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Acclaimed Seattle filmmaker and all-around beloved person Lynn Shelton died at 54 on Saturday, May 16, but her inspiring and often highly personal body of work lives on. Whether you're a longtime fan or you're new to her work, we've rounded up some of the films and TV shows she's written and/or directed with links to where to stream them online.



GLOW
Loosely based on the real-life TV show Gorgeous Ladies of Wrestling, which aired from 1986 to 1990, Liz Flahive and Carly Mensch’s fictionalized Netflix series GLOW (Now streaming, Netflix) exhumes the dusty spandex, mile-high hairdos, and Bon Jovi anthems for campy and contemplative fun. Set in mid-1980s Los Angeles, GLOW tells the story of 12 struggling actors who are chosen to star in an all-female wrestling show. But first, they must learn how to wrestle! Marc Maron plays the series’ cynical writer/director Sam Sylvia, who reluctantly participates in the project between snorts of coke. His leading Gorgeous Ladies are the volcanic protagonist Debbie, aka “Liberty Bell” (Betty Gilpin), and Ruth, aka “Zoya the Destroyer” (Alison Brie), who once wronged Debbie outside of the ring and is now trying to accept her position as the league’s heel. Though GLOW often centers on this rivalry, it’s driven by the other wrestlers’ internal conflicts. In one key scene the show’s young producer, Bash (Chris Lowell)—who’s got the oily charm of Rob Lowe’s character in Wayne’s World—insists that “wrestling is about type. You’re a sexy party girl, you’re an Arab,” gesticulating at Arthie, aka “the Terrorist” (Sunita Mani). She immediately corrects him: “You mean stereotype.” CIARA DOLAN

Humpday
Filmed in Seattle, Humpday (Now streaming, multiple platforms) follows a pair of thirtysomething, straight male friends who reunite after years of careening down opposite life trajectories (one is stuck in his party days, one is married and trying to have a baby). Fueled by their competitive spirits, they decide to challenge each other to have sex on camera (or to "outdo each other by doing each other," as Shelton put it) and submit the footage to our own amateur-porn competition, HUMP! (which led to this fun little exchange). It's a hoot, and it won the Independent Spirit John Cassavetes Award.

Laggies
Lynn Shelton is a master of the minor chord, the story that comes from some subtle place inside a character and ends not far from where it starts. In Laggies (Now streaming, Netflix), the character at the center is just about the most minor-chord person Shelton has ever put on the screen, Megan (Keira Knightley), who feels like she’s floating through life, unable to connect with her own story, or family, or friends, or her lover, or anything. She has a job jumping up and down on a street corner holding a sign that says “Tax Advice.” She senses that there’s something not right about her friends, but she has no idea what it is. They’re just kind of… irritating. Or wrong. Or always mad at her. Or something. One of the friends is played by Ellie Kemper, who’s hilarious. The Kemper character, Allison, is getting married, and there’s a comic scene right up front where Megan and Allison and two other friends are having a bachelorette party, and there are so many things about that scene, and the uptightness of the friend group, and the enforced “fun” of bachelorette parties, that are so very funny and so very Seattle that I keep thinking about them and cracking up. CHRISTOPHER FRIZZELLE

Little Fires Everywhere
Hulu's latest big, buzzy, original drama is this adaptation of Celeste Ng's best-selling book. Reviews have knocked the adaptation for essentially removing all nuance from Ng's novel, and it's hard to disagree that the story is a lot louder than it was on the page; Ng's novel is set in the mid-'90s, but never quite channeled it. This show doesn't feel like the book... but the sour, entitled, pretty-on-the-outside-but-mean-as-fuck-for-no-good-reason vibe it absolutely nails from its first 15 minutes on? That's some genuinely authentic '90s nastiness; the kind of sunshine-covered bitterness these characters would snidely razz as they watched their umpteenth hour of Ricki Lake from the comfort of their couch. The miniseries is now available in full for on-demand consumption on Hulu, and the approach taken with the source material (an approach Ng herself applauded) makes a lot more sense when the reworked story is taken as a whole.

