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Dystopia on Our Doorstep

From global political cacophony to record-breakingly grim milestones in climate change, to the sharpest increase in U.S. murders since 1971, due in no small part to police brutality against black men, 2016 has been a year rife with tumult and tinged, some may contend, with a tenor of the edge-of-the-apocalypse. As the year draws to a close, Dystopia on Our Doorstep (DOOD) contemplates the proximity of the dystopic future typically seen in science fiction to daily experiences with the digital deluges, ruptured nation-states and harsh environmental conditions (both climate and economic) in many modern lives. Each DOOD film delves into a distinct facet of dystopia: singularity and self-delusion in the snapchat era (Uncle Kent 2), the surreal conditions of post-apocalyptic romance in Ethiopia (Crumbs), the ruinous beauty of hidden places scattered across the world, already abandoned by humans (Homo Sapiens), the postmodern proletariat struggle of a pig and his pals (Babe: Pig in the City), and surveillance and conspiracy brewing deep in the remote forests of Maine (For the Plasma).

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Gianfranco Rosi Retrospective

 

Northwest Film Forum is proud to present the first Seattle retrospective of the work of Gianfranco Rosi. Throughout his career, the Italian director, cinematographer, producer and screenwriter has pushed the boundaries of the documentary form. His 2013 film Sacro GRA, which depicts life along the ring-road highway that circles Rome, became the first documentary to win the Golden Lion at the Venice International Film Festival, during the festival’s 70th edition. This year, Fire at Sea (2016), which centers on a young boy living on a Sicilian island that has become the entry point for migrants seeking refuge in Europe, won the Golden Bear at the 66th Berlin International Film Festival and has been put forward as Italy’s foreign language film submission and a candidate for Best Documentary for the Academy Awards.The themes and settings of his films range from a portrait of life and death on the Ganges River, to a chronicle of the outcasts and bohemians who inhabit a California shanty town, to an exploration of the vagrants, gravediggers and others living on the fringes of Rome. Rosi’s films do not attempt to inform the audience, but rather to affect them on a deeper, more intuitive level. He has said, “I want to make something that somehow transforms the reality into something else. It becomes like a suspension of elements, where the audience has to start to interact with their own knowledge of things. Or maybe with their own emotional understanding of things, and then create their own world.” Rosi often spends years shooting his films, developing intensely intimate relationships with his subjects, and chronicling these through layered narratives and visual metaphors that examine the lived experiences of people through deeply political and distinctively artistic means. 

 

Gianfranco Rosi was born in Eritrea in 1964. He studied at New York University Film School and currently lives and works in Manhattan. 

 

Boatman (1993, doc), Afterwords (2001, short, co-dir), Below Sea Level (2008, doc) Sacro GRA (2013, doc), Fire at Sea (2016, doc).

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Veracity: New Documentary Cinema

 
The proliferation of documentaries in the 21st century is no surprise, given the radically shifting nature of the world we live in today; our grasp on the “real” is constituted loosely at best. An emerging breed of nonfiction filmmaking finds the genre expanding in exciting, adventurous, and unforeseen ways, not merely reporting on subjects but interrogating the very form’s capacity to reflect and render some semblance of truth. This series of documentary films, culled from across the globe, explores the adaptive strategies of the medium, co-mingling fact and fiction, and giving expression to Andre Bazin’s dictum that every film is, in essence, a factual hallucination.
 
            - Curator Jay Kuehner

Jay Kuehner is a freelance writer, instructor, and programmer who contributes regularly to the Canadian quarterly Cinema Scope and the online cinema site Fandor. He has also contributed to Film Comment, IndieWire, Senses of Cinema, and Sight and Sound’s decade poll. He curated Pulsos Latinos: Films from the Frontier of Latin American Cinema at Northwest Film Forum, where he has also taught classes on the history of Documentary film and New Century Cinema.

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Three Wisemen

 
A rare 35mm trio of Frederick Wiseman's early films!
 
Over the past six decades, documentarian Frederick Wiseman has captured an abundance of American institutions on film. From police precincts to public parks, Wiseman's observational approach illuminate the places that shape American ways of life in stunning depth and detail. Through an arrangement with the Library of Congress National Audio-Visual Conservation Center, three of Frederick Wiseman’s earliest and most popular documentaries have been preserved in 35mm from original camera negatives in the Zipporah Films collection. This November, the Grand Illusion Cinema and Northwest Film Forum present Titicut Follies, High School, and Hospital on film.
 
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Titicut Follies will screen at the Film Forum; High School and Hospital will screen at the Grand Illusion.
 
Grand Illusion members will receive the Film Forum member discount at Titicut Follies, and Film Forum members will receive the Grand Illusion member discount at High School and Hospital.
 
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For more information on the films and Frederick Wiseman, visit www.zipporah.com.

 

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Earshot Jazz Films

 

Once again Northwest Film Forum partners with Earshot Jazz to present excellent films about the art of jazz. Join us on October 26th & November 4th for screenings.

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Industry Events

 

Northwest Film Forum hosts networking events and visits from industry professionals to support our local community of artists and media makers. 

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VOD IRL

 

VOD IRL is a series of video-on-demand screenings produced in the movie theater, with filmmakers and special guests in attendance. As audiences continue to migrate online, VOD IRL represents an experiment in creative adaptation to a changing industry.

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