The Seattle Film Festival - or my brief four-day stint anyway - has arrived. Because I desperately wanted a vacation and because film festivals are typically far from relaxing in any sense, I am taking this one a little easy. Of course you can hardly not take SIFF easy considering movies don't start before 11 AM and virtually nothing is sold out. That said, my first day of movies will be my busiest, with four. I may leave this town with only ten films under my belt. And that's... okay....? Right?
So far SIFF has brought three movies into my life I would not have otherwise seen.
Turkish, which I couldn't figure out until the credits. (Embarrassing.) Honor, family, responsibility, blood, desperation, karma. All factor in quite nicely to this confusing-on-purpose Sundance award-winning drama. Not in the least bit predictable, and quite touching in ways one wouldn't expect. See it... if you CAN!
Don't count on me to be well-versed in the politics affecting the two Iranian directors who as I hear it have been forced not to make films for the next X years. Similarly don't expect a history lesson on why it fucking sucks ass to live in Iran right now, because as you may or may not know, I am neither learned nor well read. I am well-watched, though, enough to know that I loved Mohammad Rasoulof's last feature called White Meadows. So of course I wasn't going to miss his follow up.
I'm glad I saw it? But I don't think it's for everyone. Dark, dark, dark. In every sense of the word. Well-done? Absolutely. There were a few long shots that I don't even think I blinked during. You do feel you're there with the character, a woman in Tehran who's lost her license to practice law, and has a plan to fix her situation and potentially reunite with her absent husband. There's an undercurrent here that screams of This Is Very Important. And I'm glad that I saw it. I can't say I enjoyed it or would recommend it to many, though.
YEAR OF GRACE
Why did I pick this one? I imagine because the description contained the word "Barcelona." I am such a sucker for Spain. Well, the movie was slight. Very, very, very slight. And with a script I'd call anything but well-written, or sensical even. People laughed. People around me and behind me - people I don't know, so I cannot even attempt to suppose what about these tinny characters and familiar journey they found the least bit funny. I will say that the ending was so satisfying (if unearned) and just plain sweet (IF COMPLETELY UNBELIEVABLE) that on some level the movie was salvaged in my mind, though only a little.