Im so excited for people to finally see Sara Dosas excellent Fire of Love.
I'm so excited for people to finally see Sara Dosa's excellent Fire of Love. Courtesy of SIFF/Fire of Love

SIFF season is off to the races! Eeek! It's my favorite time of year! Today, the 2022 Seattle International Film Festival officially drops its full lineup of films and its schedule for the fest, which runs from April 14 to April 24 this year. SIFF members will get access to individual pre-sale tickets today while tickets will be made available to the public tomorrow.

As for the fest itself: This year, SIFF will screen 263 films from 80 countries across eight screens in the Seattle-area. There are 28 world premieres and 8 U.S. premieres, meaning Seattle audiences will be the first see several films over the course of the 10-day festival. As previously announced, Daniel Roher's thrilling and timely documentary Navalny—which follows Putin adversary Alexei Navalny as he's allegedly poisoned by the Kremlin—will open SIFF. The film will play at Paramount Theatre, and then immediately afterward the fest will shut down 9th Ave to host an outdoor opening party replete with food trucks, music, and the like. Let's hope the weather holds!

If you're still feeling weird about going in person: The programmers emphasize the hybrid nature of the festival. At least half of the films screening at SIFF this year will be available to stream from the comfort and relative COVID safety of your own home. Some films off the bat that I know I'll recommend: Sara Dosa's Fire of Love, a beautiful documentary about two married French vulcanologists and their shared love of volcanoes. Also Carlota Pereda's Piggy, a dark and twisted film about a fat butcher's daughter who says nothing when her bullies are brutally kidnapped. And Daughter of a Lost Bird, Brooke Pepion Swaney's (Blackfeet/Salish) documentary about an Indigenous woman adopted by white people and her quest to reconnect with her birth mother and Lummi heritage. So much to see!!!

The Arboretum Aqueduct pedestrian bridge KO'd this truck: A reminder to go get a haircut if you've been putting it off.

Dyson creates dystopian product: The expensive vacuum cleaner company just released plans for the Dyson Zone, a pair of headphones that is connected to a small air purifier that wraps around your nose and mouth, reports Mashable. I'm assuming Dyson bigwigs created this so you can breathe the cleanest of air while blasting Charli XCX's Crash on repeat, as god intended.

Are you, too, wondering when the Capitol Hill H Mart location will finally open? CHS Blog has the answer, kinda. (Spoiler: no one really knows yet).

Senator Susan Collins has announced that she plans to vote to confirm Judge Ketanji Brown Jackson, making her the first Republican to support Biden's nominee, reports the New York Times. Provided that all the Democrats also agree to confirm the judge, the Times observes that Collins's support would "avoid the spectacle of Vice President Kamala Harris having to break a tie to seat a nominee on the Supreme Court." Knock on wood, but it looks like Judge Jackson will be the first Black woman to become a Supreme Court Justice.

Rescue in Ballard: This morning, the Seattle Fire Department rescued a 38-year-old man who fell into a utility tunnel and got pinned against a railcar, reports KING 5. The man is reported to be in the hospital and in stable condition, thank god. The story is still breaking, but authorities are investigating how this happened.

For the first time in nearly half a century, King County lost population last year: From July 1, 2020 to July 1, 2021, our county experienced a 0.9% (or 20,000-person) drop in population, reports Gene Balk over at the Seattle Times. The last time that happened was from 1971 to 1972 following the so-called "Boeing Bust," which left a giant county employer on the edge of bankruptcy. This time around, the loss is likely due to the pandemic, but the rents in this region are also pretty fucking terrible.

Attention Slog readers 50 and up: You now qualify for a second COVID booster shot. Yesterday, the Food and Drug Administration authorized second boosters of Pfizer and Moderna for Americans aged 50 and up if it's been four months since their last shot, reports AP. Waiting for the eventual rebrand of the booster as an "annual COVID shot."

Meanwhile: BA.2 omicron subvariant has become the dominant strain of COVID, accounting for over half of all new coronavarius cases here in the United States.

Russia-Ukraine updates: Russia said it would "drastically reduce" attacks on Chernihiv and Kyiv following peace talks in Tuesday—but Ukrainians in both cities allege that the Russians continued shelling without abandon. The UN food agency chief warned of a global food chain supply crisis "beyond anything we've seen since World War II" because of the war. Germany will probably have to ration gas. And over four million refugees have fled Ukraine, surpassing worst-case estimates.

Ok, I need a pick-me-up after that bummer of a blurb: That specific shade of soft cherry blossom pink is one of my most favorite colors.

However, I will say in this time of war, climate collapse, exploitation, and mass death, I look to art: The 2022 Whitney Biennial just opened in New York City this week and ArtNews' Alex Greenberger called it "a tender, understated survey of the American art scene as it stands right now that also acts as a means of processing the grief of the last two years."

Rattlesnake Ledge trail in North Bend gets a facelift: Originally constructed almost 20 years ago with an expectation of 70,000 visitors a year, the popular hiking trail now regularly sees more than 300,000 visitors every year. This spring, KUOW reports Washington Trail Association crews are finishing up renovations along the trail aimed at making more room for hikers and building it more sustainably "so that it can stand up to wear and tear." See ya out there!

Instead of music to cap off this Slog AM: I'm plugging in trailers for SIFF films that I'm super excited to read and write about this year. We'll have a bigger SIFF guide with more recommendations soon :)