A Note to the Reader: SIFF Notes provide you with the combined efforts of teachers, writers, editors, scholars, and drunks who've studied, taught, and analyzed (often while drunk) what film festivals mean to cinema as a whole and to you in particular. Opinions expressed in these notes aren't rigid dogma meant to discourage your intellectual exploration. You should use them as starting points to open yourself to new methods of encountering, understanding, and appreciating SIFF. Acquire some knowledge about the director and the film, and then see the film itself, reviewing and consulting SIFF Notes when necessary.

SIFF Notes give you the basics--including such features as information about the film, the country of origin, theater and showtime information, critical analyses, a full programming grid, and a list of special events to help you make more informed decisions about what films to see and more fully enjoy the ones you choose. Film festivals can be a daunting experience, especially for novices. It is best to consider a festival as you would gambling, though with more reasonable odds; you can expect to lose some wagers, but if you spend enough time at the festival table, you will surely come out ahead in the end. SIFF Notes are intended to help make your cinematic gambling as painless and responsible as possible.

One final note: The Stranger recently held a "28 Seconds" film contest, wherein we put a challenge to local filmmakers (and would-be filmmakers) to create an entertaining film lasting a mere twenty-eight seconds. From the over 100 entries we received, one was chosen. That one is The Homeless Salute The Stranger, created by the talented Ben-Alex Dupris, and you can view it before the following films in the festival: Big City Dick (Mon May 31, 9 pm), The Corporation (Sat May 29, 6 pm), Sky Blue (Sat June 5, 9 pm, and Mon June 7, 4:45 pm), and finally, Proteus (Thurs June 10, 7 pm).

Bradley Steinbacher, Stranger Film Editor

Signed capsules mean that a Stranger reviewer has seen the film. Unsigned capsules have been rewritten--and often inserted with unnecessary dumb jokes--from SIFF's promotional text. * DESIGNATES A STRANGER PICK *


25 Degrees in Winter
Belgium/France/Spain, 2004 (90 min.)

Dir. Stéphane Vuillet
Cast Carmen Maura, Jacques Gamblin, Ingeborga Dapkunaite

This may sound like a bleak Scandinavian epic, but that's because you're thinking Fahrenheit. Twenty-five degrees is quite a bit warmer in Europe, and so this film is actually a screwball comedy about illegal immigration.
Pacific Place Thurs June 10 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Sun June 13 6:30 pm

Thailand, 2000 (114 min.)

Dir. Pen-Ek Ratanaruang
Cast Lalita Panyopas, Tasanawalai Ongartittichai, Black Phomtong

A mousy slacker discovers millions in mob money on her doorstep. Bodies soon stack up like cordwood. This ultra-black noir comedy from the creator of Last Life in the Universe borrows heavily from early Coens and late Hitchcock, but adds a spark of free-form genre weirdness all its own. Slight, but cool. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
Pacific Place Sat June 12 2:00 pm

9 Souls
Japan, 2003 (120 min.)

Dir. Toshiaki Toyoda
Cast Yoshio Harada, Ryuhei Matsuda, Koji Chihara

This movie begins impressively: A wide shot from a bird's perspective slowly flies over the infinite cityscape of Tokyo. We are heading toward Tokyo's communication tower, and as we approach that structure, buildings just below or just ahead are suddenly erased by the wizardry of special effects. The buildings disappear as a late-rock melody is played on an electric guitar. Finally all of the buildings are gone, and instead of marvelous Tokyo, all that is left is the truth: lots of boring grass and trees. This conclusion to a very promising opening is, like the rest of the film, a major disappointment. Who cares about the truth of nature? And furthermore, the story of the 9 Souls (all of whom are escaped convicts) is flat. They are nothing more than a bunch of quirky criminals on a long road trip to absolutely nowhere. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Pacific Place Sun May 30 4:45 pm

Pacific Place Mon May 31 9:30 pm

911 Media Arts Panel: Where's the Money?: Finding Funding for Independent Film

Movies are expensive and free money is hard to find. This how-to discussion organized by 911 Media Arts Center will delve into grant writing and the ethics of corporate sponsorship (Lucky Strike, anyone? How about an Altoid?). Panelists include the director of grant programs for Artist Trust and the director of the Seattle Mayor's Office of Film and Music.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 12 11:15 am


An Afternoon with Patrice Leconte

If Patrice Leconte were not a filmmaker, he says he might like to have been an impressionist painter. Ask him about the quality of absinthe in Paris and anything else that strikes your fancy, this après-midi only.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 13 1:45 pm

Anatomy of Hell
France, 2004 (77 min.)

Dir. Catherine Breillat
Cast Amira Cassar, Rocco Siffredi, Alexandre Belin

Provocateur Catherine Breillat (Fat Girl, Romance) returns with another shocking film about people's private parts. Since the plot this time around involves a straight woman (Amira Cassar) paying a gay man (Euro porn star Rocco Siffredi) to confront his discomfort with the female anatomy, you can confidently expect copious quantities of menstrual blood.
Egyptian Wed May 26 9:15 pm

Harvard Exit Sun May 30 4:15 pm

ANIMATO! Shorts Package

Dir. Various

Animated shorts. Day Off the Dead, pun intended (Jeffrey Dates, Lee Lanier); Escape (John Rice); Hello (Jonathan Nix); Nesting Grounds (John Bergin); Oedipus (Jason Wishnow); Our Story (Blanca X. Aguerre); Overpass (Alan Price); Pulcinello (David Donar); This Is Not a Film (James Kelly); White Line Syndrome (Lourdes Villagemez Oviedo).
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon June 7 6:45 pm

Arimpara--A Story That Begins at the End
India/Japan, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Murali Nair
Cast Nedumudi Venu, Sona Nair, Bharathan Njarakkal

One of those rare art films from the land of Bollywood, Arimpara is about a man with a mole on his face. The mole grows and grows and grows. Poor man.
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon May 31 9:15 pm

Pacific Place Thurs June 3 2:00 pm

Asshak, Tales from the Sahara
Switzerland/Germany/the Netherlands, 2004 (100 min.)

Dir. Ulrike Koch

If you've never seen a camel lope, has this movie got a treat for you. As an impressionistic portrait of desert life, Asshak is entrancing, but its ethnography is sadly vapid. We learn that wrapping a turban is hard, that Saharan women wear makeup and bitch about their men, and that sometimes a girl's best friend is her goat. Beyond that, you'll probably see the people just as the filmmaker does: local color. (ANNIE WAGNER)
Harvard Exit Sun June 6 6:30 pm

Egyptian Tues June 8 4:45 pm

Japan, 2003 (115 min.)

Dir. Ryuhei Kitamura
Cast Aya Ueto, Kenji Kohashi, Yoshio Harada

In feudal Japan, a band of orphans are raised to be ruthless assassins. Numbered among them is Azumi (Aya Ueto), a woman who beheads with impunity and stays cute all the while.
Egyptian Sat May 22 midnight


Chile/Spain/Venezuela 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Gonzalo Justiniano
Cast Manuela Martelli, Eduardo Barril, Ricardo Fernendez, Lorene Prieto

Kathy (Manuela Martelli), a young girl with a tumultuous family life and some jail time under her belt, has every reason not to B-Happy. But she's feisty, and she makes do.
Brdwy Perf Hall Fri May 28 7:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 29 11:15 am

U.S., 2004 (108 min.)

Dir. Mario Van Peebles
Cast Mario Van Peebles, Joy Bryant, Ossie Davis

A dramatization of Melvin Van Peebles' struggle to finance the seminal blaxploitation film Sweet Sweetback's Baadasssss Song (1971), with Van Peebles' son Mario in the role of his father.
Harvard Exit Sat May 22 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Tues May 25 5:00 pm

The Basque Ball: Skin

Against the Stone
Spain, 2003 (106 min.)

Dir. Julio Medem

A documentary about the separatist movement in the Basque region of Spain, which recently (though erroneously) made headlines as a result of the train bombings in Madrid. From the director of the fancy DV soap opera Sex and Lucia.
Brdwy Perf Hall Wed May 26 4:30 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun May 30 9:30 pm

Thailand, 2004 (103 min.)

Dir. Nonzee Nimibutr
Cast Puwarit Poompuang, Jeeranan Manojam, Saranya Kruangsai, Attaporn Theemakorn

A Buddhist monk loses his religion when his sister dies in a terrorist attack, and must readjust to pluralistic life on the outside. The timely moral: Safely zipping up your pants is hard, but overcoming xenophobia is harder still.
Brdwy Perf Hall Tues June 8 9:00 pm

Harvard Exit Thurs June 10 5:00 pm

Before Sunrise
U.S., 1995 (105 min.)

Dir. Richard Linklater
Cast Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

After Slacker and Dazed and Confused but before SubUrbia, Richard Linklater made a gorgeous, quiet movie starring Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy about Eurail passes and young not-quite-love. Required viewing before Before Sunset.
Harvard Exit Sat June 5 2:00 pm

Before Sunset
U.S., 2004 (80 min.)

Dir. Richard Linklater
Cast Ethan Hawke, Julie Delpy

Ethan Hawke and Julie Delpy reunite after nearly a decade in this follow-up to Before Sunrise. Franco-American relations have deteriorated in the intervening years; will their abbreviated adolescent romance follow suit?
Cinerama Sat June 5 7:00 pm

U.S., 2004 (98 min.)

Dir. Tim Daly, Clark Mathis
Cast Vinessa Shaw, Tim Blake Nelson, Tim Daly, Marsha Mason

A young widow is haunted by the memory of her dead husband. Maybe she just needs to get the hell out of rural Vermont.
Egyptian Fri June 4 6:45 pm

Egyptian Sat June 5 1:30 pm

* The Best of Youth *
Italy, 2003 (Part I: 183 min., Part II: 183 min.)

Dir. Marco Tullio Giordana
Cast Luigi Lo Cascio Allessio Boni, Adriana Asti

Forty years of Italian history wrapped up into one pristine, melodramatic package. This six-hour movie has its contrivances and unfortunate narrative mannerisms (not to mention a few startlingly ineffective makeup jobs), but is addictively watchable and very rewarding. (ADAM HART)
Part I: Egyptian Sun June 6 1:30 pm

Part I: Harvard Exit Tues June 8 8:00 pm

Part II: Egyptian Sun June 6 5:15 pm

Part II: Harvard Exit Wed June 9 8:00 pm

* Big City Dick *
U.S., 2004 (129 min.)

Dir. Scott Milam, Ken Harder, Todd Pottinger
Cast Richard Peterson, Jeff Bridges, Johnny Mathis, Pat Cashman, John Keister

You know Richard Peterson from urban memories of your nostalgic past. He is that local musician that you've seen playing a trumpet on the streets of Seattle, yet you never knew his story. Johnny Mathis- and local media personality-obsessed, Richard Peterson will capture your heart and mind in this wonderful doc, much like the film captured the grand prize at Slamdance this past year. (SHANNON GEE)
Egyptian Mon May 31 9:00 pm

* The Blind * Swordsman: Zatoichi
Japan, 2003 (116 min.)

Dir. Takeshi Kitano
Cast Takeshi Kitano, Tadanobu Asano, Michiyo Ogusu

A blind, bleach-blond masseuse carves up everything in his path, with occasional pauses for gambling, cross-dressing, and full-on Riverdance routines. Beat Takashi's not-even-remotely-serious take on the long-running Japanese hero proves to be the actor/ director's most accessible film to date, with his patented combination of poker-faced slapstick, deadpan poetry, and cartoony ultraviolence in prime form. A freakin' hoot and a half. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
Cinerama Fri June 4 6:45 pm

Cinerama Sun June 6 9:00 pm

Ireland, 2003 (101 min.)

Dir. Sean Walsh
Cast Stephen Rea, Patrick Bergin, Angeline Ball

This freehand adaptation of James Joyce's Ulysses emphasizes the salacious bits and distills hundreds of dense pages into a handful of crunchy, quotable quotations. But on the whole, Bloom is harmless fun, and it features exuberant, amusing performances from all parties. (ANNIE WAGNER)
Pacific Place Sun June 6 6:30 pm

Pacific Place Mon June 7 2:00 pm

* Bonjour * Monsieur Shlomi
Israel, 2003 (94 min.)

Dir. Shemi Zarhin
Cast Oshri Cohen, Arie Elias, Aya Koren

On the level of art, this film is mundane. It looks like a soap opera, in which rooms are simply rooms, and clothes are simply clothes. It is the drama that makes this film rise considerably high above the substance of an afternoon TV show. It involves an Israeli family that is going through several crises at once. The father, who recently broke the most important vow of a marriage, is estranged and quarreling with his emotionally hurt wife. The only daughter of the family has a husband who, much to her frustration, is addicted to Internet porn. And a beautiful woman who lives next door is involved with the eldest son but also is deepening her relationship with the youngest son, Shlomi Bardayan (Oshri Cohen), the center of the movie. When the turmoil clears, love, like the sun, is brightly everywhere. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Pacific Place Sun May 30 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Mon May 31 4:15 pm

Bored in Brno
Czech Republic, 2003 (103 min.)

Dir. Vladimir Morevek
Cast Jan Budar, Katerina Holenóva, Miroslav Donutil

This debut film by Czech filmmaker Vladimir Morávek is about people having sex. Lots of people (Brno is the Czech Republic's second-biggest city) having lots of sex (there's not a lot to do in the Czech Republic's second-biggest city).
Pacific Place Wed June 9 4:45 pm

Pacific Place Thurs June 10 7:15 pm

Born into Brothels
India, 2003 (83 min.)

