SAM’s list of must-see SIFF films

When you are in Seattle and the weather changes from 65 and sunny to thunderstorms and lighting within the hour, you know it’s…SIFF time! Otherwise known as the time of year when you most want to go into a movie theatre and stop trying to figure out if summer has arrived yet (it hasn’t). If you are as overwhelmed as I am by the 250+ page book of films that SIFF has put out, you’ll want to peruse other people’s lists of “must-see” movies, like this one, focused on the theme of visual arts. As suspected, they mostly fall into the documentary category, but there’s at least one other mixed in. Enjoy! And let me know which ones I forgot – I got a little bleary-eyed by page 235.

First up is Beautiful Darling: The Life and Times of Candy Darling, Andy Warhol Superstar, where you can cozy up with one of Warhol’s stars, Candy Darling. If you are in a very Warhol mood, also check out Jean-Michael Basquiat: The Radiant Child, who was also a Warhol darling. Pair one or both of these with a trip to SAM to see our current Andy Warhol Media Works exhibition, and see more of Warhol’s gender bending images, along with a portrait of Basquiat.

Rouge Ciel covers an art genre I have to admit I am not familiar with – according to the description, “While over time ‘Outsider Art’ evolved to include works by self-taught, but (supposedly) clinically sane artists, Rouge Ciel focuses on the fever dreams of these impaired iconoclasts from around the globe.” Supposedly?? I’m intrigued!

Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables, after Juan Sanches Cotan

Still Life with Fruit and Vegetables, after Juan Sanches Cotan, Vik Muniz

Waste Land tells the story of New York artists Vik Muniz traveling to his native Brazil to explore a new project in the world’s largest landfill. This one is top of my list, after being blown away when SAM showed his work in 2006 at the Seattle Asian Art Museum before the expanding downtown museum was open. Can’t wait!

Under the heading of Northwest Connections falls Chihuly Fire & Light, a movie that is sure to have stunning imagery of this Northwest master’s work, no matter what your feeling is on the Seattle Center proposal, along with Ginny Ruffner: A Not So Still Life, which tells the story of this truly inspiring local art hero. (Check out some of her great work in our SHOP!)

Courtesan seated smoking with an adolescent

Courtesan seated smoking with an adolescent, Kitagawa Utamaro

Last but not least, there’s RoboGeisha, telling the touching and true story of a young artisan geisha’s cunning seduction of wealthy patrons…oh wait. That was Memoirs of a Geisha. This is actually the story of “cybernetic-enhanced geisha assassins” in a “technological arms race to win a local steel baron’s heart.” I just had to throw it in there, so I could reference the sumptuous Fleeting Beauty exhibition up at the Seattle Asian Art Museum through July 4. And if you do see both RoboGeisha and Fleeting Beauty, I want to hear all about it!




Top photo: Jean-Michel Basquiat, photographed by Andy Warhol