Seattle: Take a Deep Breath

Seattle kicks off its mammoth endurance race/cinema splurge-a-thon (AKA, one of the longest and biggest film festivals in the world) tomorrow.

Complete details are available on the festival website.

Seattle City View 2003 - Photo Collage and Individual Images copyright 2005 Peter A. Martin
Two years ago I had the pleasure of attending the first week of the festival, and it was an unalloyed delight to sink so deeply into cinematic gluttony. What I love is that, in sharp contrast to Cannes, it’s a people’s festival, which means the only qualification to attend is a willingness to spend all your time and money watching movies. Three of the festival venues are located in the Capitol Hill district, with views of downtown and the Pacific Ocean peeking out between clouds and buildings, and two coffee shops on every corner. Talk about caffeine heaven…

Among the highlights from the first week’s schedule:

2046
Wong Kar Wai. Say his name out loud three times and you’re transported to another time and another place.

3-IRON
Kim Ki-Duk. See it quick. It only lasted in Los Angeles a scant 14 days.

The Overture - Image courtesy of Seattle Int'l Film FestivalTHE OVERTURE (pictured)
Thai. Music. And so forth.

MAREBITO
Takashi Shimizu makes a movie not called THE GRUDGE. Don’t fear: it’s still horror.

TWO GREAT SHEEP
Mainland China. Allegory. Go. It’ll probably be good for your soul.

GREEN HAT
Mainland China. “This remarkably candid tragicomedy focuses on the twin themes of sexual rivalry and male sexual impotence.” I have no idea what that means for your possible enjoyment of this title.

KEKEXILI: MOUNTAIN PATROL
Mainland China. Gorgeous scenery. Positive advance word. No distributor. Go.

KINGS OF THE SKY
USA. “Acclaimed filmmaker Deborah Stratman follows a world-famous troupe of Mongolian tightrope walkers and circus performers in Chinese Turkestan. With a wry, observant eye, Stratman records their life on the road and their jaw-dropping performances, in a film filled with subtle observations about the ever-changing contemporary Chinese society in the post-9/11 world.”

MCDULL, PRINCE DE LA BUN
Hong Kong. Wacked-out animation with social commentary.

THREE…EXTREMES
I missed it when it played LA. Don’t repeat my mistake.

THE WORLD
Still no distributor for this well-reviewed Chinese drama.

And that’s just the first week. The festival runs until June 12. My first wish would be to be in Cannes, but Seattle runs a close second.

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