siff decompresion: 35 is a very special number


As anyone who saw at least one film at this year’s festival will recall, thirty-five is a very special number (tetrahedral, number of green firms, average winter low, a film gauge, the number of years SIFF has been around … did I miss anything?). Entirely by coincidence, it also the number of feature-length films I watched. As an experiment in compactness and as a mental bookkeeping system, I posted mini-reviews to Twitter along the way. For a full list of my viewing habits, I’ve reposted them after the jump.

Overall, I think that the average of my torn ballot slips would have been somewhere just below the dotted line indicating a “4”, which means that I did well in deciding what to see or that the programmers did an exceptional job in stocking the theaters (probably a bit of each). Of the films I liked best (Lynn Shelton’s compassionate and credible Humpday ; Jamie Johnson’s joyful Sounds Like Teen Spirit ; Doug Pray’s surprisingly elevating Art & Copy) , several will be re-screened at this weekend’s “best of the fest” marathon [siff] or have distribution and are likely to be returning to Seattle in the very near future.

I’m a bit disappointed that Craig Johnson’s True Adolescents didn’t make it into the encore presentations, but I am holding out hope that it finds a distributor to bring it back to town. Across the board, the cast is stellar; the foul-mouthed script is funny and affecting; the direction generously takes on all sorts of comings of age, delayed and otherwise; and the pacific northwest setting looks great. Maybe it’s because I didn’t expect much from the potentially slapsticky premise of “aging indie rocker takes his teen nephew for a hike”, but the results were consistently surprising, a little suspenseful, and consistently believable. Keep your fingers crossed for it!

What’s on your distribution wishlist?

my SIFF in 4369 characters. (note that the first link goes to SIFF, the second to the twitter status update; note also that the first three were faked because I saw them ahead of the festival, before this questionable idea of tweeting my screenings occurred to me.)

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