ironymaiden: (siff)
(Bianca doesn't seem to hibernate properly when Opera is running. but only sometimes. trying to isolate before i report a bug. grr.)

short day today due to the Sounders FC match. one film and a nice lunch with C, and then March to the Match and hopefully a righteous asskicking. i think i will take my camera again.

big crowd. never underestimate the draw of a Scandinavian language film in Seattle.

North is a slow burn, ultimately charming. a depressed Norwegian guy who is afraid to drive undertakes a journey northward via snowmobile. he meets people, stuff happens.
ironymaiden: (Default)
(Bianca doesn't seem to hibernate properly when Opera is running. but only sometimes. trying to isolate before i report a bug. grr.)

short day today due to the Sounders FC match. one film and a nice lunch with C, and then March to the Match and hopefully a righteous asskicking. i think i will take my camera again.

big crowd. never underestimate the draw of a Scandinavian language film in Seattle.

North is a slow burn, ultimately charming. a depressed Norwegian guy who is afraid to drive undertakes a journey northward via snowmobile. he meets people, stuff happens.
ironymaiden: (siff)
Garbage Dreams
Afghan Star
Krabat
The Girl from Monaco
The Fortress
Kimjongilia
talhotblond

i liked Garbage Dreams - it follows several young men whose family business is garbage collecting and recycling near Cairo. they live in a population 60,000 suburb devoted to garbage. the filmmaker had great access, and the struggle of the community adapting to a modern world that keeps moving the bar for success is an absorbing one.

Afghan Star had me on the edge of my seat. it's the now-standard singing contest reality show, with contestants from all over Afghanistan. who will win? will the female contestants be hurt or killed? will the show even finish with the Taliban threatening to destroy cel phone towers? great for the storytelling, but even more great for chronicling life in a country that is allowed to have music and television for the first time in a decade. it doesn't just follow the contestants, but the fans - engineering homemade antennas and wiring car batteries to televisions and cramming dozens of people around tiny screens. delightful. this is partly a BBC thing, so i expect to see it broadcast or on DVD. worth seeing.

Krabat is very good - it's dark, what with the Thirty Years' War and the plague and the cost of using black magic. it's an adaptation of a novel, and i felt like there were nuances lost in the compression required for the film adapation, but even so it's a satisfying experience. i hope i can find a translation of the novel. it's a Fox film, but i have a hard time believing that a subtitled movie (German) where our hero has an inverted pentagram on his forehead is going to be distributed outside of "selected cities". fortunately, Seattle is usually a selected city - highly recommended for fantasy fans and very worth seeing on the big screen.

went to the Space Needle to see the Penguins on the March opening, and followed up with lunch and a monorail ride with [livejournal.com profile] scarlettina. visited the new Sounders FC/Seahawks pro shop on the way to the theater; i continue to be shocked at how many people have purchased jerseys at $70 - $90 a pop. also, it looks like they don't make my sweatshirt anymore. glad i picked it up, i'm sure that's the idea.

people who have seen The Girl from Monaco are divided about it. i rather liked it, but i liked it because i was not expecting a romantic comedy. i think this film and Humpday are a kind of pair - where the relationship between the men is more important than any other aspect of the film. if you think this movie is a romance about an older lawyer and a freespirited young weathergirl, you won't enjoy it. if you think it's about the lawyer and the bodyguard, then it is consistent, and it works.

next up, The Fortress. hopefully i can make the run from here to Pac Place for the next film. if not, perhaps i can arrange for dinner with C...hm.

i made fine time because i left early. (i would have held out, but my bladder told me i might as well go.) the style of the film is no narration, no interviews. i often like that sort of observation in a documentary, but in this case, there was not a strong narrative. it's about the holding area where asylum applicants wait to get into Switzerland. we didn't follow anyone through the whole process. it was just a bunch of vignettes. interesting material, but not a movie.

Kimjongilia uses dance and clips of N Korean films and performances to bracket interviews with people who have escaped N Korea between 1995 and 2006. i thought most of the clips were padding (and the film was still a slim 78 minutes) but the interviews and the supporting material for them were very powerful. what particularly horrified me was that getting through the DMZ is impossible, therefore many N Koreans run to China, where they are put in prison camps or turned back to N Korea. one can't help but be affected by severed fingertips, walking skeletons (starving adults and children that look just like concentration camp survivors), and people who were imprisoned because they were the family member of a transgressor (one strike and the family onto the third generation is locked up). i missed out on the post-film discussion due to an emergency call.

then i got delicious tacos, and a margarita, and had enough time to go downstairs for hot chocolate and a candy bar. i would like to point out that a Godiva bar from Starbucks is cheaper than *any* candy containing chocolate at the AMC.

next up is talhotblond. this is a story i followed as it was happening, and was thoroughly fascinated. the word on the film is good, so i'm hoping there's content that's new to me.

