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SIFF Part 1: Ondine

I don’t know why it’s taken me so long to check out the Seattle International Film Festival. I mean every year from late May to early June there are literally hundreds of independent film’s playing just a few minutes away. So finally Colin and I took in our first SIFF film yesterday and plan to see all that we can in the remaining week of the festival.

Step one is finding a movie you’re actually interested in. A documentary about the holocaust? A hard hitting drama about Bulgarian refugees? What to do? So we played it safe on our first outing picking an english language film with a familiar star and director. The film was Ondine about a struggling Irish fisherman named Syracuse (Colin Farrell) who one day discovers a beautiful woman Ondine (Alicja Bachleda) in the water, who his ill daughter believes to be a selkie (a mythological sea creature.) It’s a fairly light drama from writer/director Neil Jordan (The Crying Game, Interview with the Vampire) but before I go on let me tell you about this whole indie film going experience.

Being that the film was playing at the Kirkland Performance Center (and we are Kirkland residents) travel was a breeze. We cruised down at about six (an hour before showtime) and tickets for students were dirt cheap at 6 bucks, so if you like going to cheap movies maybe that’s a good incentive to stay in college for as long as you can, like Van Wilder. Concessions were also cheap and offered a few items I was surprised to see at a theater. This included wine, sparkling ciders and brewskis. Colin bought a three dollar pale ale (I just had Dr. Pepper) but had to wait for about ten minutes for popcorn. They ended up bringing it in to him into the theater.

The place wasn’t really built for movies but I didn’t really mind considering it was so cheap. As the film began it looked almost like it was a dvd copy of some film print, I mean it actually started with some weird menu. There were a few audio problems, most notably a few seconds where there was none but aside from that it worked well enough.

What did I think of the movie? Well it was fine just fine. I had some trouble understanding Colin Farrell’s thick Irish accent but I don’t think I missed out on much dialogue. The film was shot in some amazingly picturesque settings which was definitely a highlight. The story was nothing to rave about but it worked out well enough and wrapped up in a satisfying fashion. I’m always a fan of indie Colin Farrell so he was probably my favorite part of the film.

So it was a good film, somewhere around 3 or 3 1/2 stars out of five. I enjoyed the cheap tickets and concessions but don’t feel too desperate to rush back there for more movies (though it might be the easiest way to see SIFF films.) Anyhow check back soon for part II detailing Sean, Colin, my brother Paul and I’s experience checking out the film Leaves of Grass.


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