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Oddballs, Events, & Rep
Cry-Baby What was Johnny Depp like back in 1990 before he became an Oscar-nominated pirate genius? Possibly still a genius? John Waters uses the young thespian, then transitioning out of 21 Jump Street, to fine effect in this send-up of '50s juvenile delinquency pictures. Ricki Lake, Iggy Pop, Troy Donahue, Polly Bergen, and ex-porno starlet Traci Lords lend to the fun and music. Here, unlike Waters' Cecil B. DeMented, the tone is affectionate camp, not strident screeching. Depp pokes fun at his Tiger Beat teen-idol image, but nobody's dumping on the films—then and now—that made such melodramatic eye-candy of the troubled-hormone set. Screened on video. (PG-13) BRIAN MILLER Central Cinema, 1411 21st Ave., 206-686-6684. $5. 7 and 9 p.m. Wed. Jan. 3-Sun. Jan. 7.
Ghost on the Highway Pioneering L.A. punk rockers including John Doe, Henry Rollins, and Dave Alvin participate in this documentary salute to Jeffrey Lee Pierce (1958-1996), who never quite achieved the same level of success with his band, the Gun Club, though today it's considered a progenitor of the psychobilly genre and an influence on the White Stripes. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380. $5-$8. 7 and 9 p.m. Mon. Jan. 8-Wed. Jan. 10. 9 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 11.
Off the Grid In Warren Miller's latest ski movie, the usual big-mountain helicopter excursions in the Chugach Range may tempt you north to Alaska, of course, but Grid's sundry plugs for guiding services and ski resorts (who help sponsor the film) leave the price tags frustratingly vague. If you've got the money, and a passport, footage from the Alps makes Austrian trams and trains seem a more affordable alternative. But there, too, glaciers are receding owing to global warming. Notwithstanding this travelogue's platitudes about the pristine white alpine environment, its snowboarders and skiers all access the virgin slopes via lift, snowcat, helicopter, and other powered forms of transport—all of which contribute to you-know-what. But for a carbon offset, you can always walk or bike to the screening, rather than drive. (NR) BRIAN MILLER Seattle University, 901 12th Ave., 296-6000. Free. Noon. Sun. Jan. 7.
One Shot Film Challenge This monthly event takes its cues from the venue's recent Béla Tarr retrospective, challenging participants to do what they can do with a single unbroken five-minute shot. Super-8 or 16mm are the preferred formats, but titles can also be screened from DVD. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380. $5-$8. 8 p.m. Thurs. Jan. 4.
Rear Window Hitchcock's 1954 masterwork recently underwent a painstaking restoration that really reawakens your eyes—and ears—to its underlying story. (Yes, we all know that Jimmy Stewart's character is a voyeur, cooped up in his New York City apartment with a broken leg, staring through his neighbors' windows just as we do at the movie screen.) But Rear Window is also a love story. Stewart rebuffs his society girlfriend (Grace Kelly) with casual disdain, saying she's "too perfect" for him. Fortunately, our heroine is more than a match for her recalcitrant beau. She does the legwork for his amateur sleuthing, while he just watches. Kelly remakes herself into a woman of action, thereby increasing her allure—and subverting Stewart's view of her. In the rehabilitated Rear Window, all the neighbors' courtyard stories-within-a-story are greatly enhanced, and all comment directly both on the love story and the expertly made thriller. (NR) BRIAN MILLER Egyptian, 801 E. Pine St., 781-5755. $6-$9.25. Midnight. Fri. Jan. 5-Sat. Jan. 6.
Too Much Note that the GI's zany late-night weekend shows have now been reduced in price. From 1987, this PG-rated paraphrase of A Boy and His Dog amounts to A Girl and Her Japanese Robot. Visiting Tokyo with her businessman father, said girl bonds with her wee mechanical companion (code name "Too Much"); the two set out on the road together when a rival inventor threatens the cute little lump of circuitry. TV actress and future drug casualty Bridgette Anderson stars; ten years later the heroin addict would OD at the age of 22—perhaps the subject of another, more promising movie. (PG) Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., 523-3935. $2.50-$5. 11 p.m. Fri. Jan. 5-Sat. Jan. 6.
The Treasures of Long Gone John SEE THE WIRE, SUNDAY. (NR) Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380. $5-$8. 7 and 9 p.m. Fri. Jan. 5-Sun. Jan. 7.