Tonight in Seattle:  

Film

The 2011 SIFF Schedule is live! I repeat! The 2011 SIFF Schedule is live!!!

SIFF 2011

Hey! You! There! The official 37th Seattle International Film Festival scedule is online at siff.net for perusal and ticket-purchasing goodness! (the crowd roars)

Opening night is Thursday, May 19th - and I highly recommend you snap up tix to that immediately, and to see the ever-adorable and RAWR-worthy Ewan McGregor take the stage, because both will SELL OUT FAST. Not to mention, the film they're showing at the EW tribute looks super-cute. You can buy tickets and plan your schedule online, or show up in person at the SIFF Box Offices at 400 9th Ave. N (or on the 2nd level of Pacific Place) to purchase. Once the festival is underway, you can pick up tickets at any SIFF venue. One more cool thing: iPhone users can use the SIFFter app - which is also online - to narrow down choices by genre, country, venue, day, and time, and purchase tickets right from your phone.

Other note-worthy picks: pay special attention to the Face the Music choices (a Damien Jurado performance!) and the NW Connections program, featuring the co-directorial debut of one Mr. Sean Nelson (!!!).

HAPPY SIFFING!

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "

Liz, I know! With press privileges and being able to preview what's playing for weeks and weeks and weeks, my list is super long. :) We should coordinate to see if we'll be at the same screenings!

"

Recommended Event: MOHAI & SIFF's 1st Annual "History Is ___" Awards Gala {5/7}

MOHAI | SIFF History Is...
Love NW filmmakers? Interested in learning more about the filmmaking community in Seattle? And SIFF previews? And drinks and snacks - do you like drinks and snacks? I do. Anyway! You can get all this stuff and more this Saturday {May 7} at The Museum of History and Industry (MOHAI), when the Seattle International Film Festival co-hosts their first annual "History Is ____" Awards Gala!

Prepare for an evening emceed by Robert Horton and packed with film goodness, as the winners of the "History Is ____" film competition are announced, local filmmakers are introduced, and a sneak peek at trailers from SIFF's NW Connections 2011 program is seen. Stick around for the after-party to meet Northwest filmmakers, have a few drinks, and get down on the dance floor. SIFF programmers will also be in attendance to offer up tips on must-see festival films!

Snag a ticket to the awards for $12 ($8 for SIFF or MOHAI Members, $5 for students 18 & under), or grab a $20 ticket ($15 for Members) for after-party access, which includes 1 free drink.

Schedule:
(The awards event is open to all ages.)

6-7pm: Welcome reception (coffee, cupcakes, lemonade)
7-8:30pm: Program and awards ceremony with special guests
8-11pm: After-party (cash bar, hors d’oeuvres, DJ)

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Support the NWFF by partying it up at Gala-Ga! {5/6}

Northwest Film Forum Gala-gaWith every independent theater closure, my heart breaks for our fair city. But I'm more than grateful that we still have a bunch of great outlets for film, including the Northwest Film Forum - so I feel compelled to sway y'all to support it as much as you can.

Their annual fundraising Gala-Ga is at the Georgetown Ballroom on Friday, May 6 and features a fancy-schmancy wine reception and delectable dinner by Seattle food maestro Tom Douglas, followed by an auction - and my favorite part: an 80s dance party!

Tix are a leetle steep at $75, but considering the food & wine quotient and the fact that it all goes to a good cinematic cause, it seems more than worth the splurge. If your wallet is tight, you can show up at 10pm for the after-party dance portion and get in for a mere $10. Go! Drink! Eat! Dance! And most importantly, support our amazing NWFF.

The deets:
Friday, May 6 @Georgetown Ballroom
Festive formal attire, 80s inspired!
6pm: Wine reception
7:30pm: Dinner by Tom Douglas
8pm: Auction with special events
10pm: After-party w/80s Invasion

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Bill Cunningham New York

Bill Cunningham New York

{Bill Cunningham New York opened in Seattle on Friday, April 29 at the Harvard Exit}

If you've spent much time in New York it's not unlikely that you've come across New York Times photographer Bill Cunningham. He's hard to miss, sporting his signature blue jacket (and sometimes, when mobile on the Schwinn he rides 'round on, an orange safety vest) while energetically snapping photos of the fashion-forward -- whether they like it or not -- as they walk the streets of Manhattan. For Mr. Cunningham, the best fashion shows take place on the concrete runways there.

The chipper octogenarian is equal-opportunity about who he snaps -- uptown to downtown, from socialites to bicycle messengers -- and it's clear he thrives on the variety of life in his city; his four-plus-decade career chronicling high and low fashion has made him a New York fixture. And thanks to his Sunday Style columns "On the Street" (those fabber-than-average citizens) and "Evening Hours" (chronicling the city's high-brow gala events), and, now, the absorbing documentary portrait Bill Cunningham New York, he's officially a legend.

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Latest comment by: blaylock: "nice review and a really good documentary, I didn't mind the nyt stuff too much and your right, miz wintour has obvsly been coached by her publicists but it seems she really does appreciate bill cunningham. he is a treasure."

Save the Date: Next Thursday, May 5 - The 2011 SIFF schedule will be announced!

2011 Festival Trailer from SIFFtv Testsite on Vimeo.

It's that time again! The 37th Seattle International Film Festival is ALMOST HERE! Working on the staff this year has definitely heightened my excitement - but as I mentioned before, has also made it extrememly difficult for me because I'm not allowed to spill the beans about all the awesome stuff that will be playing at the fest. Come Thursday, May 5, all that changes because the official schedule will be announced and I can start (along with our expert SIFF writing team) opening my big trap and talking about all the must-see movies, Face the Music events, Galas, Parties, Tributes, and so.much.more.

