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SIFF 2014

The Musts, the Maybes, the Zombeavers


The Seattle International Film Festival is back, and as with every year, there's always too many movies to see and not enough time to see them.  But rather than let my fellow Seattle-ites drown in selection-paralysis, I've decided to pick out a choice few that I think will really shine in this year's film festivities.  Let's jump in.


The Musts


The Double - Richard Ayoade's (Moss from IT Crowd) sophomore effort after the incredibly funny Submarine, which I also saw and loved at SIFF.

The Signal - Another SIFF alum (William Eubank) follows up LOVE, which was super tripy, with another super tripy Sci-fi film.  The kind of film I'd recommend to fans of Primer and Under the Skin.

Frank  - I'd be lying if my interest is only half the acclaim this indie comedy got at Sundance and not mostly a chance to see newly christened Star Wars actor Dohmnall Gleeson in another movie besides About Time.

Boyhood - I'm an unapologetic Richard Linklater fan, and not just of his phases-of-the-sun trilogy.  This film was made over 13 years so the film's star could grow up from age 5 to 18 and is likely to be unlike any thing you've seen before.

The Trip to Italy - I loved the first "The Trip" despite it basically being just two British comedians driving around Scotland, being funny, eating fine food, and occasionally being soul-crushingly depressing (or, you know, British).  Can't wait to see what's next for a film that practically demanded there be no sequel.

The One I Love - I've become a Mark Duplass fan over the years and the setup of "Who's Afraid of Virigina Woolf?" set in "The Twilight Zone" is almost too good to pass up.


The Maybes


Atila Marcel - I loved both the Triplets of Bellville and the Illusionist, and while this is French director Sylvain Chomet's first live action debut, it looks as vibrant and charming as his animated efforts.

The Search for General Tso - Why does every Chinese restaurant in America have a dish called General Tso's chicken?  This documentary aims to answer where the fried, sweet and spicy dish originated and how overnight it spread across every Chinese food joint in the grand old US of A.  It also involves a lot of old Chinese people laughing at how crazy Americans are, which, what's not too love about that? :)

Patema Inverted - It's that Upside Down movie that no one saw, only in Anime form, which is really what it should have been all along.  This also might be the first SIFF Anime film I've ever seen, which is worth some interest in its own right.

Calvary - I enjoyed John Michael McDonagh's black comedy The Guard, and I'll take any excuse to watch Brendan Gleeson acting incredibly Irish.  Throw in Chris O'Dowd from the IT Crowd and lovely red-headed lass, and baby, you got yourself a stew going.


The Zombeavers


Zombeavers - Zombie.  Beavers.  Zombeavers.  If it's playing near midnight at the Egyptian (which they've brought back for SIFF, woot!) go see it.






Shhh, you aren't supposed to read this.  It's a secret...

Every year there's a secret festival at SIFF where they show movies we aren't allowed to talk about.  And while I'm sworn to that unholy oath by ritual and blood, I can share some predictions about this year's four-course serving of illicit, improper, and insidiously interesting secret cinema.

Secret 1 will almost certainly be illegal, or stolen, or taken without permission from some other festival, with a trail of Weinsteins in hot pursuit.

Secret 2 will either make people violently ill or be the best movie at SIFF, but also violate several international treaties and possibly some laws of space-time.  Though now I'm having PTSD about 2012 Secret 2... shudder...

Secret 3 will be from a country that you didn't realize had discovered the camera and you didn't realize existed at all.  It will be in a language... probably.

Secret 4 will be Judorowsky's Dune.  Not the documentary, but like the actual Dune film that everyone wanted to see made that didn't actually get made.  But it did.  And we're going to watch it, cuz we're Secret-folk and that's what we do.