Tonight in Seattle:  

SIFF

Now streaming: Card Counting Christians {on DVD and On Demand}

One of the more interesting documentaries I saw at SIFF last year, Holy Rollers: The True Story of Card Counting Christians, has been picked up by Warners Bros. and is now streaming on VOD, iTunes, Amazon, YouTube - and a few other places! It's also available on DVD, which you can order from the website. It's really kind of an incredible story, and I have to credit Tennis Pro's David Drury for bringing it to my attention during the fest (he has a small'ish part in the film, and continues to tell me hilarious stories of his Casino adventures).

The gist of how I feel about the film as a whole is that most of the people profiled are total jerks, but it's still a fascinating thing to watch. I went in thinking it was about one thing, and left knowing that I was completely and totally wrong. If you're more like me, you'll still appreciate it - if you're more like Imaginary Embracey ("I wish this movie had been the length of a Big Love episode. An hour with its d*baggy subjects is PLENTY.") - well, you might want to throw stuff at the screen. Or throw up. Or both.

Watch it and let us know how you feel!

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Kill List

{Kill List opens in Seattle on Friday, March 2, and is screening at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown through Thursday, March 8}

Kill List is one of those movies that you can’t say too much about, or you’ll ruin it for everybody. It’s also really f’ing hard to describe. Part criminal thriller, part horror, part character-driven drama—I don’t know, you guys. I’m still trying to figure it out!

With stark title cards announcing each plot transition (The Priest, The MP, and The Hunchback), and a title frame that’s comprised of an ominous symbol, Director Ben Wheatley sets the tone for something decidedly different.

Starting with a long introduction to family man/assassin Jay and outlining his close relationship with fellow assassin Gal, the film takes its time setting up each character, and then moves quickly through the men’s next trio of “jobs”—which starts out forebodingly, with a handshake sealed in blood.

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Perfect Sense

{Perfect Sense is screening at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown starting today, Friday, 2/17 - through Thursday, 2/23}

A love story wrapped around a frightening Sci-Fi premise, Perfect Sense is one of those films that’s hard to pin down—is it a story about the connections we form when we’re frightened? A tale of true, pure, meant-to-be love? A commentary on how the human race reacts in times of crises? A cautionary tale about how you should appreciate every moment in your life because you don’t know when it could be taken away? It’s kind of all of these things, and a little bit more.

Beautiful immunologist Susan (the always sultry Eva Green) is suffering from major depression due to an apparently horrific break-up, but decides to return to work just as a mysterious illness is starting to spread across the world. Michael (Ewan McGregor) is a chef whose restaurant just happens to be across the street from Susan’s flat, so it’s inevitable that they’ll meet, be initially resistant to each other, and then of course, fall in love.

The twist being that while they’re doing that, an unexplained and apparently incurable disease is ramping up...

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Latest comment by: Imaginary Amie: "Glad I convinced someone to see it, and thanks for being the grammar police, anon! Being your own editor is hard. "

In Dreams: A David Lynch Retrospective at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown {1/13-1/19}

I'm letting my inner fangirl out to tell y'all about something TOTALLY AWESOME coming to SIFF Cinema at the Uptown, starting this Friday, January 13!!! In Dreams: The Films of David Lynch is going to screen from 1/13-1/19, which means everyone gets a chance to see a retrospective of Lynch's work on the big screen, including my two faves: Mulholland Drive and Wild at Heart

Ticket prices = $10 | $5 SIFF Members | $9 Youth (20 & under) and Seniors (65+) | Matinees: $7 | $5 SIFF Members

Here's a quick guide to what's playing (in case you want some imaginary tips from a longtime Lynch fan): 

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Tomboy

{Tomboy opens in Seattle on Friday, January 6 and screens at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown through January 12}

Coming-of-age stories are hard to pull off without resorting to oft-used cliches, which is why I think Tomboy kind of blows most of them out of the water. Focusing on adolescent identity and exploration, this film pulls you close with astonishing performances and intimate camerawork. 

Director Celine Sciamma searched for unknowns for the kids' roles because she wanted the movie to feel as genuine as possible -- and it does. Each one delivers such naturalness to the screen that it almost feels like you're spying on something private. 

10-year-old Laure (Zoe Heran) sports a short haircut and prefers to wear boy's shirts and tees, rather than girly dresses and lacy skirts. New to the neighborhood, when Laure meets the local group of kids and they think she's boy -- she just kinda rolls with it.

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Latest comment by: imaginary embracey: "

Travels and weather kept me from the SIFF Cinema run, so I'll anxiously await home-viewing availability. Water Lilies is a delight.

"

Holiday Goodness: Gary Oldman (!!!) at SIFF on 12/11 for Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy

Note: SIFF has announced that they SOLD OUT of the initial tix in a few hours, but they have released a small number of additional seats. VIP tickets to the dinner, however, are still available. 

I, along with several friends, are VERY excited about the release of spy-thriller Tinker, Tailor, Soldier, Spy - and now SIFF has given us one more reason to get excited: GARY FREAKING OLDMAN IS COMING TO SEATTLE!!! 

