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Kim Voynar

By Kim Voynar

SIFF 2011 Wraps with Golden Space Needle Awards Brunch and Closing Gala

The 37th Seattle International Film Festival‘s awards brunch was held this morning at the Space Needle. Today, just to be different, Seattle weather is warm and somewhat sunny (at least, relative to the loooooong, cold, damp, endlessly cloudy and dismal winter we’ve endured here), so the view from the Space Needle was pretty spectacular. The pic above is a shot of the Families4Films Youth Jury that my son Jaxon served on. He is the second juror from the right, the one all in black with black-dyed hair. Yup, my kid, for sure. The awards brunch always features a splendid buffet, and once again apple crepes and delish salmon served with a Braeburn apple salsa were highlights. Yum yum …

… Right, there were also awards given! You can read the press release for all those right over here.

Later tonight we have the closing film, Life in a Day, which I saw at Sundance but like well enough to sit through a second time. And then there’s the closing party, which I expect we’ll schlep over for, at least for a little while, to do a round of goodbye-til-next-times for some folks and what-day-are we-having-brunch-next-week for others.

It’s an unfortunate conundrum of film festivals that fest attendees want, want, WANT the parties, but then they’re usually crowded and loud and all that and not quite as fun as you think they’ll be when you hear the word “party.” But we will leave on our dressy attire and go mix and mingle and perhaps there will be a drink or two consumed and some meat on a stick eaten. Certainly, there will be many hugs and fond thoughts for another year of SIFF … and look for my SIFF wrap post tomorrow morning with lots of thoughts about this year’s fest.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon