SIFF 2002 sentences for GDD:
chronicling my attempts to enjoy SIFF while still being unemployed in seattle

june 16th:               1 seen - 12 total
Bang, Bang, You're Dead at the Cinerama.
SIFF 2002 is now over for me...
[ Seattle Cinerama ]

june 15th:               1 seen - 11 total
24 Hour Party People

june 13th:               2 seen - 10 total
I filled in for someone's volunteer shift today. I did this to see what the volunteers have to go through and also to get three free tickets. Originally I was supposed to spend the shift at the Harvard Exit, but then it was changed to the 11-screen Pacific Place (SIFF takes up just one of those screens). The "lead usher" was a bit condensending ("that's the line of people who have tickets!") but after awhile I was able to work away from him. Over the course of the six+ hours I got to: casually count ballots for the last film that played the night before, hand out ballots to people going into Suplement, stand around with a flashlight in the inside of the theater for the first 15 minutes of the film in case bumbling late-comers couldn't find a seat, sit and watch the rest of Suplement, tear tickets for people coming into Running Out of Time 2, sit at the Will Call desk and field a million questions that had nothing to do with Will Call, and watch most of The Whispering Sands.

Sitting in the lobby of a multiplex was frightening. I witnessed various things which I can't bear to describe here. But when the night was over I got three vouchers that I can redeem for tickets this year or next year.

june 12th:               1 seen - 8 total
All About Lly Chou-Chou

june 7th:               1 seen - 7 total
The Parallax View

june 6th:               1 seen - 6 total
Saw Gigantic: A Tale of Two Johns.

june 5th:               1 seen - 5 total
Before the film today I:

  • Supposedly shocked R.
  • Was actively avoided by H.
  • Was partially shunned by L.
  • Had to reluctantly nod to annoying J.
  • Stupidly refrained saying hello to Mi.
  • Was offered several SIFF volunteer shifts by Z.

    Then I finally got to see Ken Loach's The Navigators at the Harvard Exit. It was an enjoyable Loach film and I may even like it better than Land and Freedom or Bread and Roses (which are unfortunately the only other Loach films I've seen). It centers around a group of UK railway workers in the mid '90s when the British Rail was being privatized. As in his other work, it contained realistic (and funny) scenes between workers and bosses/managers. Surprisingly the theater was only about 60% full.

    After the film I:

  • Apparently was avoided by H. again.
  • Sat in the Jade Pagoda for about an hour.
  • Bussed and biked home in the rain after midnight.

    This week's Stranger has a lame article about SIFF passholders.

    june 3rd:               1 seen - 4 total
    The one fluffy film I decided to see during my shortened visit to SIFF this year was Me Without You, a UK film that's sort of like American Beauty plus Ghost World (with a hefty amount of UK-based nostalgia thrown into the mix). The story spans across 15+ years and centers around two females who made a pact to be friends forever when they were kids. A nice-looking movie (and a nice-sounding one too, the soundtrack covered the different eras pretty well) but the story lacked momentum. Still, it was worth seeing.

    june 2nd:               1 seen - 3 total
    I have to admit that seeing McCabe & Mrs. Miller was a disappointing experience. Since I hadn't seen this heavily praised Robert Altman film before, I was looking forward to seeing it (especially since it was playing on the decently-sized 18' by 38' Egyptian screen). The print though was seemingly faded and definitely scratchy. On top of that, there was the sound. The Egyptian's sound system tends to be heavy on the bass which makes the dialog sound anything but crisp. This is fine for subtitled films or for movies with scant dialog. But when you are dealing with Altman's overlapping-dialog, Warren Beatty's mumbling, and Julie Christie's cockney accent, you want to be able to hear everything as clearly as possible. I appreciated the film, I didn't appreciate the experience. This film comes out on DVD in a few days. Maybe I should have waited to view it that way. After the movie I got on my bike and pedaled home.
    Fact: this is the only film I've seen that has had "Seattle Whores" listed in the end credits.

