Tonight in Seattle:  

SIFF 2015: Week One Highlights

Guidance

Our beloved movie gorge-a-thon kicks off tonight with Spy, an amusing Paul Feig / Melissa McCarthy collaboration that spoofs and reveres great spy thrillers. It's big and boisterous, and will play very well to the back of the (very large) house at McCaw Hall.

Many cinematic experiences will follow over the subsequent 24 days, and they'll often prove more insightful, intimate and/or impactful than the opening-night comedy blockbuster. Others will be rowdier and more fun. If there's one good thing our festival's big bloated schedule offers, it's the pure variety of the filmic wonders. And TIG's intrepid SIFFers are here to help you peruse and choose.

So off we go on SIFF 2015's first week (5/15 - 5/21), which serves up a profoundly romantic Samurai flick, food documentaries of wildly varying quality, and the funniest downward-spiral movie you'll see all year.

DON'T MISS:

Corn Island
{5/17 12p Uptown, 5/18 7p Harvard Exit, 5/19 3:30p Lincoln Square}
Patient viewers of this mostly dialogue-free festival-circuit darling will be rewarded handsomely. A farmer and his teenage granddaughter build a hut and sow corn on a no-man's land island that forms each spring in the Inguri River between Georgia and Abkhazia (and smack in the middle of those nations' conflicts). The haunting, brilliantly crafted circle-of-life drama that ensues -- it feels like a fable, really -- is a thrill to behold.

Flowers
{5/15 4p Uptown, 5/16 6:30p Uptown, 5/20 6p Lincoln Square}
Emotional and compassionate Basque-language Spanish drama about an unfulfilled middle-aged woman whose life gets a mysterious lift when she begins receiving regular flower deliveries from an unknown admirer. Quiet suspense grips the viewer ever so gently, and the film's emotional payoff is as lovely and delicate as a fresh bouquet.

Guidance
{5/15 9:30p Harvard Exit, 5/16 3:30p Uptown}
Downward-spiral movies don't get more charming than this. An aging former child star (writer/director Pat Mills, who was actually a cast member on You Can't Do That on Television back in the day) with a penchant for booze and bad decisions somehow gets away with successfully masquerading as a high school guidance counselor. Horrific, hilarious shit ensues -- conservative viewers will be absolutely appalled -- but every time the film threatens to fall apart completely it somehow gets even better. Mills has created a role and a world that exists far outside reality, but his commitment to it is absolutely beguiling. And oh, so funny.

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Belle & Sebastian at the Paramount Theater

at Paramount Theater

Belle and Sebastian photo by Søren Solkær

(photo: Belle and Sebastian photo by Søren Solkær)

Michael Hadreas’ solo project Perfume Genius took the stage as people were still filling up the always lovely Paramount Theater and alongside 3 backing musicians they wasted no time doing what they do best. The bass and drums reverberated loudly throughout the theater as Hadreas’ booming vocals grabbed everyone’s attention. For most of the set Hadreas sashayed around stage, swaying and seductively playing with the audience members who were smart enough to show up early for his set. The set finished with two of his more bombastic songs; the slow jam “Fools” in which Hadreas let out some truly chill-inducing howls, and his most recognizable song to date, “Queen”.

It had been 5 years since Belle & Sebastian last graced a stage in Seattle; back in 2010 they were touring behind that year’s release Belle and Sebastian Write About Love. Earlier this year they released their 9th studio album, the dancey and even occasionally funky Girls in Peacetime Want to Dance. Most of their new material was accompanied by video projected on a giant screen behind them, from early 20th century black & white photos to video of early 90’s video games. For “The Party Line”, it was dancing silhouettes in front of colorful backdrops, looking strikingly similar to a mid-2000’s iPod commercial.

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IT FOLLOWS

Maika Monroe in IT FOLLOWS
Maika Monroe in IT FOLLOWS

{It Follows opens in Seattle on Friday, 3/20 at SIFF Cinema Egyptian}

“It’s slow, but it’s not dumb.” ~ Hugh, IT FOLLOWS

Imagine going on a date with someone you really, really like, enjoying a romantic lakeside talk, cozying up in the car for some hot sex—then having that person drag you out into the middle of nowhere, tie you to a chair, and explain that by having sex they’ve infected you with something that will FOLLOW you. And you have to keep running from it, because it won’t stop until it catches up to you and kills you.

After her dream date turned nightmare, Jay (Maika Monroe) struggles to make sense of what happened, and while she’s recovering she starts to see things no one else can: an old woman shuffling towards her in school, a threatening tall man banging on her bedroom door, someone who looks lot like her friend trailing behind her—IT is following her, and it will get her unless she passes it on to someone else … although even that doesn’t mean she’ll be safe forever.

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What’s happening in the land of Three Imaginary Girls?

Photo by Victoria VanBruinisse 2012

Dearest Imaginaries,

You may have noticed that our posts haven’t been happening with any regularity for quite some time. We want to assure you that we’re still here, and we still love all the same things we’ve always loved and want to share them with you—we’ve just been going through some (ch-ch-ch-ch-ch) changes.

Here are some details that will further illuminate you:

You might not believe it, but even a little endeavor like TIG hits the pocketbook hard, every month, and over the years that’s added up to a lot of cash to cover site hosting and developer time to fix scripts that are over our heads. We’re looking into ways to ask for help (more on that soon), and we also came up with this brilliant idea to switch TIG from its current format to a much more economically-friendly option.

Unfortunately, rather than the website-conversion/imaginary refresh taking a few months like we thought it would, it’s taken literally an entire year and we’re still not finished with all the tweaks and misc. things that need to happen before we deem the new site worthy of our amazing imaginary audience. RELATED: Oh hey, do you know a friendly neighborhood WordPress dev who’d want to chat with us over coffee? Ours is currently M.I.A.

In the meantime, we’ve been working real hard at our day jobs while also trying to port all the old content over to the new site and make it shiny, instead of focusing on sharing the awesome media we’ve been consuming since our absence. But trust us: WE WILL RE-EMERGE TRIUMPHANTLY VERY SOON.

We really, really, really want to keep TIG alive. ♥ Stay tuned for more updates!

So much love,
imaginary liz & imaginary amie

photo by: Victoria VanBruinisse (2012)

Peter Hook and the Light take on New Order classics

Peter Hook and the Light

Taking the stage to the iconic Kraftwerk song “Trans Europe Express”, Taking the stage to the iconic Kraftwerk song “Trans Europe Express”, Joy Division and New Order founding bassist Peter Hook remarked “you’re a long way from Macclesfield”, perhaps a nod to his Northern England beginnings and how far his musical life has managed to take him. Backed by The Light, who consists of Hook’s son Jack Bates on bass, Andy Pool on keyboards, Paul Kehoe on drums, and longtime collaborator David Potts on guitar, Hook and company started off the night covering a number of Joy Division classics. Opening the set with “Exercise One”, they transitioned to the 1978 single “Digital”, and later on to some of the better-known tracks like “Heart and Soul” and “Strange Days”. It seemed the crowd’s highlight of the Joy Division portion of the night was “Warsaw”, perhaps the loudest and most energetic song of the set. With no opening band, the Joy Division set seemed to serve as the warm up act and chronological starting point into to the night of New Order to come.

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