On Screen: Sorry We Missed You, Never Rarely Sometimes Always, SIFF, SPLIFF, Evil Dead 2, Paddington 2, and Gosford Park

  • Sorry We Missed You, from legendary British chronicler of social class struggles Ken Loach, is a potentially now-too-timely “wrenching, intimate family drama that exposes the dark side of the so-called gig economy”. The film received high praise at last year’s Cannes Film Festival and now it’s among the latest beneficiaries of Kino Lorber’s partnership with independent theaters. When you’re choosing your screening room, I’d encourage you to purchase a ticket via Eastsound’s Sea View Theater. It’s a small town cinema gem your money will go toward the cinema’s year-round operations as well as to the Orcas Island Film Festival that’s become a beloved tradition of the local autumn moviegoing season. I’m still holding out hope that things will be “normal enough” that we can go see movies by October 2020.
  • SIFF, who had been bunkered down in the wake of the cancellation of the festival, have also hopped into the virtual cinema game, rolling out three newish releases for home viewing: Romanian crime drama The Whistlers, gerrymandering documentary Slay the Dragon, and Once Were Brothers: Robbie Robertson and the Band are all now online. In addition to launching this online platform, SIFF also announced a (potentially) huge donation: an anonymous $300,000 in matching fundscontribute online to help reach this goal.
  • Eliza Hittman’s rural abortion procedural Never Rarely Sometimes Always was set to emerge from critical success at winter film festivals (a special jury prize at Sundance, the Silver Bear at Berlin) and near-universal acclaim to a theatrical run this week. But then the world stopped and now Focus Features is releasing it directly to video on demand platforms.  
  • The creators of HUMP! and Savage Lovecast have turned their attention to cannabis. Covid-19 stopped from people assembling in person, but SPLIFF! continues online promising “short films created by the stoned for the stoned” is up and running online with a choose-your-own-price model. Sounds like a way to pass the weekend, to be safe, you might pre-order at your local dispensary and pick-up curbside.   
  • Tonight, the temporarily-shuttered Museum of Pop Culture hosts a live viewing of Evil Dead 2: Dead By Dawn via Zoom (Friday, April 3 – 7 pm). You’ll have to BYO copy of the continuing saga of Ash Williams (Bruce Campbell) vs. the demons (available on various platforms, including Prime Video), but once you have it you can follow along with MoPOP’s Robert Rutherford and guest Seth Wolfson (Hourglass Escapes) celebration of the “campy, frenetic genius” of Sam Raimi’s 1987 cult classic. Post-film, stick around for exclusive short videos from directors Roxanne Benjamin, Eli Roth, Roger Corman, and John Landis as well as a discussion of the film’s influence on the genre.
  • In far less gory, but no less entertaining watch-alongs, on Monday afternoon,  Letterboxd is doing a live “watch-along” with Paddington 2, the feel-goodest movie of our young century. It’s available on Netflix
  • Focus Features also launching “Movie Mondays” with livestreams of classics new and old(er). The series kicks off on April 6 (5pm PST) on Facebook with the upstairs-downstairs drama Gosford Park, complete with a Q&A with Julian Fellowes. 
  • We’ve been hyping a lot of paid services, but a reminder that Seattle Public Library has a Movies & TV section: this includes videos through the library as well as access to Hoopla (15 rentals per month) and Kanopy (5 rentals per month). Don’t have a library card? You can still get one online.
  • Another bargain option: Filmatique offering 10 days of 1 free film a day if you sign up for their newsletter, no credit card required.
  • Somehow tired of movies and television and miss the theatre? Playbill has a roundup of classic Broadway that you can watch online (including the One True Production of Stephen Sondheim’s Into the Woods).