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Also Like Life: The Films of Hou Hsiao-hsien

MARCH 20 - 28, 2015

Co-presented with the Grand Illusion Cinema!
35mm prints!

A striking, singular voice in world cinema, Hou Hsiao-hsien is a leading Taiwanese filmmaking auteur, whose invaluable contributions to the art of cinema range from intricately woven narratives to gracefully empathetic long takes (and achingly beautiful cinematography). This series samples Hou Hsiao-hsien’s remarkable filmography, presenting five films that span fifteen years of his career. 

An international retrospective organized by Richard I. Suchenski (Director, Center for Moving Image Arts at Bard College), in collaboration with the Taipei Cultural Center, the Taiwan Film Institute, and the Ministry of Culture of the Republic of China (Taiwan). The book Hou Hsiao-hsien (Vienna: Österreichisches Filmmuseum and New York: Columbia University Press, 2014) has been released in conjunction with this retrospective.

"this five-film selection reprises the last HHH retro in Seattle, 15 years ago, when the Grand Illusion and Northwest Film Forum were a joint enterprise." —Seattle Weekly, The Pick List

  • Please note, all screenings are held (on different dates) at both Northwest Film Forum and the Grand Illusion Cinema! Please check the calendar for which venue hosts on which date. Tickets sold separately for each venue. Member discounts honored at both organizations!

Full Schedule 

Fri 3/20: A TIME TO LIVE AND A TIME TO DIE @ Grand Illusion Cinema (7PM)
Sat 3/21: DUST IN THE WIND @ Northwest Film Forum (5PM)
Sun 3/22: GOOD MEN, GOOD WOMEN @ Grand Illusion Cinema (5PM)
Mon 3/23: FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI @ Northwest Film Forum (3PM)
Mon 3/23: A TIME TO LIVE AND A TIME TO DIE @ Northwest Film Forum (7PM)
Tues 3/24: DUST IN THE WIND @ Grand Illusion Cinema (7PM)
Weds 3/25: MILLENIUM MAMBO @ Northwest Film Forum (8PM)
Thurs, 3/26: FLOWERS OF SHANGHAI @ Grand Illusion Cinema (7PM)
Fri, 3/27: GOOD MEN, GOOD WOMEN @ Northwest Film Forum (8PM)
Sat, 3/28: MILLENIUM MAMBO @ Grand Illusion Cinema (4:45PM)

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ByDesign 2015

APRIL 10 - 14, 2015

Co-presented with Civilization

ByDesign, our annual architecture and design film festival, returns in a new partnership with Seattle design firm Civilization. This year’s film lineup roves the architectural terrain of tiny houses, the history of typography, the interiors of 1977’s psychic landscapes, a German architecture firm captured through the lens of the late Harun Farocki in one of his last films, and more. 

ByDesign brings together a diversity of people, ideas and creative visions to explore intersections of design and the moving image. The program celebrates artists who combine forms and disciplines to transform our visual culture. Join us for an opening party and array of guest artists and speakers, documentaries, panel discussions that illuminate the roots, currents and future of design in motion.

"not without topical, practical interest in our increasingly congested and expensive city" —Seattle Weekly

"By far, this is the best ByDesign I have ever seen." —Charles Mudede, The Stranger 

Special thanks to our ByDesign partners and supporters including the Office of Arts & Culture, Seattle, Mohawk, Printing Control, Northwest Polite Society, The Vera Project, the Frye Art Museum, ARCADE NW, the Sorrento Hotel, GRAY Magazine, AIGA and Juicebox.


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Avant-garde Cinema from Ex-Yugoslavia: 1950s-80s

MAY 20 - 31, 2015

Rare 16mm and 35mm prints!

A critically important realm of avant-garde cinema has been largely neglected in the US over the years—the wave of films that emerged in the countries of former Yugoslavia. While a handful of filmmakers have penetrated the consciousness of American scholars and cineastes—Dušan Makavejev above all, though Karpo Godina and Želimir Žilnik have begun to make ripples as well—these artists are merely the tip of the iceberg, representing an experimental film movement of extraordinary richness, inventiveness, and uncompromising political engagement. 

