SIFF Double Feature – Warehoused and Ceviche’s DNA

Warehoused Movie Still 1

Warehoused: Unemployed for two years, Nin (Hoze Meléndez) starts his first day as the warehouse-manager-in-training at Salvaleon (Mexico’s second largest producer of aluminum flag poles and ship’s masts) under the watchful eye of Mr. Lino (José Carlos Ruiz), manager for the past 28 years. Mr. Lino is being retired because of his arthritis, not because he wants it, and he takes a dim view of Nin’s ability to follow established procedures. The job seems to consist of waiting: waiting for the trucks to deliver masts (poles are handled at warehouse A), waiting for sales orders to come in, and waiting for anything – anything at all – to happen. But the truck never comes, and no one ever calls, so the two men sit patiently for the time when they will be needed to perform their duties. There are some ants in the room that provide some respite from the boredom, but mostly the two men just wait and converse.

Warehoused, directed by Jack Zagha, is a lot more fun than it sounds, although it’s probably not for those who need explosions or indeed more action than a prankish phone call. (That’s legit, I ain’t judging. Not every movie is for every person.) I really enjoyed this though. Nin does not seem to be the most motivated young person, but he’s quick to see when a rule is being followed blindly, and constantly challenges Mr. Lino about how things are done. For example, there is only one chair in the warehouse, and Mr. Lino seems very befuddled when Nin brings in his own. For the eleven years Mr. Lino was an assistant, he just stood. This film is about many things, including the idea that a job where one does nothing may be the same as a job where one is mindlessly busy. What is the purpose of work when one is just trying to bring in a paycheck? Does it matter what you do? But the film is also about honor, kindness, friendship, and how one behaves when no one is watching. Except for one scene of wanton cruelty to ants, this film is a very amiable look at work in a crappy economy. It’s well written, the performances are great, and I found myself easily drawn into the developing relationship. It’s a slow pleasure for sure, but worth your time if you enjoy sitting back and letting things unfold at a leisurely pace.

Final Grade: A-

Warehoused plays on May 22nd at AMC Pacific Place, May 24th at SIFF Cinema Uptown, and May 28th at Renton IKEA Performing Arts Center.

Ceviche’s DNA Movie Still 1

Ceviche’s DNA: The national dish of Peru is ceviche, a simple dish of (usually) raw fish, chiles, lemon, salt, and onion. Ceviche’s DNA, directed by Orlando Arriagada, tells the history of this ubiquitous meal, as well as detailing how it has become emblematic of Peru’s new prominence in world cuisine. Ceviche was originally prepared on boats to feed the fisherman, later becoming a staple of ordinary people throughout the country. Peru is very mountainous, and farming is only possible through the use of terraces, so seafood from the ocean and the Amazon are vitally important to the nutrition of its people. Until recently, the foodie scene in Peru focused on French and Swiss chefs, but a recent understanding of how distinct and vital the local food culture is has placed traditional dishes center front. Peruvian food is strongly influenced not only by Spain, but also Africa, China, and Japan, with each type of restaurant serving their own version of the dish. EVERYBODY has a recipe. With overfishing always a looming possibility, efforts have been made to protect and nurture the sardine supply, which in turn helps to increase the numbers of other fish in the local waters.

This is a fun film, although I never find watching people fish very interesting (you can ask my husband), and it’s a little long to support such a narrow topic. But the food looks good, the scenery is beautiful, and I had to pause the screener twice to go get snacks. I would have liked a little more information about Peru’s other staples, corn and potatoes, since I saw some varieties on screen that looked really good. (It all looked good. The cinematography in this film was great.) There was a lot of foreign celebrity chef action, and it’s always fun to watch chefs throw shade at each other. I’m not much of a raw fish person; I tend to prefer sushi rather than sashimi, but I am now obsessed with making Ceviche. With all of the great seafood available in Seattle, I should be able to at least make something decent. Wish me luck!

Final Grade: B

Ceviche’s DNA is playing June 6th and 8th at AMC Pacific Place


Adelaide enjoys watching all kinds of movies, but is never going to see Titanic unless there is a sizable amount of money involved.

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