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Showing posts from May, 2005

SIFF diary, part 4

Cape of Good Hope and Missing in America

I'm still in shock over how well the SIFF is going. Of the 6 films I've attended this weekend, I've have yet to see a bad film. A bit of a shock really, since we've been selecting films based on lack of buzz. In other words, I'm interested in seeing the movies that I may not get to see in the future due to lack of distribution or general obscurity. So, we're passing up the big names, like Wim Wender's new film or either of Miike's new movies. But I had read a bit about the film Cape of Good Hope from critics who had seen the South African film at other festivals and from comments IMDB.com so I was confident that it would be a charming, light film.

So far, Cape of Good Hope has been the only film that was a major disappointment.

Cape of Good Hope wasn't horrible, but it was frustrating because of the amazing talent that was wasted. One of the stars was Eriq Ebouaney who we recognized as the villain in Femme Fat…

SIFF2005: SIFF diary, pt. 3

Godzilla: Final Wars and The Edukators

In my attempts to keep my festival going diverse, we selected Godzilla since it looked like an action packed romp and the German film The Edukators, which simply sounded interesting and I wanted to catch at least one German film during the festival as I usually like the look and often dark tone of German cinema. 

We're are doing a great job of selecting films thus far.

Godzilla: Final Wars is billed as the last Godzilla film and is directed by Ryuhei Kitamura, who made Versus. I've only seen one Godzilla film and it was the 1984 one and really, I have very little recollection of it other than Godzilla meets Bambi played before it. So I am not up on the Godzilla franchise, but I did obviously know what to expect; an action flick where a rubber Godzilla battles a zillion other monsters.

We had a pretty good time at Godzilla. I was a bit surprised by the near sold out show as I had no clue that there were that many fans of the monster [1], but i…

SIFF 2005: SIFF diary, pt. 2

Saving Face

Saving Face is about a young Chinese/American surgeon, Wil (Michelle Krusiec) whose mother (Joan Chen) moves in after being exiled from her Chinese family and friends at a time when Wil falls in love with a ballerina (Lynn Chen). Saving Face is among the films showing at SIFF that has distribution and it opened in LA and New York on Friday. 

Go see this film if you get a chance. It is delightful first film by director Alice Wu. She was in attendance and it turns out that she wrote the screenplay while taking a UW screenwriting course here in Seattle. After finishing the screenplay, she decided that it needed to be made into a film and that she must direct it so she moved to New York and gave herself five years to get the film made. She learned about editing and filmmaking and ended up getting help from Wil Smith to finance the film. It was fascinating listening to her speak and I was floored and the guts it must have taken to jet off to New York to make a movie with no real …

SIFF2005: SIFF diary, pt. 1

While the rest of the world is lined up at The Cinerama to see Star Wars, Episode III, I spent my weekend attending my very first film festival, the Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF). I only attended two screenings, since I am a festival novice and was uncertain how many movies I would have time to take in and am a little short on cash at this time of the month (won't get paid for a few more days), so I opted for a couple of matinee shows to test the water. 

Well, I'll be taking in many more films next weekend.

Yes, it went well. Saturday, we saw C'est la Femme, a collection of short films directed by women. It was a good choice. Seven films were scheduled, although only five were shown due to technical issues. I really appreciate the short film format and have often found short subjects to be much more inventive and daring than feature length films. I especially remember a few shorts that were shown between features on the Sundance Channel with fondness. There was …