On Sunday, 12/11, Mr. Oldman will take the stage for a Q&A session after the film. And if that weren't enough - there's a special bonus for people who are feelin' fancypants (and/or rabid Oldman fans. *hand up!*). For a mere $200, you (or me, if anyone wants to buy me a ticket! HINT HINT) can dine with Gary in Volterra's Drawing Room on a sumptious feast prepared by their award-winning Chef, Don Curtiss. That ticket also gets you the VIP treatment, with reserved seating for the film and Q&A. 

An Evening with Gary Oldman
Sunday, December 11 @5:30pm
SIFF Cinema at the Uptown
Tickets: $25 each, $20 for SIFF Members

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See Bob Forrest (+ Thelonious Monster!) at the Uptown this Thursday {10/27}

UPDATE: This event is coming up...and fast. Make sure you snap up tickets while you can to see one-of-a-kind awesomeness this week! You know you wanna.... 

Stock up on those tissue boxes! SIFF announced today that the new documentary Bob and the Monster is coming to the Uptown on October 27. If you don't know who Bob Forrest is, you either never saw any live show footage from the 80s and 90s, or you never watched Celebrity Rehab. Both of which I refuse to believe.

But hey, I'll humor you: Forrest is the frontman of post-punk band Thelonious Monster, who thrashed clubs and caused some seriously gnarley mosh pits. He's also famous for being a complete drug-addicted mess on stage. Now sober, Bob has become one of the most infleuential addiction counselors around -- and it's easy to see why (yes, I watch Celebrity Rehab. What about it?). He's compassionate and kind, while still being able to call you on your bullshit. Anyway, Bob and the Monster is all about his struggle with his disease, and ulitmately, his triumph. In other words, it is a weeper, people. You can tell just from the preview.

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Celebrate SIFF's Grand Reopening of the Uptown with Favorite Films {10/20-10/27}

I would like to take this moment to announce that I think SIFF purchasing the Uptown Cinemas and rescuing them from languishing in certain doom is the best thing that they have ever done, ever. EVER. 

Okay, now that I have that out of the way - let's get to the good stuff. The Uptown is having its Grand Reopening this week! Starting Thursday, 10/20, there will be a serious of Sing-Alongs (Hedwig, Purple Rain, and Grease) as part of the Heineken City Arts Fest, and then they're gonna show a whole bunch of awesomeness -- officially known as Uptown Cinema Classics -- starting on 10/23.

You can view the full schedule here, but the films I'm most excited about are West Side Story, Monty Python and the Holy Grail, The Royal Tennebaums, Pee Wee's Big Adventure, LA Confidential, and The Godfather. They'll also be rounding out the week with Bob & the Monster (which we heartily recommend you get tix to!). Even better: all these films are only $5 - OR FREE with a same-day receipt from any Queen Anne area business. omg. what. 

Anyone up for drinks at The Mecca followed by a film? 

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Imaginary Weekend Film Pick: Beautiful Russian Loss at SIFF Cinema

There's a ton of stuff hitting local theaters this weekend, but I wanted to call your attention to a smaller release that's worthy of your hard-earned dollars. Namely, Silent Souls at SIFF Cinema (note: this is the NEW SIFF Cinema, at the Film Center, not the one located in McCaw Hall).

This Russian story of love, loss, and friendship screened earlier this year during the Festival, but I missed it. If you did too, here's a second chance to watch a stunningly beautiful film with strong performances. In a nutshell: two best friends go on a journey to lovingly dispose one of their wive's remains -- apparently a common occurence in the town they're from. What follows is a striking, heartfelt film dotted with bright, and at times surreal, imagery. Overall it's a great (and thoughtful) way to spend 75 minutes of your time.

Silent Souls starts screening tonight, 10/14, and runs through 10/20. $10 general admisson | $5 for SIFF Members 

Best of SIFF 2011 Weekend {6/17-6/19}

Gandu

{Best of SIFF 2011 screenings take place June 17-19 at SIFF Cinema.}

You may have noticed we've hushed up about SIFF these last couple of days. That's because SIFF 2011 is a thing of the past. Did you miss out, despite our daily urgings to see this Alaskan crime thriller or that Spanish period drama? Are you kicking yourself for foregoing Seattle's month-long megalomaniac cinemathon yet again?

Well, you have a few chances for redemption. That's right, just when you thought it was safe to go back to Seattle Center, an action-packed three-day Best of SIFF 2011 program invades SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall this weekend (6/17 - 6/19), and will feature a mix of (mostly very deservingly-honored) Jury Award winners, Golden Space Needle Audience Award winners and fest favorites. So, you can partake of films you missed the first time 'round (shame on you) or revisit your SIFF favorites one more time (on the big screen instead of Netflix).

The full lineup, along with the intrepid TIG SIFF team's takes on the selections we reviewed, after the jump.

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Latest comment by: Josh: "I saw Gandu today, I loved it and hated it. A real button pusher. And I decidedly did not find it "hot." But I admired it's nerve and I'm glad I went. Also I hadn't heard much from the Asian Dub Foundation lately and found it interesting that they were involved."