~posted by Mike
This Thursday kicks off for the 40th annual Seattle International Film Festival. Over the next three weeks, Seattle will be awash in exciting events and fantastic films from all corners of the world. If you’re looking to supplement your festival experience, the Seattle Public Library is here to help.
This year’s opening night gala will be in honor of Jimi: All is By My Side, a new biopic starring Outkast’s Andre Benjamin as one of our city’s favorite sons, Jimi Hendrix. If you can’t squeeze in to the auditorium for the sold out premiere, you can find solace with documentary footage of Hendrix’s monumental Monterey Pop appearance, one of the most incendiary performances in rock history.
Also being fêted this week are actors Chiwetel Ejiofor and Laura Dern, both of whom will be appearing for special presentations and Q&As. Dern’s appearance will be followed by a screening of David Lynch’s bizarre Wizard of Oz homage Wild at Heart. It’s a great performance in a good film but Dern and Lynch collaborated fifteen years later on a much more staggering achievement, Inland Empire.
Chiwetel Ejiofor has been popping up with wonderful performances for many years but his career went to a new level with recent Oscar winner 12 Years A Slave. The first time Ejiofor caught my attention was in writer/director Joss Whedon’s Serenity, a dazzling film that tied up loose ends from the beloved (mandatory) cult TV show Firefly.
Speaking of Whedon, as I often do, his most recent directorial effort opened SIFF last year. His adaptation of Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing is a light-hearted black-and-white romp around the grounds of Whedon’s beautiful Santa Monica home. If anything, the film makes the case that Amy Acker should be the biggest movie star in the world.
So in between movies, watch more movies! Have fun at the festival!