Tonight in Seattle:  

Film

SIFF Takes: ShortsFest Family Picture Show

I always worry that it may be a bit impolite to recap the Shorts Fest films, since it’s not always easy to catch them outside of that one showing, but I so sincerely hope that you run across a chance to see them some time (for example, if any of them get nominated for Academy Awards and make the rounds before the ceremony) that I'll offer a rundown anyway. They showed 14 at this year's Family Picture Show on Saturday. And I’ve included links to trailers or to the full thing whenever I could dig them up.

My favorites

Hop Frog
My very favorite of the shorts this year was this little gem that shows how little it takes to generate a compelling narrative. Brightly-colored creatures hop in and out of holes in the ground (rather like the Nowhere Man from Yellow Submarine), establishing crystal-clear personalities with just one or two hops. One mutating magenta fellow hops blissfully alone until a green Philly-Phanatic-lookalike joins him in the hole adjacent. “Is there room in this world for both of them?” quickly gives way to “can they live without each other?” If I can ever manage to find a link to it anywhere I’ll be sure to post it for y’all later.

Hedgehogs in the City
A poignant social commentary smuggled in by adorable woodland creatures who hatch a genius plan to recapture their homeland after it’s paved over. Everybody wins!

Hannah and the Moon
This sweet fable about a girl seeking solace from the moon when she can’t seem to get it from her busy mom tells its own tale with written words woven into each scene. It has a dreamy, Etsy-drawing quality that suits the mood beautifully. Trailer here! 

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Photo Essay: SIFF Rock Doc Red Carpets! The Punk Singer & Her Aim is True

Imaginary Rich has done it again! His red carpet coverage is UNSTOPPABLE. This time he captured the arrivals for both The Punk Singer and Her Aim is True: two rock-related documentaries that screened at SIFF this past weekend.

We ♥ the spirit showing in these! Thanks, Rich.

{more photos after the jump} 

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SIFF Take: Peaches Does Herself

You gotta love Peaches to love this film; and I do. Her music makes me wanna dance all night, get pissed, be fierce, make out, jump up and down, and do a ton of tequila shots. 

In Peaches Does Herself, the rock star/punker/electronic Goddess takes her stage antics to new performance art levels; directing herself, dancers, and other musicians through a storified-approach to her songs involving hot pink underwear, spage-age costumes (which she peels off to reveal hot pink underwear), and simulated sex. Lots and lots and lots of simulated sex. Oh, and a little bit of blood too. OF COURSE. 

Everyone's legs seemed continually splayed; and Peaches particular brand of art includes more representations of boobs, vaginas, and cocks (+ a few real ones) than most people are probably comfortable with. But that's the point, isn't it? Peaches is always trying to throw this stuff in your face in order to make a statement about it.

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "If you had to sum up Peaches in one word, it would probably be "controversial". Or maybe "what." "

Photo Essay: SIFF Renton Opening Night - Lynn Shelton's Touchy Feely Premiere

If you missed the red carpet arrivals for the Seattle International Film Festival's Opening Night in Renton, you're probably really sad. But don't be! Because Imaginary Rich captured the cast & crew of Touchy Feely for our imaginary film fest fans. 

BONUS: Touchy Feely is also screening today: Saturday, 5/25, 1:30pm, at The Egyptian. And if you have tickets, you'll get to see the red carpet be rolled out once again for Director Lynn Shelton and cast, plus there'll be a Q&A after the screening. YAYYYYYYYYYYYY

{More photos after the jump ... }

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "Glad to hear that, Lori! She is an amazing filmmaker - and I'm sure she has no plans to stop. :) "

Imaginary Rich's Recommendations for SIFF Weekend #2

Out in the Dark

There's a lot of stuff going on every day at SIFF between now and June 9th. To try and cut through some of the clutter, I wanted to share some recommendations for this long Memorial Day weekend. I've only seen a small fraction of the SIFF films (hard as that may be to believe), so likely there are some gems I'm missing. But based on what I've seen here are some interesting, quality choices worth staying inside for. A few picks that I haven't watched yet but am really looking forward to catching are: The Spectacular Now, Her Aim is True, Drug War and, of course, some of the shorts packages playing.

And don't forget, if you're having difficulty navigating the SIFF website it's probably not you. I'd written up some snarky instructions on how to get around that folks keep mentioning have proved helpful to them.

On to the suggestions...

Nightmare Mystery Theater - Speaking of shorts, I recommend checking out as many sets from this ShortsFest weekend as much as you can. Specifically,  I highly recommend the Nightmare Mystery Theater session in order to see The Quiet Girls Guide to Violence and The Sleepover. The former is one of my fave shorts of the past year. The latter is just bloody, fun and rather clever. Don't miss this set for those two reasons.

OK ... now on to the feature length stuff.

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SIFF 2013: Week Two Highlights

The Spectacular Now

A twisty political thriller, a surprisingly good high-school movie, and a shockingly bad David Sedaris adaptation are among SIFF's highlights and lowlights in week two (May 24-30).

