Ladies and gentlemen, start your ferry reservations: the Orcas Island Film Festival has announced the full lineup for this year’s festival. I’ve already enthused on the delights of this little festival, its very big films, and spending an autumn weekend movie-hopping in the San Juans. If you were left unconvinced by the partial lineup, the new additions continue to make a compelling case, and now there’s a schedule to help you better plan your travels to and from the island (as well as figuring out when you might find time to eat or sleep).
Full series passes are currently sold out, but Patron Passes and tickets to individual films are now on sale, along with film descriptions and trailers. Some notable and welcome changes to this year’s festival include a third venue (the Black Box at Orcas Center), repeats of selected films throughout the weekend, and scheduling that doesn’t have the Palme d’Or winner (Bong Joon-ho’s Parasite: a can’t miss examination of social climbing, that’s madcap, hilarious, and ultimately affecting) playing only the last (harder-for-mainlanders-to-attend) night.
My guess is that opening night feature The Two Popes is also going to be a hot ticket, it was a word-of-mouth sensation at Telluride and has two simultaneous screenings at Orcas. If you’re on the individual tickets route, my top five recommendations among films I’ve already seen are Parasite, Céline Sciamma’s sensuous historical romance Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Noah Baumbach’s heart-wrenching divorce drama Marriage Story, Pedro Almodovar’s walk down memory lane Pain and Glory, and Trey Edward Schults’s high intensity family crisis/catharis story Waves, with a very honorable mention to Lulu Wang’s phenomenal cross-cultural deception story The Farewell for those who haven’t yet managed to see it. These are easily among my favorite films of the year so far; it’ll be a treat to revisit some of them over the weekend if time allows. In terms of new-to-me films, I’m most excited about catching up with Honey Boy, Synonyms, Jojo Rabbit, Les Misérables, and Atlantics and am a little bit bummed that I probably can’t stick around long enough to see The Truth.
In case anyone else’s brains work better in grids than lists, I’ve rearranged the freshly-released schedule into a table by day, venue, and timeslot.