7 Films to See During the Second Week of SIFF 2024

Lots of options 🍿

The cast of Thelma poses under the marquee at Paramount during the opening night of SIFF 2024.

📸: Photography by Elizabeth Crook | Courtesy SIFF

🎟️ Seattle International Film Festival 2024
📆 In theaters: Thursday, May 9th – Sunday, May 19th
🖥️ Online: Monday, May 20th – Monday, May 27th

The Seattle International Film Festival‘s big 50th-anniversary festival is now into its second weekend, riding high off a marquee celebration of the movie Thelma and upcoming indie hits like I Saw The TV Glow, RATS, and so many more. Planning your second weekend? Here’s what’s rising to the top of our lists.

(Don’t trust us? Here are SIFF’s programmers’ picks. See you out there!)

Red Rooms

📆 Tuesday, May 14th + 📆 Wednesday, May 15th

📸: Red Rooms | SIFF 2024

In this unnerving psychological thriller from Pascal Plante (Fake Tattoos, SIFF 2017), a Montreal-based model becomes obsessed with a high-profile serial killer trial. As the terrible details of the case infect her every waking moment, she finds herself on a road toward destruction.

Want a film that punches you in the gut and then dares you to try and look away? Consider Red Rooms, an unnerving psychological thriller and courtroom drama that will likely leave you reeling. The SIFF 2024 film dives into the dark web’s underbelly and the digital age’s fascination with true crime. It follows model and amateur sleuth Kelly-Anne (played by Juliette Gariépy) and her obsession with a gruesome murder trial of three young girls. As Kelly-Anne goes down the rabbit hole of serial killer fandom, the lines of her reality start to blur. Juliette Gariépy’s performance as the poker-faced, morally ambiguous beauty is outstanding. Red Rooms‘ sleek style, tight camera work, and pulsing score had me levitating by the time its credits rolled.

(Note: The violence is implied and not shown, but the subject matter is disturbing.) | 🖊️ SANDRA WOOLF

Tiger Stripes

📆 Friday, May 17th + 📆 Sunday, May 19th

📸: Tiger Stripes | SIFF 2024

In this surreal Malaysian coming-of-age drama with teeth, rebellious 12-year-old Zaffan has hit puberty early, except her physical and behavioral changes seem to be anything but normal, terrifying her family and her patriarchal Muslim school. It seems to be something…monstrous.

Calling all my monster girlies, do I have a film for you! 

Tiger Stripes is one part Malaysian body horror, another part coming of rage, with a dash of Mean Girls mixed in. The result is a uniquely stylish cultural take with riot girl energy. The film follows 12-year-old Zaffan as she clashes and slashes with frenemies, uptight parents, and oppressive religious and societal conformity. When all she really wants to do is make silly TikToks with her bestie. (Same.) The film’s young actresses (Zafreen Zairizal and Deena Ezral) are a joy to watch; their relationship is the movie’s heart. The Malaysian folklore also gives the film a fascinating flavor of magical realism. It’s Amanda Nell Eu’s directorial debut, and it’s a powerful female-centered story that was sadly censored in its home country. Sink your teeth into Tiger Stripes at SIFF 2024. | 🖊️ SANDRA WOOLF

The Box Man

📆 Friday, May 17th + 📆 Saturday, May 18th

📸: The Box Man | SIFF 2024

A still for SIFF 2024

You’ll need to think outside the box when you see famed director Gakuryû Ishii’s new film, The Box Man. Set in modern-day Japan, a very unconventional man wanders the streets of Tokyo, observing and judging society from the safety of a cardboard box. However, the Box Man soon finds his mobile shell coveted by a range of even more bizarre characters in this absurd, voyeuristic tale. Based on the novel by Kobo Abe (The Woman in the Dunes) and deemed “unfilmable” for over thirty years, the resulting psychological fever dream was well worth the wait. A surprisingly horny film that had me laughing one moment then quickly spiraling into an existential crisis the next. The fight sequences, in particular, had me bewildered yet entertained. If you’re a fan of surreal cinema, David Lynch films, and Kafkaesque imagery, then The Box Man will be your vibe. | 🖊️ SANDRA WOOLF


