Filming location for spaghetti westerns in Almería, Spain

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Scott Larson

Building façade in Cannes, France

Excuses, excuses

With the 26th annual Seattle International Film Festival heading into the final stretch, this is the place where I’d ordinarily like to be providing my comprehensive wrap-up of the fest, pointing out the trends and making sweeping generalizations based on the scores of films I’ve seen.

But it’s difficult to speak that expansively when, out of more than 200 films screened, I’ve seen only ten (twelve, if you count Jesus’ Son, which I actually saw last November at the Women in Cinema fest, and The Case of Majella McGinty, a short film I saw in connection with March’s Irish Reels Film & Video Festival).

I can, however, pass along some second-hand insight. Every year there seems to a recurring theme that shows up, apparently coincidentally, in movie after movie. One year it was the visual image of a woman handcuffed to a radiator. Another year it was people lying on railroad tracks.

This year, from what I hear, it is a toss-up between violent acts committed against animals and incidents of projectile vomit.

With that out of the way, and with a nod to a certain late-night talk show host, here is…

The Top Ten Reasons Not to See the Usual 80 or More Movies at the Seattle International Film Festival

  • #10: Everything they’re showing I’ve already seen.

  • #9: I’ve read so many subtitles in my life already, I simply can’t stand to see any more.

  • #8: Anything worth seeing would already be playing at my neighborhood multiplex, right?

  • #7: Last year I saw a lot of movies at the film festival and wound up seeing a few that I didn’t like.

  • #6: I’ll just catch them all when they come out on home video.

  • #5: It might blow my cover in the Secret Witness Protection Program.

  • #4: What? And miss sweeps month on TV?!

  • #3: Two words: butt fatigue.

  • #2: I decided to do Cannes this year.

  • And the #1 reason not to see the usual 80 or more movies at the Seattle Film festival: My wife could go into labor at any moment, and I thought it would be a classy move to make myself available.

    -S.L., 8 June 2000

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