The 43rd Seattle International Film Festival is here! With 400 films at the ready, the festival has cast a wide net, featuring first- and second-time filmmakers more than ever before, showcasing films from 80 different countries. Parties, galas, interviews, red carpet events, and big adventures await the more than 150,000 individuals who will attend the festival this year!
The festival runs from May 18 through June 11 and for all the details, visit the home of the Seattle International Film Festival, www.siff.net.
DAY TWO – MAY 20, 2017
THE TRIP TO SPAIN
Adapting television series has proved successful for best friends and collaborators Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon. Following the formula of The Trip and The Trip To Italy, the duo return with the SIFF Premiere of The Trip To Spain, which takes their recently concluded six-episode British television series and blends truth, fiction, and a beautiful look at the Spanish coastline into another deeply personal and thoughtful comedy adventure.
The Trip To Spain plays the Festival Saturday, May 20 (see below) and Sunday, May 21 at 11:00 AM at the SIFF Cinema Uptown.
A review is forthcoming, although Aaron White and I talked about the absolutely incredible and insane Bad Black on the Feelin’ Film + Podcast (link below). Shot for $65, and imported from Uganda and the amazing Wakaliwood production house, director Nabwana IGG, has custom-made his action commando film for Seattle audiences. Although it makes its SIFF Premiere tonight as the midnight film at the famed SIFF Egyptian, Bad Black plays two more times during the festival. For those who love exuberant, enthusiastic, fearless cinema, this is a film you have to experience for yourself!
I mean it. You cannot miss this. Click the Seattle/SIFF teaser above and block some time. Creators of the film are scheduled to be in attendance following the film’s screenings. Make this happen for you. Please.
Now…let’s look at the slate for a jam-packed Day Two!
THE 33 FILMS PLAYING TODAY
150 MILLIGRAMS | LINCOLN SQUARE CINEMAS | 8:30 PM
Emmanuelle Bercot’s powerful social-justice drama is a French ERIN BROCKOVICH story about Dr. Irène Frachon (Sidse Babett Knudsen), who discovers that a state-approved medication has caused suspicious deaths, leading her on a one-woman crusade to reveal the truth..
8 BORDERS, 8 DAYS | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 12:00 pm
Putting a human face on the Syrian refugee crisis, this perceptive documentary chronicles a determined single mother and her two young children who, after being denied resettlement in the U.S., stage a dangerous escape across the sea on an inflatable raft.
AFTER THE STORM | SIFF EGYPTIAN | 4:00 PM
Japanese auteur Hirozaku Kore-eda (OUR LITTLE SISTER) returns with a gentle, complex domestic drama about a ne’er-do-well father attempting to reconnect with his estranged family when a typhoon traps them together in an all-night emotional journey.
ANIMAL CRACKERS | SIFF EGYPTIAN | 1:30 PM
Hooray for Captain Spaulding! The Marx Brothers wreak havoc upon society’s good graces in this timeless pre-Code comedy filled with madcap mayhem, priceless puns, and silly songs. Marxist expert and author Robert S. Bader introduces this special screening.
BAD BLACK | SIFF EGYPTIAN | 11:55 PM
Blasting out of Wakaliwood, the micro-budget studio founded by Ugandan action-movie lover Nabwana IGG, this inventive action comedy―winner of the Audience Award at Fantastic Fest―delivers ass-kicking commando vengeance unlike anything you have seen before.
THE BAR | SIFF EGYPTIAN | 9:30 PM
Álex de la Iglesia’s latest gonzo masterpiece is a claustrophobic thriller set inside a corner café in Madrid, where a cross-section of perfidious patrons are trapped by a mysterious shooter outside the front door, forcing them to find another means of escape.
BEACH RATS | SIFF EGYPTIAN | 7:00 PM
Eliza Hittman’s intimately raw exploration of male sexual awakening centers on a teenaged delinquent on the ungentrified fringe of Brooklyn who swings between his macho drug-addled bros, a potential new girlfriend, and the anonymous older men he meets online.
BEATRIZ AT DINNER | PACIFIC PLACE | 1:30 PM
A spiritual healer from a poor town in Mexico (Salma Hayek) finds herself at a dinner party from hell when she has to spend the evening with a smug cutthroat billionaire (John Lithgow) in the newest from the team of Miguel Arteta and Mike White (THE GOOD GIRL, CHUCK & BUCK).
BRIGSBY BEAR | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 8:30 PM
When a sheltered, immature 25-year- old (Kyle Mooney of “Saturday Night Live”) discovers the surprising truth about the end of his favorite children’s TV show, “Brigsby Bear’s Adventures,” he attempts to film his own adaptation in this bizarre and hilarious tale of arrested development.
