The recent opening of independent movie theater The Beacon in Columbia City has been a shot in the arm for Seattle’s status as a cinephile’s city. There’s plenty of debate about whether this qualifies as a film lovers’ destination, but an increase in diverse repertory programming can only help.
And though The Beacon’s genre- and era-diverse slate of films has been intriguing, they’re not the only game in town when it comes to seeing interesting older films on the big screen. Here’s what’s coming up in October.
Top pick: Maddin mini-retrospective, Northwest Film Forum
Guy Maddin, Canada’s mad scientist of classic film pastiche, returns to Seattle, where he shot his 2006 film “Brand Upon the Brain!” starring local legend Gretchen Krich. Maddin will be on hand for Q&As after several of his films in the series, which runs Oct. 23-Nov. 3.
“Careful” (1992), presented here on 35mm, re-creates the look of early hand-tinted color film and bursts its mountain-film-genre trappings with wildly unleashed sexual desire. “My Winnipeg” (2007), perhaps Maddin’s greatest film, examines documentary and personal history as malleable concepts as he returns to his hometown.
The series will also feature Maddin’s “Seances,” 10-to-20-minute randomly generated film loops, each viewable only by a handful of people at one time. Inspired by the fact that 80 percent of silent-era films have been lost, every “Seance” is a unique experience that won’t be repeated.
1515 12th Ave., Seattle; $5-$15; 206-329-2629, nwfilmforum.org
Highlights include a new 4K restoration of Mikhail Kalatozov’s ecstatically shot war film “The Cranes are Flying” (1957) Sept. 27-Oct. 3; Victor Erice’s lovely childhood fantasia “The Spirit of the Beehive” (1973) Oct. 11-17; and singular Czech filmmaker Juraj Herz’s “Morgiana” (1972), in which the same actor plays a woman and her sister who wants to kill her, Oct. 15-16.
Horror fans have a lot to look forward to: Alfred Hitchcock’s “Psycho” (1960) Oct. 4-10; “The Town That Dreaded Sundown” (1976) Oct. 4-5; and the original Arctic outpost chiller directed (at least partially) by Howard Hawks, “The Thing from Another World” (1951), Oct. 11-17.
4405 Rainier Ave. S., Seattle; $12.50; 206-420-7328, thebeacon.film
The U District’s tiny gem presents freewheeling Japanese filmmaker Takashi Miike’s “The Black Society Trilogy” Sept. 28-Oct. 3. The three loosely connected films about gangsters and dirty cops probe deeper than typical crime films, and they represented the international breakthrough for the prolific Miike.
Also coming up: a series of films set in the ancient world, including 35mm screenings of English Civil War horror “Witchfinder General” (1968) Oct. 4-8; Crusades-era adventure “Valhalla Rising” (2009) Oct. 11-15; and apocalyptic plague thriller “Black Death” (2011) Oct. 12-17.
1403 N.E. 50th St., Seattle; $5-$10; 206-523-3935, grandillusioncinema.org
STG and LANGSTON present Silent Movie Mondays: Pioneers of African American Cinema, featuring three key films in black cinema history. Groundbreaking African American director Oscar Micheaux’s earliest surviving film “Within Our Gates” (1920) Oct. 21 and Paul Robeson-starring “Body and Soul” (1925) Oct. 14 will be preceded by “The Scar of Shame” (1929) Oct. 7. All three films will be accompanied by live organ scores from Tedde Gibson and post-screening discussions.
911 Pine St., Seattle; $7-$10; 800-982-2787, stgpresents.org/smm
Seattle Art Museum
SAM’s 42nd edition of its Film Noir series runs Sept. 26-Dec. 5, with a lineup that strays beyond the usual suspects. Special mention goes out to Henry Hathaway’s underrated “Niagara” (1953), a brazen Technicolor noir screening Oct. 24 and starring Marilyn Monroe as a femme fatale with none of the breathy or flouncy characteristics of her most famous roles.
1300 First Ave., Seattle; individual films $9, series pass $71-$78; 206-654-3210, seattleartmuseum.org
New monthly program SIFF Movie Club, held on the first Wednesday of each month at SIFF Film Center, will screen David Cronenberg’s unsettling media satire “Videodrome” (1983) Oct. 2. The film will be followed by a discussion led by a SIFF staff member at nearby Uptown Hophouse. Long live the new flesh! (And SIFF Movie Club.)
305 Harrison St., Seattle; $5-$10; 206-324-9996, siff.net