Seattle Weekender: Werewolves and Mormons at SIFF, gin cocktails, and late-night karaoke

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.
Crosscut archive image.

The Kubota Garden in spring

Crosscut's guide to a culturally enriching weekend in the city. Or at least some fun.

Seattle International Film Festival

The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is barreling along. A juggernaut of a festival, one of the country’s largest, SIFF boasts hundreds of titles and welcomes snooty, pass-holding veteran filmgoers and curious cinema beginners alike. Later this June, Sissy Spacek will be answering questions by way of telekinesis (not really) to be followed by a screening Badlands, Spacek's debut in a starring role. But for the upcoming weekend, here are a couple of picks that Crosscut finds juicy enough to suggest:

Game of Werewolves. The SIFF site states that this is the lycanthrope version of Shaun of the Dead and should be a “hair-raisingly funny horror-comedy.” Egyptian Theater, 805 East Pine St., May, 25, midnight, $11 except where noted.

The 5000-Days Project: TWO BROTHERS: Directed by Seattle filmmaker Rick Stevenson, this documentary explores the lives of Sam and Luke, two brothers from Shoreline, as they grow up in a Mormon family. (You can read a recent interview with Stevenson   from   The Seattle Weekly.) Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave, May, 26, 1 p.m., $11 except where noted.

Wonder Woman! The Untold Story of American Superheroines. While Seattle’s own Phoenix Jones is beset with difficulties from police, critics, and a new nemesis, this documentary explores the positive impact of superheroes and heroines as encouraging role models—the cultural significance of the Amazon Warrior Princess. Egyptian Theater, 805 East Pine St., Sunday, May 27, 4 p.m., $11 except where noted.

Enrico Moretti: The Geography of Jobs

Don’t have a job? A bit upset about that? Everyone who grinds it out everyday is just lucky you say? Well, there may be some legitimacy to that. UC Berkeley Professor and author of The New Geography of Jobs, Enrico Moretti, may tell you the reason you’re still scouring the classifieds is due to where you live and not solely because the economy has its head in a noose.

According to Moretti, the “three Americas” (big cities, old manufacturing capitols, and the middle) are shifting the economic landscape, redistributing jobs, wealth, and population, and creating “brain hubs” like San Francisco, Boston, and Austin (Seattle isn’t mentioned). Says the books' website, "Dealing with this split—encouraging growth in the hubs while arresting the decline elsewhere—will be the challenge of the century," one that Moretti will help the nation rise up to meet.

If you go: Enrico Moretti, Town Hall Seattle, 1119 8th Ave, May 25, 7:30 – 9:00 p.m., $5.

Kubota Garden guided tour

For those of you who haven't been enjoying the dreary spring weather, take a guided tour of Kubota Garden this weekend when sun is expected. The Kubota Garden, located in Rainier Beach, is 60 years in the making and features 60 acres of streams, waterfalls, ponds, rock outcroppings, and a variety of plant life.

Fujitaro Kubota, who emigrated from the Japanese island of Shikoku in 1907, is a self-taught gardener who brought the traditional Japanese gardening style to the Northwest. Kubota has designed a number of gardens around the Seattle area, including the Seattle University campus and the Japanese Garden at the Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. This Saturday the Kubota Garden Foundation will provide a guided tour through his bucolic Seattle landmark.

If you go: Kubota Garden, 9817 55th Ave S, May 26, 10:00-11:30 a.m., free.

Gin Cocktail Tutorial

As gross as some products of gin sound (Beefeater, anyone?) for the most part the liquor is quite good. A gin and tonic with a cut up lime dangling on the side of the glass is about the limit of mixology knowhow for most casual sippers. Now is your chance to expand your palate and discover other unique drinks. Learn about gin’s history, production, fun facts (gin and tonics are popular in Africa to ward off malaria because of quinine in tonic water—fun!), and how to make a variety of cocktails from the drink experts at Tini Bigs Lounge. There will also be gin-enhancing appetizers.

If you go: Tini Bigs Lounge, 100 Denny Way, May 26, 4:00 p.m, $35.

Late-Night Karaoke at Venus

Venus Karaoke is hit or miss. Customer reviews are all over the map, with some claiming it to be the hotspot destination to sing your heart out in the comfort of your own private singing booth, while others grumble about its glaring hygienic problems and technical malfunctions. Sometimes the lyrics don’t appear on the screen, which seems like it should be the number one priority of any karaoke joint, and on occasion the whole system crashes. But what do you expect from a dive that, for $50, will let you have a food fight?

One thing that is hard to find fault with, however, is the fact that Venus stays open until the early morning hour of 4 a.m. on weekends. It also has a seemingly limitless number of songs to select from. Just imagine what your voice will sound like singing Devo at that hour.

If you go: Venus Karaoke, 601, S. King St., 2:30 p.m.-2:00 a.m. daily, until 4 a.m. weekends, free


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