I was lucky enough to attend the opening night of the Festival of New Spanish Cinema in Seattle on Wednesday at SIFF Cinema, and ran into the star of the film we’d just watched, (With or Without Love), Angie Cepeda:
The film was light-hearted and funny, and full of surprises. I wouldn’t have normally chosen to see a film in this genre, but after seeing the film I’m quite glad I did.
Check out the remainder of the festival, which goes through Sunday:
festival of new spanish cinema
September 21–25, SIFF Cinema at McCaw Hall
The energy of Almódovar. The risk-taking of Amenabar. The unadulterated exhilaration of Buñuel. SIFF celebrates the return of the Festival of New Spanish Cinema, unveiling the next generation of Spanish film legends. Featuring first-time filmmakers and established masters alike, the very best in contemporary Spanish cinema comes to SIFF Cinema. Join us for award-winning comedies, romances and dramatic masterpieces, and the special unveiling of a horror classic.
Organized by Pragda and SIFF Cinema. Supported by the Embassy of Spain in Washington DC and Ministry of Culture of Spain-ICAA. Additional support comes from Consulate of Spain in Seattle and San Francisco, Instituto Cervantes Seattle, University of Washington, Iberia Airlines, American Airlines and Eurochannel. Wine courtesy of Martín Códax Albariño and Las Rocas Garnacha, our exclusive wine sponsor. Promotional consideration by 88.5 KPLU.
Series Pass Available!
All 10 films for $60 | $40 SIFF Members
I’m putting on a preview screening of Fox Searchlight’s Black Swan at Seattle’s Pacific Place on December 1st, and looking through all the press coverage, I’ve found the following gems…it seems that some young ladies have been anticipating the premiere of Black Swan so much that they dressed up as Nina, the film’s main character, fully a month before the film’s commercial release!:
Marni From Toronto:
Sara from Los Angeles:
And Marisa from Toronto even found a life-size movie poster, for comparison (must’ve been at the Toronto Int’l Film Festival!):
Some even went as far as making Black Swan eye-makeup tutorials and posting them on YouTube! Here’s one:
This is an amazing time to be alive, what with all the things that are changing, evolving, improving.
A major step was just taken that will revolutionize how video is produced and consumed. It’s called the Panasonic GH1.
It dispenses with the traditional SLR mirror and optical viewfinder, allowing a shorter lens-to-sensor distance; in turn enabling smaller, lighter, and quieter cameras. The platform, called ‘Micro Four Thirds’, maintains the same-size image sensor as a traditional DSLR, and uses similar (though smaller) interchangeable lenses that allow for shallow depth of field, which is one of the defining characteristics that DSLRs have long had a monopoly on versus point-and-shoot consumer cameras.
So it’s smaller. Why is this camera so revolutionary, then?
Well, size is not the revolution. HD video functionality is.
Though hardly the first digital camera to shoot HD video (notable examples include the Canon 5D Mark II and the Nikon D90) the GH1 manages to provide jaw-droppingly-good HD video (1080p) in a smaller and less-expensive package* than its predecessors and rivals. This means that any idiot with a thousand bucks, a subject, and a PC can become a movie producer.
Here’s the freshest example of HD video shot off a Panasonic GH1 (if you watch the HD version closely and notice the shallow depth of field and fantastic quality, you’ll understand how revolutionary this is!):
What we’ve seen with print media–the replacement of the top-down newspaper/magazine model with a more democratic, user-generated model–is exactly what is going to happen with digital video. With the increased accessibility of cheap HD video recording, sites like Vimeo and FunnyOrDie are going to be swimming in quality user-generated content (if they’re not already). The losers are going to be the big studios, whose only advantages will be 1) bigger budgets for marketing/production, 2) star power, and 3) existing distribution channels (movie theaters, et cetera). The studios, however, will be at a massive disadvantage on the internet, coming up against small niche players who will be able to undercut them on production cost AND content pricing, providing the content for free (ad-supported). If the big studios eschew the free-content route, as print media did, and they’ll lose market share to the internet upstarts.
This is a MASSIVE opportunity for anybody with film-making experience. You have the opportunity to be involved in a revolution. Yes, the democratization of HD video will mean declining prestige, and an increasingly flooded content marketplace. But at the same time, it allows content creators to put more professional-looking creations on the web and garner maximum exposure before the big studios begin to adapt to the new platform.
If there is to be an internet video production star made, he/she will be made king very soon. As I said earlier, this is an amazing time to be alive.
*Note: the Panasonic GH1 may be priced similarly to the Nikon D90. We’ll have to see.
In 1990, soon after the publication of The Satanic Verses, a Pakistani film was released in which [author Salman] Rushdie was depicted plotting to cause the downfall of Pakistan by opening a chain of casinos and discos in the country. The film was popular with Pakistani audiences, and it “presents Rushdie as a Rambo-like figure pursued by four Pakistani guerrillas.”
Rushdie called the film “a distorted, incompetent piece of trash.” The film was a massive hit in Pakistan, but went virtually unnoticed in the West. In Rushdie’s favorite part of the movie, his character tortures a Pakistani fighter by reading aloud his book, The Satanic Verses.
Just watched this eye-opening film, now 20 years old: