Sunday, May 20, 2018

Northwest Terror Fest at Neumos, Barboza & The Highline: May 31 - Jun 2


After a successful inaugural year, Northwest Terror Fest returns to Seattle in it's second year at the end of May. Some of the most potent sounds from the heavier end of the 21st Century have issuedcfrom the mutating offshoots of black metal. The sound's ongoing and burgeoning development has encompassed melodicism and atmospheres lifted from shoegaze and spacerock, eruptions of heavy psych rock, industrial drumming, electronic atmospheres, and pure experimental noise. What may be the epitome of this cross-genre hybridization can be heard in the dynamic solar magma of guitar riffs and rhythm-play of Deafheaven. With other compatriots in the sound to be found in Oathbreaker, as well as the turbulent rock of Nothing and their fusion of metal drumming and spacerock guitar blur. Taking the sound down more melancholy and pop-referencing paths, there's the crushing shoegaze blues of True Widow. More true to it's black metal origins, bands like Krallice, Agalloch, and Pallbearer represent the darker, heavier school of hybridized metal pouring forth from sources like the Profound Lore label. The global expansiveness of this sound and scene is probably best detailed in Brad Sanders' overview for The Quietus, "Untrue And International: Living in a Post-Black Metal World". Further showcased in the past half-decade of excellent curation seen in The Quietus' Columnus Metallicus, dominantly originating from labels like, Hydrahead, Ipecac, Deathwish, Sargent House, Profound Lore, Season of Mist, Roadburn, Flenser, Neurot and Relapse. A all-things-metal festival with a previous Southwest iteration, Terror Fest's three days and nights host a lineup featuring no small quantity of metal issuing from this particular low-lit landscape of black and doom metal mutations. Initially launched under the opportunity to, "Bring Warning to America: An Interview with Terrorfest founder David Rodgers", Rodger's wider curatorial vision for the festival, was detailed in Decibel's, "It's Good to Have Goals and Dreams Can Come True". Hosted at Neumos, Barboza and The Highline over the course of the first weekend in June, the three night lineup encompasses everything from gloaming atmospheric ambiance and doom riffs, blistering thrash and hardcore, and heavy psych rock, dark pagan and neofolk explorations. A cross-genre spectrum of metal sounds and weighty atmospheres as heard in sets from Celeste, Thou, Full of Hell, Necrot, Gatecreeper, Agoraphobic Nosebleed, Panopticon, Subrosa, The Atlas Moth, White Hills, Great Falls, and Emma Ruth Rundle.

Sunday, May 6, 2018

Seattle International Film Festival: May 17 - Jun 10


Seattle International Film Festival once again arrives bringing a spectrum of cinema from across the world. In working through the program, this year continues the decade long diversity dip seen in the per-capita of all things cutting edge foreign cinema, deep genre gems, auteur, arthouse and experimental. These were content agendas that once had prominence within SIFF, on occasion approaching the programming on offer in Toronto and New York. Those times though, are now decades in the past. That said, it's worthy of note that this year's festival isn't as painfully omissive as 2011 or 2010 for that matter. We saw string of years that suggested relief from the lackluster programming described above which waned a bit in 2012 and a further positive trend in that direction in 2013. For the 2014 festival, their 40th Anniversary was celebrated with SIFF's strongest programming in almost a decade, suggesting a renewed vision for the festival. That year marked a trend away from the previously seen glut of middle ground contemporary romances and knowingly clever dramas for the sub-Sundance sect. Thankfully, 2017 also saw a slight return to some of the strengths of seasons past. One can speculate that this middle road approach to programming, which returned in 2015 and 2016 after it, has been taken to entice some imagined Northwest demographic out of their suburban hobbles and inner-city condos. With the inclusion of showcases in the outlying areas of Bellevue and Kirkland indicative of such. One can't help but consider these factors alongside the changing economic and cultural landscape of Seattle and what may be SIFF's bid at strengthening ties with it all.