📆 Friday, May 17th

📸: AGGRO DR1FT | SIFF 2024

A still for SIFF 2024

Cinema’s premier edgelord, Harmony Korine (Kids, Gummo, Spring Breakers), is back with a movie that’ll burn itself directly into your retinas. AGGRO DR1FT is a riotous feast of the senses, shot entirely in infrared and set in a video game-like Miami Beach filled with looping, non-playable characters. Every Floridian frame is awash in neon pinks, aqua greens, and acid yellows as it follows assassin BO (Jordi Mollà) hunting down a winged crime lord—with rapper Travis Scott starring as Zion, a militia leader. As in most Korine features, vibes are paramount here, and AGGRO DR1FT, with its existential inflection, AI-enhanced skins, and inventive aesthetic, has plenty. While the movie would be a wild watch in any setting, the big brains at SIFF are screening this thing at SIFF Downtown. Soak in the trippy visuals and electronic score by AraabMuzik in the vastness of the downtown theater and pretend you’re in one immersive, hellish video game sequence.  | 🖊️ JAS KEIMIG

A Conversation + Screening with Jean Smart

📆 Saturday, May 18th

📸: SIFF 2024

A still for SIFF 2024

Literal legend Jean Smart got her start in regional theater here in the Pacific Northwest. The Seattle-born actress would go on to star as Marlene Dietrich in Piaf on Broadway, serve as a main cast member in the beloved TV series Designing Women, and win gobs of awards as a washed-up Vegas comedienne in Max series Hacks. SIFF is hosting Smart to honor her career as she receives The Hollywood Reporter’s Trailblazer Award. She’ll be in conversation with THR contributing editor Stacey Wilson. Stay after their talk to watch a special preview screening of the unreleased seventh episode from Hacks’ upcoming third season. | 🖊️ JAS KEIMIG

Dìdi (弟弟)

📆 Saturday, May 18th + 📆 Sunday, May 19th

📸: Didi | SIFF 2024

A still for SIFF 2024

An affectionate term for “younger brother” in Mandarin, Sean Wang’s Dìdi (弟弟) is a delightful, summer-soaked film about what it means to grow up. Set in 2008, Chris (Izaac Wang), a thirteen-year-old first-generation Taiwanese-American, is preparing for his first year in high school in the Bay Area. He spends his summer goofing around with his friends and, in the process, learning what they don’t teach you at school, like how to skate, flirt, and love your mom (Joan Chen of Twin Peaks fame plays his). For the movie, Wang cast mostly first-time actors in the teenage roles and even employed his grandmother, Chang Li Hua, as Chris’s nai nai. Dìdi (弟弟) is both a deeply personal and nostalgic portrait of Wang’s own childhood that will speak to anyone who grew up in the era before social media took over everything. Bring back AIM! | 🖊️ JAS KEIMIG

Sing Sing

📆 Saturday, May 18th

📸: Sing Sing | SIFF 2024

A still for SIFF 2024

Director Greg Kwedar’s Sing Sing will close out this year’s Seattle International Film Festival. The feature, inspired by real-life events, stars Colman Domingo as Divine G, an inmate serving a sentence at Sing Sing Correctional Facility for a crime he didn’t do. He finds comfort in Sing Sing’s Rehabilitation Through the Arts (RTA) program, where he and his fellow inmates embark on a journey to mount a comedy inspired by Shakespeare when a newcomer, Clarence, joins the group. Domingo and Paul Raci play characters inspired by real people—while the rest of the cast is mainly composed of formerly incarcerated actors playing versions of themselves. 

After this screening, head over to MOHAI for SIFF’s after-party. Heads-up: SIFF says they’re giving a special prize to the person wearing the oldest SIFF swag.  | 🖊️ JAS KEIMIG


Sandra Woolf

Sandra is a writer and film programmer currently haunting the PNW. Fueled by iced coffee and love of all things pink (don’t tell the other goths). She’s most interested in finding the sexy dark corners of Seattle.

An author pic of Jas Keimig. They have blue braids.

Jas Keimig

Jas Keimig is an arts and culture writer in Seattle. Their work has previously appeared in The Stranger, i-D, Netflix, and Feast Portland. They won a game show once and have a thing for stickers.

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