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Oscar Night, 253 Film Collective, "Ich Hunger" and Radical Reels

A monthly look at film in the greater Tacoma and Olympia area

"I HUNGER": Tacoma director Isaac Olsen debuts his second feature Wednesday, Feb. 27 at The Grand Cinema.

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I only have one thing to say to you: OSCAR!!

Well, I guess I can say a little more. (The Volcano does pay me by the word, you know, and doesn't cue the exit music when I ramble on.) But speaking of drawn-out speeches, the 85th annual Academy Awards has arrived, and there exists really only two options for you this Sunday - you can either watch Daniel Day-Lewis win Best Actor from Tacoma's swanky Theatre on the Square thanks to the Grand Cinema, or watch Daniel Day-Lewis win Best Actor at Olympia's equally swanky Capitol Theater. Before the show starts at the latter, find a good seat to watch fellow guests arrive in their best duds on the Capitol's mammoth screen. Enjoy yourself, and may the best Dan win on Oscar night.

But even better than seeing Hollywood soak itself in champagne and glory is celebrating the film triumphs in our own community. For a concept WAY overdue in this art-lovin' part of Washington, a group known as the "253 Film Collective" has gained traction in recent months by collecting fans and sponsors via Facebook, building a website (, and partnering with The Grand as an ideal milieu for its monthly public meetings.

The next gathering goes down on Tuesday, Feb 26, 7-10 p.m., and will feature talks by local film buff and host of TV's The High Bar, Warren Etheredge, and two Washington Filmworks representatives: executive director Amy Lillard and production services coordinator Krys Karns. Even if your area code starts with a 3 or 4 (any number really), come on out to network with some of the South Sound's most talented film artists, find out what "one-sheet" means, and witness the birth of a collective that hopefully sets up permanent residence in the 253.

As a continual supporter of local independent cinema, The Grand has even more in store next week - the day after the Collective's meeting, Tacoma director Isaac Olsen debuts his second feature Ich Hunger at the theater on Wednesday, Feb. 27. Patrons can purchase tickets for $10 apiece at Olsen's website or at the door.

Unlike the 2-hour-plus running time of his first work Quiet Shoes, Ich Hunger comes in at a thin 70 minutes, but still "it packs a punch," the director promises. Several esteemed critics that live inside Olsen's head have also declared his latest "The Goonies meets The Tree of Life" and "The Tin Drum meets The Gods Must Be Crazy."

And if you desperately missed all the snow and ice denied us this season, or, like me, prefer watching all winter activities through an indoor screen, the Capitol Theater has an event that should make both camps happy. On Friday, March 8, the Olympia Film Society and The Mountaineers organization will present the Banff Mountain Radical Reels tour, a breath-tacular collection of films showing those crazy humans engaged in all manner of stunts - skiing, climbing, and everything else under the sun. Tickets are available at the theater, or call The Alpine Experience in Olympia at 360.956.1699.  

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