CHAVELA | PACIFIC PLACE | 11:00 AM
An arresting portrait of Mexican music icon Chavela Vargas, the rabble-rousing, cigar-smoking lesbian iconoclast famous for bringing audiences to tears, who staged an amazing comeback at age 72 thanks in part to the efforts of filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar.
DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME | SIFF FILM CENTER | 9:00 pm
Pioneering filmmaker Bill Morrison pieces together a haunting chronicle of the transformations in a Yukon Territory Gold Rush town as told through a collection of rare nitrate stock films discovered buried under a hockey rink and untouched for over 50 years.
A DRAGON ARRIVES! | LINCOLN SQUARE CINEMAS | 6:00 PM
Police Inspector Hafizi wakes up on a desert island and must piece together the puzzle of his abduction while working a murder case in this delightfully unconventional and entertaining Iranian mashup of gumshoe noir and phantasmagorical ghost story.
ENTANGLEMENT | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 2:00 PM
“Silicon Valley” star Thomas Middleditch gives a brilliant, deadpan comedic performance as a man in a downward spiral who uncovers his parents’ secret: They adopted and then gave up a baby girl before he was born. Now he’s on a mission to find his missing sister.
THE FABULOUS ALLAN CARR | SIFF EGYPTIAN | 11:00 AM
Enter the fabulous world of flamboyant Hollywood producer Allan Carr, a legend for his lavish, star-studded private parties, whose fraught career went from the ultimate highs (GREASE!, LA CAGE AUX FOLLES) to the lowest lows (1989’s infamous Oscars® ceremony).
THE FARTHEST | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 5:00 pm
This celebration of NASA’s Voyager space missions, which have travelled farther than anyone could ever have hoped, explores the magnificent machines’ designs, the men and women who built them, and the vision that propelled them into the future.
THE FIXER | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 2:30 PM
Seeing an opportunity to kick-start his journalism career by landing an interview with a young girl caught up in an international sex-trafficking scandal, a correspondent pushes the limits of professional ethics, leading him to examine his own morality..
FOOD EVOLUTION | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 11:30 AM
Documentarian Scott Kennedy (THE GARDEN) and narrator Neil DeGrasse Tyson unfold the polarizing debate surrounding the use of GMOs, separating hype from science for a fresh and provocative perspective on one of the most critical issues facing global society today.
THE FORCE | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 8:00 PM
Director Peter Nicks won the Best Director prize at the Sundance Film Festival for this verité journey inside the struggling Oakland Police Department as they work toward reform, revealing the dilemmas and tensions in play even before the department is hit with an explosive scandal.
GIVE ME FUTURE | MAJESTIC BAY THEATRES | 3:30 PM
Not your average concert documentary, GIVE ME FUTURE electrifyingly follows EDM musical trio Major Lazer as they navigate the behind-the- scenes challenges of staging a historic free concert in Havana, while also examining the recent changes in Cuban culture.
HELLO DESTROYER | PACIFIC PLACE | 9:30 PM
A painfully shy minor-league hockey player discovers a cutthroat, brutal world of institutionalized violence that turns his life upside down in this acclaimed drama of alienation and the often-toxic culture of male masculinity.
IVAN TSAREVITCH AND THE CHANGING PRINCESS: FOUR ENCHANTING TALES |
SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 11:00 AM
Renowned animator Michel Ocelot (TALES OF THE NIGHT) uses his unique and vibrant silhouette style to share a quartet of bewitching fairy tales, as told by a wizened projectionist and his young apprentices who meet nightly in a dilapidated theatre.
LEMON | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 1:30 pm
Janicza Bravo’s utterly absurdist dark comedy of failure, awkwardness, and pathos stars Brett Gelman (”Eagleheart”) as a middle-aged misanthropic acting teacher waiting for his big break who enters a downward spiral after his blind girlfriend leaves him.
LIVES WITH FLAVOR | LINCOLN SQUARE CINEMAS | 1:30 pm
Chef Ricardo Muñoz Zurita―an expert on the distinctive universe of colors, flavors, textures, and traditions of Mexican gastronomy―explores the mouthwatering magic of traditional indigenous ingredients like tomatoes, cacao, maize, and of course chilies.
THE MIDWIFE | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 6:00 pm
Catherine Deneuve, in a performance that critics are hailing as among her best, is a free-spirited, life-loving woman at a crossroads who seeks out her ex-lover’s daughter, a gifted yet painfully reserved midwife, in an effort to reconnect after 30 years away.
