Programmers' Picks: Andy Spletzer

SIFF Programmer Andy Spletzer shares some of his highlights from the 2023 Seattle International Film Festival.

Andy Spletzer

ALT Shorts: Transitions

Along with a tribute to the late Jon Behrens, this program contains a bevy of great short films that experiment not only with visuals but also so-called narrative storytelling.

Circus of the Scars

The perfect encapsulation of Seattle in the ’90s, this doc about the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow is scrappy, shocking, and explicit in both its freak show visuals and emotions.

Fragments of Paradise

Long before cell phone cameras and social media, Jonas Mekas documented his own life on film and eventually video, including hanging out with Allen Ginsberg, John and Yoko, and inspiring Andy Warhol to pick up a camera, not to mention kicking off the NY experimental film scene.

Hole in the Head

Experimental in structure but oh so human in its emotion, Hole in the Head follows a mute projectionist and amateur filmmaker who creates and sometimes recreates his home movies in order to get to the heart of an old trauma.

The Tuba Thieves

Built around reports of tuba thefts from L.A. schools, this movie is more ambitious than your standard documentary, exploring cinematic language and sounds through the creative use of subtitles and descriptive text.

Archival Films

Even more than Seven Samurai and Midnight Cowboy, I’m looking forward to the screening of The Incredible Shrinking Man, which was one of beloved local film critic John Hartl’s favorites.

Confessions of a Good Samaritan

An uplifting movie about the doubt that creeps in when you decide to do something good, filmmaker Penny Lane documents her decision to donate a kidney to anyone who might need it.

A Disturbance in the Force

“The Star Wars Holiday Special” is the stuff of legends, but the story behind it says even more about television variety shows in the ’70s than the extended Star Wars Universe.

Douglas Sirk – Hope as in Despair

Douglas Sirk is famous for crafting Hollywood melodramas, but his own life was even more dramatic than his films—including escaping from an ex-wife who tried to turn him into the Nazis because he remarried a Jewish woman.

King Coal

So much better than a didactic pro- or anti-coal movie, this impressionistic and poetic view of Appalachia looks at the communities brought together by the boom and bust of the coal mining industry.

ALT Shorts: Transitions
Circus of the Scars - The Insider Odyssey of the Jim Rose Circus Sideshow
Fragments of Paradise
Hole In The Head
The Tuba Thieves
The Incredible Shrinking Man
Seven Samurai
Midnight Cowboy
Confessions Of A Good Samaritan
A Disturbance in the Force
Douglas Sirk - Hope as in Despair
King Coal