September 20-22, 24 & 26

Murder in the Front Row: The San Francisco Bay Area Thrash Metal Story

Adam Dubin / 2019, USA
92min / digital

Seattle Premiere! In the early 1980s, a small group of dedicated Bay Area headbangers shunned the hard rock of MTV and Hollywood hairspray bands in favor of a more dangerous brand of metal that became known as thrash! From the tape trading network to the clubs to the record stores and fanzines, director Adam Dubin reveals how the scene nurtured the music and the music spawned a movement. Murder In The Front Row is told through powerful first person testimony and stunning animation and photography. The film is a social study of a group of young people defying the odds and building something essential for themselves. Featuring interviews with Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, Anthrax, Exodus, Testament, Death Angel, Possessed and many more! Narrated by Brian Posehn.

** Co-presented by KEXP's metal show, Seek & Destroy! **

Fri, Sun, Thur: 7pm
Sat: 5pm & 930pm
Tues: 9pm

September 20-26

Give Me Liberty

Kirill Mikhanovsky / 2019, USA
111min / 35mm

35MM SCREENING! Medical transport driver Vic is late, but it’s not his fault. Roads are closed for a protest, and no one else can shuttle his Russian grandfather and émigré friends to a funeral. The new route uproots his scheduled clients, particularly Tracy (Lauren “Lolo” Spencer in a breakout performance), a vibrant young woman with ALS. As the day goes from hectic to off-the-rails, their collective ride becomes a hilarious, compassionate, and intersectional portrait of American dreams and disenchantment.

"CRITIC'S PICK! Irresistible." Manola Dargis, New York Times

"A glorious comedy of chaos, solidarity and unsung heroism” The Hollywood Reporter

Note: Sunday 9/22 screenings scheduled to be projected digitally

Fri: 9pm
Sat: 230pm & 7pm
Sun: 430pm & 9pm (both projected digitally)
Mon: 630pm & 9pm
Tues: 630pm
Wed: 630pm & 9pm
Thur: 9pp

September 27

Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls

Blood Orgy of the Leather Girls

Presented by VHS Uber Alles
1988 / VHS

BACK TO SCHOOL SPECIAL! A punk rock girl gang skateboards around the city, smoking, drinking, cutting class AND men -- sometimes for revenge, sometimes just for fun! Special thanks to Scarecrow Video!! ONLY ON VHS! ONLY $2!

Fri: 9pm

September 28 & 29

Through the Olive Trees

Abbas Kiarostami / 1994, Iran-France
103min / digital

Kiarostami takes metanarrative gamesmanship to masterful new heights in the final installment of The Koker Trilogy. Unfolding “behind the scenes” of And Life Goes On, this film traces the complications that arise when the romantic misfortune of one of the actors—a young man who pines for the woman cast as his wife, even though, in real life, she will have nothing to do with him—creates turmoil on set and leaves the hapless director caught in the middle. An ineffably lovely, gentle human comedy steeped in the folkways of Iranian village life, Through the Olive Trees peels away layer after layer of artifice as it investigates the elusive, alchemical relationship between cinema and reality. Description courtesy of Janus Films.

** Part of a larger Abbas Kiarostami retrospective co-presented with SIFF, NWFF and The Beacon Cinema. See their websites for more details. SIFF & NWFF members will receive Grand Illusion member ticket prices. **

Members of the Iranian American Community Alliance get in for $7.

Sat: 645pm
Sun: 430pm

September 27, 28 & 29

Close Up

Abbas Kiarostami / 1990, Iran
98min / 35mm

35MM PRINT! This fiction-documentary hybrid uses a sensational reallife event—the arrest of a young man on charges that he fraudulently impersonated the well-known filmmaker Mohsen Makhmalbaf—as the basis for a stunning, multilayered investigation into movies, identity, artistic creation, and existence, in which the real people from the case play themselves. With its universal themes and fascinating narrative knots, Close-up—one of Kiarostami’s most radical, brilliant works—has resonated with viewers around the world. Description courtesy of Janus Films.

** Part of a larger Abbas Kiarostami retrospective co-presented with SIFF, NWFF and The Beacon Cinema. See their websites for more details. SIFF & NWFF members will receive Grand Illusion member ticket prices. **

Members of the Iranian American Community Alliance get in for $7.