Dir. Ross Kauffman, Zana Briski

Ever wonder what happens to children who are born to prostitutes in Calcutta? Here's betting it's not pretty. The filmmakers intervene in the lives of some of these children, giving them cameras and asking them to take photographs documenting their lives.
Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs June 3 6:45 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 6 1:45 pm

The Boys from

County Clare
Ireland/Great Britain/Germany 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. John Irvin
Cast Philip Barantini, Colm Meaney, Charlotte Bradley, Andrea Corr

If you're looking for an affecting movie about two estranged brothers going head to head in a music competition, proceed directly to the identically themed (and far superior) The Saddest Music in the World. This bland mush of a movie is a waste of time; and moreover, whatever costumer got away with dressing a 1960s Irish Catholic girl in a 21st-century J. Crew sweater set ought to be ashamed. (ANNIE WAGNER)
Cinerama Thurs June 10 9:30 pm

Cinerama Fri June 11 4:30 pm

* Bright Future *
Japan, 2003 (92 min.)

Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Cast Jô Odagiri, Tadanobu Asano, Tatsuya Fuji

If you've been looking for the perfect zoological metaphor for Japan's disaffected youth, you've found it in Bright Future. Two young slackers would rather kill than get a straight job in "saiko hora" master Kiyoshi Kurosawa's lightly apocalyptic sci-fi statement about a boy, a father, and a killer jellyfish. (SHANNON GEE)
Harvard Exit Wed May 26 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Tues June 1 5:00 pm

Bright Leaves
U.S., 2003 (107 min.)

Dir. Ross McElwee

A slightly embellished personal documentary (a growing genre that definitely includes Hybrid and probably includes My Architect) about the director's family's long and storied history involving the tobacco plant.
Egyptian Mon June 7 7:00 pm

Bright Young Things
Great Britain, 2003 (105 min.)

Dir. Stephen Fry
Cast Stephen Campbell Moore, Emily Mortimer, Dan Aykroyd, Jim Broadbent, Stockard Channing, Peter O'Toole

See also An Evening with Stephen Fry. There really ought to be more film adaptations of Evelyn Waugh novels. Such dissolution! Such debauchery! The relative paucity of such adaptations must be blamed on the fact that Hollywood is not in the UK.
Cinerama Sun June 6 3:45 pm

Pacific Place Tues June 8 5:00 pm

Brother to Brother
U.S., 2004 (90 min.)

Dir. Rodney Evans
Cast Anthony Mackie, Roger Robinson, Larry Gilliard Jr.

The line between frankly implausible and merely unlikely is so fine.... An elderly homeless man who once took part in the Harlem Renaissance is befriended by a gay art student. Conversations ensue.
Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs May 27 6:45 pm

Norway, 2003 (104 min.)

Dir. Morten Tyldum
Cast Nicolai Cleve Broch, Aksel Hennie, Anders Baasmo Christiansen

The Norwegians are back with another warm comedy, this time about the trials and tribulations of being on reality TV.
Harvard Exit Fri May 28 9:30 pm

Egyptian Mon May 31 11:00 am

* Buffalo Bill's Defunct--* Stories from the New West
U.S., 2004 (84 min.)

Dir. Matt Wilkins
Cast Earl Prebezac, Keith Fox, Frances Hear

Crotchety, curmudgeonly Grandpa Bill leads his goofy brood in not raising a barn, but tearing down a garage. Local director Matt Wilkins' largely improvised feature is somewhat untraditional in structure, but it feels keenly real in its graceful and humorous sketches on family relationships. (SHANNON GEE)
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon May 31 4:00 pm

Busting Out
U.S., 2004 (59 min.)

Dir. Laurel Spellman Smith

A movie about boobies! And breast cancer. Screens with another movie, with an even better title: Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65.
Brdwy Perf Hall Wed June 2 6:45 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 5 9:15 pm


France, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Jean Marc Brandolo
Cast Serge Riauvouvine, Gérald Laroche, Florence Thomassin, Kari Vaananen

A mismatched buddy road movie that works neither as a comedy nor a drama, although it wants to be both. A deadpan acting style is canceled out by gritty vérité-style visuals, and, despite some decent performances, the whole thing is a misguided affair. (ADAM HART)
Brdwy Perf Hall Tues June 1 9:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Wed June 2 4:30 pm

Argentina, 2003 (115 min.)

Dir. Gastón Biraben
Cast Berbara Lombardo, Mercedes Funes, Susana Campos

A politcal coming-of-age drama/mystery about a teenage girl who discovers that her parents were activists who vanished in the '70s.
Pacific Place Fri June 11 9:30 pm

Cinerama Sun June 13 1:15 pm

Brazil/Argentina, 2003 (148 min.)

Dir. Hector Babenco
Cast Luiz Carlos Vasconcelos, Milton Gonçalves, Ivan de Almeida

From the director of Kiss of the Spider Woman comes this story of incarceration and insurrection, drawn from the 1992 prisoner revolt in Sáo Paulo.
Pacific Place Fri May 21 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Sun May 23 1:30 pm

U.S., 2004 (120 min.)

Dir. Lisa Cholodenko
Cast Kyra Sedgwick, Kevin Bacon, Aidan Quinn

An adaptation of Dorothy Allison's second novel, this film encompasses the usual themes, including family, abuse, and small-town life in the South. Kyra Sedgwick stars as Delia, a West Coast rocker who's returning to her hometown in Georgia to wrest custody of her daughters from her dying ex-husband.
Egyptian Thurs June 3 7:00 pm

Egyptian Sat June 5 11:00 am

Israel/Japan, 2003 (80 min.)

Dir. Yoav Shamir

This documentary is about the designated military checkpoints in the West Bank and the Gaza Strip, where Palestinians face routine interrogations and interminable waits as they attempt to travel between cities.
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon May 24 6:45 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Tues May 25 4:30 pm

The Coldest Day
China, 2003 (102 min.)

Dir. Xie Dong
Cast Xu Yajun, Hu Jingfan

A married lawyer gets himself all hot and bothered over the wife of his jailed client. Talk about cheating the system.
Harvard Exit Sat June 12 6:30 pm

Harvard Exit Sun June 13 11:30 am

* Control Room *
Egypt, 2004 (84 min.)

Dir. Jehane Noujaim

Good documentaries are often about good timing, and Jehane Noujaim, who captured her then-roommate riding the boom and bust of the dot-com era in Startup.com, has struck lightning again with this revealing doc about the Al-Jazeera network and wartime journalism during the outbreak of America's war with Iraq. (SHANNON GEE)
Egyptian Wed June 9 7:00 pm

Egyptian Thurs June 10 4:45 pm

The Corporation
Canada, 2003 (2003 min.)

Dir. Mark Achbar, Jennifer Abbott

If business models were people, the family-owned restaurant would be a kindly old grandma and the corporation would be a psychopath. That's the diagnosis of this fairly long but often informative documentary by the filmmakers who brought us Manufacturing Consent. (SHANNON GEE)
Harvard Exit Thurs May 27 4:15 pm

Egyptian Sat May 29 6:00 pm

* Cowards Bend the Knee *
Canada, 2003 (60 min.)

Dir. Guy Maddin
Cast Darcy Fehr, Melissa Dionisio, Amy Stewart

Originally created for a peepshow installation, this film is too good to keep out of theaters. Guy Maddin's silent tour de force might be the closest the cinema has ever come to reproducing the logic of dreams. Despite its ridiculous plot, which involves severed hands, hockey stars, and cross-dressing surgeons, as well as Maddin's customary Freudian expurgations, Cowards Bend the Knee works extremely well as a melodrama. Perhaps Maddin's best film, it is his least ironic work, and is at times genuinely emotional. (ADAM HART)
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 22 9:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun May 23 4:00 pm

U.S., 2004 (87 min.)

Dir. Gregory Jacobs
Cast John C. Reilly, Diego Luna, Maggie Gyllenhaal

A remake of the Argentinean hit Nine Queens, with the original's sheet of rare stamps swapped for Criminal's 19th-century silver certificate.
Cinerama Sat June 12 6:15 pm


U.S., 2004 (97 min.)

Dir. Mark Milgard
Cast Mare Winningham, Vincent Kartheiser, Taryn Manning

Beautiful blue skies, babbling brooks, sun-kissed fields of wheat, small-time folks with no direction. How can people be so misguided in a setting like this? Vincent Kartheiser plays the handsome young man who is best suited to mend this existential dilemma, yet everyone around him annoyingly resists. Filmed in Idaho and Eastern Washington. (SHANNON GEE)
Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs May 27 4:30 pm

Egyptian Sun May 30 9:00 pm

* Danny Deckchair *
Australia, 2003 (101 min.)

Dir. Jeff Balsmeyer
Cast Rhys Ifans, Miranda Otto, Justine Clarke

The words "Australian comedy" are enough to send some people running and screaming from the theater, but I liked Danny Deckchair, mainly because Rhys Ifans and Miranda Otto handle the high-concept goofiness with nimble skill, and that's tough given that the premise involves the main character flying away on a deckchair tied to helium balloons. (SHANNON GEE)
Egyptian Fri May 28 6:45 pm

Egyptian Sun May 30 3:45 pm

Darkness Bride
Hong Kong/Taiwan, 2003 (104 min.)

Dir. William Kwok
Cast Fang Jing, Tang Lu, Wu Jian, Gao Fei

The premise of this film is disturbing enough: The bodies of dead virgins are being traded on the black market to serve as the spiritual brides of equally dead bachelors. Then, one of the dead virgins comes back to life. Erp.
Harvard Exit Thurs June 10 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Fri June 11 5:00 pm

Dear Frankie
Scotland, 2004 (105 min.)

Dir. Shona Auerbach
Cast Emily Mortimer, Gerard Butler, Jack McElhone

The moral of the story: Don't tell your kid that his missing father is on a ship sailing around the world (and write him make-believe letters from Pop at sea) if you think there's any chance of said ship someday docking in your town.
Pacific Place Thurs June 3 7:15 pm

Cinerama Sun June 6 11:00 am

Death & Texas
U.S., 2004 (77 min.)

Dir. Kevin DiNovis
Cast Charles Durning, Steve Harris, Corbin Bernsen, Jello Biafra, Mary Kay Place

"Barefoot" Bobby Briggs is a football star sentenced to death for his part in a robbery gone wrong. Hilarity ensues, however, when Briggs is released from prison for a day in order to help his old team with a game.
Brdwy Perf Hall Wed June 9 9:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Fri June 11 4:45 pm

Death in Gaza
Great Britain, 2003 (77 min.)

Dir. James Miller

James Miller's documentary on the impact that the Arab-Israeli conflict has had on Palestinian children is devastating. Shot in 2002, the situation for the Arab boys and girls in Gaza City was then (as it still is now) desperate and miserable. Many reviewers will, predictably, criticize the documentary for being one-sided. Even so, this does not weaken or eliminate the fact that what we see in Death in Gaza are viewpoints from real experiences--experiences organized (and disorganized) by military zones and dominated by military vehicles. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Brdwy Perf Hall Fri May 21 4:45 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 22 6:15 pm

The Debut
Soviet Union, 1970 (91 min.)

Dir. Gleb Panfilov
Cast Inna Churikova, Leonid Kuravlev, Valentina Telichkina

Starring as the lead in a Joan of Arc film changes the life of a small-town factory worker.
Harvard Exit Sun May 23 4:15 pm

Deep Breath
Iran, 2003 (82 min.)

Dir. Parviz Shahbazi
Cast Saeed Amini, Maryam Palizban, Mansour Shahbazi

The cozy friendship of two young Iranian students is tested when a fiery young woman destabilizes their slacker lifestyle and close bond.
Harvard Exit Mon June 7 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Thurs June 10 2:00 pm

U.S., 2004 (110 min.)

Dir. Ondi Timoner

Through a completely reverential, but honest, eye, Dandy Warhols founder and mouthpiece extraordinaire Courtney Taylor documents his love/hate relationship with Anton Newcomb, leader of the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Taylor thinks Newcomb is a musical visionary, but one hell of a fucker when it comes to responsibility, and a self-medicating mental case who drives everyone around him insane--even to the hilarious point when two members quit mid-tour and resolve to walk from Chicago to L.A. (KATHLEEN WILSON)
Egyptian Sat May 22 9:00 pm

Donau, Duna, Dunaj, Dunav, Dunarea
Austria, 2003 (89 min.)

Dir. Goran Rebic
Cast Otto Sander, Robert Stadlober

This heavy-handed allegory is packed with oh-so-meaningful symbolism and such that will make you want to slap someone--preferably the director, as he is clearly very talented and has constructed a beautiful film that might have been great if only it weren't so unnecessarily, sometimes laughably, insistent about its own philosophical depth. (ADAM HART)
Pacific Place Tues June 1 7:00 pm

Harvard Exit Fri June 4 5:00 pm

* Donnie Darko--The * Director's Cut
U.S., 2004 (133 min.)

Dir. Richard Kelly
Cast Jake Gyllenhaal, Holmes Osborne, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Daveigh Chase, Mary McDonnell, James Duval, Patrick Swayze, Drew Barrymore, Noah Wyle

Richard Kelly's cult phenomenon finally gets the cut it deserves. Will it be a better version than the original, or merely an exercise in indulgence? Kelly himself will be in town for the screening, so you can chat about it with him then.
Pacific Place Sat May 29 6:30 pm

* Doppelganger *
Japan, 2003 (107 min.)

Dir. Kiyoshi Kurosawa
Cast Koji Yakusho, Hiromi Nagasaku, Yusuke Santamaria

A nebbishy inventor's plans for creating a dancing robot chair are derailed by the unexplained appearance of his evil twin. Then things get weird. Director Kurosawa (Cure, this festival's Bright Future) tackles his usual concerns--technology run amuck, apocalyptic identity loss--with a newly found crazy-ass comedic streak. Completely insane, in the best possible sense. (ANDREW WRIGHT
Harvard Exit Wed May 26 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Mon May 31 2:00 pm

Down to the Bone
U.S., 2004 (110 min.)

