Archive for April, 2010

Totally Fresh

Just in case you didn’t know, organic food, composting and letting animals be animals are good – factory farming, giving chickens antibiotics and spraying chemicals on veggies are bad. If you never saw Food Inc. or read anything from Michael Pollan here’s your chance to see a new movie all about where our food should come from. Fresh is a short flick (70 minutes) that will be starting tonight at Central Cinema and ending May 6th. There will be a few short films before the movie and if you’re hungry you can munch on Central Cinema’s new menu. Also, as a special treat you can meet the director when you see the movie tonight (Friday). So, even if you think you know everything about where our food comes from, Fresh is good enough to remind you – and hopefully spread the word.

Get tickets now!

Weekend Film Agenda April 30

After a spectacular opening night featuring seven great films from young filmmakers and a fun afterparty at EMP/SFM, NFFTY, the world’s largest film festival featuring films by young people continues all weekend long with panels and workshops at EMP/SFM and films at SIFF Cinema. Friday at 4:30 head to SIFF Cinema for the NFFTY Happy Hour. Fifteen films are up for viewing and audience members 21 and older get free beer courtesy of Mac and Jack’s. Later that evening are the International Showcase and Late Night Adrenaline programs; across the Seattle Center campus at the Center House is a free screening of the Best of NFFTY 2007 – 2010.

Saturday and Sunday see still more shorts plus feature films; the festival closes Sunday night with its Awards presentation.

Music and movies have gone together since the beginning of filmmaking. Even the silents weren’t entirely silent as they were screened to live musical accompaniment. Movies about music are a special class, though – sometimes film is the perfect medium for sharing the importance that music has in our lives and sometimes…well, it isn’t. NW Film Forum screens one that works: Soundtrack for a Revolution is a great documentary about the protest songs that helped inspire and shape the direction of civil rights activists in the US during the 1950s and 1960s. Long before mobile technology and the internet made getting a message out to a mass of people as simple as pushing a few buttons, protest songs were a way to spread information and inspiration that brought people together. Soundtrack for a Revolution articulates the history of the protest song in America from slave chants and black church gospel out on to the streets and illustrates just how influential these songs were. Using archival footage and interviews with key figures of the civil rights movement, Soundtrack is honest and intense. Interviews from key figures in the movement add context to the archival footage, but it’s the music that truly tells the story in a powerful way. Contemporary performances of the classic protest songs prove that all these years later these songs still shine.

May 2 at NWFF: Odds and Ends Presents: From Portland with Love, a program of new experimental, documentary and animation filmwork from Portland film and video artists.

There have been enough films about the evils of Big Food in the past few years to have created a whole subgenre. Joining it: Fresh, a documentary call-to-arms to encourage fresh food activism. At Central Cinema.

The Grand Illusion wraps up its tribute to the Swinging Sixties with Lord Love a Duck starring Tuesday Weld as a high school senior in a satirical film about the Sixties teenaged experience. Co-starring Roddy McDowell as her kind of creepy pal.

No One Knows About Persian Cats stars real life Iranian musicians playing fictionalized versions of their real lives in a film about how not even an oppressive government can keep people from making music. At the Varsity.

Midnight at the Egyptian: Do you suppose that while Arnold Schwarzenegger sits in his Sacramento office struggling with California’s many fiscal problems he ever wonders how his job would be different if a cyborg from the future traveled back in time to prevent the passage of Proposition 13? Probably not, but watching robots battling for the opportunity to either save or destroy humanity is a lot more exciting than tax code any day.

Northwest National Park Family Day Sunday, May 2

Mt. Rainier, by D. Herrera, via Creative Commons

The Northwest is a great place to live for many reasons. One of the most compelling is the stunning natural landscapes. The Puget Sound area alone offers endless opportunities for being awed by nature’s bounty – mountains, bodies of water, and lush, verdant flora. The National Parks Conservation Association wants to make sure that you know all about the opportunities available to you to go out into this beauty by hosting Northwest National Park Family Day this Sunday, May 2.

From 10 am to 3 pm at Seattle’s Seward Park, national park rangers will be on hand to talk about our neighboring national parks, Mt. Rainier National Park, Olympic National Park, and North Cascades National Park Services Complex, which encompasses Ross Lake & Lake Chelan National Recreation Area. If you’ve never been to these parks, you’ve been missing out on chances for hiking, boating, bird watching, fishing, horseback riding, camping, backpacking, mountain climbing, bicycling, walking and just generally being out in nature.

To prepare you for your future visits, National Park Family Day will offer hands-on demonstrations on how to build campfires, cook marshmallows (few things in life are as great as marshmallows toasted over a campfire), and be safe outdoors. Local outdoor equipment retailer REI is sponsoring sessions on “Hiking in the NW” and “Leave No Trace Camping”. San Juan Island Historical Park presents a banjo performance. Washington Trails Association presents a hike through Seward Park to get you warmed up for hikes in the national parks. Lewis & Clark National Historical Park presents “Lost But Safe & Sound” – useful information on keeping yourself from danger should you wander too far from the trail and the Olympic Park Institute/NatureBridge give a demonstration on Water Quality Testing. Campfire stories and songs help make a festive day and a variety of wildlife encounters will teach you about the many species of animals living in our state.

The event is free and open to all.

