We're heading into Week Two of the Seattle International Film Festival, and the excitement shows no signs of dissipating. One of the things I love most about this fest is how the audience members are just genuinely pumped about every single film, and how open people are to giving films a chance. Whether films sit well with an audience or not, there are always clusters of folks huddled outside the venues post-film, animatedly discussing the perceived merits of a film (or lack thereof). Let's go eavesdrop on some other folks writing about SIFF to see what people are buzzing about.

  • Pop Culture A-Go-Go is blogging a daily SIFF diary, with short descriptions and film recommendations from one to five stars. My fave description of a film on this blog, about South Korean flick Sa-Kwa: "Dull South Korean film following the main character's love life. She gets dumped by her boyfriend. She gets married and has a kid. She is unhappy and has an affair with her old boyfriend. Then she dumps him and wants a divorce from her husband. Are you bored reading the description? I was bored typing it. Now imagine watching that "story" unfold over two fricking hours. Bored now." Alrighty, then. Thanks for saving me two hours of my life, Pop Culture.
  • New to SIFF and not sure what to see or how to get around? The Seattle Post-Intelligencer has a handy-dandy Guide to SIFF to make your film-watching easier.
  • Emerald Sunshine had a Matthew Lillard encounter at the screening of Bickford Shmeckler's Cool Ideas (the film is not getting great buzz, btw)-- and was unimpressed.
  • Roya is blogging her SIFF adventures daily, with her take on the films she's seeing and a report on the freakish behavior of audience members. One of her Audience Watch stories is about a Sigher, and she notes there seem to be a lot of those Sighers at SIFF this year (maybe there's a convention of downtrodden mothers going on or something). I had a Sigher behind me at Somersault, and I damn near turned around and smacked him after the 89,000th loud sigh. Wonder if he's the same guy Roya got stuck next to.
  • The Stranger's Annie Wagner is talking up the OTHER film festival here, the Seattle True Independent Film Festival (STIFF). Also, be sure to check out her very excellent, in-depth interview with Al Gore. Is he gonna run for Prez in '08? Your guess is as good as anyone's, but if he does, will it start a trend of ex-politicians making movies about their causes? Who wants to see a Jimmy Carter doc at Sundance next year?
  • Check out all the latest pics in the SIFF photo pool over on Flickr. If I ever get it together enough to remember to actually bring my camera with me, I'll be posting a photoblog here, as well as over at Flickr.