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We're Not Done Giving Away SIFF Tickets!!

There's only one week left to go in this year's SIFF, and we're still not done giving away tickets! To enter, just send an email to scarecrow@scarecrow.com with "SIFF TICKETS" in the subject line, and include your name in the body of the email**. Here's a rundown of the films we've got tickets to:

 

The Better Angels -- Thursday, June 5, 4:30pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown

Produced by Terrence Malick and set in 1817, this reflection on the nature of life centers on an extraordinary one, in the early years of Abraham Lincoln. The United States is only 40 years old. Lincoln’s family has moved from Kentucky to the Indiana woods, where men and women battle against nature and disease on an elemental level. Thoroughly researched and authentic down to the very fibers worn and food eaten at the time, The Better Angels explores the hardships that shaped Lincoln, the tragedy that marked him forever, and his two mothers who guided him toward immortality. Starring newcomer Braydon Denney (as young Lincoln), Jason Clarke (Zero Dark Thirty) and Diane Kruger (Inglourious Basterds, “The Bridge”) and gorgeously shot with lush visuals and black-and-white cinematography, it’s a visceral and emotional film. Director A.J. Edwards has worked extensively with Malick as an editor on The New World and as second-unit director on The Tree of Life. Edwards’ first narrative feature film creates a vivid impression of an austere era and the familial circumstances that shaped one of history’s most unique and beloved presidents.

 

Medeas -- Thursday, June 5, 7 pm at AMC Pacific Place 11

Inspired both by Greek tragedy and true stories, Medeas quietly reveals the inner desires of a farming family through observational portraits set against an unforgiving and achingly beautiful Southern California landscape, with images harkening back to the early films of Terrence Malick. Times are hard for dairy farmers, especially during a drought, and Ennis’ (Brían O’Byrne, Before The Devil Knows You're Dead) frustrations are starting to boil over. Although he comes down hard on his children—especially his blossoming daughter and his moody teenage son—he is clearly devoted to his family. His hearing-impaired wife, Christina (Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace), performs her duties in the home but her pent-up passion becomes evident when she leaves the homestead. Tensions well up beneath the surface like a tidal wave as Ennis struggles to maintain control of his family and surrounding environment. An archetypal tale of adultery is rendered in exquisite strokes in this stylish, sensual, rural psychodrama from first-time director Andrea Pallaoro.

 

The Whole Wide World -- Saturday, June 7, 4 pm at the Egyptian Theatre

The story of an epic love is portrayed in exquisitely intimate terms in Dan Ireland’s haunting film about love and loss set in Depression-era Texas. The film is based on author Novalyne Price Ellis’s autobiographical memoir, “One Who Walked Alone,” which traces her turbulent romantic relationship with Robert E. Howard, the great pulp fiction writer of the 1930s who created such classics as “Conan the Barbarian” and “Red Sonja.” As the film opens, Novalyne is in a tizzy: her current beau, Clyde, is bringing his best friend, a writer, with him for a visit. Novalyne, a pretty schoolteacher and aspiring author is excited to be meeting a “working writer”, though when the men arrive, her romantic notions are somewhat dashed by Robert’s slovenly appearance. During a subsequent drive through the countryside, however, Robert proves to be fascinating and charistmatic, and Novalyne’s earliest assumptions about him are rekindled. One year later, she hasn’t forgotten Robert Howard, and when she’s transferred to a post in Cross Plains, where he lives, she wastes no time in trying to contact him. Before long, their sporadic meetings evolve into a courtship of sorts, but the course of true love is a long and winding road. In this cynical age, it’s a rare thing for a screen love story to touch both your heart and your soul. The Whole Wide World is one of those rare and cherished films that accomplish this feat, thanks to a superb direction and brilliantly realized performances by Vincent D’Onofrio and Renee Zellweger. Though the love that passed between Novalyne Price and Robert E. Howard was bright and all too brief, it resonates through time with an emotional power as big as the whole wide world.