Fri: 645pm
Sat: 430pm
Sun: 645pm

September 28, October 1 & 3

Shinjuku Triad Society

Takashi Miike / 1995, Japan
100min / digital

New Restoration! After several years spent working almost exclusively in Japans’s “V-cinema” direct-to-video world, Takashi Miike announced himself as a world-class filmmaking talent with this trio of crazy, thematically-connected, character-centric crime stories about violence, the underworld of Japanese society, families both real and surrogate, and the possibly hopeless task of finding one's place in the world. His first works made specifically for theatrical release, the “Black Society Trilogy” (SHINJUKU TRIAD SOCIETY, RAINY DOG and LEY LINES) was the beginning of Miike's career of international renown. In a twilight world where gangster and law enforcer attract and repel each other in waves of violence, dirty cop Tatsuhito pursues the gay Chinese warlord Wang through the night world of Shinjuku and over to Taiwan. SHINJUKU TRIAD SOCIETY is a shocking investigation of a dehumanized society, in which Tatsuhito fights to obtain a glimpse of salvation.

Sat: 9pm
Tues: 9pm
Thurs: 645pm

September 29 & 30, October 2

Rainy Dog

Takashi Miike / 1997, Japan
95min / digital

New Restoration! The second film in Miike's “Black Society Trilogy”. “Not only the definitive bad-parenting movie, but also very likely the coolest rain-soaked lonely hitman movie ever made. Miike's crush on Taiwan runs wild in this location-shot thriller about a hitman working for a triad gang boss in Taipei. Yuji is in his bare apartment being cool and moody when an ex-girlfriend barges in to dump a boy she says is his son; the kid is left to fend for himself in the alley outside, and discovers what daddy does only when he tags along and sees Yuji shoot someone. The minimal plot is fleshed out by everyone's favorite Taiwanese character actors, and it never stops raining.” (Time Out)

Sun: 9pm
Mon: 645pm
Wed: 9pm

September 30, October 2 & 3

Ley Lines

Takashi Miike / 1999, Japan
105min / digital

The final film in Miike's “Black Society Trilogy”. LEY LINES follows a trio of Japanese youths of Chinese descent who escape their semi-rural upbringing and relocate to Shinjuku, where they befriend a troubled Shanghai prostitute and fall foul of a local crime syndicate. Like many of Miike’s movies, LEY LINES examines the underbelly of respectable Japanese society and the problems of assimilation faced by non-ethnically Japanese people in Japan.

Mon: 9pm
Wed: 645pm
Thur: 9pm

October 4-10

Memory: The Origins of Alien

Alexandre O. Philippe / 2019, USA
93min / digital

A contemplation on the symbiotic collaborative process of movie-making, the power of myth, and the collective unconscious, Memory: The Origins of Alien unearths the largely untold origin story behind Ridley Scott's cinematic masterpiece, and reveals a treasure trove of never-before-seen materials from the O'Bannon and Giger archives -- including original story notes, rejected designs and storyboards, exclusive behind-the-scenes footage, and O'Bannon's original 29 page script from 1971, titled Memory.

"A fascinating deep dive into a sci-fi/horror classic" The Playlist

"Memory is most valuable for its fresh recontextualization of Alien in the same feminist air space as Kramer vs. Kramer and Manhattan, films that vibrate with late-'70s family panic." Time Out

"It doesn't just remind you that Alien is a masterpiece but details how it got that way and why it continues to haunt us." Brian Tallerico, RogertEbert.com


October 4-8

Witchfinder General

Michael Reeves / 1968, UK
86min / 35mm

35MM SCREENING! England is torn in civil strife as the Royalists battle the Parliamentary Party for control. This conflict distracts people from rational thought and allows unscrupulous men to gain local power by exploiting village superstitions. One of these men is Matthew Hopkins (Vincent Price), who tours the land offering his services as a persecutor of witches. Aided by his sadistic accomplice John Stearne, he travels from city to city and wrenches confessions from "witches" in order to line his pockets and gain sexual favors. When Hopkins persecutes a priest, he incurs the wrath of Richard Marshall, who is engaged to the priest's niece. Risking treason by leaving his military duties, Marshall relentlessly pursues the evil Hopkins and his minion Stearne.

