The Best Movies to Stream in Seattle This Weekend: September 24-27, 2020

The Noir Thriller Native Son, Five Alejandro Jodorowsky Films, Enola Holmes on Netflix, and More Top Picks
September 23, 2020
A scandal when it was first released in 1973, Alejandro Jodorowsky's prototypical midnight movie The Holy Mountain is a follow-up to El Topo. Both films are screening through Grand Illusion this weekend, along with three others by the Chilean French filmmaker. (ABKCO Films)

Those averse to splashing around in puddles will agree that watching movies is the perfect activity this rainy weekend. Here are all your options screening through local theaters, including five (five) psychedelic films from French Chilean director Alejandro Jodorowsky (including the infamous Holy Mountain) courtesy of Grand Illusion, and other notable picks streaming through national platforms, like the season 11 premiere of The Great British Baking Show. Longing for the big(ger) screen? Check out our guide to drive-in movie theaters in the Seattle area this week (Rocky Horror Picture Show, anyone?), or check out our calendar of on-demand movies streaming through local theaters and our fall guide to online film festivals.


Jump to: New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses | New & Noteworthy: Nationwide | Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week


New & Noteworthy: Supporting Seattle Businesses

15th Annual Hump Film Fest - Encore Presentation
Our colleagues, the creators of HUMP!, were crushed to cancel their originally planned fall tour. But after receiving enthusiastic support and permission from the filmmakers to show their films online, they knew that the show must go on! Even if we can’t watch together in movie theaters, we can still watch the 16 sexy short films, curated by Dan Savage, in the privacy and safety of our homes. Dan will introduce the show and then take you straight to the great dirty movies that showcase an amazing range of shapes, colors, sexualities, kinks, and fetishes!
Available via The Stranger
Saturday only

The Artist's Wife
Once a promising painter but now resigned to life in the Hamptons as the wife of a celebrated artist, Claire (Lena Olin) struggles with her life's purpose for the first time in a long time as her husband sinks into dementia while preparing for his final show.
Available via Grand Cinema
Opening Friday

Dead
Take Bruce Willis's character in The Sixth Sense and replace him with a recently dead wannabe super-cop, then replace M. Night Shyamalan with New Zealand director Hayden J Weal, then replace Haley Joel Osment with a dude who can talk to ghosts when he's stoned, and you've got this spooky and silly comedy.
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

El Topo
This psychedelic western from Chilean French filmmaker (and puppeteer and spiritual guru, among other things) Alejandro Jodorowsky won the approval of John Lennon and Yoko Ono for its "surreal, bizarre, and visceral imagery." Taking some base cues from the spaghetti westerns of the day, the film uses an unlikely genre to explore one gunslinger's path to mysticism and enlightenment.
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

Fando y Lis
Filmed using a one-page script adapted from Fernando Arrabel's avant-garde stage play, Alejandro Jodorowsky's newly restored 1968 film is about two people who seek the legendary fabled city of Tar, where one of them, Lis, who has endured a life of torment, hopes to be cured of her disability.
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

A Gabrielle Tesfaye Double-Feature
Wa Na Wari and the Sankofa Film Society present two back-to-back films by first-generation Ethiopian American filmmaker Gabrielle Tesfaye: The Water Will Carry Us Home, a stop-motion feature about Africans who, after being stolen from their home, are thrown off a slave ship while sailing through the Middle Passage, and My Love, Ethiopia, set during a time of political tyranny during the Red Terror war in 1970's Ethiopia. Stay on Zoom after the films for a talkback with the director.
Available via Wa Na Wari
Friday only

The Holy Mountain
Alejandro Jodorowsky's prototypical midnight movie, which was a scandal when it was first released in 1973, is a follow-up to El Topo, and concerns a pilgrimage made by a Christ-like thief and his spiritual guide to the Holy Mountain. "Mr. Jodorowsky’s movie is a dazzling, rambling, often incoherent satire on consumerism, militarism and the exploitation of third world cultures by the West. It unfurls like a hallucinogenic daydream," wrote 
Matt Zoller Seitz for the New York Times.
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

Local Sightings Film Festival 2020
This always-great, hyper-local film festival highlights indie filmmakers who eschew New York or LA for the earnest and eccentric Northwest. "Local Sightings acts as a showcase and watering hole for regional filmmakers, VR artists, and others who range from emotional storytellers to nature documentarists to political essayists," wrote former Stranger Arts Calendar Joule Zelman last year. The 23rd annual event is, natch, entirely online, with feature blocks like 24 Hours in the CHOP, about the recent clashes between police and protestors on Capitol Hill and the resilience of Black Lives Matter activists, and Fall Back Down, which press materials describe as "simultaneously a murder mystery, a rom-com, and an anarchic ride through the Vancouver B.C. underground." The Stranger's Jasmyne Keimig and Chase Burns have more recommendations for this year's festival here.
Available via Northwest Film Forum

