Flick Picks

Last week, a friend of mine texted me and tipped me off about the Seattle International Film Festival that's actually kicking off today.  In his message, he mentioned something about it being the biggest film festival in the world.  And at the time, I passed it off as an exaggeration made to impress the point that it's a damn big film festival.  But then when I started looking at the line up films, I quickly began to realize that we wasn't really embellishing.  To say the collection of films being shown is overwhelming is an understatement and there is certainly no shortage of critically-acclaimed films that promise to tell insightful and captivating stories.  So the challenge wasn't just in going through the films but in also trimming the list down to a select and manageable few.  That said, I tried to prioritize films that would be difficult to see outside of the festival and after a long morning of research, I think I've been able to put together a list of my top picks.  

SIFF picks 1

The Search for General Tso 
Growing up, General Tso's Chicken was one of the go-to dishes that my parents would order any time we ate out at a Chinese restaurant.  It wasn't until I started dating T that I learned that it's not actually an authentic Chinese dish and that it's not obvious who exactly General Tso is.  Since then, getting to the bottom of General Tso is actually something that T and I have talked about a number of times so when we found out that a documentary had been made about that exact topic, our curiosity was definitely piqued.  In all honesty, I don't expect that we'll be presented with a neat solution to the mystery but I'm no less excited to go check out the film.  

  SIFF picks 2

I'm not entirely sure why, but I am a total sucker for Westerns and am always hoping that they'll come back into vogue and be made more regularly.  So when I discovered that a Japanese remake had been made of Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven, it goes without saying that I was pretty psyched.  Rotten Tomatoes gives this latest version a 100% rating!!  ...granted that's only after 14 reviews but it's a start that's promising enough for me!  

  SIFF picks 3

Dior and I
Like so many things in my life, I have a love-hate relationship with the world of fashion.  Often times the designs are as baffling as the price point, it perpetuates unhealthy body images among men and women, and it seems to epitomize the ugly materialism and superficiality of humanity.  At the same time, I love experimenting and expressing myself through my wardrobe.  And I'll admit that sometimes it feels really damn good to get suited up and strut your stuff.  But either way, when all things are said and done, one thing always holds true for me: I can't deny nor can I resist being mesmerized by the incredible amount of craftsmanship that goes into making an article of clothing.  And that's what I hope to get out of the documentary 'Dior and I.' Going behind the scenes of the House of Christian Dior, it follows newly appointed Artistic Director Raf Simons as he creates his debut collection during a harrowing eight week process.  It's bound to have loads of drama and plenty of couture eye candy but I'm also betting on it to be a force of inspiration.  

  SIFF picks 4

Dear White People
Because I don't want to get into a lengthy diatribe about race relations in America, I won't go into why I have high hopes for this film, but I will say that at this point, anticipation is nothing short of astronomical... which is is usually the perfect recipe for massive disappointment.  But the reviews I've seen so far for this flick have been practically flawless (a must see by The Stranger and 100% on Rotten Tomatoes) and the cast includes Tyler James Williams (Everybody Hates Chris) and Dennis Haysbert (24) ... so I have to ask, how the heck am I supposed to temper my expectations?!  All I can do is keep my fingers crossed and hope that Justin Simien doesn't let me down!  

SIFF picks 5

Animation 4 Adults 
Before we moved to Kenya, T and I had an annual tradition of watching all the Oscar-nominated animated shorts at the theater. This past year, we just missed out as we moved back to the States just as the Oscars aired but I'm finding that we still might be able to get our fix through 'Animation4Adults,' a compilation of standout animated shorts.  The line up includes Bill Plympton's 'Drunker than a Skunk' and 'Passer Passer' by Louis Morton.  For the full play list and show times, check out SIFF's wesite here.


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