SIFF 2012 Festival Preview: European Film Picks, Part Two

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previews for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see HERE for all film preview coverage, including film selections from other regions of the world.   4 DAYS IN MAY Germany/Russia/Ukraine Directed by Achim von Borries Set in 1945 and based off a true story, 4 Days Of May follows the days before the official end of World War II. The Germans have already lost, but as soldiers and civilians both learn how to deal with the change, drama and unconventional decision-making ensue.

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Eden Film Review (2012)

Based on the real life story of survivor-activist Chong Kim, Eden pulls no punches while following through with its dramatic premise of a young woman abducted and forced into prostitution. Jamie Chung plays Hyun-Jae, a first-generation Korean-American high school student looking to get into some innocent trouble. But she finds more than her share when she is abducted and sent to a sex slavery facility run by corrupt warden Bob Gault (Beau Bridges) along with his second-in-command, the vermin-esque Vaughan (Matt O’ Leary). The film pivots not on Hyun-Jae’s trials and suffering, but rather on the relationship between the three leads. It’s an almost Shakespearean triangle: Bob is commanding, domineering, an absolutist with no conscience. Vaughan is power hungry, tired

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Family Portrait In Black And White Documentary Film Review (2012)

In Family Portrait In Black And White, middle-aged single mother Olga Nenya decides to brave social stigmas to foster 17 orphans, many of whom are Ukranian-African. As the film opens, one sees third-party interviews with Ukranian skinheads that immediately couch the film in a setting of acial discrimination. Given the film’s title, its synopsis, and these opening sequences, one expects the entire film to be about the struggles of foster parenting in a mixed race family — but this expectation would be wrong. Nenya and her seventeen foster children live and work on a farm, slightly removed from the mainstay of Ukranian society. Through the use of minor anecdotes, the film asserts time and time again that racism and discrimination

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Bestiaire Documentary Film Review (2012)

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?” If one were to pose this classic philosophical question to the director of Bestiaire, Denis Côté, Côté would probably respond with an emphatic yes. Bestiaire, centered around Montreal’s open-air zoo, Parc Safari, seems to be a long and slow-paced response to this exact question. Directed by Denis Côté, Canada  

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SIFF 2012 Festival Preview: U.S., Canadian, South Pacific Film Picks

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previews for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see HERE for all film preview coverage, including film selections from other regions of the world.   JOSHUA TREE, 1951: A PORTRAIT OF JAMES DEAN United States/France Directed by Matthew Mishory Inspired by the facts, and perhaps some fictions, about James Dean’s too-short life, this boundary-stretching film imagines the cinematic icon’s bisexual pre-fame days and ruminates about the steep costs that come with being a star. Black and white and color. May 24th @

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SIFF 2012 Festival Preview: Latin American & African Film Picks

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previews for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see HERE for all film preview coverage, including film selections from other regions of the world.   FOUND MEMORIES Brazil/Argentina/France Directed by Julia Murat A youthful photographer decides to open up her eyes and mind to the stories of older individuals in a small Brazilian town, giving new perspectives on life and death. May 22 @ 9:00pm, Harvard Exit May 24 @ 3:30pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown  

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SIFF 2012 Festival Preview: European Film Picks, Part One

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previews for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see HERE for all film preview coverage, including film selections from other regions of the world.   BREATHING Austria Directed by Karl Markovics A jailed teenager finds a renewed sense of purpose after parole officer gives him a new job and new responsibilities. A film lauded for its day-to-day quality and appropriately posited scenes and shots, Breathing is less mind-blowing than it is simply a solid tale of what happens when life exerts pressure

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Loverboy Film Review (2011)

Human trafficking is one of those things that it seems the world overall turns a blind eye to. Minus a few well-to-do NGOs and agencies desperately trying to create awareness, each year hundreds of thousands of individuals are illegally trafficked across the globe.  Some are sent for labor, some are sent for other reasons, but the great majority are sent for sexual purposes — as that is where the real money is. In Catalin Mitulescu’s film Loverboy, he explores the psychology that goes into the whole recruitment process.

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SIFF 2012 Festival Preview: Asian & Middle Eastern Film Picks

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previes for our top SIFF picks of the year. You can see all of this year’s coverage HERE. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see HERE for all SIFF-related coverage.   A CUBE OF SUGAR Iran Directed by Reza Mirkarimi An extended family gathers for the youngest daughter’s wedding, but not all goes as planned. A glowing pastel canvas and sensual score are dreamy counterpoints to the anxieties and celebrations of three generations. May 22nd @ 6:00pm, Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center June 1st @ 6:30pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown

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Concept-Heavy Events: Fin De Cinema, The Wiz, Krautrock Classics, Signify Sanctify Believe

This post highlights some of our favorite multi-disciplinary arts events (centered mainly around music) coming up from like-minded co-conspirators in Seattle, Portland, and Los Angeles. More events for the next post, including two installments of REDEFINE’s Intuitive Navigation in Seattle and Portland (see last year’s HERE), and Seattle’s ambient music festival Substrata. Signify, Sanctify, Believe Portland, Oregon Presented by Xhurch and Open Engagement Multiple days – FREE A traveling troupe of performance art semi-spiritualists, Sanctify, Signify, Believe, are now on the road to conduct a series of head-scratching events that will leave you wondering about your connection to the spiritual world and religion. The party kicks off May 15th @ 1:00pm at repurposed church venue Xhurch, with an open house

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SIFF 2012 Festival Preview: Documentary Film Picks

The 2012 Seattle International Film Festival begins on May 17th, 2012! In the next few days, we will be providing film previes for our top SIFF picks of the year. Times and dates are subject to change, so please visit siff.net before heading to theatres, or see the Docsfest for all documentary films presented.   AI WEIWEI: NEVER SORRY United States Directed by Alison Klayman A feature-length documentary about Chinese contemporary artist Ai Weiwei, an influential and ground-breaking liberal artist considered a “God of Love” or the “Beijing Andy Warhol.” He controversially goes as far as giving the middle finger to the Motherland and telling it, “Fuck you.” May 18th @ 6:30pm, AMC Pacific Place 11 May 19th @ 4:00pm,

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A Grain Of Sand Environmental Documentary Preview & Stream

A Grain Of Sand Trailer Former newspaper editor Brendon Grimshaw decided one day to give up his career to live instead on Moyenne Island, a small island he purchased for ten-thousand pounds. In his thirty-seven years there, Grimshaw transformed the island by planting trees and creating nature trails, turning it into a remote paradise free of excessive development or outside influence. But without children to inherit his legacy, developers are eagerly waiting to encroach upon the island as soon as Grimshaw passes away. A Grain Of Sand openly questions the repercussions that development and commercial growth have upon the environment, in the name of greed, and often in the name of ecotourism. If the trailer above sparks your interest, you

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