Anyway. Take a gander at this excellent trailer (it's like they made it just for me!) packed with clips from past SIFF movies and get! excited! The official Festival site is coming soon.

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Recommend Weekend Viewing: Animation Fascination @SIFF Cinema {4/22-4/24}

Tim Burton's "Vincent"Hi there. This post is coming to you from deep within the SIFF vaults (aka: the dark Joe Vs. the Volcano-like office I work in), where I have been toiling away for many weeks without time to post on TIG. *sad face* While I can't WAIT to tell you all about this year's Seattle International Film Festival, I'm sworn to secrecy—except for Opening Night, which you can buy tix to now—but! There’s still some awesome stuff happening over at SIFF Cinema pre-fest.

Animation Fascination kicks off today {Friday, 4/22} with some excellent Pixar Shorts @7pm. Every Pixar short I’ve seen in has been nothing less than excellent, with some of my favorites being the classic Knick Knack and bunny-riffic Presto.

There are a ton of other awesomesauce programs - The Phantom Tollbooth (Chuck Jones!) for example, stuff by Bill Plympton and Don Herzfeldt, and my very favorite animated thing in the whole world; Vincent by Tim Burton, which is part of the stop.motion.time. shorts package playing on 4/24 @5pm.

With animated screenings happening all weekend, you can grab a whole series pass for $60 ($35 for SIFF Members), or pick up individual screening tickets for $10 each ($5 Members). Viva la animation!

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Kill the Irishman

{Kill the Irishman opened in Seattle on Friday, April 8th, and is screening at The Metro}

If you love them mobster movies featuring up-and-coming wise guys in the 70s- then have I got a film for you. It's like a slightly gentler Goodfellas, but without Joe Pesci...and not quite as good. Though on the bright side, lots of character actors who may have been hurting after the Sopranos finale got some work out of this decent (if not standout) film.

Based on a true story, Kill the Irishman starts with our protagonist Danny Greene (played by Ray Stevenson) tooling around town in his sweet 70s ride. Then we see smoke from the cassette player followed by the car exploding. But wait - it seems somehow Danny, the "Irishman" of the title has survived, and he's shouting to the winds about how it's gonna take more than a bomb to kill him. Then the flashback starts, and Val Kilmer begins to tell the tale.

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Hanna

{Hanna opens in Seattle Friday, 4/8 and is playing at the Metro, the Majestic Bay, The Big Picture, and the Meridian}

Hanna has some beautifully shot moments, but at the end of the day it's hard to recommend an action adventure road movie where the predominant questions I'm asking myself as I watch are:
- can someone please get that girl a bottle of conditioner for her split ends, and
- Marissa Viegler - the villain of the piece, which came first - her name or the character's accent?  It seems to me one was chosen to enhance the other.

Before I get any farther, I should say that even though I didn't really dig this film it's still way more interesting than Sucker Punch if one is stuck ranking recent films with violent young women. Pretty much the entire film's story is covered in the trailer - which while making it more likely you'll see the film in the first place, pretty much guarantees that the few genuine dramatic moments will be ruined for you.

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Latest comment by: Dave: "spot on review. why even use the transponder? make no sense. You did leave out the part about bringing in some random german dude and a couple of his inept cronies to track/kill her. apparently they are really good at tracking, not so good at actually killing. ...

A Week of Movie Choices That Won't Make You Feel Like a Fool

Over the next week, Seattle theaters welcome to town a wide range of film options. Here's a few suggestions ranging from one-off screenings to larger independent openings.

Personally, all my anticipation for this week cinematically comes down to Hobo With a Shotgun, which arrives in US living rooms via various video on demand outlets including Amazon Instant Video. It's the only film I got shut-out on at SXSW - with Rutger Hauer and the easy to visualize title I'm not surprised it was a sellout there. I'll be rushing home tonight to queue that up. But there are also some very good choices at Seattle-area theaters over the coming week.

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Latest comment by: Chris Estey: "

Thanks, man. Oh yeah for sure Chasing Amy was Kevin's apex. His most solid, relatable work. Still, I hang in there. And you know, I really can justify digging Dogma too, and might even buy a DVD someday if I find a really good deal on one. Again, ...

Recommended Viewing: Maximum Overdrive @Central Cinema {3/28}

The Green Goblin & Emilio Estevez in Maximum Overdrive

I was delighted to see that one of my favorite cheesy movies from the 80s is making an appearance at Central Cinema this month: the over-the-top adaptation of Stephen King's short story Trucks, written and directed by the horror maestro himself.

Maximum Overdrive is a prime example of extremely bad movie-making (and of why King should never get behind the camera), yet I still love every horrible second of it because it's one of the first horror flicks I saw at the impressionable age of 13.

Starring a cast of characters including heartthrob Emilio Estevez and squeaky-voiced Yeardley Smith (AKA: Lisa Simpson), this "machines gone wild" fantasy involves cars, trucks, and all manner of appliances trying to kill their human creators(??), and features a grinning Green Goblin semi and a murderous soda machine (I swear I didn't just make that up). AS IF that wasn't enough to get you there, the soundtrack is composed entirely by AC/DC, making the $8 ticket price a complete bargain!

Purchase your ticket in advance online, or line up on Monday, 3/28 for the 7pm showing. Because honestly, a pizza and a pitcher (or two) of beer are really the only good way to see this 1986 masterpiece.

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