Movie News & Reviews

Tacoma Film Festival starts today. You can’t hit all 180 films, so here are some highlights.

Take a peek at the Swedish film ‘The Square’

“The Square” plays at the Blue Mouse Theatre on Friday, part of the Tacoma Film Festival. The Swedish comedy by Ruben Ostlund won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and is generating buzz ahead of its U.S. release later this month.
Up Next
“The Square” plays at the Blue Mouse Theatre on Friday, part of the Tacoma Film Festival. The Swedish comedy by Ruben Ostlund won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and is generating buzz ahead of its U.S. release later this month.

Bill Nye won’t be at the Tacoma Film Festival but “Bill Nye: Science Guy” will be.

That’s the name of the documentary about the science celebrity who got his start in Seattle as a Boeing engineer and later on “Almost Live!”

The film by David Alvarado and Jason Sussberg shows Thursday at the festival’s opening gala. It’s the first of over 180 films at this year’s annual event.

Nye gave the filmmakers access to his life off stage. He’s on a mission to end anti-scientific thinking. Nye takes on those who deny climate change, evolution, and a science-based world view. The film also features Neil deGrasse Tyson, Ann Druyan and others.

Alvarado will attend on Thursday, the film’s West Coast premiere.

For the rest of the week-long festival there’s a little something for everyone with features, documentaries, shorts, workshops and parties, most of it at The Grand Cinema.

Over 150 films will have premier status — either in Washington, the U.S. or international.

More than 100 filmmakers are attending.

“That’s a really unique experience that only film festivals can give you,” said festival director Laura Nyhuis. “You can watch movies and then right after talk with the filmmakers.”

New this year, a Tacoma Film Festival app is available for iOS and Android users. The app allows you to highlight your favorite films and move them into one group.

On Friday, festival goers can attend a screening of “The Square” at the Blue Mouse Theatre. The Swedish comedy by Ruben Ostlund won the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival and is generating buzz ahead of its U.S. release later this month.

“The Square” is built around a Stockholm museum director (Claes Bang) who installs an art exhibit of the same name. He then deals with a thief, a scorned American journalist (Elisabeth Moss), a “human ape” performance artist and a chimpanzee, among others.

Variety called it “madly ambitious and frequently disquieting.”

“Anybody will get a kick out of it,” Nyhuis said.

Nyhuis programmed more shorts this year. She’s arranged them thematically: romantic but tainted love, LGBT, overcoming adversity, family friendly, chills and thrills and others.

One short, “Fry Day,” is a film that takes place during a tailgate party that occurred across the street from Tacoma serial killer Ted Bundy’s Florida execution site in 1989. The story is told through the eyes of a young photographer who looks like one of his victims.

“I love shorts programs and I’m trying to get the Tacoma audience to share my love of shorts programming,” Nyhuis said.

Virtual reality is returning this year. The free Veldt Virtual Reality Studio runs 11 a.m.-7 p.m. Saturday and Sunday at Kings Books. Visitors can watch 18 films, two of which are full room immersion.

Nyhuis is excited about the science fiction film “Everything Beautiful Is Far Away” which follows a man looking for parts to fix his robotic companion and a woman searching for a mythic lake on a desert lake.

“A Shot in the Dark” is a documentary about a blind wrestler, Anthony Ferraro, who attempts to win a state championship. Ferraro, who lives in New Jersey, is attending the film festival in Tacoma.

“Just trust the programing,” Nyhuis said of the festival. “If you like the description, just go see it.”

Craig Sailor: 253-597-8541, @crsailor

Tacoma Film Festival

When: Thursday-Oct. 5-Oct. 12

Where: The Grand Cinema, 606 S. Fawcett Ave., Tacoma; The Blue Mouse Theatre, 2611 N. Proctor St.; King’s Books, 218 St. Helens Ave., Tacoma; SOTA Black Box, 1118 Commerce St., Tacoma; and other venues.

Tickets: Opening film and party $20; Friday feature $10; The Veldt Preview Party $10; The Veldt and all workshops free; Filmmaker Awards Party free; closing night film and party $20; other films $8-$10 (discounts for Grand Cinema members).

Information: Full schedule, venue details and tickets at tacomafilmfestival.com.

  Comments