The 42nd Seattle International Film Festival is here! With more than 400 films at the ready, SIFF has expanded into new cities and communities and raised the bar on the number of parties, galas, interviews, red carpet events, and big adventures which await hungry and eager attendees!.
The largest North American Film Festival in existence, SIFF runs from May 19 through June 12 this year. For all the details, visit the home of the Seattle International Film Festival at www.siff.net.
This year, Should I See It will be cannonballing into the festival, providing a daily journal with links to the films playing each day all across King County, offering a mix of capsule reviews and full-length reviews, updates, links to the awesome SIFF-related episodes of the popular CinemaSquabble Podcast, links and highlights from other Seattle-area film writers and reviewers covering the festival, and pretty much any other news we can toss your direction.
The 2016 slate of film screenings will canvass several theaters all over the Seattle-area, including, for the first time, expansion into Shoreline (Shoreline Community College) and Ballard (Majestic Bay Theatres), as well as nearby cities Bellevue, Kirkland, and Renton. There really is no excuse to not take in some of the wonderful delights and surprises that SIFF offers you in this and every year.
The common ground with SIFF is that everyone loves a good movie and this year, the festival organizers have outdone themselves, crafting one of the most diverse and expansive festivals we have ever seen.
FEATURED REVIEWS (UPDATED throughout the festival)
Kirsten Johnson has spent her life working as a cinematographer and filmmaker on dozens of film projects both big and small. Cameraperson serves as a testimony of countless projects she has been a part of. What initially begins as something of a sizzle reel of this and that, becomes a film of fascinating curiosity and inquisitiveness of the world around us. Brilliantly edited and built, Johnson is rarely seen in the film but her vision is everywhere. We never know what images, stories, or experiences we will be sharing from scene to scene and Johnson’s ability to let us observe much of what she has observed leaves us moved and affected in ways you do not expect once the movie begins.
Don’t Think Twice
Mike Birbiglia’s ensemble comedy/drama looks at an improv group teetering on the brink of dissolution, just at the height of their success. On stage, they click and connect perfectly, while off stage, the post-show bar trips and late-night hangs grow ever more caustic and empty. With Gillian Jacobs, Keegan-Michael Key and Birbiglia leading the way, Don’t Think Twice shows the fragility that comes with being a performer and the inherent need to try and hold on to the spotlight for just one more laugh, one more second, and one last curtain call. Funny, honest, and real.
Hunt For The Wilderpeople
Unique, wacky, and a testament to love and loyalty, New Zealand import Hunt for the Wilderpeople tells the story of Ricky Baker (Julian Dennison), a teenage boy taken in by yet another foster family, only to have the woman die unexpectedly. Tired of being bounced around, the teenager runs away, from not only child services but also his tumultuous past. An unlikely savior arrives in disgruntled and now former foster dad Hec (Sam Neill), who joins Ricky on his trek. Fitfully funny, bittersweet at times, Taika Waititi‘s adventure-comedy is a sight to see, beautifully written and uncompromising in how it loves staying rough around its edges.
Haunting atmosphere and palpable fear and intensity line the walls when watching Anne Fontaine‘s French film The Innocents, a harrowing tale of a French Red Cross student who uncovers a number of impregnated nuns hidden away in a convent. Set in 1945, the story is inspired by the stories of writer Philippe Maynial’s aunt, who worked in Poland after World War II. The performances are stunning, the film difficult to watch at times, but exquisitely shot and presented on screen. Featuring nearly all women in front of and behind the camera, The Innocents is an overlooked film that discerning audiences should spend ample time with.
Love & Friendship
Writer/director Whit Stillman gets a career best performance from Kate Beckinsale in his Jane Austen adaptation Love & Friendship, which documents the force majeure that is Beckinsale’s Lady Susan Vernon, as she arrives at her brother-in-law’s estate, adult daughter in tow, seeking new husbands for both of them. Stillman’s movie rips through 1790s England with wicked humor and fast and furious dialogue and a fantastic ensemble keeping things light and frothy. The film is a sight to behold, from the costumes, production design, all the way down the card, but Beckinsale is best in show and worth the price of admission almost by herself.
Morris From America
Tower – The Should I See It selection as the #1 film of 2016.
DAY 1 – OPENING NIGHT GALA FEATURING WOODY ALLEN’S CAFÉ SOCIETY
NEWS, ARTICLES, INTERVIEWS, MUSINGS, THINKPIECES, ETC.
- Brent McKnight dives into Japanese horror film Alone, the Emma Roberts-led The Blackcoat’s Daughter and the Northwest-made If There’s A Hell Below, which premiered on May 25 at SIFF.
- Imaginary Amie from Three Imaginary Girls gives As You Are a full-throated recommendation, boldly typing (literally) “I cannot recommend this one ENOUGH!”
- Sean Gilman reflects back on Week One of SIFF, with his first report.
- The awesome crew at the Seattle Screen Scene devoted Episode 6 of their newest podcast to all things SIFF. Take a listen!
- Michael Strenski of Seattle Screen Scene shares thoughts on Orson Welles’ Chimes at Midnight, which played the festival earlier this week.
- And let’s hear from KC, who also shared her thoughts on Chimes.
- Three Imaginary Girls review recent SIFF films Other Girls and one of Wednesday’s featured films, Concerto – A Beethoven Journey.
- The awesome KC, over at A Classic Movie Blog, dives into Douglas Sirk’s A Scandal in Paris from 1946, which played on May 22…
- KC also spent a late, late night and early morning with The Mads, who presented a live Riff on Ed Wood’s cult classic Glen or Glenda on May 21…
- Brent McKnight takes a look at Tickled, referenced above, and concluding its festival run this evening.
- Long-time Seattle film critic and acclaimed author Warren Cantrell offers reviews of two SIFF attractions – Finding Kim and The Weekend Sailor. Both playing again at the festival later this month.
- Erik Samdahl reviews Kedi, a documentary about a Turkish town with an over-abundance of cats!
- Twitch breaks down 10 films you absolutely must not miss at the festival.
- The Seattle PI looks at the films shot in and around Seattle which are featured at this year’s SIFF 2016.
- The awesome indie-pop press stylings of Three Imaginary Girls give you three films to see this weekend!
- Three Imaginary Girls also preview all of the Northwest, home grown, films being featured at SIFF this year…
- The Seattle Weekly offers a helpful guide as you try and make your through all the offerings at SIFF these next four weeks.
- Sara Michelle Fetters sits down with Nathan Adloff, director of Miles, which premieres tonight and plays tomorrow afternoon at the SIFF Egyptian.
- Moira McDonald from the Seattle Times offers her thoughts on the SIFF Opening Night Gala film, Woody Allen’s Cafe Society
- Moira also looks at 7 classic films you can visit again, or for the first time, at SIFF 2016
- Moira sits down with legendary Seattle film critic, John Hartl, to compose a list of their selections for the best that SIFF’s first week has to offer.
- One of the most anticipated films of the festival, Japanese import Tag has been seen by Brent McKnight, who offers this take. You’re going to want to make time for this one…
- Brent also helps you plan out your festival with 10 films you must see this year.
- Sean Axmaker and his colleagues at Parallax View offer a guide to Week One of the festival…
- Seattle’s legendary alt-weekly, The Stranger, offers 17 films you must see at SIFF 2016.
- KIRO Radio news personality and film critic, Tom Tangney, also surveys the 421 offerings for a Top 10 must-see list to help plan your festival right!\
- Brandon Hart offers several capsule reviews for a new SIFF affiliate, Next Projection!
- Chris Burlingame over at The SunBreak offers Week One capsule reviews of a number of films and picks must-sees for the opening weekend.