Myth of A Colorblind France
The list of Black artists and creatives who have traveled to Paris to free themselves of America's racist bedrock is a long one, ranging from James Baldwin to Josephine Baker to Augusta Savage. But to what extent is the City of Lights more accepting of people of color than the US? That's at the center of this documentary featuring interviews with French scholars Michel Fabre and Francis Hofstein, as well as contemporary artist Barbara Chase-Riboud, poet James Emanuel, hip-hop producer Ben the Glorious Bastard, and others.
Available via Grand Cinema
Opening Friday

Native Son
When it came to adapting Richard Wright's 1940 novel Native Son into a film, ex-patriate Frenchman Pierre Chenal and Argentinian producer Jamie Prades swooped in when American filmmakers and actors abandoned the project out of discomfort surrounding the deep current of racism in America that the story reveals. With Wright himself in the leading role, it's a noir thriller about a Black man trying to survive in a white world. This is a brand-new restoration, preceded by a special introduction by film historians Eddie Muller (the "Czar of Noir") and Jacqueline Najima Stewart (co-curator of Kino Lorber's Pioneers of African American Cinema).
Available via SIFF
Opening Friday

Night of the Demons
An evil force awakens when 10 dumb teens decide to party at an abandoned funeral parlor on Halloween night—and it won't let them go home! For this watch party, MoPOP's Robert Rutherford will be joined by special guests Tommy Pico and Drea Washington, the hosts of the wonderful horror movie podcast Scream Queens.
Watch party available via MoPOP
Friday only

Oliver Sacks: His Own Life
Oliver Sacks was a prolific author who became most well known for his transgressive writing about neurology. He was also funny as hell, making him a fitting voice to tell his own story. In Oliver Sacks: His Own Life, Sacks makes use of his impeccable wit to talk through his struggles with drug addiction, mental health, and sexuality. It's heavy and heartfelt to watch Sacks reflect, captured in what he knows will be the final months of his life. His Own Life particularly highlights Sacks' struggles to connect in relationships. His loneliness is pervasive throughout. It seems much of this stems from his parents believing his homosexuality was a pathology (wrong) and even fearing it would be similar to his brother’s diagnosed schizophrenia (terribly wrong). But all of that history molded Sacks, inspiring him to commit to a career dedicated to humanizing those dealing with neurological problems. CHASE HUTCHINSON
Available via SIFF
Opening Friday

Once Upon a River
In this midwestern gothic based on the novel by Bonnie Jo Campbell, a tragedy-stricken Native American teenager in rural Michigan searches for her estranged mother on the banks of the Stark River.
Available via Grand Cinema
Opening Friday

Psychomagic, A Healing Art
Bizarre and intimate challenges lead to personal catharsis and healing in Alejandro Jodorowsky’s documentary Psychomagic.
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

RBG
"Over the long course of her career, RBG repeatedly defended the rights of everyone to live free from bias, but, as Supreme Court correspondent Nina Totenberg says, Ginsburg 'quite literally changed life for women.' With intimate interviews with family and friends, as well as RBG herself, the film captures the life of a woman with a heart none of us wants to stop ticking," wrote Katie Herzog about Julie Cohen and Betsy West's 2018 documentary. RIP, RBG.
Available via SIFF
Opening Friday

Santa Sangre
A boy watches his mother's arms get cut off, gets institutionalized, and then returns to help her. Help her kill people. And he grew up in a circus. Alejandro Jodorowsky's '80s comeback is newly restored for your twisted, hallucinatory pleasure.
Available via Grand Illusion
Opening Friday

New & Noteworthy: Nationwide

Agents of Chaos
With a timely release just before the upcoming major election, this docuseries parses through what we know about Russian election interference, weaving together the significant factors that led to Trump’s 2016 victory and exploring why the Putin-led country remains interested in American affairs. 
Available via HBO

Enola Holmes
Millie Bobby Brown has a lot more lines in this Sherlock Holmes spinoff than she does in her role as Eleven in Stranger Things. With fourth-wall-breaking confessions to the audience and Victorian-era garb, the film centers around the life and times of Enola, the famous British detective's little sister who defies the gender expectations of the day by favoring sports and strategy games over sewing and pianoforte-playing. When she runs away from home to avoid being sent to a finishing school, she finds herself embroiled in the kind of mystery her older brother would approve of. 
Available via Netflix

Great British Baking Show Season 11
Ready, set, bake watch the new episode of the latest season of The Great British Baking Show on Netflix! We know you've already rewatched the existing seasons to comfort yourself in these scary times, so you know what to expect—although, note that now that the show is affiliated with Channel 4 and not BBC, Mary Berry, Sue Perkins, and Mel Giedroyc are no longer a part of the judges panel.
Available via Netflix
Premiering Friday

