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SIFFing: Parallax View’s SIFF 2016 Guide

The 42nd Annual Seattle International Film Festival opens on Thursday, May 19, with the opening night gala presentation of Woody Allen’s Café Society (in its North American premiere), and closes 24 days later on Sunday, June 12 with Jocelyn Moorhouse’s The Dressmaker. In between there are (at last count) 181 feature films, 75 documentary features, 8 archival films, and 153 short films. All told: 421 films representing 85 countries (as of opening night).

Here is Parallax View’s coverage and guide to SIFF resources from around the web. We will update a few times a week.

* Updated Sunday, June 12 *

SIFF Week by Week, Day by Day:

SIFF 2016: Audiences give ‘Captain Fantastic’ the Golden Space Needle Award (Sean Axmaker, Parallax View) NEW
Selections for the Fourth Week of the Seattle International Film Festival (Robert Horton, Seattle Weekly) NEW
SIFF 2016: Highlights of the final weekend (Moira Macdonald and John Hartl, Seattle Times) NEW
The 11 Best Films to See During SIFF’s Closing Weekend (staff, The Stranger) NEW
Recommended SIFF: Viggo, Viggo, Viggo AND Viggo! (Amie Simon, Three Imaginary Girls) NEW
SIFFtings 2016: Final Weekend (June 10-June 12) (Sean Axmaker, Parallax View) NEW
Some short SIFF reviews, part four (Chris Burlingame, The SunBreak) NEW
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SIFFing: Parallax View’s SIFF 2014 Guide

The 40th Annual Seattle International Film Festival opens on Thursday, May 15, with a screening of John Ridley’s Jimi: All is By My Side, and complete its 25-day run on Sunday, June 8 with The One I Love as the Closing Night Film. Here is Parallax View’s coverage and guide to SIFF resources for all 25 days. * Updated 6/9/2014 *

SIFF Week by Week, Day by Day:

SIFF 2014 Winners and Returning film (Sean Axmaker, Parallax View)
SIFF Notes: Pick of the Day (Stranger)
Closing Weekend: Seattle International Film Festival highlights (Moira Macdonald and John Hartl, Seattle Times)
SIFF Week 4 (Seattle Weekly, Brian Miller)
SIFF Roundtable: Final Days (The Sunbreak)
Week 3: Seattle International Film Festival highlights (Moira Macdonald and John Hartl, Seattle Times)
Week 3 at SIFF (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly)
Week Three Highlights (Three Imaginary Girls)
SIFF 2014: Picks for Centerpiece Weekend (The Sunbreak)
Week 2: Seattle International Film Festival highlights (Moira Macdonald and John Hartl, Seattle Times)
Week 2 at SIFF (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly)
Week Two Highlights (Three Imaginary Girls)
Tom Tangney’s best bets for SIFF (MyNorthwest)
Week 1: Seattle International Film Festival highlights (Moira Macdonald and John Hartl, Seattle Times)
Week One Highlights (Three Imaginary Girls)
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SIFFing: Parallax View’s SIFF 2013 Guide

The 39th Annual Seattle International Film Festival opens on Thursday, May 16, with a screening of Joss Whedon’s Much Ado About Nothing, and complete its 25-day run on Sunday, June 9 with Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring as the Closing Night Film. Here is Parallax View’s coverage and guide to SIFF resources for all 25 days.

SIFF Week by Week, Day by Day:
Seattle 2013: The Finish Line (Sean Axmaker, Keyframe)
Seattle Film Festival Wrap (Anne Thompson, Thompson on Hollywood)
Week 4 Picks and Pans (Seattle Weekly)
SIFF week 4: Nine movies to see (Seattle Times)
Closing Weekend Highlights (Three Imaginary Girls)
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SIFFing: Parallax View’s SIFF 2012 Guide

The 38th Annual Seattle International Film Festival opened on Thursday, May 17, with a screening of Lynn Shelton’s locally-produced My Sister’s Sister, and completed its 25 day on Sunday, June 12 with the world premiere of the Seattle shot and set Grassroots. Here is Parallax View’s coverage and guide to SIFF resources.

