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‘The Long Kiss Goodnight,’ ‘Love, Cecil,’ ‘Terminator 2: Judgment Day,’ and more

Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Through Sept. 5

The Long Kiss Goodnight

The Long Kiss Goodnight hit theaters in 1996 with a bang but quickly flopped, which is a damned shame. It’s a jauntier take on The Bourne Identity, with a winning star turn by Geena Davis as an amnesiac schoolteacher who discovers she was a crack CIA assassin before she lost her memory, opposite an intense (and very funny) Samuel L. Jackson as a private eye helping Davis unearth her past. With its engaging female action hero and a wittily self-aware Shane Black script, it would likely be a hit today.

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Grand Illusion Cinema

Through Sept. 6

Love, Cecil

Cecil Beaton was nothing short of a Renaissance man, a creative polyglot who left his mark on the worlds of fashion, design, photography and literature. Love, Cecil offers an unabashed love letter of a documentary to the man. Beaton’s still-astonishing war photography, indelible celebrity portraits, pithy writing and Oscar-winning design work get plenty of screen time, but the great strength of director Lisa Immordino Vreeland’s film is how it captures—and digs deeply into—this talented man’s life-loving, ever-wide-eyed, self-effacing soul.

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Northwest Film Forum

Through Sept. 6

Terminator 2: Judgment Day

You’d think 27 years of sci-fi action blockbusters and advances in special effects technology would’ve blunted the impact of James Cameron’s sequel to The Terminator. But much fun and exhilaration are to be had in this saga of Arnold Schwarzenegger’s cyborg protecting an adolescent John Connor (Edward Furlong) from a deadly synthetic foe (a coldly malevolent Robert Patrick). The set pieces still dazzle and the surplus of twisty tension still clicks. The movie’s ace in the hole remains Linda Hamilton’s ferocious, ragged, fearless performance as Connor’s mom, Sarah.

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Grand Illusion Cinema

Sept. 6–13

Betty: They Say I’m Different

Betty Davis rubbed shoulders with Jimi Hendrix, wrote songs for the Chambers Brothers and spent one tumultuous year as wife to Miles Davis. Then she became an honest-to-God musical pioneer when she stormed into the mid-’70s, releasing self-produced hard funk albums with a sexual directness that still possesses the heat and power to raise the temperature in a room 15 degrees. Director Phil Cox’s doc lets the regal, low-key, now 72-year-old woman tell her own story, and it’s riveting.

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Northwest Film Forum

Sept. 7–9

In the Intense Now

Brazilian billionaire banking heir João Moreira Salles would seem an unlikely chronicler of social unrest, but chronicle it he does, brilliantly, in In the Intense Now. Spurred by home-movie footage his mother shot in China during the Cultural Revolution in 1966, Salles’ resonant documentary, narrated in first person, incorporates those excerpts with flashes of several stormy, world-shaking uprisings and protests in 1968, including amateur-shot images of French student protests and the Soviet Union’s invasion of Czechoslovakia. Not surprisingly, the parallels between then and now run deep.

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Northwest Film Forum

Sept. 15

The Swimmer

Today’s movie stars routinely make films that push and tweak their personae into uncomfortable and unusual places. Golden age Hollywood leading man Burt Lancaster took those kinds of risks decades ago, and 1968’s The Swimmer was probably the paragon of his risk-taking as an actor. The story of a middle-aged man swimming his way home via numerous backyard pools stymied critics and audiences at the time, but Lancaster’s mounting vulnerability, director Frank Perry’s stylized visual approach, and Eleanor Perry’s enigmatic screenplay feel contemporary in their psychological complexity.

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Northwest Film Forum

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