Dir. Debra Granik
Cast Vera Farmiga, Hugh Dillon, Clint Jordan

The life of a coke addict (something, ahem, that young Seattleites know nothing about) is explored through the story of a woman struggling to keep her family in the dark about her habit as her world starts unraveling.
Brdwy Perf Hall Fri May 28 9:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun May 30 4:00 pm

China/Hong Kong/Taiwan, 2003 (120 min.)

Dir. Wang Xiaoshuai
Cast Duan Long, Shu Yan, Zhao Yiwei

Back home in China after being separated from his son by deportation from the U.S., a fuming, slouchy twentysomething mopes and smokes and looks great doing it. Glacial pacing conveys disaffection and boredom. Rebel Without a Cause, the New Wave, and socialist realism mix somberly, leaving me disengaged. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Harvard Exit Mon May 31 1:45 pm

Harvard Exit Tues June 1 9:30 pm


Eager Bodies
France, 2003 (94 min.)

Dir. Xavier Giannoli
Cast Laura Smet, Nicolas Duvauchelle, Marie Denarnaud

So very français. A young woman suffering from a potentially fatal disease finds herself in a love triangle with her boyfriend and her trés sexy cousin. The star, Laura Smet, is the daughter of actress Nathalie Baye and musician Johnny Hallyday.
Egyptian Sun June 6 9:00 pm

Cinerama Tues June 8 2:00 pm

El Alamein: In the Line of Fire
Italy, 2003 (117 min.)

Dir. Enzo Monteleone
Cast Paolo Briguglia, Pierfrancesco Favino, Luciano Scarpa

A naive Italian university student volunteers for the North African front during World War II. The film starts promisingly but grinds to a halt in arid wastes of sentiment, celebrating warriors as noble despite misguided wars. The film is unlikely to have added recruits for Iraq, an apparent rhetorical goal. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Egyptian Mon May 24 4:30 pm

Pacific Place Thurs May 27 9:30 pm

An Evening with Stephen Fry

This prolific actor has just directed his first film, Bright Young Things, which you may view immediately prior to this evening conversation (separate admission required). Fry has a plethora of acting credits to his name, including such art-house fare as Gosford Park and Wilde and such comedic favorites as A Fish Called Wanda.
Cinerama Sun June 6 6:15 pm

* Evergreen *
U.S., 2004 (85 min.)

Dir. Enid Zentelis
Cast Cara Seymour, Mary Kay Place, Addie Land

A modest, and modestly successful, mother-daughter drama filmed in Everett. Henri and her mother move in with Grandma after falling on hard times. Henri is swept away by a local rich kid; her mother flirts with a Native American casino worker. Tension, and healing, ensue--all delivered with a loudly beating heart. A pleasant, if unchallenging, little film. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)
Egyptian Thurs May 27 7:00 pm

Egyptian Sat May 29 11:00 am

* Everyday People *
U.S., 2004 (91 min.)

Dir. Jim McKay
Cast Jordan Gelber, Bridget Barkan

Director Jim McKay is really good at capturing community, and his latest, Everyday People, takes a cue from the Sly Stone song to juggle the conflicts and bonds within a Jewish-owned, black-run Brooklyn restaurant that is about to sell out to a slick developer. (SHANNON GEE)
Harvard Exit Fri May 21 7:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun May 23 1:45 pm


* Facing Window *
Italy/Great Britain/Turkey/Portugal 2003 (106 min.)

Dir. Ferzan Ozpetek
Cast Giovanna Mezzogiorno, Massimo Girotti

An unhappy Italian couple takes in an elderly amnesiac. When he wanders off, the young wife meets a young man who lives in the apartment across the street. Eventually, the old man helps her to realize her dreams. Successful despite this cargo of romance-novel baggage. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Pacific Place Fri June 4 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Sat June 5 4:15 pm

Father and Sons
France/Canada, 2003 (97 min.)

Dir. Michel Boujenah
Cast Philippe Noiret, Charles Berling

Philippe Noiret, star of the mysteriously beloved Cinema Paradiso, plays an elderly father whose family is in tatters. Determined to reunite the clan, he fakes a terminal illness.
Egyptian Mon May 31 6:00 pm

Harvard Exit Wed June 2 5:00 pm

Fear and Trembling
France/Japan, 2003 (107 min.)

Dir. Alain Corneau
Cast Sylvie Testud, Kori Tsuji

A young Belgian woman returns to the accidental place of her birth--Japan--and works as a translator. What she finds is a thoroughly confusing culture.
Egyptian Fri June 4 9:00 pm

Pacific Place Sun June 13 9:30 pm

Feathers in my Head
Belgium/France, 2003 (100 min.)

Dir. Thomas de Thier
Cast Sophie Museur, Francis Renaud

Set over the course of four seasons, this remake of Alan Alda's classic--no wait, that's not right. This is really the story of a young couple and their spacy son Arthur, who one spring day wanders off. Chaos ensues.
Brdwy Perf Hall Fri May 21 9:15 pm

Harvard Exit Sun May 30 2:00 pm

The Feminine Vision Shorts Package

Shorts by women. Awake (Lori Lovoy-Goran); Dysenchanted (Terri Edda Miller); Nigel's Fingerprint (Amy McConnell); Perfection (Karen Lin); Seven's Eleven (Amy Iorio); Sparks (Virginie Danglades); Ugly (Moon Zappa).
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 22 11:15 am

Festival Express
Canada, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Bob Smeaton
Cast The Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, The Band, The Flying Burrito Brothers, Buddy Guy

The year: 1970. The bands: the Grateful Dead, Janis Joplin, the Flying Burrito Brothers, the Band, and more. The audience: Canadian hippies. The film: a documentary on the tour, with rarely seen archival footage.
Egyptian Thurs June 3 9:30 pm

Egyptian Sat June 5 3:45 pm

* The Five Obstructions *
Denmark/Belgium/Switzerland/France 2003 (90 min)

Dir. Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier
Cast Jørgen Leth, Lars von Trier

There are a lot of things to grab onto in this chronicling of Lars von Trier's challenge to director Jørgen Leth to remake his 1967 short film The Perfect Human five times with five different obstructions. You can appreciate the different variations, laugh at the different restrictions, or in my case, question the psychological relationship between the pushy von Trier and the depressive Leth. (SHANNON GEE)
Pacific Place Sun May 23 6:45 pm

Pacific Place Wed May 26 5:00 pm

The Forest
Cameroon/Gabon/Central African Republic 2003 (93 min.)

Dir. Didier Ouénangaré, Bassek ba Kobhio
Cast Eriq Ebouaney, Nadège Beausson-Diagne, Sonia Zembourou

It's reality-check time for a European-educated African who naively decides to abandon his comfortable life and travel to the rain forest to get in touch with his people.
Harvard Exit Wed June 2 7:15 pm

Egyptian Fri June 4 4:30 pm

Frankie and Johnny Are Married
U.S., 2003 (95 min.)

Dir. Michael Pressman
Cast Michael Pressman, Lisa Chess

Unexceptional middle-of-the-road fare that plays like Larry David-lite. This trendily self-reflexive reenactment of a theatrical debacle that stars everybody as him/herself pokes fun at everyone in a safe, winking way so that nobody's hurt and no insight is even remotely possible. The jury's still out on whether it's a vanity project or an attempt to recoup the financial losses of said theatrical debacle. (ADAM HART)
Harvard Exit Tues May 25 7:15 pm

Harvard Exit Wed May 26 5:00 pm


The Game of Their Lives
South Korea/Great Britain, 2003 (80 min.)

Dir. Daniel Gordon

A documentary on the improbable run of the 1966 North Korean World Cup Team. Preceded by a short.
Brdwy Perf Hall Tues May 25 6:45 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Fri May 28 4:45 pm

* Garden State *
U.S., 2004 (109 min.)

Dir. Zach Braff
Cast Zach Braff, Natalie Portman

Scrubs is the best sitcom on TV and star Zach Braff seems to have picked up a few winning pointers for his feature-length directorial debut, which has some of the best jib arm shots I've seen in years. Andrew slouches back to NJ for his mother's funeral where his old friends and a new girl help him on a journey of self-discovery. Sounds pretty standard, but the dark comedy and punch-line pace make it rise above your general coming-of-age story, even when it gets a little too on the nose. (SHANNON GEE)
Cinerama Fri June 11 6:45 pm

Pacific Place Sun June 13 11:30 am

Ghost in the Shell 2:

Japan, 2004 (99 min.)

Dir. Mamoru Oshii
Cast Akio Ôtsuka, Atsuko Tanaka

The follow-up to the 1998 anime classic Ghost in the Shell, this film follows murderous cyberchicks on a path of destruction that causes one man-made special agent to suddenly question his place in the universe. You may want to self-medicate beforehand--if you know what we mean.
Cinerama Sat June 12 9:00 pm

The Girl on the Bridge
France, 1999 (92 min.)

Dir. Patrice Leconte
Cast Daniel Artueil, Vanessa Paradis

Patrice Leconte's beloved film from 1999 about a knife-thrower and his new assistant.
Harvard Exit Sat May 29 2:00 pm

The Goddess
China, 1934 (77 min.)

Dir. Wu Yonggang
Cast Ruan Ling-Yu, Zhang Zhizhi

This silent film (from 1934) tells the story of a young mother forced into prostitution to help support her son. With live piano accompaniment.
Egyptian Sat May 29 3:45 pm

Go Further
Canada, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Ron Mann
Cast Woody Harrelson, Ken Kesey, Michael Franti, Anthony Kiedis

Woody Harrelson is a stinkin' hippie. Always with the hemp, that one. And now in this documentary, always on a bio-fueled bus with his buddies (yoga teacher, hemp activist, raw-foods activist) discussing how to be more eco-friendly with the likes of Dave Matthews, Anthony Kiedis, and Michael Franti.
Egyptian Fri May 21 4:30 pm

Pacific Place Sun May 23 9:30 pm

* Goodbye Dragon Inn *
Taiwan, 2003 (81 min.)

Dir. Tsai Ming-liang
Cast Lee Kang-sheng, Chen Shiang-chyi

Tsai Ming-liang often challenges audiences with his cinematic tempo--it's about as fast as a turtle racing a snail--but Goodbye Dragon Inn, an ode to the old movie houses of Taiwan that looks like a Hopper painting and sounds like a gentle rain, is simply rewarding in its compositions--both emotional and pictorial. It's slooow. It's beautiful. Go see it. (SHANNON GEE)
Pacific Place Tues June 8 7:15 pm

A Good Lawyer's Wife
South Korea, 2003 (105 min.)

Dir. Im Sang-soo
Cast Moon So-ri, Hwang Jeong-min, Yun Yeo-jeong

A family crumbles from the inside when infidelities, personal crises, and a young kid ready to get all Mrs. Robinson on a hotshot lawyer's wife make dysfunctional a level to live up to.
Harvard Exit Sat May 22 11:30 am

Harvard Exit Mon May 24 7:15 pm

The Graffiti Artist
U.S., 2003 (80 min.)

Dir. James Bolton
Cast Ruben Bansie-Snellman, Pepper Fajans

In Seattle, a young would-be anarchist tags his manifesto all over town. It is a lonely life--until he meets a fellow tagger and a friendship is born.
Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs June 10 9:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 13 4:00 pm

The Great Unspoken

Shorts Package

Wordless shorts. 11.15.03 (William Ross); Apart (Eric Atwood); Aspiration (Constant Mentzas); Foster Island (Serge Gregory); The Perpetual Twilight of Gregor Black (Nigel Atkinson, Huw Davies); Tackle Box (Matthew Mebane); Threshold (Jeremy R. Nichols); Wildflowers (Geoffrey Uloth).
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 5 4:00 pm

The Green Butchers
Denmark, 2003 (100 min.)

Dir. Anders Thomas Jensen
Cast Mads Mikkelsen, Nikolaj Lie Kaas

Two butchers concoct a creative solution to a meat shortage by making cold cuts out of one of their fianceés.
Cinerama Thurs June 10 7:15 pm

Cinerama Sun June 13 11:00 am

Guerrilla: The Taking of Patty Hearst
U.S./Great Britain, 2004 (89 min.)

Dir. Robert Stone

This documentary looks into the Symbionese Liberation Army, who--among other self-proclaimed "revolutionary" tactics in the '60s and '70s--robbed banks, assassinated Oakland's first black superintendent, and kidnapped newspaper heiress Patty Hearst.
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon May 31 6:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Tues June 1 4:30 pm


Hanging Offense
France, 2003 (100 min.)

Dir. Guillame Nicloux
Cast Josiane Balasko, Eric Caravaca

An existential French movie (is that a tautology?) about a lonely police captain simultaneously trying to resolve a haunting trio of situations: an unusual suicide, her son's death, and unrelenting insomnia.
Pacific Place Mon May 24 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Tues May 25 5:00 pm

Harry and Max
U.S., 2004 (73 min.)

Dir. Christopher Münch
Cast Bryce Johnson, Cole Williams, Rain Phoenix

Boy bands, siblings, camping, and sexual tomfoolery. And surprisingly, this film is from America.
Harvard Exit Sat June 5 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Sun June 6 2:00 pm

Haute Tension
France, 2003 (89 min.)

Dir. Alexandre Aja
Cast Cécile De France, Maìwenn Le Besco

This chainsaw massacre reaches new heights in homo-hysterical horror. Not only is the heroine thoroughly and brutally scolded for having any sort of sex drive (let alone a lesbian one), but in the end it seems the film directly associates her homosexuality with an explicit, bloody attack on the traditional family. But then again, the chainsaw looks really cool, and we get to watch I Stand Alone's Philip Nahon play another brooding psychopath. (ADAM HART)
Valley Drive-In Sun May 30 9:30 pm

Egyptian Fri June 4 midnight

Hedda Gabler
U.S., 2004 (88 min.)

Dir. Paul Willis
Cast Heidi Schreck, Matt Ford, Tricia Rodley

Henrik Ibsen's work somehow finds itself in Wenatchee, of all places.
Egyptian Sat June 12 6:00 pm

Egyptian Sun June 13 3:45 pm

Heir to an Execution
U.S., 2004 (99 min.)

