Oct. 18-25, 2006

Gumby attacks! Dr. Caligari returns. And Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint have a date aboard a train.

Send listings two weeks in advance to film@seattleweekly.com Oddballs, Events, & Rep American Blackout Discussion follows this documentary screening (also seen at SIFF), in which Georgia Congresswoman Cynthia McKinney and others protest voter suppression by the GOP in Ohio and elsewhere. (NR) Columbia City Cinema, 4816 Rainier Ave. S., 206-721-3156. Call for price. 7 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 19. The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari The period we now call German Expressionism only lasted about 18 months, but few art fads have cast such long shadows. For most people, Robert Wiene's 1919 shocker is about all they know of the movement and, except for specialists, all they'll ever need to know. With a genuinely disturbing dreamlike storyline about a sleepwalker, a murderer, and a (possibly) mad doctor, plus a cast of the day's top film actors, Caligari has managed to creep viewers out for more than 80 years despite fuzzy, choppy prints and cheesy stock musical scores. This is mainly due to the queasy atmosphere created by the deliberately crude, out-of-kilter sets and costumes—like Chagall illustrations for a Kafka fable. Here Caligari will be accompanied by the improvisational string ensemble EQLateral. Reception and piano recital (by Arthur Kostuk) follow. (NR) ROGER DOWNEY Columbia City Cinema, 4816 Rainier Ave. S., 206-721-3156. $12. 8 p.m. Fri. Oct. 20. Ebony Chunky Love Preceded by dinner (at 6:30 p.m.) and followed by discussion with the director, Lonnie Renteria looks at the plight of gay black comedians in her short documentary—asking why such performers "can't get a date" in comedy clubs or in real life. (NR) New Freeway Hall, 5018 Rainier Ave. S., 206-722-2453. $6.50 (includes dinner). 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 19. Every Other Week Seen at SIFF earlier this year, this Swedish divorce comedy—if that's not being too flippant—juggles kids on custody visits, new lovers for their parents, and the inevitable bitter exes. Ticket includes refreshments. (NR) Nordic Heritage Museum, 3014 N.W. 67th St., 206-789-5707. $5. 7 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 19. Flight From Death: The Quest for Immortality Based on the Pulitzer-winning 1974 The Denial of Death by the late cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker (who basically pegged all religions as death cults), this 2003 made-for-TV documentary applies his theories to all human history and endeavor, with narration by Gabriel Byrne. The pyramids, Chartres cathedral, blogging—all of it can be explained by man's refusal to accept his own mortality. Becker (1924-1974) was considered something of an academic crackpot during his career, as he sought to rebut Freud's bad but pervasive ideas with his own. They're as profound as you choose to believe, just like any other cult, theory, or religion. (NR) UW Kane Hall, Room 120. $5. 5 p.m. Fri. Oct. 20. Just for Kicks The folks who make those newfangled Scion automobiles offer up a documentary on sneakers as an object of urban idolatry and aesthetics. Collectors and interview subjects include members of Run DMC, Futura 2000, Fab 5 Freddy, Damon Dash, and Raekwon of the Wu-Tang Clan. 21 and over. (NR) Harvard Exit, 807 E. Roy St., 206-781-5755. Free, but RSVP to www.scion.com/route. 7 p.m. Tues. Oct. 24. Gumby Fest Supply your own Eddie Murphy joke here—"I'm Gumby, damn it!" But this salute to Art Clokey, who brought stop-motion claymation to children's TV during the 1950s, is anything but ironic. His son, Joe, will introduce the Gumby 50th Anniversary Celebration compendium documentary, along with fellow animators Al Eggleston and Bill Webb. (A panel discussion follows.) Also screened over the weekend is Gumby Dharma, which includes some of Clokey Sr.'s other creations: loyal horse Pokey, the Blockheads, and creepy proto-evangelicals Davey and Goliath. Some snickering is permitted here. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. Fri. Oct. 20-Thurs. Oct. 26. Living With the Past: Historic Cairo Part of the GI's ongoing series of architecture docs (sponsored by the U.W. and A.I.A.), this hour-long study of the ancient metropolis examines the difficulties of restoring old monuments within the fast-changing neighborhood of Darb al-Ahmar. (NR) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $2.50-$5. Fri. Oct. 20-Thurs. Oct. 26. The Mob What a cast of toughs: Broderick Crawford, Ernest Borgnine, and Neville Brand are among the players in this 1951 noir about a cop (Crawford) who goes undercover to bust a bunch of racketeers. No surprise if he finds himself dirtied in the process, compromising his personal life and standing back at the station hourse. (NR) Museum of History and Industry, 2700 24th Ave. E., 206-654-3121. $58-$65 (series), individual ticket price not provided. 