This year sees that same disheartening trend continue, with many of the most notable, and award-winning films from Rotterdam, Locarno, and Berlin, overlooked. SIFF has chosen to bypass opportunities to program Hu Bo’s astounding debut, "An Elephant Sitting Still", Sergei Loznitsa's documentary and dramas, respectively, "Victory Day" and "A Gentle Creature", a recently unearthed Raúl Ruiz' film from 1990 "The Wandering Soap Opera", Barbet Schroeder's timely documentary, "The Venerable W", Ted Fendt’s "Classical Period", Adina Pintilie's Berlin award-winning "Touch Me Not", Lav Diaz' "Season of the Devil", the newest in a grand series of films by Aleksei German Jr, "Dovlatov", Narimane Mari’s Le Fort des Fous", Huang Hsin-Yao’s "The Great Buddha", Yui Kiyohara's "Our House", Nelson Carlo de Los Santos Arias' much talked about "Cocote", and Philippe Garrel's New Wave-inspired, "Lover for a Day". Also, no sign of "Insect", the purportedly final film by Jan Švankmajer, "Grass" the newest by highly prolific Hong Sang-soo, Locarno award-winner Wang Bing's "Mrs. Fang", Małgorzata Szumowska's "Mug", Ilian Metev's "3/4", Fabrizio Ferraro's "Les Unwanted de Europa", Donal Foreman’s "The Image You Missed", Romanian New Wave mainstay Corneliu Porumboiu’s "Infinite Football", Ere Gowda's "Balekempa", Luise Donschen’s "Casanova Gene", "Transit" from New German Cinema frontman Christian Petzold, ...and lastly, what ever became of Agnieszka Holland's much hailed "Spoor"? We can observe, year in and year out, that Seattle continues to go astray of the high standard of the international festival circuit, embodied by the programming seen in New York, Cannes, Toronto, Vienna, and Venice.

Seattle International Film Festival in the past has existed as a focal point of visionary cinema curatorialship, with the resources, funds and legacy to be a hugely influential institution. One can can adduce from their contents that even San Francisco, Portland, and our neighbors in the north in Vancouver, continue to program festivals of a caliber that SIFF has seemingly un-learned. Yet there remain a handful of legitimate, original, well crafted cinema to be found in here too. Largely culled from the Contemporary World Cinema, Asian Crossroads, Archival Presentations, Midnight Adrenaline, Alternate Cinema, Documentary Films, FutureWave, African Pictures, and China Stars sections. This year I was able to generate an approximate 25 films of interest, curiosity or critical gravitas. These run the spectrum from directors of note, archival restorations and new developing artists. As a consequence the majority of the titles listed below are simply films of interest, rather than essential viewing. Not the least compelling year in recent memory, but not approaching the par established with SIFF's own stellar run spanning the decades of 1987-2007. Nonetheless, I continue to be enthused about their home at the SIFF Cinema Uptown and expanded screens between the recently acquired SIFF Cinema Egyptian and Film Center. Their curation for these year-round venues has exhibited the scope of SIFF, with a visionary course forward for the institution once exemplified in the short-lived Recent Raves series. As the series has been discontinued in the past year, SIFF's venture down this path appears to have come to a conclusion. Note: The list below contains the totality of this year's festival viewing, as well as a set of this month's short-run films at regional arthouse cinemas.

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Thursday, May 3
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7:15 PM - Danièle Huillet & Jean-Marie Straub "The Chronicle of Anna Magdalena Bach"
Northwest Film Forum

https://nwfilmforum.org/films/chronicle-of-anna-magdalena-bach-huillet-straub/

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Friday, May 4
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9:00 PM - Rotanak Oudom Oum & Raw Music International "Cambodian Rock n' Roll: Film, Talk & DJ Party"
Northwest Film Forum

https://nwfilmforum.org/events/cambodian-rock-n-roll-film-talk-dj-party-with-rotanak-oudom-oum-aka-oro/

