siff picks – part II

siff picks – part I              siff picks – part III

every song is about me

Ramiro is a thirty-something man who fulfills his passion for literature in his uncle’s small bookshop. During daily strides along the streets of Madrid, he dreams about romance and poetry. One day, he comes home to find a letter left by his fiancée Andrea in which she puts an end to their relationship. In his attempt to forget her, he spends his spare time hanging out with his friend Lucas, who suddenly decides to marry an Argentinean barmaid for immigration purposes. Depressed, Ramiro gives a new try to romance, but it is Andrea he truly wants. Literature, love and life intertwine in this delightful and retro Spanish romantic drama. Like the title reflects, the screenplay explores both the absurdity and beauty of young life, set against a charming Madrid backdrop. The atmosphere of the French New Wave genre inspires this first film by Jonas Trueba, without leaving aside the contradictions of the modern world. Nominated for Best Director and Best Actor at the Goya Awards. Director Jonas Trueba scheduled to attend. (source)


Árni had an idea. He just wanted to record some group of friends in a simple way in his backyard. He’d set up some equipment in his shack, invite a few bands, and feed them all pizza and pancakes. He passed out a few flyers and before he knew it, some of the most exciting, young Icelandic musicians showed up to play. His humble project evolved into one of the most popular intimate live events of the year, gathering a crowd of neighbors and music lovers from all around the city. This concert documentary gives us a glimpse into Reykjavik’s up-and-coming music scene—a tight, supportive group of musicians who bounce inspiration off one another’s sounds, from the sweet post-rock of Borko to the bouncy synthpop of FM Belfast. Mùm—experimental electronic veterans of the scene—also perform, as do newer groups such as Hjaltalin, who won Album of the Year at the 2010 Icelandic Music Awards. Backyard is a record of the independent Icelandic music scene with some of the most celebrated artists in Reykjavik today. Director Arni Sveinsson scheduled to attend. (source)

the most important thing in life is not being dead

With a title that is as obvious as it is absurd, The Most Important Thing in Life Is Not Being Dead evokes the early work of Jean-Pierre Jeunet and Marc Caro (Delicatessen, The City of Lost Children), with a little Terry Gilliam thrown in for good measure. Crafted by a collective of three directors (two from Spain, one from Switzerland), the delightfully deadpan narrative follows a piano tuner suffering from bouts of insomnia. To make matters worse, the pianos that used to mysteriously fix themselves for him during the night are now stubbornly sticking to reality and staying broken. One night, he sees a strange man in his living room, but when he tells his wife, she refuses to believe him. Or, maybe, she’s just telling him that… Set during the end of the Franco era in Spain, a period of political deceit and distorted reality, this visually inventive and funny film continually finds new ways to set things topsy-turvy. Director Pablo Torrado scheduled to attend. (source)


richard ayoade!

richard ayoade was in seattle last friday to talk about his debut directorial film feature, submarine. i voted 5 stars on my ballot, as did michael. the film is the perfect blend of comedy and sadness, very real with a bit of weird. ayoade’s humor shines through the perfectly chosen cast. every component of this film works well together from the cinematography to the soundtrack (by alex turner of the arctic monkeys). i absolutely loved this film!

we grabbed some seats up front for the q&a session. ayoade is very humble and seemingly shy but it didn’t keep him from cracking jokes as people were leaving the theater while he talked about directing music videos and the characters of his film.

check out this ifc interview with ayoade!

up: chatting it up with the siff lady.   down: hangin’ with some hipsters.

clip from it crowd

Music Monday: Sarah Jarosz

sarah jarosz

local artist to: austin texas

riyl: americana, songwriter, markéta irglová, sarah jaffe

last night my friend, leslie, in austin was texting me like crazy telling me to check out miss jarosz. while the attempts for me to listen over the phone did not work, i checked her out and immediately fell in love with her voice. she is young at the age of 20 (!!) and i just know that she will have a long and prosperous music career ahead. check her out on sugar hill records. and she’s on tour!

sarah performing shankill butchers (the decemberists)

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siff picks – part I

the seattle international film festival has officially started and runs until june 12, 2011. i am very exciting because this will be my very first year to attend! i have eagerly been making my film choices along with a detailed schedule for the next few weeks to maximize my siff viewing. it is so easy to go online and buy tickets to any film and siff members get a discount. i volunteered this year and received some free vouchers so i was able to expand my choices a bit more.

