The Seattle International Film Festival is currently ripping through theaters all over the city and continues for one more week with a bevy of intelligent, provocative films. Below you’ll find a list of our upcoming picks, full of films that show love for books and music.
Films About Music
Big in Japan.This film features Seattle band Tennis Pro playing semi-fictionalized versions of themselves as they travel to Japan to “make it big over there” on the advice of a sketchy band promoter who claims it will, in turn, make them big over here. It looks like it will be a cheeky film with a nice honesty to it, and the real, live guys will be present at the screening. Afterwards, you can follow them to Chop Suey for a post-screening concert where they will be joined by Hearts are Thugs, and Ex’s with Benefits.
June 5 (7pm, followed by show at Chop Suey) and June 7 (12:30pm)
Frank. Michael Fassbender plays a genius avant-garde pop musician who hides beneath a giant paper-maiche head that he refuses to remove. Maggie Gyllenhaal plays the theremin and delivers delightful deadpan one-liners like, “Someone should punch you in the face.” When a new member (Domhnall Gleeson) urges the other musicians towards having a more commercial appeal, half of the band clings to its roots.
May 30 (9:30pm) and May 31 (2pm)
God Help the Girl. Written and filmed by Belle & Sebastian’s Stuart Murdoch, the story centers around the formation of a trio between nerdy guitarist James, depressive anorexic Eve, and rich girl Cassie. The film won a special jury award at Sundance this year, but at least one reviewer has called it “cloying” and “awfully thin.” Don’t listen to that jerk, though, see it for yourself. (I’m going because I think Hannah Murray is the most beautiful actress alive!)
June 1 (1:30pm) and June 3 (7pm)
Books On the Screen
Wetlands. This film, based off the novel by Charlotte Roche is being called a “young adult 50 Shades of Grey.” I’d say it looks considerably more fun, hilarious, and electrifying. The SIFF description calls it “vulgar, rude, and often gleefully disgusting, but that is the point. It is a celebration of breaking female taboos…” Say no more, you had me at gleefully disgusting.
May 30 (10pm) and June 6 (9:30pm)
The Butterfly’s Dream. From Turkish director, Yilmaz Erdogan, this film is about a love triangle in 1940’s Turkey where the two men vying for the love of one woman are both poets and, unfortunately, both suffer from tuberculosis. Talk about a double hit, this movie might be a bit of a downer, especially after I read that in the town of Zonguldak (where the film takes place) ice cream was prohibitively expensive. If that’s not a tragedy, I don’t know what is. In all seriousness, however, I’ve heard the film is beautiful. It is dedicated to all the “forgotten” poets of our time.
June 2 (9:30pm) and June 6 (12:30pm)
Regarding Susan Sontag. I was first introduced to Susan Sontag by the film Bull Durham, when Kevin Costner tells Susan Sarandon, “I believe in the soul, the cock, the pussy, the small of a woman’s back, the hanging curve ball, high fiber, good scotch, that the novels of Susan Sontag are self-indulgent, overrated crap.” To be clear, I’m not proud of this. In college, however, I read her essays on culture and media and realized Costner was an idiot. (Just kidding, I love you, Kevin Costner.) Patricia Clarkson narrates this extensive documentary directed by filmmaker Nancy Kates.
Oops, the dates for this movie have passed, but look for it on HBO in the fall.