Monday, June 25, 2007

"New Crowned Hope" film series at SIFF Cinema : July 20 - August 2

Link to SIFF Cinema 'New Crowned Hope' Site

Seems that cinema is the only thing I've been writing on recently - likely because of the abundance of films of this calibre that have come through this little city in the past month(s):

Seattle's new SIFF theatre will host four of the six feature-length film selections from theatre impressario Peter Sellars' "New Crowned Hope" festival - which took place in Vienna this past winter in celebration of Mozart's 250th anniversary. The festival featured not a single note of Mozart's music, but instead commissioned new works of dance, visual art, music, theatre, architecture and film from across the globe. What Sellars is quoted as wanting of the fest and the work submitted in general was; "A high level of self-searching and stylistic innovation in pieces that deal with the themes of transformation, truth, reconciliation and redemption such as those that run through the composer's final works." If Sellar's wanted six artistically daring films then to look beyond the largely industrial/commercial cinemas of the US, India, Europe and Japan was an intelligent choice for both aesthetic and economic reasons. The films of 'New Crowned Hope' originate from Kurdish Iran/Iraq (Bahman Ghobadi), Chad/South Africa (Mahamat-Saleh Haroun, Teboho Mahlatsi), Indonesia (Garin Nugroho), Paraguay (Pan Encina), Thailand (Apitchatpong Weerasethakul), and Taiwan/Malaysia (Tsai Ming-Liang). The festival with the aid of film curators Simon Field and Kieth Griffiths commissioned works by some of the most distinct and innovative new voices currently to be found in the scope of international cinema.

These films were some of my personal faves from this year's Seattle Intl. Film Fest and its an inspired bit of curatorial work on the part of SIFF to see them showing collected together as a series. I'm anticipating catching at least the Weerasethakul and the Tsai Ming-Liang again. Knowing me, I'll likely just go and see them all for the effect of that 'definitive second viewing'.