9/21 - 9/23
The 19th edition of the Port Townsend Film Festival is shaping up to be one of the best. The stellar line-up of films is online now at www.ptfilmfest.com.
In her own words, comedienne Gilda Radner reflects on her life and career. Weaving together her recently discovered audiotapes, interviews with friends (Chevy Chase, Lorne Michaels, Laraine Newman, and Martin Short), rare home movies and diaries read by modern-day comedians inspired by Gilda (Amy Poehler, Maya Rudolph), LOVE, GILDA opens up a unique window into the honest and whimsical world of a beloved performer whose greatest role was sharing her story.
Us three. Us brothers. Us kings, inseparable. Three boys tear through their childhood, in the midst of their young parents’ volatile love that makes and unmakes the family many times over. A visceral coming-of-age story propelled by layered performances from its astounding cast – including three talented, young first-time actors.
After nearly 40 years of marriage, Joan (Glenn Close) and Nobel Prize novelist Joe (Jonathan Pryce) are complements. THE WIFE interweaves the midcentury story of the couple's youthful passion and ambition with a portraint of a marriage, thirty-plus years later--a lifetime's shared compromises, secrets, betrayals and genuine, mutual love. From 1958 to 1992 to our present vantage point of 2018, we observe Joan and Joe Castleman in the context of their times and ours.
This delightful film follows a litter of puppies from the moment they’re born and begin their quest to become guide dogs for the blind. Cameras follow these pups through an intense two-year odyssey as they train to become dogs whose ultimate responsibility is to protect their blind partners from harm. Along the way, these remarkable animals rely on a community of dedicated individuals who train them to do amazing, life-changing things in the service of their human.
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers series. One of the most dynamic personalities both on and off screen in the silent era, Canadian producer and director Nell Shipman wrote and stars in this Far North-set adventure about a resourceful frontierswoman who uses her wits to survive in the Arctic while fending off menacing men. Shot through with Shipman’s reverence for nature (she was early champion of animal rights), BACK TO GOD’S COUNTRY became the most successful Canadian film of the silent era.
9/29 & 10/7
National Theatre of London. Wild and newly single, Julie throws a late night party. In the kitchen, Jean and Kristina clean up as the celebration heaves above them. Crossing the threshold, Julie initiates a power game with Jean – which rapidly descends into a savage fight for survival. This new version of August Strinberg’s play Miss Julie, written by Polly Stenham, remains shocking and fiercely relevant in its new setting of contemporary London.
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers series. A double bill! SUSPENSE is a one-reel thriller that includes film history's first split-screen. HYPOCRITES was made in 1915, director Lois Weber courted controversy with this provocative exploration of sham religious piety, in which moral hypocrisy is exposed by The Naked Truth--portrayed literally by a nude actress.
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers series. The controversial drama from 1916 is a frank and, for its time, surprisingly risky look at abortion, birth control and sexuality that weds director Lois Weber’s innovative cinematic style to an impassioned (though now surprisingly retrograde) sociopolitical statement.
Pioneers: First Female Filmmakers series. A triple bill! Including the oldest know film to feature an all-African American cast (1912), a comedic short about a man with 12 minutes to marry and a touching, beautifully crafted melodrama about a young woman who falls in love with a writer while attempting to escape her abusive stepfather.
Pioneers: First Female Filmmaker series. Double bill! The first film, directed by Marion E. Wong in 1916, was the very first Chinese-American feature and centers around assimilation and an ancient curse. The second film, directed by Lita Lawrence in 1925 was recently discovered and restored, and is a daring look at abortion and birth control.
In September and October we're dedicating our Starlight Classics Night to Paul Newman. Based on the book by Ken Kesey, a family of independent Oregon loggers refuses to participate in a local strike against the big lumber companies. Also starring Henry Fonda. (1970).
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers series. Writer, producer, director and actress Dorothy Davenport made a splash in the 1920s with a string of socially conscious, taboo-shattering exposes, including this ripped-from-the-headlines shocker about a woman forced into a life of prostitution. Davenport herself said: “I believe it takes a woman to believe in a woman’s motives, and every story intended for the screen should have a woman working on it at some stage to convince the audience of women.”
Pioneers: First Women Filmmakers series. The passion project of Russian-born actress and producer Alla Nazimova, this outrageously stylized adaptation of Oscar Wilde’s notorious play – based on the biblical story of the teenage princess who lusts after the severed head John the Baptist – is a delicious, decadent avant-garde spectacle. Its status as a queer classic rests both on its Art Nouveau-camp style and on the legend that the bisexual Nazimova cast the film entirely with gay actors.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Soprano Anna Netrebko sings her first Met Aida, with mezzo-soprano Anita Rachvelishvili as her formidable rival Amneris. Aleksandrs Antonenko is the warrior Radamès, and Nicola Luisotti takes the podium for the Met's monumental production. 4 hrs.