(there *is* new-to-me content.) the story is a love triangle, where the players only know each other online. talhotblond gets involved via chat with marinesniper, has a falling out, and then starts playing marinesniper and his RL friend beefcake off of each other. it leads to murder. two of the three are incredible liars. only one of them gets in trouble. the story is salaciously delicious, and the interviews with the players and their families made the film worth seeing. this was the premiere and the first official audience showing; there were no credits yet and the director was seeking feedback as she continues work on the film. it's good to go to the festival :)

showing the shape of my bubble - this story was familiar to me and i had read about it more than once. the director said "no one" had covered it outside local news and an article in Wired. apparently it never hit the mainstream media, and i had no idea that it wasn't common knowledge. i recommend the film or at least a read of the article.
ironymaiden: (Default)
Garbage Dreams
Afghan Star
Krabat
The Girl from Monaco
The Fortress
Kimjongilia
talhotblond

i liked Garbage Dreams - it follows several young men whose family business is garbage collecting and recycling near Cairo. they live in a population 60,000 suburb devoted to garbage. the filmmaker had great access, and the struggle of the community adapting to a modern world that keeps moving the bar for success is an absorbing one.

Afghan Star had me on the edge of my seat. it's the now-standard singing contest reality show, with contestants from all over Afghanistan. who will win? will the female contestants be hurt or killed? will the show even finish with the Taliban threatening to destroy cel phone towers? great for the storytelling, but even more great for chronicling life in a country that is allowed to have music and television for the first time in a decade. it doesn't just follow the contestants, but the fans - engineering homemade antennas and wiring car batteries to televisions and cramming dozens of people around tiny screens. delightful. this is partly a BBC thing, so i expect to see it broadcast or on DVD. worth seeing.

Krabat is very good - it's dark, what with the Thirty Years' War and the plague and the cost of using black magic. it's an adaptation of a novel, and i felt like there were nuances lost in the compression required for the film adapation, but even so it's a satisfying experience. i hope i can find a translation of the novel. it's a Fox film, but i have a hard time believing that a subtitled movie (German) where our hero has an inverted pentagram on his forehead is going to be distributed outside of "selected cities". fortunately, Seattle is usually a selected city - highly recommended for fantasy fans and very worth seeing on the big screen.

went to the Space Needle to see the Penguins on the March opening, and followed up with lunch and a monorail ride with [livejournal.com profile] scarlettina. visited the new Sounders FC/Seahawks pro shop on the way to the theater; i continue to be shocked at how many people have purchased jerseys at $70 - $90 a pop. also, it looks like they don't make my sweatshirt anymore. glad i picked it up, i'm sure that's the idea.

people who have seen The Girl from Monaco are divided about it. i rather liked it, but i liked it because i was not expecting a romantic comedy. i think this film and Humpday are a kind of pair - where the relationship between the men is more important than any other aspect of the film. if you think this movie is a romance about an older lawyer and a freespirited young weathergirl, you won't enjoy it. if you think it's about the lawyer and the bodyguard, then it is consistent, and it works.

next up, The Fortress. hopefully i can make the run from here to Pac Place for the next film. if not, perhaps i can arrange for dinner with C...hm.

i made fine time because i left early. (i would have held out, but my bladder told me i might as well go.) the style of the film is no narration, no interviews. i often like that sort of observation in a documentary, but in this case, there was not a strong narrative. it's about the holding area where asylum applicants wait to get into Switzerland. we didn't follow anyone through the whole process. it was just a bunch of vignettes. interesting material, but not a movie.

Kimjongilia uses dance and clips of N Korean films and performances to bracket interviews with people who have escaped N Korea between 1995 and 2006. i thought most of the clips were padding (and the film was still a slim 78 minutes) but the interviews and the supporting material for them were very powerful. what particularly horrified me was that getting through the DMZ is impossible, therefore many N Koreans run to China, where they are put in prison camps or turned back to N Korea. one can't help but be affected by severed fingertips, walking skeletons (starving adults and children that look just like concentration camp survivors), and people who were imprisoned because they were the family member of a transgressor (one strike and the family onto the third generation is locked up). i missed out on the post-film discussion due to an emergency call.

then i got delicious tacos, and a margarita, and had enough time to go downstairs for hot chocolate and a candy bar. i would like to point out that a Godiva bar from Starbucks is cheaper than *any* candy containing chocolate at the AMC.

next up is talhotblond. this is a story i followed as it was happening, and was thoroughly fascinated. the word on the film is good, so i'm hoping there's content that's new to me.

