The Seattle International Film Festival is in full swing right now, offering the usual overdose of features, shorts, documentaries and special events, aimed right at the jugular of cinephiles and cultists, addicting you to darkness when your body clock chimes for sunshine.
Regrettably, I’m missing most of the festival this year due to work duties, which means I could miss experiencing the SIFF festival trailer, which plays before every single movie, over and over and over again. Thing is, these trailers, which used to be kind of off-putting — like visiting your weirdo uncle’s double-wide parked at the end of a weedy cul-de-sac in Snohomish — are now more like sleek, shiny Airstreams, inviting you to gaze at their gleaming coolness.
Lucky for those of us who can’t find the time to attend SIFF, we can watch the trailer right here or on SIFF's YouTube page.
This year’s offering, “Be Watching,” is a dazzling mini-masterpiece. A rapid-eye-movement homage collage of memorable film clips flashed on a bank of retro TV screens monitored by a bespectacled geek in a basement who will remind ‘70s-era Golden-agers of Gene Hackman in Francis Ford Coppola’s seminal surveillance film, The Conversation.
But this trailer is more than merely referential. It also taps into our current digital zeitgeist of 24/7 paranoia. The question isn’t who’s watching? The question is: who isn’t?