"It remains contemporary, and even frightening, in its evocation of cynical Puritanism and mass deception." J. Hoberman


October 5, 6, 9, 10

A Field In England

Ben Wheatley / 2014, UK
90min / digital

England : 1648 AD. A small group of deserters flee from a raging battle through an overgrown field. They are captured by two men: O'Neil and Cutler. O'Neil, an alchemist, forces the group to aid him in his search to find a hidden treasure that he believes is buried in the field. Crossing a vast mushroom circle, which provides their first meal, the group quickly descend into a chaos of arguments, fighting and paranoia, and, as it becomes clear that the treasure might be something other than gold, they slowly become victim to the terrifying energies trapped inside the field.

"Audacious and wildy brilliant—a stunning cinematic experience." Martin Scorsese


October 11-17

The Dead Center

Billy Senese / 2019, USA
92min / digital

When a very dead suicide victim (Jeremy Childs – Preacher, Nashville) disappears from the morgue, it sets in motion a chain of events that has the power to immolate everything, and everyone, it touches. Troubled psychiatrist Daniel Forrester (Shane Carruth – Primer, Upstream Color) is drawn to help a mysterious patient who is brought to the emergency psych ward in a catatonic state with no memory of how he reached the hospital. As if to exorcise his own demons, the doctor feverishly tries to break through to his mysterious patient. But as a spate of mysterious deaths shake the ward to its core, Forrester comes to suspect that there is more to his new ward than meets the eye. As he comes to realise what he’s unleashed, a desperate race against the forces of evil threatens to swallow him whole. THE DEAD CENTER is a smart psychological thriller that explores the demons that live inside all of us.


October 11-15

Valhalla Rising

Nicolas Winding Refn / 2009, Denmark-UK
93min / 35mm

35MM SCREENING! For years, the fearsome figure known only as One Eye (Mads Mikkelsen - PUSHER, FLAME & CITRON, CASINO ROYALE) has defeated everyone he's encountered, but he's treated more like an animal than a warrior. The only person he has any relationship with is the young boy who brings him food and water daily. Constantly caged and shackled, One Eye has drawn the attention of a new force now sweeping the countryside and displacing the society's leaders: Christians.


October 12, 13 & 17

Black Death

Christopher Smith / 2011, Germany-UK
102min / 35mm

35MM SCREENING! The year is 1348. Europe has fallen under the shadow of the Black Death. As the plague decimates all in its path, fear and superstition are rife. In this apocalyptic environment, the church is losing its grip on the people. There are rumors of a village, hidden in marshland that the plague cannot reach. There is even talk of a necromancer who leads the village and is able to bring the dead back to life. Ulric (Sean Bean), a fearsome knight, is charged by the church to investigate these rumors. He enlists the guidance of a novice monk, Osmund (Eddie Redmayne) to lead him and his band of mercenary soldiers to the marshland, but Osmund has other motives for leaving his monastery. Their journey to the village and events that unfold take them into the heart of darkness and to horrors that will put Osmund's faith in himself and his love for God to the ultimate test.


October 12 & 16



Jörg Buttgereit / 1987, Germany
75min / digital

It’s difficult for modern audiences to understand, but in previous times the idea of a movie being banned outright from circulation was not outside the norm. Such is the corrosive power of transgressive art that a film like Jorg Buttgereit’s debut sicko feature NEKROMANTIK could actually prompt the German government to declare it unfit for public consumption. Of course, when The Man sez “That’s too sick!”, that’s when the real-deal film fans start paying attention... A huge underground hit here in the States thanks to bleeding-edge zines like Film Threat, this one-of-a-kind object hasn’t lost any of its power to freak audiences the fuck out. NEKROMANTIK tells of poor sad sack Rob, who works at a street-cleaning agency and visits roadside accidents to mop up the scene. Casually, as one does, Rob collects the disparate body parts and shares them with his equally unfazed girlfriend Betty. When Rob presents a complete corpse taken out of a swamp, their undying love reaches its peak -- but soon after Betty takes more of a liking towards the corpse and leaves Rob, bringing him to the morbid end of his destruction.

“Groundbreakingly gruesome. The first erotic film for necrophiles.” John Waters


Coming later

All Monsters Attack! with plenty of folk horror, nuclear horror, medievel horror, and more! A Satoshi Kon retrospective co-presented with NWFF! It's A Wonderful Life in 35mm Dec 11-Jan 2!