Don’t panic, there are still ten days left to get your fill of SIFF, but Even though they call it “Centerpiece Weekend”, the Seattle International Film Festival is actually safely past the halfway point.
Saturday evening includes a screening of The End of the Tour in which Jesse Eisenberg and Jason Segel re-enact on David Lipsky’s epic five-day interview with David Foster Wallace in the days following the publication of Infinite Jest for Rolling Stone (appropriately giving postmodern fiction the rockstar treatment). The film is based on Lipsky’s published as Although Of Course You End Up Becoming Yourself: A Road Trip with David Foster Wallace. Following the screening at SIFF Cinema Egyptian, stroll up to the DAR Rainier Chapter House to celebrate the mid-point of your cinematic tour with fellow movie marathoners. This is always one of my favorite parties — people are generally still in the high on film phase, before the bleary eyed exhaustion of the final days arrive. (Film & party, $30 for non-members; additional screening, Sunday May 31, Harvard Exit 2:00 pm).
Aside from Saturday’s gala, this weekend brings another interesting special event. After watching the director’s cut of 54 you can spend the remainder of your evening getting a taste of what Seattle imagines the real Studio 54 was like by way of “the Studio 54 Experience” at the Neptune. Director Mark Christopher is scheduled to attend the screening (Friday, May 29, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, 7:00 PM), count on him to dish on how the mainstream release was “sanitized beyond recognition” during the Q&A. Then head to the U-District for “disco atmosphere, dance lessons, classic music videos, and live performances by actor-comedian-dancer Mark Siano”. You’re on your own to supply costumes and any other Studio 54-related accessories.
Below, some picks from the rest of the SunBreak’s SIFF Team to consider for your weekend watching:
Mr. Holmes Bill Condon’s take on the iconic detective finds Ian McKellen playing Sherlock retired on a farm, but still trying to solve that one last case. Actor Hiroyuki Sanada scheduled to attend the May 29 screening; both are on STANDBY so passholders and those hoping to get a rush ticket should show up early.
- May 29, 2015 SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival 7:00 PM
- May 31, 2015 AMC Pacific Place 4:00 PM
Chuck Norris vs. Communism One of five films that garnered an impressive four “Programmer Picks”, uniting the diverse cinematic preferences of Maryna Ajaja (Russia/Eastern Europe), Clinton McClung (Midnight Adrenaline), Andy Spletzer (Alternative Cinema), and Brad Wilke (Catalyst), this documentary tells of Western films smuggled beyond the Iron Curtain, dubbed for underground consumption as fuel for revolution. Romanian director Ilinca Calugareanu (now based in London) witnessed this story firsthand and is scheduled to attend both remaining screenings.
- May 30, 2015 SIFF Cinema Egyptian 8:30 PM
- June 1, 2015 SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival 4:30 PM
Phoenix Another winner of the Programmer Picks derby — this one is a thriller set in post-war Berlin, with all sorts of intrigue surrounding a woman who returns from the concentration camps to the city with a new face. Thrills follow as her husband tries to use her for her inheritance and she tries to figure out if he’s the one who ratted her out to the Nazis.
- May 31, 2015 SIFF Cinema Egyptian 7:15 PM
Next Time I’ll Aim for the Heart Critics have name-dropped David Fincher’s overlooked masterpiece Zodiac in the context of director Cedric Anger’s new period crime film, which is a plus in my book. And Guillaume Canet’s garnered serious buzz in the role of real life serial killer (and cop) Alain Lamare.
- May 31, 2015 SIFF Cinema Egyptian 9:45 PM
- June 2, 2015 SIFF Cinema Egyptian 9:45 PM
- June 3, 2015 Kirkland Performance Center 8:30 PM
All Things Must Pass I pretty much grew up in the Tacoma Tower Records as a kid, and it had a genuine impact on music fans for a couple of decades, so this documentary on the rise and fall of the world’s biggest music retail chain definitely has my interest. Director Colin Hanks and producer Sean Stuart scheduled to attend.
- May 30, 2015 Harvard Exit 7:00 PM
- May 31, 2015 SIFF Cinema Uptown Festival 3:00 PM
Rebel Without a Cause There was no such thing as a teenager in the collective mind of mainstream America prior to James Dean’s indelible performance in this 1955 drama. It’s also shot in gorgeous, eye-popping color that’ll look glorious on the Egyptian’s big-ass screen.
- May 31, 2015 SIFF Cinema Egyptian 3:00 PM
The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution: There was a time in our recent history, circa 2010, when Fox News was really, really worried about something called the New Black Panther Party. No one knows what that is, but I’m hoping this documentary about the original Black Panther movement, featuring interviews with supporters, enemies, journalists, FBI informants, and possibly Henry Rollins*, might provide some insight. (Subject Ericka Huggins is scheduled to attend the 5/29 screening.)
* This cannot be confirmed at press time, but Henry Rollins sure is in a lot of documentaries.
- May 29, 2015 Pacific Place 9:30 PM
- June 1, 2015 Pacific Place 4:00 PM
Being Evel: Documentary filmmaker Daniel Junge has become a fixture at SIFF. He made a documentary about former WA governor Booth Gardner’s campaign for physician-assisted suicide, and last year he was here with two documentaries, one about LEGO bricks (but not LEGOs), and another about how Christians really, really love mixed martial arts. He also won an Academy Award for his short doc Saving Face in 2012. This movie is about daredevil Robert “Evel” Knievel. When I was a ute, thought “Evel Knievel” was a bad-ass name (still do, TBH) and he inspired Super Dave Osborne, so he’s always been cool to me. (Daniel Junge is scheduled to attend this screening.)
- May 30, 2015 SIFF Cinema Uptown 2:30 PM