SIFF 2014 Face The Music Preview: Razing the Bar

Razing the Bar
(Directed by Ryan Worsley, USA, 2014)

Festival screenings:
Tuesday, May 20, 2014 at 9:00 PM – SIFF Cinema Uptown
Tuesday, May 27, 2014 at 9:00 PM – SIFF Cinema Uptown
[ director in attendance at both screenings ]

It’s hard to be unbiased towards a documentary about Seattle’s beloved punk club The Funhouse. The now-defunct venue was ran by our own KEXP DJ Brian Foss, host of Sonic Reducer. Staff parties were held there. The building sat close enough to our station that the creepy clown leered down on many of us during our morning commutes or lunchtime breaks. But, really, the 2012 closure of this local institution affected everyone in Seattle, regardless if you worked here, went to shows there, or just had an unfortunate commute down Fifth Avenue.

With Razing the Bar, first-time director Ryan Worsely takes on the legacy of The Funhouse, from its fascinating beginnings as a bar owned by a lottery-winning crackhead to its transformation under the loving management of Foss. Through interviews with bands, employees, and friends, Worsely paints a portrait of more than just a club, but a community.

Even if you don’t live in Seattle, this film is inspiring for anybody who believes in the DIY ethos. Foss talks about “embracing failure,” and The Funhouse is a perfect example of taking the leap towards something you love. Sure, your dream might get bulldozed to make more condos — but not even the strongest crane can knock down the friendships and memories made there.

If you can’t make the SIFF dates, there will be a screening and party on Sunday, June 15th at the Columbia City Theater, with performances from The Hands, Hounds of the Wild Hunt, and the Fabulous Downey Brothers. And tune in to Audioasis on KEXP this Saturday, May 24th for an interview with director Ryan Worsley at 8:00 PM PT.

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