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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

SIFF 2009 Dispatch: The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle and Burma VJ

Catching up, at long last, with some SIFF updating. I had a busy weekend family-wise, so wasn’t able to enjoy the fest much of its opening weekend, but I did make it to the fest opener last Thursday night: the gala screening of In the Loop, followed by the fest’s always-hotly-anticipated opening night bash, which spilled out from the lovely Paramount Theater and out onto the street. Many popular city restaurants provided appetizer-sized portions of yummy fare, and there was live music and lots of excitement in the air. I, being old and a wimp, knocked off rather early, but I heard from friends who stayed late that it was a great time.
Sunday Night my husband and I got out for a late-night screening of The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle at The Egyptian (quick, raise your hand if you live in a major city that doesn’t have a theater called “Egyptian”). Things got off to an interesting start as director and Seattle-native David Russo kicked off his introduction by telling the audience that he’d been upset when he learned his film was screening at The Egyptian because it has such a awful (f-bomb) sound system by way of thanking the sound crew for making it as good as it could be, under the circumstances. In all fairness, he’s right on the sound quality at the Egyptian but, uh … thanks?

The screening itself played well to the packed audience, who seemed energetic and excited, with most everyone sticking around for the Q&A. Seattle crowds tend to stay for the Q&As anyhow, but for this one I think I saw maybe 30 people leave, at the most. Russo started off the Q&A by slamming the festival for using his work to promote another film (a screener of fest Gala film Humpday was shown before Little Dizzle). Russo berated the fest for doing this, charging that other artists, whether they said so or not, resented it as much as he did, and that other festivals resist the temptation to do this, even in tough economic times. (For the record, a SIFF staffer told me that the fest does not get paid for those slots, they were just wanting to promote another Seattle director’s film that’s also playing the fest.)
This got things off to a bit of a frosty start with this crowd, which both loves this festival and had just laughed through the offending trailer without thinking anything was amiss. Fortunately for Russo, his film was good enough that the crowd eventually warmed back up to him and started talking about that instead.
Yesterday I caught two films: Burma VJ: Reporting from a closed country and Fear Me Not, a Danish psychological horror story by Dogme95 director Kristian Levring. Two reviews, for Little Dizzle and Burma VJ, are linked below. I’m aiming to have something on In the Loop and Fear Me Not up tomorrow, if I’m not too wiped after tonight’s screening of zombie-Nazi flick Dead Snow.

SIFF Review: The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle

SIFF Review: Burma VJ

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One Response to “SIFF 2009 Dispatch: The Immaculate Conception of Little Dizzle and Burma VJ”

  1. djk813 says:

    Surprising to hear a filmmaker criticize a festival showing his film at his screening. Even if the sound isn’t optimal, I don’t think it’s a good idea to alert the audience of a presentation problem before the film because they’ll be more apt to notice it then.

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“I really want to see The Irishman. I’ve heard it’s big brother Martin Scorsese’s masterpiece. But I really can’t find the time. The promotion schedule is so tight, there’s no opportunity to see a three and a half-hour movie. But I really want to see it. In 2017, right before Okja’s New York premiere, I had the chance to go to Scorsese’s office, which is in the DGA building. There’s a lovely screening room there, too, with film prints that he’s collected. I talked to him for about an hour. There’s no movie he hasn’t seen, even Korean films. We talked about what he’s seen and his past work. It was a glorious day. I’ve loved his work since I was in college. Who doesn’t? Anyone involved with movies must feel the same way.”
~ Bong Joon-ho

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