May 31, 2006

No Tengo Dinero

If you've navigated here from Socialretard or Heyrocker's page, then yes, the rumors are true -- Kza aint SIFFin this year. The reasons are numerous, but they can be adequately summed up in the titular phrase. But seeing how the above two have taken to SIFF like ducks to water, I'm making a pledge right here and now: Not only am I going to SIFF next year... I'm saving up for the Full Series Pass. Plus the Secret Fest.

Yeah.

So while I'm out getting a job, why not enjoy the following SIFF links?

As mentioned earlier, Socialretard and Heyrocker are on the scene. But also check out Roya's blog, where she also keeps an Audience Watch. (There's a short film, maybe a documentary or PSA, in there somewhere, guys.) She's also started a public Flickr page with SIFF photos -- I feel like I'm there, sitting for hours! Ken Rudolph is the king of crazy SIFFing. Vern usually sees a few titles in between Seagal sightings. Shawn Sylvian is there; unfortunately, Kyle Smith appears not to be. The Stranger has things, no doubt ribald, to say; Fuck the Seattle Weekly, hurry up and die already.

Oh, and the main SIFF page is here.

Posted by kza at 12:16 PM | Comments (4)

May 30, 2006

Dead Again (1991, Kenneth Branagh)

I remember seeing this twice in one week when I was a sophomore at Humboldt -- and I remember being dazzled by it the first time and thinking it was a crock of shit the second. (I also remember saying as much on the tiny dry erase board on the outside of my door. That's what we had before blogs, kids. Readership quantity was about the same, though.) I grabbed this out of the bargain bin of the Evil Corporate Store That Shall Not Be Named, thinking maybe fifteen years might've softened my view of it -- although, honestly, I couldn't even remember what bothered me so much about it.

Oh that's right -- it's a crock of shit. Scott Frank's script is slathered in gooey New Age nonsense (the one character we expect to be the voice of skepticism, Robin Williams' uncredited psychiatrist, does a 180 at the end) and, like insult to injury, a heaping dose of sappiness. (Admittedly, sappiness and New Age nonsense are the peanut butter & jelly of aesthetic crimes, but one would've hoped for more from Branagh.) As a narrative, it's still undeniably engaging, thanks to Branagh's direction and a good performance by Emma Thompson. (What's interesting, fifteen years on, is that the odd-looking Thompson could have a romantic lead role like this. The 21st century does not have an Emma Thompson.) Branagh's clearly having fun with the absurd story and making references to Citizen Kane and the Hitchcock oeuvre, and even when Frank is tying everything together waaay too tightly (it feels so very McKee), it still goes down easy. (Frank's forgiven, though -- he wrote the whip-smart Out of Sight.)

At the time, I wondered why Branagh, known then as the Shakespeare Wunderkind, would take on such a big, loud, ridiculous project. Seeing his inner ham emerge over the years (Wild Wild West, Harry Potter 2), it's now obvious in retrospect that it was made for him.

Posted by kza at 06:47 PM | Comments (0)