watch these dudes contemplate doing it on film. and then party with them tonight. (humpday still, courtesy siff)
Why hello there SIFFers, we’ve all survived and are ready to enter our third weekend of the fantastic-so-far Seattle International Film Festival, where weekends offer all the more hours to overdose on moviegoing with plenty of film partying thrown in for good measure. This weekend also marks the spread of the festival into West Seattle, where the neighborhood will be welcoming the festival to the Admiral Theater and their side of the bridge with a party at Skylark. [wsb].
Let SIFF be your air conditioner and sunscreen; in addition to repeat screenings for previously-mentioned films [mb] here are some of the things we are most excited about seeing over the next few days:
Humpday [siff (gala)]: Lynn Shelton, no stranger to the mumblecore sex comedy [nerve] and recipient of cake and cash for her genius filmmaking, brings two straight guys together in a scheme to film a gay entry for the Stranger’s annual porn film festival. All sorts of male bonding and awkwardness ensue. A gala event follows the Friday night screening, allowing you a chance to rub elbows with the stars and production team over drinks and noodles from Boom while pretending that you didn’t just see them contemplating getting naked. [josh] June 5, 7:00 pm (Egyptian/gala); June 7, 1:30 pm (Egyptian [siff])
Four Boxes [siff] : Two men and a woman move into a dead guy’s house to photograph his possessions to sell on E-bay. They discover that the dead guy was a fan of a voyeur-website, a site they keep watching themselves. After they discover what looks like a murderous plot by the creepy guy the site’s cameras focus on, their already-tense situation starts getting intense, especially as the action appears to be closer than they’d like. Shades of Blair Witch but without the annoying camera shake. I found the ending a little annoying but the story kept me wanting to know what happens next all the way up to then. [zee] June 5, 9:30 pm (SIFF Cinema); June 7, 1:30 pm (SIFF Cinema)
OSS 177: Cairo, Nest of Spies [siff] : Prepare yourself for the sequel, which screens at the SIFF closing night gala, by watching the Golden Space Needle-winning original comedy spy thriller. Note, second screening is outdoors and by donation (a.k.a., approximately free). [josh] June 5, 9:30 pm (Uptown); June 6, 9:00 pm (Juanita Beach Park).
Il Divo [siff] : Director Paolo Sorrentino dramatic telling of seven term Italian Prime Minister Giulio Andreotti’s life of political entanglements and comebacks. When it screened at Cannes last year Variety said: “An intensely political film so wildly inventive and witty that it will become a touchstone for years to come … This is a brave, bold film whose chances of international success are relatively small, but whose ramifications are huge.” [#] Thanks to SIFF, you have a chance to soak up the splendor. [josh] June 6, 11 am (Egyptian); June 13, 9:15 (Cinerama)
A Woman Under the Influence [siff] : As part of its archival presentations, SIFF is showing a recently restored print of John Cassavetes’s 1974 film starring Gena Rowlands and Peter Falk that marked the dawn of the independent film movement and chronicled a wife’s growing mental instability. [josh] June 6, 4 pm (SIFF Cinema)
True Adolescents [siff] : If you missed the Thursday night screening of this made-in-Seattle comedy-drama, here’s your second chance to see this great film and make it a Mark Duplass double-feature (he’s one of the dudes in Humpday, too). A Saturday night party at the Comet features the Blakes performing as the fictional band The Effort. [zee] June 6, 1:30 pm (The Egyptian)
World’s Greatest Dad [siff] : imagine the trainwreck that is Robin Williams and Bobcat Goldwait shooting a film in Seattle. You don’t have to speculate because that exact film is screening this weekend. Maybe it’s amazing? The blurb promises that it “couldn’t diverge any further from audience expectations”. June 6, 6:30 pm (Egyptian); June 7, 4:00 pm (Egyptian).
Little Joe [siff] : “Little Joe never once gave it away/everybody had to pay and pay” sang Lou Reed in his classic “Walk on the Wild Side” but Joe Dallesandro wasn’t actually a hustler. A personable and attractive young man, he’s best-known for his iconic appearances, usually naked, in several Warhol films directed by Paul Morrissey. Years down the line, he’s gregarious and well-spoken, telling his own history and talking about the ins and outs of the New York art scene in a thoroughly engaging style aided and abetted by a ton of archival footage that would make the movie worth watching all on its own. Joe will appear at both screenings of the documentary. [zee] June 6, 7:15 pm (SIFF Cinema), June 7, 4:00 pm (SIFF Cinema)
the Karamazovs [siff] : A last chance to see this story of an acting troupe from Prague staging a Dostoyevsky production in a Polish steel mill. It’s been earning plenty of praise during the festival, with mild warnings about its highbrow tone, but what else are film festivals for if not a bit of snootery? [josh] June 7, 11 am (Harvard Exit)
Alisa’s Birthday [siff] : Alisa is a ten-year old girl who lives in a future Moscow where her father is a space zoologist and family friend Uncle Gromozeka is a blue-skinned alien from another planet. She’s invited along on an expedition to a dead planet and then sent back in time with the haughty Professor R-r-r (who just so happens to look like a one-eyed kitten) with a potential cure for the virus that wiped out all living beings. Will Alisa and R-r-r complete their mission in time to save the planet from certain destruction and still make it back to the new and improved future? Bright, lively, and fun with appealing characters, charming art, and an interesting, suspenseful story, Alisa’s Birthday is equally appealing to kids and adults–anyone who enjoys a good story with bright, stylish art will enjoy it. In Russian with English subtitles. Subtitles will be read loud at the June 7 and June 14 screenings. [zee] June 7, 11:00 am (Kirkland); June 9, 7:00 pm (Pacific Place); June 14, 11:00 am (Pacific Place)
Sounds Like Teen Spirit : a popumentary [siff ] : It’s quite possibly worth a bus ride to the eastside to catch this documentary that follows four contestants in the Eurovision Junior songwriting competition. The film is a heartbursting mix of all the joy and sorrow of ambitious artistic child performers. So far, it ranks among my favorites from this year’s festival. If you liked Spellbound and thought that all that it needed was a more international angle and better choreography, than you’re bound to fall in love with this one, too. I felt a little crushed we find out who wins the top prize, but the results are presented as almost an afterthought to the journey; so I suppose is part of the point. [josh] June 7, 4:00 pm (Kirkland).
The Necessities of Life [siff] : Tivii is an Inuit man from Baffin Island sent to recover from tuberculosis in a Quebec City sanitarium. Alienated by culture shock and isolated by language barriers, Tivii languishes in despair until a kind-hearted nurse orchestrates the arrival of a young Inuit patient who can translate for the older man. As Tivii and Kaki recover from their illness, the older man refreshes the younger’s knowledge of their shared cultural history. [zee] June 7, 4:00 pm (Harvard Exit); June 8, 4:15 pm
Rain [siff] : Life in the Bahamas isn’t just about lounging on the beach drinking fruity tropical concoctions – real life for many of its residents is troubled and bleak. A teenager raised on a small rural island by her grandmother is forced into Nassau to meet the desperately poor, trick-turning drug addict mother she’s never known. Determined to find a way out of the mean streets, Rain takes up running. Her gift at the sport could be her salvation, but only if she can survive her very rough life. [zee] June 7, 9:00 pm (Kirkland Performance Center); June 12, 4:30 pm and June 13, 7:00 pm (SIFF Cinema)