1 Reel Film Festival at Bumbershoot 2016: Though the number of films on hand is way down from years past, the short works available are well worth a visit.
Film has been a part of Bumbershoot for 21 years, with an emphasis on short works made in the Pacific Northwest and around the globe. As in times past, the 2016 edition of the 1 Reel Film Festival, curated by the Seattle International Film Festival, showcases a wide variety of subject and genre, offering something for everyone.
One big change from last year: The number of thematically organized programs has been reduced from six to four, and the total number of films in the fest — 20 — is less than half of what it was in 2015. So overall, there are far fewer titles to choose from, and six of the shorts already made their Seattle debuts at last spring’s SIFF.
However, what’s on hand over Labor Day weekend at the SIFF Film Center is choice stuff, divided into discrete packages: “Films4Families,” “Northwestern Stories,” “Best of SIFF 2016 — Audience Award Winners” and “Best of SIFF 2016 — Jury Award Winners.” For a full schedule, go to www.siff.net/cinema/1-reel-film-festival-2016. A Bumbershoot ticket is required to see the film programs.
Movie Review ★★★
1 Reel Film Festival, Sept. 2-4, short works are in English or with subtitles, SIFF Film Center, Seattle Center; Bumbershoot ticket required (for more information: www.siff.net/cinema/1-reel-film-festival-2016).
Here are a few highlights:
“Moom” is a sweet, if slightly sad, animated fantasy from Japan about the separation of memories from the tattered, rusting and discarded human objects that once meant something to their owners. Some beautiful images here. (Films4Families)
From Australia comes “Quincy,” a brief documentary about a young girl who took to surfing at the remarkable age of 4 and — still not yet an adolescent — rides the waves like nobody’s business. If you love surfing action footage, there’s some grand material here. (Films4Families)
Still stewing about the loss of the Sonics a decade ago? Well, so is Kris Brannon, the subject of the lively “Superfan.” Brannon dresses every day — every day! — in the late Seattle NBA basketball team’s colors, publicly carrying signs that reflect our collective sorrow. (Northwestern Stories)
Who doesn’t love chain-saw woodcarving? “Last Refuge of the Troublemaker” focuses on a charming iconoclast (identified only as “Steve”) whose gated outdoor studio somewhere in deep Northwest woods is home to hundreds of wooden sculptures he has delicately carved from logs. (“I’m a voracious reader, and sometimes I carve characters right from my head.”) Awesome. (Northwestern Stories)
Israeli comedy “The Apartment” has a simple, irresistible premise: A guy trying to find new tenants for the apartment he’s exiting keeps getting asked why he’s moving. His honest answer — his girlfriend left him — is creeping out couples who don’t want that vibe around. His solution: a bit of stagecraft. Crisp and funny. (SIFF Audience Award)
“Carlo” is an imaginative, appealing bit of animated whimsy from Italy. A worker drone keeps a miniature planet in a closet at home, another world where his Walter Mitty-like fantasies are real. (SIFF Jury Award)