Dir. Ivy Meeropol

The granddaughter of Julius and Ethel Rosenberg speaks about her family, their possible crimes, and their refusal to speak up before execution.
Brdwy Perf Hall Fri May 21 7:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 22 4:00 pm

* Hero *
China/Hong Kong, 2002 (98 min.)

Dir. Zhang Yimou
Cast Jet Li, Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Chiu-wai, Zhang Ziyi

In feudal China, a nameless warrior's (Jet Li) gravity-defying feats of derring-do earn him an audience with his assassination-obsessed emperor. Multiple double-crosses, tragic affairs, and bountiful chop-socky follow. Finally released from the shelf after two years of inexplicable captivity, Yimou's (Raise the Red Lantern) film proves to be an epic in the best possible sense. The flashback-heavy narrative can get needlessly convoluted at times; otherwise, a kick-ass, almost absurdly beautiful (courtesy of festival-guest Christopher Doyle) achievement. Also starring Maggie Cheung, Crouching Tiger's Zhang Ziyi, and half a billion arrows. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
Cinerama Sat June 5 9:15 pm

Cinerama Mon June 7 4:00 pm


* I Always Wanted * to Be a Saint
Luxemboug/Belgium 2003 (92 min.)

Dir. Geneviève Mersch
Cast Marie Kremer, Barbara Roland

Although this movie starts out as your average, everyday coming-of-age story, it soon grows much sharper and packs much more of a punch than most other entries in the genre. About a girl whose years of repressed anxieties about her mother's abandonment have finally come to a head, I Always Wanted to Be a Saint is a very effective portrait of a young woman trying to maintain her sanity when it seems that a breakdown might be the only reasonable solution. (ADAM HART)
Brdwy Perf Hall Sun May 23 9:15 pm

Pacific Place Thurs May 27 2:00 pm

IFP-Seattle Panel: Pitch Slam

Three lucky screenwriters get to pitch their projects before executive producers--and you get to watch them stutter and blush. It's like reality TV, except it's more like reality theater.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 12 4:00 pm

* Imelda *
U.S., 2003 (84 min.)

Dir. Ramona S. Diaz

This is an absolutely charming portrait of a mad woman. The mad woman in question is Imelda Marcos, the widow of the Filipino dictator Ferdinand Marcos. During her peak, when she ruled with her handsome husband the islands that make up the Philippines, she was utterly mad. But the glittering halls of presidents, the grand bedrooms of prime ministers, and the extravagant dinner tables of billionaires were there to accommodate, absorb, and fuel her insanity. Now that she has been dethroned, the madness persists on its own. This documentary captures a madness that is entirely naked. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Egyptian Sat May 22 11:00 am

Egyptian Tues May 25 7:00 pm

In the Realms of the Unreal
U.S., 2003 (81 min.)

Dir. Jessica Yu

Jessica Yu animates the secret world of Harvey Darger, a loner janitor who died and left behind an apartment full of vibrant drawings and a 15,000-page novel about seven heroic girls who fight an epic battle against an army of evil men. The psychology of this outsider art is unclear, but Yu gives it her best shot. (SHANNON GEE)
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon May 24 4:30 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Tues May 25 9:00 pm

* In Your Hands *
Denmark, 2004 (100 min.)

Dir. Annette K. Olesen
Cast Ann Eleonora, Trine Dyrholm

A novice prison chaplain (the marvelous Petrine Agger) becomes increasingly affected by a mysterious inmate rumored to have healing powers. Not the usual women-in-prison flick, this Dogme production promises an emotional marathon from frame one, and nails it. Strong, vital stuff, with a lingering sadness that not even a frustratingly enigmatic ending can wreck. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
Pacific Place Thurs May 27 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Fri May 28 5:00 pm

Incident at Loch Ness
U.S., 2003 (95 min.)

Dir. Zak Penn
Cast Zak Penn, Werner Herzog, Kitana Baker

The great Werner Herzog assembles a group of the world's mythological-creature experts and attempts to find the Loch Ness Monster. No, really. Surely this is a film that can't be missed.
Egyptian Thurs June 10 9:15 pm

Egyptian Sat June 12 3:45 pm

* The Infernal * Affairs Trilogy
Hong Kong, 2003 (Part 1: 100 min., Part 2: 100 min., Part 3: 117 min.)

Dir. Andrew Lau, Alan Mak
Cast Anthony Wong, Eric Tsang

Infernal Affairs, Infernal Affairs II, Infernal Affairs III--the plot, and it really is one big, shared plot among the three, is far too compelling and intricate to properly sum up here, but Andrew Lau and Alan Mak's trilogy is breathtaking. A cross between The Godfather and Michael Mann's Heat set in Hong Kong, the chance to see all three films in the same day is something that should not be passed up. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)
Part I: Cinerama Sat June 5 11 am

Part I: Cinerama Mon June 7 10 pm

Part II: Cinerama Sat June 5 1:30 pm

Part II: Cinerama Tues June 8 10 pm

Part III: Cinerama Sat June 5 3:45 pm

Part III: Cinerama Wed June 9 9:30 pm

Denmark, 2003 (107 min.)

Dir. Per Fly
Cast Ulrich Thomsen, Lisa Werlinder

The son of a steel tycoon returns to Denmark after his father's death. Battling bankruptcy and squabbles within his family, he tries to pull the family business back together.
Harvard Exit Tues June 1 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Mon June 7 5:00 pm

Intimate Strangers
France, 2004 (105 min.)

Dir. Patrice Leconte
Cast Fabrice Luchini, Sandrine Bonnaire

A young woman with... shall we say, issues, walks into what she thinks is a psychiatrist's office and spills her troubles. There's a problem, however, for the psychiatrist she spills to is actually a tax consultant. Deception and trouble, of course, ensue.
Cinerama Sun June 13 6:00 pm


Jagged Harmonies
Germany/Switzerland 2003 (99 min.)

Dir. Dominique de Rivaz
Cast Vadim Glowna, Jürgen Vogel, Anatole Taubman

A sickly Johann Sebastian Bach meets King Frederick II of Prussia. Any further explanation is unnecessary.
Pacific Place Fri May 28 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Sat May 29 4:15 pm

* Jagoda in the * Supermarket
Serbia/Yugoslavia/Germany/Italy, 2002 (90 min.)

Dir. Dusan Milic
Cast Branka Katic, Srdjan Todorovic

Bouncy, wild fun with an anti-capitalist bent. When an American-themed supermarket is taken hostage, a young cashier finds herself falling for the man with the gun, while crowds cheer on the terrorist and his periodic anti-police, anti-globalization ranting. Directed by one of Emir Kusturica's more frequent collaborators (with Kusturica in a supporting role), it has the same anarchic spirit, but is more focused and character-driven, and a little quieter, than most of the master's work. (ADAM HART)
Pacific Place Mon May 24 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Wed May 26 2:00 pm

Jester Till
Germany/Belgium 2003 (84 min.)

Dir. Eberhard Junkersdorf
Cast Lee Evans, Sharon Alexander

This German animated film attempts a Disneyfication of folktale trickster Till Eugenspiel and fails. Instead of cribbing Snow White and Pinocchio, the animators deliver a washed-out copy of The Sword in the Stone, Robin Hood, and Aladdin (viz., the Indian-accented rapping magic mirror). Squirm-inducingly free of dramatic or comedic tension. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Pacific Place Sat May 22 11:30 am

Pacific Place Sun May 23 11:30 am


KAFAnime! Shorts Package

A collection of new South Korean animation from the Korean Academy of Film Arts. Blue Sunday (Ahn Ji-min); Hi (Choi Won-jae); Intimate Feeling with My Friend (Kim Joon); The Letter (Chang Hyung-yun); Make a Smile (Seo In-kyoung); May... in the Bus (Park Yun-kyung); The Monkey That Loved a Fish (Kim Ki-won, Ryu Yun-seong); The Newspaper (Bang Eui-seok, Kwon Taeg-wha); The Old Man with a Knapsack (Park Hyun-kyung); A Part of the Game (Jung Yeon-joo); Zulgui (Park Si-Won).
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon June 7 9:15 pm

* The Kite *
Lebanon/France, 2003 (80 min.)

Dir. Randa Chahal Sabbag
Cast Randa Asmar, Renée Dick

A wonderful and surprising coming-of-age film set on the Israeli-Lebanese border, The Kite follows a gorgeous young woman sent across the restricted border for an arranged marriage. This offbeat drama avoids tragedy by focusing on the ridiculous and unexpected ways this heavily fortified border has changed the details of everyday life for families on both sides, and in the end is all the more moving because of it. (ADAM HART)
Harvard Exit Mon May 24 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Fri May 28 2:00 pm


La Petite Lili
France/Canada, 2003 (104 min.)

Dir. Claude Miller
Cast Nicole Garcia, Bernard Giraudeau, Ludivine Sagnier

Starring Ludivine Sagnier, the gorgeous dame in Ozon's Swimming Pool and Water Drops on Burning Rocks, and directed by Claude Miller (The Accompanist), La Petite Lili is supposedly based on Chekov's Seagull. Whatever the case might be, the film is filled with beautiful visuals, and gets Sagnier to bare her body within the first two minutes, while the credits are still running. These are the only two good things about La Petite Lili. The rest of it is rather dull and pretentious, and, regrettably, Sagnier never takes her clothes off again. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Harvard Exit Fri May 21 5:00 pm

Harvard Exit Sun May 23 9:30 pm

* Last Life in * the Universe
Thailand/Japan, 2003 (108 min.)

Dir. Pen-ek Ratanaruang
Cast Asano Tadanobu, Miike Takashi

A gangster prelude and coda bookend a quiet narrative about two stereotypical characters (an uptight Japanese businessman and a sloppy Thai prostitute) falling in surprisingly cliché-free love in this satisfying hybrid film. Beautiful cinematography by Christopher Doyle (see Master Class: Cinematography with Christopher Doyle). (ANNIE WAGNER)
Pacific Place Fri June 11 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Sat June 12 4:15 pm

The Last Train
Russia, 2003 (82 min.)

Dir. Alexei A. German
Cast Pavel Romanov, Peter Merkuriev

In the winter of 1944, a German surgeon travels to the Russian front and is overwhelmed by the brutality of war, as well as the hand his fellow countrymen have in that brutality.
Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs June 3 4:30 pm

Harvard Exit Wed June 9 6:00 pm

La Vie Promise
France, 2003 (94 min.)

Dir. Olivier Dahan
Cast Isabelle Huppert, Pascal Greggory, Maud Forget

Some films make you say, "The horror, the horror," like that movie about the dumbest animal in the universe, camels (The Story of the Weeping Camel). Other films make you say, "The waste, the waste," which is certainly the case with La Vie Promise. What's wasted is Isabelle Huppert's talent. Beautiful as always, Huppert plays a Nice prostitute on the run from a murder she did not commit, as well as some very mean pimps. She also has an unhappy daughter, and a mind that is in the process of dissolving. None of this, however, is convincing. The French government should make it a crime to waste the fine gifts of Isabelle Huppert. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Harvard Exit Mon June 7 5:00 pm

Harvard Exit Tues June 8 6:00 pm

* Learning to Lie *
Germany, 2003 (94 min.)

Dir. Hendrik Handloegten
Cast Fabian Busch, Fritzi Haberlandt

A German is born into what looks like a lower-middle-class family. As a teenager, he attends an average high school and falls in love with a beautiful classmate. She fucks him and leaves for America. During his early 20s, he attends college and establishes a dating relationship with another student. Their long relationship ends when he is caught sleeping with his girlfriend's roommate. At the start of his 30s, he meets a new and potentially serious woman. Now he has to decide if he will spend the rest of his life with her. That is more or less what Learning to Lie is about, and oddly enough it isn't half bad. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Harvard Exit Thurs May 27 7:15 pm

Harvard Exit Mon May 31 11:30 am

* Legend of the * Sacred Stone
Taiwan, 2000 (96 min.)

Dir. Chris Huang

They call it puppet-fu. Put together like one of your more hallucinogenic Hong Kong wire epics of the '70s, this thing is almost solid action. The thoroughly convoluted story about emperors and warriors is less important than the flying puppets with swords, who are only occasionally assisted by CGI. That's right, 96 minutes of puppets kicking ass. Hands down the best film of the festival to watch while under the influence of some sort of behavior-modifying substance. (ADAM HART)
Egyptian Sat June 5 midnight

A Letter To True
U.S., 2003 (80 min.)

Dir. Bruce Weber

Bruce Weber loves dogs. He loves them so much he owns five golden retrievers. He loves them so much he's made a documentary about dogs, and pets in general. Here is your chance to see it.
Harvard Exit Fri May 28 7:15 pm

Harvard Exit Sun May 30 11:30 am

Little Men
Kazakhstan/France, 2003 (86 min.)

Dir. Nariman Turebayev
Cast Erjan Bekmutarov, Oleg Kerimov

Bek and Max are roommates sharing a life of lazy leisure. Out of work, they lounge about all day with little ambition--until, that is, Bek falls in love, which means it's time for the slutty Max to teach him a thing or two about the ladies.
Pacific Place Wed June 9 9:45 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 13 6:15 pm

The Locals
New Zealand, 2003 (88 min.)

Dir. Greg Page
Cast John Barker, Dwayne Cameron

Two friends take a road trip. They plan to drink beer, surf, and maybe get a little tail. Do such scenarios ever work out well for main characters? Not in this case, since the friends run into dangerous hassles from--what else?--some creepy locals.
Egyptian Fri May 21 midnight

Valley Drive-In Sun May 30 9:30 pm

* Los Angeles Plays Itself *
U.S., 2003 (169 min.)

