SIFF News

Week 2: The stars arrive.

IN THE ANNALS of celebrity introductions to their SIFF films, some are tediously long, others amusingly brief. Beginning the fest on Thursday, The Anniversary Party stars and co-directors Alan Cumming and Jennifer Jason Leigh were neither. Instead, hustled on stage at the 5th Avenue Theatre after festival director Darryl Macdonald's remarks ("voyage of discovery," blah, blah, blah), the two celebs looked jet-lagged and nervous, yet determined to be polite. "We're so thrilled and honored," Leigh gushed. "It's really a lovely honor to present this film in such a beautiful theater," Cumming purred in his Scottish burr. (Could they mention the word "honor" more often?) Elapsed time—about 30 seconds. It doesn't take much glamour to impress gullible Seattle audiences, although later some complained that Party—which opens June 22—had audio problems with its projection. At SIFF's glamorous opening night gala, held in the glamorous open-air courtyard at glamorous Two Union Square (where, by day, glamorous office workers eat their glamorous brown-bag lunches), chaos immediately reigned as everyone stormed the bar lines. Outfits ranged from '20s flapper revivalism to L.A. inappropriate to Northwest dorky. (Couldn't the doormen implement a no Birkenstocks or fanny packs policy?) Some women smartly dyed their hair to match their dresses; others appeared to be wearing their prom gowns from 20 years ago. While the huddled, teeming masses clutched their comp drinks below, little red flashlights gained admittance to the VIP area, where Cumming and Leigh held court with Macdonald. Glued to Cumming's ear was Bainbridge Island director Alan Rudolph, whose Investigating Sex closes the fest. (Cumming also has a part in that picture.) Now that the party's over, here are a few random picks for the week: This Is My Moon, that Endurance documentary about Shackleton, Bartleby, National 7, e-Dreams, Coronation, and Vertical Ray of the Sun. See our Web site for updated reviews throughout the fest. bmiller@seattleweekly.com

 
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