GO Arts

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Category: Cinema


Two thumbs-up, two thumbs-down for the Tacoma Film Festival’s Grit City Flicks

The locally made flicks at the Tacoma Film Festival – which screened yesterday, and are on again at 1:45 p.m. today – are always rather hit-or-miss. This year two out of four were definitely worth the watch, with the other two less thrilling.

One of the better two was  Mick Flaaen’s “Paint,” a hyper-local documentary showing how the City of Tacoma’s imaginative policy on graffiti murals has shaped the town both aesthetically and internally. In between interviews with everyone from artists to City administrator Amy McBride, to whom goes the credit for much of the moving and shaking, are

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Two gripping documentaries at Tacoma Film Festival explore the human capacity for good and evil

On the surface, a film about a preacher and a film about soccer would seem to have little in common. But they’re two documentaries in the Tacoma Film Festival that make the same salient point through gripping footage and interviews – the choice every person has between extreme good and extreme evil, and whether to forgive.

“The Redemption of General Butt Naked,” which screened last night and will screen again at 2:55 p.m. tomorrow at The Grand Cinema, is as startling as its title. First, a caveat – yes, you will see plenty of butt-naked men, but seeing as

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Indie documentary on Fr. Bill Bichsel’s Japan peace trip makes it into film festivals nationally

A documentary film about Tacoma peace activist Fr. Bill Bichsel is making it into film festivals nationwide. Made by Ashley Karitis of Bend, Oregon about Bichsel’s trip to Japan in August 2009 to participate in ceremonies commemorating the World War II bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, the film “Free World” played at the Tacoma Film Festival in 2010, was accepted into the New York Peace Film Festival, the Northwest Projections Film Festival in Bellingham on April 14-17 and the SURGE Film Festival in  Portland, Oregon May 17-22. It features music by local musicians such as Steve and Kristi

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72 hours from concept to final film

The Grand Cinema’s 72 hour film festival is now accepting filmmaking team sign-ups.

The competition beings on April 21 at the Grand where the teams will have 72 hours to write, shoot and edit a five minute film. The results will show at the Rialto Theater on May 6.

Go here for more info:



Free Arts Month: Tom Hanks, for free, at the Click Flick

If you want free, you gotta plan. Today my idea was to catch the monthly Click Family Flick at the Grand Cinema – but about 100 people had the same idea as I did, and sooner. The Flick is a free kid-friendly film every third Saturday, usually something adults like as well, but it’s pretty popular, and it’s worth planning out the morning. Today’s screening was the 1988 classic “Big,” about a boy who wishes he was bigger – and has it granted, by about six years in one night.

Doors open at 10 a.m. for the 10:30 a.m. screening,

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The Grand Cinema goes retro this Christmas – and evil

Tacoma’s Grand Cinema is showing two Christmas classics this weekend and one seriously sinister Santa film.

First up is “A Christmas Story” on Saturday. Part of the Click! Family Flick series, the movie will show on two screens. Consider it a gift: it’s free. Just get there at 10 a.m. The film starts at 10:30 a.m. and might fill to capacity as last year’s showing of “The Polar Express” almost did.

If you haven’t seen the movie or the musical based on it currently showing at the Fifth Avenue Theatre here’s a synopsis: Ralphie (Peter Billingsley), a young boy growing up in the 1940s, dreams of getting a Red Ryder BB gun for Christmas. But his mother says no and poor Ralphie doesn’t get any support, even from Santa himself.
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An all-sofa film fest

Watching short films in strangers’ houses = awkwardly awesome.

That’s the tagline for Couchfest – a decidedly casual film festival this Sunday in Seattle. The venues are private homes. An all-day ticket is $5.

This is the third year for the event that’s so laid back you can actually lay back – if you get a sofa all to yourself. The noon-6 p.m. event features several homes that will be showing 30-minute programs on rotation. The homes are located near each other allowing festival goers to walk, bike or motor between them during intermissions. Each house/program will

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“Family Affair” doc a personal exploration on abuse, betrayal and forgiveness

It takes a certain amount of fortitude and patience to make a documentary – and even more when it’s about your family and their repressed secrets. Chico Colvard’s feature-length film, “Family Affair,” is a prime example. It’s a story about him and his family – and acts of abuse, betrayal and ultimately forgiveness.

The story begins in 1978 when Colvard was 10 and accidentally shot one of his sisters in the leg. Believing she was going to die, the sister told her mother and, later, the authorities that she and her two sisters had been sexually abused by their father.

That’s just the beginning, Colvard told me in a phone call this week from Boston. Local audiences can see the rest of the story Thursday in Tacoma and Friday in Olympia. Colvard will attend both screenings.
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