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SIFFing: Parallax View’s SIFF 2015 Guide

The 41st Annual Seattle International Film Festival opens on Thursday, May 14, with the opening night gala presentation of Spy, and completes its 25-day run on Sunday, June 7 with The Overnight. In between there are (at last count) 193 feature films, 70 documentary features, 19 archival films, and 164 short films: all told, 450 films representing 92 countries. Here is Parallax View’s coverage and guide to SIFF resources for all 25 days.

* Updated through Friday, June 5, with newly-added screenings listed below

SIFF Week by Week, Day by Day:

7 highlights of SIFF 2015’s final weekend (Moira Macdonald, John Hartl, Seattle Times) NEW
Week 4 at SIFF: From Early Grunge to The Killing Fields (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly) NEW
SIFFtings 2015: Archival Presentations (Sean Axmaker, Parallax View) NEW
Closing Weekend Highlights (Three Imaginary Girls) NEW
Festival Roundtable (Week Three, AKA “That’s All, Folks!”) (Josh Bis, Tony Kay, Chris Burlingame, The Sunbreak) NEW

Picks for Week Two (Josh Bis, Tony Kay, Chris Burlingame, The Sunbreak)
SIFF 2015: 12 highlights of week three (Moira Macdonald, John Hartl, staff, Seattle Times)
SIFFtings 2015 – Week Three (Kathleen Murphy, Sean Axmaker, Parallax View)
SIFF Week Three: Docs, Docs, Docs (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly)
Picks for Week Two (Josh Bis, The Sunbreak)
SIFF 2015: 19 highlights of week two (Moira Macdonald, John Hartl, staff, Seattle Times)
Week Two of SIFF: Spare Some Change? (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly)
Week Two Highlights (Three Imaginary Girls)
Picks for the Memorial Day Weekend (Tony Kay, Josh Bis, Chris Burlingame, The Sunbreak)
SIFF 2015: 18 highlights of week one (Moira Macdonald, John Hartl, staff, Seattle Times)
SIFF 2015: Week 1 Picks and Pans, Starring Melissa McCarthy and Jason Statham (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly)
SIFFtings 2015 – Opening Weekend (Kathleen Murphy, Richard T. Jameson, Sean Axmaker, Parallax View)
Week One Highlights (Three Imaginary Girls)
Roundtable: Week One (Tony Kay, Josh Bis, The Sunbreak)

Spotlight Features and Commentary:

It’s So Easy and Other Lies (Masa, Expansions, KEXP Blog) NEW
Interview: ‘808’ Producer Alex Noyer (Masa, Expansions, KEXP Blog) NEW
Two Movies Co-Exist in ‘Love Among the Ruins’ (Tony Kaye, City Arts) NEW
Rock Radio Royalty (Tony Kaye, City Arts) NEW
SIFF interview: The creators of ‘The Automatic Hate’ talk about one of #SIFF2015’s most unforgettable films (Chris Burlingame, The Sunbreak) NEW
All Things Must Pass (Janice Headley, KEXP Blog) NEW
The Glamour & The Squalor (Chris Estey, KEXP Blog)
A Rock and Roll Beach Movie of the Mind (Tony Kaye, City Arts)
Creative Control (Cat McCarrey, City Arts)
SIFF Thriller ‘Circle’ Isn’t Spinning its Wheels (Tony Kaye, City Arts)
PNW Filmmaker Ventures into the ‘Valley of the Sasquatch’ (Tony Kaye, City Arts)
‘Uncertain’ Sets the Bar for SIFF Documentaries (Tony Kaye, City Arts)
808 (Chris Estey, KEXP Blog)
Itsi Bitsi (Chris Estey, KEXP Blog)
Don’t Think I’ve Forgotten: Cambodia’s Lost Rock and Roll (Chris Estey, KEXP Blog)
Beats of the Antonov (Janice Headley, KEXP Blog)
Is There a Way Forward for Superhero Movies? The French Film Vincent Seems to Think So (Charles Mudede, The Stranger)
Meet a SIFF Programmer: Brad Wilke (Rachel Shimp, CityArts) NEW
Meet a SIFF Programmer: Clinton McClung (Rachel Shimp, CityArts)
Meet a SIFF Programmer: Maryna Ajaja (Rachel Shimp, CityArts)
The man (and magic) behind Seattle’s 2015 film festival (Florangela Davila, Crossscut)
SIFF Picks: Two Must-See Movies from Seattle Filmmaker Mel Eslyn (Brangien Davis, Seattle Magazine)
Local Director John Portanova’s Sasquatch Massacre! (Mark Rahner, Seattle Weekly)
Meet the Seattle Techie Who Pulls the Strings Behind Stephen Tobolowsky (Sean Axmaker, Seattle Weekly)
Yes, a Wild Hog Was Killed During the Making of This Documentary (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly)
Hot Summer Lovin’, Ballard-Style! (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly)
Winning ‘Personal Gold’ at SIFF (Tony Kay, CityArts)
It’s Hollywood Northwest at SIFF premiere (photos by Lindsey Wasson, Seattle Times)
Photos: Scenes from the SIFF Red Carpet (Joanna Kresge, Seattle Weekly)

Reviews and capsules:

