Movie theaters are temporarily closed in accordance with new guidelines meant to slow the spread of the coronavirus, but Seattle's stalwart indie theaters are going strong with new movies to stream online each week. We've rounded up the latest options below, from the Seattle Queer Film Festival Encore Series to Shalini Kantayya's documentary Coded Bias, plus some notable nationwide picks, like Steve McQueen's Small Axe: Mangrove on Amazon Prime. For more options, check out our calendar of on-demand movies streaming through local theaters, and our fall guide to online film festivals. Plus, if you haven't heard, The Stranger's amateur porn film festival HUMP! is accepting submissions through January 8, as is the stoner short film fest SPLIFF, through March 5! Plus, don't forget to check out the first installment of The Stranger's Film Club, a new biweekly video series entering Black films with Stranger film experts Jasmyne Keimig and Charles Mudede.
Streaming: Local Connection
28 Weeks Later
If you can bear watching a movie about a deadly virus while you camp out at home to avoid the one that masses of people are currently dying from around the world, join MoPOP for an online watch party of 28 Weeks Later. Picking up where Danny Boyle's 28 Days Later left off, the sequel finds the "rage" virus all but contained, and the U.S. Army slowly allowing London to repopulate. Don (Robert Carlyle), an unlikely survivor of the outbreak, is reunited with his two children, keeping from them the truth about their mother's death. Meanwhile, an army doctor (Rose Byrne) worries that a new outbreak could be imminent.
When MIT Media Lab researcher Joy Buolamwini discovers that most facial-recognition software does not accurately identify certain mugs (those with dark skin and feminine features, specifically), she delves into an investigation of widespread bias in algorithms.
Northwest Film Forum
An unflinching look at the investigative journalists of the Romanian newspaper Gazeta Sporturilor, Collective is a necessary examination of the corruption that can spread unchecked without a robust press to hold it accountable. It takes place following the horrifying fatal 2015 fire at the Collectiv nightclub in Bucharest, Romania. The fire killed 27 people. Widespread government health care fraud, corruption, and greed on all levels would kill 37 more. The film shows footage of the initial fire itself, caused by a pyrotechnic effect that set alight soundproofing foam, and the chaos that ensued. It is a starkly terrible event, which only makes it more horrific that the aftermath saw more preventable death. When the fire was put out, the horror continued for the victims and their families. The focus of the documentary is journalists Cătălin Tolontan, Mirela Neag, and Răzvan Luţac, who head up the team that blows the lid off the entire scandal. It is their reporting that shakes the country to its core. CHASE HUTCHINSON
Northwest Film Forum
Warren Miller's new outdoor film will have you longing for the slopes. This *exclusive* online premiere is available only to West Coast-dwellers and includes red carpet events, coupons, giveaways, and more.
The Twentieth Century
Written and directed by debut Canadian filmmaker Matthew Rankin, this dramedy set in 1899 Toronto portrays a fictionalized version of former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King's rise to power, which teeters on his romantic involvement between a British soldier and a French nurse and his fetishistic obsession with smelling the inside of boots. We've only seen the trailer, but we're gonna check it out solely for the eye-catching, irreverently era-appropriate theatrical set design.
Virtual Moving History – Experimental Entertainment
The Moving Image Preservation of Puget Sound presents the second of two programs highlighting artistic artifacts and obscurities in its archives, including several films by Seattle video artist Doris Chase, a collab between Seattle filmmaker John D. Pai and Malaysian choreographer Mew Chang Tsing, performances from Seattle Mime Theatre and Sally Sykes Group, and selections from the Seattle Channel’s film and video artist showcase program, Seattle Cine-visions.
Northwest Film Forum
HUMP! Greatest Hits, Volume 2
The HUMP! team is bringing back some fan-favorite amateur porn shorts from years past in the second volume of streamable compilations.
Romanian Film Festival
"The Romanian film industry has been producing international festival hits since 2004, and the so-called New Wave filmmakers and their successors have never stopped innovating. This brief but mighty film festival screens movies that range from caustically funny to fearlessly intellectual," wrote former Stranger Arts Calendar Editor Joule Zelman last year. Back for a seventh year, this online edition will pay special attention to films that inspire social change and give hope for life after the pandemic.
Seattle Queer Film Festival Encore Series
If you missed this year's Seattle Queer Film Festival, have no fear: Three Dollar Bill Cinema is rescreening award winners, audience favorites, popular films, and bonus shorts online for three days, including the Ferzan Özpetek's Goddess of Fortune and Gossamer Folds, starring trans actress Alexandra Grey.
Sovereign Festival 2020 - Queer Black Women Film Fest
Poet and songstress Jessica Rycheal, dancer and visual artist Takiyah Ward, and other local Black womxn creators will premiere new work for this online film festival presented by Earth Pearl Collective.
