Spring, more than any other season, is a time of excess. The days grow longer, plants waft forth obscene amounts of smells and pollens, animals erupt in a cacophony of tweets, songs, and sexual cries, and the weather itself starts a mad dervish from sun to rain and back again. From the deluge of the cherry blossoms to the sudden abundance of short-sleeved people clogging the sidewalks, volume and waste are everywhere. And nowhere more so than at our beloved Film Festival.
Each year, the Seattle International Film Festival caps off the excess of spring like four inches of icing on the top tier of a wedding cake. Trumping even the enticements of nature itself, SIFF annually brings forth a bloom of man-made diversions, the likes of which would make the Skagit Valley's tulips blush. Truly, the film festival is the artistic embodiment of spring's mandate toward excess, packing 200-plus films into three crammed weeks, and drawing huge gobs of pasty-skinned cinephiles out into the withering sun to buy tickets, stand in line, and perspire pheromones. Cinematic fictions fill the air in gross overabundance, obscuring any individual film in a haze of multiplicity. The mind reels as films butt up against more films, giving birth to mutant plot-line hybrids and the terror of half-remembered stories: Was last night's film a German eating drama, an erotic Chinese love tale, or (shudder) both? The liquor flows, the films don't stop, and by the end, everyone is bleary-eyed and sick of both foreign films and each other for another year to come.
We at The Stranger salute this bloated, voluminous fest, and have done our part to contribute to the waste it creates. So here's BULK: the SIFF Bible, carefully researched and thoughtfully laid out to help you navigate the flood (if the analog version is just too much for you, a searchable version of these listings appears at www.thestranger.com). Luxuriate in our philosophical treatises on volume and waste! Thrill to our colorful, easy-to-read showtimes calendar! And most of all, prepare yourself with a cursory reading of our record-breaking 132 reviews! No more shall ye abandon all hope before you enter the theater, because now there's a better than one-in-two chance that our team of bitter, frustrated, and thoroughly insightful reviewers have already seen the film and can give you the skinny! Just look for an author's name after each capsule--it means we've seen the film.
And, as if these aren't reasons enough to read through these holy pages, once again we are offering readers a chance to win a Full Series Pass! It seems that we got so carried away in our energetic reviewing that we simply couldn't stop! And hence, we managed to review a few films that JUST AREN'T THERE! Be the first to find ALL SIX bogus films, and we'll present you with a fabulous full-series pass! Gratis!! Just e-mail your answer to email@example.com. The first person to get it in WINS!
Just So here it is, heathen! The SIFF Bible! Enjoy! And see you at the movies!