Movies for any occasion | Art & Appetite

Nov 07, 2016

It's starting to get blustery out there. After a quick look out the window, I realize it's time to put the picnic basket away and ask Siri if she knows any good movies.

It turns out that the hype for Oscar season is just getting ramped up, and some of the prospects look promising.

Take the film adaptation of M. L. Stedman's “The Light Between Oceans,” for example. I loved Alicia Vikander in “The Danish Girl,” and director Derek Cianfrance was responsible for 2011’s “Blue Valentine,” which was also quite good.

The sci-fi flick “Passengers” will star Jennifer Lawrence and Chris Pratt. That’s sufficient to get me into the theater.

It might also be interesting to see what Ewan McGregor, as director, will make of Philip Roth's “American Pastoral.”

That's just three of a couple of dozen movies about to be released that will be in the Oscar hunt.

I remain convinced that reading an actual book is better than reading a digital one; I also prefer experiencing a film in a theater. I’m not sure why – it's some intangible quality. I think it’s the alchemy of popcorn, an excited audience, the massive screen, quality sound system and comfortable seats.

Whatever the reasons, there’s no lack of venues to enjoy a good movie.

The Edmonds Center for the Arts has recently debuted its Cabaret Film Series on first Thursdays.

I asked program director Gillian Jones what they were looking for in the series. “We considered how we wanted to frame this series and decided we wanted films that should be seen in the theater – that look good visually, had great music, and were iconic.”

The remaining cabaret films include “Pulp Fiction,” “Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid,” “2001: A Space Odyssey” and “The Artist.”

A unique feature of this series: During the pre-viewing cocktail hour, small ensembles will play live music to complement each of the film's themes. Jones was in the middle of tracking down a techno-swing band for “The Artist” when I spoke to her.

Remember that the ECA participates in the Teen Tix program, which makes attendance even more affordable for young moviegoers. You should also be aware that although there are plenty of seats available for the movie, the optional cocktail hour portion is limited to about 150, so order early if you want to hear some great music and relax before the show.

Another great movie program in town is the Edmonds Theater’s third Thursday free shows. Designed to coincide with Art Walk Edmonds, this popular series has included a variety of modern classics and even a few popular old television programs. According to manager Chris Mayes, the November offering will celebrate the 15th anniversary of the first Harry Potter movie with the return of “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer's Stone.” Also look for “Home Alone” and “Elf” as we move into the holiday season.

The Edmonds Theater has also been know to host free showings in tribute of the passing of pop icons – most recently for Prince (“Purple Rain”) and Gene Wilder (“Blazing Saddles”).

If you’re looking for a little consciousness raising or just need a dose of social justice, another local series, Meaningful Movies, shows films every other month at the Edmonds Unitarian Universalist Congregation. November’s showing is the documentary “Consumerism and the Limits to Imagination,” directed by media critic Justin Lewis.

These are just a few ideas if you're looking to satisfy your inner film buff. Don't forget to silence your cell phone. Trash receptacles are located at the exits.

Information: edmondscenterforthearts.org, 425-275-9595; theedmondstheater.com, 425-778-4554; meaningfulmovies.org.

James Spangler is the owner of Spangler Book Exchange in Edmonds and an aficionado of all things art and appetite. Do you know of a Snohomish County restaurant, art gallery or theatrical show worthy of a review? Call him at 206-795-0128 or email him at jamessspangler@gmail.com.

 

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