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The Airy Romanticism of Martha Coolidge’s Seattle

Washington

The Airy Romanticism of Martha Coolidge’s Seattle

By: Kate Donnelly

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  • States:
    Washington

The pioneer director and first female President of The Directors Guild, Martha Coolidge understands the importance of cinematic location.

Enter the coastal seaport of Seattle, Washington. After travelling to various far-flung locales, Coolidge fondly reminiscences about shooting in Seattle. “When I shot [the comedy Crazy in Love]…I wanted to live here, that’s a pretty big feeling.” The thriving day-to-day scene of Seattle easily wooed the director. “[It’s] a visually startling city,” which she now calls home.

A city with a unique aura

Cinematically, Coolidge credits the quality of light, the moisture in the air and what she refers to as “edges, layers and levels of objects,” that meld together to yield beautiful photographs.  Seattle is a wonderfully compact city with a vast scope of history and culture enhanced by its Asian and Native American influences.

It’s a huge character of your movie. If you don’t have the right location, your whole movie is on the wrong foot

The notion of romanticism plays a role in Coolidge’s Seattle with its great dining and music scene. Seattle has long served as a landmark for young musicians and iconic artists like Kurt Cobain and Jimmy Hendrix.  Then there’s the strong influence of Seattle coffee and its booming café culture. “You know the discernible people who can tell a good cup of coffee,” she quips.  For visitors, Coolidge suggests city activities like visiting the Seattle Opera or strolling Pioneer Square known for its Renaissance Revival architecture.

Naturally, her must-do outdoor activities include wilderness hiking and a boat ride to the nearby islands that showcase the beautiful coastline and iconic 14,000 foot-tall Mount Rainier.  With all this nature, Seattle boasts great air and Coolidge highly recommends to “breathe it in, it’s incredibly clean.”

For more information visit our Seattle Guide.

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