All good things must come to an end and the 40th Seattle International Film Festival (SIFF) is no exception. Several hundred thousand movie goers have come into the dark over the last three weeks and for good reason. SIFF has offered up award winning and more obscure fare from around the world and afforded audience goers an opportunity to get up close and personal with filmmakers and actors including the likes of stars Laura Dern and Chiwetel Ejiofor who both received Outstanding Achievement in Acting Awards for their extensive bodies of work.
Perhaps you've made it to many screenings or are still trying to get into the swing of things. Either way SIFF still has dozens of options no matter your taste. Here are my top 10 picks for the final five days of the fest. Visit www.siff.net/festival for detailed schedule and ticketing information. See you at the movies! (Film capsules courtesy of SIFF)
Six years after her husband’s death, which coincided with the birth of their child, Amelia is struggling to raise her son, Samuel. When a book entitled “Mister Babadook” appears among Samuel’s possessions, it portends a chilling, spectral descent into fear and paranoia.
Black Coal, Thin Ice
China | 2014 | 106 minutes | Diao Yinan
This innovative, stylish, and compelling noir set among ordinary people in the northern Chinese provinces begins as disgraced detective-turned-security guard Zhang privately reopens the cold case that ended his career. Winner of the Best Picture, 2014 Berlinale.
Fly Colt Fly: The Legend of The Barefoot Bandit
Canada | 2013 | 82 minutes | Adam Gray, Andrew Gray
Animations and reenactments pepper this larger-than-life story of Camano Island teenage outlaw Colton Harris-Moore. He came to crime as a survivalist, and fascinated the public as a cop-eluding, airplane-stealing antihero.
South Korea | 2013 | 98 minutes | Gina Kim
Hoping to save his grandfather’s fledgling restaurant, teenage Mark uses his university savings to secretly enter Shanghai’s blockbuster cooking competition, led by Master Chef Julia Lee (international superstar Michelle Yeoh).
The Great Museum
Austria | 2014 | 94 minutes | Johannes Holzhausen
Director Johannes Holzhausen gives us an all-access pass to the directors, preservationists, curators, and general staff of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum over the course of one year while they renovate and re-brand one of Europe’s grandest treasures.
Life Feels Good
Poland | 2013 | 107 minutes | Maciej Pieprzyca
Heartbreaking and humorous, Life Feels Good has thrilled international audiences with virtuosic acting from Dawid Ogrodnik as Mateusz, a romantic, good-natured man with cerebral palsy who yearns to be understood by his family and friends. Based on a true story, this award-winning film is a testament to the endurance of the human spirit.
Switzerland | 2013 | 85 minutes | Lionel Baier
In 1974 a trio of unlikely colleagues are sent by VW bus to cover Swiss aid to poor countries for the radio, instead becoming swept up in Portugal’s Carnation Revolution.
Once Upon a Time in Shanghai
Shanghai tan ma yongzhen
A poor country laborer moves to a 1930s Shanghai overrun with gangsters and femme fatales and gets caught in a bloody mob war with only his kung fu skills at his disposal. A remake of the 1972 Shaw Brothers-produced Boxer From Shantung.
Canada | 2013 | 96 minutes | Richie Mehta
When his 12-year-old son goes missing, a street merchant begins a desperate search, hindered by the man’s poverty, illiteracy, and the challenge of locating anyone in a country of a billion souls.
To Fool a Thief
Argentina | 2013 | 105 minutes | Ariel Winograd
Who can scam a scammer? In this clever nod to Hitchcock’s To Catch a Thief, Sebastian and Natalia meet, and clash, while attempting to pilfer the same artwork from a museum. Then, they team up—with sights set on a coveted bottle of Malbec.