Dir. Thom Anderson

Los Angeles Plays Itself is not particularly well made, but the end result is completely fascinating. Director Thom Anderson obviously loves Los Angeles, and his examination of how L.A. is portrayed by its biggest industry is so thorough and engaging that it manages to do what should be nearly impossible: make L.A. look like a pleasant, and interesting, place to live. Anyone who has been obsessed with the late, great John Fante will especially enjoy the footage of the late, great Bunker Hill. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)
Brdwy Perf Hall Sun May 30 6:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Mon May 31 11:00 am

Los Debutantes
Chile, 2003 (114 min.)

Dir. Andrés Waissbluth
Cast Antonella Ríos, Néstor Cantillana

Two brothers are gaga for the same girl. The catch: Said girl happens to be the mistress of a local crime boss. Told all Rashomon-style, this thriller promises tension and, so the film's blurb claims, "explicit eroticism."
Pacific Place Fri June 4 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Sun June 6 4:00 pm

* Love Me If You Dare *
France/Belgium, 2003 (94 min.)

Dir. Yann Samuell
Cast Guillaume Canet, Marion Cotillard

A standout. A boy and girl grow to adulthood, bound together by an escalating game of dares. Will they consummate the romance that lies behind the game? Strikingly designed and shot, this film is by turns comedic, tense, and frightening. Inevitably reminiscent of Amèlie, but with a much darker worldview. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Egyptian Fri June 11 6:45 pm

Egyptian Sat June 12 1:30 pm

Love's Labours Lost & Found Shorts Package

Schmoopiness. The Accordion Player (Jason Conforto); Archipiélago (Leon Siminiani); Boutique (Steven Schardt); Burning the Bed (Denis McArdle); Consent (Jason Reitman); Greenlake Mosca Amor (Mark Carsterson); Keys of Life (Jeremy Rall).
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon May 24 9:00 pm


* The Man of the Year *
Brazil, 2003 (112 min.)

Dir. José Henrique Fonseca
Cast Cleudia Abreu, Murilo Benício

A young Brazilian man stumbles into adulthood as an assassin. Rio de Janeiro's embrace of extrajudicial violence is the framework and target of this slyly satiric film noir. The film's deep shadows and saturated, blown-out colors are delicious. I loved every loathsome, funny second. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Harvard Exit Tues May 25 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Fri May 28 5:00 pm

* The Man on the Train *
France, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Patrice Leconte
Cast Jean Rochefort, Johnny Hallyday

Charles Mudede hated this film when it was released last year, but I liked it. This tale about a dottering old literature teacher (Jean Rochefort) and a virile bank robber (Johnny Hallyday) is one of the best love stories you'll see at this festival. Part of the Patrice Leconte retrospective. (SHANNON GEE)
Harvard Exit Sat May 22 2:00 pm

The Man Who Copied
Brazil, 2003 (124 min.)

Dir. Jorge Furtado
Cast Làzaro Ramos, Leandra Leal

Good kids get away with all manner of criminal behavior in this cheerful coming-of-age story about a boy with a dead-end job operating a photocopy machine. It's easy to sympathize with the frustrated ambitions of the copy boy, but there's always something creepy about movies where the screenplay attempts to soothe guilt about voyeurism by assuring the viewer that the girl in question was an exhibitionist all along. (ANNIE WAGNER)
Pacific Place Thurs June 3 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Sun June 6 2:00 pm

India, 2003 (132 min.)

Dir. Vishal Bharadwaj
Cast Irfan Khan, Tabu, Om Puri

This film has been described as Macbeth meets The Godfather meets Bollywood. How can it be bad? Any number of ways, so let's hope it isn't.
Cinerama Sun June 6 1:15 pm

Cinerama Wed June 9 2:00 pm

Maria Full of Grace
U.S./Mexico, 2004 (110 min.)

Dir. Joshua Marston
Cast Catalina Sandino Moreno, Yenne Paola Vega

A Colombian teenager loses her job and learns she's pregnant. Spurning her boyfriend, she becomes a mule, smuggling drugs in her stomach to the U. S. The centerpiece of the film is the near documentary depiction of the trade. Unfortunately, the overly clinical presentation undercuts the passionate and tragic subject matter. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Pacific Place Wed May 26 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Thurs May 27 5:00 pm

Master Class: Acting

Acting for the camera, with a special guest instructor (TBA).
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 29 4:00 pm

Master Class: Cinematography with Christopher Doyle

If you loved the beautiful images in In the Mood for Love and this year's SIFF selections Hero and Last Life in the Universe, you love Christopher Doyle. This evening of instruction will also celebrate the opening of an exhibition of Doyle's photography at Howard House.
Brdwy Perf Hall Fri June 4 7:00 pm

Max Rules
U.S., 2004 (70 min.)

Dir. Robert Burke
Cast William B. Davis, Andy Maier

A group of junior high students battles villains with kickboxing and computer hacking. Directed by 19-year-old Rob Burke.
Egyptian Sat June 12 11:00 am

Egyptian Sun June 13 1:30 pm

Memories of Murder
South Korea, 2003 (129 min.)

Dir. Bong Joon-ho
Cast Song Kang-ho, Kim Sang-kyung

Yet another Asian serial-killer movie playing the festival, but this one is a little more interesting than most, as it avoids gratuitous suspenseful atmosphere and finds a unique, awkward tone somewhere in between a comedy about bumbling detectives and an intense drama about their unbearable frustrations. (ADAM HART)
Cinerama Sat June 12 11:00 am

Cinerama Sun June 13 9:00 pm

Metallica: Some Kind of Monster
U.S., 2004 (139 min.)

Dir. Joe Berlinger, Bruce Sinofsky
Cast James Hetfield, Lars Ulrich

This backstage pass to behind the scenes with Metallica is not one of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Rather, it's about one of the world's most successful heavy metal bands' struggle with... group therapy. Pretty fascinating, if not telling of how weirdly far we've come in this reality-TV-savvy society. (SHANNON GEE)
Pacific Place Mon June 7 9:30 pm

Egyptian Sun June 13 6:00 pm

The Middle of the World
Brazil, 2003 (85 min.)

Dir. Vicente Amorim
Cast Cleudia Abreu, Wagner Moura

Based on a true story. A family of seven hop on board bikes and pedal their way from north Brazil to Rio de Janeiro. Along the way, they learn much about themselves, as well as the state of their family.
Pacific Place Sun May 30 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Wed June 2 5:00 pm

Minor Mishaps
Denmark, 2002 (105 min.)

Dir. Annette K. Olesen
Cast Jørgen Kill, Henrik Prip

Nominee for Creepiest Premise of SIFF 2004! A portly male nurse's wife dies. To help matters, the youngest daughter moves back home to take care of her father, slowly becoming his quasi-wife. The rest of her siblings are not entirely thrilled by the situation.
Pacific Place Sat May 29 2:00 pm

The Miracle of Berne
Germany, 2003 (118 min.)

Dir. Sönke Wortmann
Cast Louis Klamroth, Peter Lohmeyer

A sweet father-son drama set in post-war Europe where bonding over sports (World Cup soccer, actually) works as an antidote to the war-torn traumas that have damaged their relationship.
Pacific Place Mon May 24 2:00 pm

Pacific Place Wed May 26 9:30 pm

Hungary/U.S., 2004 (99 min.)

Dir. Steven Lovy
Cast Alex Weed, Dorka Gryllus

DJs are now protagonists in coming-of-age dramas. This version, including family secrets, mean dads, and, of course, a girl, takes place in the sexy streets of Budapest.
Harvard Exit Fri June 11 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Sat June 12 4:15 pm

Moi, César
France, 2003 (91 min.)

Dir. Richard Berry
Cast Jules Sitruk, Maria de Medeiros, Anna Karina

Because the 10-year-old boy, César (Jules Sitruk), at the center of this film often curses, talks about sex with his best friend, and witnesses a little nudity, many will contend Moi, César is not for kids. But they are dead wrong. This film is less for parents and more for boys and girls. Narrated by César, the film is about his close relationship with a boy who is mixed (black/white) and a girl whose parents are separated. All three have their problems, listen to French hiphop, and represent the spirit of a new Europe. Take your kids to this movie. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Pacific Place Wed June 2 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Sat June 5 11:30 am

Monsier N
France, 2003 (127 min.)

Dir. Antoine de Caunes
Cast Philippe Torreton, Richard E. Grant

While history buffs are certainly familiar with Napoleon Bonaparte's famous military battles (and have definitely found plenty of unintentional humor in those famed stands), this tale finds comedy in the emperor's exiled imprisonment under the British, where he makes his little-known stand against his paranoid jailers.
Pacific Place Sun June 6 11:15 am

Pacific Place Tues June 8 9:30 pm

* Monster Road *
U.S., 2003 (80 min.)

Dir. Brett Ingram
Cast Bruce Bickford, George Bickford

Bruce Bickford is best known for his collaborations with Frank Zappa, but these days he hangs around his house somewhere outside Seattle, making claymation-style films in his basement and helping out his Alzheimer's-stricken father. In this documentary Bickford is interesting enough--a philosophical oddball who's determined to live to 255--but it's his father who is the enduring character, dwelling on the magnitude of his former intelligence, the variable honesty of various presidents, and on his regrets, including his dead sons. (EMILY HALL)
Brdwy Perf Hall Wed May 26 6:45 pm

Egyptian Fri May 28 4:30 pm

Moving Malcolm
Canada, 2002 (82 min.)

Dir. Benjamin Ratner
Cast Elizabeth Berkley, John Neville

After getting ditched at the altar by his foxy fiancée, and spending the following year pouring out his sorrow by writing a book, our protagonist--whose troubles are already compounded by his nagging Jewish family--faces the return of the foxy fiancée.
Harvard Exit Fri June 4 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Sun June 6 11:30 am

My Grandpa
Japan, 2003 (113 min.)

Dir. Yoichi Higashi
Cast Bunta Sugawara, Satomi Ishihara

A young teen's humdrum life at home with Mom, Dad, and Grandma is upended when the grandfather she's never known comes to live with the family. Granddad, you see, has just returned from 13 years in prison, where he was doing time for killing a Japanese gangster.
Pacific Place Mon May 31 6:30 pm

Pacific Place Thurs June 3 5:00 pm


France, 2003 (100 min.)

Dir. Anne Fontaine
Cast Emmanuelle Béart, Fanny Ardant, Gérard Depardieu

It's French and its got Fanny Ardant and Emmanuelle Béart in it. So why is this story about a wife who hires a lounge dancer to seduce her cheating hubby (Gérard Depardieu) not as sexy as its plot suggests? That depends if you're of the opinion that the mind is the sexiest organ. If you aren't, go buy a ticket to the Catherine Breillat films. (SHANNON GEE)
Harvard Exit Fri June 4 7:15 pm

Harvard Exit Wed June 9 3:45 pm

South Korea, 2003 (112 min.)

Dir. Min Byung-chun
Cast Yu Ji-tae, Seo Rin, Lee Jae-eun

South Korea's Blade Runner. In the year 2080, Agent R works to eliminate cyborgs run amok. But a complication occurs: he falls in love with one of his targets.
Cinerama Fri June 4 9 pm

Mexico/Argentina/Spain, 2003 (93 min.)

Dir. Hugo Rodriguez
Cast Diego Luna, Marta Belaustegui, Lucas Crespi

A madcap capre starring the great Diego Luna.
Egyptian Tues June 8 9:15 pm

Cinerama Sat June 12 1:30 pm

Israel, 2003 (106 min.)

Dir. Savi Gabizon
Cast Ayelet Zourer, Yoram Hatav

A young geek named Nadav has a major crush on his aunt. Winner of Best Film at the 2003 Israeli Academy Awards.
Pacific Place Fri June 4 5 pm

Pacific Place Sat June 6 9:30 pm

Nobody Knows How to Talk to Children
U.S., 2004

Dir. George Roca

A documentary on the White Stripes' four shows at New York's Bowery Ballroom in 2002. From glimpses of the trailer, the film appears to contain some bickering, some comedy, and much, much noise.
Egyptian Sat June 12 9:00 pm

Egyptian Sun June 13 9:00 pm

U.S., 2004 (84 min.)

Dir. Tony Spiridakis
Cast Trish Goff, Ally Sheedy

A woman moves into her own pad after her marriage disintegrates. It should be a happy and liberated time for her, but unfortunately her new upstairs neighbor seems intent on driving her cuckoo for Cocoa Puffs. Starring Ally Sheedy!
Brdwy Perf Hall Wed June 2 9:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Fri June 4 4:45 pm

Northwest Film Forum Panel: Distribution Strategies--What to Do When Miramax Doesn't Buy Your Film

So Harvey Weinstein isn't willing to bail you out of debt with a big distribution deal for your five-minute experimental short. Big suprise--you're not Michael Moore. (If you are Michael Moore, what are you doing reading this? Don't you have a movie to sell?) Northwest Film Forum presents a panel discussion on alternative distribution strategies, featuring the fabulous Matt McCormick (The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal).
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 12 1:45 pm

The Notebook
U.S., 2004 (121 min.)

Dir. Nick Cassavetes
Cast Gena Rowlands, James Garner

SIFF's opening-night film should not really be considered a part of the festival. It is for the sponsors, and as such usually tilts toward the easily accessible. This year's film is no different. The Notebook carries on the tradition of Nick Cassavetes failing to live up to his father, and though not entirely unwatchable, is nonetheless a fairly uncomfortable experience. It is a romance without any real romance, and its only truly bright spots are the performances of James Garner and Gena Rowlands. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)
5th Avenue Theatre Thurs May 20 7:30 pm

Spain, 2003 (104 min.)

Dir. Achero Mañas
Cast Hector Alterio, Juan Diaz

A radical theater troupe takes its act (and its politics) to the streets, in this fake documentary about the group's incendiary inception and deflated demise.
Harvard Exit Sun May 30 6:30 pm

Harvard Exit Tues June 1 5:00 pm


Off the Map
U.S., 2003 (108 min.)

