SIFF 2013

Scene-Stealers’ west-coast correspondent, Warren Cantrell, has been largely silent since his last SIFF 2013 dispatch. It should be noted that this is due in large part to the trauma he endured during that Film Festival’s screening of The Bling Ring: a movie that threw Mr. Cantrell into a frozen state of petrified shock from which the man is only just now beginning to emerge.

{ 0 comments }

Swaddled in the good graces of its literary source, Joss Whedon’s version of Much Ado About Nothing works in spite of itself. Whedon shot this black and white adaptation in just twelve days, and cast actors well known to fans of Firefly, Buffy, and The Avengers, making it a veritable Whedon reunion.

{ 0 comments }

Our Seattle correspondent Warren Cantrell sits down with Kieran Darcy-Smith, the director of Wish You Were Here, starring Joel Edgerton and Felicity Price.

{ 0 comments }

Alex Gibney’s latest documentary, We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks, examines WikiLeaks and its founder Julian Assange, and asks a number of difficult questions about privacy, national security, and information access in the 21st century.

{ 0 comments }

Truly, in the post-Sopranos era, it is a daunting task to do a mob movie, yet it’s one director David Rodriguez bravely tackles with his newest feature, ‘Last I Heard.’

{ 0 comments }

‘The Moment’ sets the audience loose in a world where images suddenly mutate and transform from moment to moment, and flashbacks that cover the same interaction change to something different nearly every time they’re is recalled.  At the center of all this is Jennifer Jason Leigh, playing a physically and emotionally scarred war correspondent.

{ 0 comments }

Rock and roll photography is a delicate art, and according to the documentary Her Aim Is True, nobody was doing it better than Jini Dellaccio in the mid-to-late 1960s.

{ 0 comments }

Yes, three and a half weeks on, and the 39th annual Seattle International Film Festival is finally in the books. Frequent visitors to Scene-Stealers these last couple of weeks likely noticed a slew of reviews for films playing at the festival, and might have been even more surprised to see so many positive remarks, yet the evidence bore it out: this was one hell of a year for cinema at SIFF!

{ 0 comments }

The success of ‘Wish You Were Here’ lies with actors Joel Edgerton, Felicity Price and director Kieran Darcy-Smith’s thoughtful directing and visual choices, for the scenes all evoke a particular tone that seems appropriate to the moment.

{ 0 comments }

The story of a middle aged recluse stumbling upon a newly-orphaned youngster, as well as that man’s long-since discarded humanity, The Cleaner (originally released in Peru as El Limpiador) is a beautiful, touching, intelligent, and surprisingly moving film.

{ 2 comments }

A fictional drama whose particulars seem entirely plausible to those who have studied the history of German reunification following 1990, this one is a fascinating “what-if” that sheds some light on a post-WWII Europe most Americans don’t even know existed.

{ 0 comments }

‘Flicker’ It all has the whiff of Wes Anderson, Noah Baumbach, and Hal Ashby, yet never clicks like the successful work of those directors works because their characters start with a familiar, human core and radiate eccentricities outward from there.

{ 0 comments }

“Putzel” is a Yiddish slang word meaning dummy, schmuck, or more literally, penis, and like some kind of abandoned love child sprung from the loins of Bob Newhart and Woody Allen, the ineffectual Putzel definitely lives up to his moniker.

{ 0 comments }

‘Jump’ has problems, yet one gets the sense watching it that these are primarily a result of a dearth of inspiration on the page, and not behind the camera.

{ 0 comments }

During the 2013 Seattle International Film Festival, I’ve had an opportunity to see tons of indie films and have conversations with the talent involved in making them. Here is my video interview with ‘Jump’ director Kieron J. Walsh.

{ 0 comments }