SIFF 2003 sentences:
chronicling my attempts to enjoy SIFF while being unemployed in seattle

june 15th:               2 seen - 9 total
Two at Harvard Exit: Kopps and The Event.

Accidentally snapped a photo of the screen/ceiling.
The last image of SIFF 2003:

june 11th:               1 seen - 7 total
Devdas at Cinerama.

june 4th:               3 seen - 6 total
The ticket holder line at Pacific Place forms alongside the top of the up escalator in the mall. Most of the people in that area are there to see one of the multiplex movies and have no idea what the line is about. There's a vague sign in front of the line and repeatedly people come up to ticket holders and ask "What is S-I-F-F?" I don't know if this says more about SIFF's smallness or the mall patrons' general ignorance.

(And for the record, of the 11 screens at Pacific Place, 7 were taken up with just three films: X-Men 2, Matrix Reloaded, and The Italian Job.)

In any case, I spent the day seeing the trilogy films: On the Run, An Amazing Couple, and After Life. SIFF staff were pretty nice and let us lowly ticket holders remain inside the theater lobby between showings (something passholders can always do) instead of going back out and standing in the line again.

You probably already knows the "gag" of the three films, so I won't go into that here. On the Run was pretty great, although I think there was a bit too much laughing from the crowd at the final shot. The Amazing Couple was pretty humorous, but I had to stay pretty alert to keep track of all of the comedic events.

By the middle of After Life I was starting to get a little drained. I felt like I was going through a "three"-sided Mobius strip. That was somewhat fun, but I couldn't just sit back and enjoy the movie and let it wash over me. Instead, my head was busy keeping track of:
- everything I thought I was watching in each of the three films
- everything I learned I actually saw in each of the three films
- everything the characters thought they were watching in each of the three films
- everything the characters found out they were watching in each of the three films
- all the little differences between all the films (i.e. I'm pretty certain Cécile says "She's not here [in the chateaux]" in the first two films and "He's not here" in the third).
- all the scenes that were not yet fully revealed yet because the third film hadn't gotten to that point yet (i.e. the "cops are pigs" scene).
- all the filmmaking elements (editing, acting, etc.) involved in creating three different story genres/styles.
- and so on

I still don't quite understand the shoot-out that is shown in the street in On the Run when Bruno is about to escape from the building. Jacquillat's men are shown heading to the building in After Life but how do they start up a shoot out with the police? Can someone explain that to me?

Oh, and before getting in line I went to the SIFF box office and successfully redeemed my volunteer voucher for a Devdas ticket.

may 28th:               1 seen - 3 total
Went to see American Splendor at the Egyptian.
I admit I was somewhat biased going into the theater - I tore a 5 even before the film started. 100 minutes later I wasn't really regretting the tear. The second half of the film meanders a little, but overall it was great to see AS finally brought to the big screen. There's a lot of Pekar's life that is slightly altered from reality or left out (for example, there's just a quick passing mention of his jazz reviews/writings) but that's a minor complaint. Possibly the best film shot in Cleveland (take that, Howard the Duck).

Q&A session with James Urbaniak (!) and the writer/director team followed.

Overheard sentence of the night: "The Mini was vital to the plot."

may 28th:               1 seen - 2 total
One could probably compile a lengthy list of good things overheard while standing in line at SIFF. Two (not-so-great examples) from tonight: "...because I've never seen a film from iceLAND" and "Yeah, Seattle isn't a good place to be living if you're looking for a job." I also overheard someone telling someone else about overhearing another person.

In any case, I was standing in line and I heard someone behind me talk about photo blogs and then I realized that she was talking about and then a little later I realized that I had looked at some of her photos earlier in the day. So I couldn't resist turning around and saying something, although my few sentences of ramble probably made no sense.

The Sea (playing at the Egyptian) was an enjoyable enough Icelandic film. A movie with a bunch of characters can seem to get away with not having much character development as long as there's enough humor in it. Although I'm pro-Iceland, most Icelandic films seem to have some sort of artificial or amateur feeling in terms of acting and story. But maybe this is because those elements stick out when contrasted with the great scenery the country has.

may 24th:               0 seen - 1 total
I happened to find the remaining volunteer voucher I had from last year. I can still use it to get a ticket to a showing. Woo.

may 23th:               1 seen - 1 total
Went to see the 6:30 showing of Love & Diane at BHP. The 2.5 hour film went by pretty quickly because the movie kicks so much ass. Wish I had also seen Stevie so that I could have compared the two.

One grip is that stuff shown at BHP is often on Beta SP. Even though L&D was done in DV, it would have been nice to have seen it on film.

may 20th:
Once again I didn't get a pass this year. Even though it's a chunk of money, it would have been smart to get an early bird pass months ago.

Anyhow, I went off to BHP to get some tickets after selecting eight films to see. I could have bought them online but there's a $3 surcharge for every web order. Plus, since I would have been buying so near the fest all my tickets would have been waiting at will call at the first movie, which is a few minutes of extra hassle.

Knowing that there was a chance of starting a job in a few weeks, I selected films that were showing in the evening or weekends. And I tended not to select ones that were getting a regular release soon or that were available on DVD already.

While waiting in line to get tickets, I watched the line of bored election workers sitting behind a table in the same room. (Apparently days later the ballot box was still sitting there. Update: no ballots were in the box!)

Actually getting the tickets took awhile since the ticketing system started breaking by the time I got up to the window. And then they had to reboot the entire system at both ticketing locations, which was fine because I got to spend the minutes listening to Manchester girl make comments about her computer and hip hop.

I walked away with $59.50 worth of tickets.

may 7th:
So at the end of April I saw that SIFF was seeking a few more people for phone ticket sales for the fest. Not an ideal temp job, especially since the listed pay was squat, but I thought it would be interesting to spend a few weeks saying things like "Ok, that was two tickets for both Trilogy: On the Run and Demonlover, and one ticket for Come Drink With Me." So I emailed off my résumé.

About 25 hours later I received a response: "I still have a few shifts available. Do you want to come down and check out the schedule?" That was the entire message. Not certain if she was referring to the ticket place at Pacific Place or the one at Broadway Performance Hall and not knowing if there was a best time to go there, I emailed back and asked for some more info.

Unfortunately, I never heard back from her. Perhaps I should have been quicker to respond or perhaps I should have emailed her a few more times. But in any case, that was that. And then a few days later I found out that a slacker friend of a friend was able to get one of those gigs. So I was miffed at SIFF at that point.

the Seattle International Film Festival
babble I wrote last year

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