The Deliverator – Wannabee

So open minded, my thoughts fell out…

SIFF Prospects

Posted by Deliverator on May 17th, 2006

Took an initial look at the SIFF schedule today and came up with a list of prospects. Here is my list of movies that I am interested in seeing (will only see a small fraction, of course):

American Blackout
USA, 2006, 86 Minute Running Time
Genre: Documentary
Programs: Documentary Competition, Documentary Films
Language: English

Filmmaker Ian Inaba uses the scandalous treatment of African American votes in the 2000 presidential election as a jumping off point for an exploration of how black political power has been systematically squelched in America. If you believe in truth, honesty and the American way, get ready for your blood to boil.

Anne of the Thousand Days
United Kingdom, 1969, 145 Minute Running Time
Genre: Drama
Programs: Archival Presentations, Talking Pictures

Desperate for a male heir, King Henry VIII of England discards his wife Katharine of Aragon in favor of the young and beautiful Anne Boleyn. In their thousand days together they play out one of the most passionate and shocking love stories in history. Introduced by renowned opera singer Jane Eaglen.

Arctic Son
USA, 2006, 77 Minute Running Time
Genre: Documentary
Programs: Documentary Films, Spawned in Seattle
Language: English

A father and son are reunited in the Canadian wilderness after nearly two decades—one adept at living off the land, the other a product of Seattle’s urban jungle. The rustic Yukon town of Old Crow (population 250) forms the stunning backdrop of this moving, vivid documentary.

Attack of the Animated
90 Minute Running Time
Program: Short Film Packages

Beware: An invasion of two-dimensional and CGI characters intent on turning your world surreal is imminent.

Beg, Borrow & Steal
93 Minute Running Time
Programs: Alternate Cinema, Short Film Packages

Collecting bits from a century of film and media history, this program—ranging from the picturesque to the decaying, from the kinetic to the hilarious—showcases unique collages and montages of found images and sound.

Bickford Shmeckler’s Cool Ideas
USA, 2006, 75 Minute Running Time
Genres: Comedy, Coming of Age
Program: New American Cinema Competition
Language: English

In this quirky comedy, a reclusive college freshman named Bickford Schmeckler (Patrick Fugit) records his cool ideas in a steel-bound journal. When an overzealous sorority girl hijacks it, he embarks on an odyssey to recover his most prized possession even as the cool ideas begin to infect the campus.

The Birthday
France, 2005, 100 Minute Running Time
North American Premiere
Genres: Black Comedy, Comedy
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: French English Sub-Titles

Powerful media CEO Raphael got his start as a youthful idealist at a pirate radio station. He responds to his brother damning autobiography by inviting old friends from the radio station and his brother for a weekend getaway on his birthday. His gift to them? Revelations, cruelty and unexpected generosity.

Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon
USA, 2005, 73 Minute Running Time
Genre: Documentary
Programs: Documentary Competition, Documentary Films
Language: English

40 years ago, a lumber baron in Philomath, Oregon created a scholarship to provide all of the town’s high school graduates with college tuition. As the area’s high schools become more liberal, the scholarship’s conservative administrators threaten to withdraw funding. The value clash reveals a perfect microcosm of a conflicted country.

Conversations with Other Women
USA, 2005, 83 Minute Running Time
Genres: Comedy, Romantic Comedy
Program: Contemporary World Cinema

Man (Aaron Eckhart) meets Woman (Helena Bonham Carter) at a wedding, with verbally dexterous, table-turning results. Set over the span of a single night, director/editor Hans Canosa fashions a genuine conversation piece by splitting the screen and providing a novel spin on the whole concept of “he said, she said.”

a Darkness Swallowed
USA, 2006, 78 Minute Running Time
Genre: Experimental
Program: Alternate Cinema

Called “an instant classic” by Variety, veteran experimental filmmaker Betzy Bromberg’s abstract phantasmagoria is a uniquely sensual, tactile and narrative-free film experience. Ravishing images are captured—from minute explorations of spider-webs, dirt, resin and water to countless other subjects that Bromberg’s camera transforms into otherworldly explosions of light and color.

The Death of Mr. Lazarescu
Moartea Domnului Lazarescu
Romania, 2005, 154 Minute Running Time
Genres: Black Comedy, Comedy
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Romanian English Sub-Titles

A retired engineer spends what could be his last night on Earth being shuttled through a nightmarish series of hospitals in an attempt to actually get treatment. Presented almost in real time, this grimly humorous, marvelously insightful film has been a critical favorite ever since its ecstatically received premiere at the Cannes Film Festival.

Evil Aliens
United Kingdom, 2005, 90 Minute Running Time
Genres: Comedy, Horror
Program: Midnight Adrenaline
Language: English

The visitors have finally landed and they’ve got a penchant for probing. The glop flows freely throughout this hardcore E.T./zombie/cannibal/reality TV mashup set in the Welsh countryside. This cheeky, often hilarious ride, is assured of cult status from frame one.

USA, 2005, 90 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Norway
Genre: Drama
Program: Gala Screenings

A high-minded deadbeat writer (Matt Dillon) flows between a variety of professions, locations and women, all the while searching for a perfect ending to his story. Based on a series of writings by Charles Bukowski, director Bent Hamer’s low-slung, deceptively shambling style fits the legendary author to a T.

The First People on the Moon
Pervye Na lune
Russia, 2005, 75 Minute Running Time
Genre: Science Fiction
Program: New Directors Competition
Language: Spanish/Russian English Sub-Titles

Is it Sci-Fi? Documentary? Mockumentary? This original film mixes real and flawlessly fake archival footage revealing the “secret” story of the Soviet cosmonauts who tried to beat the Americans to the moon by thirty years. In true Russian style, humor and menace rub against each other.

