Monday, June 18, 2007

SIFF #16 - My final thoughts... whew!

Whew! When SIFF says they are the biggest and longest film festival in the country, they aren't kidding!

This year the festival featured 405 films over 25 days--there were 211 narrative features, 61 feature-length documentaries, 12 archival films, four "secret festival" offerings and 117 short films.

And here is my tally: 34 films (including Severance, which I saw during SIFF, but not actually at a SIFF screening) plus one indirect SIFF event, the Girls Rock! showcase at Chop Suey (because I was unable to go to the actual doc... drat!). So that's 35! I admit my total surprises me, as today, Day One Post-SIFF, I was mumbling to co-workers that I thought I saw 31 or 32. This is surprisingly close to my all-time tally of 42 (when I was unemployed). Pretty good for someone who works 40 hours a week (and I'm not talkin' about the 'Pie!). Out of the 25 days, there were only 6 days where I did not go to any movies. Holy crap.


Best and most obvious double-feature:
* The Fever of '57 and In the Shadow of the Moon.
These two stellar space-race movie were both educational, informative, wildly entertaining, and showed us things that even the biggest space buff (i.e. my brother) have never seen before.

Best events:

* An Evening with Lisa Gerrard - I was enthralled by her words and her presence. Plus her impromptu singing lesson that involved the whole audience dropping their chins to their chests and letting out a primal "aaahhhh" was a surprise treat.

* Kinski performs Berlin: Symphony of a City - Sure, getting into the Triple Door was a chore, but the film was great, the drinks were good, and Kinski rocked!

* Girls Rock! event at Chop Suey - Not really an official SIFF event, but since I missed the documentary, I was delighted to be able to see girls holler into the microphone, "Are you ready to rock, SEATTLE!" and then actually ROCK! The whole event had me and my friend grinning from ear to ear.

Best performances:
* Brenda Blethyn in Introducing the Dwights - So masterfully nuanced, she took an overbearingly protective and cruel mother and made her sympathetic and complex.

* The ensemble cast of women in I Really Hate My Job gave me hope for women's roles in a male-centric film industry.

* The ensemble cast in Eytan Fox's The Bubble humanized the very complex political and cultural tension in Israel and Palestine.

Delightful documentaries:
* I loved the exuberant music of Gypsy Caravan and the super-personal family portrait Red Without Blue.

Best screenplay:
* Rocket Science had a dry, odd humor that I loved, and you should run out and see it when it is released this summer.

Most fun to be had at a screening:
* Hands down, the screening of Blood on the Flat Track: The Rise of the Rat City Rollergirls. There was glitz, glamour, and tattoos. The atmosphere inside the theater was electric. Half of the audience was onscreen, so it was like being at the biggest home movie screening with the coolest kids on the block.

Of course, I "only" attended 35 SIFF events out of almost 300 features, so my depth was rather limited. But what can you do? I'd love to hear what others liked at SIFF! Feel free to post comments, and I'll see you all next year!

1 comment:

Linda said...

Just as a follow-up: I finished strongly, and had a healthy couple of days after SIFF, then BAM! Tuesday night I was hit with exhaustion, and Wednesday morning I woke up with a sore throat and stuffed up head. Yes, another victime of PFS (post-festival sickness). Dammit.