SIFF 2012 Winners (Sean Axmaker for Parallax View)
SIFF 2012: Highlights, Awards, Returning Films and more (Moira Macdonald at The Seattle Times)

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Samuel Fuller: “Film is like a battleground”

“What is cinema?” asks New Wave icon Jean-Pierre Belmondo of Sam Fuller in Jean-Luc Godard’s “Pierrot le Fou.” He answers: “Film is like a battleground: love, hate, action, death… In one word, EMOTION.” It doesn’t matter whether Godard or Fuller wrote the line (regardless, Fuller’s gruff, cigar chomping delivery makes it his). It stands as a marvelous summation of a career of uncompromising films. A former journalist, pulp writer and soldier, he made tough guy films with mad passion and driving energy that examined the identity of America. His patriotic passion comes through every jagged, explosive frame. The small screen simply can’t hold that much energy.
—Sean Axmaker

Hey, Mom, Where’s My Suicide Note Collection? by Richard Thompson
Creature Contact by Richard T. Jameson
Sam Fuller: An Introduction by Sean Axmaker
The Samuel Fuller Film Collection by Richard T. Jameson
“When it’s night time …”: Myth and the Geography of the Unconscious in ‘I Shot Jesse James’ by Rick Hermann
The Steel Helmet: “I’ve got a hunch we’re all going around in circles” by Kathleen Murphy
‘Run of the Arrow’: Birth Pangs of the United States by Rick Hermann
The Big Red One by Robert Horton
At last … the really ‘Big Red One’ by Richard T. Jameson
Sam Peckinpah by Sam Fuller

The View Beyond Parallax… more reads for week of April 27

The only links page that matters… except for all the others.

Seattle screenings and cinema events are surveyed at Parallax View here.

“She knows the score…She’s someone who was abused. I could identify with her. I never could identify with any other white movie star. They were always white people doing white things.” Jacqueline Rose, in a beautifully written article that sniffs out more connections than most books on the subject, finds Marilyn Monroe the perfect embodiment of mid-century America—not the one we dreamt on movie screens, but the sometime cruel, confused one most pretended wasn’t happening.

Director Saba Sahar and crew

Onscreen, Saba Sahar is “a kind of superhero, doing kung fu high-kicks in traditional dress, carrying victims to safety over her shoulder or riding a motorbike with no hands while firing a gun.” Behind the scenes, Afghanistan’s first woman director is far more impressive, as Jenny Kleeman’s profile attests.

“I always presume every movie I make is my last. My career is very smoothly in decline, each movie making half as much as the prior one.” Todd Solondz, interviewed at the Sarasota Film Festival by David Carr, on the business end of things, working with actors, and how he stole a key scene in Welcome to the Dollhouse from North by Northwest. Link via Movie City News.

“Defended by the left-wing press as well as the Surrealists, L’Âge d’or became a cause célèbre, but Buñuel was not there to soak up the attention: he was in Hollywood.” Reviewing Román Gubern and Paul Hammond’s Buñuel biography The Red Years, J. Hoberman tracks the contradictions of the director’s peripatetic pre-war decade. Noted by Mubi.

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Seattle is Noir City

For the next week, Seattle is Noir City and Parallax View is helping put it on the map.

Noir City,” the traveling portion of The Film Noir Foundation’s annual San Francisco noir festival, opens it fifth edition in Seattle on Friday, February 11 and casts its long shadow with a week of double features, all presented on 35mm and presented in person by Eddie Muller.

On Monday, February 14, “For the Love of Film (Noir) Blogathon,” a celebration that casts its web across the Web to raise money for film restoration, kicks off and Parallax View is playing a part this year.

The timely convergence of the two out-of-time celebrations is too fateful (emphasis on the fate part) to ignore and Parallax View hopes to make the most of it.

The “For the Love of Film (Noir) Blogathon” is hosted by Ferdy on Film and The Self-Styled Siren (aka Marilyn Ferdinand and Farran Nehme), who will compile the lists of posts across the Internet. For information on the Blogathon, see Ferdy on Film here, and for information in participating, see The Self-Styled Siren here. The official Facebook page is here and links to all the featured articles are here.

Check in Monday for the first post in the Parallax week of Noir love.

