Tuesday, May 20, 2014

SIFF 2014 - SIFF musings: Opening weekend

SIFF 2014 Musings and Reviews –

May 16, 2014 was the start to this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. As usual I forwent the

Opening Night Gala and began my festival on the first Friday by seeing two films. I only made it to one

documentary on Saturday (I do have a life beyond SIFF!), and rounded out my weekend with two very

different comic dramas on Sunday.

Everything We Loved – New Zealand

Proof that sometimes a trailer and a description of a film can be VERY misleading. This was one moody

little nub of a movie. I was not engaged with any of the characters at all. I just waited for the two leads

to get caught for their crime for the entire 100 minutes, and even when that happened, it wasn’t a

satisfying feeling. Wasted potential here.

Attila Marcel – France

The first live-action film from director Sylvain Chomet who has thrilled us previously with animated

gems, The Triplets of Belleville and The Illusionist. This movie was a visually stunning, quirky, whimsical

musical treat! Like a darker, slightly edgier “Amelie”. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED.

Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory – USA

My first documentary of the festival was this enjoyable look at how music can be used as a treatment

for the care of Alzheimer’s and dementia patients. Really remarkably touching.

In Order of Disappearance – Norway

Norwegian “Fargo” y’all! A dark comic thriller that was so damn enjoyable, it may end up being my

favorite film of the festival and it’s only opening weekend! Starring the always great, Stellan Skarsgard

as a Swedish émigré snow-plow driver living in a small northern Norwegian town. His quaint, idyllic life

is turned upside down when his son his murdered and he sets out to avenge his son’s death. Please look

for this film at your local arthouse theaters – it is a gem!

The Double – U.K.

Do you like the movie Brazil, but wish it were more boring and starred Jesse Eisenberg instead of
Jonathan Pryce? Then “The Double” is for you. Adapted from a Dostoyevsky novella by actor-turned-
director Richard Ayoade. I really liked Ayoade’s first film “Submarine” from 2010. I wish this one had
been better.

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