(there *is* new-to-me content.) the story is a love triangle, where the players only know each other online. talhotblond gets involved via chat with marinesniper, has a falling out, and then starts playing marinesniper and his RL friend beefcake off of each other. it leads to murder. two of the three are incredible liars. only one of them gets in trouble. the story is salaciously delicious, and the interviews with the players and their families made the film worth seeing. this was the premiere and the first official audience showing; there were no credits yet and the director was seeking feedback as she continues work on the film. it's good to go to the festival :)

showing the shape of my bubble - this story was familiar to me and i had read about it more than once. the director said "no one" had covered it outside local news and an article in Wired. apparently it never hit the mainstream media, and i had no idea that it wasn't common knowledge. i recommend the film or at least a read of the article.
ironymaiden: (siff)
during the first week of the festival, there was a screwup at the Uptown, and i saw the opening of Fruit Fly before they realized they were running the wrong film. i'm glad - because of it i made sure that i saw a full screening.

it's a musical about a young Filipino-American woman arriving in San Francisco and creating a home. the opening (after charming animated credits) is a lead-and-chorus number about riding public transit, shot on the public transit in question. (the director spoke before the film; he had to catch a flight home. i'm sorry that there was no opportunity for discussion...but he said guerrilla film in the intro, so i'm assuming all of those great locations happened without permits or the streets being cleared.) i'll search for the music online when i get time - there are songs about being a fag hag, about hooking up in a gay bar, about not knowing what you want, about life being a work in progress. the composer does incredible work with lo-fi instruments like a commodore 64 synthesizer, and the earworm melodies were being hummed by audience members as they left. charming, recommended.

ETA: Fruit Fly Soundtrack on Rhapsody. (sorry furriners. i think it's on iTunes, but then you only get the cruddy samples.) check out "Public Transit" "Gay Gay Gay Gay Gay" and "We Have So Much in Common" (lyrics NSFW).

i thought Defamation was a great documentary. an Israeli filmmaker explores modern anti-semitism, through interviews and observation. i think that's as much as i can say. there were walkouts. there was spontaneous applause. it was thought provoking and i'm dying to talk with others who have seen it. there's still a showing left. highly recommended.
ironymaiden: (Default)
during the first week of the festival, there was a screwup at the Uptown, and i saw the opening of Fruit Fly before they realized they were running the wrong film. i'm glad - because of it i made sure that i saw a full screening.

it's a musical about a young Filipino-American woman arriving in San Francisco and creating a home. the opening (after charming animated credits) is a lead-and-chorus number about riding public transit, shot on the public transit in question. (the director spoke before the film; he had to catch a flight home. i'm sorry that there was no opportunity for discussion...but he said guerrilla film in the intro, so i'm assuming all of those great locations happened without permits or the streets being cleared.) i'll search for the music online when i get time - there are songs about being a fag hag, about hooking up in a gay bar, about not knowing what you want, about life being a work in progress. the composer does incredible work with lo-fi instruments like a commodore 64 synthesizer, and the earworm melodies were being hummed by audience members as they left. charming, recommended.

ETA: Fruit Fly Soundtrack on Rhapsody. (sorry furriners. i think it's on iTunes, but then you only get the cruddy samples.) check out "Public Transit" "Gay Gay Gay Gay Gay" and "We Have So Much in Common" (lyrics NSFW).

i thought Defamation was a great documentary. an Israeli filmmaker explores modern anti-semitism, through interviews and observation. i think that's as much as i can say. there were walkouts. there was spontaneous applause. it was thought provoking and i'm dying to talk with others who have seen it. there's still a showing left. highly recommended.
ironymaiden: (siff)
breakfast this morning at the Hi-Life to benefit the fallen firefighters fund. nice. decided not to try doing the run to and from the Egyptian.

first up, Inju, the Beast in the Shadow. buzz i've heard on this film was only overheard, and...odd. i'm guessing that this may be ultra-violent, but i'm not sure. it's a mystery!

it was a mystery, where i guessed the secret pretty much right away and stayed to watch the rest of the film to find out just how stupid the protagonist really was. so painful. the French director was seeking to create an homage to American noir films in an adaptation of a 1920s Japanese novel. it went just as well as one might expect :/ i watched the whole thing so that i could hear the director talk about it afterwards. part of the fail for me was in the adaptation - the original story was about the rivalry of two Japanese crime writers, the adaptation made one of them French, which stretched the premise to the breaking point and introduced the unfortunate element of the white-dude-and-submissive-asian-girl. (down to her kneeling in front of him and licking his feet and sucking his toes.) if only the homage to noir had actually extended to the cinematography - shining clinically bright light on toe-sucking and cat corpses made them just silly. the brightest moment of the film for me was seeing a character in prison, finally seeing some part of Japanese culture that didn't feel like Epcot Center.

the post-film discussion was good. i could tell that people were asking about things that they didn't like (say, the overbearing score) but doing it in a way the opened dialogue with the director. someone asked about the low level of eroticism in this "erotic thriller" and the director explained that currently all big film financing in France comes from television, so you need to make a movie that is suitable to be shown at 8:00 (oh, how i love that the French consider bondage and beheadings suitable for the kids). i felt like the geisha dancing in the film was not graceful enough, that the actress who was supposed to be a great dancer had no sense of jo ha kyu...yet it turns out that she was trained by a woman who trains the dancers in Gion. (now i feel like i need to see more of the geisha dances to see if my prior impression of what they should be is wrong.) the sword choreography was great, and the director's pride was justified. i hope the sword fight gets on youtube. there apparently was a deal of unhappiness in Japan about that "other geisha movie" and people wouldn't get on board with this film until they had vetted the script, etc. anyway, look for that sword fight on youtube, don't bother with the rest of the movie.

