joan crawford

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





PREVIEW: “Bette & Joan” spotlights Hollywood’s greatest rivalry

The parallel careers of two of the movies' greatest stars, Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, are traced in this series at the Northwest Film Center

If there was a Mount Rushmore of Hollywood leading ladies, it would be occupied by the uneroded visages of Katherine Hepburn, Barbara Stanwyck, Joan Crawford, and Bette Davis. Between the four of them, they earned 29 Academy Award nominations (only Stanwyck never won a competitive Oscar) and dominated female roles in American movies for over three decades. They personified the Golden Age of the movies, an era that couldn’t have existed without them.

Crawford and Davis, notorious rivals and tempestuous talents, have the spotlight turned on them once again with the Northwest Film Center’s series “Bette & Joan,” which begins on Friday, July 8, and continues intermittently through the end of August. Anyone interested in classic screen acting, pop-cultural depictions of American femininity, or the simple joys of full-throated melodrama would be advised to mark their calendars. When they say they don’t make ‘em like they used to, this is what they’re talking about. And with Susan Sarandon and Jessica Lange cast as Davis and Crawford in the upcoming FX series “Feud,” the timing couldn’t be better to get acquainted with two of Hollywood’s most divided divas.