It’s that time of year again. The time where I spend long minutes waiting in line, longer minutes sitting in an uncomfortable seat, waiting for the lights to dim, and frantic seconds where I wonder if my expectations will be failed, met, or exceeded.

I’m talking about the Seattle International Film Festival, of course.

I’ve been a festival goer for, oh…gosh, ten years now? I think it’s been ten years. One of the very first films I saw at the festival was a Taiwanese film called Love at 7-11. I saw it with my sister. I have a vague memory of the plot (some guy falls in love with the check out girl at his local 7-11, but never really says much to her) and being a little bored with it. Needless to say, it wasn’t my favorite.

After that, there were two films per year, then four, then six. SIFF offers a package called the Cinematic Six-pack, allowing festival goers to purchase a package of six tickets at a discount, rather than individually. Last year I saw seven films; this year I’d intended to go to nine, before I looked at the calendar and decided five films in one week was a bit much, even for a movie buff like me, so I’m down to eight.

I’ve seen movies with my parents (The King, starring Gael Garcia Bernal), with the BF (Confession of Pain, Icons Among Us) and a large group of friends, some of whom may or may not have been drunk (Frostbite). I’ve seen films that were so damn crowded you couldn’t read the subtitles (Daywatch) and films where people walked out (Wuthering Heights). I’ve seen perfect, perfect films (The Hedgehog, Ondine), movies with fantastic soundtracks (Ben X), movies that were so over the top campy they were hilarious (Sukiyaki Western Django) and films that put me to sleep (some film featuring the music of John Cage that I can’t remember the name of and the BF made me see).

And, shamefully, I’ve missed a film I’ve had a ticket for.

Yeah, yeah, I know. It’s nothing to be embarrassed about, but whatever. It’s embarrassing to me. So there.

Last year, it was a movie called Gayby, about best friends Jenn and Matt. Jenn wants to have a baby, so she enlists Matt to be the sperm donor. Only they attempt to have a baby the way a normal straight couple would, and I’m assuming awkwardness ensues. A few years ago it was a film called Lovely Loneliness, which is still not available on Netflix. I keep checking, but noooo, still not available.

Saturday night marked the start of the festival going experience for me with a Japanese comedy called Key of Life. The theatre was surprisingly full, and the movie itself was far funnier than I’d expected. Next up is the Mexican drama After Lucia, about a teenage girl who becomes the target of bullies after a hateful video circulates through her new school. There’s a romantic comedy from Spain on the list (Bypass), a Hong Kong thriller (Cold War) and a documentary on an all girl Russian punk group (Pussy Riot: A Punk Prayer).

By the time the festival wraps up, I’ll probably be worn out from movie going for a while, which is fine and dandy. Or maybe I won’t, because I just can’t stay away.

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