Weekly Watch List: The Paper Tigers, Translations Film Fest, and More

The Best Movies Streaming and Playing in Seattle Theaters: May 6-12, 2021
May 5, 2021
The Seattle-set kung fu comedy The Paper Tigers is coming to Northwest Film Forum and VOD this Friday (and it's screening IRL at Bellevue's Cinemark Lincoln Square). (Northwest Film Forum)

Whether you need something to carry you through your post-vaxx daze or you want to dip into some new releases over this rainy weekend, you've got options. See them below, from the Seattle Transgender Film Festival to the Brazilian activist biopic Marighella to the Showtime comedy series Ziwe. Plus, if you're feeling spooky, the 2020 edition of The Stranger's horror short-film festival SLAY is now on-demand, and the next iteration is accepting submissions through September 15! For more options, check out our on-demand calendar or our guide to other streaming events this week

Jump to:  Streaming: Local Connection | Film Festivals | Streaming: Nationwide | Playing in Theaters

Newly Streaming: Local Connection

Bazzooka Finale
Danny Denial directs this Seattle-centric "Afropunk apocalyptic web series set in the year 2022" that features an all-Black soundtrack and stars the Black Tones' Eva Walker, local drag duo LÜCHI, and Beverly Crusher's Cozell Wilson. Whether or not you've seen the other episodes, don't miss this one-night-only screening of the final two installments, which will be followed by a Q&A with the cast and a special announcement regarding Bazzooka's future.
Northwest Film Forum
Thursday only

Brazilian actor and journalist Wagner Moura makes his directorial debut with this brutal biopic of the Afro-Brazilian poet and Marxist activist Carlos Marighella, who fought for civil rights during his country's CIA-backed military coup in 1964. It's a pretty timely release considering the rise of right-wing nationalism under Brazil's Trumpian leader Jair Bolsonaro. 
Starting Friday

2021 Sundance Institute Indigenous Short Film Tour
These seven short films of the fiction, documentary, animated, and experimental variety are directed by Indigenous filmmakers and were plucked from the most recent Sundance Film Festival. We're particularly excited to see Candian filmmaker Alisi Telengut's "The Fourfold," which explores Indigenous worldviews from Mongolia and Siberia through hand-crafted dreamscapes that look like moving oil paintings.  
Northwest Film Forum

Troll 2
When the spirit of your dead grandpa tells you not to go to the small town of Nilbog because it is populated by malicious goblins, take his word for it. That's the moral of Claudio Fragasso's 1990 horror Troll 2, which you can stream on Amazon Prime, Apple TV+, or elsewhere for this MoPOP watch-along.
Museum of Pop Culture
Saturday only

Virtual Moving History – Donnie Chin
Inspired by the Black Panther movement, Seattle legend Donnie Chin founded the International District Emergency Center (née Asians for Unity Emergency Squad) in 1968 to make the neighborhood a safer place for Asian Americans by offering free emergency medical services, block watch patrol, and check-ins for those struggling with substance abuse and mental health issues—services city departments failed to provide. This mini-documentary about his life comes courtesy of the Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound. 
Northwest Film Forum
Sunday only

Wet Season
Set in Singapore during monsoon season, this elegantly edited drama follows a Mandarin-language teacher who, while caring for her ailing father, finds kinship with a student abandoned by his parents. 
Grand Illusion
Starting Friday

Film Festivals

HUMP! Greatest Hits - Volume 3
The HUMP! team is bringing back some fan-favorite amateur porn shorts from 2015-2018 in the third volume of streamable compilations.

SLAY 2020
The 2020 edition of The Stranger's own amateur horror short-film festival is available to watch any time you need a thrill and a chill. 

Translations: Seattle Transgender Film Festival
Did you know Seattle is home to the world's largest trans film festival? Launched in 2006 by Three Dollar Bill Cinema, the fest will be presented in an online format this year, featuring films like Cássio Pereira dos Santos's Valentina (Brazil) and Kay Nguyen's Drama Queen (Vietnam), along with a few blocks of shorts. The Stranger's Jasmyne Keimig also recommends Always Amber (Sweden), about a teen navigating friendship and identity.
Three Dollar Bill Cinema 

Newly Streaming: Nationwide

Girls5eva: Season 1
Busy Phillips, Paula Pell, Sara Bareilles, and Renée Elise Goldsbury look like they're having a great time playing the members of a one-hit-wonder '90s pop group who reunite after their song gets sampled by a young rapper. 

