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So many films, so little time: a SIFF picks list

caption: SIFF flyer
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SIFF flyer
Courtesy of SIFF

As she does most Fridays, KUOW’s Kim Malcolm reached out today for recommendations on arts and culture events. She got in touch with film critic Kathy Fennessy, who writes at Seattle Film Blog and Video Librarian.

They discussed some of the films coming to the Seattle International Film Festival, which runs through April 24 at venues throughout the Seattle area.

caption: Sinéad O'Connor in Nothing Compares
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Sinéad O'Connor in Nothing Compares
Courtesy of SIFF

Nothing Compares

Kathryn Ferguson is a Belfast-born director. Her full-length documentary debut is about Irish singer and songwriter Sinéad O'Connor. It's what I would describe as a work of advocacy. It's a look at the height of O’Connor’s fame in the 80s and 90s.

There was an expectation that she would just sing and be quiet. She started speaking about racial justice, and it just wasn't very well received at the time. There’s a lot of footage of various talk show hosts saying things about her that are really awful.

You also see how people reacted at certain concerts, most famously when she opened for Bob Dylan, and the entire audience booed. It's really loud and just really hard to watch because she's just this tiny person on this huge stage and everybody's booing. It's hard not to get emotionally involved in this film, and to really feel for her.

caption: Still from Cat Daddies
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Still from Cat Daddies
Courtesy of SIFF

Cat Daddies

This is a documentary from Mye Hoang, who was born in Vietnam and grew up in Texas. It's a documentary about the relationship between men and their cats, and the perception that affection for cats is an inherently feminine trait.

She speaks to a number of men in traditionally masculine fields. They tell stories about how when they were younger some of them didn't feel comfortable admitting that they liked cats.

caption: Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
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Marcel the Shell with Shoes On
Courtesy of SIFF

Marcel the Shell with Shoes On

This is the feature-length debut of the adventures of Marcel, a one-inch high snail voiced by Jenny Slate, who works on these films with Dean Fleischer-Camp.

They’ve made at least three shorts, which you can watch on YouTube. You get to know Marcel, who likes to tell jokes, and who loves to watch 60 Minutes with Nana Connie, who's played by Isabella Rossellini. The feature centers on how Marcel deals with the internet fame they gained from these shorts, which have been so incredibly popular.

Some SIFF films with Northwest connections:

Sweetheart Deal

Driven by their addiction to heroin, four women encounter friendship and betrayal while working Seattle’s infamous Aurora Avenue in this intimate portrait of hope, heartbreak and resilience on the fringes of Modern America.


A documentary about two bounty-hunting brothers who bail an ailing old man named Rodney Bonnefield out of prison in 2016. They are surprised when he announces that he is the real DB Cooper.

Midday Black Midnight Blue

Filmed on Whidbey Island, this dark tale follows a grieving man haunted by his memories and spiraling closer to a breakdown two decades after the death of the woman he loved.

Listen to the interview by clicking the play button above.

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