This weekend is the perfect time to catch up on some queer cinema—you still have time to catch Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community, and Abel Ferrara's biopic of the gay filmmaker Pasolini will start screening Friday. Alternatively choose from artsy or happy-go-lucky new releases like the Beatles-scored comedy Yesterday and the Iranian dissident filmmaker Jafar Panahi's 3 Faces, or revisit the badass fire-and-truck ballet Mad Max: Fury Road. Follow the links below to see complete showtimes, tickets, and trailers for all of our critics' picks. If you're looking for even more options, check out our film events calendar and complete movie times listings, and don't forget to see where outdoor movies are playing.
Note: Movies play Thursday–Sunday unless otherwise noted
Dissident director Jafar Panahi has been persecuted and jailed in Iran, and banned from making films or traveling abroad. Since then, he has produced several unauthorized films, sometimes having to smuggle them out of the country. In 3 Faces, he stars with actress Behnaz Jafari, each playing a version of themselves in this fictional story that finds them lured to a rural village after receiving a disturbing video from a young woman. The film is shot in Panahi’s neorealist style, with long, meditative scenes of everyday interactions and naturalist dialogue. But throughout, the themes of how Iranian culture sees “entertainers,” the subjugation and harassment of women, and the hardships and persistence of the old ways of thinking are revealed. The film won an award for best screenplay at the Cannes Film Festival. GILLIAN ANDERSON
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Aperture 2019: Student Film Showcase
Watch new films by the students of the local queer/POC-positive film program Blanket Fort.
Northwest Film Forum
Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community
In the wee hours of June 28, 1969, NYC police raided a Greenwich Village gay bar called Stonewall Inn, which led to three nights of rioting and ultimately initiated the modern gay and lesbian liberation movement. Originally released in 1984, Before Stonewall: The Making of a Gay and Lesbian Community offered a decade-by-decade history of homosexuality in America leading up to the charged moment with archival footage and interviews with pioneering cultural figures and activists who experienced the closeted history firsthand, many of whom have since passed—Audre Lorde, Allen Ginsberg, Richard Bruce Nugent, and Barbara Gittings among them. While it may seem like ancient history, LGBTQ Americans are still fighting for equality, whether it’s in the bathroom or a wedding cake shop, which makes the theatrical rerelease of a newly restored edition of the doc (which is screening at NWFF in conjunction with Seattle Pride) feel more relevant than ever. LEILANI POLK
Northwest Film Forum
The Biggest Little Farm
Skeptics might wonder whether a 90-minute documentary on farming is better used as insomnia remedy than a night out at the movies, but John Chester's gorgeous film has been snatching up audience choice and best film awards all over the place. He and his wife, Molly, spent eight years striving to create a farm in California that was perfectly in accord with nature—despite drought, poor soil, and wildfires. Ultimately, they have to accept that they're not in control of nature and life. Come for the lovely footage of wildlife and farm animals, stay for the inspiration to fight for sustainability.
Ark Lodge Cinemas & Crest (Shoreline)
Booksmart is about Molly and Amy (Beanie Feldstein and Kaitlyn Dever), two accomplished girls who are currently enjoying their final day of high school—and realizing that they've alienated all of their peers by focusing only on school and each other. When Molly decides the pair needs a party experience before graduation, it kicks off an epic night of social awkwardness, attempted hook-ups, accidental drug use, and inescapable theatre kids. The love-you-to-death friendship between Molly and Amy is the heart of director Olivia Wilde's movie, and major credit is due to Dever and Feldstein for crushing that chemistry. They’re lifted up by a brilliant supporting cast of fellow teen misfits (including Billie Lourd, who steals every scene she barreled through) and fuckup grownups (Jason Sudeikis, Jessica Williams, and Mike O’Brien) who round out a laugh-inducing, cry-inducing, and utterly relatable high-school universe that I wanted to inhabit and also gave me PTSD. ELINOR JONES
What you need to know is that Captain Marvel is a Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, and MCU movies are generally good-to-excellent, and Captain Marvel is no different. It is an all-around successful comic book movie, like the 5,000 MCU movies that came before it. “But wait,” you say. “It is different. Aren’t you going to mention… [points at boobs, from one to the other, back and forth, maintaining eye contact, making things weird]?” Ugh, FINE. I'll say it. Yes, Carol is a woman, and this is the first Marvel movie centered on a woman. I’ve really enjoyed my Bruce Bannerses and Steve Rogerses, but I liked my Carol Danvers even more. It was great to see someone who looked like me straight-up destroy alien bad guys. ELINOR JONES
Cephalopod Movie Night with Science Friday
Celebrate cephalopods (that's squid, octopus, nautilus, and other mollusk-related species) and the scientists who study them by seeing four original short films from public radio show Science Friday.
Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute
Chucky the satanic killer doll is reimagined as a high-tech monster voiced by Mark Hamill in this entertaining-sounding reboot, starring Aubrey Plaza as an increasingly stressed (and perhaps ill-fated) single mom. It will definitely not be for all tastes, but horror fans with a taste for fun trash and consumerism satires should be pleased with this alternative to Toy Story 4.
Cuddle: The Series
Binge-watch the first season of Cuddle, a new Seattle-made, women-led original comedy series about a professional "cuddle therapist" and her search for human connection. The cast and filmmakers will be in attendance.
Northwest Film Forum
The Dead Don't Die
I loved The Dead Don’t Die, despite the wafts of disapproval that—at least at the old-man-filled critics’ screening I attended—threatened to stink up the whole theater. Will you love The Dead Don’t Die? Well, that depends—on if you’re expecting another srs bsns drama like Only Lovers Left Alive, on if you share Jarmusch’s deadpan sense of humor, on if you like the gaggle of art-house stars who’ve come together to screw around: Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, Steve Buscemi, Tom Waits, Chloë Sevigny. Through this whole thing, great actors lurch in and out of frame, each hilariously straight-faced as (1) zombies tear open the edible townsfolk of Centerville, and (2) Jarmusch cracks joke after joke. The Dead Don’t Die is what it is: an excuse for Jarmusch to round up his friends and have fun. ERIK HENRIKSEN
District 9 begins with a broken spaceship full of shit-covered, malnourished aliens as it appears over Johannesburg, South Africa. Initially the aliens are moved into a refugee camp, but years later, the government, working with MNU, a multinational arms manufacturer, decides to relocate the aliens—disparagingly referred to as "prawns" for their crustacean-like appearance—to a new camp outside of Johannesburg. MNU desk jockey Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) gets drafted to lead the relocation effort and, while serving eviction notices in the camp, comes down with a nasty alien virus, which begins turning him into a "prawn." Things only get worse from there. Whoever bankrolled District 9 is either a brilliant madman (or woman) or is trying to get fired. District 9 is violent (vaporizations abound), it's subtitled (even though almost everyone speaks English in a thick South African warble), and it's an
allegorical exploration of apartheid and xenophobia (with crazy robot suits!). JONAH SPANGENTHAL-LEE
Do the Right Thing
One of the best scenes in one of the best movies of the remarkable year 1989, Do the Right Thing, concerns something we are now very familiar with, gentrification. Set on a hot summer day in Brooklyn, the scene goes like this: Black Buggin Out (played by Giancarlo Esposito) gets accidentally run into by white Clifton (played by John Savage), who is wearing a Larry Bird top and leaves a mark on Buggin Out’s brand-new white Air Jordans. Buggin Out: “Who told you to step on my sneakers? Who told you to walk on my side of the block? Who told you to be in my neighborhood?” Clifton: “I own this brownstone.” Buggin Out: “Who told you to buy a brownstone on my block, in my neighborhood, on my side of the street? Yo, what you wanna live in a Black neighborhood for, anyway? Man, motherfuck gentrification.” Then Buggin Out asks: “Why don’t you move back to Massachusetts?” Clifton: “I was born in Brooklyn!” CHARLES MUDEDE
AMC Pacific Place
Gay Camp Classics
What better time to revisit campy gay short films from the '60s, presented by Scarecrow and Something Weird, than during Pride Week? What Really Happened to Baby Jane ("a spirited reimagining of the Crawford/Davis classic"), Always on Sunday (a boring bar turns abruptly fabulous), and Spy on the Fly (in which Agent 0069’s goes after Fonda Peters) were made by the Gay Girls Riding Club. DJ Risk Management will open the event with some tunes.
