“Tell Me Everything You Saw,” SIFF 34: The Post-Mortem!

Of the things that will have shelf life in my memory as the rest of the festival collectively fades, I’ll long remember the SIFF trailer that ran before each film. “Tell me everything you saw,” Grace Kelly, in her pearls and black gown, implores Jimmy Stewart in Rear Window, as frames within frames of iconic images flicker past—among them, Sean Young exhaling in Blade Runner, a car skidding along the façade of a building from Day Watch, and Claudette Colbert showing Clark Gable exactly how one hitches a ride in It Happened One Night. This beautiful piece, designed by Digital Kitchen, deserves a small prize of its own, if only for being a welcome departure from the leaden clunk of SIFF trailers past. Any festival-goer who recoils at the mention of “Who ordered the murdered mistress?” or “We’re gonna take little Joey and put ‘im in show biz!” will undoubtedly share my sense of gratitude.

Last Sunday morning at the Space Needle, over a brunch of scrambled eggs and mushy, overcooked salmon, the festival winners and juried awards were announced. I won’t go into them all, suffice to say that when Alan Rickman’s name was called as “Best Actor” for the universally reviled Bottle Shock, you could have heard the sound of one hand clapping. Granted, there were no obvious frontrunners for Best Actor this year, at least not among the films I caught, but that Bottle Shock had only screened once publicly (the night before the awards ceremony) struck me as a trifle suspicious.

There was better news in the Best Director category. I was delighted that Nina Paley took second runner-up for the wonderful Sita Sings the Blues. Of course, she merited higher than that . . .

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