Loving SIFF

The Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is going on right now and it has been fantastic. The first SIFF film I saw was Mao’s Last Dancer. It was an Australian biopic about a Chinese ballet dancer who defected to the US. I don’t usually go for biopics, but this one drew me in for some reason. Then I found out that the composer was Christopher Gordon and I couldn’t refuse. I had just heard his work on Daybreakers and really enjoyed it. The movie was so good and the audience was fantastic as well. I love SIFF attendees!

I am not going to list every movie I have seen since that first one, but I do want to mention two of note. Firstly, there is the one I am seeing tonight: Perfect 10. I had the opportunity to meet one of the writer/directors, Lindy Boustedt, on Saturday. She was fantastic and told me a bit about the movie. It was filmed in Seattle and Eastern Washington and deals with the issue of body image. I am super excited to see it and will let you know my thoughts. It also shows tomorrow at 4 p.m. if you miss tonight’s screening.

The other film  I wanted to tell you about was Utopia in Four Movements. This was a very different experience from your regular film screening. The film itself is more of a high-tech powerpoint presentation. One of the directors, Sam Green, narrated the film. A lot of it was still shots and he would control their progression by using a remote from his position at the front of the theater. In addition to stills there were quick time movies, some with audio, some without. Dave Cerf, the co-director and composer, was in the back of the theater controlling the music. In the Sundance and San Francisco film festivals a live band called The Quavers would also provide music. I wish they had been here at SIFF but even so it was still a compelling and unique experience. Sam’s narration was personable and intriguing. He speaks really well and created a great rapport with the audience. The audience reaction is definitely part of the whole experience. Dave’s music and the music of The Quavers was also fantastic and fitted the presentation perfectly. Then there was the subject matter: Utopia. I am not going to tackle that part of it. I simply encourage you to check out the website and try and see this presentation for yourself. It was an amazing performance and  really pushed the boundaries of what film actually is – So Cool! I had the opportunity to speak to Dave afterwards and that was fantastic.

We are so lucky to have amazing film festivals like SIFF happening around the country. It is encouraging to see the variety of material being represented. Really makes one feel that there are a million opportunities. A plethora of exciting projects to be a part of. And that makes me very, very happy!

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2 thoughts on “Loving SIFF

    • Interesting comment. The cool thing about my viewing was that there were a group of Esperanto speakers there. They all were wearing green and had flags. Afterwards he invited them up to talk about Esperanto and answer any questions. In the film he spoke of how there were Esperanto conferences I believe annually, or at least often (I can’t remember), which is a way of him showing that it is still alive and active. Apparently it is in Cuba this year – that is what the Esperanto folks at the viewing said. Which was so interesting because we learned a lot of about Cuba in the film.

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