Partners in Preservation Weekend Open Houses

Last week, I talked about Partners in Preservation and their mission to provide funds to Seattle area preservation landmarks, using a public vote to help guide their decisions.

This coming weekend on May 1 and May 2, the nominees for PiP funds are offering members of the public a chance to come down and check out their sites as part of an Open House weekend. Most sites are open May 1, some with a small fee for admission; all sites are open and free to the public on May 2. All are offering up special activities for their guests and give visitors the chance to see the great work their doing and how preservation funds could assist them in saving Seattle’s history. See the full listing online for details.

Free Tip of the Day

Bank of America is hosting the Museums on Us® program once again. Head to the Museum of History & Industry, The Wing Luke Asian Museum, Northwest African American Museum or the Tacoma Art Museum this May 1st and 2nd and if you’re a Bank of America cardholder, you’ll get in for FREE!

This program is happening all over the US, every first full weekend of the month from now till September 5th. Bring the kids. Make a day of it. Have some arty fun!

NFFTY 2010 opens Thursday night

The National Film Festival for Talented Youth – NFFTY for short – is kicking off this year’s festival of films made by young people on Thursday, April 29, with an opening night film presentation at Cinerama and an opening night party at EMP’s Sky Church. The opening night films are seven shorts by young filmmakers ranging from 13 years old to 21, from all over the USA.

The festival continues through May 2nd at SIFF, Cinerama, EMP/SFM, and the Seattle Center Pavilion with a series of panels, parties and programs, concluding with an awards ceremony to recognize exceptional films. Among the highlights are Sunday night’s Closing Night: Washington Scene program which highlights films from young Washingtonians. We don’t just love to see movies here, we love to make them, too, and there are some great up-and-coming young filmmakers putting their works on display: fiction, fantasy and fact-based films are included.

Washington’s not the only source of great youth filmmaking, though: films in the festival come from China, the UK, France, Denmark, Iran, Mexico, Canada, and more. There are documentaries on a wide variety of subjects, fiction films encompassing a wide variety of themes, animation, sports and music movies and more.

Obviously, NFFTY is a lot of fun for young people – there’s even a family film program with movies for the whole family, including the younger kids – but what makes NFFTY doubly-exciting is that these films are well worth watching even for audience members who have left their own youth behind. And, hey, you never know – one day you may be watching one of these teens or young adults picking up their first Oscar and be able to brag about how you saw their first film way back in the day.

Passes and tickets can be purchased in advance online. For a complete schedule, check the NFFTY site

Remember Captain Phil Harris, celebrate Catch Fest

One of the most popular shows on TV is Discovery Channel‘s Deadliest Catch. Now on its sixth season, the show follows the real-life excitement and drama on board the ships that traverse the dangerous Bering Sea to bring back fresh seafood.

Over the years fans have become attached the captains and crews who put their lives on the line in the rough waters. Captain Phil Harris of the F/V Cornelia Marie passed away earlier this year, leaving a hole in the hearts of his family, friends, crew members and also his many fans. On Friday, April 30, starting at 6:30 pm, the first public memorial to Captain Harris takes place at the Smith Cove Cruise Terminal at Pier 91 in Seattle. On hand to remember Captain Harris will be his sons, Jake and Josh Harris, close friends, fellow fishermen, and Discovery Channel executives. Seating on hand will be limited to the first 2,000 people, but the memorial will also be available online for those unable to attend in person. Boats may watch from the water overlooking Pier 91.

On Saturday, May 1, Smith Cove Cruise Terminal pays host to CatchCon 2010, a fan festival to celebrate the show and the people whose lives it depicts. Fans will hear from the captains and crews, see the actual boats that head up to the Bering, and get a chance to take a sneak peek at the new season. Registration for the event is sold out but fans who missed the chance to sign up in advance can also check out the action online.

Columbia City Farmers Market Opens Today

Farmers market season is upon us and today we have the first of the seasonal Farmers Markets opening in Columbia City.
The Columbia City Farmers Market runs from 3-7pm every Wednesday until October 20th.

Columbia City Farmers Market
Rainier Ave South and South Edmunds
3-7pm

Zoo Tunes Line-up Announced

I admit, I was a little worried that Zoo Tunes would go the way of the Lake Union Fireworks show this year. After all, in past years they have been sponsored by the now defunct WaMu. But thanks to BECU, they are back again this year and the lineup was just announced last week.

Tickets go on sale on May 3rd, at all Metropolitan Market locations. Individual artists may have tickets on sale already through fan sites, so if you are worried about a particular date selling out, check the band’s site now. Great Big Sea (one of my personal favorites) for example, just had a pre-sale of tickets for fans last week. Lineup after the jump.
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Ducati All Stars Saturday in Seattle

The Ducati All Stars is a group consisting of legendary Sex Pistols guitarist Steve Jones, guitarist Billy Duffy from The Cult, guitarist and vocalist Billy Morrison (of Camp Freddy and Circus Diablo) and Scars on Broadway vocalist Franky Perez. Celebrating their mutual love of both music and motorcycles, the group set out from Santa Barbara, California for a tour of the West coast on their bikes that includes stops along the way to perform their music.

The tour wraps up Saturday night in Seattle at a free show at Ducati Seattle at 711 – 9th Ave N. The show kicks off at 8 pm. Audience members get a chance to enter a drawing for the Gibson JT45 Gold Top Acoustic guitar that Jones has been playing on the tour.

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