Hunt for the Wilderpeople
Sure, Hunt for the Wilderpeople’s scope is small, but it gives you everything you could want from a movie: It’s smart, emotional, and even a bit action-packed once Ricky and Hec embark on an unplanned adventure in the forest. But most of all, it’s funny. So, so funny. Wilderpeople is a hugely loveable movie that’s suitable for date night or the whole family, and I know that sounds like a hacky movie poster blurb. But when a movie’s this good, it’s tough to avoid clichés, so I’ll leave you with another: Don’t miss it. NED LANNAMANN
John Wick: Chapter 3–Parabellum
John Wick: Chapter 3—Parabellum opens this weekend, cementing the bizarre fact that the ultraviolent, relatively low-fi action flick that was 2014's John Wick has grown into a massive, full-on, crowd-pleasing franchise. Hinted at in the first film, but expanded in the sequels, there's now a strange, remarkably thorough (if remarkably confusing) mythology that accompanies all of John Wick's righteous headshots, featuring secret societies of assassins, ancient and baroque codes of conduct, and really nice mansions (to shoot people in). Sure, the bread and butter of any John Wick movie is its skull-splitting, blood-splattering action scenes—filmed here, as inventively, exhilaratingly, and wince-inducingly as ever, by stuntman-turned-director Chad Stahelski—but nearly as interesting, it turns out, is the fantastical world John Wick skulks around in between his massacres. Plenty of action movies have shoot-outs; not many have Angelica Houston sneering, "Life is suffering, life is pain" as she rules over some very driven ballerinas. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Knife+Heart (Un couteau dans le coeur ), a new giallo*-inspired French outing from director Yann Gonzalez, was one of my favorite offerings at this year's Seattle International Film Festival, and Grand Illusion Cinema is bringing it back just in time for Pride. Its plot—not its most important attribute—is pretty simple: A masked killer is on the loose. He's murdering young gay porn actors. Vanessa Paradis stars as a porn producer named Anne, who keeps losing actors to the murderer. Anne decides her actors' murders are good publicity. She makes a porno about their deaths, an exploitative masterpiece cleverly titled Homocidal. But Anne is mostly preoccupied by the dramatic love affair she's carrying on with her editor, Lois. Like a good giallo, Knife+Heart's mood is often more important than its plot or character development. And the aesthetics are memorable: The killer uses a dildo with a hidden switchblade knife. There are artisanal leather murder masks. Decadently glittery gloves. Cabaret scenes featuring sluts in bear costumes. CHASE BURNS
[*Ed. note: Giallo: a subgenre of Italian horror film from the '60s–80s that emphasized flamboyant style over bloody substance].