We decided to kick off our 3rd annual Community Arts Film Series with something exciting: a live lecture with Estelle Lingo, Associate Professor of Art History at the UW. She recently published a book on Francesco Mochi, long viewed as an early innovator of the baroque style, and will be presenting a highly intriguing lecture about the religious and political climate of the 16th century, which posed specific challenges for the medium of sculpture, specifically to Florentine sculptors, most famously Michaelangelo.
In September and October we're dedicating our Starlight Classics Night to Paul Newman. "Sully" (Newman) is an expert at avoiding responsibilities. At 60, he divides his time between a local bar and the occasional job. His estranged son suddenly arrives, and Sully finds himself assuming the roles of both father and grandfather. After a life of unchecked self-indulgence, he wonders if he is up to the task. Also starring Bruce Willis, Melanie Griffith, Jessica Tandy and Phillip Seymour Hoffman. (1994).
Inspired by the life of Blaze Foley, the unsung songwriting legend of the Texas outlaw music movement that spawned the likes of Merle Haggard and Willie Nelson. The film weaves together three different periods of time, braiding re-imagined versions of Blaze’s past, present and future.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Saint-Saëns's biblical epic Samson et Dalila stars Elna Garana and Roberto Alagna in the title roles; the pair was last seen together by HD audiences in the acclaimed 2010 transmission of Bizet's Carmen. Laurent Naouri co-stars as the High Priest, with Elchin Azizov as the Philistine King Abimélech and Dmitry Belosselskiy as the Old Hebrew. 3 hrs, 30 min.
10/21 & 10/28
National Theatre of London. "Ian McKellan reigns supreme in this triumphant production!" - Daily Telegraph. Considered by many to be the greatest tragedy ever written, King Lear sees two ageing fathers – one a King, one his courtier – reject the children who truly love them. Their blindness unleashes a tornado of pitiless ambition and treachery, as family and state are plunged into a violent power struggle with bitter ends.
a stunning, intimate and unflinching portrait of the free soloist climber Alex Honnold, as he prepares to achieve his lifelong dream: climbing the face of the world’s most famous rock: the 3,000ft El Capitan in Yosemite National Park without a rope.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Soprano Eva-Maria Westbroek sings Puccini's gun-slinging heroine in this romantic epic of the Wild West, alongside star tenor Jonas Kaufmann in the role of the outlaw Dick Johnson. Baritone Željko Lui is the vigilante sheriff Jack Rance, and Marco Armiliato conducts. 3 hrs, 45 min.
An encore presentation of one of the National Theatre's biggest hits, starring Benedict Cumberbatch (Frankenstein) and Johnny Lee Miller (the Creature).
Although Hal Ashby directed a remarkable string of acclaimed, widely admired classics throughout the 1970s—HAROLD AND MAUDE, SHAMPOO, COMING HOME, BEING THERE—he is often overlooked amid the crowd of luminaries from his generation. Amy Scott’s exuberant portrait explores that curious oversight, using rare archival materials, interviews, personal letters, and audio recordings to reveal a passionate, obsessive artist.
Camille, an introverted teenage skateboarder, meets and befriends an all-girl, New York City-based skateboarding crew called Skate Kitchen. She falls in with the in-crowd, has a falling-out with her mother, and falls for a mysterious skateboarder guy. SKATE KITCHEN precisely captures the experience of women in male-dominated spaces and tells a story of a girl who learns the importance of camaraderie and self-discovery.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Nico Muhly's Marnie, based on Winston Graham's novel, which in turn inspired Alfred Hitchock's suspenseful thriller, has its U.S. premiere at the Met this season. Isabel Leonard stars in the title role opposite Christopher Maltman as her blackmailing husband Mark Rutland, Iestyn Davies as his brother Terry, Janis Kelly as Mrs. Rutland, and acclaimed mezzo-soprano Denyce Graves as Marnie's mother. Robert Spano makes his company debut conducting. 3 hrs, 20 min.
Community Arts Film Series. One of the most important artists of our era, Ryuichi Sakamoto has had a prolific career spanning over four decades, from techno-pop stardom to Oscar-winning composer. The evolution of his music has coincided with his life journeys. Following Fukushima, Sakamoto became an iconic figure in Japan’s social movement against nuclear power. As Sakamoto returns to music following cancer, his haunting awareness of life crisis leads to a resounding new masterpiece.
