Saturday, May 9, 2009

Celebs Invade Seattle: SIFF Edition

"A man's got to know his limitations."
-- Harry Callahan, Magnum Force (1973)

While in town last July to shoot World's Greatest Dad, actor/director Bobcat Goldthwait introduced The Landlord at the Northwest Film Forum.

***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** ***** *****

I love photography, but I'm not much of a photographer. I can always get better, but I'll never be great. I just want to remember specific people and places that are better served by pictures than by words.

Furthermore, I
use the cheap-
est possible e-
quipment. I've
got a 35mm
camera and
a digital model,
but they've proven to be less than re-
liable. For a Luddite like myself, a Pola-
roid, Diana, or Lomo device would seem like the best way to go, but they cost money, too, and aren't always that easy to track down, so years ago, I threw my lot in with the Kodak disposable, and I've enjoyed the results.

I usually opt for black and white film, which eliminates most grey tones,
resulting in a high-contrast, Weegie-like look. Sometimes I opt for color.
On the downside, faces can look shiny--especially mine--but hues can
appear brilliant. I particularly like the way my snapshot of the Experi-
ence Music Project turned out. If you stick to the rainbow-saturated, copper-plated side of the building, you can get some lovely images.

Former NWFF Exec Director Michael Seiwerath introduces Bobcat
So, here are a few of my celebrity shots from the past year. Whenever there was too much shine or glare, I digitally dialed down the brightness until it disappeared, resulting in the 16mm look that characterizes some of these photos. I like the way it makes them seem much older than they really are, and although I don't have a problem with the clarity of digital, the grain makes it clear that these are definitely--maybe even defiantly--film images. Cheap film, perhaps, but film nonetheless.

Bobcat and Michael
As it turns out, Goldthwait had never seen Ashby's debut. Instead, he spoke to his affection for the late filmmaker's better known follow-up, Harold and Maude. (Click here for my piece about his visit.)

World's Greatest Dad plays the Egyptian on 6/6 at 6:30pm and on 6/7 at 4pm. If The Wire's Omar Little were sitting beside me at the moment, he'd surely say, "I'm feelin' the chapeau and the specs, you feel me?"

Robin Williams also co-stars with Matthew Broderick in Wonderful World, which plays the Kirkland Performance Center on 6/5 at 7pm and the Egyptian on 6/11 at 7pm and 6/12 at 4:15pm.

Note: As ever, dates, times, and venues are subject to change; I suggest
double-checking the SIFF site before making plans or purchasing tickets.

Graphic novelist and screenwriter Daniel Clowes (Ghost World, Art School Confidential) and editor, publisher, and co-founder Gary Groth at the Fantagraphics Store on 9/08. I asked Clowes if he was still working with Michel Gondry on an adaptation of Rudy Rucker's Master of Space and Time. He said they had decided that it was impossible. Instead, he, Gondry, and Gondry's son, Paul, are working on an original project.

(Click here for my chat with Michel, conducted at SIFF '06.)

Next up: Sherman Alexie and Barry Jenkins. Alas, my snaps of Ramin Bahrani didn't turn out (and yes, Alexie's local, but he's still a celeb!).

Endnote: Cross-posted at AndMoreAgain ("Reelin' in the Years: Part Four") and at Facebook. Three years ago, Robyn Hitchcock turned the Callahan quote at the top of this post into the swell song "A Man's Got to Know His Limitations, Briggs." It appears on the album Ole! Tarantula.

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