i tried to sell my dinner companions on Black, but it sounded like a rental to them. we shall see. i'm rooting for silly fun.

silly fun! it was a well-crafted caper movie mostly set in Dakar, Senegal. to an American viewer, it felt a bit transgressive, playing with African stereotypes - alternately puncturing them and reinforcing them. i enjoyed it quite a bit, but i think that if it hadn't been a late replacement it would have been in a midnight slot here and well-received by that crowd. it has a strange thing going on with one of the villains literally turning into a snake man that is just messed up. but i loved the gunplay, the explosions, the beautiful leads, and the setting.

skipped the next film to be assured of going home happy.

currently sitting at a table on top of Fisher Pavilion with a model Filipino village behind me. this weekend is Pagdiriwang and the village is celebrating the centennial of the AYP. i got to see the Filipino youth drill team perform, and have some Espi's chicken, so i'm pleased.

this morning started with meeting [livejournal.com profile] mimerki for breakfast after she finished the Race for the Cure. (YAY!) C is coming down with a cold, M just ran a race, and i have nothing to talk about but movies no one else at the table has seen or probably cares to see. this one time, at movie camp...

first picture of Sunday, Finding Bliss. repressed aspiring director gets hired as an editor at an adult film studio. and she starts using the studio facilities at night to make her pet project. romantic comedy ensues. it had a solid cast and some good moments, but overall it didn't quite work for me. much was made clear in the post-film discussion with the writer/director - she's been paid for this project something like four times, and has lived on it for five years. first, it was going to be a workplace comedy series for Showtime. then they asked for it to be a movie, and it had to be reworked into a three-act structure that, you know, ends. so, it was supposed to be a commercial film and then got done as an independent one out of desperation. i think it might have been better if it had focused on the lead learning about being a pro through working with unusual material and skipped the skunkworks production plot that was tacked on as part of the shift from series to film.

Humpday was well done. still processing. i was marveling at the quality of Lynn Shelton's writing, but actually she directs improv and forms the film in the editing room. i hated one of the main characters starting pretty early on, and that made the rest of the film less appealing, in spite of everything that was right about it. and it's about wierd straight guy relationship stuff that becomes more important than the wife relationship, and the wife is pretty awesome, so that annoyed me too. it's not you Humpday, it's me.

Four Chapters left me mostly confused. the subtitling was more like opera supertitles - enough to follow the gist of the story but not enough to get all of the nuance. i was in a row of people who understood the language, because early on they were laughing in response to beats that weren't translated. between that and my apparent lack of key cultural knowledge, i really didn't get it. i still enjoyed the pretty people and the music.

Forever Enthralled is up next. this is one that i've been waiting for all festival. trying not to spoil it with high expectations.

this is a sweeping historical about the life of Mei Lanfang with great (to my untrained eye) theatre footage. at 2.5 hours it ended up being a little short for the timespan it covered, leaving some things too unexplored for my taste, but i thought that the time skips were mostly handled well. highly recommended for theatre nerds and those interested in the culture of Republican China leading into WWII.
ironymaiden: (Default)
breakfast this morning at the Hi-Life to benefit the fallen firefighters fund. nice. decided not to try doing the run to and from the Egyptian.

first up, Inju, the Beast in the Shadow. buzz i've heard on this film was only overheard, and...odd. i'm guessing that this may be ultra-violent, but i'm not sure. it's a mystery!

it was a mystery, where i guessed the secret pretty much right away and stayed to watch the rest of the film to find out just how stupid the protagonist really was. so painful. the French director was seeking to create an homage to American noir films in an adaptation of a 1920s Japanese novel. it went just as well as one might expect :/ i watched the whole thing so that i could hear the director talk about it afterwards. part of the fail for me was in the adaptation - the original story was about the rivalry of two Japanese crime writers, the adaptation made one of them French, which stretched the premise to the breaking point and introduced the unfortunate element of the white-dude-and-submissive-asian-girl. (down to her kneeling in front of him and licking his feet and sucking his toes.) if only the homage to noir had actually extended to the cinematography - shining clinically bright light on toe-sucking and cat corpses made them just silly. the brightest moment of the film for me was seeing a character in prison, finally seeing some part of Japanese culture that didn't feel like Epcot Center.

the post-film discussion was good. i could tell that people were asking about things that they didn't like (say, the overbearing score) but doing it in a way the opened dialogue with the director. someone asked about the low level of eroticism in this "erotic thriller" and the director explained that currently all big film financing in France comes from television, so you need to make a movie that is suitable to be shown at 8:00 (oh, how i love that the French consider bondage and beheadings suitable for the kids). i felt like the geisha dancing in the film was not graceful enough, that the actress who was supposed to be a great dancer had no sense of jo ha kyu...yet it turns out that she was trained by a woman who trains the dancers in Gion. (now i feel like i need to see more of the geisha dances to see if my prior impression of what they should be is wrong.) the sword choreography was great, and the director's pride was justified. i hope the sword fight gets on youtube. there apparently was a deal of unhappiness in Japan about that "other geisha movie" and people wouldn't get on board with this film until they had vetted the script, etc. anyway, look for that sword fight on youtube, don't bother with the rest of the movie.

