Nada Mucho

SIFF 2024: Day 2 Recap

Posted by May 11th, 2024 1 Comment »

Seattle International Film Festival
May 9-19, 2024 in Seattle
Day 2 Recap (Friday, May 10)

The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry—especially when the POTUS lands in your city on the same day you plan to see three feature films. I pivoted, and I’m certainly glad I did.

My goal for SIFF’s 50th was to focus solely on feature-length narrative films, steering clear of documentaries. In past years, I’ve opted for documentaries that ultimately didn’t impress, only to find the narrative features I missed wowing audiences upon their wide release. I wished I’d seen them earlier.

However, the second day of the Seattle International Film Festival coincided with a visit from Joe Biden, complicating transit around the city and causing me to miss my first film, Woodland, at the Uptown. Instead, I caught Mûsica, a documentary at SIFF Downtown. The newly renamed theater, formerly Cinerama, welcomed me with the familiar scent of chocolate popcorn. Its stellar sound system was a perfect match for Mûsica, a film about young Cuban musicians striving for instruments and opportunities. While there’s a review hold on this film, I can attest that it both looked and sounded fantastic and comes highly recommended.

Next, I headed to the Uptown Cinema in Queen Anne to see Agent of Happiness in a sold-out theater. Beforehand, I stopped by the SIFF lounge nearby, sharing some of my chocolate popcorn with fellow moviegoers. The film, directed by Dorottya Zurbó and Arun Bhattarai, offers a novel approach to understanding the citizens of Bhutan, a Buddhist country in the Himalayas. We follow Amber and Gina as they traverse this beautiful nation, exploring its people’s happiness—or lack thereof. Amber’s candid revelations about his loneliness and lack of citizenship add a deeply personal touch, blurring the lines between documentary and narrative. This insightful film is a must-see, providing a vivid portrayal of life in Bhutan under the reign of Druk Gyalpo, the King.

After the show, I met up with my friend and fellow critic, Peter Cameron, and we decided to catch the Luther Vandross documentary Luther: Never Too Much at the Egyptian Theatre. Though I’ve never been a fan of Luther’s music, this deep-dive documentary was an eye-opener, revealing facets of his life I was previously unaware of, from his days backing David Bowie to his TV jingles. The film poignantly shares Luther’s journey, celebrating his influence and the admiration he garnered, interspersed with tasteful insights into his personal challenges.

Surprisingly, I ended up watching more documentaries on the second day than I anticipated for the entire festival. A trailer for one particular documentary, Resynator, caught my eye, proving once again that the best-laid plans can indeed go awry.

Catch additional showings of Música and Agent of Happiness back-to-back on Wednesday, May 15, at 6 PM and 8 PM at Shoreline Community College. Luther will be showing again on Sunday, May 19, at the AMC Pacific Place.

One thought on “SIFF 2024: Day 2 Recap

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Copyright © 2024 Nada Mucho