Tonight in Seattle:  

best of

"Best" of SIFF 2013 series begins Today {6/12} at the Uptown

Populaire

So unless you've been hiding under a giant rock for the past month, missing the TIG SIFF team's extensive coverage, overlooking the 'round-the-block queues at some of our fine local movie houses, and/or oblivious to the palpable cinematic energy felt throughout the 206 area code, you've been at least vaguely aware that SIFF was going on. It kicked off May 16 and ran through this past Sunday, and it featured over 447 films from 85 countries. A total of over 700 screenings. Whoa.

Well, today through 6/20, SIFF Cinema Uptown presents a 'best-of' program that whittles down that gargantuan, overstuffed lineup to 19 programs (18 features and a shorts package) of festival award winners and audience favorites. Perfect opportunity to see what all the ado was about if you missed out on SIFFing altogether for some reason, or if the insane schedule made you miss something else you really wanted to see, or if the SIFFatigue got to you early and just caused you to give up. Or maybe none of those scenarios applies and you're just interested in checking out some good films. In any case, you're in luck.

Some of my personal favorites (Wolf Children, Our Nixon, Populaire, 7 Boxes) are making well-deserved repeat appearances, while others (Una Noche, Stories We Tell, The Spectacular Now, Die Welt, The Fruit Hunters) are conspicuously absent. And, IMHO, there are some that probably don't belong at all (C.O.G.? Seriously?). But I can almost guarantee you'll find something to appreciate. After the jump you'll find the schedule in screening order, with the TIG staff's thoughts on the films we covered, other reviewers' takes on the ones we didn't, and/or my own humble opinions of the films I saw too late to include in my weekly preview roundups.

more...

Latest comment by: imaginary embracey: "

Also note: a few SIFF 2013 films have begun theatrical runs and can be seen elsewhere around town --

The East - opens Friday 6/14 at Sundance Cinemas

Frances Ha - now playing at the Meridian and Sundance Cinemas

The Kings of ...

'Best' of SIFF 2012 series begins Friday at the Uptown

King Curling

A true 'best-of' SIFF 2012 program, IMHO, would include gritty French drama Polisse, Russian chiller Elena, Argentine road movie Las Acacias, French-Canadian melodrama Wetlands, Dutch sensuality experiment 170 Hz, and a number of exceptional documentaries (How to Survive a Plague, The Imposter, Wonder Women, and especially Marina Abramović: The Artist is Present).

And while I've never really claimed to be tuned to the collective frequency of the SIFFgoing public, it's still tough to fathom the dreary Any Day Now winning 2012's top audience award. But win it did, and it's among 18 features and one shorts package playing at SIFF Cinema's 'Best' of SIFF 2012 series unspooling this weekend. None of my personal favorites will be there, but some are indeed coming (again) soon to a theater near you.

Of SIFF's 'best of' films I've seen (75% of them, in fact, if you include the three which begin regular week-long runs at SIFF's cinemas on Friday), I only posted a solid-ish recommendation to one: Welcome to Doe Bay. But had I seen a few others earlier -- Extraterrestrial, King Curling, The Invader -- I'd've given them my version of a thumbs-up too and notified you about them before they screened. I'm glad I can give them some love now.

But I'm realistic about how much my opinion really counts for here, so proceed with cautious optimism as you leverage the opportunity to see some audience- and jury-award honorees (alongside a few non-winners that SIFF programmers apparently just saw fit to screen again), explore a few flicks the intrepid TIG film staff didn't make it to, and catch up on some of the general SIFFiness you may've missed out on over the past month. All screenings are at the Uptown unless otherwise noted.

DAILY, June 15-21; see siff.net listings for showtimes:

Extraterrestrial
{Runner-up: Best Director Golden Space Needle Award}
Julio wakes up in Julia's bed, after a night neither of them remembers very well; their awkward, hungover morning-after grows even stranger when they discover that colossal alien spaceships have appeared over Madrid. This is a quick and pleasant little romp by Timecrimes director Nacho Vigalondo, who did a charming and funny Q&A at the SIFF screening I attended. I can't promise Extraterrestrial will be quite as magical in his absence.

more...

Latest comment by: brandish: "Sliiiii-ip! Slip and Slide!"

Imaginary Linkage: Stuff We Spied Online This Week {3/18-3/24}

Which path will Don take? You choose in the Mad Men 8-Bit Game.
Roger: "Now I gotta go sleep with Joan and Jane. I'm old and grey, but I get the hottest tail on the show."

Someone you know deserves a Badger of Honor: Award them with cute medals! 

Dexter, In the marina, with a butcher knife: Play the Dexter Board Game.

They fight and fight, and fight and fight and fight! Please enjoy Every Itchy and Scratchy show from The Simpsons. (before it's blocked by Fox!)

This might be even more disturbing than the movie: Requiem for Cathy's (as in Guisewite) Dream.

Die, green pigs! An Angry Birds Theme Park might be happening in Europe (dang). 

Want a beer? No problem, I'll just open up my Marshall Amp FRIDGE.

What'd you guys see online this week?

Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "Scott: Nice! Who knew Zombies could be so....cute? :) "

Imaginary Linkage: Stuff We Spied Online This Week {2/26-3/3}

Lighten up, Elena! The Vampire Diaries credits, Friends-style.

A snapshot of Sunset Strip in the 70s: Vintage music & film billboards

Literary romance nerds rejoice! The letters of Elizabeth Barrett and Robert Browning are now online.

"What is a weekend?" Drown your workday sorrows in Downton Abbey Cocktails from The Kitchn. Get drunk on Lady Mary, Sybil, or Edith.

That's how we do: Windup Wire characters

A Blast from our MTV Past: Stick Figure Hitchcock (Viva la Liquid Television!)