Dir. Campbell Scott
Cast Joan Allen, Amy Brenneman, Sam Elliott

An IRS auditor shows up in a remote desert swath of New Mexico where his encounters with an odd family and the weird setting freak him out.
Pacific Place Sat May 22 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Sun May 23 4:30 pm

Open Water
U.S., 2003 (81 min.)

Dir. Chris Kentis
Cast Blanchard Ryan, Daniel Travis

The Indianapolis, writ small. A young couple on vacation end up overboard when their charter boat abandons them. As they tread water, fighting thirst and hunger, the sharks begin to circle closer and closer. All the buzz at Sundance, word is this film is tense, but butt-ugly to look at.
Egyptian Fri May 28 9:00 pm

Egyptian Sat May 29 1:30 pm

Original Child Bomb
U.S., 2004 (57 min.)

Dir. Carey Schonegevel
Cast Karl Geary, Ko Hei

Supposedly inspired by Thomas Merton's poem, Original Child Bomb is a pretentious reiteration of everything you already knew about Hiroshima and Nagasaki. At this point, if someone wants to make a film about such a thoroughly covered subject, he or she better have something original to add to the discussion, which this filmmaker most decidedly does not. (ADAM HART)
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 5 6:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Mon June 7 4:15 pm

Orwell Rolls in His Grave
U.S., 2004 (95 min.)

Dir. Robert Kane Pappas
Cast Bernie Sanders, Charles Lewis

When it comes to American mainstream media, do politics and money dictate content? Did George Bush manipulate his way into power? Does a bear wipe his own ass on a tree stump?
Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs June 3 9:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 6 9:15 pm


Paper Clips
U.S., 2003 (83 min.)

Dir. Elliott Berlin, Joe Fab

A school in rural Tennessee collects millions of paper clips and installs them in a concentration-camp cattle car as school project and Holocaust memorial. In defiance of the flatfooted, unreflectively pious documentary video work, the project's glorious improbability held my attention. The participating kids and the dead they memorialize deserve better. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Pacific Place Sun June 6 4:30 pm

Egyptian Wed June 9 4:45 pm

Pater Familias
Italy, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Francesco Patierno
Cast Luigi Iacuzio, Francesco Pirozzi

A young Italian thug and his delinquent friends attempt to navigate violence and crime in a lower-class village near Naples before the bloodshed hits too close to home.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sun May 30 1:45 pm

Harvard Exit Mon May 31 6:30 pm

Paternal Instinct
U.S., 2004 (74 min.)

Dir. Murray Nossel

A documentary about a gay couple's attempts to adopt a child together. Our editor had nothing to do with it.
Brdwy Perf Hall Tues June 8 6:45 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs June 10 4:30 pm

Perfect Strangers
New Zealand, 2003 (96 min.)

Dir. Gaylene Preston
Cast Sam Neill, Rachael Blake

This movie has nothing to do with Balki and Cousin Larry. It's a lesson that the question "Your place or mine?" can land you out at sea, oceans away from Tylenol P.M. and a morning-after pill.
Egyptian Sun May 23 9:00 pm

Pacific Place Tues May 25 9:30 pm

Persons of Interest
U.S., 2004 (63 min.)

Dir. Alison Maclean, Tobias Perse

In a time when our government's handling of possible foreign "terrorists" is especially pertinent, this documentary interviews a dozen Arab and Muslim detainees taken into custody after the September 11 attacks.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 5 6:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Mon June 7 4:15 pm

* Playtime *
France, 1967 (126 min.)

Dir. Jacques Tati
Cast Jacques Tati, Barbara Dennek

Shot in what was then considered to be modern Paris (1967), Jacques Tati's Playtime is without a question one of the greatest works of art of the 20th century. It is great because it is many things at once: a comedy and a comment on modernist architecture, international culture, late capitalism, and the decline of truly public exteriors and the rise of privatized interiors. New technologies are mocked but not with the objective of reestablishing some long-lost natural order. Tati's characters, one of whom, M. Hulot, he plays, are not upset about the new world of corporate environments, electrified domestic luxuries, and global music charged by African rhythms. They are just a little lost in all of this, and trying to figure out how to adapt and relax among these recently invented shapes and spaces. The urban world of Playtime is unchallenged; it is just suddenly there--new, immaculate, gleaming with glass and steel. The nightclub sequence, which makes up much of the second half of the film, is simply wonderful. You can watch it a thousand times and never exhaust its surprises and wealth of details. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Cinerama Mon June 7 7:00 pm

U.S., 2004 (78 min.)

Dir. Shane Carruth
Cast David Sullivan, Shane Carruth

Heavy on atmosphere and exposition, Primer is light on drama and story, and ultimately isn't so much confusing as it is obscure. Two amateur inventors accidentally construct a time machine (with very limited time-travel capabilities). They get money, they try to prevent tragedy, and then the mysterious plot twists begin.... (ADAM HART)
Harvard Exit Sat May 29 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Mon May 31 9:30 pm

A Problem with Fear
Canada, 2003 (94 min.)

Dir. Gary Burns
Cast Paulo Costanzo, Emily Hampshire

Quirky. Marginally successful. Canadian. Gary Burns' A Problem with Fear is all three. A comedy about how societies cope with fear--be they threats from the outside or inside--this film is possibly worth a look, though by the end you may feel like you've just witnessed little more than a joke with no punchline. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)
Pacific Place Thurs June 10 5:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 12 9:15 pm

Canada/South Africa, 2003 (94 min.)

Dir. John Greyson
Cast Rouxnet Brown, Shaun Smyth

The double taboos of a gay and interracial relationship in 18th-century South Africa are explored through the story of a love affair between two men (a Dutch sailor and an African herder) living in a penal colony.
Egyptian Wed June 9 7:00 pm

Egyptian Thurs June 10 4:45 pm

The Python
Latvia, 2003 (88 min.)

Dir. Laila Pakalnina
Cast Mara Kimele, Juris Grave

A pitch-perfect ultra-absurdist piece from Latvia that features a monkey wearing a red dress. The film takes its time getting where it needs to go, but is so tight it feels like it might burst. The metaphorical implications this film has, in which a grade-school principal forces her children to shit in matchboxes and a fully-armed militia invades the classrooms in search of a loose python, are surely of more relevance to someone familiar with recent Balkan history, but that monkey... it's wearing a dress. (ADAM HART)
Pacific Place Tues June 1 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Wed June 2 2:00 pm


Quality of Life
U.S., 2004 (85 min.)

Dir. Benjamin Morgan
Cast Lane Garrison, Brian Burnam

This film is about San Francisco graffiti artists Curtis and Michael, who want to do their public-art thing in peace but the police and society in general just won't let them. California's three-strikes code is just one of the many hazards they face when expressing themselves on walls they do not own.
Brdwy Perf Hall Wed June 9 4:30 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Fri June 11 7:00 pm


France/Morocco, 2003 (112 min.)

Dir. Jacques Doillon
Cast Pascal Greggory, Najat Benssallem

A bored old Frenchman who is spending his retirement in Morocco decides to seduce his young gardener, a woman who wants to be seduced by a bored old Frenchman spending retirement in her country. This can only mean one thing: a very happy ending. If not, then what is this film about?
Pacific Place Sat May 22 6:30 pm

Egyptian Tues May 25 4:45 pm

Japan, 2003 (83 min.)

Dir. Nobuhiro Yamashita

The camera. Doesn't. Move. Except. Sometimes. When it pans back and forth. A pretentious, boring movie that seems to draw inspiration from some demonic combination of Waiting for Godot, 8 1/2, and Slacker. Awful. (ANNIE WAGNER)
Harvard Exit Sat May 29 6:30 pm

Harvard Exit Mon May 31 4:15 pm

Raspberry Reich
Canada/Germany, 2004 (91 min.)

Dir. Bruce LaBruce
Cast Susanne Sachsse, Daniel Bätscher

Germans do not know how to have sex (with the possible exception of Sylvia Saint). They should leave that sort of business to the French. But if you desperately want to see what German sex is about, this is certainly the film you must not miss. Porn, politics, and little art will be found in this movie. No one under 18 is permitted to watch these Germans having sex.
Egyptian Fri May 28 midnight

* Reconstruction *
Denmark, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Christoffer Boe
Cast Nikolaj Lie Kaas, Maria Bonnevie

The fickle finger of fate prods two unsatisfied couples into monkeying with the time stream in a search for the perfect romantic scenario. Displaying unbelievable confidence for a first-time writer/director, Christoffer Boe deftly melds Choose Your Own Adventure books with Wenders-style longing. Winner of Best First Film at Cannes. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
Pacific Place Mon May 24 5:00 pm

Harvard Exit Thurs May 27 9:30 pm

Red Lights
France, 2004 (106 min.)

Dir. Cédric Kahn
Cast Jean-Pierre Darroussin, Carole Bouquet

You will find at least four French films in this year's festival that are road films. Red Lights is one of them. It involves a Parisian couple taking a road trip through a hot summer. There is a plot to all of this but as you and everyone else knows, road films only have one thing in common: They take you nowhere.
Pacific Place Fri May 21 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Sat May 22 4:15 pm

A Relative Thing
U.S., 2004 (110 min.)

Dir. Garrett Bennett
Cast Marie Rubin, Ian Bell

Filmed on Bainbridge Island, A Relative Thing makes good use of the beauty of the Pac Northwest and the talent of our local actors playing dysfunctional siblings who reunite during a family emergency. I just wish it could have carried the graceful strides of its lovely first 20 minutes throughout its languishing 110-minute run time. (SHANNON GEE)
Egyptian Sun May 30 6:00 pm

Egyptian Thurs June 3 4:45 pm

Relativity Shorts Package

Family, friends, and neighbors. Claustrophobia (Brad McLaughlin); Fragile (Sikander Goldau); Junebug and Hurricane, starring Janeane Garofalo (James Ponsoldt); The King of the Tango (Karen Friedberg); Robot Boy (Ted Passon).
Brdwy Perf Hall Mon May 31 2:15 pm

Remember Me, My Love
Italy/France/Great Britain, 2002 (124 min.)

Dir. Gabriele Muccino
Cast Laura Morante, Fabrizio Bentivoglio

This film stars the beautiful, the shapely, the ever pleasurable, raven-haired Monica Bellucci. Nuff said.
Egyptian Mon June 7 9:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Tues June 8 4:15 pm

U.S., 2004 (85 min.)

Dir. Lorene Machado
Cast Margaret Cho, Bruce Daniels

This is a movie about a tour, the Revolution Tour, that the comedian Margaret Cho conducted not too long ago. If you know Cho then you know what you are in for.
Egyptian Tues June 1 9:30 pm

Egyptian Wed June 2 4:45 pm

France, 1996 (105 min.)

Dir. Patrice Leconte
Cast Fanny Ardant, Bernard Giraudeau

Now, the French are a race of people who like to make films about the art of seduction. For the French, the idea of a good plot is one that devises a whole new context for the same old seduction to take place. This film devises a disease-ridden swamp as the unexpected site for a seduction.
Harvard Exit Sat June 5 4:15 pm

Riding Giants
U.S., 2004 (105 min.)

Dir. Stacy Peralta
Cast Laird Hamilton, Greg Noll

No, this isn't another documentary about Ron Jeremy. Get your mind out of the gutter and onto a wave in Stacy Peralta's latest entrée into extreme-sport filmmaking. Surfing giants document the history of big-wave surfing, with interviews with pioneers like Greg Noll and Jeff Clark, before the film goes into a biography of "possibly the world's greatest surfer," Laird Hamilton. (He also is executive producer of this film, but his achievements help you overlook this little conflict of interest.) (SHANNON GEE)
Egyptian Fri June 11 9:00 pm

Harvard Exit Sun June 13 2:00 pm

Roads to Koktebel
Russia, 2003 (105 min.)

Dir. Alexei Popogrebsky, Boris Khlebnikov
Cast Gleb Pushkepalis, Igor Chernevich

What will the Russians do next? The Russians are always up to something. They are a restless race. In this film, a troubled and penniless father flees Moscow with his son and ends up in a road movie. Those Russians.
Pacific Place Fri June 4 2:00 pm

Harvard Exit Mon June 7 7:15 pm

* Roberto Succo *
France, 2001 (124 min.)

Dir. Cédric Kahn

This strange-but-true story of a powerfully charismatic psychopath with an identity crisis (and a special way with the ladies) is a model of everything this dubious subgenre should be. Detached, surreal, and thrilling, Cédric Kahn's style is almost reminiscent of Chabrol's more intense criminal studies, but, you know, with more action. (ADAM HART)
Pacific Place Sat May 22 2:00 pm

* Rosenstrasse *
Germany/the Netherlands, 2003 (136 min.)

Dir. Margarethe von Trotta
Cast Katja Riemann, Maria Schrader

Flopping agilely between present day and 1943 much to the credit of the two actresses who play the lead character, Rosenstrasse tells a version of the little-known World War II resistance movement in Nazi Germany of Aryan women protesting the imprisonment of their Jewish husbands. (SHANNON GEE)
Egyptian Sun May 23 6:00 pm

Pacific Place Tues May 25 2:00 pm

Ruby & Quentin
France, 2003 (84 min.)

Dir. Francis Veber
Cast Gérard Depardieu, Jean Reno

Veber makes French comedies. And French comedies tend to be funny. The same cannot be said about German comedies. This French comedy stars Jean Reno and Gérard Depardieu as incompatible escaped convicts. According to reliable estimates, Ruby & Quentin was a huge box-office hit in the land of France where the naked ladies dance.
Cinerama Fri June 11 9:15 pm

Cinerama Sun June 13 3:45 pm

Running on Karma
Hong Kong/China, 2003 (93 min.)

