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Friday, May 23, 2008

SIFF Opening Night: My Brain is Melting

posted by on May 23 at 12:10 PM


Like 14 billion other Seattleites, last night I ventured over to McCaw Hall to catch the opening night of the Seattle International Film Festival. As Lindy West reported, it was star-studded. (I saw the mayor!) It was also, for me at least, a completely surreal endeavor.

I showed up around 6:30 and got myself into the line that stretched impressively around McCaw Hall to the north entrance of Memorial Stadium. While in line, we were sporadically besieged by various factions, from patchouli-soaked pamphleteers to the pair of unfortunately adult men hired to promote Juno On Demand(TM) by dressing like Michael Cera’s character (high yellow shorts, tight yellow headband) and handing out orange Tic-Tacs. (As many of us in line were forced to learn, dressing like a sporty teen can make a perfectly healthy thirty-something look already dead.)

Once inside, Jake and I managed to snag a couple seats in the upper balcony while all other available seats in the area filled up quickly. Tragically, the seat directly next to us was taken by a well-dressed, elegant-seeming older man, who nevertheless managed to give off the stink of several dozen dead animals. Parsing the scent in retrospect, I can report it came on strong with a piercing rancid-mustard stink, underscored by the duller stench of sixteen Value Village sofas soaked with whole milk and left to dry in the sun. There was simply no ignoring this smell, and so we had to give up our precious seats and re-join the huddled masses desperately searching for others.

After 10 minutes and several disheartening dead ends, we gave up. Wading through freakishly huge crowds in search of seats for a film of negligible quality only drives home the fact that we have an apartment and a TV, and we soon retreated to both.

Once home, the surreality continued, as IFC was in the middle of a start-to-finish broadcast of R. Kelly’s monolithically bizarre serial hip-hopera Trapped in the Closet. I’ve seen TITC before, numerous times, but last night was the first time I’d encountered it since watching the entirety of The Wire on DVD, and I was stunned to learn what countless Wire/TITC fans already know: The security-guard husband of Trapped in the Closet’s Bridget is played by Omar from The Wire.

This weird fact dragged me back into the intoxicating horror of Trapped in the Closet all over again, and my evening-long brain-melt was complete.

Thanks, SIFF!

RSS icon Comments


Are you sure you weren't sitting next to the 2008 Seattle Mariners?

Posted by Fnarf | May 23, 2008 12:42 PM

David, Oh, had I only known... I'm sure I would have given my seat up to you. (And not have lost those three hours which I will now never ever have back again.)

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | May 23, 2008 12:48 PM

I'm actually really sorry I missed it. It sounds like an important night in Seattle postmodernism.

Posted by David Schmader | May 23, 2008 12:50 PM

Speaking of surreal, that was one very and very red carpet laid out at McCaw Hall.

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | May 23, 2008 1:12 PM

David, I have a few extra jars of Fennel Salt if you want one...

Posted by You_Gotta_Be_Kidding_Me | May 23, 2008 1:18 PM

are you serious? you couldn't find a seat so you left? i must've gotten in line at around 6:45 and found seats easily. the hollywood shit in the movie was pretty lame near the beginning, but the violence was really well done and all the stuff with the actual riots pretty much made me forget about some of the cheesy dialogue.

it was much better than i expected it to be

Posted by IHATEVIDEOGAMES | May 23, 2008 2:20 PM

I guess I shouldn't be, but I'm always amazed at how many people will fork over $50-$200 for some glitzy event yet never support local regular events. Oh well.

Posted by stinkbug | May 23, 2008 2:42 PM

And I had two spare VIP seating tickets ... that section was fairly empty, as most of us wanted to sit nearer to the stage ... next time ask, I hardly ever use them.

My guess is he was wearing some kind of musk.

@6 is right - the ultra-critical might not like it, but I thought it was a good film, and other than the weak parts with Charlize Theron (memo - don't cast people you sleep with) a fairly decent attempt at representing what happened.

But somebody tell me where the protesters shop ... talk about your fancy dressers ...

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 23, 2008 4:35 PM

I'll bite, Will, speaking of just asking:

Will you give me $9000? I have a little pile of bills I really need to deal with. Better sooner than later, what with finance charges and such.

Let's do this!

Posted by Lloyd Clydesdale | May 23, 2008 5:30 PM

Sorry, I'm not a protester, so I don't have $9000 lying around to buy sweaters with.

Posted by Will in Seattle | May 23, 2008 5:39 PM

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