Capitol Hill Block Party has a great lineup this year and our writers are excited to check it out, but not all of us are festival fans. For those of us who don’t like the crowds and the pressure of so many acts to follow, there are plenty of other activities over this weekend that we can heartily recommend.
Tangerine Opening Screening @ SIFF Cinema Egyptian – July 24
I’ve already recommended Tangerine in my review of it, but opening day is always extra special, and SIFF Cinema is making it so with donuts and cans of Sofia at the concession stand. (If you have seen the movie, you’ll get the reference. If you haven’t, you’ll really wish you had a donut at one point or another.) Matinee performances at 1 PM, 3 PM and 5 PM are prime for people with flexible schedules, as parking and traffic will be nightmarish by the time the block party starts (just a few blocks away) in the evening. I say avoid driving and take the 49, 10, or 11, which all stop right in front of the theatre. Get your movie tickets here. It’s Donut Time.
Strictly Seattle @ Velocity Dance Center – July 24 and 25
Strictly Seattle is the culmination of a month of intensive classes and new choreography at Velocity Dance Center. Each year, it provides an incubator for acclaimed choreographers based in the Pacific Northwest to work with students of various levels to develop collaborative new works, then gives audiences a first look at their results. This year, the choreographers include Zoe Scofield, Pat Graney, Kate Wallich, Shannon Stewart, Anna Conner, Kaitlin McCarthy, and Bryon Carr. Audiences will also get a look at new shorts from KT Niehoff‘s new dance film track. For fans of contemporary dance, this is one of the most anticipated events of the year. Performances are at 8 PM on July 24, and 2 PM and 8 Pm on July 25. Read more and get tickets on Velocity’s website.
Special Screening: Les Vampires, Episodes 3 and 6 @ The Henry Art Gallery – July 24
Want to place yourself a little further away from Capitol Hill over the weekend? The Henry presents a rare screening of episodes from Louis Feuillade’s Les Vampires, a serial film of the silent era which follows the exploits of jewel thieves in Paris (starring Édouard Mathé as Philipe Guérande and Musidora as Irma Vep). Musidora and Irma Vep are the subjects of a video installation by Michele Handelman that recently opened in the upper galleries of The Henry. I love it intensely. This is a rare opportunity to see these classic and influential works. Film lovers and francophiles won’t want to miss it. Professor Vicki Callahan will also give a talk about the actress Musidora, who was also a filmmaker, but died in relative obscurity. Learn more and get your tickets online. The screening is at 6 PM, so plan ahead to get to the University District in time.
“Hold These Truths” @ ACT Theatre – July 23 through August 16
Playwright Jeanne Sakata has been touring her one-man show “Hold These Truths” for eight years now, often in short runs at theatres from coast to coast. It has received enormous critical acclaim for its narrative skill and also for illuminating a dark chapter of America history that is still largely ignored. It tells the story of Gordon Hirabayashi, an American of Japanese descent who in his college years resisted internment during World War II. His fundamental argument: Imprisonment without just cause or due process is irreconcilable with a constitution founded upon an individual right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Appallingly, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld his conviction. It took several decades to overturn the conviction at the lower court level, and only after independent scholars were able to reveal just how much government officials had manipulated and obscured (even destroyed) vital information to effect the internment of Japanese living on the west coast. “Hold These Truths” tells the story of Hirabayshi’s fight for the civil rights of all Americans during one of the most oppressive and tyrannous mandates in American history—a mandate that imprisoned, disenfranchised and dispersed thousands of American citizens in the name of freedom. It is, sadly, a story that is as relevant today as ever. Get your tickets online. If not this weekend, then soon.
Scarlett Coten’s Mectoub @ Mariane Ibrahim Gallery – Ending July 25
This is your last weekend to see Scarlett Coten‘s transfixing show, Mectoub, at Mariane Ibrahim Gallery. Dozens of portraits line the walls, all of men from six countries that were part of the Arab Spring. These men are forging new identities, sometimes defying the proscriptions of theocratic governments or traditional views of masculinity. The portrayal of men in these countries by western media is limited, simplified and derisive. Mectoub counters that narrative with its humane, powerful look at individuals attempting to write their own story in the midst of unrest. Saturday is your last chance to see it. Get more info on the gallery website and read my review of Mectoub.
Adam Ferriss’ Unsupervised Learning @ Interstitial – Through August 2
When you hear that the Oculus Rift was central to the development and execution of artist Adam Ferriss’ new show at Interstitial, you might get excited to check out this new technology, or you might expect it to be a little gimmicky, or a little of both. (I fell into that last category.) It is, in fact, a stunning collection of work. The complexity of the math and technology behind it is belied by the spare simplicity of its presentation in a gallery setting (a new development for Ferriss). I have a full review of his work forthcoming, but ahead of that, I just have to say…GO. See this show. The gallery is only open on weekends, 12 – 7 PM. Check out more info on the website.
GIFs to have Sex By on Digital Sweat – Ending July 26
Maybe you love digital art, but you don’t want to go down to Georgetown. Maybe you just want to stay locked inside all weekend. (We must rest up for the Seattle Art Fair starting next week.) Fortunately, Digital Sweat Gallery has you covered. It is hosting a collection of works curated by artist Faith Holland for TRANSFER gallery in Bushwick. Artist and owner of Digital Sweat Christian Petersen has saved you the trip and hosted the entire show online through this weekend. Titled GIFs to Have Sex By, it is precisely the sort of show that one should probably view at home rather than at work. See the gallery here and read a little more context in our post on it.