SIFF Notes

Late breaking news, and notes from the field on all events SIFF.

Recommendations for the first weekend of SIFF:

by Sean Axmaker. posted Friday, 5/14/99

The big event is Porgy and Bess, Otto Premingers big screen adaptation of the Gershwin musical (or a folk opera, as he called it) which has been unavailable for years because of the Gershwin estate. Its reputation is less than stellar, but its supposed to be gorgeous and SIFF has secured a newly struck 70mm print (it was also shot in 70mm). Sammy Davis Jr. claimed it was his best performance, but when he died the Gershwin estate would make no clips available. Ironically, due to contractual obligations, Davis is not even on the film soundtrack album, so this is the first time in decades well see and hear Davis strut his way through the role of Sportin Life.

The two best films I saw in advance of the weekend are Julio Medems Lovers of the Arctic Circle and Bernardo Bertoluccis Besieged, both of which have secured theatrical distribution. So if its a choice between seeing something good and seeing something good that you may not get a chance to see again, check out the deviously clever Buttoners, a Czechoslovakian comedy made up of six separate stories that constantly reference each other in the most inventive ways. And just wait until they explain the title to you!

Flashback highlights: Paul Verhoevens Cathy Tippel was a highlight of the first-ever SIFF, and Alan Rudolphs Choose Me made its American premiere at SIFF 1984. Director Alan Rudolph and Leslie Ann Warren will make an appearance with their film, a Seattle favorite and an elegant, charming romantic comedy by anybodys standards.

Coming guests:

Friday, 5/14:

Between Your Legs: director Manuel Gomez Pereira

The Loss of Sexual Innocence: director Mike Figgis and star Saffron Burrows

Nothing: director Dorota Kedzierzawska

Saturday, 5/15:

Better than Chocolate: Director Anne Wheeler

Breakfast of Champions: writer/director Alan Rudolph and actor Nick Nolte

Choose Me: writer/director Alan Rudolph and star Leslie Anne Warren

Pirates of Silicon Valley: director Martyn Burke and actor Anthony Michael Hall

Devils, Devils: director Dorota Kedzierzawska

Dill Scallion: director Jordan Brady and (local) actor Billy Burke

Sunday, 5/16:

Better Living Through Circuitry: director Jon Reiss

Monday, 5/17:

Dill Scallion: (local) actor Billy Burke

Tuesday, 5/18:

Such a Long Journey: director Strula Gunnerson

Wednesday, 5/19:

The Little Girl Who Fell From a Tree: director Michael Bartlett

Thursday, 5/20:

Lucy's Revenge: director Jan Mrozowski

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