If you like long movies, then tonight is your lucky night. It seems like one of the themes emerging from this year’s Seattle International Film Festival are movies that clock in at two hours or more. And tonight, moviegoers will be settling in to one of the handful of SIFF venues around town to catch one of these epic screenings.
So get caffeinated up and choose a comfortable movie seat because these films are worth every minute of screen time.
Okay, “Healing” falls just 1 minute shy of the two-hour mark but given a few SIFF trailers and promotional reels before the film actually hits the screen, you’ll definitely experience more than two hours of darkness in the theater. Healing through birds is the theme here as prison inmate Viktor rehabilitates injured birds as he goes through his own healing process. This redemptive tale is based on a true story. (6 pm, Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center: 119 minutes)
At the center of “Eastern Boys” is a French businessman who solicits a Ukrainian hustler leading to unintended and life-changing consequences. Discovering that the summoned prostitute is actually part of a group of young, undocumented immigrants from Russia, Ukraine and Romanian who are hell bent on survival by any means necessary, this story of lustful impulse quickly turns into a cautionary tale. The two-plus hours will fly by with this outing described as an erotically charged nail-biter. (3:30 pm, SIFF Cinema Uptown: 128 minutes)
If you’re going to sit through a remake of a Clint Eastwood classic western, then there’s no better way to do that than with Sang-il Lee’s “Unforgiven.” Lee’s setting of ‘Unforgiven” is literally a world apart from Eastwood’s 1992 masterpiece which was shot mostly in Alberta. This time around, Lee brings us the visual treat of a Meiji-era Japan replacing Eastwood’s role with a retired, yet feared samurai who picks up his sword once again in search of an irresistible bounty. (9:30 p, SIFF Cinema Uptown: 135 minutes)
What Now? Remind Me
This film may clock in at more than two and a half hours long, but that’s just a nanosecond of Joaquim’s experience with HIV experimental treatments as he chronicles his life dealing with these demanding clinical trials. “What Now? Remind Me” captures one year of Joaquim’s daily routine as he turns his camera on himself in this intimate video diary. The treatment Joaquim has to endure can be grueling, but he also takes this opportunity to inspire the viewer through his story. (8:00 pm SIFF Cinema Uptown: 164 minutes)
Not for the faint of heart, “Burning Bush” is the dramatization of what transpired when Prague student Jan Palach set himself on fire to protest the 1969 Soviet occupation of Czechoslovakia. Originally shot as a three-part HBO Europe miniseries, “Burning Bush” is presented here as director Agnieszka Holland’s feature cut. Holland certainly knows her way around an engaging cinematic opus as she has helmed award-winners such as "Europa, Europa," "Olivier, Olivier," and "Secret Garden." She was also a collaborator on Krzysztof Kieslowski’s “Three Colors: Blue.” Don’t let the epic run time scare you off. This film, which only screens once at SIFF, promises to keep you engaged until the last frame. (7 pm, Egyptian Theatre: 230 minutes)
For additional information on SIFF and for a complete listing of films please visit: www.siff.net.