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SIFF press screenings begin, SIFF members' preview - Rounding up the Usual Suspects
Steve's Livejournal
SIFF press screenings begin, SIFF members' preview
Today the Seattle International Film Festival is starting –not the festival itself, but they just started showing films to press, also inviting people who have passes to attend. For the press, having us there gives them a chance to experience the films with the reactions of a larger audience. For us with passes, we get to see more films.

All three of today's films were downers, but two were pretty good downers.

The 10 am film was the Polish biographical drama about the artist Wladyslaw Strzeminski titled Afterimage. The artist was revered through much of his career, but the arrival of Communism was not good for him. The film was good, but not a cheerful story.

The noon film was Pyromaniac, which is a drama based on a novel, which was in turn based on an actual arson spree in 1978. Some people found the film's vague presentation of the main character's motivations a fault, but I did not; in my view, he had a combination of mental illness and circumstances that added up to the arson fires. It was good too.

The 2 pm film, Hellow Destroyer, was a Canadian film about a minor league hockey hockey player player who is suspended after injuring a Rica mimic. I could find no reason to care about the main character; the film was poor.

After a walk from downtown, where press screenings are held, we got together with some friends near the SIFF Film Center and the Uptown: "S", "D", "P", and "E". We had a snack, then went to the Film Center for a brief party.

After the party, we walked over to the Uptown for the members' preview. Lots of SIFF staff, mainly programmers, talked about their favorite film, and played some trailers. Here are the trailers I recall:

  • The Bick Sick – The opening night film is inspired by the real-life romance between a Pakistan born comedian and a grad student.
  • The Young Karl Marx – The closing night film is about the time when Karl Marx and his wife met Fredrich Engels.
  • The Little Hours – This party film is a comedy about transgressive medieval nuns.
  • The Hero – Sam Elliott plays an aging western star rediscovering his past.
  • Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World – Documentary about Native Americans who made surprisingly substantial contributions to US music.
  • A Dragon Arrives – This mystery noir from Iran looks weird and wonderful.
  • Handsome Devil – A teenager at an Irish boys' school is expected to love rugby, but he loves music.
  • May God Save Us – Two Madrid police inspectors are trying to catch a serial killer before the Pope visits. </i>
  • Beach Rats – A Brooklyn delinquent doesn't know what he wants.
  • Meatball Machine Kodoku – In this weird Japanese movie, people become violent killing machines. The trailer is hilariously weird, but it's all I want to see of the film.

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