Judy
A biopic about the last months of famed entertainer and Wizard of Oz star Judy Garland, Judy features an uncanny, spot-on performance from Reneé Zellwegger that’s unfortunately paired with a script that veers from affecting to eye-rollingly ham-fisted. Bouncing back and forth from Judy’s famed London Palladium gigs six months before her death and her childhood that was crushed under the abusive thumb of Louis B. Mayer while filming The Wizard of Oz, Zellwegger gives an honest, raw performance that lays bare Garland’s crippling depression and addiction. However her valiant attempts at subtlety are betrayed by a shallow script that relies too heavily on emotional manipulation. That aside, Zellwegger’s gloriously accurate hair and makeup is almost reason enough to see this film, and when she belts out “The Trolley Song,” you'll long for the days when consummate pros like Garland pushed past their personal demons to bring audiences to their feet. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY
Available via Amazon Prime Video

Father of the Bride 3 (ish)
Nancy Meyers’ work is like if the acclaimed late Norah Ephron shot all her movies through a sunny Instagram filter. And from The Parent Trap to the Father of the Bride series to The Holiday, they’ve always served as cinematic comfort food for me. I think the last Meyers movie I re-watched was Something’s Gotta Give, an early-2000s Hamptons-set love triangle between Keaton, Jack Nicholson, and Keanu Reeves as a young, handsome doctor. I streamed it on New Year’s Eve when I was home sick with a brutal sinus infection (in retrospect, definitely an omen for 2020). The white/beige color palette and smooth pacing of Keaton and Nicholson gradually realizing they’re meant for each other went down easier than cough medicine. Imagine my excitement, then, when I opened Instagram and saw [the announcement of a new Father of the Bride film]—brought to me by none other Ina Garten, who definitely exists in the Meyers Cinematic Universe (MCU, because I don’t think that acronym is taken yet?). Based on the publicity around Father of the Bride 3 (ish), it isn’t going to be a full feature film, but rather some sort of cast/character reunion, likely done over Zoom. We’ve seen lots of TV show and movie casts do the same during the pandemic, including Parks and Recreation and The Princess Bride. I’m perhaps most excited to see Kieran Culkin (you might know him now as Roman on Succession) reprise his role as Matty, the adorable baby brother. BLAIR STENVICK
Availalbe via Netflix

Love Song for Latasha
Along with the brutal police beating of Rodney King, Latasha Harlins's death was another act of racist violence caught on video that fueled the early-'90s LA riots demanding LAPD accountability. Sophia Nahli Allison's experimental short documentary featuring the women in Harlins's life honors the short life of the 15-year-old who was killed in a South Central convenience store for being suspected of planning to steal a bottle of orange juice. 
Available via Netflix

Misbehaviour
Keira Knightley, Jessie Buckley, and Gugu Mbatha-Raw star in this British comedy about a feminist protest against the 1970 Miss World pageant. 
Available via Apple TV+, Vudu, and FandangoNOW
Premiering Friday

Ottolenghi and the Cakes of Versailles
Israeli English chef and cookbook author Yotam Ottolenghi was put in the definitively dreamy position of creating the desserts for a decadent event at the Metropolitan Museum of Art honoring the grandeur and culture of 19-century Versailles. Along with his impressive culinary team (including the man who invented the cronut), this documentary follows the chef as he takes his fancy cakes and jellies from his brain to the oven. 
Available via IFC and other platforms
Premiering Friday

Utopia Season 1
The beloved, darkly funny British conspiracy thriller series Utopia, which aired from 2013-14, is getting a US revamp starring John Cusack and Gone Girl’s Gillian Flynn. "The original was dark and uncomfortable, a woozily ambitious series that was gone too soon. The new one isn’t really any of that but it does look really good, it’s still gleefully violent, and the story is still intricate like a clock is," wrote Joel Golby for The Guardian
Available via Amazon Prime
Premiering Friday

Last Chance to Stream: Films Ending This Week

House of Cardin
The French Italian fashion designer Pierre Cardin is known for his avant-garde, retro-futuristic designs that our plebeian grasp of haute fashion wants to compare to The Jetsons. Because he featured female models in blocky geometric shapes that did little to incentivize the male gaze, he's also credited as a feminist designer, and one who helped bridge the gap between couture and ready-to-wear. Todd Hughes and P. David Ebersole trace his career in this feature doc.
Available via SIFF
Thursday only

Martin Margiela: In His Own Words
The influential Belgian fashion designer Martin Margiela, known by some as the "Banksy of fashion" for his public anonymity and his refusal to do interviews, went from Jean Paul Gaultier's assistant to the creative director at Hermès to leading his own Maison Margiela in Paris. This is a rare look into the designer's drawings, notes, and personal items.
Available via SIFF
Thursday only

My Prince Edward
After agreeing to marry her long-term boyfriend, a woman becomes embroiled in the headache of ending her decade-old sham marriage to a mainlander who needs her help securing a Hong Kong ID.
Available via SIFF
Thursday only

Looking for more ways to support local movie theaters? These on-demand streaming options through the Northwest Film Forum, SIFF, and elsewhere are available to watch anytime.