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"Before you know it as the years go by, you're just like other people you have seen, with all those peculiar human ailments. Just another vehicle for temper and vanity and rashness and all the rest. Who wants it? Who needs it? These things occupy the place where a man's soul should be." -- Henderson the Rain King

Tuesday, May 30, 2006


Yesterday we saw Wordplay, our third SIFF movie of the year.

Wordplay is a documentary about crossword puzzles and the annual American Crossword Puzzle Tournament in Stamford, CT. It's a fun movie that follows hard core competitors along with great cameos by more casual puzzlers such as the always hilarious Jon Stewart, Bill Clinton (remember when we had an intelligent President...yeah that was great), Mike Mussina, Ken Burns, The Indigo Girls, and Bob Dole.

Wordplay is very entertaining and was definitely a big crowd pleaser. Based on the audience reaction at the end of the film I wouldn't be surprised if it takes home one of this year's coveted Golden Space Needle awards.

My only complaint about the film is that it follows the same "1) explain esoteric intellecutal pursuit 2) introduce eccentric contestants 3) follow contestants through annual competition to surprising crescendo" formula that Spellbound pioneered a few years ago (and which has since been repeated ad-infinitum in such movies as WordWars, Pucker Up, Mad Hot Ballroom, etc.). It's clearly a good formula, but not exactly one that's breaking any new ground at this point.