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Sunday, May 6
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9:00 PM - William Friedkin "The Devil and Father Amorth"
The Grand Illusion Cinema

http://grandillusioncinema.org/

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Thursday, May10
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7:00 PM - Olexa & Francesca ScalisiHalf-life in Fukushima
Northwest Film Forum

https://nwfilmforum.org/films/half-life-in-fukushima-naoto-matsumura-documentary/

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Friday, May 11
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6:30 PM - Masaaki Yuasa “Lu Over the Wall
SIFF Film Center

https://www.siff.net/year-round-cinema/lu-over-the-wall

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Saturday, May 12
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4:30 PM - Chantal Akerman "News From Home"
Northwest Film Forum

https://nwfilmforum.org/films/home-movies-news-home/

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Tuesday, May 15
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7:00 PM - Masaaki YuasaMind Game
The Grand Illusion Cinema

http://grandillusioncinema.org/

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Thursday, May 17
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6:50 PM - Wim Wenders "Pope Francis: A Man of His Word"
AMC Pacific Place 11

https://www.amctheatres.com/movies/pope-francis-a-man-of-his-word-56297/showtimes/amc-pacific-place-11/

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Friday, May 18
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6:00 PM - Simon Chung "I Miss You When I See You"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
IMIS1818

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45053

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Saturday, May 19
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10:00 AM - Rainer Werner Fassbinder "Eight Hours Don’t Make a Day"
SIFF Film Center
EIGH1918

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=44968

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Saturday, May 19
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12:30 PM - Warwick Thornton "Sweet Country"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
SWEE1918

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45381

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Saturday, May 19
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3:45 PM - Mohammad Rasoulof "A Man of Integrity"
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
MANO1918

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45121

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Saturday, May 19
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6:30 PM - Malene Choi "The Return"
AMC Pacific Place 11
THER1918

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45398

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Saturday, May 19
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8:30 PM - Julia Nash  "Industrial Accident: The Story of Wax Trax! Records"
Majestic Bay Cinemas
INDU1918

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45057

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Sunday, May 20
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2:00 PM - Kenji Mizoguchi "Sansho the Bailiff"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
SANS2018

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45320

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Sunday, May 20
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6:45 PM - Sebastian Lelio "Disobedience"
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
DISO2018

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=44956

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Monday, May 21
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7:15 PM - Sara DriverBoom for Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat"
Northwest Film Forum

https://nwfilmforum.org/films/boom-real-late-teenage-years-jean-michel-basquiat/

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Monday, May 21
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8:30 PM - Qaushiq Mukherjee "Garbage"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
GARB2118

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45003

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Tuesday, May 22
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4:00 PM - Rungano Nyoni "I Am Not a Witch"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
IAMN2218

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45051

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Tuesday, May 22
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8:30 PM - Derek Jarman "Edward II"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
EDWA2218

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=44963

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Wednesday, May 23
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4:00 PM - Filipe Matzembacher "Hard Paint"
AMC Pacific Place 11
HARD2318

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45041

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Wednesday, May 23
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9:30 PM  - Shireen Seno "Nervous Translation"
AMC Pacific Place 11
NERV2318

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45162

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Friday, May 25
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6:30 PM - Hirokazu Kore-eda "The Third Murder"
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
THIR2518

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45400

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Saturday, May 26
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7.45 PM - Hong Sang-sooThe Day After
Northwest Film Forum

https://nwfilmforum.org/films/the-day-after-hong-sangsoo-kim-min-hee/

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Saturday, May 26
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9:00 PM - Yang Ya-che "The Bold, The Corrupt, and The Beautiful"
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
BOLD2618

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=44898

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Sunday, May 27
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1:30 PM - Andrei TarkovskyStalker"
The Grand Illusion Cinema

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Sunday, May 27
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6:30 PM - Claire Denis "Let The Sunshine In"
AMC Pacific Place 11
LETT2718

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45095

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Monday, May 28
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6:30 PM  - Luis Bunuel "Belle de Jour"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
BELL2818