Free! A unique film experience, Meet Me at the Movies is designed for people with memory loss and their care partners, which can be enjoyed by all adults. Theme-based clips from classic and contemporary films are shown, followed by facilitated audience discussion; part of the Frye Art Museum's Creative Aging initiative, an offering of programs for adults to experience the rich potential of aging through engagement with the arts and connection with others. 90 min. Free tickets at the box office.
Met Opera Live in HD. Julie Taymor's beloved production of Mozart's enchanting fairy tale returns in its abridged, English-language version for families. Soprano Erin Morley is the empowered Pamina, and tenor Ben Bliss is the valiant Tamino. Baritone Nathan Gunn is the comic birdcatcher Papageno, and soprano Kathryn Lewek reprises her hair-raising rendition of the malevolent Queen of the Night. Harry Bicket conducts.
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. Inspired by heroic stories of brave knights, with his faithful servant Sancho Panza at his side, Don Quixote sets out on an adventure to meet his ideal woman, Dulcinea. With panache and sparkling technique, principal dancers Ekaterina Krysanova and Semyon Chudin lead the spectacular cast of toreadors, flamenco dancers, gypsies, and dryads in the Bolshoi's critically-acclaimed staging of this exalted performance. A quintessential Bolshoi event.
12/8 & 12/16
A National Theatre of London multi-award-winning drama! It’s 1786 and King George III is the most powerful man in the world. But his behaviour is becoming increasingly erratic as he succumbs to fits of lunacy. With the King’s mind unravelling at a dramatic pace, ambitious politicians and the scheming Prince of Wales threaten to undermine the power of the Crown, and expose the fine line between a King and a man.
Community Arts Film Series. Renowned documentarian Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line, Fast, Cheap and Out of Control, A Brief History of Time, The Fog of War) takes a close look into photographer Elsa Dorfman's life and career as she neers retirement. Having used the giant 20"x24" Polaroid camera her whole career, Dorfman mastered a unique craft from her Cambridge, MA home. She rose to prominence in the early 1980's, photographing beat poets, rock stars, families, and more.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts Verdi's timeless tragedy La Traviata. Directed by Michael Mayer, this new production features a dazzling 18th-century setting that changes with the seasons. Diana Damrau is the doomed heroine Violetta, opposite Juan Diego Flórez as her lover, Alfredo, and Quinn Kelsey as Alfredo's protective father, Giorgio Germont. 3 hrs, 30 min.
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. On his wedding day, the young Scotsman James is awakened with a kiss from an ethereal winged creature, a Sylph. Entranced by her beauty, James risks everything to pursue an unattainable love. La Sylphide is one of the world’s oldest surviving ballets, and a treasure in Danish ballet master August Bournonville’s style. Staged for the Bolshoi by Bournonville expert Johan Kobborg, this production is the ultimate romantic masterpiece.
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. On Christmas Eve, Marie’s Nutcracker doll magically transforms into a prince and together their wonderful adventure begins. The Nutcracker invites audiences of all ages on a magical journey, through a world of enchantment, complete with dancing snowflakes and dolls that have come to life, accompanied by Tchaikovsky’s beloved score. The timeless holiday classic returns to the Bolshoi stage this December for a live broadcast.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. For the first time at the Met, Anna Netrebko sings the title role of Adriana Lecouvreur, the great 18th-century actress in love with the military hero Maurizio, sung by Piotr Beczala. Gianandrea Noseda conducts Cilea's tragedy, directed by Sir David McVicar, with the action partially set in a working replica of a Baroque theater. 4 hrs.
Community Arts Film Series. This engrossing film traces the history of this iconic image – from Egon Schiele’s gesture of affection toward his young lover – to the theft of the painting from Lea Bondi, a Jewish art dealer fleeing Vienna for her life, to the post-war confusion and subterfuge that evoke The Third Man, to the surprise resurfacing of “Wally” on loan to the Museum of Modern Art in Manhattan in 1997. "A cinematic masterwork." - Huffington Post
1/20 & 1/26
National Theatre of London. Ralph Fiennes and Sophie Okonedo play Shakespeare's famous fated couple in his great tragedy of politics, passion and power. Caesar and his assassins are dead. General Mark Antony now rules Rome. But at the fringes of a war-torn empire the Egyptian Queen Cleopatra and Mark Antony have fallen fiercely in love. In a tragic fight between devotion and duty, obsession becomes a catalyst for war.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Clémentine Margaine is opera's ultimate seductress, opposite Roberto Alagna, who captivated Live in HD audiences as Don José in 2010. Louis Langrée conducts Sir Richard Eyre's lively production, a favorite in the Met's repertoire. 3 hrs, 40 min.
