Seattle Cinema

SIFF 2019 Review Roundup May 29–June 5

This week in PNW premieres: all-male burlesque, a recovered silent film, and a documentary on homelessness.

By Seattle Met Staff May 29, 2019

The Long Haul: The Story of the Buckaroos goes behind the scenes of Seattle's all-male burlesque company. 

Image: Courtesy SIFF

As the Earth Turns
In 1938, a 20-year-old Seattleite named Richard Lyford made an oddball sci-fi film called As the Earth Turns, in which a young reporter who wants a meaty story ends up finding one in the form of an anti-war activist named PAX. The movie has been unavailable since it was made, but now SIFF is showing a newly restored print. If you're a local film geek or historian, As the Earth Turns is essential viewing. In a city whose film identity is largely wrapped up in small DIY passion projects, the movie is an early little indie—black and white, silent, with goofy little models standing in for trains and planes—made only the year before big budget technicolor blowouts like Gone with the Wind and The Wizard of Oz. June 1, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, $15 —Stefan Milne

Stories of Us: Camp Second Chance
During Seattle's 2017 blizzard, filmmaker Melinda Raebyne spent a week living in Camp Second Chance, one of Seattle’s six official tent cities. The resulting documentary juxtaposes her impressions with the stories of people living there. Although Raebyne’s frequent low-angle, self-filmed testimonials (reminiscent of survivalist reality TV) feel at odds with her mission, the openness of the camp’s residents gives the film ballast. They tell stories of hunting for work, of struggling relationships, and of successful ones—for each, homelessness is just part of a larger, more complicated life. June 1, $11; June 2, SIFF Cinema Uptown, $15 —Philip Kiefer 

The Long Haul: The Story of the Buckaroos
Started in 2014 at Pike Place Market’s Can Can Culinary Cabaret, the Buckaroos were an all-male burlesque revue, who toyed with most of male stripping’s tropes. They had an ironic Western theme, created an onstage slip n’ slide, wore rubber duckies as underwear, and—instead of just musclebound bros—welcomed all body types. This slight, endearing documentary from local director Amy J. Enser goes behind the scenes, looking at what brought the dancers to the troupe and what it meant to them (a form of community, a form of therapy). It’s light on drama—and insights arrive small and workaday—but if a behind-the-scenes look at inclusive burlesque interests you, The Long Haul delivers the goods and (yes, okay) the packages. June 5, SIFF Cinema Egyptian, $15; June 8, AMC Pacific Place, $11 —SM

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