Seattle International Film Festival 2017: Face The Music

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The sun is finally here, which means, it’s time to hide in a dark, cool movie theatre for the 43rd annual Seattle International Film Festival, May 18th through June 11th. This year’s schedule boasts more than 400 films from 80 countries over 25 days. As always, KEXP is thrilled to host the “Face the Music” series: “shedding light on the lives, stories, and struggles between the notes.” Take a look at this year’s featured films below:

Behind the Curtain: Todrick Hall
USA | 2017 | 105 minutes | Katherine Fairfrax Wright

MONDAY, MAY 29 | SIFF Cinema Egyptian | 7:00 PM
THURSDAY, JUNE 1 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 4:00 PM

Known for his campy, totally funky music videos, Todrick Hall — a vibrant, lovable, and fabulously gay artist bursting with creative energy — takes you behind the scenes as he launches his most ambitious project to date: the original stage musical “Straight Outta Oz.”


Bill Frisell, A Portrait
Australia | 2017 | 114 minutes | Emma Franz

SUNDAY, MAY 21 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 2:30 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 23 | AMC Pacific Place | 4:00 PM

The normally reclusive Grammy-winning guitarist and Seattle native steps out of the shadows for a layered exploration of his life, work, and collaborative process, including how he developed a unique sonic voice that blends jazz with folk, rock, classical, and avant-garde.


Chavela
USA | 2017 | 90 minutes | Catherine Gund

FRIDAY, MAY 19 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 6:00 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | AMC Pacific Place | 11:00 AM

An arresting portrait of Mexican music icon Chavela Vargas, the rabble-rousing, cigar-smoking lesbian iconoclast famous for bringing audiences to tears, who staged an amazing comeback at age 72 thanks in part to the efforts of filmmaker Pedro Almodovar.


Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde with live soundtrack by The Invincible Czars
USA | 1920 | 79 minutes | John S. Robertson

THURSDAY, JUNE 8 | Triple Door | 7:00 PM

After more than a decade of silent film scores that beautifully blend rock and orchestral music, Austin band the Invincible Czars now unleash their spooky sonic reimagining of the classic silent adaptation of Robert Louis Stevenson’s iconic tale starring the legendary John Barrymore.


Give Me Future
USA | 2017 | 85 minutes | Austin Peters

FRIDAY, MAY 19 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 8:30 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 20 | Majestic Bay | 3:30 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 2 | Ark Lodge Cinemas | 9:00 PM

Not your average concert documentary, Give Me Future electrifyingly follows EDM musical trio Major Lazer as they navigate the behind-the-scenes challenges of staging a historic free concert in Havana, while also examining the recent changes in Cuban culture.


A Life in Waves
USA | 2016 | 75 minutes | Brett Whitcomb

MONDAY, MAY 29 | Lincoln Square | 1:00 PM
TUESDAY, MAY 30 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 8:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7 | Ark Lodge Cinemas | 9:15 PM

Explore the life of electronic-music pioneer Suzanne Ciani, a woman in a traditionally male-dominated art form who transformed the genre with her modular compositions, developed a multimillion-dollar advertising venture, and became an icon of New Age music.


On the Road
United Kingdom | 2016 | 112 minutes | Michael Winterbottom

WEDNESDAY, MAY 31 | SIFF Cinema Egyptian | 7:00 PM
FRIDAY, JUNE 2 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 3:30 PM
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 7 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 7:00 PM

Filmmaker Michael Winterbottom (24 Hour Party People) travels with indie-rock band and Grammy nominees Wolf Alice throughout the UK, crafting a riveting documentary/fiction hybrid that is part tour chronicle and part backstage romance.


Puget Soundtrack presents Prom Queen
90 minutes

THURSDAY, JUNE 1 | Triple Door | 7:00 PM

The dark-surf, girl-group noir sounds of Seattle’s Prom Queen meet some of our favorite visuals from the catalogue of beloved exploitation film archivists Something Weird video, creating a unique new experience of B-movie indulgence. Co-presented by Northwest Film Forum’s Puget Soundtrack series and Capitol Hill Block Party.


Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked The World
Canada | 2017 | 103 minutes | Catherine Bainbridge

FRIDAY, MAY 26 | Paramount Theatre | 7:00 PM
SATURDAY, MAY 27 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 11:30 AM

The contributions of Native Americans in modern American music; from Link Wray to Robbie Robertson, Charlie Patton to Buffy Sainte-Marie; get a much-deserved showcase in this celebratory expose of the indigenous influence on the soundtrack of popular culture.


The Paris Opera
France | 2016 | 110 minutes | Jean-Stephane Bron

SATURDAY, JUNE 3 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 3:00 PM
MONDAY, JUNE 5 | SIFF Cinema Uptown | 6:45 PM

Spend a season amid the backstage hustle and bustle of The Paris Opera in this captivating chronicle that shines a spotlight on the complex army of collaborators who make one of the most prestigious performing-arts institutions in the world possible.

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