For Your Consideration: Memorial Day Weekend at SIFF
The long holiday weekend is a good opportunity to make some quality time for SIFF-going. Be sure to check the SIFF updates page to see which films are already sold out or are selling fast. Individual tickets for most films cost $11 for the public and $9 for SIFF members. Matinees are a bit cheaper ($8/$7) and those who are more willing to commit can consider all sorts of passes still for sale as well as slightly discounted packs of tickets in bundles of 6 or 20.
With that in mind, let’s take a look at what SIFF films all of us at The SunBreak saw lately as well as the films that we’re most looking forward to seeing over the next couple days. Note that this weekend is ShortsFest Weekend, SIFF’s exploration of mini-masterpieces, which ends with the closing night shorts event tomorrow at SIFF Cinema.
Tony saw so many movies over the past few days that his raves could not be contained to one post. Check out his SIFF pig-out here, with his takes on a bunch of films still running at SIFF this weekend: Jucy, The Whistleblower, Hit So Hard, Karate-Robo Zaborgar, and The Last Circus.
Audrey appreciated Above Us Only Sky, a sexy and adult look of how one moves on when a relationship ends, even if your new lover really reminds you of the old one (last screening today 4 p.m. @ Pacific Place). Rothstein’s First Assignment showed the fiction that simultaneously existed with dark fact in famous Depression Era photographs, though the documentary’s storytelling was somewhat disjointed. Meanwhile, Saigon Electric too often goes by the book, as if there were a checklist (star-crossed lovers, small-town girl, damaged old man, a teen center that needs saving), but all those flaws disappear in Stephane Gauger’s kinetic, highly stylized dance scenes (Monday, 3 p.m. @ Pacific Place; June 1, 6:30 p.m. @ Everett).
MvB braved the epic run time (without intermission!) to see Saturday’s screening of Mysteries of Lisbon, 4.5 hours of a Proustian fever dream in a Portuguese translation, making for gorgeous streams of costume-drama cinema. A young boy in the care of the church wonders who his parents are, and this unlocks a Pandora’s box of adulterous intrigue, as tale after tale (This is a long story, says one character, who starts up about halfway through) unspools. Sadly the screening was a one-time event.
Steam of Life is notable for the nakedness, physical and emotional, of its mostly male cast. An exploration of the Finnish male confessional, the sauna, men, usually in pairs, unburden themselves of experiences of abuse, divorce, custody battles, unemployment, drug addiction, and more–it’s not something you probably want to walk in blindly too, but if you’re in the mood, this In the Company of Nordic Men is a powerful rejoinder to LaButean dyspepticism–and the bear and Santas keep it surprising. (June 7, 6:30 p.m. @ the Admiral)
Sunday, May 29
- We Are the Night You can’t go wrong with sexy German lady vampires. (6 p.m. @ the Egyptian; Monday, 1:45 p.m. @ the Egyptian)
- Backyard One more chance to see live performances by some of Iceland’s top up-and-coming bands, like FM Belfast, Múm, Hjaltalín, FM Belfast, Retro Stefson, Reykjavík! and Sin Fang. (8:30 p.m. @ the Admiral)
- Surrogate Valentine San Francisco singer-songwriter Goh Nakamura stars as a version of himself, playing music and looking for love along the West Coast, in this light-heared b&w comedy. (9:30 p.m. @ Harvard Exit; Monday, 3:30 pm @ the Admiral)
Monday, May 30
- La Dolce Vita SIFF shows a new print of Fellini’s sumptuous masterwork just once! (10 a.m. @ Harvard Exit)
- Flamenco, Flamenco Set at Seville’s 1992 Expo Pavilion Soundstage, Carlos Saura presents 21 performances from Spain’s top musicians and dancers. (11 a.m. @ Egyptian)
- Hooked Enter the world of top Russian gamers, who get recruited by the army to put their skills to military use. (1:45 p.m. @ the Neptune; June 3, 9:30 p.m. @ Kirkland)
- Simple Simon But of course, a big box office draw in Sweden is this sweet Asperger’s comedy. (6 p.m. @ Everett; June 1, 7 p.m. @ SIFF Cinema)
- Win/Win This Dutch film is also Asperger’s-y, but this time set in the high-stakes world of brokerage trading, right as the bottom of the market falls out. It has a very dry sense of humor, but its strength is its sensitive depiction of a gifted young trader who crumbles under the pressure to achieve. (6:30 p.m. @ the Egyptian; June 1, 4:30 p.m. @ the Neptune)
Tuesday, May 31
- Late Autumn Sunday’s screening of this Korean romance filmed in Seattle is sold out, so the better bet is to buy tickets to this showing instead. (4 p.m. @ the Egyptian)
- Lesson Plan This documentary delves into the notorious Third Wave Project, an experiment which showed that anyone can become a fascist, under the right circumstances. (7 p.m. @ Harvard Exit; June 1, 4:30 p.m. @ Harvard Exit)
- The Night of Counting the Years An archival showing of a remastered print of what is widely considered the best Egyptian film ever made. (7:00 p.m. @ SIFF Cinema)
- Tilt These Cold War Bulgarian kids sure play a mean pinball. (9:30 p.m. @ the Admiral; June 6, 9 p.m. @ the Harvard Exit)
- Bibliotheque Pascal This multiple award-winning Hungarian film is a dark sex trafficking fairy tale in Central Europe with Terry Gilliam-esque touches. (9:30 pm @ the Egyptian)