 

Black Coal, Thin Ice -- Saturday, June 7, 9pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown

From director Zhang Yang, whose Shower won the 2000 SIFF Golden Space Needle Award for Best Film, comes a new noir thriller. When a coal plant worker is found gruesomely murdered, with severed parts of his body spread over hundreds of kilometers across the province, policeman Zhang Zili and his colleagues are sent to investigate. Multiple suspects arise, but when the police attempt to bring one in for questioning, the resulting shootout leaves two officers dead and Zhang wounded. Five years later, Zhang, who was forced to retire in disgrace, now works as a factory security guard between bouts of steady drinking. However, during a chance encounter with his former partner, he learns that two other factory workers have been murdered and dismembered in eerily similar fashion to the earlier case. Soon, Zhang uncovers a common link between the victims, Wu Zhizhen, a beautiful laundry shop worker. Zhang poses as a customer to get closer to her, only to find himself falling in love with his chief suspect. Evoking the spirits of James M. Cain and Raymond Chandler, Black Coal, Thin Ice is a bleak and powerful crime mystery.

 

Life Feels Good -- Friday, June 6, 7pm at SIFF Cinema Uptown

Heartbreaking and humorous, Life Feels Good has thrilled international audiences and swept the Polish Film Awards with virtuosic acting from Dawid Ogrodnik as Mateusz, a romantic, good-natured man with cerebral palsy who yearns to be understood by his family and friends. As he’s grown up, doctors and experts have considered Mateusz a ‘vegetable’ with little capacity for communication—and in doing so, disregarded his rich personality and emotional life. Based on a true story, Life Feels Good is a winning testament to the endurance of the human spirit. Ogrodnik (also in SIFF 2014’s Ida) performs Mateusz with astute brilliance as he grows into a man in 1980s Poland, a cultural climate rife with discrimination. As Mateusz meets his challenges head-on—like devising an ingenious, agile way to move around his home—Ogrodnik’s empathetic portrayal is totally convincing. His family go through a range of emotions as they try to overcome their frustrations with naysaying clinical and institutional specialists. Mateusz has a breakthrough after meeting a teacher of Bliss language, a popular method to help engender nonverbal communication. Their collaboration revolutionizes Mateusz’s life. This award-winning film miraculously underscores the vital importance of being heard and understood.

 

Walesa, Man of Hope -- Saturday, June 7, 1:30 pm at the Egyptian Theatre

1970, Gdansk, Poland. The Communist authorities bloodily repress a workers’ protest. Among the workers: Lech Walesa, an ordinary shipyard electrician. Refusing to submit, he founds a new movement, Solidarity, and embarks on a “quiet revolution” that will not only topple the dictatorship in Poland but will eventually help bring down the Iron Curtain and end the Cold War. There could be no more appropriate filmmaker for this biopic than Andrzej Wajda, the 87-year-old Polish master whose illustrious career includes such epochal works asKanal and A Generation, important historical dramas like Danton and Katyn, and who gave cinematic expression to the ideals of Solidarity in his masterpieces,Man of Marble and Man of Iron. Skillfully incorporating reams of archival material,Walsea is structured around an interview with the famously tough Italian journalist Oriana Fallaci. It finds its focal point in the dichotomy between Walesa’s working class domestic life and the world-changing role he wound up playing, undoubtedly attributable to his bullish charm, conviction, and charisma—all qualities very much to the fore in Robert Wieckiewicz’s brilliant portrayal of the man.

 

Creep -- Saturday, June 7, 9:45 pm at the Egyptian Theatre

Mark Duplass and the film's director in attendance!

The Dalai Lama XIV said, “Know the rules well, so you can break them effectively.” Producer Jason Blum, who ruled the mainstream found-footage horror genre with his Paranormal Activity franchise, adds ballast to a sometimes-creaky haunted house in Creep, his new project with multi-hyphenate indie star Mark Duplass (Cyrus, Safety Not Guaranteed, “The League”). Here Duplass is co-producer and plays the titular weirdo, where writer-director Patrick Brice, in his debut feature, plays a videographer on a spectacularly bizarre assignment. The broke freelancer answers an online ad offering $1,000 to film the last testament of dying eccentric Josef. Aaron journeys to Josef’s family cabin in Northern California to help the man make a video diary for his unborn son, but when the first chapter Josef proposes is called ‘Tubby Time’—a pantomime of him bathing the baby—Aaron realizes he’s met a man with more damage than disease. As the unnerving day of over-sharing continues, including a trip to a heart-shaped spring in the woods that Josef says has restorative properties, Aaron finds that he is in for some nasty surprises. Brice and Duplass acknowledge the influence of Bruce Joel Rubin’s 1993 tearjerker My Life, but Creep takes a decidedly non-warm-and-fuzzy detour on the subject of mortality.

 

**One entry per customer, please (yes, we check). Winners will be selected at random (please do not request specific tickets) and notified via email.

 

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