    may 31st:               0 seen - 2 total
    I had a ticket to see Days of Heaven but at some point I realized that this showing would slightly overlap with something else I had to attend (a non-film event). People say that if you're going to see DoH, see it in a theater. But somewhat relunctantly I decided to pass on the movie. I went to the theater early and sold the ticket to someone in the Ticket Buyers line (and even made a 50 cent profit on the deal since the guy didn't want change). Skipping the film meant that I got to: find and buy Spanish Scrabble for just 99 cents, see if L. was around (no), talk briefly with M., learn about the confusing new computer reservation system at the library, enjoy the sun, and get exercise.

    may 27th:               1 seen - 2 total
    Oy. Martin Scorsese's My Voyage to Italy (ll Mio viaggio in Italia) is over four hour long. It's somewhat similar in style to the Personal Journey with Martin Scorsese Through American Movies, except this one is focused on early Italian cinema. Extended (and well edited) clips from a number of films by Rossellini, de Sica, Blasetti, Visconti, Antonioni, Fellini, and maybe a few others. Scorsese's insightful and energetic comments are worthy of DVD commentary tracks. Half a semester of Italian Cinema 101 for only $5.50. You can't beat that.

    And no, this wasn't the longest film I've ever seen at the Egyptian. My Voyage to Italy clocks in at only about 243 minutes. The Sorry and the Pity was 265 minutes.

    may 26th:               1 seen - 1 total
    Went to see the 4pm showing of Catching Out, which also happened to be the first public screening of this documentary. Ever since the director started writing about the project about six years ago on a mailing list, I've been looking forward to seeing the final result. It's a fairly short (82 min.) overview of some people who hop trains. It's not a how-to, it's not a film about the negative aspects of hopping. It's more of a feel-good movie on why the featured people decided to start/stop riding trains. I would have liked to have seen profiles of a few more people, but that's not much of a complaint. Unfortunately it looks like it will be awhile before many people get a chance to see this movie. Filmed mostly on Super 16mm. Q&A with director Sarah George followed.

    Despite the fact that I had to stand in the Ticker Holders line instead of the preferred Passholders Line, I still managed to get my choice seat (front row, center). The front row at the BPH theater is not too close to the screen and you have the benefit of stretching out your legs.

    may 24th:
    This year I didn't buy a full-series pass, so there's not going to be much on this page. The pass is only $250 if bought back in early January, but I was too busy then looking for work and figuring out if my unemployment benefits would get extended. Back then I assumed that I would have some job around this time and thus wouldn't be able to attend the fest. But here we are, in May, and I don't have a real full-time job at this moment. But getting a pass in May is $375 and I'm not about to blow that kind of money. (Individual tickets range from $5.50 - $10.)

    I was going to try to win a pass via The Stranger's SIFF Quiz but I wasn't motivated enough to fully study the quiz material and head over to the testing area.

    I'm actually kinda glad I didn't get a pass this year. In looking through the schedule I didn't immediately see lots of stuff I wanted to see. For example, last year there were four great Swedish movies, this year there are I think two and neither look promising. Last year's biggie films included the Ghost World premiere, The Princess and the Warrior, Hedwig and the Angry Inch, and a few others. This year there's a number of big films playing, but lots of them will be in theaters very soon. For example, I've already seen trailers in regular theaters for Sunshine State, The Fast Runner, CQ, and that Jodie Foster alter boys movie. Yeah, I'd kinda like to see Sunshine State at SIFF (especially since J. Sayles will be there to introduce it), but it just doesn't seem worth the hassle (long lines, looking for a good seat, etc). Last year had Tarantino talking about a bunch of William Witney over the course of three days. This year has one talk with John Waters. Big woop.

    Ok, I'm probably being a little unfair to the fest here. There is a bunch of stuff going on in it, but just not stuff that captivates me. A four-film tribute to James Wong Howe, a bunch of thrillers from Japan, etc.

    Having said all that, I did purchase tickets for nine films. Some are for the archival stuff in the "American cinema in the '70s" series. Some are for a few interesting items that likely won't be in a theater anytime soon. That's $60 right there. I shaved off some other movies I was curious about. I didn't get a pass for the Secret Festival.

    So stay tuned to this page and maybe I'll describe some of the movies I went to...

    the Seattle International Film Festival
    babble I wrote last year

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