In the meantime, there is Noir City rolling out at SIFF Cinema (located in the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall on the lower level of Marion Oliver McCaw Hall at Seattle Center).

Noir City Schedule

Friday, February 11, 2011
High Wall – 7:30 PM
Stranger On The Third Floor – 9:30 PM

Saturday, February 12, 2011
They Won’t Believe Me – 2:00 PM
Don’t Bother To Knock – 4:00 PM
They Won’t Believe Me – 7:30 PM
Don’t Bother To Knock – 9:30 PM

Sunday, February 13, 2011
Angel Face – 2:00 PM
The Hunted – 4:00 PM
Angel Face – 6:00 PM
The Hunted – 8:00 PM

Monday, February 14, 2011
A Double Life – 7:00 PM
Among the Living – 9:00 PM

Tuesday, February 15, 2011
The Dark Mirror – 7:00 PM
Crack-Up – 9:00 PM

Wednesday, February 16, 2011
The Woman on the Beach – 7:00 PM
Beware, My Lovely – 9:00 PM

Thursday, February 17, 2011
Loophole – 7:00 PM
Crashout – 9:00 PM

For more information, visit the SIFF website.

Parallax View’s Best of 2010

Welcome 2011 with one last look back at the best releases of 2010, as seen by the contributors to Parallax View.

Sean Axmaker

1. Carlos
2. Let Me In
3. The Social Network
4. White Material
5. Winter’s Bone
6. The Ghost Writer
7. Wild Grass
8. Eccentricities Of A Blond Haired Girl
9. Sweetgrass
10. Our Beloved Month of August

Runners up: Amer, The American, Alamar, Black Swan, Inception, Red Riding Trilogy, Somewhere, Vengeance

Best festival films I saw in 2010 without a 2010 theatrical release: Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives, Poetry, Mysteries Of Lisbon

Best Unreleased film of 2007 finally getting an American release in 2010 (but still feels like a film from another era): Secret Sunshine

Most Impressive Resurrection/Restoration/Real Director’s Cut: Metropolis

Also see lists at MSN here and the Village Voice / LA Weekly poll. And the Best of DVD / Blu-ray 2010 is on Parallax View here.

David Coursen

A splendid year, in both quality and quantity.   These were all shown for the first time in the Washington, DC area in 2010.

The best film is a tie:
Certified Copy-Kiarostami

The next seven, in roughly descending order:
A Prophet-Jacques Audiard
The Social Network-Fincher
The Ghost Writer-Polanski
The Strange Case of Angelica-Oliviera
Red Riding Trilogy-in total, with James Marsh’s 1980 segment putting it on the list
The Kids are Alright-Cholodenko

And for the final entry, a pairing I couldn’t resist:
Police, Adjective-Poromboiu
Winter’s Bone-Debra Granik

John Hartl

Truth proved far stranger than fiction in many of 2010’s best films. My favorite was Craig Ferguson’s devastating documentary, Inside Job, which painstakingly demonstrates just how our economy was hijacked by greed and ideology. In Roman Polanski’s Ghost Writer, Pierce Brosnan gives a career-best performance as a politician clearly based on Tony Blair. In Doug Liman’s Fair Game, Naomi Watts is equally persuasive as Valerie Plame Wilson, a vulnerable spy whose marriage is nearly demolished in a political feud. James Franco wins this year’s versatility award for convincingly reincarnating two exceptionally different people: Allen Ginsberg in Rob Epstein and Jeffrey Friedman’s underrated Howl and a carefree rock climber in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours. Jesse Eisenberg deftly captures the drive and insecurities of Facebook’s billionaire chief, Mark Zuckerberg, in David Fincher’s The Social Network. The shameless wartime exploitation of the late Pat Tillman’s heroism is the focus of Amir Bar-Lev’s The Tillman Story, an excellent documentary that goes behind the headlines to suggest the personal extent of that loss. Jim Carrey’s excesses are tapped and artfully used in I Love You Phillip Morris, Glenn Ficarra and John Requa’s mostly true comedy about a con artist who is locked away in prison, but for how long? More fictional, but still quite strange, are Noah Baumbach’s Greenberg, a brave portrait of a mid-life washout played by Ben Stiller, and Derek Cianfrance’s Blue Valentine, with Michelle Williams and Ryan Gosling daring to play the walking wounded in an impossible marriage.