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Inspired by a true story, The Last Black Man in San Francisco is about the city’s rapid gentrification and those crazy looks white folks give Black and brown people for daring to feel at home in their own neighborhoods. It centers on carpenter Jimmie Fails, who becomes obsessed with his massive childhood home in the city and sets out on a mission to buy it. These days, it’s going for a cool $4 million. Fails plays a fictionalized version of himself in the film, which he cowrote with his best friend, director Joe Talbot. Almost right off, there are hints the film was directed by a white person. In this San Francisco, white neighbors don’t call the cops, but rather use the threat of calling the cops as a weapon in order to get Black people to scram. A breath of fresh air: There’s no romantic subplot or “classic” nuclear family. Instead, the film’s emotions stem from Jimmie’s fixation on his childhood home, his friendship with the autistic aspiring playwright Montgomery, and his complicated relationship with his city. But after finishing the film, I was left with questions about these characters’ lives: How does Jimmie find time to make money? Where do these Black San Franciscans get their food? It adds another level of too-smooth glaze to the film to never see its main characters working or doing any other life stuff. JENNI MOORE
SIFF Cinema Uptown & AMC Seattle 10
It’s 2019, and there are still no female late-night television hosts. In many respects, this isn’t surprising. But thankfully we have writers like Mindy Kaling to flesh out a world in which there’s one who has existed for 20 years. In Late Night, Kaling plays Molly Patel, a “diversity hire” in the writers room of Emma Thompson’s intimidating (and secretly delightful) Katherine Newbury, a legendary late-night host who’s on the verge of being fired unless she changes up her act. This R-rated comedy doesn’t break the mold, but it is still a fun and engaging watch. JASMYNE KEIMIG
Thankfully, Long Shot isn't another addition to the mid-2000s family of comedies where dude-bros are nagged to death into loving beautiful women. It’s maybe... 10 percent that. The other 90 percent is a reverse Pretty Woman, including lots of making out, amazing outfits, and yes, Roxette. Rogen is fully competent as a funny schlub, and Theron destroys as a secretary of state and presidential hopeful, and the two of them together are—I know, this is weird—charming as hell, and their relationship totally works. While the film’s final act gets a bit schmaltzy (it's way more rom than com), the overall experience is wonderful. I’ll never question a neckbeard’s value ever again. ELINOR JONES
Mad Max: Fury Road
When this film came out in May of 2015, I called it the greatest film of its kind ever made. The only thing time has done to alter that assessment is make me wonder if maybe “of its kind” was unnecessarily equivocal. Now, George Miller’s mega-masterpiece of style as substance is presented in a black-and-white print (which Miller says is how he truly envisioned the film) that promises a whole new way of seeing the miracle of its kineticism. SEAN NELSON
Mickey O’Rourke presides over this anthology outing, playing a projectionist who screens films that mirror the spectators’ innermost fears inside a rundown cinema. Horror anthologies can be fun (see V/H/S and the Masters of Horror series), but always run the risk of unevenness and overlength. This time around, you’re in for stories set in a cabin in the woods, a Los Angeles cosmetic surgery office, a demon-infested Catholic school, and a woman’s deteriorating reality. JOULE ZELMAN
SIFF Film Center
Starring Juliette Binoche and Guillaume Canet, Non-Fiction tells the story of a Parisian writer who blurs the line between fact and fiction by drawing on his real-life love affairs in his incendiary new novel, setting off a chain reaction in his social circle. This flirty, chatty, smart comedy is French and bohemian as hell: Everyone is cheating on each other, having a midlife crisis, expounding on the nature of romantic relationships, and voicing loud opinions about technology. But Non-Fiction feels like breezy, seductive, European fun. So much so, you’ll need a cigarette afterward. JASMYNE KEIMIG
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Watch a ridiculous Franco-Belgian-Spanish coproduction from 1984 about ecoterrorist kidnappers and the black leather-clad badasses who try to stop them from taking over the world. Courtesy of the VHS fiends at Grand Illusion.
Paris to Pittsburgh
This documentary reveals how cities around the world are grappling with the problem of climate change in the wake of Trump's decision to leave the Paris agreement.
Prospect Congregational Church
Abel Ferrara is the biopic-maker behind Welcome to New York, as well as well-known older films like Bad Lieutenant. He casts his frequent collaborator Willem Dafoe as the notorious gay Marxist Italian filmmaker Pier Paolo Pasolini, most famous for Mamma Roma, Medea, and the horrifying Saló. In Ferrara's film, Pasolini nears the day of his untimely (and mysterious) death. Pasolini's longtime lover and star Ninetto Davoli co-stars as Epifanio, while Riccardo Scamarcio plays Ninetto Davoli.
