Film Shorts 

In Which We Hit It and Quit It

RAISING ARIZONA The quintessential American family.

RAISING ARIZONA The quintessential American family.

recommended B-Movie Bingo
A screening of 1988's Gary Busey non-classic Bulletproof, with special-made bingo cards so you can spot the B-movie clichés. This is the film in which Gary Busey calls people "butthorn." Hollywood Theatre.

recommended E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial
"Maybe it was a pervert or a deformed kid or something." Presented by podcasters Cort and Fatboy. And the Mercury! Bagdad Theater.

recommended Full Metal Jacket
"Are you quitting on me? Well, are you? Then quit, you slimy fucking walrus-looking piece of shit! Get the fuck off of my obstacle! Get the fuck down off of my obstacle! Now! Move it! Or I'm going to rip your balls off so you cannot contaminate the rest of the world! I will motivate you, Private Pyle, if it short-dicks every cannibal in the Congo!" Fifth Avenue Cinema.

Garbo, the Spy
This documentary investigates the story of a shadowy Spaniard who walked into WWII out of nowhere, manipulated the Nazis with a web of lies, then faked his own death. The film suggests this opportunistic double-agent might have been responsible for the Allies' victory at Normandy, but while the sheer badassery speaks for itself, the film pushes for a soul with its pensive soundtrack and curious bits of old footage. Garbo illustrates the war as it would have appeared to a surprisingly human, even vulnerable master of espionage. KEVIN OTZENBERGER Living Room Theaters.

The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo
Like most mysteries, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo is less about story and more about the grinding mechanics of plot: exposition, process, exposition, process. Dragon Tattoo isn't just any mystery, though: Based on the first book in Stieg Larsson's wildly popular trilogy, this Dragon Tattoo is the latest from David Fincher, and arrives on the heels of his last awards-season effort, The Social Network. Those expecting anything on par with Fincher's best work—The Social Network, Zodiac, Fight Club—should probably lower their expectations closer to Benjamin Button levels. Fincher can be one of our best directors, but he's also one of the least reliable. With Dragon Tattoo, he's made a film that befits its airport paperback origins—if, you know, they showed movies with brutal rape scenes on airplanes. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

The Grey Fox
Phillip Borso's 1982 film about train robber Bill Miner (Richard Farnsworth). Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Martha Marcy May Marlene
"What is wrong with you?" That's the refrain directed at Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) with increasing urgency over the course of director Sean Durkin's first feature. College-aged Martha has just run away from a cult in the Catskills after a two-year absence from her former life. Taking shelter with her concerned sister Lucy (Sarah Paulson) and her husband Ted (Hugh Dancy), she finds it increasingly difficult to readjust to normal life: She skinny dips in front of Ted, she plops down on the bed while he and Lucy are having sex, and she accuses them of materialism even as she freeloads off their generosity. There's a sense that this arresting, moodily beautiful film doesn't quite know what to do with itself, and the narrative calls it quits just as another chapter appears poised to unfold. At first, the finish feels too abrupt—but when it sinks in, its ambiguity feels like a perfect reflection of its central character's guiding conundrum. MARJORIE SKINNER Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.

recommended Melancholia
On the surface, Lars von Trier's latest documents the end of the world: Earth collides with another, larger planet in a massive, fiery explosion. But unlike most films with a similar premise, there is neither panic in the streets, nor is there any heroism: There are just the slow-motion reactions of a select few on the grounds of an enormous castle estate. Far from a literal apocalypse film, Melancholia is a metaphorical portrait of a hallmark of depression: that its sufferers tend to handle catastrophe better than those who feel they have something to lose. MARJORIE SKINNER Hollywood Theatre, Living Room Theaters.

recommended Mission Impossible: Ghost Protocol
While J.J. Abrams' Mission: Impossible III stripped down the blockbuster/action/spy genre to its leanest, meanest, trickiest bits, director Brad Bird (The Incredibles, The Iron Giant) just wants to have fun with Ghost Protocol, and damn, does he ever: With a lighthearted tone and exceedingly well-executed mash-ups of preposterous action and witty physical comedy, Bird lines up a series of great moments from both his cast and his stunt team. The only things really lacking are (A) ghosts and (B) protocols. But whatever: There's a huge surplus of fun to make up for those deficits, and in a season defined by family and financial stress at home, and Oscar bait in theaters, fun's a pretty great thing to have. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.

recommended Raising Arizona
"Edwina's insides were a rocky place where my seed could find no purchase." Kiggins Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater.

Shelf Life
A documentary about Powell's City of Books. Director in attendance. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Silver State Sinners
See My, What a Busy Week! Clinton Street Theater.

recommended The Skin I Live In
With his provocative new film, Pedro Almodóvar runs with the idea that Frankenstein's monster would be much more disturbing if sex were involved. This notion proves very, very correct. It'd be a laughable understatement to describe The Skin I Live In as "not for everyone"—it's strange, disturbing, and utterly unflinching in its literal deconstruction of gender and selfhood. But Almodóvar also baits this trap seductively—every surface is elegant and crisp, every shot so artfully composed that even the most grotesque medical footage has an undeniable beauty, and it's all leavened with a lurid smear of melodrama that plays with the line between horror and camp. ALISON HALLETT Academy Theater, Laurelhurst Theater.

Steven Spielberg's Battle Pony
For two and a half hours, Steven Spielberg follows a smart, talented pony named Joey through World War I. Joey starts off on the British side, then gets captured by Germans, then ends up on a picturesque French farm with windmills, then finds himself caught in No Man's Land between English and German troops. Barring the odd nicker or whinny, the horse does not emote in any recognizable fashion. The horse is, more or less, incidental to the episodic plots of the various humans he comes in contact with. As a dramatic narrative, then, Steven Spielberg's Battle Pony is a failure. NED LANNAMANN Various Theaters.

recommended Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy
Spying is, by definition, a tight-lipped profession. This partially accounts for the surprising restraint of director Tomas Alfredson's Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy, a new adaptation of John le Carré's classic Cold War espionage novel. But credit must be given to Alfredson, too, and the film's writing team, for trusting their audience's willingness to sit still and pay attention. Despite its innately thrilling subject matter (Globetrotting spies! Soviet moles!), Tinker is an assured, thoughtfully paced movie, slow to reveal its secrets. Of course, secrets become even more irresistible in the presence of actors like Tom Hardy and Benedict Cumberbatch—and a perfectly cast Gary Oldman as the mild-mannered George Smiley, le Carré's most enduring hero. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.

Treasures from the UCLA Film & Television Archive
A whole slew of films culled from UCLA's Film & Television Archive, a media materials collection rivaled only by the Library of Congress. Films include Robert Altman's Come Back to the Five and Dime, Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean (1982), a double feature of Robert Parrish's Cry Danger (1951) and Douglas Sirk's Sleep, My Love (1948), and more. More info: nwfilm.org. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Unbreakable: The Western States 100
A documentary about four men running "the oldest and most prestigious 100-mile foot race in the world." Clinton Street Theater.

Underground Samplings
A double feature of "underground and neglected fringe filmmaking from the 1920s through contemporary times, presented on 16mm film and video." Clinton Street Theater.

Utamaro and His Five Women
Kenji Mizoguchi's biopic about the Japanese woodcut printmaker. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Warren Ellis: Captured Ghosts
See My, What a Busy Week! Floating World Comics.

Young Adult
Jason Reitman and Diablo Cody have made a film that's difficult to classify: It's either a comedy with no laughs, a drama with no character movement, or a social critique with no insight. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.

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