Dir. Johnny To, Wai Ka-fai
Cast Andy Lau, Cecilia Cheung

An ex-monk with vast martial arts powers teams up with a young female cop. In a giant foam muscle-suit, he's like Spidey plus the Hulk. She is killed, gruesomely, and he finds inner peace and his destiny after pursuing her killer. A strange hybrid of superhero flick and desperate mess. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Egyptian Wed June 2 9:15 pm

Cinerama Fri June 11 2:00 pm


* The Saddest Music in * the World
Canada, 2003 (99 min.)

Dir. Guy Maddin
Cast Isabella Rossellini, Mark McKinney, Maria de Medeiros

Not that many people can pull off an experimental '30s Murnau-designed Hollywood musical about a double-amputee beer baroness, lover-swapping father and sons, and a saddest music competition, let alone dream it up, but Guy Maddin does so in fantastic, whimsical, and dizzying style. To quote the baroness, played by Isabella Rossellini, "If you're sad, and you like beer," this is the film for you. (SHANNON GEE)
Harvard Exit Fri May 21 9:30 pm

Egyptian Sun May 23 1:30 pm

* Saved! *
U.S., 2004 (92 min.)

Dir. Brian Dannelly
Cast Macaulay Culkin, Mandy Moore, Patrick Fugit, Jena Malone, Heather Matarazzo

Like the best of the postmodern teen films-- Clueless, Romy & Michele's High School Reunion-- Saved! deploys a deceptively fluffy tone to capture the darkly comic world of high school. But Brian Dannelly's comedy earns its stripes thanks to a stiff dose of God, which boosts the film's themes and conflicts into uncharted territory. Things get messy toward the end, but the uniformly sharp cast enlivens even the more predictable proceedings, and overall, it's a parade of delights--the foremost of which is an ass-kicking Mandy Moore. (DAVID SCHMADER)
Egyptian Sat May 22 6:15 pm

Save the Green Planet
South Korea, 2003 (116 min.)

Dir. Jang Jun-hwan
Cast Shin Ha-kyun, Baek Yun-sik

Judging from the title, Earth is the star of this movie. It's about time our planet got a leading role, even if it is one in a Korean sci-fi film concerning an alien from Andromeda who wants to conquer and destroy the star of this movie.
Egyptian Sat June 12 midnight

Scent of the Lotus Pond
Sri Lanka, 2003 (140 min.)

Dir. Satyajit Maitipe
Cast Kaushalya Fernando, Dilani Abeywardena

A conniving female garment worker tries to steal her roommate's boyfriend and ends up pregnant and alone. Further soapy melodrama ensues. Interesting primarily for information about Sri Lankan culture, of which I am quite ignorant. Clumsy pacing, cardboard characters, and plot-crunching edits in the final act render this film excruciating. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Harvard Exit Sat June 5 6:30 pm

Pacific Place Tues June 8 2:00 pm

Screenwriters Salon

Writer/filmmakers Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor (Election) talk satire, craft, and Nebraska in this discussion moderated by Clay Eide.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 29 6:15 pm

Searching for the Wrong-Eyed Jesus
Great Britain/U.S., 2003 (86 min.)

Dir. Andrew Douglas
Cast Handsome Family, David Johansen

If you want to find Jesus then you must do what this documentary did: go down South. Jesus is there under the weeping willows. Jesus is there standing on the banks of rivers. Jesus is there in them shotgun shacks. Jesus, Lord almighty, can be found in the belt of this here Bible. Yes, sir.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 29 9:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Tues June 1 6:45 pm

Seducing Doctor Lewis
Canada, 2003 (108 min.)

Dir. Jean-François Pouliot
Cast Raymond Bouchard, David Boutin

This movie is about a small community in Quebec that desperately wants a big-time doctor from the city. This better be good, or else....
Egyptian Sat June 5 6:00 pm

Harvard Exit Tues June 8 3:45 pm

Seven Days, Seven Nights
Cuba/France/Italy, 2003 (106 min.)

Dir. Joel Cano
Cast Ingrid Gonzelez, Xiomara Palacios

This movie about the lives of three Cuban women was filmed covertly right under the noses of the Castro regime, which lends it both a kind of urgency and a strange kind of aimlessness. Norma, a newscaster, has an on-air breakdown, tries to kill herself, and then stops talking altogether; Nieves, a lanky androgynous firecracker of a woman, is fired from her slaughterhouse job, but dreams of being a dancer; Maria comes to the city--and is more than a little unhinged--after the death of her infant son. It doesn't go anywhere, exactly, but there are enough compelling moments to keep you watching. (EMILY HALL)
Pacific Place Sat June 5 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Fri June 11 2:00 pm

Sex Is Comedy
France, 2002 (92 min.)

Dir. Catherine Breillat
Cast Anne Parillaud, Grégoire Colin

Catherine Breillat's 2002 film is a pleasant behind-the-scenes portrait of a sex scene's inner workings. Some stretches are more interesting than others, but the film as a whole is a revealing look at the creative processes that put together a film, and the on-set compromises that are unavoidable. Best of all, though, is the film's sensitive depiction of varying attitudes toward sex, which is a touchy subject even among actors performing graphic sex for the camera. (ADAM HART)
Egyptian Wed May 26 7:00 pm

Harvard Exit Sat May 29 4:15 pm

Sexual Dependency
Bolivia/U.S., 2003 (105 min.)

Dir. Rodrigo Bellott
Cast Alexandra Aponte, Roberto Urbina

Finally, a film from Bolivia. And it's about sex. And it's ambitious (it was officially submitted for an Oscar in the Foreign Language Film category). Yes, yes, ya, Bolivia is in the house.
Egyptian Tues June 8 7:00 pm

Cinerama Thurs June 10 2:00 pm

SIFF Panel: Hot Tracks

A panel of festival guests will debate their favorite moments in film music, defending their choices with cued film clips and scores.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 12 6:00 pm

SIFF Panel: The Sexy Selling of the Doc, or How I Learned to Love Clowns, Spelling Bees, and War in 90 Minutes or Less

Documentaries became a hot commodity in 2003--will this newfound popularity be sustainable in 2004? A panel discussion tackles this and other hard questions.
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 22 1:45 pm

Silent Waters
Pakistan/France/Germany 2003 (99 min.)

Dir. Sabiha Sumar
Cast Kirron Kher, Aamir Malik

A woman's painstakingly reconstructed identity falls apart after her pampered son drifts under the sway of religious extremists. A well-acted but weirdly inert melodrama, with a crucial backstory that fails to be adequately explained to viewers not up on their Middle Eastern history. Honorable in intent, disappointingly mundane in execution. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
Pacific Place Mon June 7 7:15 pm

Pacific Place Wed June 9 2:00 pm

Since Otar Left
France/Belgium/Georgia, 2003 (103 min.)

Dir. Julie Bertucelli
Cast Esther Gorintin, Nino Khomassouridze

After a sudden family tragedy, the clan's black sheep and her daughter conspire to keep the truth from their outwardly foggy matriarch (90-year-old Esther Gorintin, a demon in a muumuu). It sounds like the premise for a gooey Ya-Ya-Sister-ish nightmare, but the director and cast sidestep easy sentiment, with moving results. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
Harvard Exit Sat May 29 11:30 am

Harvard Exit Sun May 30 9:30 pm

Sky Blue
South Korea, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Moon-sang Kim
Cast Catherine Cavadini, Marc Worden

This is a very promising animation feature. Taking place in the future, it concerns a city called Ecoban that is protected by a force field from the rest of the polluted and scorched earth. Those who are in the city are at war with those who want to get in. Is it possible to make a better plot than this?
Egyptian Sat June 5 9:00 pm

Egyptian Mon June 7 4:45 pm

Slim Susie
Sweden, 2003 (100 min.)

Dir. Ulf Malmros
Cast Tuva Novotny, Kjell Bergqvist

When a city dweller returns to his small hometown to investigate the sudden disappearance of his sisters, he discovers the town has a new video store. In a sentence, small towns suck eggs.
Pacific Place Sat June 5 6:30 pm

Cinerama Tues June 8 5:00 pm

The Snow Walker
Canada, 2003 (103 min.)

Dir. Charles Martin Smith
Cast Barry Pepper, James Cromwell, Annabella Piugattuk

The main character in this film is a flyboy (Barry Pepper). Not "fly" meaning fine but "fly" meaning he flies small airplanes. One night, after humiliating an impecunious Eskimo in a bar, the flyboy takes a fine woman home and fucks her. The next morning he flies two business clients deep into the Arctic Circle. On his way back, he meets some Eskimo men who offer him ivory to transport a sick woman to a town for treatment. He accepts the offer. While flying, the engine explodes and the plane crashes. Pilot and passenger survive. But when the flyboy steps out of the plane he curses and yells for what seems like a very long time. Evidently, he knows, as we now well know, that this is the start of a long and boring film concerning the lesson he must learn for mistreating that Eskimo in the bar. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Egyptian Sun May 23 3:45 pm

Egyptian Mon May 24 7:00 pm

* SomnamBulance *
Estonia/Finland, 2003 (121 min.)

Dir. Sulev Keedus
Cast Katariina Lauk-Tamm, Evald Aavik

An engrossing dream of a film about a 1940s Estonian lighthouse keeper and his Ophelia-clone daughter. On occasion, the Freudian overtones get a little rich, but the stunning performances from the two leads, and the cold, desolate cinematography, lend the trauma of 20th-century Estonian history a depth and resonance that a straightforward narrative could never approach. (ANNIE WAGNER)
Brdwy Perf Hall Sun May 23 6:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Wed May 26 9:00 pm

Spare Parts
Slovenia, 2002 (87 min.)

Dir. Damjan Kozole
Cast Peter Musevski, Aljosa Kovacic

This movie about a couple of Slovenian human traffickers gains a certain poignancy from the fact that Slovenia's recent entrance into the EU would have put these miserable characters out of work. Not that there wasn't enough poignancy in the film already, what with everybody in town dying of cancer as a result of a nuclear mishap years earlier. Spare Parts is surprisingly well made, but it's horribly depressing, and I can't recommend it unless you already have a deeply pessimistic view of humankind. (ANNIE WAGNER)
Pacific Place Tues June 1 2:00 pm

Pacific Place Wed June 2 9:30 pm

South Africa/Canada/Great Britain, 2003 (112 min.)

Dir. Bronwen Hughes
Cast Thomas Jane, Dexter Fletcher

This South African film is about Andre Stander (Thomas Jane), a Johannesburg police officer who turns to robbing banks for extra cash and excitement. The film also stars the beautiful Deborah Kara Unger, who is not South African but Canadian.
Cinerama Wed June 9 5:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 13 9:15 pm

Steam: The Turkish Bath
Italy/Turkey/Spain, 1997 (94 min.)

Dir. Ferzan Ozpetek
Cast Alessandro Gassman, Francesca d'Aloja

When a Rome-based interior designer in an unhappy marriage leaves to Istanbul to deal with his recently deceased aunt's legacy, he discovers while visiting that exotic city that he is not what he always thought he was. Never enter a Turkish bath with a weak marriage.
Pacific Place Sat June 5 2:00 pm

Still Doing It: The Intimate Lives of Women Over 65
U.S., 2003 (54 min.)

Dir. Deirdre Fishel

The title of this documentary says it all.
Brdwy Perf Hall Wed June 2 6:45 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 5 9:15 pm

The Story of Marie and Julien
France, 2003 (150 min.)

Dir. Jacques Rivette
Cast Emmanuelle Béart, Jerzy Radziwilowicz

This film is by a French master, Jacques Rivette, so you are morally obligated to watch it.
Pacific Place Mon May 31 11:00 am

Harvard Exit Thurs June 3 9:30 pm

The Story of the Weeping Camel
Mongolia/Germany, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Luigi Falorni, Byambasuren Davaa
Cast Janchiv Ayurzana, Chimed Ohin

It was the French philosopher Gilles Deleuze who once remarked that the dog's bark was the "shame of the animal kingdom." He was wrong. The grunts made by camels are the shame of the animal kingdom. If you can bear the horrible noises the camels make throughout this docu-drama, which also has a long sequence of a camel giving birth (yet another shame for the animal kingdom), then you will not say, as I said at the end of this trying piece of cinema, "The horror, the horror." (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Pacific Place Fri May 21 5:00 pm

Harvard Exit Sun May 23 6:30 pm

U.S., 2004 (96 min.)

Dir. Richard Day
Cast Matt Letscher, Carrie Preston

Miserable. A swinging '50s actor named Guy Stone has one desire for his career and one secret from his career. His desire: to play the lead in Ben-Hur. His secret: he's completely flaming. Poorly directed, complete with ridiculous and unnecessary special effects (dig Guy Stone's swank and blatantly digital pad!), this is little more than an unfunny exercise in squandered financing. (BRADLEY STEINBACHER)
Harvard Exit Fri June 11 7:15 pm

Harvard Exit Sun June 13 9:30 pm

Strange Tales Shorts Package

Normal movies are for suckers. Black Wedding (Scott Peters); Conversations (Ben Rock); Flash (Laurence Swanson); Recharge (Chris Meyer); A Stolen Moment (Audrey Cummings).
Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs June 10 6:45 pm

France/Great Britain, 2003 (95 min.)

Dir. Andre Téchiné
Cast Emmanuelle Béart, Gaspard Ulliel

This film is by a French master, André Téchiné, so you are morally obligated to watch it.
Pacific Place Sat May 29 9:30 pm

Egyptian Mon May 31 1:30 pm


Take My Eyes
Spain, 2003 (106 min.)

Dir. Icíar Bollaín
Cast Laia Marull, Luis Tosar

A dark drama about domestic abuse from Spain. (As opposed to all those light comedies about domestic abuse.)
Cinerama Thurs June 10 5:00 pm

Pacific Place Sat June 12 6:30 pm

A Tale of Two Sisters
South Korea, 2003 (114 min.)