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=44877

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Monday, May 28
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9:00 PM - Cai Chengjie "The Widowed Witch"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
WIDO2818

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45444

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Tuesday, May 29
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7:00 PM - Stephen Nomura Schible "Ryuichi Sakamoto: Coda"
AMC Pacific Place 11
RYUI2918

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45316

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Wednesday, May 30
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7:15 PM - Jacques Davila "Qui Trop Embrasse"
Northwest Film Forum

https://nwfilmforum.org/films/qui-trop-embrasse-who-kisses-too-much-jacques-davila-35mm/

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Wednesday, May 30
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9:15 PM - Vivian Qu "Angels Wear White"
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
ANGE3018

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=44856

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Thursday, May 31
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6:45 PM - Sylvia Chang "Love Education"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
LOVE3118

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45108

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Thursday, May 31
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9:30 PM - Shôjirô Nishimi & Guillaume Renard "Mutafukaz"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
MUTA0531

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45680

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Friday, June 01
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11:59 PM - Various / Peter Strickland "The Field Guide to Evil"
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
FIEL0118

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=44991

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Saturday, June 02
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9:00 PM - Lukas Feigelfeld "Hagazussa: A Heathen’s Curse"
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
HAGA0218

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45032

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Sunday, June 03
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2:00 PM - Jean Renoir "Le Crime de Monsieur Lange"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
THEC0318

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45392

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Sunday, June 03
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8:30 PM - Rustam Khamdamov "The Bottomless Bag"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
BOTT0318

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=44901

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Tuesday, June 5
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7:15 PM - Paul Schrader  "First Reformed"
AMC 10

https://www.amctheatres.com/movies/first-reformed-56310/showtimes/amc-seattle-10/

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Thursday, June 07 
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4:00 PM - Marcelo Martinessi "The Heiresses"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
HEIR0718

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45045

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Thursday, June 07
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9:30 PM - Muayad Alaya "The Reports on Sarah and Saleem"
AMC Pacific Place 11
REPO0718

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45292

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Friday, June 08
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5:00 PM - Ari Aster "Hereditary"
AMC Pacific Place 11

https://www.amctheatres.com/movies/hereditary-56106/showtimes/amc-pacific-place-11/

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Friday, June 08
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9:30 PM - Yukun Xin "Wrath of Silence"
AMC Pacific Place 11
WRAT0818

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45455

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Saturday, June 9
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7:00 PM - Matthew Porterfield "Sollers Point"
The Grand Illusion Cinema

http://grandillusioncinema.org/

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Sunday, June 10
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11:15 AM - Bart Layton "American Animals"
AMC Pacific Place 11

https://www.amctheatres.com/movies/american-animals-56272/showtimes/amc-pacific-place-11/

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Sunday, June 10
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2:00 PM - Hu Jia "The Taste of Betel Nut"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
TAST1018

https://myaccount.siff.net/tickets/buy.aspx?fid=350&id=45384

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Sunday, June 10
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7:30 PM - Calin Peter Netzer "Ana, mon Amour"
SIFF Cinema Uptown
ANAM1018



Tuesday, May 1, 2018

Moritz Von Oswald & Strategy at Kremwerk: May 3 | Carla dal Forno & Tess Roby at Kremwerk: May 30


