One of the most beautiful films ever made (and one of my all-time favorites) screens Wednesday night at the Metro: "The Red Shoes."
One of the most beautiful films ever made (and one of my all-time favorites) screens Wednesday night at the Metro: “The Red Shoes,” Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 ballet melodrama, is a dream of color and light. Shot by the great cinematographer Jack Cardiff, it’s the story of a young ballerina (Moira Shearer, a redheaded vision) torn between love and art. (“Why do you want to dance?” she is asked. Her reply, eyes blazing: “Why do you want to live?”) At the film’s center is the legendary “Red Shoes” ballet, a swirling fantasy in which the dancer’s magic shoes take her on a wildly surreal journey. Shearer, in her film debut, seems made of dainty steel (and her swift feet are something to behold); Anton Walbrook is wonderfully icy as the company director who loves her in his soulless way; dancer Léonide Massine’s alluring strangeness as the shoemaker is haunting, particularly in the film’s final frame.
It’s gorgeous, all of it, and I just watched it on DVD a few weeks ago for the umpteenth time and was completely transported yet again. Seeing it in 35mm is a rare treat, and it’s here for one night only: Wednesday at 6:45 and 9:20 p.m. at the Metro, 4500 Ninth Ave. N.E.; 206-781-5755 or www.landmarktheatres.com; advance tickets can be bought at tickets.landmarktheatres.com. And no, I wasn’t named after Moira Shearer, but I like to pretend that I was.
“The Other Side of the Mirror: Bob Dylan Live at the Newport Folk Festival” screens tonight through Sunday at Northwest Film Forum, with director Murray Lerner in attendance at all screenings. The film is a concert documentary, shot over three festivals in which Dylan sings such favorites as “Mr. Tambourine Man” and “Like a Rolling Stone.” Lerner, who has made a number of concert films, will also teach a documentary master class on Saturday.
Also at NWFF this week is a program of experimental dance films by local choreographer Karn Junkinsmith, “Dance Outside and Otherwise.” It takes place Thursday only at 7:30 p.m.; several of the films will be accompanied by live music. All NWFF events take place at 1515 12th Ave., Seattle; for more information about any event, see www.nwfilmforum.org or call 206-267-5380.
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The Global Lens film series begins today at SIFF Cinema and continues through April 3 with 10 films from South Africa, China, Croatia, Lebanon, the Philippines, India, Iran, Indonesia and Argentina. “Bunny Chow,” John Barker’s comedy set in Johannesburg, kicks off the series at 8 tonight. Several of the screenings will be followed by discussions led by faculty members from the University of Washington: “The Kite,” from Lebanon, Tuesday at 4 p.m.; “Let the Wind Blow,” from India, Wednesday at 4 p.m.; “The Fish Fall in Love,” from Iran, Thursday at 4 p.m. Series passes are $75 ($50 SIFF members); all screenings take place at SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall, 321 Mercer St., Seattle. For more information, see www.siff.net or 206-324-9996.
And finally, this week’s midnight movie is a triple Oscar winner and one of the best films of 2006: Guillermo del Toro’s “Pan’s Labyrinth,” a darkly fantastical tale of a little girl facing demons both real and imaginary in postwar Spain. Tonight and Saturday at the Egyptian: 805 E. Pine St., Seattle; 206-781-5755 or www.landmarktheatres.com.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or firstname.lastname@example.org