Dir. Kim Ji-woon
Cast Yeom Jeong-ah, Im Soo-jung

Tormented twins return home after a bloody tragedy, only to find history bent on repeating itself, big-time. While a bit pokey in the home stretch, this effective ghost story serves up a potent blend of psychological queasiness and sudden jumps, with the damnedest performance by Jung-ah Yum as one seriously wicked stepmother. See it before Mary-Kate and Ashley get their grubby mitts on the remake rights. (ANDREW WRIGHT)
Egyptian Thurs May 27 4:30 pm

Egyptian Sat May 29 midnight

Tamala 2010: A Punk Cat in Space
Japan, 2003 (92 min.)

Dir. t.o.L.
Cast Shinji Takeda, Takeshi Kato

This animation is about a futuristic cat that travels through time. For the best results, do some drugs before you do this film.
Egyptian Tues May 25 9:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Wed June 9 6:45 pm

The Tesseract
Thailand/Japan/United Kingdom 2003 (97 min.)

Dir. Oxide Pang
Cast Jonathan Rhys-Meyers, Saskia Reeves

Global thrillers do not get more global than The Tesseract, which attempts to shape a story from four diverse social and international points. You will also be impressed by the cinematography.
Egyptian Mon May 24 9:15 pm

Egyptian Wed May 26 4:45 pm

U.S., 2004 (63 min.)

Dir. Alan Snitow

A work of art this documentary is certainly not. But it has a very import message concerning the privatization of water by multinational corporations. In Bolivia, India, and the United States, governments, at the pressure of the World Bank and neo-liberalists such as the mayor of Stockton, California, are being forced to turn over water management from public to private interests. This documentary draws a broad picture of the pressures and resistances in this global trend, with a regrettably New Age-like score. (CHARLES MUDEDE)
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 5 1:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 6 6:15 pm

A Thousand Clouds of Peace
Mexico, 2003 (82 min.)

Dir. Julien Hernendez
Cast Juan Carlos Ortuño, Juan Carlos Torres

Poor Gerardo. He is so lonely. Won't anyone sleep with him? Why must he wander around in luminously black-and-white Mexico City, looking for love? Poor Gerardo, poor unlucky gay Gerardo.
Harvard Exit Sat May 22 6:30 pm

Harvard Exit Sun May 23 11:30 am

Tomorrow's Weather
Poland, 2003 (95 min.)

Dir. Jerzy Stuhr
Cast Jerzy Stuhr, Maciej Stuhr

Seventeen years after joining a monastery, a monk attempts to rejoin his family and post-communist Polish society. Offering social satire to please a conservative Polish Catholic audience, the film is a bit clumsy and a bit muddleheaded, particularly in a leering onscreen condemnation of voyeuristic misogyny. (MIKE WHYBARK)
Harvard Exit Thurs June 3 7:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 6 4:00 pm

Torremolinos 73
Spain/Denmark, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Pablo Berger
Cast Javier Cemara, Candela Peña

Against a carefully rendered '70s mise en scène, a door-to-door encyclopedia salesman and his improbably beautiful wife are recruited to make Super 8 movies documenting their sex life for a supposed Scandinavian research project. Of course the "research project" turns out to be pure, old-fashioned porn, and the erstwhile "subjects" become massively popular porn stars. This much is sort of funny, if predictable, but then the salesman gets arty pretensions, and the plot slows to a grinding halt. (ANNIE WAGNER)
Egyptian Fri May 21 9:15 pm

Egyptian Sat May 22 3:45 pm

Touch of Pink
Canada/Great Britain, 2003 (92 min.)

Dir. Ian Iqbal Rashid
Cast Kyle MacLachlan, Jimi Mistry

Remember The Wedding Party? This is sort of like that, only the hapless, put-upon son is Muslim-Canadian, and his happy, super-gay life is in London. When his parents show up, absolutely intent on arranging a marriage for him, things get uncomfortable.
Egyptian Thurs May 27 9:15 pm

Egyptian Mon May 31 3:45 pm

Triple Agent
France/Italy/Spain/Greece/Russia 2004 (115 min.)

Dir. Eric Rohmer
Cast Katerina Didaskalou, Serge Renko

A Russian general in 1930s Paris is acting strangely, and everyone is quite sure he's a spy. Also, there's infidelity and plenty of glamorous Hitchockian references. And it's by Eric Rohmer.
Harvard Exit Wed June 2 9:30 pm

Harvard Exit Thurs June 3 5:00 pm

Great Britain/U.S., 2003 (78 min.)

Dir. Madeleine Farley

The homeless in Hollywood: Doesn't that sound hilarious? Oh, wait, this isn't a Mel Brooks film, but a documentary. The premise is a little obvious--the close proximity of dreammakers and the destitute--but a good dose of well-placed righteousness can always perk up your day.
Brdwy Perf Hall Fri June 11 9:15 pm

Harvard Exit Sun June 13 4:15 pm

The Tulse Luper Suitcases: Part I, The Moab Story
Great Britain/Spain/Luxembourg/Hungary/ Italy/Germany/Russia, 2003 (108 min.)

Dir. Peter Greenaway
Cast J. J. Feild, Deborah Harry

Peter Greenaway retreats further into the furthest aesthetic reaches of his mind. As you probably expected, the film is occasionally stunning, often dull or annoying, and wholly indulgent. (ADAM HART)
Cinerama Tues June 8 7:15 pm

Britain/Spain/Luxembourg/Hungary/Italy/ Germany/Russia, 2003 (108 min.)

Dir. Peter Greenaway
Cast J.J. Feild, Marcus Iures, Raymond J. Barry, Steven Mackintosh, Valentina Cervi

The second half of Peter Greenaway's opus.
Cinerama Wed June 9 7:15 pm

Turn Left Turn Right
Hong Kong/Singapore 2003 (102 min.)

Dir. Johnny To, Wai Ka-fai
Cast Takeshi Kaneshiro, Gigi Leung

A film about two star-crossed lovers named Eve and John who are meant to be together but kept apart by mean people, intricacies of plot, and the filmmakers' need to demonstrate that fate will--even if held at bay by every possible device--ultimately have its way.
Egyptian Wed June 2 7:00 pm

Cinerama Mon June 7 2:00 pm

The Twilight Samurai
Japan, 2003 (129 min.)

Dir. Yoji Yamada
Cast Hiroyuki Sanada, Mitsuro Fukikoshi

If you think single fathers have it tough, just imagine being a sword-for-hire in feudal Japan. Our widower hero must balance the demands of bringing up his daughters, looking for a wife, and slicing people ear to ear on demand.
Egyptian Fri May 21 6:45 pm

Harvard Exit Sun May 23 1:30 pm

Twin Sisters
The Netherlands, 2002 (135 min.)

Dir. Ben Sombogaart
Cast Ellen Vogel, Thekla Reuten

A pair of twins, separated after their parents' death, end up in opposition: One marries a Jew, the other marries a Nazi. If they had sat down and thought, "How can we really throw a wrench into our perfect twinness," could they have come up with such an ideal situation? Furthermore, 50 years later, will they reunite?
Cinerama Fri June 4 1:00 pm

Pacific Place Wed June 9 7:00 pm

Canada, 2003 (97 min.)

Dir. Jacob Tierney
Cast Nick Stahl, Joshua Close

Here is a contemporary retelling of Oliver Twist, and like it wasn't sad and wrenching enough to have all those poor children be starving orphans, now they're male prostitutes, too. And in Toronto. Toronto.
Egyptian Sat May 29 9:00 pm

Egyptian Tues June 1 4:45 pm


* Undead *
Australia, 2003 (104 min.)

Dir. Peter Spierig, Michael Spierig
Cast Felicity Mason, Mungo McKay

Featuring a semi-coherent plot involving zombies, space aliens, and a small band of plucky survivors, this splatterfest will remind you of the thrill you got the first time you watched Dead Alive or Evil Dead II. And, in case you were wondering, these zombies don't run, but they do tear people's heads off and eat their brains. (ADAM HART)
Valley Drive-In Sun May 30 9:30 pm

Egyptian Fri June 11 midnight

* Uniform *
China/Japan, 2003 (94 min.)

Dir. Diao Yinan
Cast Liang Hongli, Zeng Xueqiong

A wonderfully rambling, loose film about a young loser who uses a police uniform to further his own social and financial standing, partially out of vanity and partially out of necessity, Uniform is a brilliant, multifaceted portrait of the sort of moral relativity normal people will resort to in desperate times. (ADAM HART)
Brdwy Perf Hall Thurs May 27 9:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sat May 29 1:45 pm

Untold Scandal
South Korea, 2003 (124 min.)

Dir. E J-yong
Cast Bae Yong-jun, Lee Mi-suk

Illicit love, scheming, and manipulation in repressive Cho-sun Korea. Remember Dangerous Liaisons? This is pretty much the same thing, but in Korea.
Egyptian Tues June 1 7:00 pm

Cineama Fri June 4 4:00 pm

Up Thornton Creek
U.S., 2004 (55 min.)

Dir. Peter Vogt
Cast Patty Crawford, Tim Crawford

Some local activists protest a big business that's encroaching on a recovering creek in Shoreline (yes, that Shoreline). The big business? Assisted living for seniors, complete with an appearance by Mickey Rooney. Presented entirely without context and in high-bureaucratic style, with tons of untranslated law and building-code speak, this film is nearly saved by Patty Crawford, an articulate, passionate, and focused woman, but is pretty much killed by everyone and everything else. (EMILY HALL)
Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 5 1:00 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sun June 6 6:15 pm


Vodka Lemon
Armenia/Switzerland/France/Italy, 2003 (90 min.)

Dir. Hiner Saleem
Cast Lala Sarkissian, Romen Avinian

The Soviet Empire is dissolved, and the inhabitants of a village find themselves about as well off as they were before. Luckily, love springs up between a widow and a widower. You can always count on love to palliate problems like cold and hunger and the illusion of free will.
Harvard Exit Sat June 5 11:30 am

Harvard Exit Sun June 6 9:30 pm


Walk on Water
Israel, 2003 (104 min.)

Dir. Eytan Fox
Cast Lior Ashkenazi, Knut Berger

A Mossad assassin in search of a Nazi war criminal disguises himself as a grandpa on tour through Israel with his grandchildren.
Pacific Place Sat June 12 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Sun June 13 2:00 pm

The Weakness of the Bolshevik
Spain, 2003 (95 min.)

Dir. Manuel Martín Cuenca
Cast Luis Tosar, María Valverde

An unlucky corporate cog rear-ends a woman's car, and then falls in love with her teenage sister. We find his rage misdirected, and his emotional outlet inappropriate.
Harvard Exit Thurs June 10 7:15 pm

Harvard Exit Sat June 12 11:30 am

When Ruoma Was Seventeen
China, 2002 (89 min.)

Dir. Zhang Jiarui
Cast Li Min, Yang Zhigang

A sheltered Chinese girl dreams of the big city, romance, and a job as a photographer's assistant. Not a photographer--a photographer's assistant.
Harvard Exit Sat May 22 4:15 pm

Harvard Exit Mon May 24 5:00 pm

When the Right One Comes Along
Switzerland/Germany 2003 (78 min.)

Dir. Oliver Paulus, Stefan Hillebrand
Cast Isolde Fischer, Helga Grimme

She has a crush on him; he's disappeared. Oh, and he's Turkish, and she goes to Turkey to search for him, and that's a really bad idea. Although Turkish food is quite delightful and there's lots to see in Istanbul, it is probably not the best time to be a blond lady looking for her lover.
Brdwy Perf Hall Fri June 4 9:15 pm

Brdwy Perf Hall Sat June 5 11:15 am

Who Killed Bambi?
France, 2003 (126 min.)

Dir. Gilles Marchand
Cast Sophie Quinton, Laurent Lucas

In a French hospital, someone is stealing drugs and all the young female patients are dying. It's up to a student nurse to figure out what's going on.
Pacific Place Fri May 28 9:30 pm

Pacific Place Sun May 30 2:00 pm

The Widow of Saint-Pierre
France, 2000 (112 min.)

Dir. Patrice Leconte
Cast Juliette Binoche, Daniel Auteuil

A convicted murderer awaits his date with the guillotine, and the wife of the warden grows more and more obsessed with saving him. There's a name for this complex, the compulsive need to help people who are beyond redemption. It may have something to do with Mr. Christ.
Cinerama Sat June 12 3:45 pm

Wild Side
France/Belgium/Great Britain, 2004 (94 min.)

Dir. Sébastien Lifshitz
Cast Stéphanie Michelini, Edouard Nikitine

A pre-op transsexual in Paris juggles two boyfriends. However, this is not a funny movie. It is full of angst and longing and French ennui.
Harvard Exit Sat June 12 2:00 pm

Pacific Place Sun June 13 6:30 pm

Croatia, 2003 (88 min.)

Dir. Vinko Bresan
Cast Mirjana Karanovic, Leon Lucev

A movie about ethnic differences and hatred in Croatia, wrapped in a thriller, much like a burrito is a meal wrapped in a tortilla, or a Twix is a cookie wrapped in chocolate.
Egyptian Wed June 9 9:15 pm

Harvard Exit Sat June 12 9:30 pm

Wondrous Oblivion
Great Britain, 2003 (106 min.)

Dir. Paul Morrison
Cast Delroy Lindo, Sam Smith

What's worse: That your Jewish son sucks at cricket, which he loves (and doesn't realize he sucks at it)? Or that he's getting tutored by your Jamaican neighbor? So your son's a nerd, and you're a racist. That's just great.
Pacific Place Sat May 29 11:30 am

Pacific Place Sun May 30 11:30 am


Your Next Life
Spain, 2004 (108 min.)

Dir. Manuel Gutiérrez Aragón
Cast Luis Tosar, Juan Diego

Rai falls for the daughter of the man who killed his father--and by the way, he's got a hairdressing business back in the city. Complications and split ends ensue.
Pacific Place Fri June 11 4:45 pm

Pacific Place Sun June 13 4:15 pm