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Showing posts from May, 2009

SIFF 2009, Day 2

I Know You Know (2008) dir. Justin Kerrigan

To Jamie (Arron Fuller), Charlie (Robert Carlyle) is a hero.  He dresses suave, he appears to know everyone, but Jamie knows his father is in trouble.  Charlie confides in Jamie that they are in danger, if they are found, but that Mr. Fisher will protect them.  Through the eyes of the child, the obvious explanation is that Charlie is a spy and Charlie convincingly plays this role.  So convincingly, that he begins to believe it himself.

I Know You Know is an intriguing film.  It was suspenseful and consistently engaging.  Both Fuller and Carlyle were quite good, especially Carlyle who needed to move from creating a fantasy life in order to protect his son from knowing the truth then the development of mental illness, when his lies become his reality.  I Know You Know was a good flick that ended with an emotional punch to the gut that I really was not expecting.   

Nurse.Fighter.Boy (2008) dir. Charles Officer

The title is a nice synopsis of th…

SIFF 2009, Day 1

Departures (2008) dir. Youjirou Takita

Last night, we went to the very sold out screening of Departures (Okuribito). Departures was the winner of the Best Foreign Language film for the Oscars, so unlike most of the films at SIFF, people have heard of this one. And I, having some awareness of the wonderful dramatic films that are made in Japan, had high expectations.

Daigo Kobayashi had just achieved his livelong dream, he had finally become a celloist in an orchestra, which immediately is disbanded. In an attempt to reevalute his life and make ends meet, he moves back to his home town and answers an add titled "departures" assuming he was applying to work in a travel agency. Turns out the departures the job advertisment was referring are a bit more permanent than a vacation, and he begins to work in the funeral industry. Much of the drama of the film is derived from the misunderstanding of the funeral industry and the shameful nature of working in such an unclean indus…

SIFF 2009

Today is the first day of the Seattle Independent Film Festival. In fact, the opening night gala screening of In the Loop is underway as I type this. I attend the festival every year, but I've never been to any of the festivities, like the opening night Gala event. Tickets tend to be expensive and I figure the money is better spent on getting to more individual screenings. So I'm at home instead of having cocktails with James Gandolfini. Or rather, a cocktail in the same room as some of the cast of In the Loop. Anyway, I'm still sick and need to rest to maximize my energy to see plenty of movies over the long weekend and perhaps, if I'm feeling significantly more spry than I do at the moment, I can stalk celebrities who are rumored to be in attendence.

But more likely, I'll just spend many hours in line and watch a lot of movies.

The biggest task every year is selecting films. I read the schedule, research the films, watch trailers, and look for recommendations from …