Film festivals galore
The forecast says rain will be settling in for a good long while, but all the better to douse yourself in the deluge of incredible independent films coming to town. This year’s Seattle Latino Film Festival boasts an impressive lineup, including the opening night film La Camarista/The Chambermaid, about a maid in a Mexican luxury hotel who is determined to rise above. (Bonus: some films are screening in the auditorium of the not-yet-open Sea Mar Museum of Chicano/a/Latino/a Culture, so you’ll get a sneak peek.) The Tacoma Film Festival brings more than 100 films, with a nice mix of local filmmakers, including a “Memorial Micro Symposium” on Northwest animation legend Bruce Bickford. The Social Justice Film Festival highlights stories of Indigenous land preservation, women’s rights and other courageous political activism. Last but not least, STG’s Silent Movie Mondays is pairing with LANGSTON (formerly Langston Hughes Performing Arts Institute) present Pioneers of African American Cinema. This is a rare chance to see a slate of 1920s films featuring Black actors, directors and producers, including The Scar of Shame (produced by Colored Players Film Corp.), Body and Soul (Paul Robeson’s first film role) and Within Our Gates (the earliest surviving feature film by an African American director). All accompanied by the accomplished Tedde Gibson on the Mighty Wurlitzer organ. –B.D.
If you go: Seattle Latino Film Festival, Oct. 3-12, times, prices and locations vary. Tacoma Film Festival, Oct. 3-10, times, prices and locations vary. Social Justice Film Festival, Oct. 3-12. Times, prices and locations vary for all of the above. Pioneers of African American Cinema, Paramount Theatre, Oct. 7, 14, 21 at 7 p.m. ($10 or $22.50 for series pass)
Tagalog sa King Street
When a group of local Filipino actors began rehearsals for two plays in Tagalog, a widely spoken language in the Philippines, they were immediately faced with the complexity of the language. A word on the page could mean different things, depending on pronunciation. Add to that the fact that “old Tagalog” is different from “Taglish,” as well as different regional dialects, and things get complicated, even for a cast of native speakers. But representation matters, and the result is well worth it. “I would like to see myself — and hear myself — on stage,” noted actor Nina De Torres Ignacio. In a public performance called Tagalog sa King Street, the group will present two Filipino plays in Tagalog and Taglish (with English supertitles and shadow puppets to help nonspeakers follow along). Crosscut video producer Aileen Imperial went behind the scenes at several rehearsals, to capture the drama — including comedic “overacting” — and what it means to Filipinos to hear their language as art. Watch our video story. –B.D.
If you go: Tagalog sa King Street, Seattle Office of Arts and Culture’s ARTS space at King Street Station, Oct. 3 at 6:30 p.m. and Oct. 5 at 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. (Free with RSVP)
Picks for First Thursday Artwalk in Pioneer Square
Time for the first First Thursday Artwalk since we officially transitioned to fall. This month, we recommend checking out three local artists who create beautiful work imbued with a socially conscious viewpoint. At Traver Gallery, Seattle native April Surgent presents In the Space Separating, a show of engraved glass. Inspired by a residency in Palmer Station, Antarctica, where she studied climate change in the Western Antarctic Peninsula, the rectangular glass panes depict stark scenes of mountains, sea and clouds, which Sargent says “serve as a physical and archival record … at the beginning of the 21st century.” At Linda Hodges Gallery, local painter Daphne Minkoff traces disappearances of a different sort: dilapidated houses and motels on the brink of demolition for new construction. In “Elegy,” wild purple and pink skies belie a bleak outlook for the city’s old structures. And at Gallery 4Culture, local installation artist Cicelia Ross-Gotta creates a moving response to a family member who has been living in a motel since 2016. For “Feel Just Like Home,” she painstakingly hand-embroidered internet reviews of the motel (including a color-coded star system to denote mentions of drug use, sex work, bugs, danger) onto scraps of used bedsheets and hung them on cheap towel racks. Visitors are invited to pick up and read the reviews, and contemplate whether people in temporary housing are still homeless. –B.D.
