Monday, May 28, 2007

SIFF #2 - Rock Climbers and Rockin' Girls

I thought I already saw quite a few movies (at least for someone who has a full time job and takes no vacation days for SIFF, like many passholders)... but apparently I have a couple of dopplegangers (triple-gangers?) out on the town, adding numbers to my SIFF total.

Within minutes of sitting down for an 11:00am screening at the Egyptian, two women (both total strangers) came up to me and started discussing the movies that "we" saw together the night before. Apparently I was not only at the Egyptian theater, but I was also at Pacific Place, catching Romanian and Hungarian dramas, respectfully. This middle-aged woman almost started arguing with me, claiming that I was sitting right next to her at her screening, and I'd better tell her what I thought of the film, or she would deck me. I had to explain several times that I was, in fact, at the SIFF Cinema, an answer she did not like.


My first film was Team Everest: A Himalayan Journey (6/8), a documentary about a group of handicapped folks ascending Mt. Everest all the way to base camp at 17,500 feet. Crazy, I tell you! Unsurprising, it was an inspiring and heartwarming tale. The most interesting stories probably came from the men in wheelchairs that intermittently had to be carried (sans chairs) on the backs of sherpas, who would trade off their load every 20 minutes or so. At one point, the group is going over slippery mud on a trail that could drop you hundreds, if not thousands of feet down a cliff at one stumble. Soooo not right! There was nothing really wrong with the documentary, as the folks and the mission were admirable and impressive... but when the director later said that he had trimmed 20-minutes from the running time to make it clock in at two hours, I realized that another half-hour cut from the film would have tightened it up. You don't want to pick and choose from the "characters" in the film, but some, like paraplegic Gene, and competing young bucks Matt and Riley, were cinematically more interesting than others. Less characters and more focus would make this already interesting film much more gripping.

For the rest of the afternoon I had made a decision to skip films, and instead catch the rock showcase of the girls who were featured in the documentary Girls Rock! (a film I had to miss because of conflicting scheduling). At 1:30 on a sunny Saturday afternoon (my birthday, no less), a gaggle of girls from Portland's Rock Camp For Girls held a rock show for the entertainment of fans, parents, kids, and festival looky-loos like myself. Personally, I was sold on the poster for the show, which I spotted on a telephone pole near where I work, that showed a kewpie-doll girl with a fierce expression, holding a microphone.

I apologize to the rocker girls and their film pals in advance that I didn't take notes as to band names and particular performers that were playing, but I'll just say this: You all kick ass! Congrats to King, Blubird (two awesome 13-year olds that will give Smoosh a run for the money), Raining Jane, and Diamond Cut Diamond for entertaining me and my friend for an afternoon. I'm sure all of you who have seen the movie Girls Rock! can identify the girls involved, but I'll say I was totally impressed with a teen from Oklahoma who cheerfully announced she was performing her own song, then crunched into some deep, low, thumping sludge that was like the music of the Melvins meets the vocals of Sepultura. My pal and I were grinning from ear to ear. During the whole show, you could heard girls banging on drums and creating a heck of a bunch of noise in the adjoining room. How many ways can you say that's awesome? I kinda regret not buying one of the cool black hoodies to support the cause, but I'll be at least sending them a donation soon!


Vickie said...

OMG. They sold hoodies and YOU DIDN'T BUY ONE?!?!

Please tell me that little Palace performed. The tiny, cherubic handful who rocks harder than women three times her size? Though, she's such a standout that I'm certain you would have remembered her, and written about her, had she been there.

Still, very cool.

Linda said...

If Palace was the one with the kewpie-doll face, kind of like a little Wednesday from the Addams Family, yes, she was there. She only did one song, but started out by thrusting her fist in the air and hollering, "Are you ready to rock, SEATTLE!!!!" (which of course got hoots from the audience). She was awesome! Yeah, shoulda got a hoodie... maybe they will sell one on their website if you beg 'em. :)

Vickie said...

***huuuuuuuge inhale gasp of air***


(She's the one in the picture that I posted when *I* saw the movie.)