A decade ago, it was rare to see a documentary film in a movie theater. There were a few notable exceptions (Bowling for Columbine in 2002 was a big deal) but for the most part, documentary filmmakers didn’t even consider releasing their films theatrically. Things have changed.
Seattle is a particularly good place to see a doc on a big (or medium sized) screen. Local film institutions like the Northwest Film Forum and SIFF exhibit an amazing array of docs along with other indy films. Add to that small art house theaters like The Grand Illusion Cinema or Seven Gables, or an art house “giant” like Sundance (not to mention the occasional megaplex offering) and you’ve got a wealth of doc viewing possibilities.
This past September, I did a quick google search and found no less than ten documentary films playing concurrently in Seattle theaters. I decided I had to take advantage of this and started seeing a doc in the theater each week. A few weeks in, I approached the SeaDoc steering committee to see what they thought about extending my film viewing activities to the SeaDoc community. With their blessing the Tuesday Night Doc Club was born.
Tuesday Night Docs is designed to be a casual opportunity for SeaDoc members to get together regularly to see current documentaries in the theater. Of course friends and film lovers of all stripes are welcome to attend. After the screening, we convene to a nearby bar for drinks and conversation. It’s a great way to stay connected with other filmmakers, see a ton of great films, get out of the house and get social (which we all know can be difficult in this town).
There’s something special about going to the movies. I’ve seen several docs on TV in my living room since September, even some good ones I think, but I honestly don’t remember most of them very well, if at all. I do, however, remember every film I went out to see and over the past three months, I’ve seen some great ones (with an average Rotten Tomatoes score of 92%).
Here’s what we’ve seen so far…
Salt of the Earth, dir. Wim Wenders & Juliano Salgado
The Creeping Garden, dir Tim Grabham & Jasper Sharp
Meet the Patels, dir. Geeta & Ravi Patel
The Amazing Nina Simone, dir. Jeff Lieberman
The Cockettes, dir. Bill Weber & David Weissman
Jane B. par Agnes V., dir. Agnes Varda
In Jackson Heights, dir. Frederick Wiseman
Heart of a Dog, dir. Laurie Anderson
Janis: Little Girl Blue
We’ll be starting again after the holidays and you’re invited to attend. Oscar nominations will be announced January 14th and we’ll do our best to hit all the nominated docs before the award ceremony. Also, if you know of any local films screening in the area we’d love to include them in our schedule so please let us know.
Showtimes are rarely posted more than a week or two in advance but you can find Tuesday Night Doc events posted on the SeaDoc Facebook Page each week.
Hope to see you in line for popcorn!