DON'T MISS:

Camion
Camion{screens May 29 at 6:30pm and May 30 at 4:30pm at the Uptown}
A truck driver nearing retirement age gets in a head-on collision on the job, and his two sons come home (somewhere in rural French Canadia) to help him out of the ensuing funk. The story then takes an interesting detour into childhood-regression territory, focusing on the brothers: one's a funny fuckup who looks kinda like Dave Grohl and the other is a straighter-lacer who looks like I dunno who but definitely not Dave Grohl. Despite any casting questions or POV unevenness, this is a beautifully-crafted film with a gorgeous ending.

Paradise trilogy: Love, Faith, Hope
{screening back-to-back May 25 beginning at 10am at Pacific Place}
A captivating series of films focusing on three women as they confront themselves and search for some version of happiness. Love travels with full-figured, fiftysomething hausfrau Teresa as she becomes a "Sugar Mama" sex tourist in Kenya; in Faith we get to know Teresa's sister, a fanatic Catholic missionary whose summer is disrupted by the sudden return of her paraplegic Muslim husband; then there's Teresa's sullen 13-year-old daughter Melanie, making unexpected new friendships at a fat camp and flirting with a much older camp doctor, in Hope. All three feature intriguing photography (director Ulrich Seidl has a fondness for static symmetrical shots, mainly of characters in small rooms) and audacious, often ruthless storytelling (he also has a fondness for challenging the viewer to look directly at unpleasantness). Paradise is well worth your while.

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SIFF Review: Fateful Findings

I'm calling it right now, Fateful Findings is going to win SIFF 2013. Regardless of category; best dialog, plot, love story, computer hacking - this film takes the experience to eleven. Admittedly, for some that might be to negative eleven. But in the bad movie olympics, Fateful Findings sticks the landing to take the gold, silver and bronze. A hell of a lot of fun to watch by myself, I cannot believe it won't be 10 times more enjoyable at its world premiere midnight screening. I seriously cannot wait for the equally improbable sequel. Take a gander at the trailer - if you're intrigued, RUN to buy a ticket. In a just universe, they'll sell out.

On one hand Fateful Findings is an absolute masterpiece of "can't look away" dysfunction, for which the phrase "hot mess" seems too complimentary. On the other hand, the bizarre and often unexplained vision makes it hugely entertaining - in ways many other bad films such as The Room don't approach. One doesn't need to throw spoons at the screen to enjoy Fateful Findings. Though I suppose a few cocktails or bit of other now legal in Washington substances couldn't hurt. Troll 2, you've now got some serious competition.

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Recommended SIFF + Ticket Giveaway: The Punk Singer

I don't even feel like I need to write anything clever about Kathleen Hanna, because SHE IS KATHLEEN HANNA. Hello. HELLO.

So look. Here's the deal: We have a pair of tickets to give away to each showing of Sini Anderson's documentary The Punk Singer (obviously, about Kathleen Hanna). The film screens this Friday, 5/24, 9:30pm and again on Sunday, 5/26, 1:30pm at The Harvard Exit. Enter to win by sending an email to us at tig {at} threeimaginarygirls {dot} com with the subject line "Ramalamading dong" anytime between now and 5pm on Wednesday 5/22. And make sure you tell us WHICH screening you want tickets to! We'll notify the winners Thursday morning. 

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SIFF Take: Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me

Naturally my great love for The Posies led me to my great love for Big Star -- and I still remember being outraged when watching That '70s Show and realizing the version of "In the Street" playing over the credits wasn't Big Star's original, but instead a cover by … Cheap Trick. What. 

Big Star is one of those great power pop bands that people didn't appreciate until long after their albums were released. They're the kings of vocal harmonies and guitar riffs (I could listen to "Feel" all day, every day and NEVER, EVER get tired of it), and they know how to drag a song out until you feel like you can't take it anymore, and then finish it off with a bang -- leaving you feeling exhausted, but satiated, and yes -- wanting more. So much more. 

Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me does a stellar job not only covering the history of the band from Alex Chilton and Chris Bell's first collaboration, but also touches on the personal struggles of each. It's a complete picture of Big Star from its inception to its demise -- and later resurrection -- and of course, it's loaded with awesome tunes (Psst: Ominvore Recordings is releasing the soundtrack on vinyl!). It's a gorgeous portrait of the band, and a must-see for fans.

{Big Star: Nothing Can Hurt Me screens at the 39th Annual Seattle International Film Festival on Tuesday, 5/21, 9pm, and again on Sunday, 5/26, 8:30pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown}  

In the House (Dans la maison)

{In the House opened in Seattle on Friday, 5/17, and is screening at the Landmark Seven Gables Theatre}

In the House is the latest thriller from atmospheric maestro François Ozon, and while it’s a bit more subtle than Swimming Pool or Hideaway, manohman does it deliver on the chills.

Bored literature teacher Germain (Fabrice Luchini) finds interest and inspiration in a new Freshman’s fictional story, but when he confronts the boy, Claude, about it, he admits it’s based in reality, and is about his friend Rapha’s family. The startled professor initially gives Claude a hard time about it, but then encourages him to continue for the sake of the story, offering to help the boy develop his literary gift.

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