A second 10: The King’s Speech, Animal Kingdom, Cairo Time, Life During Wartime, Toy Story 3, Never Let Me Go, Shutter Island, Restrepo, Cell 211, Joan Rivers: A Piece of Work.

Robert Horton

1. A Prophet
2. Winter’s Bone
3. Four Lions
4. Sweetgrass
5. The Ghost Writer
6. Eccentricities of a Blond-Haired Girl
7. Mid-August Lunch
8. True Grit
9. The Kids Are All Right
10. Greenberg

See also indieWIRE here and Best and Worst lists at The Everett Herald.

Richard T. Jameson

In chronological order seen, but the first two have landed in the right place and there’s a non-chronological tie at 10.

The Ghost Writer
Winter’s Bone
Please Give
The Kids Are All Right
Un Prophète
The Social Network
Let Me In
The American / White Material / True Grit

See also lists at MSN and Queen Anne News.

Jay Kuehner

(as compiled for indieWIRE, originally published here)

1. Sweetgrass
2. White Material
3. Carlos
4. Everyone Else
5. The Strange Case of Angelica
6. Alamar
7. Change Nothing
8. Restrepo
9. The Anchorage
10. Daddy Longlegs

Kathleen Murphy

(as originally presented at the Frye Art Museum Critics Wrap)

1. The Ghost Writer
2. Winter’s Bone
3. Let Me In
4. Sweetgrass
5. A Prophet
6. The Social Network
7. Please Give
8. The Kids Are All Right
9. White Material
10. Black Swan

See also MSN here.

Andrew Wright

(as originally presented at the Frye Art Museum Critics Wrap)

1. A Prophet
2. Inception
3. True Grit
4. Red Riding Trilogy
5. Winter’s Bone
6. Hausu
7. The Ghost Writer
8. Four Lions
9. Greenberg
10. Let Me In

More lists:

Village Voice / LA Weekly Poll (and individual lists here)
indieWIRE Critics Survey
Movie City News list compilations (individual lists are here)
BFI 2010 Critics Poll

And the year in review from select publications in print and on the web

New York Times Year in Review
Los Angeles Times Year in Review
SF360 Top Ten Lists and Year in Film
The Onion AV Club
Slant Magazine
MSN Movies

Claude Chabrol 1930 – 2010

Claude Chabrol
Claude Chabrol

Claude Chabrol, one of the prime movers of the French New Wave—and one of the most prolific directors in France—died on Sunday, September 12 in Paris, at the age of 80.

Dave Kehr’s obituary is at The New York Times here and David Hudson is collecting remembrances and essays at the Mubi Notebook. Catherine Grant has collected a wealth of resources at Film Studies for Free and you can revisit the essays and appreciations published during the 2009 Claude Chabrol Blogathon hosted by Flickhead.

Parallax View contributed a few pieces for the Blogathon, which we spotlight in remembrance of Chabrol. By way of introduction, I quote Richard T. Jameson’s essay:

Claude Chabrol was one of the “young Turk” critics-turned-filmmakers who constituted the New Wave of French cinema at the turn of the ’60s. At the time, he ran a distant third to the iconoclastic, theoretical Jean-Luc Godard and the warm-hearted, soaringly lyrical François Truffaut. But in the late ’60s, Chabrol emerged as a magisterially accomplished classicist, with an unbroken string of masterpieces that established him as one of the world’s finest directors. He has managed to remain commercially viable—indeed, awesomely prolific—over the ensuing decades, while pursuing his own distinctive, coolly detached vision of life and cinema.

Claude Chabrol – The Classicist by Richard T. Jameson
Claude Chabrol on DVD by Sean Axmaker
La Femme Infidele by Richard T. Jameson

And leave you with a short piece by Chabrol not on any compilation we know of: a commercial for Winston cigarettes directed as an American detective noir, in English, with a Bogie drawl and French subtitles. Salut, M. Chabrol!

