Tag Archives: Film

New Moon Movie Night: On Being an Obvious Child (Who Is Not Ready to Have a Child)

by NEVE

Welcome to our moon-synced movie review show, hosted by Saira Barbaric and NEVE. This duo of South Seattle creatives make multidisciplinary work together and individually. For this show, they’re ecstatic to join their love of astrology, ritual, and pop culture.

Stream this month’s podcast at the New Moon Movie Review official podcast website


The short and sweet Obvious Child, directed by Gillian Robespierre and starring Jenny Slate, was released in 2014. Still, it gets its name from the 1990’s Paul Simon and Olodum (Black Brazilian drumming and performance collective/political movement, whose name means “God of Gods”) song “The Obvious Child.” “The Obvious Child” was Paul Simon’s reflection on mortality and aging, in which the singer is not only grown but has a child who’s grown. Simon asks, “Why deny the obvious child?” Given that the film Obvious Child is about an unplanned pregnancy in the life of a 20-something comedian, you might think the obvious child is the one that might have been. Still, I like to think that the obvious child is the one in the heart of Slate’s hilarious Donna. Paul Simon and Olodum’s song features in the film as well. Its freckled, speckled, peppered, stacked, happily gnashing drums accompany the scene in which Donna and her one-night stand Max (Jake Lacy) hook up for the first time and inadvertently get pregnant. It’s a very charming scene, with a lot of dancing, jumping, and playing around. Very little obvious sexy time, which I found endearing and wholesome. They were genuinely enjoying themselves, and the movie wanted us to know this. The downside to this scene and song choice is that Max owns both khakis and bongos. You do the math.

A Seattle Filmmaker’s Search for ‘The Invisible Father’

by Beverly Aarons


Piero Heliczer, Beat poet, experimental filmmaker, and publisher, was a central figure in the 1960s and ʼ70s underground art scene. He published dozens of poems, produced at least 24 films, and participated in Andy Warhol’s Film-Makers’ Cooperative. But in the early 1990s, while reading his poetry at a venue on the famous St. Marks Place, Piero was something much smaller and ordinary: a drunk, disheveled, absentee father under the critical gaze of his 19-year-old daughter, Thérèse Heliczer. 

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New Moon Movie Night: ‘Don’t Look Up’ Makes Me Want to Look Up All the Time

by NEVE

Welcome to our moon-synced movie review show, hosted by Saira Barbaric and NEVE. This duo of South Seattle creatives make multidisciplinary work together and individually. For this show, they’re ecstatic to join their love of astrology, ritual, and pop culture.

Stream this month’s podcast at the New Moon Movie Review official podcast website


I knew I wanted to see Don’t Look Up (written and created by Adam McKay and David Sirota, directed by Adam McKay) because it features a Timothée Chalamet appearance. I am an unabashed Timmy fan; I make no apologies. As soon as I began watching it, too, I remembered my crushes of yesteryear: Leonardo DiCaprio and Jennifer Lawrence. They are both playing to their strengths in every way in this film. Leo is a mentally disabled and socially awkward yet unreasonably good-looking (it is spoken about this way) brainiac astronomer with a heart of gold but a bent moral compass, and perhaps a skewed view of reality. JLaw, the people’s girl, is very much the outspoken radical, the sweater punk who prefers tea to booze but resorts to smoking a bowl in times of extreme stress or delight. She is also a brainiac astronomer, and a Ph.D. student of Leo’s at Michigan State. Timothée Chalamet’s character doesn’t matter all that much, and yet he matters most of all. An article in which I will extoll Timmy’s virtues is forthcoming, but I promise I won’t waste your time here. 

TRANSlations Film Fest Features Films By and About Trans and Nonbinary Communities

by Patheresa Wells


This year’s TRANSlations: Seattle Trans Film Fest will take place May 5–8. It is a hybrid event with virtual and in-person screenings. TRANSlations Mxxtape, the in-person event, will be held on Saturday, May 7, 2022, at Northwest Film Forum. 

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Seattle Asian American Film Festival Celebrates 10th Anniversary

by Amanda Ong


This year, Seattle Asian American Film Festival (SAAFF) celebrates its 10th anniversary with virtual features as well as select in-person screenings at the Stonehouse Café and Northwest Film Forum. As their second year online, SAAFF will feature over 100 short- and feature-length films, documentaries, animated films, drive-through, and in-person movie screenings. The festival is running March 3–13.

