Comedy: Too Smart for the Gloom

Hey, what's Marc Maron up to these days? Always a popular draw when he visits for Bumbershoot or


The Weekly Wire: This Week's Recommended Events


Comedy: Too Smart for the Gloom

Hey, what's Marc Maron up to these days? Always a popular draw when he visits for Bumbershoot or other comedy gigs, the acerbic veteran stand-up artist has lately been diversifying his media platform, if you will. First came blogging, then podcasts (WTF With Marc Maron), and the inevitable Twitter. Lately he's sold a short-run sitcom to IFC (home of Portlandia), and he's even embarked on a memoir, to be published this year. Maron can be cranky, but he's never a crank. With a failed marriage, a stalled career, and certain addictions behind him, his recent success feels all the more earned and satisfying. The guy grew up on Johnny Carson, only to see the stand-up boom collapse just as he was building his career. Then came the alt-comedy crowd and the Dane Cook-ization of his craft, one reason Maron retired to his garage to interview his peers about the state of their profession. Yet just when things seemed darkest, the acclaim for WTF proved there was still a market for smart comedy. Appropriately, Maron's new tour is called Out of the Garage, which has a ring of vindication to it. The Neptune, 1303 N.E. 45th St., 877-784-4849, $27.50. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER


Film: Keep the Boulder Rolling

Once upon a time (1981, to be precise), there was a quaint little period movie about an archaeologist. Two Mississippi children were dragged to see it, probably against their will, dreading anything so educational during their summer vacation. ("Moooom! Nooo!") And yet they and their friends were strangely enthralled with this dry-sounding film, so much so that they picked up a bulky old video camera and attempted a shot-for-shot remake on VHS. This turned out to be a seven-year process, begun when Eric Zala and Chris Strompolos were 12 and 11, respectively. What they finally finished would become known as Raiders: The Adaptation, which for copyright reasons—because, duh, it's a copy—enjoys somewhat extra-legal status and is rarely screened. Still, it bears the stamp of approval from the little-known director of that obscure original picture, Steven Spielberg. And in tonight's double feature, to be introduced by Zala and Strompolos, you can also see the long-forgotten source text, Raiders of the Lost Ark. Before the age of Final Cut Pro and laptop editing, these resourceful kids created all their own costumes and effects, performed their own stunts (including the boulder scene), wrangled the actors, and eventually grew into young men. Whatever your feeling about Spielberg's three Raiders sequels, few films inspire so much ardor today. SIFF Cinema Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., 324-9996, $10–$15. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Photography: Enduring Images

Opening today, curated by visiting scholar Deborah Willis from the Henry's permanent collection, Out [o]Fashion Photography: Embracing Beauty is a big survey show covering over a century in the medium. "Beauty" is certainly a fraught, contentious term. It's constructed and arranged long before the model sees the lens. It's a received tradition, a product of culture and all its biases (toward symmetry, smoothness, white skin, blonde hair, whatever). The Vogue-ready images of Cecil Beaton veer toward the conventionally pretty, while Nan Goldin, Diane Arbus, and Cindy Sherman later bent that notion to their own purposes. Then there's Warhol and his flash-lit Polaroid frames, his subjects sometimes startled at parties, often without time to fix their hair or makeup. Beauty is something you rehearse; it takes lots of time and training before that fraction of a second when the shutter opens. Later, printed on photographic paper, it becomes an object of study for future generations of artists to reject, embrace, and recast. Other photographers in the exhibit include André Kertész, Lee Friedlander, and even our own Edward S. Curtis, all of whom NYU's Willis will consider in her opening lecture tonight. (Through Sept. 1.) Henry Art Gallery, UW campus, 543-2280, $6–$10. 7 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

Film: Knocked Up

The Seattle Jewish Film Festival is not, strictly speaking, just about film. Among its various venues (including SIFF Cinema Uptown) and events are a pre-opening gala dinner (Wed., Feb. 27 at the Palace Ballroom), a Sunday brunch screening with preshow klezmer music (tomorrow), a senior lunch and screening (Wed., March 6 at the Stroum Jewish Community Center), and a panel discussion on "What is Jewish Art?" (Sun., March 10, venue pending). Still, movies are the main draw, and 21 titles will be screened through March 10. Opening the festival tonight is the French dramedy The Day I Saw Your Heart, with Mélanie Laurent (Inglourious Basterds, Beginners) as a childless young woman who can't seem to hold onto a guy. Then her father (Michel Blanc) knocks up his girlfriend, who's younger than our heroine. So she should be pleased, angry, or what? Get there early for the happy hour, then stay late for sweets from Holly Levin (aka The Cake Lady). Pacific Place, 600 Pine St., 324-9996, $9–$12 (passes $72 and up). 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER


Classical: Cresting on Her Laurels

On glamour alone (her patrician yet smoldering persona, the imperious, piercing intensity of her playing), violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter could have made a smash of a career with a mere handful of popular warhorses. But that intensity stems from a probing curiosity that's led her to explore the entire violin repertory, from Bach and Vivaldi forward to contemporary European music. From that modern trove, she's championed, inspired, and commissioned works by composers like Penderecki, Gubaidulina, Dutilleux, André Previn (her husband for four years, which made her Woody Allen's stepmother-in-law), and Witold Lutosawski, whose 1985 Partita she'll play in today's recital with pianist Lambert Orkis. It's a somber but not dour work, full of darkly soulful lyricism, with astringent, sinewy fast passages functioning as—well, as sinews, binding the whole together. She'll precede it with a Mozart sonata and a Schubert fantasy. And for dessert there's Saint-Saëns' Sonata in D Minor, its shamelessly empty but flashy finale a guaranteed standing O if ever there was one. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 215-4747, $41–$144. 4 p.m. GAVIN BORCHERT


Books: Who You Callin' Epicurean?

Digital this, digital that, DRM, and Kindle—sometimes the business of managing all your content can be a chore. So many devices to sync, so many passwords, and then there's the cloud. Things were a lot simpler in 1417, when Poggio Bracciolini, a roving scholar who'd recently lost his job with the pope, wandered into a German monastery. A secularist and ardent student of the Greeks and Romans, he was on the search for manuscripts that had survived two millennia of neglect in hand-copied parchment editions. What he found was On the Nature of Things by Lucretius, which argued (indirectly) against religion and posited that we and everything else in the universe were made of atoms. (Lucretius was building on the work of Greek philosopher Epicurus.) This, understandably, was heresy to the Catholic church, so detective Poggio had to tread lightly as he began disseminating the explosive text, a signal discovery of the Renaissance. His story is laid out in fascinating detail by Harvard professor Stephen Greenblatt in the Pulitzer-winning The Swerve: How the World Became Modern (Norton, $16.95, new in paperback). In response to the radical materialism of On the Nature of Things, the church devised the slander "epicure"—meaning a mere pleasure-seeker. But the forgotten philosophy was much grander, and Poggio's sleuthing much more important, as Greenblatt will explain tonight. Presented by Seattle Arts & Lectures. Benaroya Hall, 200 University St., 621-2230, $15–$70. 7:30 p.m. BRIAN MILLER

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