Reel NW

Reel NW

Photos of Aurora Speedway and Playland

Mel Anthony, the subject of the documentary "Smoke, Sand & Rubber," used to race midget cars at Aurora Speedway in what is now Seattle back in the 1940s and 1950s. This picture was taken there in 1946. Aurora Speedway was part of the popular Playland Amusement Park, which offered such entertainments as bumper cars, a rollercoaster, dance marathons, and boat rides on Bitter Lake.

Happy Halloween from the Reel NW Team!

Behind the Scenes @ReelNW: Meet Amelia

The second season of Reel NW, our showcase of the best in independent film from or about the Pacific Northwest, is off to a great start. The third film in the series, "Smoke, Sand, & Rubber," is coming up this Monday night, October 31, at 10:30 p.m. This documentary is about Mel Anthony, who used to race midget cars at Aurora Speedway in Seattle and who decides, at the age of 86, to get behind the wheel again.

Robert Horton Recommends: More Like "Way of the Puck"

Film critic Robert Horton recommends other independent films you might enjoy if you like what you’ve seen on Reel NW.

Places to Play Air Hockey in the Northwest

Air hockey is a vanishing game, as Eric Anderson's documentary “Way of the Puck" shows. But there are still places in the Northwest where you can get your game on. Here are a few. Don't forget to try the "circle drift!"

Grab Your, It's Time for Some Air Hockey

Air hockey is not the rec room staple it was three decades ago. But still the game retains its appeal. Who can deny the satisfying ricochet of the puck around the table, or the click of a puck dropping in the goal? It’s not surprising that game developers have tried to replicate this game for the phone and iPad. The iPad is particularly well-suited to air hockey, with some games allowing four players on the board. Unlike regular air hockey, virtual air hockey is not just about physics and skill. The puck has a mind of its own, bringing added fun (or frustration, as the case may be).

Robert Horton Recommends: More Like "Carts of Darkness"

This is first in a series of posts where film critic Robert Horton recommends other independent films viewers might enjoy if they like what they see on Reel NW.

Welcome Robert Horton to Reel NW

We are excited to announce that local film critic Robert Horton is joining the Reel NW team for a second season. In season one, Robert interviewed several local filmmakers. This year, he will be talking to directors once again, as well as writing articles for our blog, including a regular feature called Robert Horton Recommends. These posts will be Robert’s recommendations for other independent films you might like if you like the kind of films seen on Reel NW.

"Off Label" Is First Recipient of Northwest Film Fund

Northwest Film Forum has announced that “Off Label,” a documentary by Portland directors Michael Palmieri and Donal Mosher, is the first recipient of the Northwest Film Fund, a competitive fund that supports Northwest documentary film projects. “Off Label,” which combines personal storytelling with archival and industry footage, is an “alternatively tragic and bleakly comic road trip through the methods and madness of pharmaceuticals in our culture.” A short preview is here.

Binning for Money

Contrary to stereotypes, many homeless people do work. The characters in “Carts of Darkness” get their “spending money” from “binning,” or scavenging for bottles and cans and returning them for cash. A 2002 study by the Urban Institute, a nonpartisan U.S. research center, showed that 45 percent of homeless adults had worked in the last 30 days. But that number likely doesn’t include binning and other informal jobs.