Jun 23, 2023
Often when we think of cinema, the first places that come to mind are New York or Los Angeles. But did you know that hundreds of films and television shows are set in cities around the Pacific Northwest?
From popular series like Twin Peaks to blockbuster book adaptations like Twilight, culture writer David Schmader’s new book Filmlandia!: A Movie Lovers Guide to the Films and Television of Seattle, Portland, and the Great Northwest highlights more than 200 film and television entertainments created and centered in our region.
Extensively researched and curated by Schmader, Filmlandia! explores the oft-overlooked film culture of The Pacific Northwest. The author shows a culture that is thriving and robust, one that is finally given space to be celebrated in a guide that aims to be visually arresting and compelling – much like the films themselves.
Classics like Sleepless in Seattle are discussed, but so are little-known documentaries, including multiple about Nirvana legend Kurt Cobain. Schmader put in a lot of screen time and research for this release, resulting result is over 200 TV and film entries that feature synopses (with healthy doses of levity and insight), behind-the-scene facts and trivia, and regional scenic highlights. Sidebars showcase the television shows that shaped the public’s perception of the region (such as Twin Peaks, Shrill, and Portlandia), filmmakers like Gus Van Sant and Lynn Shelton, queer cinema, silent films, and more.
This is a talk for any cinephile or anyone with a curiosity about a lesser-known aspect of Pacific Northwest culture!
David Schmader is a writer and performer devoted to exploring his obsessions, from homophobic rock stars and pray-away-the-gay Christians to trash cinema and legalized drugs. His solo plays have been performed in theaters across the US. From 1998–2015, Schmader was staff writer and editor for Seattle’s Pulitzer-winning newsweekly The Stranger, where he wrote the issue-opening column “Last Days: The Week in Review.” He is the world’s foremost authority on the glorious terribleness of the movie Showgirls, hosting annotated screenings of Paul Verhoeven’s notorious stripper drama at cinemas all over North America and providing the commentary track for the Showgirls DVD. He is the author of Filmlandia: A Movie Lover’s Guide to the Films and Television of Seattle, Portland, and The Great Northwest and Weed: The User’s Guide, published by Sasquatch Books.
Kathy Fennessy is a Seattle Film Critics Society board member, an approved critic for Rotten Tomatoes, and a regular contributor to Rock and Roll Globe, Seattle Film Blog, and Video Librarian. She has also written or spoken about film for Amazon, KEXP’s Sound and Vision, KUOW’s All Things Considered, Minneapolis’s City Pages, the Northwest Film Forum, the Seattle International Film Festival, and The Stranger. She was born in Connecticut, raised in Alaska, and works in development at Cascade Public Media/KCTS 9. She is a Whitman College graduate and has lived in the Pacific Northwest for 35 years.