This week in the film section, I have some things to say about STIFF, Seattle's True Independent Film Festival. After I wrote the article, I was contacted by Brendan O'Neill Kohl, a local filmmaker who asked me to watch his STIFF entry, a locally produced short film called "Day Labor."
I did watch "Day Labor," and I have to say: It exemplifies everything that I would like STIFF to be. It's funny and competent, the cinematography captures Seattle uniquely, it's clever, and it makes the most of its budget. It's also political—it's about illegal immigrants—in a way that doesn't bash you over the head. Most of the STIFF short films I've seen fail in the most elemental aspect of filmmaking: The screenplays are garbage. Unlike good actors or good equipment, a good script doesn't cost anything more than a junk script. "Day Labor" proves that one good idea, properly developed, can support a whole film.
This is a STIFF film that I urge you to watch. It shows on Tuesday, June 8th at Central Cinema at 7pm and again on Thursday, June 10th, at Northwest Film Forum at 9:15 pm. The movie it's playing with at Central Cinema, Sex, Drugs and Stu, is atrocious. (This is part of the problem of SIFF: The good and the bad are paired indiscriminately.) I don't know anything about Left Field, the feature it's playing with at Northwest Film Forum.
In the meantime, in response to my article, STIFF's Jagger Gravning has created a video depicting a showdown/dance-off between me and STIFF's managing director, Clint Berquist. The special effects are stunning.
I wish I really had Hawkman's body.