Mythic Quest: Season 2
Fans of single-shot comedies (à la The Office) should queue up this under-the-radar workplace comedy about the quirky employees of a video game company.
Apple TV+
Starting Friday

Shrill: Season 3
Annie Easton returns as a fictionalized version of former Stranger writer Lindy West in the final season of this Portland-set comedy series, which picks up right after she has dumped her unworthy boyfriend.
Starting Friday

TCM Classic Film Festival
The Turner Classic Movies Film Festival is a good excuse to watch the films on your list that everyone and their mother has seen but that you've secretly never gotten around to watching. Opening with West Side Story (followed by a conversation between Ben Mankiewicz and Ava DuVernay and other fun Q&As), the four-day streaming fest will see famous directors introducing their most iconic movies (like Rob Reinier with Misery and Martin Scorsese with Goodfellas).

Ziwe: Season 1
If you're a fan of internet sensation Ziwe's Instagram Live series wherein she grills white celebrities like Alison Roman about Black history and culture, you'll be happy to know that the comedian and musician (don't sleep on "Make it Clap for Democracy" and "Ponderosa Omarosa" off her EP Generation Ziwe) has landed her own show filled with musical numbers, interviews, and sketches that challenge America’s discomfort with race and politics. Other beloved internet-bred comics like Bowen Yang, Patti Harrison, Julio Torres, and Cole Escola make cameos.
Starting Sunday

In-Person Screenings


BECU Drive-in Movies at Marymoor Park
For the last 17 years or so, Marymoor Park has been one of Seattle's hottest destinations for outdoor movie viewing. While you won't be able to set up on the grass this year, BECU will keep the tradition going by turning to a drive-in model for the second year, screening classic flicks like Zootopia (Thurs May 6), Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (Tues May 11), Jurassic World (Wed May 12) and more of the like on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights in April. Food trucks will be onsite, too.
Marymoor Park
Thursday & Tuesday-Wednesday

The Human Factor
In his follow-up to The Gatekeepers, Israeli director Dror Moreh traces the 30-year history of US presidents' and statesmans' attempts to broker a peacemaking deal between Yasser Arafat and Israel's revolving door of political leaders.
AMC 10

The Paper Tigers
Here are two things I love rolled into one: kung fu and Seattle. (And, yes, I really do love the former despite its dearth of good architecture.) The work that brings these two together is the movie The Paper Tigers. Directed and written by Tran Quoc Bao, the film, which is set in Seattle, and features aspects of the 206 in numerous shots, has at its core the key (if not defining) kung fu narrative logic expressed by a line that has been dubbed a million times: "You killed my master, so I'm going to kill you." In Bao's story, there is a master, and this master is killed by some great force of evil, and the students of the master must avenge the murder. But there is just one catch in The Paper Tiger: the students, three in all, are no longer young. They have to fight with forgotten skills and worn bodies. The Paper Tiger is also a comedy. CHARLES MUDEDE
Cinemark Lincoln Square (and streaming via Northwest Film Forum and VOD)
Starting Friday

A young mother dies and becomes a goblin (maybe?) who haunts her husband and child's brownstone.
Various theaters

Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World
Back when it came out in 2010, Erik Henriksen called Scott Pilgrim vs. the World "an earnest, heady, hilarious mashup of comics, videogames, and music, with doses of the confusion, enthusiasm, and melancholy that're embedded in the DNA of every twentysomething." It's weird that it's been out for 10 years, which is the reason for all these screenings.  
Multiple theaters

The Truffle Hunters
Verdant forests, delectable subterranean ascomycete fungi, and many breeds of dogs pervade this documentary about truffle hunting in Northern Italy. The trailer alone has us feeling positively whimsical. 
AMC 10


Demon Slayer: Mugen Train
Various theaters

Mortal Kombat
Various theaters and streaming on HBO Max 

The Father
Grand Cinema - Tacoma

Godzilla vs. Kong
Various theaters and streaming on HBO Max

Grand Cinema - Tacoma 

Regal Meridian

Grand Cinema - Tacoma (also streaming on Hulu)

Psycho Goreman
Grand Cinema - Tacoma

Raya and the Last Dragon
AMC Pacific Place & Landmark Crest - Shoreline (also streaming on Disney+)

Street Gang: How We Got to Sesame Street
Grand Cinema - Tacoma

Together Together
Various theaters