Sweden, 2006, 97 Minute Running Time
Genre: Horror
Program: Midnight Adrenaline
Language: Swedish English Sub-Titles

The vampires are moving north… to Sweden! A mother and her teenage daughter leave the big city only to discover a new sort of problem—the kind with fangs. When the world around you is bloody dark, the last thing you want to hear is that there is another month until daylight.

The Hidden Blade
Kakushi-ken: oni no tsume
Japan, 2005, 132 Minute Running Time
Genre: Drama
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: Japanese English Sub-Titles

A lowly samurai (Masatoshi Nagase, MYSTERY TRAIN) rescues a woman from her abusive husband. An unspoken love blooms between them as the samurai’s loyalty to his feudal overlord is called into question in this, the second film in a trilogy whose first installment was the Oscar-nominated THE TWILIGHT SAMURAI.

Films/The Illusionist
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The Illusionist

The Illusionist
USA, 2006, 110 Minute Running Time
Genre: Thriller
Program: Gala Screenings

Set in 1900 Vienna, this stunning romantic thriller is about a mysterious magician named Eisenheim. His ability to mesmerize crowds—and apparent attraction to the crown prince’s fiancée—ignites suspicion from the Chief Inspector. When a duchess is murdered, Eisenheim summons extraordinary powers to prove the prince guilty and bring down the monarchy. Enhanced by a magnificent score by Philip Glass.

Into Great Silence
Die Grosse Stille
Germany, 2005, 164 Minute Running Time
Additional Countries: Switzerland
Genre: Documentary
Program: Documentary Films
Language: French and Latin English Sub-Titles

For this up-close look at the reclusive Carthusian Order of Monks, director Philip Gröning waited nearly two decades for permission to film the Order at their French Alps monastery, finally being allowed to shoot for just a few hours a day with only natural light and sound. His labors pay remarkable dividends.

Maxed Out
USA, 2006, 85 Minute Running Time
Genre: Documentary
Program: Documentary Films
Language: English

At a time when both household and national debt is at an all-time high, MAXED OUT sheds light on the escalating dilemma of America’s “just charge it” attitude. Director James Scurlock expertly intertwines eye-opening information and interviews with economics professors, pawnbrokers, predatory debt collectors and destitute debtors.

Monster House
USA, 2006, 87 Minute Running Time
Genres: Animation, Horror
Program: Films4Families

It’s the day before Halloween in sleepy Mayville and something strange is going on. When old man Nebbercracker dies suddenly, his house takes on his surly characteristics and wakes up hungry! Part TOY STORY, part NIGHTMARE BEFORE CHRISTMAS, with a little SOMETHING WICKED THIS WAY COMES, MONSTER HOUSE appeals to children and adults alike.

The Power of Nightmares; The Rise of the Politics of Fear
United Kingdom, 2005, 157 Minute Running Time
Genre: Documentary
Programs: Documentary Films, Emerging Masters

One of the most provocative political films of the past decade, Emerging Master Adam Curtis’ film essay traces the ideological basis of the “politics of fear” that dominates contemporary government, exploring philosophical and historical ties between the two most important forces for political extremism in the world today: radical Islam and American Neo-Conservatives.

A Prairie Home Companion
USA, 2006, 103 Minute Running Time
Genre: Comedy
Program: Gala Screenings
Language: English

Facing what could be the final curtain, a small town radio variety show decides to go out in its own uniquely loopy style. Director Robert Altman and writer Garrison Keillor, America’s two preeminent shaggy-dog storytellers, combine forces for this sparkling, all-star musical comedy.

The Road to Guantanamo
United Kingdom, 2006, 95 Minute Running Time
Genre: Drama
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: English and Arabic English Sub-Titles

Three British Muslim boys go to Pakistan for a wedding and end up shipped off to Guantanamo as prisoners of the U.S. Army, where they are tortured and subsequently released after two years with no apology. Directors Winterbottom and Whitecross combine interviews with recreations for this true-life horror story.

This Film is Not Yet Rated
USA, 2006, 100 Minute Running Time
Genre: Documentary
Program: Documentary Films

Oscar-nominated director Kirby Dick (TWIST OF FAITH) investigates the mysterious ratings board of the Motion Picture Association of America, asking why they feel the need to operate in secret, why big studios receive preferential treatment, why violence is judged less harshly than sex, and what exactly triggers an NC-17 rating.

The Valet
La Doublure
France, 2006, 85 Minute Running Time
Genre: Comedy
Program: Contemporary World Cinema
Language: French English Sub-Titles

When a hotel valet is caught in a paparazzi photo by a rich tycoon and his model mistress, he is paid to pretend to be the model’s beau to save the tycoon’s marriage. The latest farce from Francis Veber (LA CAGE AUX FOLLES, THE DINNER GAME) delivers whiplash-paced comedy and pure entertainment.

Walking to Werner
USA, 2006, 95 Minute Running Time
Genre: Documentary
Programs: Documentary Competition, Documentary Films, Spawned in Seattle
Language: English

Werner Herzog once walked from Munich to Paris to visit a dying friend. Inspired by Herzog’s approach to life and art, Northwest filmmaker Linas Phillips vows to walk all the way from Seattle to Herzog’s house in Los Angeles. WALKING TO WERNER documents his struggles, encounters, questions and revelations along the journey.

Who Killed the Electric Car?
USA, 2006, 91 Minute Running Time
Genre: Documentary
Program: Documentary Films
Language: English

Launched in 1997, the EV-1 was one of the most efficient cars ever built. It ran on electricity, produced no emissions and required little maintenance. Six years later the line was scrapped. What happened? This film chronicles the short life and mysterious death of the first perfect vehicle of the modern age.