i tried to sell my dinner companions on Black, but it sounded like a rental to them. we shall see. i'm rooting for silly fun.

silly fun! it was a well-crafted caper movie mostly set in Dakar, Senegal. to an American viewer, it felt a bit transgressive, playing with African stereotypes - alternately puncturing them and reinforcing them. i enjoyed it quite a bit, but i think that if it hadn't been a late replacement it would have been in a midnight slot here and well-received by that crowd. it has a strange thing going on with one of the villains literally turning into a snake man that is just messed up. but i loved the gunplay, the explosions, the beautiful leads, and the setting.

skipped the next film to be assured of going home happy.

currently sitting at a table on top of Fisher Pavilion with a model Filipino village behind me. this weekend is Pagdiriwang and the village is celebrating the centennial of the AYP. i got to see the Filipino youth drill team perform, and have some Espi's chicken, so i'm pleased.

this morning started with meeting [livejournal.com profile] mimerki for breakfast after she finished the Race for the Cure. (YAY!) C is coming down with a cold, M just ran a race, and i have nothing to talk about but movies no one else at the table has seen or probably cares to see. this one time, at movie camp...

first picture of Sunday, Finding Bliss. repressed aspiring director gets hired as an editor at an adult film studio. and she starts using the studio facilities at night to make her pet project. romantic comedy ensues. it had a solid cast and some good moments, but overall it didn't quite work for me. much was made clear in the post-film discussion with the writer/director - she's been paid for this project something like four times, and has lived on it for five years. first, it was going to be a workplace comedy series for Showtime. then they asked for it to be a movie, and it had to be reworked into a three-act structure that, you know, ends. so, it was supposed to be a commercial film and then got done as an independent one out of desperation. i think it might have been better if it had focused on the lead learning about being a pro through working with unusual material and skipped the skunkworks production plot that was tacked on as part of the shift from series to film.

Humpday was well done. still processing. i was marveling at the quality of Lynn Shelton's writing, but actually she directs improv and forms the film in the editing room. i hated one of the main characters starting pretty early on, and that made the rest of the film less appealing, in spite of everything that was right about it. and it's about wierd straight guy relationship stuff that becomes more important than the wife relationship, and the wife is pretty awesome, so that annoyed me too. it's not you Humpday, it's me.

Four Chapters left me mostly confused. the subtitling was more like opera supertitles - enough to follow the gist of the story but not enough to get all of the nuance. i was in a row of people who understood the language, because early on they were laughing in response to beats that weren't translated. between that and my apparent lack of key cultural knowledge, i really didn't get it. i still enjoyed the pretty people and the music.

Forever Enthralled is up next. this is one that i've been waiting for all festival. trying not to spoil it with high expectations.

this is a sweeping historical about the life of Mei Lanfang with great (to my untrained eye) theatre footage. at 2.5 hours it ended up being a little short for the timespan it covered, leaving some things too unexplored for my taste, but i thought that the time skips were mostly handled well. highly recommended for theatre nerds and those interested in the culture of Republican China leading into WWII.
ironymaiden: (bianca)
hey, there's unsecured wireless leaking into the Uptown.
ironymaiden: (Default)
hey, there's unsecured wireless leaking into the Uptown.
ironymaiden: (siff)
nearly missed my last bus for downtown, but managed to waltz in during the announcements.

Egon & Donci is an animated film about an astronomer/inventor and his cat. computer animation that's a bit too in love with panning around and spinning. i spent way too much time processing orientation. pretty much no dialog, which i was looking forward to, but the story was slight, really just a hanger to hold bulbous guy and cat together with homemade machinery and giant cosmic vistas and some elaborate abstractions. there were great things done here with animation, but they were rarely used in service to the story. i would have preferred a short about the guy and his cat, and a short that was exploring the solar system set to music. one could create the two films by selecting scenes on the DVD...or you could watch the opening to Star Trek: TNG and A Grand Day Out and have just as much pleasure without the seasickness.

now, Art & Copy.

imagine if Helvetica had less dull filler. this had great interviews with people who made monumental ad campaigns, their clients, and the people who post billboards. (the projection was a bit washed out - it wasn't apparent until there were white words on top of light/bright backgrounds. unreadable. director was bummed about the projection, and i'm thinking no, that tells you that you need to go back and add a sliver of contrast around the letters, you can't control the projection conditions until the end of time.) lots of talking heads, would be a good Watch Instantly film. (i don't know about anyone else, but i do a lot of casual documentary watching on streaming Netflix that i wouldn't do if it took up a disc rental.) definitely recommended for folks in the industry.

