It’s been a long winter and I think it’s safe to say we’re all aching to feel the sunshine on our weary bones. The literal sunshine will soon be here and so will my personal metaphorical sunshine, otherwise known as the Seattle International Film Festival! There are many reasons we Seattleites are lucky besides Dick’s burgers, Gasworks Park, and excellent bands, chief among them being residents of a city that celebrates film year round. SIFF has three venues to see films for the whole year but come May they spread their wings and have venues throughout the city (and even outside of the city!) cram jammed full of awesome films for us to devour and delight in. It’s pretty much the greatest thing since preroll packs. Speaking of which, what should you smoke/eat/vape/dab and see this year?!? I’m here to advise you of the most awesome stuff to consume prior to enjoying the MANY excellent films coming this year to the 43rd annual SIFF 5/18-6/11. Enjoy your festival (and the sunshine. Which is coming. I swear.), hopefully I’ll see you all in the dark theaters and after parties of this magical gift to our city.
Opening Night Gala: The Big Sick with North Coast Growers’ Fruity Pebbles – One of the best parts of SIFF is their awesome opening night party and movie. The movie is always great and the party is SUPER FUN. This year they’re showing The Big Sick, written by Kumail Nanjiani and his real-life wife and all-around rad lady Emily V. Gordon. This is a loose version of their love story directed by Michael Showalter (from the beloved 90’s sketch show The State). One of Showalter’s previous films, The Baxter, is one of my all-time favorite romantic comedies so I trust him to helm a film about love that won’t make you want to barf and die. Pair it with the giggly and fun Fruity Pebbles (recent Dope Cup winner for Best Nose, because it smells like heaven) and your film AND party are going to be a total blast!
Meatball Machine Kodoku with LSD be Cascade Gnome – This movie is going to be weird. I would HIGHLY recommend looking up the trailer on the internet. It’s got everything you need: blood, more blood, machine gun boobs, outer space, fire, explosions, lots more blood. If you get squeamish about blood, you might wanna skip this one but if you would like to revel in the excellence of weird Japanese cinema I would recommend you pair it with something that embraces the weird, like LSD from Cascade Gnome.
Wind River with Goodship’s Double Fudge CBD Brownies – If you haven’t seen last year’s Oscar-nominated Hell or High Water do it immediately. Then go see Wind River, a murder mystery from Taylor Sheridan, writer of Hell or High Water. I’ve been psyched for this one since I heard about it after being wildly impressed by the modern-Western vibes of Hell or High Water. I am a HUGE fan of murder mysteries and this one looks very promising. Definitely a good one to get your CBD on with so you can prepare yourself for the tension and atmospheric drama in store for you. Plus, these Goodship brownies are freaking DELICIOUS.
An Afternoon with Sam Elliott with Leaph’s Cactus Temple Ball – Holy schnike, Sam Elliott! If you’ve seen any of his movies you should know he is the ultimate mustachioed cowboy salt and pepper dreamboat of ever and always. And if you’re going to be hanging out with a cowboy you should definitely bring some Cactus with you! Leaph’s Temple Balls are a combination of ice wax and bubble hash and they’re just the thing to enjoy prior to catching Mr. Elliott’s new film The Hero, which pretty much looks like The Wrestler but with movie cowboys instead of professional wrestlers. And that is very much not a bad thing.
A Dragon Arrives! With Soltice’s Hi-Def Preroll Pack – This Iranian movie looks BANANAS! I would try to explain the plot but from my research and several viewings of it’s wacky trailer I’m not sure I can do that. I can, however, tell you it looks noir-ish and beautiful. So you’ll want all of your senses in high-definition to make the most of this film. Enjoy the strange and wonderful trip these two are going to take you on, it’s going to be spectacular.
Centerpiece Gala: Landline with Burnwell’s Lemon Kush – The first time I smoked some of this Lemon Kush I felt some serious teenage-rebellion vibes, which is something that’s rare for a 34-year old woman. But since this movie centers around a teenage girl who lives with her sister in New York City it feels like a very appropriate strain pairing. This film brings together director Gillian Robespierre and Jenny Slate, whose previous film, Obvious Child, was one of my favorite movies of 2014/2015. If it’s anything like this pair’s first outing it’s going to be a cavalcade of entertainment and fun!
