SIFF 2019: Uptown House 2, Times 2

Saturday was a perfect day for watching movies, dark and rainy. We got a little gardening done, and after trying Little Big Burger (Field Roast version) we headed back to the Uptown. (I will admit now that I started writing this probably the very Sunday following this Saturday I’m describing, but then I had some technical issues and just gave up. It is now nearly three weeks later, and I’m finally finishing this.)

OK, so first film was Sgaawaay K’uuna, or Edge of the Knife, the first film performed in the rare Haida language. You can look it up on Wikipedia and learn that only a couple dozen people still speak this language. A small tribe is gathering for their annual fishing party, in preparation for the winter, where we see that one of the tribespeople, Adiits’ii, is not completly respectful of tradition, and subsequently suffers the consequences. Eventually the whole tribe suffers, of course, but Adiits’ii really suffers the most, one might argue, as not only did he accidentally cause the death of his beloved nephew, but is also taken over by demons in the woods. Perhaps I had low expectations, thinking it might be hokey or exploitative, but it was neither of those, and ended up being one of our faves of this festival.

After a little jaunt to the KEXP Gathering Space, it was back to the Uptown for Frances Ferguson. A quirky little tale of a young, attractive teacher who has an illicit relationship with one of her students. A far extreme from a Lifetime Movie, the story was presented as a low-key, minimalist comedy, complete with voice-over narration from Nick Offerman. The rhythm and pacing of this film was very unusual, which I feel very much contributed to the comedic success, but which also could be off-putting to some. Another highlight. A successful Saturday, indeed.

I neglected to mention last time that the Who Let the Dogs Out documentary was led by a documentary short about a dude who won a drug-crazed weekend with Van Halen from MTV back in the 80s. It was funny seeing how nuts these guys went, and trying to imagine something like that happening now.