‘The Hobbit’ journeys to Issaquah Library celebration

December 11, 2012

Martin Freeman stars as Bilbo Baggins in ‘The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey.’ Warner Bros. Entertainment

In 1999, a little-known director from New Zealand undertook one of the greatest risks in cinematic history, committing $285 million to consecutively film J.R.R. Tolkien’s beloved “Lord of the Rings” trilogy.

Peter Jackson’s gamble paid off big — a $2.9 billion worldwide box office haul with 30 Academy Award nominations and 17 wins.

Now, 13 years later, Jackson is hoping to capture lightning in a bottle again with the release on Dec. 14 of “The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey,” the first installment of a planned trilogy from Tolkien’s “The Hobbit or There and Back Again.”

To celebrate the release, the Issaquah Library is hosting a Second Breakfast Party.

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Issaquah Train Depot film series offers Hollywood classics

October 11, 2011

The popular Films @ the Train Depot! series includes Hollywood classics and mega-stars from a bygone era.

Films play at 7 p.m. at the historic Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N. The program is free, due to support from the city Arts Commission and the King County cultural agency, 4Culture.

“Yankee Doodle Dandy” continues the series Nov. 12.

James Cagney picked up the Academy Award for Best Actor for the lavish screen portrayal of “Mr. Broadway,” George M. Cohan, in the 1942 film. The song-and-dance routines include memorable tunes, such as “Over There,” “It’s a Grand Old Flag,” “Give My Regards to Broadway” and the film’s rousing title number.

“We’re No Angels” concludes the series Dec. 10.

In the 1955 film, Humphrey Bogart, Aldo Ray and Peter Ustinov play escaped inmates scheming to steal from a shopkeeper on Christmas. But the cons’ plans change after they start to like the shopkeeper and his family.

Since the film program launched in October 2009, it has featured series of Bing Crosby films, train-themed films, films set in Washington and noir classics.

Issaquah Train Depot film series returns for autumn

October 6, 2011

NEW — 8 a.m. Oct. 6, 2011

The popular Films @ the Train Depot! series includes Hollywood classics and mega-stars from a bygone era.

The latest series starts at 7 p.m. Saturday at the historic Issaquah Train Depot, 50 Rainier Blvd. N. The program is free, due to support from the city Arts Commission and the King County cultural agency, 4Culture.

The opening film in the series is “A Place in the Sun,” a 1951 classic starring Montgomery Clift, Elizabeth Taylor and Shelley Winters. Clift portrays dirt-poor George Eastman. Winters is the spurned lover he leaves for Taylor, a stunning socialite.

“Yankee Doodle Dandy” from 1942 continues the series Nov. 12.

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Will the 2010 Oscars take a bold new direction?

January 26, 2010

By Ehrik Aldana

In 2009, moviegoers played witness to floating mountains, alien apartheid, levitating houses, time-warping red matter and at least three incarnations of George Clooney — those of which included a hippie and a talking fox.

Another year of film is over, and the movie awards season is creeping up with Oscar gold just around the corner. Of the 274 films eligible for the 2009 Oscar race, 10 — an adjustment from previous years’ five — will receive nominations for the Best Picture award.

Many professional associations, such as the Hollywood Foreign Press Association, the American Film Institute, the Writers Guild of America, Producers Guild of America and countless critic groups across America, have chipped in their two cents as to what films they feel should be regarded as 2009’s best.

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Annual Green Elephant Sale at Providence Point is here

August 4, 2009

This year’s Providence Point Green Elephant Sale is Aug. 7-9.

Pat Gile, director of the sale and chairman of the Providence Point Residents Events Committee, said the sale started about 10 years ago. She said she believed this year’s sale will be special as the committee received the most donations this year. Read more

Ease on down to see KIDSTAGE’s ‘The Wiz’

July 28, 2009

Keaton Whittaker (left) stars as Dorothy and Sarah Russell is Addaperle, together in a scene from Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE production of ‘The Wiz.’ Photo by Jean Johnson?Property of Village Theatre.

Keaton Whittaker (left) stars as Dorothy and Sarah Russell is Addaperle, together in a scene from Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE production of ‘The Wiz.’ Photo by Jean Johnson?Property of Village Theatre.

Much of America grew up on the MGM movie version of “The Wizard of Oz” starring Judy Garland. Joel Waage wants people to forget what they think they know and rediscover the tale through Village Theatre’s KIDSTAGE SummerStock production of “The Wiz.”

“The challenge is retelling such an iconic story,” said Waage, director of the summer production. “There was so much of the book not in the movie that this is a nice opportunity to invent some things and do-over others.”

“The Wiz” is a modern, urban adaptation of L. Frank Baum’s “The Wonderful Wizard of Oz.” It takes Dorothy’s story and spices it up with a 1970’s sound, blending rock, soul, gospel and Read more

Liberty grad follows family legacy to USC film school

June 30, 2009

Alex Bell, a Liberty High School graduate, works on a home movie project from his laptop, a skill that helped get him accepted to the University of Southern California film school. Contributed

Alex Bell, a Liberty High School graduate, works on a home movie project from his laptop, a skill that helped get him accepted to the University of Southern California film school. Contributed

Maybe it’s in the genes.

Alex Bell, 18, of Newcastle, a 2009 Liberty High School graduate, is one of only 20 incoming freshman accepted into the film school at the University of Southern California.

About 1,200 high school students applied to study at the same school that produced George Lucas, Steven Spielberg and Gene Fowler Jr.

Though not as well known as Lucas and Spielberg, Fowler Jr. was a prolific editor and director of film and television. His efforts won him a Golden Globe, four Emmys and an Oscar. He studied film editing at 20th Century Fox as a student at USC. Read more