Community Arts Film Series. This poignant documentary chronicles the long and colorful life of Lily Yeh, an artist who has committed herself to creating community-based art in some of the world’s most trouble areas. With projects in North Philly to Kenya and Rawanda, Yeh teaches survivors of war and calamity to make murals and build sculptures from their own experience, regaining in the process a sense of purpose and a belief that life can be about creation as well as destruction.
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. The temple dancer Nikiya and the warrior Solor fall deeply in love, igniting heated passions and murderous intrigues when the Rajah and his daughter discover their forbidden love. One of the greatest works in classical ballet history – a story of love, death and vengeful judgment, set in India. Dazzling sets and costumes, with one of the most iconic scenes in ballet, the “Kingdom of the Shades,” illuminate the tragic tale. A must-see.
2/23 & 3/3
An explosive new play by David Hare, premiering at the National Theatre of London and broadcast to cinemas. Pauline Gibson has spent her life as a doctor, the inspiring leader of a local health campaign. When she crosses paths with her old boyfriend, a stalwart loyalist in Labour Party politics, she’s faced with an agonizing decision.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Bel canto stars Pretty Yende and Javier Camarena team up for a feast of vocal fireworks on the Met stage. Maurizio Muraro is Sergeant Sulplice, with Stephanie Blythe as the outlandish Marquise of Berkenfield. Enrique Mazzola conducts. 2 hrs, 55 min.
Community Arts Film Series. When pioneering and artist Michael Heizer finds the giant boulder he’s been searching for since 1968, it sets off an epic struggle to realize one of America’s newest and largest public artworks, ‘Levitated Mass.’ The 340-ton rock’s journey from a desert quarry to a perch atop Heizer’s gigantic, walled slot in the earth at the Los Angeles County Museum of Art attracted international media and challenged the imagination of thousands. "Wonderfully entertaining." - LA Weekly
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. On her sixteenth birthday, Princess Aurora falls under the curse of the Evil Fairy Carabosse and into a deep slumber lasting one hundred years. Only the kiss of a prince can break the spell. A resplendent fairytale ballet, The Sleeping Beauty features scores of magical characters including fairies, Little Red Riding Hood, Puss in Boots, and a beautiful Princess Aurora performed by Olga Smirnova, a “truly extraordinary talent” (The Telegraph). Classical ballet at its finest.
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. The second installment of Wagner's Ring cycle, Die Walküre, stars heroic soprano Christine Goerke as the warrior goddess Brünnhilde, whose encounter with the mortal twins Siegmund and Sieglinde, sung by Stuart Skelton and Eva-Maria Westbroek, leads her on a journey from Valhalla to earthbound humanity. Philippe Jordan conducts. 5 hrs, 20 min.
Community Arts Film Series. Through a leisurely tour through the world famous Pere Lachaise cemetery in Paris, the final resting place for legendary writers, composers, painters and other artists from around the world, FOREVER provides us with the opportunity to reflect on the transcendental importance of art in our lives, on our need to commune with the spirits of the departed, and perhaps on our own mortality as well. 50 min.
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. In the 1920’s, The Golden Age cabaret is a favorite nightly haunt. The young fisherman Boris falls in love with Rita. He follows her to the cabaret and realizes that she is the beautiful dancer “Mademoiselle Margot,” but also the love interest of the local gangster Yashka. With its jazzy score by Dmitri Shostakovich and its music-hall atmosphere featuring beautiful tangos, The Golden Age is a refreshing and colorful dive into the roaring 20’s. A historic ballet that can be seen only at the Bolshoi!
Metropolitan Opera Live in HD. Met Music Director Yannick Nézet-Séguin leads an accomplished ensemble in Poulenc's devastating modern masterpiece of faith and martyrdom. Isabel Leonard is the young Blanche de La Force, opposite Met legend Karita Mattila as the First Prioress. 3 hrs, 30 min.
Community Arts Film Series. Seductive, fearless, and outrageous, Abramovic has been redefining what art is for nearly 40 years. Using her own body as a vehicle, pushing herself beyond her physical and mental limits – and at times risking her life in the process – she creates performances that challenge and move us. Boundaries are crossed, consciousness expanded, and art as we know it is reborn. She is, quite simply, one of the most compelling artists of our time.
Bolshoi Ballet in Cinema. Carmen is as sensual and free-spirited as ever as she finds herself caught in a love triangle. The passionate one act ballet by Cuban choreographer Alberto Alonso, originally conceived for legendary Bolshoi prima ballerina Maya Plisetskaya, will captivate audiences alongside Petrushka, a new creation for the Bolshoi by contemporary choreographer Edward Clug. The double-bill event for cinemas encapsulates and showcases the soul of Russian Ballet.