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Highline Indigenous Voices Celebration Features Art, Education, Stories

by Patheresa Wells


Highline Public Schools Native Education Program will host an Indigenous Voices Celebration on Saturday, Nov. 27, 1–7 p.m., highlighting and honoring the work done by Indigenous earth/water protectors and First Nations food sovereignty leaders. The event will include viewings of two films, AWAKE: A Dream from Standing Rock and GATHER, as well as discussion about issues of importance to Indigenous communities — including the sacred work of water and land protectors — and sharings from Highline Native Education

Highline’s Native Education Program is a legacy program established in 1974 with the passing of the Indian Education Act. The program was started as a way to address the culturally related needs of American Indian and Alaska Native students. Since its inception, the program has had its own history of growth, but in 2013 it was relaunched with, as program manager Sara Ortiz says, a desire to be “visionary in our approach to native or Indian education … to include as many artists, as many culture keepers, scholars, elders, media makers, [and] language teachers [as possible].”

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Multifaith Coalition Will Kick Off Conversation on Criminal Justice Reform With Documentary Screening

by Ben Adlin


More than two decades ago, Kimonti Carter was sentenced to 777 years in prison for his role in a devastating 1997 Tacoma drive-by shooting that left a college student dead. Since then, he’s become something of a role model — an example of how education and empathy can build bridges between traumatized groups and direct them toward common action.

From inside prison, Carter built a program within the Black Prisoners’ Caucus that teaches for-credit college courses to incarcerated people. Through an emphasis on shared humanity and empowerment through learning, the project has brought together prisoners of various backgrounds and identities, often shattering racial and ideological boundaries.

Carter is the uniting thread in the 2020 documentary Since I Been Down, which will be available to watch online later this month. The free screenings are being organized by a multifaith coalition initiated by the Blacks and Jews Building Beloved Community initiative, a Seattle-based project built in recent years to strengthen connections within and between Black and Jewish communities. The screenings will lead to a community conversation about criminal justice issues in Washington State, including calls to action around sentencing reform, prisoner reentry, prison debt, and housing justice. The organizers also hope the program will inspire people to get involved during the upcoming state legislative session.

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Local Sightings Filmmakers Crack the Alabaster Jesus Façade

by Beverly Aarons


“This film is dedicated to the future memory of white supremacy, the new world’s original gangster,” a deep voice declares. That’s how Manifest Destiny Jesus begins. Orchestral music blares, white text fades onto a black background, the words of English writer William Gilpin come into view: “The untransacted destiny of the American people is to subdue the continent — to rush over this vast field to the Pacific Ocean.”

Seattle’s crane-filled skyline comes into view. Logos of the richest and most powerful corporations in the nation glide down towering skyscrapers. Weathered tent cities cling to a dusty underpass. Seattle: a paragon of westward expansion and capitalist conquest. Fast forward: Displaced Seattleites lament the relentless hammer of gentrification. “I can’t even afford to live here,” a man says. 

A woman sits in Columbia City Church of Hope, a stained glass Jesus hovers above, his ivory hand points westward. 

Manifest Destiny Jesus, which screens at this month’s “Local Sightings” film festival, is a documentary that explores how the widespread portrayal of Jesus as white influences everything from gentrification to police brutality. And how one small church in a gentrifying South Seattle found the courage to ask, “What does it mean to worship a white Jesus?” 

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‘This Is Spinal Injury’ by Seattle Comedians With Disabilities Premieres at Festival

by Laszlo Jajczay


Dan Hurwitz wants more people to be talking about issues affecting people with disabilities — he’s also a stand-up comedian, filmmaker, and writer.

His latest production, This is Spinal Injury, is a mockumentary that features Hurwitz and fellow comedian Kayla Brown attempting to put on “the greatest, most accessible, yet simultaneously least commercially viable comedy show featuring comedians with disabilities in the history of the Pacific Northwest,” according to the film’s website. Hurwitz recently spoke with the Emerald about how the film got started.

“A couple years ago, we started a comedy show called the ‘Disabled List’ and we gathered several other disabled comedians to perform. At the time, we were performing at the Pocket Theater in Greenwood and it was very well received,” Hurwitz said.

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Skyway Outdoor Cinema Adjusts to Bring Community Together

by M. Anthony Davis


The West Hill Community Association has an extensive history of advocacy and community service in the communities of Skyway and Unincorporated King County. Their weekly event, Skyway Outdoor Cinema, which hosts outdoor movies on a 20-foot screen every Friday in August, has been a staple in Skyway every summer since 2003.

Devin Chicras, a West Hill Community Association board member since 2014 (and president of the South Seattle Emerald board), has been actively involved in the Skyway Outdoor Cinema since 2013. At that time, the organization was discussing whether to shut the cinema down due to lack of volunteers and declining community attendance. Knowing how valuable the event was to the community, Chicras stepped up to ensure the outdoor cinema continued. 

“Myself and my partner, Mary Goebel, decided that it was something too valuable to the community to just let it just discontinue,” Chicras says. “So we jumped in and, having no real event-planning experience, learned everything from the ground up, from getting vendors to buying AV equipment. We bought all of our own equipment after doing an Indiegogo campaign.”

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