When a film festival has 418 films, you're bound to miss a few you wanted to see. It was a cinematic hydra -- for every film I saw at the Seattle International Film Festival, there were always two more I didn't catch. Here are the seven films I most regret not being able to work into my SIFF-tastic viewing schedule:
- Frostbite - Man, I really wanted to see this film. It had vampires! Really mean ones! In Sweden! Where there's no daylight for part of the year, setting the perfect conditions for a giant vampire party: B.Y.O.B. -- bring your own ... you know.
- Host and Guest - This Korean film, about a cynical intellectual and an evangelist, won the jury prize for Best Director for helmer Dong-Il Sun. I'll have to keep an eye out at future fests for this one.
- Starfish Hotel - A Japanese gothic supernatural mystery? Holy geez, how did I miss that one? I overheard someone in the press office talking about how great this film was, but never managed to work it in.
- Beowulf and Grendel - Here I was all set to interview director Sturla Gunnarsson about Beowulf and Grendel, starring Stellan Skarsgärd and Sarah Polley and then I ended up not making the screening due to illess. I'm going to try to track this one down -- maybe it'll be at Toronto in September, and we can review it and do an interview then.
- House of Sand - How did I manage to miss this Brazilian saga about a family of women surviving amid the desolation of the desert -- again? I swear, one day I will see House of Sand, and then I will review it for you. It's on my "things to do before I die list" now, so it's official.
- Who Is Harry Nilsson (and Why is Everybody Talking About Him?) - Who is Harry Nilsson? The Beatles knew who the singer-songwriter was -- he was one of their faves.This film wasn't on my list, until I kept hearing people talking about being excited to see it, and, later, raving about what a fantastic film it was. Now I wish I'd had it on my list.
- We Go Way Back - I really wanted to catch this feature by former Fly Filmmaking Challenge director Lynn Shelton, about a woman confronted by a 13-year-old version of herself. Am going to try to track down a screener of this one. It had great buzz.
Below the fold, the seven films I enjoyed most at SIFF.