On Screen: Capitol Hill Arts District Streaming Festival plus more new virtual releases

This afternoon Governor Inslee announced that we’re staying home and staying healthy for at least another month, with cinemas unlikely to open at reduced capacity until “Phase 3″, a minimum of six weeks from now. So, while we miss the big screen, options for seeing new films and engaging with fellow film fans from home continue to remain robust.

Among the many new-to-VOD listings this week: last year’s Golden Space Needle winner Tel Aviv On Fire (now on Prime Video), favorably-reviewed #MeToo observational drama The Assistant (various), and a one-day-only free screening of Pablo Larrain’s Ema, a Chilean dance drama starring Mariana Di Girolamo and Gael García Bernal with a Nicolas Jaar score (Mubi).

Closer to home, a rundown of some of this week’s events and offerings, many support temporarily shuttered venues and organizations:

  • Northwest Film Forum supplements their substantial virtual cinema options with The Capitol Hill Arts District Streaming Festival, live-streamed at NWFF and Facebook through the weekend. All events are free, with a pay-what-you-can ticket pricing that serve as donations to the COVID-19 Artist Trust Relief Fund.
    • Friday has live music curated by Crybaby Studios (7:00 – 8:30 pm) followed by drag performances and dance by Beauty Boiz.
    • Saturday events begin at 4:30pm with a presentation of The AMP: AIDS Memorial Pathway, a public art installation tracing the AIDS epidemic in our region; it’s followed by Fruitbowl: An Oral History of Queer Sex, a version of David Quantic’s podcast and documentary film series, at 5:45 pm; from 6:00 – 7:30 pm, Hugo House will be spotlighting local writers with a series of readings; stick around from 7:30 – 9:00 pm for local musical performances from Tinsley, Chris King, and LIV ✝, curated by The Capitol Hill Block Party (on hiatus for this year); with an “afterparty” by Kame Haus running until “???”.
    • They’re back at noon for Sunday’s Closing Day programming with Kame House + Toe Jam event “filmed live at a secret & socially distanced location”; at 4:30 pm MIPoPs has a selection of John Frankenheimer’s digitized videotapes for their weekly episode of Virtual Moving History; tune in at 5:30 for Longhouse Media’s screening and Q&A of Alex-Dupris’s indigenous peoples film Sweetheart Dancers; Vanishing Seattle has the floor from 7:00-7:30 pm with a sneak peek of the Capitol Hill episode of their ongoing series to document the city’s displaced and disappearing institutions; then from 7:30 – 8:30 pm Velocity has organizes a series of performances by local dancers.
  • SIFF’s Virtual Cinema just keeps expanding and expanding. In addition to previous offerings, they are adding Cesar Diaz’s Our Mothers remembrance of the victims of Guatemala’s bloody civil war and Deerskin, a black comedy featuring Jean Dujardin (The Artist) and Adèle Haenel (Portrait of a Lady on Fire) about a fringed jacket’s hold on a middle-aged man’s psyche. For something more interactive, register in advance for next week’s movie club where director Lucile Hadžihalilović will participate in a Q&A about her dark, feminist fairytale Evolution. You’re on your own to stream the movie, which takes place on a remote island of strange medical tests, beach rituals, surreal images, and body horror. It’s available on Hulu and other platforms. Start watching at 7:30, and join the Zoom party at 9:00 pm on May 6th.
  • The Grand Illusion has the Justin Pemberton’s adaptation of “rock star economist” Thomas Piketty’s international bestseller Capital in the Twenty-First Century via a collaboration with Kino Lorber. The film runs virtually through May 14. Early adopters might want to plan to join the virtual roundtable with Piketty, Gillian Tett, and Ian Bremmer on Sunday May 3 at noon PDT. Anime fans may be interested in checking out the latest in the Sound! Euphonium series, “A Brand New Day” available in subtitled or dubbed versions through May 8th, with ticket sales supporting Grand Illusion.