The Weekly Wire: The Week’s Recommended Events

Friday 7/5

Beer: Long Lines and Full Pints

Generally speaking, I hate beer festivals. Long lines of drunks that lead to 4-ounce sips of beer that cost a buck or more is not my idea of a good time. But redemption for this weekend’s Seattle International Beer Festival comes from its European flavor, by way of both the source of most of its beer and the tantalizing abundance of dirndls and lederhosen. What’s more, organizers are humane enough to offer a beer garden where brew is poured in an appropriate apportionment: the pint. (The beer on tap is Pilsner Urquell, and those pints will cost $3.) In other words, if you’re willing to forgo the chance to taste every possible permutation of IPA, you can make this Oktoberfest in July. And those who do appreciate the ability to sample a wide variety of beer and can stand the lines shouldn’t be disappointed by the festival’s 200-some varieties. And as beer lists are rightly becoming more and more dominated by the Northwest’s fantastic products, the largely Continental offerings here are a good excuse to check in on what’s going on in the old country—though the crowds may remind some why their forefathers decided to ship out for a little more space. (Through Sun.) Seattle Center, $25–$45. 4–10 p.m.

Film/Politics: Pols & Popcorn

Asked to introduce a favorite for NWFF’s weekend Mayoral Movies series, Mike McGinn chose To Kill a Mockingbird. Of course he did. He’s a politician who’s gained increasing polish late in his rocky first term. Even if his secret fave is Blue Velvet or Pulp Fiction, he’ll never admit it. Yet while the Gregory Peck–starring adaptation of Harper Lee’s beloved novel is a safe, square choice, the 1962 drama is still an affecting and expertly directed (by Robert Mulligan) consideration of law versus the Southern mob. Tomorrow at the same time, Kate Martin will introduce the considerably more cynical All the President’s Men (1976). Sunday at 5 p.m., Bruce Harrell makes a more personal pick: Steve McQueen in Papillon (1973), who heroically refuses to accept unjust incarceration in a French penal colony. Sunday at 8 p.m., Ed Murray offers a bold choice with Ken Loach’s The Wind That Shakes the Barley (2006), about Irish guerrillas fighting for independence from those damn Brits. (Murray is an Irish name, after all.) Finally, at 8 p.m. on Monday, Peter Steinbrueck embraces the eccentric strain of politics so seldom seen here with Buddy: The Rise and Fall of America’s Most Notorious Mayor (2005), a doc about the now-former mayor of Providence, R.I., Buddy Cianci, who was famously indicted for assault with a fireplace log, resigned in 1984, was re-elected six years later, was forced out of office a second time for racketeering, and went to jail for four years! (Today he’s a popular radio host often encouraged to run again for mayor.) Ex-councilmember Steinbrueck, while obviously no crook, can perhaps relate to Cianci’s first comeback from the wilderness. Certainly he and the other four candidates cannot, even in aggregate, match Cianci’s colorful political career. All of which makes me ask one question: Why do Rhode Island journalists have all the luck? Northwest Film Forum, 1515 12th Ave., 267-5380, nwfilm $6–$10. 8 p.m.

Dance: Strength in Partners

Aaron Swartzman and Aiko Kinoshita both assume multiple roles in the dance community as performers, teachers, and choreographers. But when they work together as Umami, the results are far more than the sum of their already impressive parts. Kinetically, they come from the evocative part of the modern-dance lexicon, where movement has meaning, but it’s allusive rather than didactic. Fundamentally, all their dancing is about relationships, but we’re not quite sure with whom. They’re joined by a rotating cast of local dance artists in Constellation Half Remembered, an evolving work showing at various locations around town. Tonight through Sunday, the show’s in the U District. Following are performances in West Seattle’s Jack Block Park (3 p.m. Sat., July 20) and Parallel Public Works in Burien (8 p.m. Fri., July 26–Sat., July 27). Open Flight Studio, 4205 University Way N.E., and $12–$18. 8 p.m.

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