Tonight in Seattle:  

SIFF Interview: 5 Questions with Jason Schwartzman and Bob Byington for 7 Chinese Brothers

Interviewing Jason Schwartzman on the SIFF red carpet for 7 Chinese Brothers

^ OMG! it's Jason! Schwartzman!!! 

You guys! TIG got to be on the red carpet again Saturday night to interview Jason Schwartzman and Director Bob Byington for the Seattle International Film Festival premiere of 7 Chinese Brothers. I asked them both the same set of questions and got some very entertaining answers. If you missed this film at SIFF, don't worry! It's getting a wider release in August ... and after you read this interview, you'll know what kind of booze goes best with your theater soda.  

TIG: What is Arrow’s [Schwartzman’s own dog, who stars in the movie alongside him] favorite thing to do besides sleep?

Bob Byington: {I asked Bob this question but prefaced it by saying he might not know else Arrow likes to do since he only saw him on set, and his response was:}Yeah, he likes to sleep.

Jason Schwartzman: Kiss you. {right here, imagine Liz & I both sighing and saying, “awwwwww!” in unison} Yeah. It’s true; he kind of attacks the face. If you get low enough, and you give him the angle, he’s gonna take it.


SIFF Take: Shaun the Sheep

The Shaun the Sheep spirit survives intact in Shaun the Sheep Movie. Aardman’s signature wit and heart are in full flower, and all you need to know is conveyed through the action and the animal’s expressive eyes. It's considerably more exciting than a standard episode, and the stakes are higher. Typical farm shenanigans accidentally land the farmer in the Big City with his memory erased, and Bitzer and the sheep have to try and rescue him while evading an insecure and monomaniacal Animal Control officer. That’s a lot more intense than, say, a bunch of douche-y next-door pigs sabotaging a rube goldberg machine designed to get a kite out of a tree. 


SIFF Double-Feature: Jason Schwartzman in Two Closing Weekend Films

Jason and Arrow Schwartzman in 7 Chinese Brothers
Triple the adorableness! 

I’m psyched that SIFF had not one, but TWO amazing “An Evening with” programs lined up this year with actors that I adore. An Evening with Jason Schwartzman happens TOMORROW {Saturday, June 6} and I’m sure it will be just as entertaining as Kevin Bacon’s. I got my ticket long ago and the Evening is now on “standby,” but I have to have to have to talk about it anyway because …. reasons. One of them being Schwartzman’s adorable dog, Arrow, who co-stars with him in 7 Chinese Brothers, which screens during the Evening and again on Sunday (still tix available!).

Every Wes Anderson fan knows who Schwartzman is because he’s in pretty much every single one of his films, particularly Rushmore, which inspired a million people to continually quote this Max Fischer zinger (I swear to god I heard someone say this the last time I was at Linda's):

Max: I like your nurse's uniform, guy.
Dr. Flynn: These are O.R. scrubs.
Max Fischer: O, R they?


SIFF 2015: Closing Weekend Highlights

Eisenstein in Guanajuato

OK, SIFF procrastinators, this weekend is your last chance to partake in this year's grand cinema binge... until the "best of fest" program rolls around next weekend at the Uptown. But who knows what'll be included in that lineup. (I'll preview it for you when I find out.)

In the meantime, I can give my seal of approval to two very good films I've seen already, and my safe-bet certification to a few more I plan to stand in queue for, all on offer during SIFF 2015's final weekend (6/5 - 6/7).


Eisenstein in Guanajuato
{6/6 7p Harvard Exit, 6/7 5p Uptown}
Septuagenarian filmmaking dynamo Peter Greenaway gives us a challenging, visually ambitious, downright playful film about Sergei Eisenstein's misadventures in Mexico in the early '30s during production of ¡Que Viva Mexico! (an Eisenstein-unapproved version of which will also screen during closing weekend). Greenaway's typically dizzying pictoralism, sex-and-death juxtapositions, and unapologetic salaciousness are all present, as is his unending devotion to sheer experimentation: he remains one of cinema's last true innovators, and no film of his should be overlooked, ever.

The Wolfpack
{6/5 7p Uptown, 6/6 11a Egyptian}
Enthralling, often seriously creepy documentary about a nine-member family sequestered for nearly two decades in a Manhattan housing project. The film focuses on the six brothers, the off-kilter inner lives they've developed after copious consumption of Hollywood home videos, and their efforts to step outside the bizarrely arbitrary boundaries set by their once-devout Hare Krishna father. A big Sundance winner, and a strong contender for best non-fiction film of the fest.


SIFF Take: Cartel Land

Cartel Land SIFF 2015

A documentary about a Mexican vigilante group fighting drug cartels! And: a documentary about the Arizona Border Recon fighting drug cartels! And: a story about how hopeless it is to fight drug cartels!

It’s really hard to take your eyes off Cartel Land—even when you might need to (re: graphic images of cartel victims). The most compelling subject is Autodefensas leader Dr. Jose Mireles (above)—and that’s all I can say without giving anything away. This isn’t a pleasant watch, but boy howdy it’s informative … and terrifying.

{Cartel Land screens at SIFF 6/1, 6:30pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown, and again 6/2, 4pm at The Harvard Exit. Director Matthew Heineman is scheduled to attend both screenings}