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Friday, May 23, 2008

SIFF 2008: Recommendations, Day 2

posted by on May 23 at 12:11 PM

This post begins a series of recommendations for every single slot in the Seattle International Film Festival. Wish me stamina! Here are some things I’m taking into consideration: 1) Did our critic like it?, 2) Does it have distribution and can we expect it to open in Seattle later this year?, and 3) If SIFF didn’t get us a screener for review, what are other critics saying? So, without further ado, Day 2:

I’m recommending a straight Pacific Place slate today: The Pope’s Toilet (from Uruguay, doesn’t have distribution, Eli Sanders loves it) at 4:30 pm, Ballast (American indie, has distribution but no firm Seattle opening date, Charles and Manohla Dargis love it) at 7 pm, and Continental, a Film Without Guns (from Quebec, no distribution, David Schmader loves it).


Also recommended and without large-scale U.S. distribution: Vexille at the Egyptian at 4 pm, The Red Awn at SIFF Cinema at 6:30 pm, and (we haven’t seen this one yet) Portraits in Cinema—short experimental films about George and Mike Kuchar et al., plus a narrative short about the birth of a pair of hands made in collaboration with Guy Maddin (Brand Upon the Brain!)—at Northwest Film Forum at 7 pm.

Also recommended for people with SIFF passes who don’t care whether a film is opening later in the year: Fatih Akin’s The Edge of Heaven (Strand Releasing is a smaller distributor, but I would be shocked if this superb film didn’t show up in Seattle theaters sometime this year) at the Egyptian at 6:30 pm, Before the Rains (opening next week) at Uptown at 7 pm, Catherine Breillat’s The Last Mistress (opening in Seattle July 18) at the Egyptian at 9:30 pm, Elite Squad (huge distributor—The Weinstein Company) at Uptown at 9:30 pm, and Jia Zhang-ke’s Still Life (this one has a distributor, but could still slip through the cracks in Seattle) at SIFF Cinema at 9:30 pm.

For all your SIFF scheduling needs, see And tell me what you’re seeing in the comments!

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What's a good source to find out if a film will be playing in Seattle later in the year? Obviously I'd like to focus on smaller films that may not get distribution, but how do I figure that out?

Posted by sifffan | May 23, 2008 12:25 PM

Use our online guide! Everything that has a firm or estimated Seattle opening date says so at the bottom of the web version of our capsules reviews.

There are some movies that have distributors but no estimated opening dates yet; I haven't included that info because it's just a guess. You can use IMDB's "company credits" to find out the name of the US theatrical distributor, but you have to know something about how big the distributor is to figure out whether the movie will definitely open in Seattle. Not everything from Strand Releasing or New Yorker Films will make it, for example. Everything from The Weinstein Company will. Hope that helps! Do you have a particular film you're wondering about?

Posted by annie | May 23, 2008 12:31 PM

From your list, I'm seeing Vexille, Red Awn, and the Last Mistress.

Other pics from me and my friends this weekend: The Edge of Heaven (two people who saw it loved it), Mother of Tears, Mermaid (everyone is seeing it), Love and Honor, Terra, and The Fall.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 23, 2008 4:30 PM

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