Who doesn’t love an indie film every once in a while? I sure do. Director Wes Anderson’s film The Grand Budapest Hotel recently won 4 Oscars, including Best Achievement in Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, as well as Best Original Score. This movie tells of the adventures of a concierge and his lobby boy living in the fictional country of Zubrowka during the 1930s.
The National Film Festival for Talented Youth (NFFTY for short) was founded by three Washingtonians shortly after their high school graduations. What started as a one-day showing of young filmmakers’ work has now grown into the largest international festival for filmmakers under 25 years of age. It’s currently an annual three-day showing at the SIFF Uptown and Cinerama theaters in downtown Seattle.
The Central Branch Library recently had a showcase of some of the best pieces from last year’s NFFTY lineup. Works ranged from the highly comical “Iceberg” about Marcus, a teenage thespian, cast as the iceberg in his school’s production of “Titanic”, to a hard-hitting visual story about terrorism in Egypt titled “Trapped”. In addition to other comedic and dramatic shorts, they screened music videos, a documentary, and the 2015 NFFTY trailer (which can be seen here) that alluded to the same high quality of work to come in this year’s festival.
NFFTY this year takes place the weekend of April 23-26. There are panels with professional filmmakers and a variety of films to see, all grouped by common themes. A Day pass gets you access to all of the sections of events/showings on that day. You can see all of them, or just go to the few that pique your interest the most. There are some sections of family-friendly shorts (all noted on the festival website as “Family”), selections of historical dramas, thrillers, animation, a feature-length film, and so much more! It’s a perfect opportunity to see young people make beautiful, meaningful, intelligent work and it is always a blast.
The full festival line-up, tickets, and more information on the festival can be found on NFFTY’s website.
It is time once again for the annual extravaganza that is the Academy Awards. This year marks the 87th edition of the venerable awards show that honors excellence in film. Oscars will be handed out in 24 categories beginning at 5:30pm PST on Sunday, February 22, with the red carpet starting earlier in the day. Got your ballot all filled out?
Did you know that the show was not always the spectacle that is is today?The first ceremony was held in 1929 at the Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles and was attended by just 270 guests. The winners were no surprise–they had been announced three months earlier! Although the Academy soon kept more control over the results, it was not until the 1940s those fancy sealed envelopes came into play.
And what about the award itself?We know it as the Oscar, though its official name is the Academy Award of Merit. How the Oscar got its name is not totally clear, but the most well-known story has a local connection. A woman named Margaret Herrick, born in Spokane and a graduate of the University of Washington, was the Academy’s first librarian. She is said to have remarked that the statuette looked like her uncle Oscar and the name stuck. And speaking of the statuette, ever notice that many winners seem to have trouble handling their Oscar? Well, that’s because each statuette weighs 8.5 pounds!
If you live in the Seattle area, you may have heard of the Crest Cinema Theater. Maybe you are a film fan and have been there many times, or maybe you’ve only heard people rave about how cool this particular theater is but have never been yourself. Either way, the Crest has something to offer for everyone, and several unique features that make it one of the best places to see a film around Seattle.
I recently made my first trip to the Crest to see the movie Big Eyes. Now you may be thinking, “you saw Big Eyes there? It isn’t in theaters anymore and it’s not on DVD yet!” Well, that is one of the features of the Crest that makes it so unique: it shows films that have been out for some time and aren’t in the major theaters anymore. The Crest is also currently showing Gone Girl, which is already out on DVD, and The Penguins of Madagascar in 3D, among others. So if you missed seeing in a theater that really great movie that all your friends have been talking about, try the Crest, it might be playing there.
One incredible benefit of showing movies that have been out for some time is that tickets are SUPER cheap. We’re talking $4 here compared to the $11.50 that you would pay at any other theater. This means that even students can afford to go out to the movies!Continue reading →