16 May 2011
2011 SIFF Preview
SIFF 2011 is here and I've frustratedly skimmed the web and print editions of the calendar to find the gems. SIFF.com has an excellently named but, for me, unhelpful tool called SIFFter to wade through the 422ish films showing this year.
#1 category SIFFter needs to add: "This film is by a legitimate director who you should probably care about and not just by some dude." I need to press that button and get 25 or so results. When I try to sort that way myself I get about eight. And don't think that category is an absurd comparison to those actually used in SIFFter. There's one called "Love Me, Do!" and I want to know why not "Love Me, Do Me!"
But I would hate for the complaints to run longer than the actual preview! So.
Alluring film NOT showing at SIFF:
The Tree of Life. Damn you Cannes Film Festival. The Thunder to our Sonics yet again.
Alluring films showing at SIFF:
Submarine. Good-looking teen romance, 97-minute Belle & Sebastian video, both? Dig the Godard fonts and color palette anyway. (MAY 20 or 22)
The Trip. You've seen the Coogan-Brydon Michael Caine Accent-Off, right? A whole film of that! I'm not a Winterbottom fan but it seems unlikely he can fuck this one up as profoundly as he did The Killer Inside Me. (MAY 21)
Black Narcissus. Not new (probably showing as a nod to the doc Cameraman screening at the fest) but it's Powell & Pressburger at a literal high point in their careers casting Sister Clodagh into the Himalayas with the wind freeing everyone from their sanity. Perhaps my favorite setting for any film and featuring not only Deborah Kerr at her least annoying but also an absolutely ridiculous Jean Simmons as an Indian strumpet. (MAY 21)
Beginners. I don't really want to see this film (subtitled dog alert!) but you should watch the trailer because Christopher Plummer has the same reaction my mom did when first exposed to house music. It's unclear whether he too will go on to refer to it exclusively as "home music." (MAY 24)
Steam of Life. You might think I want to see a bunch of naked Finns because I have a longstanding secret crush on Teemu Selanne. But you'd be wrong--I just love saunaing! I hope that, like the trailer, there are no subtitles so the philosophizing doesn't obscure all that Finnish junk. (MAY 25 or 26)
Mysteries of Lisbon. This will require some bravery (it's four hours long and the screening costs $16) but I do love me some long movies. Raul Ruiz cinema is so Proustian that he directed Marcel Proust's Time Regained (and I really enjoyed the parts I saw while awake!). I'm impressed by the swooning and hauteur of the trailer but Mysteries would really be can't-miss if someone promised a Cristiano Ronaldo cameo. (MAY 28)
The Interrupters. This is an easy sell--a new documentary by the maker of Hoop Dreams. I'm only worried because each subsequent viewing of Hoop Dreams has left me more depressed and the first adjective used to describe this exploration of Chicago's gang violence is "heartbreaking." (MAY 28 or 29)
On Tour. WTT's favorite non-Gosling actor, Mathieu Amalric, directs this film about a traveling burlesque show and...who cares? Mathieu Amalric=must see. (JUNE 9 or 11)
Norwegian Wood. Tran Anh Hung is one of those legit directors. The Scent of Green Papaya won loads of those Frenchie awards in '93 and Cyclo is a personal favorite because it felt like '60s Godard scored by Radiohead. And OMG it's from a Haruki Murakami book! Gonna be a Seattle scene for sure. (JUNE 11 or 12)
Any local followers (or luminaries flying in for SIFF!) are encouraged to check these out with WTT--I'm very good at standing in line while holding an umbrella and thinking of unflattering things to tweet.