i had plenty of time before the next film, so i decided to take the monorail instead of walking. (it's a 25 minute walk from Pac Place to the Uptown. depending on your timing, the monorail can be much faster or can take just as long or longer with the wait for the next train and going out of your way to Westlake. i usually go for the sure thing and the exercise.) the monorail is still my favorite simple pleasure in Seattle. alas, they've redone the guts so that the speedometer is on an lcd screen...i didn't get on early enough, (and some tourist joyriders didn't get off at Westlake so i couldn't take my favorite spot beside the driver) but i don't think the driver takes the steering wheel from one end to the other anymore :( oh well. i should ride more often. it's still awesome.

i had to look this one up to remember what it was. Sri Lankan handball team goes to Bavaria. please don't suck. C got out of work early today, so i'll be sad if i missed hanging out with him for a clunker.

there were projection issues at the opening of the film, so i don't know if i missed anything in the beginning. this is getting really frustrating. i think at this point i've had more problems with projection and transitions than not. grrrr.

i liked Machan. the handball team is an elaborate con to get visas to Germany. it's funny, and has a deal of charm, but it also shows why people are so desperate to get out and touches on the race issues and conflict in Sri Lanka without becoming completely embroiled. it's invested in the story enough that it's not as tightly paced as it needed to be for full comic effect, but i had a richer experience for it. worth seeing.
ironymaiden: (Default)
nearly missed my last bus for downtown, but managed to waltz in during the announcements.

Egon & Donci is an animated film about an astronomer/inventor and his cat. computer animation that's a bit too in love with panning around and spinning. i spent way too much time processing orientation. pretty much no dialog, which i was looking forward to, but the story was slight, really just a hanger to hold bulbous guy and cat together with homemade machinery and giant cosmic vistas and some elaborate abstractions. there were great things done here with animation, but they were rarely used in service to the story. i would have preferred a short about the guy and his cat, and a short that was exploring the solar system set to music. one could create the two films by selecting scenes on the DVD...or you could watch the opening to Star Trek: TNG and A Grand Day Out and have just as much pleasure without the seasickness.

now, Art & Copy.

imagine if Helvetica had less dull filler. this had great interviews with people who made monumental ad campaigns, their clients, and the people who post billboards. (the projection was a bit washed out - it wasn't apparent until there were white words on top of light/bright backgrounds. unreadable. director was bummed about the projection, and i'm thinking no, that tells you that you need to go back and add a sliver of contrast around the letters, you can't control the projection conditions until the end of time.) lots of talking heads, would be a good Watch Instantly film. (i don't know about anyone else, but i do a lot of casual documentary watching on streaming Netflix that i wouldn't do if it took up a disc rental.) definitely recommended for folks in the industry.

i had plenty of time before the next film, so i decided to take the monorail instead of walking. (it's a 25 minute walk from Pac Place to the Uptown. depending on your timing, the monorail can be much faster or can take just as long or longer with the wait for the next train and going out of your way to Westlake. i usually go for the sure thing and the exercise.) the monorail is still my favorite simple pleasure in Seattle. alas, they've redone the guts so that the speedometer is on an lcd screen...i didn't get on early enough, (and some tourist joyriders didn't get off at Westlake so i couldn't take my favorite spot beside the driver) but i don't think the driver takes the steering wheel from one end to the other anymore :( oh well. i should ride more often. it's still awesome.

i had to look this one up to remember what it was. Sri Lankan handball team goes to Bavaria. please don't suck. C got out of work early today, so i'll be sad if i missed hanging out with him for a clunker.

there were projection issues at the opening of the film, so i don't know if i missed anything in the beginning. this is getting really frustrating. i think at this point i've had more problems with projection and transitions than not. grrrr.

i liked Machan. the handball team is an elaborate con to get visas to Germany. it's funny, and has a deal of charm, but it also shows why people are so desperate to get out and touches on the race issues and conflict in Sri Lanka without becoming completely embroiled. it's invested in the story enough that it's not as tightly paced as it needed to be for full comic effect, but i had a richer experience for it. worth seeing.
ironymaiden: (Default)
at the Egyptian for Sweet Crude.

had happy hour dinner at the Can-Can and saw my first bar absinthe service. they have a glass water container on a pedastal full of chilled water with two taps. they set a glass of absinthe with the slotted spoon and a sugar cube under the tap and turn on a drip of water until the sugar cube melts. very theatrical and cool to watch. i was busy having a delicious negroni and salad. it looks like they have five or six different absinthes, including the local one, so it might be a good place to try them.

the bus ride up included a pet rabbit and a longsword. dude had the rabbit on top of the carrier and the lady across the aisle was feeding it bits of her salad. awesome. the guy with the longsword appeared to be on his way to or from some kind of practice because it was in a scabbard and he had on gym clothes and a big gym bag. there was also a huge dog that looked like it might be a wolf cross, but it was well-trained enough to make no move toward the bunny.

