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Originally published Thursday, June 21, 2012 at 3:01 PM

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Tip of the hat to Miyazaki, Rembrandt, John Wayne

SIFF Cinema at the Uptown kicks off two series this week. "Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata, and the Masters of Studio Ghibli," a...

Seattle Times movie critic

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SIFF Cinema at the Uptown kicks off two series this week. "Castles in the Sky: Miyazaki, Takahata, and the Masters of Studio Ghibli," a retrospective of 15 animated films from the acclaimed Japanese studio, begins Friday and continues through July 5. The films include "Howl's Moving Castle," "Princess Mononoke," "Kiki's Delivery Service," "Spirited Away," "My Neighbor Totoro" and more; all screen in new 35mm prints, and most will screen in both the English-dubbed version and the original Japanese version with English subtitles. Individual tickets are $10 ($9 seniors/youth, $5 SIFF members); series passes are available for $100 ($50 SIFF members).

Also at SIFF: the three-day series "Peter Greenaway's Rembrandt," featuring two films centered on the painter's masterpiece "The Night Watch," from the British filmmaker known for "The Pillow Book" and "The Cook, the Thief, his Wife, and her Lover." "Nightwatching," a 2007 film never released in the U.S., stars Martin Freeman as Rembrandt; it's described as a combination of art history and conspiracy thriller. "Rembrandt's J'Accuse," a documentary, examines both the subjects and the creator of "The Night Watch" in a "forensic investigation" of the work. Both films screen daily Friday through Sunday at the Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle.

SIFF also presents "Queen of the Sun," Taggart Siegel's documentary about the global honeybee crisis, at 7 p.m. Wednesday in a free screening at the SIFF Film Center on the Seattle Center campus. For more information or to buy tickets for any SIFF event, call 206-324-9996 or see

The ongoing Music Movies series at Northwest Film Forum continues this week with "Music from the Big House," Bruce McDonald's documentary about singer Rita Chiarelli's concert for and with the men of Angola State Prison. The film plays nightly Friday through Tuesday; Chiarelli will be present to perform at the 7 p.m. screening Saturday. Wednesday and Thursday bring the documentary "Grandma Lo-Fi: The Basement Tapes of Sigridur Nielsdottir," a film about an Icelandic woman who found herself as a composer by experimenting with a tape recorder and a Casio keyboard. NWFF, 1515 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-267-5380 or

The Port Townsend Film Festival kicks off its annual "Guess the Guest" contest this week with Clue #1: "The favorite movie of one of this Special Guest's characters could have been 'Rooster Cogburn.' " Got it? Email your answer to (include "contest" in the subject line), and you could win a photo op with the Special Guest himself/herself at this year's festival, taking place Sept. 21-23 in lovely Port Townsend. The festival, now in its 13th year, has hosted guests such as Buck Henry, Cloris Leachman, Debra Winger, Dyan Cannon, Peter Fonda, Eva Marie Saint and Tony Curtis. For more information:

The Historic Everett Theatre continues its film noir series Thursday with "The Crooked Way," a 1949 noir about an amnesiac war veteran, played by John Payne ("Miracle on 34th Street"), who learns that he has a criminal past. 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $5 and available at the door. 2911 Colby Ave., Everett; for more information, call 425-258-6766 or see

Summer Classics continues at the new Sundance Cinema Seattle (formerly Metro) with the John Ford/John Wayne classic Western "The Searchers," screening Wednesday at 1:25 p.m. and 7:05 p.m. only. 4500 Ninth Ave. N.E., Seattle; for more information, see or 206-633-0059.

And finally, this weekend's midnight movie at the Egyptian is 1993's inspired-by-a-video-game "Super Mario Bros.," with Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo as a pair of Brooklyn plumbers who find themselves saving the universe in a dinosaur world. Or something like that. 805 E. Pine St. Seattle; 206-781-5755 or

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or

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