Friday, April 22, 2005

Slobbering over SIFF

So just the other day, I opened my email and saw the subject line that made me squeal with glee: "SIFF Press Screenings Notice and Schedule"!

I mailed in my application for a Seattle International Film Festival press pass a few days ago, and ever since popping the letter into the mailbox, I've had a nervous "night-before-Christmas-ish" excitement, to steal a quote from Pauline in Heavenly Creatures--except in my case I'm not planning on murdering my best friend's mother the next day... I'm simply waiting with bated breath for any... ANY scoops about what or who will be at the festival.

I. Can't. Wait.

The excitement of getting a brand-new, just-published film festival schedule is hard to explain to people who, well, don't care. When the SIFF schedule comes out, I have to reserve an afternoon to pore over it, with pen in hand, and a piece of notebook paper smoothed onto the tabletop at the coffeeshop where I plant myself. I do a once-over, putting a star next to the ones that sound interesting. Then I look at it again, paying closer attention to countries, directors, and actors that may strike my fancy. I look for keywords: Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung, Wong-Kar Wai, Catherine Keener, Kore-eda, Lukas Moodysson, either Gyllenhaal, Christopher Doyle, and any other name that I'm obsessed with at the time. Then I compare my starred items with my friends, who always find something interesting that I didn't note, and start to revise and narrow the list. It is fun to go to film fests with pals, but the joy of having a pass means that you can play with others, and play with yourself, with no guilt involved. I mean, play BY yourself. And you feel less guilty about walking out on a film, or simply skipping one.

When all is said and done, my list usually contains an obscene 60 or 70 movies. Call me crazy. But I want to see them all! My record number of SIFF movie-viewings stands at 42 full-length features. That was in 2001, when I was unemployed. I guess it says something (scary) about myself that last year, when I had a full-time job, I still managed to see 38 movies.

The press launch is May 5th, which I believe is also the day that the full schedule is revealed in a special pullout in the Seattle Times. I say, bring it on!


Linda said...

OMG! I just found out that Wong-Kar Wai's "2046" is going to play SIFF! Wahhoooooo!

Vickie said...

You know, it's times like these where I think, "Good lord, Linda is my long-lost twin!"

Every word of what you wrote applies to me at TIFF time. Except, I do the whole program book scanning thing at home, on the couch, surrounded by post-its of many colors.


It's a magical time, isn't it?

Jennifer said...

Ah, I remember the anticipation well. Just last year, I was all set to go to my first SIFF movie - Saved. I was convinced that I would find myself seated next to none other than Macaulay Culkin. I was so excited I thought I was gonna hurl...And then, one hour before it was time to leave, I did hurl. And then I hurled again, and again, every forty minutes for the next eight hours. I must have had the most poorly timed 24 hour virus known to man.

Later, I heard all about Jena Malone introducing the movie, and some guy who rode in an elevator with Drew Barrymore, and how she said hi to him.

I sighed and said, "I can't believe I missed all that while I had my head in the toilet."

"That's what I'm telling you," replied my wise friend, "you've got to pull your head out of the toilet."

Her words will be with me always.

Vickie said...

Jena Malone or projectile vomiting.

You know, that's a tough call.

And I'm leaning towards the tossed cookies.

The Society for the Non-Appreciation of Self-Important, Overrated Young Actresses Who Think "Indie Cred" Means Shaving Their Heads or Writing Bad Poetry Like Leelee Sobieski

Jennifer said...

I feel better now.

sazero said...

Well, there are toilets at the theatres hosting SIFF. You could see a movie star and still find time to hurl. I mean, you don't really have to compromise...