Travessias Brazilian Film Festival
UW Center for Brazilian Studies and curator Emanuella Leite Rodrigues de Moraes will co-present this mini-festival of contemporary women filmmakers from the largest South American country. The films—short, feature-length, animated, documentary, and narrative—explore urgent issues of race, gender, and sexuality.
The Warner Brothers' fraternal namesake, Yakko and Wakko, and their sister, Dot, are back to causing mayhem and ultimately teaching children valuable life lessons in this reboot of the '90s classic, produced this time by Steven Spielberg.
The short life of Jim Belushi, the comedian/actor who found fame on SNL, The Blues Brothers, and in the college romp Animal House (which was filmed in Oregon) before dying of a drug overdose at 33, gets the spotlight in this documentary that serves as a more loving portrayal of the performer against Bob Woodward's contentious 1984 biography.
Between the World and Me
Ta-Nehisi Coates's National Book Award-winning epistolary memoir that expresses the realities of being Black in America, addressed to his teenage son, is getting the HBO treatment following its successful stage run at New York's Apollo Theater. It stars Mahershala Ali, Angela Bassett, Alicia Garza, Oprah Winfrey, and other prominent Black figures bringing Coates's words to life through performance while poetic visuals move the story along.
A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving
Thanks to a change.org petition demanding that A Charlie Brown Thanksgiving and A Charlie Brown Christmas and be aired on broadcast TV (it was slated for Apple TV+ only this year), the beloved Peanuts holiday special will appear commercial-free on PBS, as well as Apple's streaming service.
PBS and Apple TV+
The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air Reunion
Will Smith and the rest of the Banks family are chillin' out, maxin', and relaxin' all cool in the living room of the Bel-Air mansion from the beloved '90s sitcom. Hear the actors reminisce about the good old days.
I Hate Suzie
The life of a former teen pop star turned working actress (played by Dr. Who's Billie Piper) living in the English countryside with her husband and child is turned upside down when intimate photos of her with a lover are leaked online. Facing cruel responses from all sides, she enlists the help of her childhood friend Naomi to help her through. The sharp eight-episode series explores Suzie's experience with various stages of grief.
Holiday Home Makeover with Mr. Christmas
Benjamin Bradley, an interior designer who really loves the yuletide season (he goes by "Mr. Christmas" and has a dog named Ebenezer) brings holiday cheer to those in need of festive furnishings.
This 2016 historical drama/romance from director Jeff Nichols examines the lives of Richard and Mildred Loving, an interracial Virginia couple who were jailed for their marriage, and who won a 1967 Supreme Court case that declared any existing laws prohibiting interracial marriages as unconstitutional.
The Nest begins with Rory and Allison, a couple living a happy life with their children in America. That is until Rory makes an executive decision, with no room for objection, to move the family back to his home country of England. Though Rory believes the move will bring new opportunities for him and his family, he couldn't have made a more ruinous miscalculation. Instead, the move brings repressed tension to the surface, consuming the facade the family has built for themselves. Jude Law plays Rory, an entrepreneur and the insecure patriarch of the O'Hara family. As he shifts from being an outwardly loving father to an insecure, domineering child, Law's alarming performance becomes one of his best. Seeing his mask slip is genuinely terrifying. CHASE HUTCHINSON
The Personal History of David Copperfield
Dev Patel takes a starring role in Scottish director Armando Lannucci's (The Death of Stalin) take on Charles Dickens's David Copperfield, which follows a man's life from childhood to maturity in mid-19th century England.
High-camp horror queen Sarah Paulson plays a woman obsessed with controlling and isolating her paraplegic teen daughter, who flees when she learns of her mom's twisted secrets.
Shawn Mendes: In Wonder
Canadian superstar Shawn Mendes, who came to be via Vine, the TikTok of yore, gets his own documentary courtesy of music video pro Grant Singer. "This doc has it all: shots of him singing acapella in an empty bathroom, an inside look at his writing process in the studio, and even adorable moments with his girlfriend Camila Cabello, from kisses during soundcheck to the time where he muses from the backseat of a car that he’s unsure the songs he writes about her and their relationship could ever do it justice because capturing that special something is like trying to take a picture of the moon with your iPhone," reads a review from Lea Palmieri. If you're a Mendes fan, what more could you ask for?
Small Axe: Mangrove
Steve McQueen, the Oscar-winning director of 12 Years a Slave, is hitting Amazon Prime with an ambitious anthology of five films, released every Friday, that center London’s West Indian community over the course of two decades. The debut feature, Mangrove, tells the true story of the Mangrove Nine, a group of Black British activists arrested at a 1970 protest against racist police harassment.