SIFF 2015 Preview: Week One

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The 2015 edition of the Seattle International Film festival kicks off this Thursday, May 14th and we here at Seattle Screen Scene are planning some extensive coverage. We’ll be watching and reviewing as many festival films as we can over the next several weeks, and highlighting some you may want to check out. As a preview, here’s a list of some of our most-anticipated films from the festival’s first week. We’ll add links to the titles as we review them.

Week of May 15 – May 21:

The Look of SilenceThe much-buzzed about sequel to The Act of Killing focuses on the families of those lost in Indonesian genocide.

Results – The latest from Andrew Bujalski, the director of Computer Chess, is a romantic comedy with Guy Pearce, Cobie Smulders and Kevin Corrigan. The first of two movies starring Cobie Smulders at this year’s festival.

Seoul Searching – A comedy about diasporic Korean teens at a summer camp from Korean-American director Benson Lee.

When Marnie Was There – Possibly the last ever feature from Studio Ghibli, a gothic ghost story/coming of age tale from director Hiromasa Yonebayashi (The Secret of Arietty) that recalls some of the best films of Val Lewton.

The Red Shoes – A new restoration of Michael Powell & Emeric Pressburger’s 1948 film about the incompatibility of music, ballet and life that is simply one of the best movies ever made.

The Coffin in the Mountain – Three stories linked by the discovery of a mysterious corpse in a remote Chinese village. Directed by Xin Yukun.

Snow on the Blades – Director Setsuro Wakamatsu’s film about a samurai’s 13 year quest for vengeance in the 1860s, during the waning days of the Tokugawa shogunate as Japan begins rapidly modernizing.

Beyond Zero 1914-1918 – Director Bill Morrison’s excavation of never-before-seen World War I footage combined with a new score commissioned by the Kronos Quartet.

natural history – Experimental filmmaker James Benning’s exploration of the Museum of Natural History in Vienna.

Little Forest: Summer/Autumn – First two parts of a four-part movie about a woman who moves to the country and finds meaning in the growing and cooking of food. Like a Food Network version of Only Yesterday or No Regrets for Our Youth.

Little Forest: Winter/Spring – The other two parts. Directed by Junichi Mori.

Haemoo – First feature from director Shim Sungbo, who co-wrote Bong Joonho’s acclaimed Memories of Murder. A thriller about a fisherman’s disastrous attempt to smuggle Chinese immigrants into Korea.

A Hard Day – Another Korean thriller, this one about a cop who accidentally kills someone and tries to cover it up, like a black comic variation on Where the Sidewalk Ends.

Virtuosity – A documentary about a quadrennial piano competition held in Ft. Worth, Texas, where the young and elite compete for a chance at classical music stardom.

Temporary Family – Hong Kong screwball comedy about a man who has one year to buy an apartment so his girlfriend will marry him. So he invests in a luxury apartment with three other people in the hope of flipping it. I’m imagining a HK version of The More the Merrier. Starring Sammi Cheng, Nick Cheung and Angelababy and directed by Cheuk Wan-chi.

The Color of Pomegranates – Restored version of Sergei Parajonov’s 1968 film about Armenian poet Sayat Nova that is surely one of the most oblique, and weirdly beautiful biopics ever made.

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