Weekend Film Agenda: October 16

NWFF offers up an excellent evening of movie and music magic with a screening of The Saga of Gosta Berling, starring a dewy young Greta Garbo, introduced by Paul Norien and accompanied by a live soundtrack performed by Murl Allen Sanders. Friday night only.

The 2009 Seattle Lesbian and Gay Film Festival kicks off this weekend at NWFF, Cinerama, Central Cinema, The Egyptian, Central Library, and The Admiral. As always, films run the gamut from beloved classics like1975’s The Naked Civil Servant about pioneering British activist Quentin Crisp, for example to the hot and new, like An Englishman in New York in which John Hurt reprises his role as Crisp, older and wiser than ever. There are a variety of excellent documentaries, features and shorts, as well as great programs like the opening, centerpiece and closing galas, not to mention the not to be missed Night with Mink Stole, hosted by Peaches Christ. Mink has appeared in over 25 films, including every one by John Waters, and is a vivacious, charming entertainer. Following a screening of Waters’ brutal Desperate Living with Stole as a middle-class murderer finding refuge from the law in a lawless village ruled by a mad queen, Ms. Stole will discuss her films, answer questions and do a post-show meet and greet.

The festival runs through October 25.

Speaking of festivals, the Festival of New Spanish Cinema plays SIFF through the 21st. Most of the films are US premieres and all of them represent the best of contemporary Spanish filmmaking. Amongst the offerings: The Sound of the Sea, an animated work about freedom, passion, and loss, and The Shame, an emotionally gripping tale of a couple who can’t handle their adopted son and contemplate “sending him back”.

Grand Illusion takes a break from all the graphic horror they’ve screened lately with 1964’s The Seven Faces of Dr. Lao. Starring Tony Randall in seven distinct roles, include the titular character, Dr. Lao is a gem of film with a surprising emotional intensity as an extremely unusual circus gives the inhabitants of a small town a unique view of their own selves. Plays nightly at 7; stick around for the 9 pm screening of Jason and the Argonauts, the 1963 telling of the well-known myth that tells an interesting story and features some of classic F/X creator Ray Harryhausen’s best work including a skeleton army that is creepy to this day.

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