If you go: April Surgent at Traver Gallery, Oct. 3 - Nov. 2. Daphne Minkoff at Linda Hodges Gallery, Oct. 3 - Nov. 2. Cicelia Ross-Gotta at Gallery 4Culture, Oct. 3 - 31. First Thursday Artwalk and artist receptions, Oct. 3. 6 - 8 p.m. (Free)
Kate Wallich + The YC x Perfume Genius: The Sun Still Burns Here
Writing about a performance when you’ve only seen a tantalizing glimmer of it can feel like a Herculean effort. Particularly when the creators describe their work as “aural textures and landscapes” and “choreographic narratives” dealing with “themes of deterioration, catharsis and transcendence from the body.” Mysterious descriptions aside, we trust The Sun Still Burns Here (premiering in Seattle before touring to New York, Boston, and Minneapolis) will be an intriguing work of art, thanks to the sheer talent involved, namely choreographer Kate Wallich of dance company The YC and musician Mike Hadreas of Perfume Genius. With her moody, millennial sensibilities and abstracted but fluid style, Wallich has carved out a distinctive slot in the city’s contemporary dance scene. And considering Hadreas’ penchant for atmospheric, rock-infused pop melodies, their collaboration is a match made in hipster heaven. –M.V.S.
If you go: The Sun Still Burns Here by Kate Wallich + The YC x Perfume Genius at The Moore Theatre, Oct. 4-5, 8 p.m. (Tickets start at $32.50)
Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers: Origins
Fifty years ago, a young George Shangrow started conducting madrigals with some other music geeks attending the University of Washington. Those early efforts grew into the Orchestra Seattle/Seattle Chamber Singers — the Pacific Northwest’s only combined orchestra-chorus that performs not just the baroque and oratorio repertoire, but symphonic masterworks from every era. Though Shangrow died tragically in a car accident in 2010, the organization remains both steady and innovative, as evidenced by an impressive 50th season. Music Director William White is a writer, lecturer and composer as well as conductor, and is intent on exploring the work of neglected women composers and contemporary compositions. The season’s scope is exemplified by this weekend’s program, Origins, an homage to Earth. The centerpiece is trailblazer Carol Sams’ 1987 oratorio “The Earthmakers,” in which she recounts creation stories from many cultures (including Native stories) about the formation of the world. Notably, Sams was the first woman to be awarded a PH.D in composition from UW. The program begins with a world premiere of “Vast Array,” a cinematic fanfare by Carlos Garcia and includes Milhaud’s “La Creation du Monde,” a jazzy French ballet from 1923. —B.D.
If you go: Orchestra Seattle and the Seattle Chamber Singers, First Free Methodist Church (3200 3rd Ave.in West Seattle), Oct. 5 at 7:30p.m. ($10-25; youth free)
An Evening With Patti Smith
Although Patti Smith had been known for years as the “punk poet laureate” for infusing rock with poetry, the singer-songwriter somewhat amazed the world with the haunting prose in her first memoir Just Kids, published and lauded with the National Book Award in 2010. Nearly 10 years later, Smith has entered her eighth decade on this Earth, and Donald Trump is president. In her newly published third memoir, Year of the Monkey, Smith grapples with the changes in herself alongside the country’s political landscape. For many of us, the most recent Year of the Monkey (2016) was marked by the presidential election. But for Smith, it started with the decision to travel alone for a year. The new book chronicles the experience, and in the process serves as a road trip through Smith’s inner landscape — full of dreams, loss and grief. As part of the Seattle Arts and Lectures series, Smith will read from the new book at Benaroya Hall, and will also respond to audience questions, plus sing a song or two. –M.V.S.
If you go: An Evening With Patti Smith at Benaroya Hall, Oct. 6, 7:30 p.m. (Tickets start at $42 and include a copy of the book)
Live Reading of Allen Ginsberg’s “Howl” at Hotel Sorrento
“Remarkable collection of angels all gathered at once in the same spot. Wine, music, dancing girls, serious poetry, free satori.” Thus read the invitation in October 1955 to a poetry reading at San Francisco’s Six Gallery, where beat poet and LGBTQ icon Allen Ginsberg read his raw, long-lined poem Howl for the first time in public. The now-legendary event lit the fuse of the Beat Generation’s rocketing ascent, and forever changed 20th century literature. On the reading’s 65th anniversary, Hugo House invites all “angel-headed-hipsters, jazz-cats, + beatniks to gather for a live reading of HOWL” in the Fireside Room of the Hotel Sorrento. This time around, the “remarkable angels” are local poets Laura Da’, Shin Yu Pai, Quenton Baker and Bill Carty. After the reading, guests are invited to share their own poetry inspired by the Beatniks. As Ginsberg’s advice to writers went: “Follow your inner moonlight; don't hide the madness.” –M.V.S.
If you go: Live Reading of Allen Ginsberg’s Howl at Hotel Sorrento, Oct. 7 at 6 p.m. (Free)
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