MOKA | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 9:00 pm
Emmanuelle Devos stars in a suspenseful psychological thriller about a mother determined to track down the driver of the mocha-colored Mercedes that struck her son and ruined her life. Once she has a suspect in her sights, she waits for her moment of revenge.
NOWHERE TO HIDE | SIFF FILM CENTER | 6:30 pm
Filming over a five-year period, an Iraqi medic keeps an intimate record of the turbulent daily life for residents in the dangerous “triangle of death,” turning the camera on his own family when they are forced to flee their home city due to approaching ISIS forces.
PYROMANIAC | MAJESTIC BAY THEATRES | 1:00 PM
Norwegian director Erik Skjoldbjærg (INSOMNIA) returns with a slow-burn psychological thriller based on the true story of a fire chief’s son of who terrorizes his rural community with a series of increasingly dangerous fires over the course of a long, hot summer.
SMALL TOWN KILLERS | MAJESTIC BAY THEATRES | 8:30 PM
Danish stars Nicolas Bro and Ulrich Thomsen, last seen together in ADAM’S APPLES, star in a darkly comic, gleefully inappropriate comedy about two best friends who hire a Russian hitman to kill their wives, only to find the tables turned and themselves on top of the kill list.
STRUGGLE FOR LIFE | MAJESTIC BAY THEATRES | 6:00 PM
In the tradition of classic French slapstick comes this laugh-a-minute satire about a hapless middle-aged suit sent to oversee the building of a ski resort in French Guiana, who meets a beautiful woman named Tarzan on an absurdist trip through the Amazon.
TEA PETS | LINCOLN SQUARE CINEMAS | 11:00 AM
Popping off the screen with vivacious colors and beautifully composed action sequences, a group of tea pets―cute clay figurines that are good-luck charms for tea drinkers―embark on a magical animated adventure to find a fabled mystic.
TIME TRAP | PACIFIC PLACE | 4:00 PM
A group of students become trapped inside a mysterious underground cave that is the gateway to a rift in the space-time continuum, causing thousands of years to pass on the Earth’s surface in this inventive and enthralling science-fiction adventure.
THE TRIP TO SPAIN | PACIFIC PLACE | 7:00 PM
The team of Steve Coogan, Rob Brydon, and director Michael Winterbottom embark on another hilarious culinary road trip, taking their appetites to the finest dining regions of picturesque Spain, trading impressions and banter over paella, gazpacho, and lots of wine.
THE WEDDING PARTY | SIFF CINEMA UPTOWN | 5:30 PM
Offering a fresh, female take on Nigerian culture, director Kemi Adetiba’s uproarious romantic comedy follows the raucous attendees of an insecure bride’s wedding, including a pair of battling mothers, a vengeful ex-girlfriend, and a best man with a flash drive full of secrets.
NEWEST FEATURES, ARTICLES, INTERVIEWS, MUSINGS…
- Moira Macdonald, The Seattle Times. How to navigate SIFF 2017: tickets, parking and the Oath of Silence
- Brent McKnight, The Last Thing I See. 13 SIFF 2017 Films You Need To See
- Matt Oakes, Silver Screen Riot. The 8 SIFF ’17 Films We Are Dying To See
- Erik Samdahl, FilmJabber. Erik reviews Time Trap.
- Seattle Screen Scene. SIFF 2017 Coverage
- The Seattle Times Staff. SIFF 2017: Highlights of film festival’s first week
- Tom Tangney, MyNorthwest.com. Tom Tangney’s Top 10 Picks at SIFF
- CinemaSquabble. Episode #57 (with co-hosts Adam Gehrke, Sara Michelle Fetters)
- Feelin’ Film +. Episode #2 (with host Aaron White and guest Mike Ward)
- SIFFcast. Programmer’s Roundtable
For all of Should I See It’s coverage of the 2017 Seattle International Film Festival, visit Should I See It’s SIFF 2017 portal! for reviews, daily journals, and more!
NEED MORE INFO?
To see the alphabetical listing of all 400 films playing this year’s festival, click here!
For ticket information, click here!
For a calendar of all events happening at SIFF 2017, click here!
To learn more about SIFF and the Seattle International Film Festival, click here!
AND NOW…DISCLAIMER STUFF
All content in Should I See It’s SIFF 2017 coverage, in terms of images, synopses, dates, details, and festival information is provided courtesy of the Seattle International Film Festival. All rights reserved.
© Michael Ward, Should I See It, 2009-2017.
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