Oscar Nominated Shorts — Documentary

I've only seen the nominated documentary shorts one time previous, when the subjects (in order) were: a video showing a drone strike on journalists in Baghdad, the shameful history of throwing acid in women's faces in Pakistan, the aftermath of the Sendai earthquake and tsunami, and a barber in Birmingham who marched for Civil Rights … Continue reading Oscar Nominated Shorts — Documentary

Oscar Nominated Shorts — Live Action

1.) Feeling Through (Doug Roland, USA, 19 mins, 2019) "Feeling Through" aims to be poignant but gets dangerously close to being sentimental. Tereek (Steven Prescod) is a troubled teen trying to find accomodations for the night by texting his friends. In the middle of his search, he comes across a deaf-blind man named Artie (Robert … Continue reading Oscar Nominated Shorts — Live Action

Oscar Nominated Shorts — Animation

During COVID, in-person experiences at multiplexes have been replaced by at-home viewings on whatever screen you choose. These virtual screenings may recede as more people get vaccinated and more movie theaters reopen, but for now, they are the rule, rather than the exception. While film festivals and blockbusters most suffer from the lack of a … Continue reading Oscar Nominated Shorts — Animation

So Long, Seven Gables

Note: unless otherwise stated, all photos for this post were taken by the same person, who wishes to remain anonymous. One of the oldest movie theaters in Seattle is no more. The smoke, as seen from I-5 The Seven Gables Theatre began life as an American Legion dance hall in 1925, designed by Swedish-born architect … Continue reading So Long, Seven Gables

Remembering Lynn Shelton

Photo courtesy of SIFF If this were a normal year, I'd already have published a post on Opening Night Festivities for SIFF 2020. There'd also be a Lynn Shelton retrospective showing in select Seattle cinemas upon her passing (this NWFF event was planned ahead-of-time; the fact that it ended up being timely is a fortunate … Continue reading Remembering Lynn Shelton

SIFF 2018 Edition: Best of Week Three — The Taste of Betel Nut

In the opening scenes, we see Li Qi (Shen Shi Yu) put on clown makeup and perform with a seal. We then see him after the performance, alone except for his animal partner. He washes off his makeup and cleans his clothes in the sink with soap. He pauses to look at the soap bar, … Continue reading SIFF 2018 Edition: Best of Week Three — The Taste of Betel Nut

SIFF 2018 Edition: Best of SIFF, Week Two — Tigers Are Not Afraid

Tigers Are Not Afraid starts in fact and ends in myth. Much like Pan's Labyrinth, the film follows a girl (named Estrella and played by Paola Lara) who uses fantasy to deal with a grisly reality. In Pan's Labyrinth, the reality was Franco's Fascist rule of Spain. Tigers Are Not Afraid deals with a more recent nightmare: … Continue reading SIFF 2018 Edition: Best of SIFF, Week Two — Tigers Are Not Afraid

SIFF 2018 Edition: Best of Week One — Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Most people would be daunted by the subject of Won't You Be My Neighbor? Just the archival material alone, from all the shows of Mister Rogers' Neighborhood that aired (920 episodes, according to director Morgan Neville), would give a lesser man a headache. Luckily, Morgan Neville is not a normal man, yet the story of … Continue reading SIFF 2018 Edition: Best of Week One — Won’t You Be My Neighbor?

Toyo’s Camera (Junichi Suzuki, 2009, 98 mins)

Born in Japan in 1895, Toyo Miyatake came to the U.S. in 1909.  As an adult, he set up a photo studio in the Little Tokyo section of Los Angeles, and in the 1930s became famous for photographing Michio Ito's dance troupe. These beginnings are covered in Toyo's Camera, the excellent first film in director Junichi … Continue reading Toyo’s Camera (Junichi Suzuki, 2009, 98 mins)