SIFF SIFF Opening Night: My Brain is Melting
posted by May 23 at 12:10 PMon
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.