsh. Cagney's over-the-top insane as the remorseless mama's boy who crows, "Made it, Ma! Top of the world!" just before his doom. His jailhouse freak-out is equally affecting. With Virginia Mayo and Edmond O'Brien. Screened on video; ticket includes discussion and snack. (NR) Movie Legends, 2319 N. 45th St., 206-632-2092. $5. 1 p.m. Sun. Jan. 15.