Breaking News on Net Neutrality from Lloyd Kaufman

The following press release was sent by Lloyd Kaufman, President of Troma Entertainment and Chairperson of the Independent Film & Television Alliance, in response to the report in The New York Times about a possible deal that would allow Google and Verizon greater access to the Internet, which they would then sell to customers at a premium. To quote the article, which was published on August 4: “Such an agreement could overthrow a once-sacred tenet of Internet policy known as net neutrality, in which no form of content is favored over another. In its place, consumers could soon see a new, tiered system, which, like cable television, imposes higher costs for premium levels of service.”

We reprint the letter in its entirety. Please feel free to copy, paste and run on your site and blogs or E-mail around. (See also our interview with Lloyd Kaufman on Parallax View, where he discusses, among other things, his efforts to fight for net neutrality in the face of corporate pressure.)

Dear Colleagues:

As many of you may know, there is disastrous news on the front page of The New York Times today. Verizon and other mega-conglomerates have conspired to kill the last democratic medium: the Internet. It is imperative that we all take action immediately to fight for the only true agent of free information and diversity left in this country. Please spread my anti-mega-conglomerate PSA to all your contacts and post it on your blogs. Call the FCC and your elected representatives and urge them to defend net neutrality. Go to Save the Internet and contribute your thoughts. We must use the Internet to speak out on this matter while we still can.

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Siffing It: Parallax View’s SIFF 2010 Guide

SIFF-web-stuffThe 36th Annual Seattle International Film Festival ran for 25 days, from Thursday, May 20 through Sunday, June 13. Here is Parallax View’s coverage and guide to  SIFF resources .

Official sites:
SIFF homepage

SIFF Week by Week:
SIFF 2010 Awards, Attendance and Return Engagements (Sean Axmaker)
PV Dispatch 5 – Get Low, Get Hip, Get a Room (in Rome) (Sean Axmaker)
SIFFtings IV (Richard T. Jameson and Kathleen Murphy)
SIFF Week 4: 15 New Picks & Pans (Seattle Weekly)
PV Dispatch 4 – A Centurion in Scotland and an Angel at Sea (Week Three) (Sean Axmaker)
SIFF Week 3: 30 New Picks & Pans (Seattle Weekly)
SIFFtings III (Richard T. Jameson and Kathleen Murphy)
PV Dispatch 3 – Midnight in the Garden of SIFF (Week Two) (Sean Axmaker)
SIFF Week 2: Picks & Pans (Seattle Weekly)
SIFFtings II (Richard T. Jameson and Kathleen Murphy)
Old Gold (Richard Jameson)
SIFF 2010: Like You Know It All (Jay Kuehner)
PV Dispatch 2 – A Tale of Two Rock Bio-pics, plus quick notes (Sean Axmaker)
An (Inauspicious) Evening at the Neptune (Sean Axmaker)
PV Dispatch 1 – Cooking in the Soul Kitchen and an Opening Night Extra (Sean Axmaker)
SIFF Week 1: Picks and Pans (Seattle Weekly)
Truly Golden Oldies (Richard T. Jameson)
SIFFtings I (Richard T. Jameson and Kathleen Murphy)

Spotlight Features:
SIFF Emerging Master No. 3: Valery Todorovsky rocks on in ‘Hipsters’ (Richard T. Jameson)
No longer Down Under: Emerging Master Ana Kokkinos (Kathleen Murphy)
Mohamed Al Daradji has arrived (Kathleen Murphy)
Northwest Newbies at SIFF: Hollywood Is Not the Goal (Brian Miller at Seattle Weekly)

Reviews and capsules from other sites:
The Stranger’s SIFF Notes (from Lindy West and the Stranger staff)
Behind the Screens with Tom Tangney at and the MyNorthwest SIFF page
Seattle PostGlobe SIFF page (Bill White)

Parallax View SIFF Preview (Sean Axmaker)
SIFF 2010: Something For Everyone! (Kathleen Murphy)
Face the Music profiled at The KEXP Blog

and other resources:
The official Twitter Feed of the Seattle International Film Festival
The unofficial SIFF 2010 Twitter Feed
Video highlights from SIFF 2010 on YouTube
Moira Macdonald lists SIFF films already scheduled for theatrical release in Seattle