local film, so the theater is hopping and i got a free coffee card on the way in. my local coffee shop helped to finance the film. iiirc the filmmakers were detained by the Nigerian government, so i have reasonably high hopes for the content, if no expectations for actual quality based on my previous experience with local films at the festival...yet i still keep trying them.

film was good, but people clapping at every name in the credits and hissing when they saw Dubya on screen (our long national nightmare is over - so grow up) got on my nerves. i was fighting a headache, so i was not in the right frame of mind for the crowd. also, subject matter not suited to jubilant cheerings. it is, essentially, a message in a bottle from a group of people who have been treated criminally by their government and big business, and ignored or painted as savages or terrorists by the American media. the filmmaker is working on getting a screening done for Congress. i hope it happens.

because of the headache i headed home after and crashed.
ironymaiden: (Default)
at the Egyptian for Sweet Crude.

had happy hour dinner at the Can-Can and saw my first bar absinthe service. they have a glass water container on a pedastal full of chilled water with two taps. they set a glass of absinthe with the slotted spoon and a sugar cube under the tap and turn on a drip of water until the sugar cube melts. very theatrical and cool to watch. i was busy having a delicious negroni and salad. it looks like they have five or six different absinthes, including the local one, so it might be a good place to try them.

the bus ride up included a pet rabbit and a longsword. dude had the rabbit on top of the carrier and the lady across the aisle was feeding it bits of her salad. awesome. the guy with the longsword appeared to be on his way to or from some kind of practice because it was in a scabbard and he had on gym clothes and a big gym bag. there was also a huge dog that looked like it might be a wolf cross, but it was well-trained enough to make no move toward the bunny.

local film, so the theater is hopping and i got a free coffee card on the way in. my local coffee shop helped to finance the film. iiirc the filmmakers were detained by the Nigerian government, so i have reasonably high hopes for the content, if no expectations for actual quality based on my previous experience with local films at the festival...yet i still keep trying them.

film was good, but people clapping at every name in the credits and hissing when they saw Dubya on screen (our long national nightmare is over - so grow up) got on my nerves. i was fighting a headache, so i was not in the right frame of mind for the crowd. also, subject matter not suited to jubilant cheerings. it is, essentially, a message in a bottle from a group of people who have been treated criminally by their government and big business, and ignored or painted as savages or terrorists by the American media. the filmmaker is working on getting a screening done for Congress. i hope it happens.

because of the headache i headed home after and crashed.
ironymaiden: (siff)
i didn't see any films Sunday, because i took a nap that became epic. obviously, i needed it.

one new film, one archival tonight. allotted enough time to walk here from work, but i passed a bus stop as a bus was arriving, so i shaved a good ten minutes off of my travel time. can't depend on it, but it's nice when it happens.

first up is The Wedding Song - couldn't pass up something so unusual. it's set in Tunisia during WWII, and is supposed to follow the wedding plans of two friends, one Muslim and one Jewish. so i'm hoping to see WWII from a new POV, plus wedding stuff in North African cultures i'm not familiar with. fingers crossed for awesome.

the archival film is The Great Race. the soundtrack record was a childhood favorite, and i didn't see the actual film until a few years after i had all the music committed to memory. looking forward to seeing the pie fight on the big screen; we'll see if i like it like i did when i was small...

it's intermission for The Great Race. C is here! i found him saving us seats, since the previous film was much longer than the program listed. we're having fun at the movie. (i think they're projecting a DVD? there's ugly moire every now and again. disappointing.) it's a pleasure to see it on the big screen. it's highly stylized, and very much of its time. understanding that keeps it entertaining.

back to The Wedding Song. i liked it. now i want to learn more about the history of Tunisia. the young actresses were very good. the high quality of the writing at times made it difficult to watch...because they were teen girls making decisions with all of a teen's naivete and passion. (favorite SIFF moment: older male sitting in front of me freaking out during the pre-wedding sugaring scene. hahahahaha. hairlessness not so sexy now, eh?) worth seeing - it touches on class, colonialism, religious tolerance, and racism in interesting ways.
ironymaiden: (Default)
i didn't see any films Sunday, because i took a nap that became epic. obviously, i needed it.

one new film, one archival tonight. allotted enough time to walk here from work, but i passed a bus stop as a bus was arriving, so i shaved a good ten minutes off of my travel time. can't depend on it, but it's nice when it happens.

first up is The Wedding Song - couldn't pass up something so unusual. it's set in Tunisia during WWII, and is supposed to follow the wedding plans of two friends, one Muslim and one Jewish. so i'm hoping to see WWII from a new POV, plus wedding stuff in North African cultures i'm not familiar with. fingers crossed for awesome.

the archival film is The Great Race. the soundtrack record was a childhood favorite, and i didn't see the actual film until a few years after i had all the music committed to memory. looking forward to seeing the pie fight on the big screen; we'll see if i like it like i did when i was small...

it's intermission for The Great Race. C is here! i found him saving us seats, since the previous film was much longer than the program listed. we're having fun at the movie. (i think they're projecting a DVD? there's ugly moire every now and again. disappointing.) it's a pleasure to see it on the big screen. it's highly stylized, and very much of its time. understanding that keeps it entertaining.