7:30 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 12. The Motherhood Manifesto Local author-organizer of the Take Back Your Time movement, John de Graaf joins forces with filmmaker Laura Pacheco in this hour-long documentary addressing maternity leave, subsidized child care, flextime, and other issues facing today's time-strapped parents. (NR) 911 Media Arts Center, 402 Ninth Ave. N., 206-682-6552. $5. 7 p.m. Tues. Oct. 24. This Land Is Your Land Naomi Klein, Jim Hightower, and other usual suspects from the Air America bandwidth appear in this 2004 road-trip documentary, in which filmmakers Lori Cheatle and Daisy Wright survey what they perceive as a corporate takeover of mom, apple pie, and all else we should hold sacred. Discussion follows. (NR) Keystone Church, 5019 Keystone Pl. N., 206-632-6021. Free. 7 p.m. Fri. Oct. 20. The Nightmare Before Christmas Every handcrafted frame of this wonderful 1993 stop-motion animation film, with its coffin sled, death's-head tree ornaments, skeleton reindeer, and spindly patchwork look, bears the touch of producer Tim Burton's misfit imagination. He also came up with its kid-friendly, ho-ho-horror story of a Halloween king who decides to restage Christmas according to his ghoulish sensibility. (First step: Kidnap Santa.) Jack Skellington really isn't a bad sort of fellow; and his impulse to bring yuletide festivity to Halloweentown is charitable—the misfit's touching desire to finally fit in. (PG) Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 206-781-5755. $6-$9. Midnight. Fri. Oct. 20. North by Northwest Alfred Hitchcock's wonderful 1959 chase movie is one of his absolute bests, an espionage romp for the ages. Criss-crossing the country from cornfield to Mount Rushmore, Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint embody every sly, sexy nuance of Ernest's Lehman's wonderful script. Sample dialogue exchange: Grant—"When I was a little boy, I wouldn't even let my mother undress me." Saint—"Well, you're a big boy now." So cool. So hot. Then there's the priceless final train shot, still guaranteed to raise a hoot, even if the film is here screened on video. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 9:30 p.m. Wed. Oct. 18, 6:45 & 9:45 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 19-Sun. Oct. 22. Reel Grrls Young female filmmakers unspool their shorts, followed by discussion. (NR) Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 p.m. Wed. Oct. 18. Rituals Instead of teenagers stalked in the woods by a psycho killer, this 1977 Canadian horror flick has Hal Holbrook and some other vacationing doctors stalked in the woods by a psycho killer. After Deliverance, it seems, you took the script you had and did your best to play up the parallels. (R) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 206-523-3935. $5-$7.50. 11 p.m. Fri. Oct. 20-Sat. Oct. 21. Seattle Lesbian & Gay Film Festival Several worthwhile titles round out this year's L&GFF. For the gala party alone, the festival's concluding night feature, the ensemble comedy Puccini for Beginners, is probably worth your ticket. It's directed by Maria Maggenti (The Incredibly Strange Adventures of Two Girls in Love) and stars Gretchen Mol—who recently took it all off for The Notorious Bettie Page—among its lithe young bodies. Also to note: Currently killing on Broadway, America's favorite aggro-cabaret duo appear in Kiki and Herb Reloaded (Harvard Exit, 9:45 p.m. Thurs. Oct. 19), in which Kiki (well, Justin Bond) shares her booze-fueled memories of Woodstock and Frank Sinatra. She's a camp figure of demonic fury, who earns praise from Rufus Wainwright, Debbie Harry, Michael Musto, and others in this backstage mockumentary. (NR) Harvard Exit, Northwest Film Forum, and other venues. Tickets, schedule, and info: 206-325-6500, www.seattlequeerfilm.com; most shows $6-$9 (more for galas); $60-$175 (passes). Continues through Sun. Oct. 22. Short Films by Coleman Miller The avant-garde manipulator of found footage is represented by almost 90 minutes' worth of shorts made between 1982-2005. In one of his more recent works, a small town is thrown into an uproar by the arrival of an experimental filmmaker who intends to direct a movie there. Which probably describes how the good people of Spokane felt when David Lynch made Inland Empire. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 206-267-5380. $5-$8. 8 p.m. Tues. Oct. 24.

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