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Scarecrow on Seattle: VISIONEERS

In appreciation and recognition of Seattle's long and illustrious film history, we are proud to partner with the Seattle Office of Film + Music to bring you reviews of movies made in the Pacific Northwest with an emphasis on how these films showcase the region's many filmable locations.

Visioneers (2008)

Just a year before his breakout role in The Hangover, Zack Galifianakis gives a charming, low-key performance in this quirky independent comedy shot in and around the town of Snoqualmie. Visioneers is set in a near-future dystopia where people have generally become dumber and more obsessed with television, which seems like a fair prediction. Galifianakis portrays a character named George Washington Winsterhammerman, an office manager for a sinister corporation called the Jeffers Company that uses Orwellian double speak and has a logo and official corporate greeting resembling "the bird." George shares a sterile gray office with a couple of near-zombified worker drones and then goes home to an equally bland life and a distant, self-help obsessed wife. By some accounts George would be regarded as a success, he has a well-paying job, a lovely wife, and a big McMansion, but he is understandably dissatisfied with his life. George has regularly occurring visions involving that other George Washington and fears that, like some of his coworkers, he may spontaneously combust at work. His only happiness is found with a recently fired employee of the Jeffers Company who ends up as a waitress at a charming local cafe. Though much of the film is reminiscent of movies like Brazil, Idiocracy, and the 2001 adaptation of Bartleby, Visioneers has its own unique vibe.  

The cast is packed with a strong collection of offbeat/indie actor favorites like Judy Greer, James LeGros, Missi Pyle, Aubrey Morris, and Mia Maestro. Almost Live! veterans John Keister and Pat Cashman also show up in supporting roles. The sibling filmmaking team of Jared and Brandon Drake make the most of their hometown, including Isadora's Books and Cafe (now sadly out of business) and other locations like Mount Si High School and their parents' house in Fall City. Other familiar Northwest sights are Lake Washington, Mill Pond Road (used in the opening credits for Twin Peaks), and a Sahara Pizza box.

-Spenser Hoyt

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