back to The Wedding Song. i liked it. now i want to learn more about the history of Tunisia. the young actresses were very good. the high quality of the writing at times made it difficult to watch...because they were teen girls making decisions with all of a teen's naivete and passion. (favorite SIFF moment: older male sitting in front of me freaking out during the pre-wedding sugaring scene. hahahahaha. hairlessness not so sexy now, eh?) worth seeing - it touches on class, colonialism, religious tolerance, and racism in interesting ways.
ironymaiden: (siff)
no movies yesterday - got caught up at work and then there was D&D. my character is the only survivor from the party. everyone tried to stop me from spending my dailies to help them and so i did too little, too late. (and ended up with all the experience from the encounter, and leveled. hmm. maybe this isn't as bad as i think.)

two films today, and then a Sounders FC match.

The Beast Stalker
City of Borders

this is supposed to be a Hong Kong action film. hopefully it runs on schedule so that i can run from here to Pacific Place. (i bought a cheap water bottle and it tastes bizarre, even after a couple days. i am disappointed. i've washed it, i don't know what else to do.)

made it to Pac Place, it's a zoo here because there's some kind of corporate day at the movies. also, i passed the saddest little protest - a whole two dozen people who were against socialized medicine. looked like they were all greyhairs, which means that i'm already paying for their health insurance with my taxes (unless they're refusing to accept social security. i have my doubts.)

The Beast Stalker...there is a story about young George Lucas. supposedly he said that he could get an emotional reaction out of any audience - show them a kitten and wring its neck. there were many "kittens" in this film. (oh, the little girl is the sweetest thing, and completely believable.) it's a pretty standard story about a cop redeeming himself. what makes it interesting is that the villain has dimension and we cannot help but have sympathy for him. it's marred by heavyhanded and unintentionally goofy use of slow motion and desaturation in a pivotal incident that is replayed from several angles. the kittens do make it affecting, and it's rare to see the heavies in a Hong Kong actioner cry. flawed, but worth a rental.

i loved City of Borders. i think it's my favorite of the fest so far. it deals with an incredibly complex political situation and maintains a neutral POV, allowing the people involved to speak for themselves. it follows a few of those who gather in Jerusalem's only gay bar. we see Palestinians sneaking through border fences and climbing walls to get there, we see Jewish settlers, we see a Jewish Israeli/Palestinian Israeli couple. we see them in their homes, at work, with their families. we hear the voices of religious and social leaders. there's no leading to conclusions, just a portrait of life. it's a finer film and more affecting than something like Food Inc, better constructed than the one last year about Iranian gender reassignment. highly recommended. it will be back in Seattle for the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and will be on PBS in 2010. looking forward to it getting wider recognition.
ironymaiden: (Default)
no movies yesterday - got caught up at work and then there was D&D. my character is the only survivor from the party. everyone tried to stop me from spending my dailies to help them and so i did too little, too late. (and ended up with all the experience from the encounter, and leveled. hmm. maybe this isn't as bad as i think.)

two films today, and then a Sounders FC match.

The Beast Stalker
City of Borders

this is supposed to be a Hong Kong action film. hopefully it runs on schedule so that i can run from here to Pacific Place. (i bought a cheap water bottle and it tastes bizarre, even after a couple days. i am disappointed. i've washed it, i don't know what else to do.)

made it to Pac Place, it's a zoo here because there's some kind of corporate day at the movies. also, i passed the saddest little protest - a whole two dozen people who were against socialized medicine. looked like they were all greyhairs, which means that i'm already paying for their health insurance with my taxes (unless they're refusing to accept social security. i have my doubts.)

The Beast Stalker...there is a story about young George Lucas. supposedly he said that he could get an emotional reaction out of any audience - show them a kitten and wring its neck. there were many "kittens" in this film. (oh, the little girl is the sweetest thing, and completely believable.) it's a pretty standard story about a cop redeeming himself. what makes it interesting is that the villain has dimension and we cannot help but have sympathy for him. it's marred by heavyhanded and unintentionally goofy use of slow motion and desaturation in a pivotal incident that is replayed from several angles. the kittens do make it affecting, and it's rare to see the heavies in a Hong Kong actioner cry. flawed, but worth a rental.

i loved City of Borders. i think it's my favorite of the fest so far. it deals with an incredibly complex political situation and maintains a neutral POV, allowing the people involved to speak for themselves. it follows a few of those who gather in Jerusalem's only gay bar. we see Palestinians sneaking through border fences and climbing walls to get there, we see Jewish settlers, we see a Jewish Israeli/Palestinian Israeli couple. we see them in their homes, at work, with their families. we hear the voices of religious and social leaders. there's no leading to conclusions, just a portrait of life. it's a finer film and more affecting than something like Food Inc, better constructed than the one last year about Iranian gender reassignment. highly recommended. it will be back in Seattle for the Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and will be on PBS in 2010. looking forward to it getting wider recognition.

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