To celebrate their 10th anniversary, the Northwest Film Forum will be throwing a two-week long party, starting on Wednesday, September 21st. The actual party begins at 8pm and then they'll be screening their greatest hits from Friday, September 23rd through Sunday, October 2nd. From shorts, by the likes of Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know) and Mike Mills (Thumbsucker), to documentaries, like Nina Simone: Love Sorceress, to films for kids (of all ages), like The Point, there's something for pretty much everyone. If you're a member, you can get a full series pass for only $19.95.
Other highlights include Steven Soderbergh's loopy Schizopolis (they'll be screening his personal print), Hou Hsiao-Hsien's gorgeous Flowers of Shanghai (with the great Tony Leung), Aki Kaurismäki's pitch-black comedy Match Factory Girl (with the equally great Kati Outinen), and Mel Stuart's funky Wattstax (with the late Isaac Hayes at his cape-and-gold-chain-vest peak).
For the press launch, they screened a couple of "super hits" (followed by programmer Jamie Keeling's homemade cake): Olivier Assayas's Cold Water (1994) and local filmmaker Serge Gregory's B&W short Foster Island (2004), featuring a score by Jeff Greinke. Amazingly, I had never seen Cold Water before, although I've seen most of Assayas's other features, including Clean, which played at this year's SIFF. Over the years, I've also caught many of Virginie Ledoyen's films, which are always worthwhile (with the possible exception of The Beach). The adventurous Irma Vep remains my favorite, but Cold Water, with Ledoyen as a troubled teen in 1970s France, is Assayas at the top of his game. I liked Foster Island, too, which plays like the last few minutes of Michelangelo Antonioni's L'eclisse (a series of images haunted by absence).
Both films play on Friday, September 30th: Foster Island with Abbas Kiarostami's Close-Up at 7pm and Cold Water at 9:15pm.
The Northwest Film Forum is located at 1515 12th Avenue (at E. Pike). For more information, please see www.nwfilmforum.org.