Nick's Picks

SIFF Programmer Nick Bruno picks some of his highlights from the 2019 Festival.

Nick Bruno

Having spent past lives as a film blogger, video store manager/film buyer, and student of film both academically and in the real world, Nick Bruno spent much of the past decade promoting and programming for the Portland International Film Festival and Northwest Film Center. He brings his enthusiasm for film of all shapes and sizes to his new role as SIFF's year-round Public Cinema Programs Manager.

For Sama

For Sama

Perhaps the most personal and direct view into the Syrian conflict to date. Al-Khateab's video diary has, improbably, been formed into an essential viewing experience.

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In Fabric

In Fabric

Peter Strickland's films envelop you, designed, as they are, within an inch of their life, logic be damned. In Fabric may be the pinnacle of his masterful technique.

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Knife+Heart

Knife+Heart

Who would have thought that a perfectly realized tribute to the Italian giallo genre could also be a deeply affecting take on the chosen family trope?

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Meeting Gorbachev

Meeting Gorbachev

Stepping somewhat outside his comfort zone, Werner Herzog delivers an intimate view on Mikhail Gorbachev in his twilight years, as he reassesses his life and legacy.

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MEMORY: The Origins of Alien

MEMORY: The Origins of Alien

From the director of the Psycho shower scene dissection 78/52, this tracing of the disparate strands that combined to form the DNA of Ridley Scott's Alien is a film fan's waking dream. Exceedingly more than a making-of documentary.

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The Nightingale

The Nightingale

Jennifer Kent follows up The Babadook with an even stronger film. Difficult, though it may be, this phoenix tale is impossible to ignore.

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Non-Fiction

Non-Fiction

Color me impressed that a film about the publishing industry ended up being this entertaining. Somehow, it points to everything there is to say about life in the digital age.

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Stuffed

Stuffed

Director Erin Derham's look at a group of passionate taxidermists from various walks of life somehow ends up describing our collective human passion for creating art. Fetchingly captured by Jan Balster's gorgeously lit cinematography, the stuffed subjects of the film live a second life on screen.

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Sword Of Trust

Sword Of Trust

A near perfectly cast film. When no one was looking, Marc Maron became more than just the best podcaster on earth; he turned into an honest-to-god actor oozing gravitas and crapping pathos.

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Ten Years Thailand

Ten Years Thailand

This omnibus collection of four short films from contemporary Thai filmmakers, including Apichatpong Weerasethakul (Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives), obliquely paints an image of life lived amidst the current political state of 21st century Thai society.

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X – The eXploited

X – The eXploited

After crafting one of the more original genre films of 2015 (Liza the Fox-Fairy), Hungarian auteur Károly Ujj Mészáros returns with this highly visual, original take on the serial killer trope.

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