To begin to redress the invisibility of these films here in the US, as well as to call attention to some of the important institutions and organizations that are heroically working (in the face of daunting obstacles) to preserve the avant-garde cinema of ex-Yugoslavia, we’ve invited the Slovenian Cinematheque, the Croatian Film Association, and the Academic Film Center, Belgrade, to curate programs showcasing films from their collections. Although even these four programs represent only the most selective of surveys of the Slovenian, Croatian, and Serbian avant-garde movements, the films included here are guaranteed to transform your conception of twentieth-century experimental cinema. 
—Jed Rapfogel, Film Programmer, Anthology Film Archives, New York

Thanks to Jed Rapfogel (Anthology Film Archives) Jurij Meden (Slovenian Cinematheque & George Eastman House), Diana Nenadić (Croatian Film Association), and Miodrag Miša Milošević (Academic Film Center, Student City Cultural Center, Belgrade).

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Red Renewal: Seattle's Socialist Spring

MARCH 18—MAY 1, 2014

Presented in partnership with Town Hall, ARCADE, PubliCola at Seattle Met, Tasveer, DEFA Film Library, Capitol Hill EcoDistrict, the Harry Bridges Center for Labor Studies at the University of Washington and Charles Mudede 

“It was one of those March days when the sun shines hot and the wind blows cold: when it is summer in the light, and winter in the shade.”  —Charles Dickens, Great Expectations

With Red Renewal: Seattle’s Socialist Spring, Northwest Film Forum opened its cinemas for collective contemplation of the 2014 spring fever: sparked by solidarity but marked by uncertainty, as Seattleites debated what the future should hold.  

How will this new season shape the city’s political, economic, and civic landscape? What will happen to workers’ rights and wages, and where will they live in a city gripped by ever sky-rocketing rents? “Is there something in the water in Seattle” that drives the city's labor movement to the forefront of national conversations? Revitalized by newly sown seeds, but a long way off from harvest, this Spring signals a moment ripe for cinematic exploration. 

Winter 2013 in Seattle began with changes of pace, both in the weather and for workers. Hardly a raindrop fell in typically dour November, and clear skies greeted Kshama Sawant on the 15th, when she won an historic victory to become the first socialist elected to Seattle City Council in living memory. Ten days later, Washington voters passed a $15 minimum wage for SeaTac workers.

The year wound down while workers got fed up. One hundred fast food employees and supporters marched 13 miles from SeaTac to Seattle City Hall to advocate for the $15 minimum wage. Machinists battled what (now former) union president Tom Wroblewski called a “piece of crap” benefits-slashing proposal from Boeing. Moved by the machinists’ struggle, Timothy Egan forlornly postulated: "So this is how the middle class dies. Not with a bang, but with a forced [pension] squeeze."  

As 2014 dawned, Sawant decried “the reality of international capitalism” and called for “organized mass movements of workers and young people” to a thousand citizens who packed City Hall for her inauguration. The same week saw the launch of 15 Now, a coalition of community groups and unions, mobilized to make $15 wages a reality first in Seattle, then across the nation. 

On Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, “the sign of a rising tide” marched through the city, with many marchers bearing $15 signs to form “a sea of red” that shone in the sun. Infusing Martin Luther King Jr.’s legacy with the rejuvenated fight for fair wages, former head of Seattle’s Black Panther Party chapter Aaron Dixon declared: “We got the power, we are the 99 percent.” 

During Red Renewal, community groups and citizens from across the city hosted weekly screenings and discussions around films from many countries, eras and perspectives. From canonical propaganda to satirical critique, Red Renewal recasted cinema’s historical encounters with socialist themes in parallel to ongoing conversations about Seattle's economy and politics. 

The shouts and songs of workers, Soviet crocodiles and Slovenian psychoanalysts, Gandhi’s teachings melded with Marx’s writings, a renegade East German and the return of Wilhem Reich, radical labors of love and public spheres—both real and virtual—primed for debate. It all began with a screening and discussion with Kshama Sawant and Charles Mudede at Town Hall on March 18.

"Northwest Film Forum, the city's Mecca of indie movie programming, is bringing a batch of ultra left-wing films to the screen to celebrate (and speculate) about Seattle's recent shift to the left." —PubliCola at Seattle Met 

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