FilmWatch Weekly: Bette Davis eyes and tickling lies

A series devoted to a pair of Hollywood legends kicks off, and a diverse roster of documentaries come to town this week.

Hollywood divas, competitive tickling, and the terrifying prospect of cyberwar. Around here, we just call that Friday.




“Bette & Joan”: 17 films, screened over the next seven weeks, track the parallel careers of two of the screen’s greatest stars, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, from the 1930s through their only on-screen collaboration in 1962’s “What Ever Happened to Baby Jane?” (Northwest Film Center) READ MORE

“Tickled”: One of the strangest documentaries of the year follows a New Zealand journalist as he investigates the bizarre world of Competitive Endurance Tickling, only to find that it’s merely the tip of a much larger and more dangerous iceberg. (Hollywood Theatre, Living Room Theaters) READ MORE

“Zero Days”: Alex Gibney, the Energizer Bunny of documentary filmmakers, digs for the true story behind the 2010 cyberattack known as Stuxnet, which struck Iranian nuclear facilities but has never officially been acknowledged by the American or Israeli governments. (Cinema 21) READ MORE

“The Music of Strangers”: Cellist Yo-Yo Ma founded this sprawling, non-profit, global musical collective in 1998, and this documentary from the Oscar-winning maker of “20 Feet from Stardom” examines the diverse participants and the work they do to bring people together through music. (Regal Fox Tower) READ MORE

“Lawrence of Arabia”: The Hollywood Theatre continues its month-long 70mm extravaganza with screenings of David Lean’s 1962 epic to end all epics. Starring The Desert, with Peter O’Toole, Alec Guinness, and Omar Sharif in supporting roles. (Hollywood Theatre) READ MORE




Welcome to the first annual ArtsWatch caption contest! What are Bette & Joan thinking?

Welcome to the first annual ArtsWatch caption contest! What are Bette & Joan thinking?

“The Secret Life of Pets”: In case your kids have already seen “Finding Dory,” the next talking-animal animated feature is hot on its tail—er, fin. (multiple locations)

“Mike and Dave Need Wedding Dates”: Or they could just go to the wedding without dates. Either way, it seems doubtful this film needed to be made. (multiple locations)

“Len and Company”: A retired rock star and producer (Rhys Ifans) finds his grumpy tranquility disturbed when his teenaged son and his erstwhile protégé pop by unexpectedly and don’t leave. (Cinema 21)

“The Odessa File”: In this 1974 thriller based on the novel by Frederick Forsyth, a reporter (Jon Voight) goes hunting for a bunch of SS officers who went missing after the end of World War II. (Laurelhurst Theater)

“The Neverending Story”: This 1984 Heson-esque fantasy holds a special place in the hearts of the children of the 80s. The rest of us, not so much. From the director of “Das Boot”! (Academy Theater)




Saturday, July 9:

“Miracle Mile”: Evergreen State College alum Steve De Jarnatt comes to town for a screening of his 1988 cult classic about an ordinary guy (Anthony Edwards) in L.A. who accidentally learns that World War III might have begun. Also on the bill: De Jarnatt’s 1974 comedy short “Eat the Sun.” (Northwest Film Center)

Monday, July 11:

“2001: A Space Odyssey”: If you missed Stanley Kubrick’s mindblowing scifi classic in 70mm last weekend, you get one more chance to see it tonight. Don’t blow it. (Hollywood Theatre)

 Tuesday, July 12:

“Snake Deadly Act”: Postponed from last month, the opportunity to witness the only known 35mm print of this 1980 martial arts monstrosity can now be yours. (Hollywood Theatre)

Wednesday, July 13:

“Best of the 42nd Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival”: Highlights from last November’s even include work from Portland, Vancouver, B.C., and Walla Walla. Submission deadline for this year’s festival is August 1st. (Northwest Film Center)

“The Screaming Skull”: This low-budget 1958 horror flick was later featured on an episodes of “Mystery Science Theater 3000.” Pre-burial services will be provided to anyone who dies of fright while watching it. (Joy Cinema & Pub)

“Icons of Light”: A seemingly well-off German couple decides to erase all evidence of their existence and start their lives over in this drama presented by the Portland German Film Festival. (Clinton Street Theater)

“Beautiful Thing”: Two working-class teenaged boys growing up in South London come to terms with their homosexuality in this acclaimed 1998 drama. (Hollywood Theatre)

Thursday, July 14:

“Plan 9 from Outer Space”: The most frequent choice as ‘worst movie of all time’ made a household name of Ed Wood, Jr., and proved a sad coda to the career of Bela Lugosi. Should be fun to see on the top of the Hotel DeLuxe parking garage as the kickoff to this year’s Top Down series. (Northwest Film Center)

“The Fifth Element”: Come and marvel at the fashion-forward stylings of French director Luc Besson’s loopy science-fiction epic, starring Bruce Willis, Chris Tucker, and the incomparable Milla Jovovich. A new line or original designs inspired by the film will be unveiled at the screening. (Hollywood Theatre)

“Repo Man”: As part of their ongoing salute to the equally nonagerian Harry Dean Stanton, the Hollywood Theatre presents Alex Cox’s punk rock-fueled 1984 tale of adolescent anomie and space aliens. This movie is the best thing about the Reagan era. (Hollywood Theatre)

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