The Seattle International Film Festival is heading into its final weekend just as Cadence, SPLIFF, and the Seattle Black Film Festival are joining the digital stage, rounded out by other streaming newcomers like Danny Madden’s indie drama Beast Beast and the Kate Winslet-helmed HBO series Mare of Easttown. See them all below, and find even more options on our on-demand calendar or our guide to other streaming events this week.
Newly Streaming: Local Connection
Writer-director Danny Madden’s portrait of teenhood in a Southern town intersects the stories of three Zoomers: Krista, a suburban theater geek; Nito, a skater scraping by with little support from his negligent dad; and Adam, a recent high school grad obsessed with guns and his fledgling target-shooting YouTube channel. While they come from disparate backgrounds, each character shares a desire to be seen and accepted in their alienated world, and when they do finally meet, the tone shifts from introspective to chaotic as the trio plots for viral fame on social media.
Diary of the Dead
Queue up George Romero’s 2007 zombie flick about a group of college kids who flee to their friend’s mansion when the undead take over their town, and watch along for commentary from MoPOP and Suzanne Desrocher-Romero, the wife of the late director.
Museum of Pop Culture
A woman (Andrea Bræin Hovig) is given three months to live following a terminal cancer diagnosis, pushing her and her husband (Stellan Skarsgård) to emotionally reconnect for the good of their close-knit offspring. Norway’s Oscar submission is based on director Maria Sødahl’s own life.
Bicycle Film Festival
The long-running Bicycle Film Festival Northwest will present an international selection of short films whose stories range from cycling as a response to the knife-crime epidemic in London to the first women’s BMX sporting event.
Video poetry has been around since the late 1970s, but it’s been enjoying a slight revival in a world where three-minute videos on the internet serve as our primary mode of media consumption. The region’s only festival dedicated to the art form (that we know of) will partner with Northwest Film Forum again for an online program of features and shorts from over 60 international artist teams, including not one but two films inspired by Botswana-based poet Tjawangwa Dema’s “Lethe.”
Northwest Film Forum
Seattle Black Film Festival
“I have yet to attend a Langston Hughes African American Film Festival [ed. note: the name has changed this year] that doesn’t have an important black-directed or black-themed film that’s somehow been missed by the wider film community or is unavailable in any format—web, disk, cable, theater,” wrote The Stranger‘s Charles Mudede a few years ago. This year’s festival is in a web format, but the sentiment holds.
47th Seattle International Film Festival 2021
You may not get to bump elbows with visiting filmmakers or shmooze face-to-face with your fellow film aficionados, but the Seattle International Film Festival will indeed go on this year, boasting a virtual program of over 90 features and over 100 short films from around the world. Overwhelmed with options? Check out our top picks.
2021 SPLIFF Film Festival
As everyone’s favorite day to smoke weed draws near, it’s time for another installment of short cannabis-themed films made for and by stoners just like you! You’ll have a grand old time watching the screenings themselves, but you’ll be even more delighted by this year’s live(streamed) viewing parties hosted by various dynamic weed-loving duos, from The Stranger‘s Chase Burns and Jasmyne Keimig to Seattle drag stars Cookie Couture and Betty Wetter to comedians Alyssa Yeoman and Erin Ingle.
Newly Streaming: Nationwide
Couples Therapy: Season 2
Weekly therapy sessions with four couples in the COVID era will surely provide some much-needed perspective (and comfort) for cooped-up pairs on the viewer’s side of the screen.
When this campy delight came out back in 2015, Erik Henriksen wrote, “Guillermo del Toro’s latest is a visually sumptuous gothic romance—one that, amidst all the melodrama, offers slivers of sly wit, loving nods to classic horror, and, by the time it’s over, quite a bit of blood. It also has a ghost in it. Or two. Or three.”
Dad Stop Embarrassing Me!
Returning to a TV-verse similar to the one older millennials might remember from In Living Color, Jamie Foxx stars as a well-intentioned dad who tries to connect with his teen daughter by wearing small pants, giving firm-yet-loving life advice, and generally fulfilling the various duties of the Hollywood-sitcom patriarch.
Mare of Easttown
Kate Winslet stars in this limited series as the high school basketball star turned lead detective of a small Pennsylvania town, whose crumbling personal life faces even more strain when she’s tasked with investigating a local murder.
Philadelphia’s new progressive district attorney Larry Krasner gets the spotlight in this PBS docuseries, which delves into his policy initiatives that favor rehabilitation over punishment when it comes to those serving time in local prisons.
Shot across all seven continents, Jacques Perrin’s gorgeous documentary is a bird lover’s dream, capturing winged creatures’ migratory flight patterns over the course of three years.
Why Did You Kill Me?
For when you’re out of true-crime content: The family of Crystal Theobald, a 24-year-old woman murdered in 2006, uses social media to track down her killer.
Younger: Season 7
Sink into yet another season of this dramedy about a Gen-Xer who pretends to be in her 20s to land a publishing job in an ageist market. It’s already been revealed to her co-workers (Hillary Duff included) that she’s not a millennial, so the tension now lies in her love triangle with a man her same age and a man-boy 15 years her junior. If the Darren Star creator credit puts you off, know that this show is much more highly regarded than Emily in Paris.
NEW THIS WEEK
BECU Drive-in Movies at Marymoor Park
For the last 17 years or so, Marymoor Park has been one of Seattle’s hottest destinations for outdoor movie viewing. While you won’t be able to set up on the grass this year, BECU will keep the tradition going by turning to a drive-in model for the second year, screening classic flicks like Back to the Future (Tues), The Greatest Showman (Wed), and more of the like on Tuesday, Wednesday, and Thursday nights in April. Food trucks will be onsite, too.
Marymoor Park, Redmond (Tuesday-Wednesday)
Seattle International Film Festival Drive-In Movies
In addition to its extensive virtual programming, the Seattle International Film Festival will screen a couple of films from its Indigenous Showcase at the Skyline Drive-In: Fruits of Labor, which follows a Chicanx teenager’s navigation of family life, farm life, and her dreams for the future, and The Song of the Butterflies, about a Uitoto Nation member who returns home to the forests to gain artistic inspiration from his elders’ stories.
Skyline Drive-In, Shelton (Friday-Saturday)
AMC Pacific Place
Godzilla vs. Kong
Various theaters and streaming on HBO Max
Ark Lodge (also streaming on Hulu)
Raya and the Last Dragon
AMC Pacific Place & Ark Lodge (also streaming on Disney+)