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure
So many ’80s movies don’t hold up on further investigation, but Pee-wee’s Big Adventure improves with each passing year. Somehow, Paul Reubens made a perfect road movie composed entirely of quotable, memorable moments. You can study this movie, monklike, for decades and find new moments of sublime beauty every time; I defy you not to laugh when Pee-wee makes his ride off into the sunset after performing his “Tequila” dance. That shit gets me every time. ADRIAN RYAN
The studio bills this as “a musical fantasy about the uncensored human story of Elton John's breakthrough years,” starring Taron Egerton, Bryce Dallas Howard, and Richard Madden. The critics are happy so far with this non-literal biopic, praising director Dexter Fletcher's "dazzling cinematic inventiveness" (Rolling Stone) and "fan service of an especially and characteristically generous kind" (The New York Times). A notable exception is Morgan Troper of our sister paper, The Portland Mercury, who writes: "Rocketman doesn’t only presuppose that its audience doesn’t know about Elton John’s music, it assumes they wouldn’t even care. The result is insulting not only to the intelligence and taste of moviegoers, but to Elton John’s legacy as a songwriter, showman, and immensely significant queer idol."
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World
Catherine Bainbridge’s important documentary traces the impact that Native American musicians have made on blues, rock, jazz, hiphop, and heavy metal. Using Link Wray’s menacing 1958 instrumental “Rumble” as its anchor (akin to Do the Right Thing’s use of Public Enemy’s “Fight the Power”), Bainbridge relates stories of several influential, distinctive performers, including the Band’s Robbie Robertson, activist folkie Buffy Sainte-Marie, Mildred Bailey, Charley Patton, and a cat named Jimi Hendrix. Rumble asserts the primacy and resiliency of Native culture despite the government’s concerted efforts to suppress and erase it. DAVE SEGAL
Seattle Public Library, Ballard Branch
Stop Making Sense
Revisit one of the greatest concert films of all time, Jonathan Demme's immortalization of the Talking Heads on their Speaking in Tongues tour with P-Funk’s Bernie Worrell and Lynn Mabry. It's weird, exultant, funny, showy, trancy, and full of amazing tunes like "Psycho Killer," "Once in a Lifetime," "Take Me to the River," and more.
SIFF Cinema Uptown
Toy Story 4
How can Pixar continue a peerless run, without turning on autopilot or trumpeting the same themes in movie after movie? The Toy Story franchise is the best example of how Pixar has avoided those pitfalls. Each is about the adventures of a gaggle of charming kids’ playthings, but as the franchise has carried on, the ideas underpinning those high jinks have gotten richer and darker. By Toy Story 3, the first Toy Story's simple message of tolerance became, in part, an exploration of accepting death. The fourth installment eases up a bit, with a much simpler theme of not being afraid to grow up. That’s the challenge facing Bonnie, the little girl who was gifted all of these toys. But with a little help from Woody, she makes a new friend: Forky, a spork with glued-on googly eyes, popsicle sticks for feet, and a pipe cleaner for arms. This strange crafts project becomes Bonnie’s new favorite plaything—which means Woody must protect and mentor this bundle of nervous energy, which only wants to return to the trash from whence it came. ROBERT HAM
3D showtimes here.
2D IMAX showtimes here.
The latest from director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire),Yesterday is about a musician, Jack, who, after a freak bus accident during a mysterious global blackout, wakes up to a world where the Beatles never existed (but Ed Sheeran—who plays himself—does?). Jack remembers the Fab Four, however, and finds rocketing fame and fortune (and a sense of dwindling creative self-worth) performing their songs as if they were his own. LEILANI POLK
You and the Night
Along with Yann Gonzalez's Knife+Heart, the Grand Illusion is screening his 2013 feature, a surreal paean to rich '60s hues and classic sex romps. The Stud, the Slut, the Teen, and the Star converge at a swanky apartment to play around at a sex party thrown by a mysterious throuple. The French newspaper Le Monde called it "a bubble of dream and unbridled poetry." Like Gonzalez's new feature, You and the Night features a dreamy score by M83.
Our critics don't recommend these films, but you might be interested in them anyway.