Hometown auteur Lynn Shelton is an excellent sculptor of film characters, whether she’s tackling keenly observed indie comedies or quietly affecting dramas. Outside In skews toward the latter, detailing the romance between a recently paroled felon (Jay Duplass) and his former high school teacher (Edie Falco). Shelton’s been on the cusp of a breakout for a while, and if the word around the indie-cinema campfire is any indication, she, Duplass and Falco just might be serious award contenders next year.
SIFF Cinema Uptown
The Bird with the Crystal Plumage
The Northwest Film Forum has done right by horror maestro Dario Argento over the last few months, delivering screenings of Argento’s Suspiria and Deep Red late last year. Argentophiles should rejoice, then, at seeing the director’s impressive 1970 debut feature on a big screen. The central plotline about an American writer (Tony Musante) in Rome becoming ensnared in a black-gloved assailant’s swath of gruesome killings is pure Hitchcock, but Bird’s visual innovation, sleek viciousness and feverish, suspenseful set pieces forever changed the language of the movie thriller.
Northwest Film Forum
Jeannette, the Childhood of Joan of Arc
Director Bruno Dumont’s latest effort focuses on martyred French heroine Joan of Arc’s preadolescent life. What makes it pop is Dumont’s conceit—turning Jeannette/Joan’s early years and spiritual awakening into a rock musical. Young Lise Leplat Prudhomme hurtles herself into the title role, and Igorrr’s wild score finds an unlikely but rewarding sweet spot between rock opera, electronica and prog-metal. The end result isn’t retina-burning eye candy à la Baz Luhrmann’s Moulin Rouge but it’s still astonishing.
Northwest Film Forum
The Green Fog
Filmmaker Guy Maddin has always upended expectations, whether he’s chronicling vampire ballet, heady surrealism or skewed avant-film noir. The Green Fog is another strange, predictably unpredictable journey for the Canadian director. This time he’s reunited with his Forbidden Room collaborators Evan and Galen Johnson to remake Hitchcock’s Vertigo…sort of. San Francisco still takes center stage, but Maddin and the Johnsons cobble together all manner of archival footage—everything from clips of Dirty Harry to industrial training films—to create a bizarre and utterly unique homage/art piece.