siff picks – part II           siff picks – part III


Oliver Tate is a cool literary genius…at least in his head. To others, he’s a misunderstood teenage boy attempting to stand out against the busy backdrop of 1980s Wales. Never lacking for ambition, this fifteen-year-old boy sets himself two tasks for the summer: to lose his virginity before it becomes legal to the unromantic pyromaniac bully Jordana, and to extinguish the flame between his mother and her former lover, who is also a New Age psychic performing strange rituals in the house next door. Thanks to the clever use of slow-motion and freeze frames, as well as a novel use of voice-over narration to capture the main character’s unique sensibilities, this debut feature film is a breath of fresh air, melding together New Age British arts and an ironic fairytale. Adapting Joe Dunthorne’s cult novel and citing Woody Allen as his greatest inspiration, comedian-turned-filmmaker Richard Ayoade offers a hilarious tale about teen love with all the cleverness and subtlety of British humor. (source)

Director Richard Ayoade is scheduled to attend!!!!!!

the future

A cat named Paw-Paw narrates from within his cage at the animal shelter. A young man stops time and has a conversation with the moon. A woman is coerced into a bizarre dance by a suddenly sentient t-shirt. From these moments it should be clear that we are once again in the world of artist, author, and filmmaker Miranda July (Me and You and Everyone We Know). Sophie (July) and Josh (Hamish Linklater), are a young couple who realize that their plans to adopt a pet could mean a big step forward in their lives. So they make a pact to take thirty days and simply follow their dreams. While their experiment starts out lighthearted, they both soon uncover insecurities that threaten to ruin their relationship. July’s second feature is as assured and inventive as her much acclaimed debut, filled with droll humor and pathos, and punctuated by surprising moments of magical realism. The story of Sophie and Josh is a reflection of our fears of romance, aging, stagnation, and all the other uncertainties of the future. Director Miranda July scheduled to attend. (source)

perfect sense

Recently heartbroken, Susan (Eva Green) devotes herself to her medical practice, where she encounters a peculiar patient: following an intense, yet inexplicable bout of grief, he’s lost his sense of smell. Soon afterwards, she discovers other similar cases emerging throughout the globe. While the number of victims swells to epidemic proportions, Susan meets Michael (Ewan McGregor), a talented chef at a local restaurant, and commences upon a sudden, intense affair. Meanwhile, the mysterious disease progresses—first causing ravaging hunger, before robbing people of their sense of taste. Even as they succumb to the disease, the newly forged couple embarks on an increasingly sensual adventure, experiencing head-spinning, stomach-tightening moments of pure connection. Influenced by such recent films as Blindness and Children of Men, director David Mackenzie, a SIFF 2008 Emerging Master, fashions an intimate apocalyptic drama, aided by McGregor and Green’s erotic on-screen chemistry, in which love blooms anew even as the world outside their bedroom window wilts away. (source)

There is a tribute to Ewan McGregor this Sunday that includes a Q&A session with him and SIFF will present the Golden Space Needle Award for Outstanding Achievement in Acting to McGregor. (info)


In 2007, rock band Angels & Airwaves approached writer/director William Eubank to collaborate with them on a visual work inspired by their music. LOVE, the resulting film, perfectly captures the intense, dreamlike quality of their music, while offering so much more. Beginning during the American Civil War, Lt. Lee Briggs embarks upon a secretive mission to report on a mysterious object found in a Western desert canyon. Following Briggs’s discovery, the action jumps ahead to the near future where astronaut Lee Miller is nearing the end of his service onboard the International Space Station. However, contact with Earth grows erratic, as he’s told, Something is going on here. When all communication stops, Miller finds himself stranded alone, his life-support systems and his sanity dwindling away, until he makes an unexpected, strange discovery aboard his ship. Drawing inspiration from such films as 2001: A Space Odyssey, Solaris, and the recent Moon, Eubank fashions a visually dazzling piece of cerebral science fiction that explores the fundamental human need for connection and the limitless power of hope. Director William Eubank, Producers Tom DeLonge and Mark Eaton, and actor Gunnar Wright scheduled to attend May 21 and May 22 screenings. (source)

Music Monday: Errors


local artist to: glasgow scotland uk

riyl: post rock, experimental, electronica, holy fuck

errors is currently on tour opening for mogwai. i saw them in seattle last week and they stole the show. check them out!

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i love seattle: ginger ice cream at molly moon’s

ginger flavored ice cream at molly moon’s homemade ice cream shop

yes, i said ginger ice cream! i am a ginger fiend with ginger mints in my purse and i like to scarf up all the pink pickled ginger that accompanies sushi. i found out just tonight that molly moon’s has this flavor via twitter @mollymoon. it even smells like pickled ginger! in addition to this unique flavor, there are others like salted caramel, olive oil, and honey lavendar. love.

Music Monday: The Shy Trafficker

the shy trafficker

local band to: seattle washington, san antonio texas

riyl: indie, jazz, progressive

this post might be considered a lost cause since this fantastic trio is no longer together. but it is truly good stuff and while great bands don’t always last, the music will always live. the halves and have knots album is my favorite. there is a new band emerging from this one and it will be, well, pretty damn cool. just wait and see.

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