Seattle on the Silver Screen


The 44th annual Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is the biggest film festival in the United States and is taking place across Seattle May 17th-June 10th with more than 400 films that will be watch by around 150,000 people.

According to the Stranger, it is one of the most impressive and exciting art events that Seattle offers. Some highlights films that will be shown this year include Isabel Coixet’s The Bookshop, Sorry to Bother You, and Don’t Worry, He Won’t Get Far on Foot.

SIFF, offering a wide variety of films in several different genres, will give Emerald City movie goers something to look forward to this spring. Headlined by The Bookshop, among others, hidden gems from up and coming directors are sure to be found. But where to begin? Find your taste and interest in a film with The Miters guide to 2018’s festival.

The Death of Stalin: Russia, 1953. The country is overrun by paranoia due to the “secret police” and death squad executions. When the tyrannical dictator Joseph Stalin is found dead, the politicians around him fight to take his place as dictator. The 107 minute film from Armando Iannucci (United Kingdom) follows the days before Stalin’s death, and the fight for power shortly after. Although the film will not have you giggling all the way though, it delivers one-liners in a powerful way, with enough swearing to earn it an “R” rating. The Death of Stalin will have four showings at the SIFF Uptown Cinema, at 2100, each day from May 10th to the 13th.

After the War is a film about an Italian insurgent living with his teenage daughter in France. He ends up discovering that he no longer has political asylum and the family that he left behind in Italy are forced to answer for his past sins. This is a captivating drama that illustrates the unintended fallout that can be produced from radical idealism. This film is showing on Friday, May 18th at SIFF Cinema Uptown at 6:30 PM, Saturday, May 19th at SIFF Cinema Uptown at 12:00 PM, and Saturday May 26th at Shoreline at 5:45 PM.

Blue My Mind is playing on Saturday, May 19th at Ark Lodge Cinemas, and Monday, May 28th at SIFF Cinema Uptown. Blue My Mind follows a teenager named Mia as she goes through her first year at a new high school. As she deals with the challenging things in her life such as her mother, her changing body, and her emotions, she finds a friend named Gianna who is beside her through this journey. Mia begins to notice that the changes that were happening to her body were not the normal kind of changes that were supposed to be happening to her body. She formed an extreme thirst for salt water, began to form webbed toes, and began to form scaly, peely skin. As she tries to ignore these changes, she became extremely immersed with partying, drugs, and sex. The film reflects on the connection between the powerful sexual urges of human beings, and the otherness of the female body. It exaggerates the fears that most teenage girls experience during that growth period in their life.

Won’t You Be My Neighbor? shares the love and kindness Mr. Rogers shared with his viewers. After half a century, Mr. Rogers is still sharing his love and kindness with millions. Mr. Rogers changed children’s programmes forever by talking about social issues such as, equality, race relations, mental health, divorce, and disabilities through songs and puppets. He was teased as a child, which allowed him to become the figure that he is today, a person who defies hate and cruel remarks with confidence and a pure heart. Neville’s film shares Mr. Rogers main rules, that everyone should be loved and respected for who they are and be unapologetic about it. The film makes viewers question if they’re fulfilling Mr. Rogers rules of being the best neighbor they can be and loving everyone no matter their flaws. The film is playing on Saturday May 26 at 6:00 pm and Sunday May 27 at 1:30 pm at SIFF Uptown Cinemas with a running time of 93 minutes. The journalist turned documentary director, Morgan Neville is scheduled to attend both screenings of the film. As Mr. Rogers always says, it’s a beautiful day in this neighborhood.

Afghan Cycles, a documentary about Afghan women fighting for equal rights in their country, specifically their right to ride a bicycle. Sarah Menize, the Director is able to capture these inspiring women fighting for their rights by cycling throughout towns in Afghanistan. As surprising as it is, women are prohibited from doing simple things like riding a bike, by protesting this small thing it will hopefully be able to enact a great within the country. The film is playing on Sunday May 20 at the SIFF Cinema Uptown at 6:00 pm, Monday May 21 also at the SIFF Cinema Uptown at 4:00 pm, and Sunday May 27 in Shoreline at 1:00 pm. The Director, Sarah Menzies and Web-designer Kaitlin Bailey are scheduled to attend all three of the films showings.

Streaker: How can fans get some skin in the game? In Peter Luisis Streaker, Swiss teacher Balz Naef does just that. Naef is a book worm with an obsession with author Gottfried Keller, for whom Naef has been saving money for in order to turn the late authors house into a museum. In order for him to make progress in his drive towards the shrine for the author, he consults his barber, Kushtrim, who tells him that a guaranteed way to make a quick buck is to bet on local soccer games. Naef does just this, but during the game, a fan strips and jumps onto the field and streaks. The streaker forces the match to end, and Naef is even deeper in the hole than he was to begin. But the baring-all spectator has given him a new way to bring home the bacon- bet on streaking. Naef goes around town and finds the oddballs, misfits, and weirdos, with whom he creates a “streaking club”. He trains them in ridiculous but necessary ways, such as jumping over rails or slipping out of a security guards bear hug. The group goes around and disrupts soccer games with their antics, betting on the length their run will last. This not only earns Naef the money he needs, but sparks Switzerland into a new, R rated passtime. The coaches of the local soccer teams become fed up with the disruptions to their teams’ games, and call in the police commissioner to bust the group. So, Naef and his naked bunch must outrun the law one more time. Streaker is playing at the SIFF Cinema Uptown on Tuesday, May 22nd at 9:30 pm, as well as playing at AMC Pacific Place on the 24th at 4:30 and in Shoreline on the 28th at 8:15.

The Icelandic comedy, Under The Tree, directed by Iceland native, Hafsteinn Gunnar, is one highly anticipated film being featured at SIFF 2018. Released in June of 2017, the story follows two upper, middle-class Icelandic families who begin an intense feud over the placement of a backyard tree. The two main characters, Baldwin and Inga, refuse to cut down their beloved tree despite the neighbor’s complaints about its obnoxious shadow, putting a damper on their summer vacation. This uncompromising stance leads to a vendetta between the two families, with malicious plotting and multiple excursions to their local IKEA store, all with a humorous twist. Currently rated 7.1 stars out of 10 on IMDB, this film has had some success internationally. The movie was chosen to be Iceland’s nomination for the Academy Awards under the category of Best Foreign Language Film, raising the stakes for its success at Seattle’s International Film Festival on May 18th.