Tonight in Seattle:  

SIFF Take: Being Evel

I wasn’t quite born yet when daredevil motorcyclist Evel Knievel did his most famous jumps, but I do remember watching them on reruns of Wide World of Sports and learning later that he inspired Fonzie’s “shark jump” on Happy Days (worst decision ever), so I went into this documentary with very little knowledge about the man inside the white leather jumpsuit.

Being Evel is the portrait of a man who built himself up into an American Hero by sheer ambition. One of my favorite moments in the film is how he convinced the owner of Caesar’s Palace to book his own jump over the fountain by impersonating several different people in the press and creating hype—a jump, by the way, that he didn’t make, and that you get to see replayed over and over in the (literally) bone-crushing TV footage.

After that, he kept concocting crazier and crazier stunts that earned him more and more money; money which he spent on cars, flashy jewelry, women, and some of the most fantastic 70s-era suits I’ve ever seen. As you can imagine, suddenly having millions of dollars and fame can warp a person’s perspective and by the time he made his Snake River Canyon rocket jump, he had morphed into kind of a monster.

I don’t want to spoil what, exactly, caused him to completely fall out of favor with the public—but man oh man. It’s quite a story.

{Being Evel screens at SIFF 5/28, 6:30pm at SIFF Cinema Egyptian, and again 5/30, 2:30pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown; Director Daniel Junge scheduled to attend both screenings}

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SIFF Take: Valley of the Sasquatch

Valley of the Sasquatch

Forced out of their home and with very little savings left, Roger and his son Michael end up trying to make a home in a rustic—and completely trashed by some kind of wild animal—family cabin. But what’s supposed to be the beginning of a new life turns into a weekend of partying when dad’s abrasive BFF Sergio shows up, along with Michael’s Uncle Will.

After Sergio swears he sees something “huge and hairy” lumbering in the woods, tales swirl around the campfire about Bigfoot … and it’s not long before he makes an appearance again and tries to reclaim his land from the human interlopers.

Valley of the Sasquatch is pretty much exactly what I expected: a retro-feeling-stuck-out-in-the-middle-of-nowhere monster flick that could run on SyFY—except instead of CGI’ing the heck out of everything, it relies on some pretty boss practical effects. Just a note: it takes a really, really, really, REALLY long time to get where it’s going, but at least you get to take in some gorgeous WA forest scenery while it’s getting there.

{Valley of the Sasquatch screens 5/24, 8pm & 5/26, 4pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Director John Portanova & Producers Jeremy Berg & Matt Medisch scheduled to attend both screenings}

Sasquatch 2015 Picks: Courtney Barnett, Kendrick Lamar, Run The Jewels, S, Tame Impala, THEE Satisfaction {Monday, May 25}

Thee Satisfaction - Credit: Brady Harvey

{THEE Satisfaction - Credit: Brady Harvey}

Of all the stacked daily lineups at this year’s Sasquatch, Monday is probably my favorite. Just looking at this schedule makes me exhausted! Aside from being maybe the best day for music of the whole weekend, it’s also the best day for hip-hop, jam packed with local acts and some of the best talent running right now.

On the Bigfoot stage at 1:20 are local hip-hop R&B duo Thee Satisfaction. This is not hip-hop for jumping up and yelling too, this is smooth hip-hop to groove and sway too.

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Sasquatch 2015 Picks: James Blake, St. Vincent, Temples {Sunday, May 24}

Sasquatch Day 3 - SUNDAY SUNDAY SUNDAY!

At 6:00 on the Bigfoot stage are British psych rockers Temples. The quartet put a modern spin on old 60’s psych rock; from songs like “Shelter Song” that look backwards to the sonic sounds of the Beatles, to songs like “Sun Structures’ that sound closer to modern contemporaries Tame Impala. They’ve been touring pretty consistently for over a year (this is the third time in 13 months that they’ve been through the Northwest), and they sound pretty polished and on-top of their game for such a young band. 

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Sasquatch 2015 Picks: Modest Mouse, Odesza, Perfume Genius, The Budos Band, The Young Evils {Saturday, May 23}

Young Evils

{The Young Evils - Credit: Victoria VanBruinisse}

Really, so much good stuff to see today at Sasquatch! On the Uranus stage at 3:00 are Seattle rockers  The Young Evils. What started a few years ago as a more acoustic based Vaselines homage between Troy Nelson and his girlfriend (now wife) Mackenzie has expanded in both members and sound. They’ve amp’d up the volume and expanded to 5 members. This band is all about having fun, and what better way to start off a Saturday afternoon. 

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