The 47th annual Seattle International Film Festival is the star of the show this week, bringing over 90 features and even more short films to your computer screen (and to the Skyline Drive-In on Friday and Saturday) from now to April 18. (Read reviews and recs from Stranger staffers here if you need help planning a watch list!) Beyond that, you've got the international Oscar nom The Man Who Sold His Skin streaming through Grand Illusion and Grand Cinema, the Melissa McCarthy- and Octavia Spencer-helmed superhero buddy comedy Thunder Force on Netflix, and more. See them all below, and find even more options on our on-demand calendar or our guide to other streaming events this week.
Newly Streaming: Local Connection
The Man Who Sold His Skin
After fleeing the war in his country and landing in Lebanon, a Syrian man lets an artist turn his back into a piece of tattooed art in order to travel with him to an exhibition in Europe, where he plans to reunite with his girlfriend. Kaouther Ben Hania's film is up for an Oscar for Best International Feature.
Grand Illusion & Grand Cinema
This is Your VCR on Drugs
Zone out to surreal short films, phantasmagoric interludes, and acid trips gone wrong in this Scarecrow Video compilation of VHS clips.
Virtual Moving History – Uncle Bob's Neighborhood
The Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound has compiled some archival clips of Seattle's late Filipino activist Bob Santos, known as the unofficial "mayor of Chinatown," during his one-man show at Theatre Off Jackson, where he presents a detailed oral history of his formative years, as well as highlights of his community-organizing career.
Northwest Film Forum
Bicycle Film Festival
The long-running Bicycle Film Festival Northwest will present an international selection of short films whose stories range from cycling as a response to the knife-crime epidemic in London to the first women's BMX sporting event.
47th Seattle International Film Festival 2021
You may not get to bump elbows with visiting filmmakers or shmooze face-to-face with your fellow film aficionados, but the Seattle International Film Festival will indeed go on this year, boasting a virtual program of over 90 features and over 100 short films from around the world. Overwhelmed with options? Check out our top picks.
Newly Streaming: Nationwide
When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify certain faces (those with dark skin and feminine features, specifically), she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms.
Did You Wonder Who Fired the Gun?
With home movies, snapshots, musical interstitials, and original footage of his travels to Alabama, director Travis Wilkerson reckons with his own family’s history of racial violence. One horrifying example: his great-grandfather, a white grocery-store proprietor from Dothan, murdered a Black man in cold blood in 1946 and was never punished for it.
Exterminate All the Brutes
This four-part dramatized docuseries from director Raoul Peck confronts the horrors of European colonialism in America and Africa and its impact on contemporary society.
Set in apartheid-era South Africa, Oliver Hermanus's biographical war drama follows a gay white South African teenager sent to complete his military service at a time when anti-Black and anti-communist fears were at an all-time high.
A group of ladies discovers their supernatural powers in Victorian England in this series from Joss Whedon, who, ironically enough given the show's empowering bent, stepped down from his role as showrunner after being investigated by WarnerMedia over accusations of abusive behavior on the Justice League set, later amplified by accusations from actors he worked with on Buffy the Vampire Slayer.
Lena Waithe and Little Marvin co-parent this anthology horror series about a Black family who moves to an all-white LA neighborhood in the 1950s.
Blockbuster linchpins Melissa McCarthy and Octavia Spencer play best friends whose newfangled superpowers and can-do attitudes render them the perfect candidates to fight evil villains Jason Bateman and Pom Klementieff.
NEW THIS WEEK
Seattle International Film Festival Drive-In Movies
In addition to its extensive virtual programming, the Seattle International Film Festival will screen a couple of films from its Indigenous Showcase at the Skyline Drive-In: Fruits of Labor, which follows a Chicanx teenager's navigation of family life, farm life, and her dreams for the future, and The Song of the Butterflies, about a Uitoto Nation member who returns home to the forests to gain artistic inspiration from his elders' stories.
Skyline Drive-In (Friday only)
Reality gives way to paranoia and madness for a multi-generational group of astronauts—Tye Sheridan, Lily Rose-Depp, and Colin Farrell among them.
Various theaters (starting Friday)
AMC Pacific Place & Admiral Theater
Godzilla vs. Kong
Various theaters and streaming on HBO Max
Various theaters (also streaming on Hulu)
Raya and the Last Dragon
Various theaters (also streaming on Disney+)