Compared to TIFF, almost everything seemed about SIFF seemed smaller in scale including the number of venues, length of lineups for the movies and ticket prices. We saw a matinee for only $8 per ticket! However SIFF runs for a whole 25 days as opposed to TIFF's 11 days. I found the standard "turn your cell phone off" video to be amusing. The tag line was "Warning, objects may shift when using your cell phone", accompanied by a cartoon image of a guy getting hit in the head with a tossed bag of popcorn.
Rendleman told the anecdote of how Roger Ebert was disappointed with the ending of Fatal Attraction and suggested that the ultra violent sensationalist ending (which was demanded by audience focus groups including one from Seattle) compromised the film artistically. He suggested a better scene for the film to end on, just to find out from Glenn Close that this was indeed the original ending before the predictable Hollywood ending got tacked on.
One of the most interesting sections of the book is the one called "Misfires". In this chapter, Rendleman gives examples of where he thought Ebert was wrong in his critique of a movie and then provides his own analysis as proof. In the question and answer period, I asked whether Roger Ebert had read this book, and whether he changed his mind on any of his writeups based on Rendleman's misfire rebuttals. As of right now, Ebert had not read or commented on the book (although he did write a forward for it). Being minor film buffs ourselves, it was really interesting for us to hear Rendleman speak and read from his book. I plan to read the rest of this book, and hopefully hear one day whether Rendleman's challenges of some of Ebert's critiques lead him to reconsider them. We were thrilled to have this experience that was off the beaten path and not recommended by any guidebook.