Yet another reason Bryan Cranston is SO awesome: Breaking Bad Chuck Taylors!

more...

My Favorite Films of 2011 That Might As Well Be Imaginary

Last year I did a post about my ten favorite films of the past year that sadly hadn't seen a theatrical release in Seattle (nor a DVD release to my knowledge). While some might view that as just mean, I got enough positive feedback that I'm reprising the effort.

What follows are pictures I saw during festival travels (including all the way to Seattle) that are some of my favorite watches of the year. If you just can't get enough of these lists you're welcome to review my overall top films for 2011, or my most memorable 2011 film related moments not related watching a film.

The latter of which I'm especially pleased with - if I do say so myself. The list below isn't in any particular order. And I reserve the right to declare new favorites on a whim. Feel free to read something into the placement if you like...   

more...

A Very Imaginary "Best of" 2011 Movie List

As usual, even though I've seen quite a few films this year, picking out 5-10 that really stood out was an exercise in head-desk banging insanity. BUT - I think I finally figured it out, by breaking the films into categories of films that touched me in specific ways, that made me laugh and cry, and that are examples of why I love film so damn much -- instead of trying to just list the best films made this year.

In no particular order, my favorite films that I saw in 2011 (please note that some may technically be 2010!) are:

Best Movie that Lifted My Spirits and made me long for childhood: The Muppets
I was one of those kids that perched myself in front of the TV a full 10 minutes before The Muppet Show came on, so that I wouldn't miss any second of Kermit, Miss Piggy, Rolph, Fozzie, and Scooter wrangling special guests and being ridiculously entertaining. So news of a Muppet reboot of course made me nervous, but I gotta hand it to Jason Segal and James Bobin - they totally NAILED it. This film paid tribute to all the awesome characteres we loved as kids, while also renewing them for a much younger audience. Plus, they got Chris Cooper to RAP. I mean, seriously, you guys. I left the theater smiling and haven't really stopped since. Bonus: 80s robot is like my favorite thing, ever. 

Best Drama(s): Another Year, Higher Ground, and Melancholia
Another Year nailed the craziness of family, friends, relationships, and love, Higher Ground's thoughtful storytelling left me anxiously awaiting Vera Farmiga's next movie, and Melancholia was exquisitely painful and beautiful (you know, like most Von Trier films).

more...

Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "Kelly - it says that your life is WAY more exciting than mine, because I am watching movies all day and night instead of going out. ;) "

imaginary liz's favorite songs from the last decade that are worthy of recognition

Trophy

{stylish photo by nancyo23}

I hope I'm not getting too granular with my listage, but given the empowering nature of  turning the page on the decade, I can't help myself--I wanted to make sure that that certain song gems didn't go unrewarded for their brilliance.

Thusly, I compiled the below list of songs released in the last decade that are total A+++, but who's album didn't make it on my favs of the decade list... either because the song is from an EP or single; the album is good, but not as solid as the 75 albums that made my list; a bunch of other albums by the band/artists appeared on the list; or I just was bad with tabulating and this should have been on the list based on the strength of said song alone.

Please enjoy the below a recap of the top 10 songs from the last decade that amaze me beyond belief (and didn't make my favorite albums of the decade list). What amazing splashes of song brilliance rocked your 2000-2009? I bet between all of us we could make the most amazing quad-mix cd ever!

more...

listmania continues: keenan's top 20 favorite albums of the decade

photo by trickshot photography

{Long Winters photo by Trickshot Photography}

Because I'm some kind of masochist and a total nerd, I've been slaving over this list, keeping it brief (harder than you'd think!) at my favorite 20 albums of the decade without duplicating a band (even harder). Side note: I've probably forgotten something I really, really love, so let's just call this how I feel right this minute. These are the albums I know every note and breath of by heart and I love as complete albums with all of my soul. These are albums that in my humble opinion have no skipable track and are works of beauty in their entirety. I'd also like to point out that these are my favorite albums, as I tend to shy away from calling them "the best", as really, it's just my opinion, and who am I to tell you that you're wrong for not liking these records? (Though, if you catch me in a potentially altered state, I may completely negate that and call any number of these THE GREATEST of all time and call you wrong to your face if you disagree.) I digress. Here they are!

more...

Latest comment by: imaginary lori: "I love your list. I'd forgotten my love of Figure 8 until I heard it on the KEXP countdown."

imaginary liz's favorite albums of the last decade

The Thermals by Bobby McHugh

Yesterday I divulged my favorite albums of the year. Today I am ready to let go of my latest obsession: My album recap of how I spent my 00's.

The below listage rant is my own little time capsule to remind myself why 2000-2009 musically ruled. As with my other list posts, I'm certain I totally forgot to add something really important to my end-all-be-all-recap. It's up to you to remind me by posting your favs of the 00's below.

more...

Latest comment by: imaginary liz: "I know -- I totally expected "The Worst You Can Do Is Harm" top WIPTF, but when I studied the track listings side by side the fact that WIPTF has "Shapes,""Stupid" "Cinnamon" AND "New Girl" I realized I couldn't live without that album. Although TWYCDIH has the ...

imaginary liz's favorite albums of 2009

Still Flyin photo by Steve Louie

For some reason as stressful as it is sometimes to do, I found myself compiling a bunch of year end and decade end lists over the holiday weekend. So many so, I decided to spread out all my lists throughout the week. Today we'll start with the meat of the list -- my favorite releases of 2009.

As long as I've been making lists, it's always been apparent that I'm partial to Pacific Northwest bands... and this year it's especially so. I'm sure I've forgotten something that I love beyond belief.. but here is the list as of *right now*. What are your favorite local and non-local releases of 2009?

 

more...

Latest comment by: Anonymous: "I J I yeesssss!"