Better Watch Out with Seagoat’s Mint Chocolate Squares – If you’ve ever met me in real life you know I love two things: Christmas and horror movies. It’s unfortunately rare that movies should encompass both. When a new Christmas horror movie comes out it’s something that perks up my ears and gets me real psyched. Supposedly this one is a good old-fashioned Christmas movie all mixed up with a home invasion movie ala The Strangers or Funny Games. Add some Christmas candy and some weed and I’m GOOD. Seagoat’s Mint Chocolate Squares are the perfect mishmash of both. Stabby holidays!
A Ghost Story with Far West Cannabis’ Lavender – Director David Lowery reunites with Rooney Mara and Casey Affleck (they previously worked together on 2013’s stellar Ain’t Them Bodies Saints) to bring you this slightly spooky (less spooky than you’d think considering the title) drama about a grieving widow and the ghosts that haunt her. When paired with a lovely, botanical strain like Lavender this slow burning cinematic treat will make you feel like you’re in a dream.
Cabaret with Top Shelf’s Purple Champagne Prerolls – Oh man this is going to be fun! This screening of Cabaret is preceded by a Cabaret-themed revue from RuPaul’s Drag Race alum and local drag gem Robbie Turner. It’s going to be bubbly, fun, and perfectly marvelous. Purple Champagne might have been invented for this kind of show (factually inaccurate).
Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World with Fifty Fold’s Mother Tongue– This documentary chronicling the influence of Native American musicians on American popular music could only be made better by this wonderfully uplifting and energizing strain. It’s pretty much the cannabis equivalent of Link Wray’s terrific “Rumble”.
Ivan Tsarevitch & the Changing Princess: Four Enchanting Tales with Botanica’s Journeyman Weed Tarts – A kid’s movie and some candy is sometimes just what the doctor ordered for our adult minds. But sometimes the kid’s movie is a little more on the artsy foreign side, like Michel Ocelot’s newest film. Having seen almost all of his films I can say they are almost as fun as they are beautiful. The animation is simply breathtaking and the stories are entertaining enough to be enjoyed by adults while being simple enough for kids (and really high adults). Eat a weed tart or two and check this one out. And then watch all of the rest of his catalogue because it’s simply magical.
The Little Hours with Kiona’s Holy Crack – Holy crack this movie looks funny! With an all-star cast, this religious satire looks like an absolute winner. Pair it with the energizing and delightful buzz of Holy Crack and you’ll be rolling in the aisles. The ushers may be having nun of it but you should probably try to make it a habit. (I know. I’m the worst.)
May God Save Us with Optimum Extract’s Renegade RX CBD Vaporizer Cartridge – This Spanish murder mystery doesn’t need or want you to be very high while you watch it. It wants you to be focused and ready to feel the tension and atmosphere as two detectives attempt to solve a series of murders that occur during a summer visit from the Pope. Because nothing ruins a visit from the Pope like murder.
A Tribute to Anjelica Houston with Puffin’s Hindu Kush Raw CO2 Oil – I don’t know about you, but I’m going to need something to calm me down for this one because I am HYPED! Anjelica freaking Houston. Have you ever watched The Witches high?!?!? It’s maybe literally the best thing you can do as a human being. She’s here with her new film, Trouble (which looks excellent) and they will also be showing classics The Witches and The Grifters. What a wonderful way to celebrate such a landmark career in film! Hit your Hindu Kush to bring you back down to earth and calm your poor heart after basking in the Houston glow.
Kati Kati with Coastal Cannabis’ Loctite – This film, set in Kenya, begins with a woman who wakes up in the wilderness, unsure who she is or where she is. What she finds when she comes across a lodge full of people will just make everything even more weird and confusing. Produced by Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run) this film will be perfect with the super-stoney Loctite.
Step with Rootworx’s Amazeballs – These caviar balls are a big beautiful nug of cannabis, dipped in oil, and rolled in kief. They’re pretty amazing. More amazing still are the ladies profiled in this documentary who are trying to get through school, plan for their futures, and still crush it on their high school step dancing teams.
Puget Soundtrack Presents: Prom Queen with Artizen’s Fire OG – Have y’all heard local band Prom Queen yet?!?!? They ruuuuuule!!! This super fun event is them playing with b-movie reels and classic exploitation film clips playing in the background. So basically pair this with a kick-ass strain like Fire OG and it’s essentially my most fun night ever.
Weirdos with Oleum’s Liberty Haze Dabs – Canadian director Bruce McDonald follows a pair of 15-year olds on a trip through eastern Canada looking for the mother of one of the kids. It’s also set in the late 1970’s. This kind of trip would pair most well with Liberty Haze because sometimes finding one’s own liberty can get a little hazy. Especially in the 70’s.