My Effortless Brilliance
Mumblecore cries out in the wilderness in this personality-rich, bare-bones ultra-indie (Now Streaming, Amazon Prime), which follows a flabby, narcissistic middle-tier young novelist (ex-Stranger editor/musician Sean Nelson) as he haplessly seeks to reconnect with a wary and embittered college friend (Basil Harris) in and around a cabin in the forests of Eastern Washington. Any pro-am awkwardness is wittily absorbed by the scenario, but while the performances are all savvy and convincing, Shelton (who splits screenplay credit with her improving cast) steers entirely clear of drama. Think of it as Old Joy without the seasoning. MICHAEL ATKINSON

Outside In
I was pleasantly surprised by Lynn Shelton’s Outside In (Now streaming, Netflix), filmed in suburban Granite Falls and Snohomish County, captured in all their rainy, tree-sheltered, moss-flecked glory. The subject matter is more urgent than Shelton’s usual fare: Outside In focuses on a subtext-heavy friendship between a high-school teacher, Carol (Edie Falco), and Chris (Jay Duplass), the 38-year-old former student she helped parole from the Walla Walla State Penitentiary after a 20-year sentence. As Chris, Duplass does some remarkable work with only his eyes and smile, under a beard so patchy, its mere existence triggers inscrutable sadness. Falco is great, per usual, as a conflicted, tightly wound woman in an Edith Wharton-grade bad marriage. And Outside In isn’t actually that far from a Wharton novel: It’s a completely believable web of conflicting desires among people who lack the language and wherewithal to ask for what they want. But stick with it, and Outside In’s relentless sadness gives way to something more gently hopeful than its numb beginning implies. MEGAN BURBANK

The Sword of Trust
Filmmakers and producers took long enough to figure out that the only thing to do with Marc Maron is to let him be Marc Maron. GLOW lets him do that, much to that show's benefit, and so does Lynn Shelton’s inviting new comedy Sword of Trust (Now available, multiple platforms). Maron, in another slight variation on his actual crotchety personality, plays Mel, a pawn shop owner who gets embroiled in an underground network of conspiracy theorists when he tries to help a lesbian couple (Michaela Watkins and Jillian Bell) sell off a Union Army sword that somehow proves the South actually won the Civil War. As with most of Shelton’s work, the plot becomes incidental, letting these characters riff, argue, and reveal intimate parts of their lives. ROBERT HAM

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Touchy Feely
A frequent criticism of mumblecore films is that nothing really happens in them, which has always struck me as a weak line of reasoning. Life doesn't have a plot (spoiler!), and it's still pretty interesting most of the time. But Lynn Shelton's Touchy Feely (Now available, multiple platforms), tweaks the formula a bit: Nothing really happens, except for a few things that are really goddamn weird. Paul (Josh Pais) and his daughter Jenny (Ellen Page) are a morose family unit living in Seattle—just a quiet dentist and his quiet kid who quietly work together at Paul's dental practice. Wacky, free-spirited aunt Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt) is a massage therapist who believes in elixirs and energy work. Her outlook stands in clear contrast to that of her science-minded brother, who spends his days diligently scrubbing the teeth of his elderly patients. Meanwhile, shy Jenny is in love with her aunt's boyfriend, a grubby bike-messenger type (Scoot McNairy, who's perfectly cast as the kind of guy who's irresistible to a young woman and slightly questionable to an older one). Director Shelton has a knack for coaxing natural, lived-in performances from her actors, so it's no surprise that the performances here are top-notch. ALISON HALLETT

We Go Way Back
Winner of best narrative feature and best cinematography at Slamdance '06, We Go Way Back (Now available, multiple platforms) is the tender story of a fringe-theater actress in Ballard who is knocked off her twentysomething rails by simple little letters she wrote to her older self at the age of 13. Amber Hubert is properly vague in the lead role, R. Hamilton Wright scores bountiful zingers as a capricious theater director, and Basil Harris is perfect in the small role of an empathetic friend. A must if you've ever attended Seattle theater, and a sweet, subtle choice for everyone else. ANNIE WAGNER

Your Sister's Sister
Jack (Mark Duplass) is a sad sack of a guy who commemorates the one-year anniversary of his brother's death by drunkenly shouting at the friends who insist on romanticizing his dead sibling. Afterward, he's cornered by his best friend Iris (Emily Blunt), who firmly instructs him that after a year of grieving, it's time to get his head together. She sends him off to enjoy some quiet time at her family cabin, but solitude isn't on the agenda: Jack arrives to find the house already occupied by Iris' half-sister, Hannah (Rosemarie DeWitt), who's drowning her own breakup-related sorrows in tequila. Most of Your Sister's Sister (Now available, multiple platforms) is about interpersonal relationships, about characters figuring out who they are in relationship to one another, even when things get weird. ALISON HALLETT