Stay-at-Home Drive-In Movie Madness!!

After regular movie theaters have suspended operations, many couples and families have rediscovered Drive-In Movie Theaters, where social distancing is a standard feature! My sister is a drive-in movie buff, and so she and her husband love to go to the Blue Fox Drive-In up on Oak Harbor, one of five still running in our state.

Mahoning Drive-in, Leighton Pennsylvania

Sadly, now even drive-ins will need to close for a while in keeping with Washington State’s newly issued Stay Home, Stay Healthy order, but never fear: we have the solution! Kanopy, available with your Seattle Public Library card, has everything you need for a classic Drive In movie night at home  – including some wonderfully schlocky classic drive-in movie fare. First of all, learn about the history of drive-ins and their revival with a pair of documentaries:

  • At the Drive-In: Saving the Mahoning Drive-In Theater. Unable to purchase a $50,000 digital projector, a group of quirky film fanatics in rural Pennsylvania fight to keep a dying drive-in theater alive by screening only vintage 35mm film prints and working entirely for free. An award-winning underdog story.
  • Going Attractions: The Definitive Story of the American Drive-In Movie. A product of post World War II optimism, the drive-in movie theater emerged as the perfect blend of entertainment and car culture. In light of the recent resurgence of drive-in theaters, this informative documentary studies the factors that affected the drive-in’s dramatic rise, decline and rebirth.

Then check out Kanopy’s other offerings to create your own double feature. In amongst a wealth of classic art house films and award-winning international cinema, lurk some truly forgettable yet indelible B-movies, redolent of the heyday of drive-in cinema. Note: none of these are family films. I’m talking about movies such as…

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Continue reading “Stay-at-Home Drive-In Movie Madness!!”

Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?

Ms. Marvel, White Wolf, Mantis, Drax, Falcon, Peter Dinklage as Pip the Troll!… Just when you thought the burgeoning cast of characters in the Marvel Cinematic Universe couldn’t get any more crowded, Hollywood Insider has gained access to leaked scripts for an as-yet-untitled Avengers movie due out in April 2020 that reveal a veritable avalanche of new characters, and a stunning new merger of beloved comics franchises. Continue reading “Avengers Spoiler Alert: Andy Serkis is playing WHO?”

Movie Mondays: Happy Birthday, David Lynch!

Director, artist, musician and all around good guy David Lynch turns 68 today. Lynch is indisputably one of the most distinctive voices in contemporary cinema, a man whose style has often been aped but never replicated. No other director can so often scare the pants off me and wow me with intense beauty, often in the same picture. If you’re new to Lynch, I would like to happily recommend some films to get you through these long winter nights. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: Happy Birthday, David Lynch!”

Movie Mondays: (Good) movies I never want to see again

Every once in a while a movie comes along that I appreciate and admire, but don’t “like.” They are provocative and disturbing. I’m glad I saw these, but for me, once was enough.

Click here to view Kids in the SPL catalogKids (1995), written by then 19-year-old Harmony Korine (director of Spring Breakers), follows Telly (Leo Fitzpatrick), a reckless teenager whose mission is to deflower virgins. When Jennie (Chloë Sevigny) finds out she’s HIV positive from an encounter with Telly, she searches for him through raves and the streets of New York City to prevent him from infecting another young girl. This portrayal of aimless, amoral teens – there’s hardly an adult to be seen – is bleak and depressing, yet remarkable for its realistic depiction of a world most of us have not seen, and extraordinary performances from first time actors Fitzpatrick, Sevigny and Rosario Dawson. Continue reading “Movie Mondays: (Good) movies I never want to see again”

Documentaries from SIFFs gone by

As I pore over the hundreds of screenings at the Seattle International Film Festival every year, I find myself focusing on two categories – documentaries and Scandinavian films. Here are some of my favorite documentaries from SIFFs gone by.

Click here to view Every Little Step in the catalogEvery Little Step is about the making of “A Chorus Line” on Broadway. Yes, it’s about actors auditioning for a musical about auditioning for a musical. Interviews with composer Marvin Hamlisch when the musical premiered in the mid-1970s are interspersed with actors auditioning for roles and the producers making casting decisions for the 2006 Broadway revival. It’s every bit as Continue reading “Documentaries from SIFFs gone by”