Some Films at SIFF 2015 That You Really, Really Must See (staff, The Stranger)
Face the Music (Chris Estey, The KEXP Blog)
SIFF kicks off with some “Seoul Searching” (staff, Northwest Asian Weekly)


Welcome to SIFFLand: Our Passport to the Nation’s Largest Film Festival (Brian Miller, Seattle Weekly)
Robert Horton’s Festival Picks, From Gore Vidal to Electric Boogaloo (Robert Horton, Seattle Weekly)
18 restored film gems to play at SIFF 2015 (Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times)
Face the Music (Three Imaginary Girls)
NW Connections (Three Imaginary Girls)
Dinner and a movie: Culinary Cinema at SIFF (Marissa Brent-Tookey, Crosscut)
How to navigate SIFF 2015 (Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times)

Official sites:

SIFF 2015 homepage
SIFF calendar
SIFF Films A to Z
SIFF 2015 Box Office
SIFFtv (video shorts and interviews from the festival)

And other resources:

Seattle Weekly SIFF page
The Stranger’s SIFF Notes
City Arts
Three Imaginary Girls
The Sunbreak

SIFF Schedule updates:
Alyam, Alyam will now play on Sunday June 7 at 4:30PM at the SIFF Film Center.

USA 2015 (115 min.)
US Distributor: Open Road
Director: Rick Famuyiwa
Cast: Shameik Moore, Tony Revolori, A$AP Rocky, Blake Anderson, Zoe Kravitz
Awards: Sundance 2015 (Special Jury Award for Excellence in Editing)

Like a 21st century urban update of Ferris Bueller, this remarkably fresh comedy follows a trio of friends, fronted by college-bound ’90s hip-hop head Malcolm, who stumble into a duffle bag full of designer party drugs, leading them down a riotous rabbit hole into the criminal underbelly of the hood.

Festival Screenings:
Sat June 6 | 9:00PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown
Sun June 7 | 2:00 PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown

It’s So Easy and Other Lies
USA 2015 (88 min.)
US Distributor: XLrator Media
World Premiere
Director: Christopher Duddy
Featuring: Duff McKagan, Slash, Mike McCready

Based on his NY Times best-selling memoir, this ultimate rock-doc is filled with wall-to-wall music, animation and never-before-seen archival footage chronicling the life and career of Guns N’ Roses frontman, Duff McKagan, from his beginnings in the Seattle rock scene through the heights, excess, and survival of super stardom.

Festival Screenings:
Thu May 28 | 9:30PM | SIFF Cinema Egyptian
Thu June 4 | 9:30PM | SIFF Cinema Egyptian

Mistress America
USA 2015 (84 min.)
US Distributor: Fox Searchlight
Director: Noah Baumbach
Cast: Greta Gerwig, Lola Kirke, Michael Chernus, Heather Lind, Matthew Shear, and Jasmine Cephas Jones

Director Noah Baumbach re-teams with star and co-writer Greta Gerwig (Frances Ha) for this madcap comedy about chasing dreams and schemes in the big city, as college freshman Tracy (Lola Kirke) discovers the allures of New York thanks to her adventurous new stepsister Lola (Gerwig).

Festival Screenings:
Fri | May 22 | 8:45PM | Harvard Exit
Mon May 25 | 4:30PM | Harvard Exit

Screening additions – Added Thursday, June 4

Australia 1981 (95 min)
Director: George Miller
Cast: Mel Gibson, Bruce Spence, Vernon Wells, Michael Preston, Emil Minty, Mix Phipps, Virginia Hey, Kjell Nilsson

In honor of George Miller’s triumphant new cinematic masterpiece Max Mad: Fury Road, we are thrilled to present a one-night-only screening of The Road Warrior, which had its North American premiere at the 1982 Seattle International Film Festival. Special thanks to Warner Bros. for making the film available for SIFF audiences to see on the big screen!

Director George Miller’s cult hero Mad Max returned for the bigger-budget sequel The Road Warrior, which upped the ante in raw vehicular mayhem. The film immediately set the standard for post-apocalyptic action cinema (unmatched until Miller’s new Mad Max: Fury Road), and continues to thrill nearly 35 years later with its over-the-top kinetic energy crashing towards you on the big screen.

Screening date:
Sun June 7 | 8:00PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown


Spain 2015 (87 min)
Director: Andrea Gómez, Luis González
Featuring: Joan Roca, Josep Roca, Jordi Roca

In their quest to innovate, the Roca brothers, co-owners of El Celler De Can Roca (recently named the World’s Best Restaurant) closed the restaurant for five weeks to tour the world with the entire staff, and design 57 new dishes paying tribute to local food traditions and ingredients and the power of global food culture.

Additional screening:
Sat June 6 | 9:30PM | SIFF Cinema Uptown

USA 2015 (100 min)
Director: Colin Hanks
Featuring: Russ Solomon, Heidi Cotler, Mark Viducich, Bruce Springsteen, Elton John

In 1999, Tower Records made $1 billion. Five years later, the company was bankrupt. First-time director Colin Hanks blends insider interviews and archival footage in this insightful music industry chronicle of the rise and fall of the biggest success story in record store history.

Additional screening:
Sun June 7 | 9:00PM | Harvard Exit – the very last picture show at the Harvard Exit Theatre!

SIFFing 2014 Guide
SIFFing 2013 Guide
SIFFing 2012 Guide
SIFFing 2011 Guide