Two preeminent shows bracket the month of May at Kremwerk. The first of them sees electronic artists from the Blackest Ever Black and Italians Do It Better labels in a showcase featuring the minimal synthwave and pop of Carla dal Forno and Tess Roby. Dal Forno's music speaks to a post-punk production quality expressed through its rough-hewn edges, yet there's a timeless, earthly and sensual quality to its stony, rounded forms. Her strength lies in a lack of braggadocio and showmanship, its a music of sensual intimacy, a vantage into a darkly flowing internal electronic songscape. The second night is a more unprecedented affair with the founder of Basic Channel, Chain Reaction, Rhythm & Sound and Berlin's Hard Wax and Dubplates & Mastering institutions. Hailed as the razor-sharp summit of techno's cutting edge in the 1990s, most notably in the pages of The Wire and their March 1998 cover story given over to "The Future Sound of Berlin". Moritz Von Oswald and Mark Ernestus' Basic Channel project stomped out some of the most sublime, bass heavy, grainy, extended and minimalist excursions into minimal techno and post-house ever dedicated to wax. By way of introduction, The Quietus' "The Strange and Frightening World of... Basic Channel", establishes the parameters of their early transmissions, and the mystery of their cryptic and austere aesthetic approach to the visual element and design, which only aided the impenetrable mystery of the productions. Through a near-absolute lack of engagement with any press, Ernestus and Von Oswald created a body of work divorced from the persona of any identifiable producers, a music of deep organic personality, seemingly running on freefall, pursuing it's own oblique and abstract goals. This mystery only recently rectified decades later with Von Oswald's extensive interview "Channeling Rhythm & Sound, Basically", in the July 2009 issue of The Wire. They remain vinyl advocates, and espouse it as the ideal format for their productions; it's inherent distortion, surface noise, and analog warmth lending variance and depth as the stylus passes across the surface of their horizontally progressive technoscapes. Not content at the time with releasing their own music and opening Hard Wax to cater to the growing German scene, they then established their own mastering studio Dubplates & Mastering, set up to ensure a desired dynamic quality for the vinyl and in-house control of the releases. In short time, both becoming mainstays of the scene and ground zero for all high quality cutting and mastering of underground music throughout central Europe.

Basic Channel ceased transmissions in 1995 but were followed by a string of other German variations on the Detroit techno/Jamaican dub themes inspired by their trailblazing work. Biba Kopf's "Underground Resistors" mapping the new territory and artists populating the expanse left in the wake of Basic Channel's initial forays. Among the most notable were the releases issuing from Chain Reaction which released a tide of non-Von Oswald & Ernestus productions, and helped launch the careers of minimal techno producers such as Monolake, Scion, Vladislav Delay, Substance, Vainqueur and Thomas Köner's Porter Ricks project with Andrew Mellwig. While in the throes of Chain Reaction's productive boom, Von Oswald & Ernestus manifest their own next venture into a music more closely aligned with the source of their inspiration; Jamaican dub and reggae. Overtly paying homage to the wellspring of Caribbean music from the 1970s and early 1980s which they revered, the two also established the Basic Replay and relaunched Wackies label to reissue rare and luminary works by the likes of Keith Hudson and Wayne Jarrett. Concurrently with this reissue venture, they marked out their own modern, minimalist territory in the realms of dub and vocal reggae with the initiation of Rhythm & Sound and Burial Mix. These dub and reggae projects gave platform to some of the greatest vocalists in the history of Jamaican music; Sugar Minott, Love Joys, Chosen Brothers, Paul St. Hilaire and Cornell Campbell, all stepped up to the mic to collaborate with the German gentlemen. Ernestus and Von Oswald have since largely gone their separate ways, yet each have continued to express their love of, and debt owed to electro-acoustic improv, jazz, indigenous peoples, afro-soul and rhythm music. Von Oswald with a improvisational trio comprising himself alongside Sasu Ripatti, and Max Loderbauer, as well as a project with long-standing musical collective, Ordo Sakhna devoted to the roots music of Kyrgyzstan. Ernestus' transnational ventures have brought him into the heart of African rhythm music, as the producer and locus of the Dakar-Berlin collaboration, Ndagga Rhythm Force. Their pan-cultural meeting best described by Ernestus himself in his synopsis of Yermande; "Rather than submitting to the routine, discrete gradations of recording, producing and mixing, the music is tangibly permeated with deadly intent from the off. Lethally it plays a coiled, clipped, percussive venom and thumping bass against the soaring, open-throated spirituality of Mbene Seck’s singing. Six chunks of stunning, next-level mbalax, then, funky as anything." Photo credit: Yusaku Aoki