Watching Me and You and Everyone We Know (2005-05-19)

After an interminable introduction, we saw the film and attended the party for the Opening Night Gala. Production managers, mayors, marketing directors, SIFF directors, and program managers spoke for nearly an hour first. Here's advice for speakers: after you've spent time writing your speech, practice it to see how long it is. Then spend additional time making it half as long. Do you really want to sound unprepared to the 2800 people that the Paramount holds? You know who you are. (Dan Webster from Movies and More thought the introduction was long, too.)

In her speech, festival director Helen Loveridge answered a question that an audience member at the SIFF Preview event had asked: This was the first opening night film by a woman director.

Even Miranda July spoke, briefly, of her Pacific Northwest history with the Film Forum and the Seattle Art Museum. I looked to see if she had problems with her shoes like in Cannes (as Movie City Indie noticed in Miranda July's blog), but I couldn't tell from the balcony.

The 2005 Opening Night film wasn't the sentimental cinematic Hallmark card that the 2004 Opening Night Film The Notebook was. Miranda July's Me and You and Everyone We Know was an arthouse collection of contemporary vignettes connected in surprising (and not always plausible) ways. I think it was a better introduction to independent and foreign film than the previous year. However, the film flirted with sexual boundaries without quite crossing them (offensive opportunities remained fantasy). This bothered some in the audience.

The quirky relationship between Miranda July's Christine Jesperson and John Hawkes' Richard Swersey ties the film together and makes it almost as much comedy as drama. (John Hawkes, by the way, looks a bit like a thin Sean Penn, as though someone had permanently squeezed Sean's face.) Nevertheless the kids carry the story as much as Miranda July and John Hawkes.

The party afterward at the old Seattle Public Library was crowded and loud, with long lines for food and drink. This year, however, the food was much better than last year. We sat next to the owners of one of our favorite haunts, the Trabant Chai Lounge and had a nice conversation. I recognized an employee from Scarecrow Video, but never caught his eye. We left the film and party happy.


William said...

Tara Morgan announced that Miranda July canceled "How I Learned to Draw: A Conversation with Miranda July" in order to return to Cannes to receive the Critics Week Prize.

William said...

By the way, Gary Tucker's sponsor spiel was much better than the sponsor spiel last year. The timing was right, and the animation and cat helped entertain the audience.

William said...

Details on the prize are on the Cannes Web site.

William said...

Movie City Indie again calls attention to a post about receiving the awards in Cannes on Miranda July's blog.