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Popcorn & Prejudice: A Movie Blog

Seattle Times writer Moira Macdonald muses on moviegoing. Email Moira: mmacdonald@seattletimes.com.

May 19, 2011 at 3:34 PM

And SIFF begins

I’ll be out and about at the Seattle International Film Festival this weekend (though not at tonight’s opening-night party; I’ve got a prior commitment, which will not involve mile-long queues for drinks), and as always I’ve got mixed feelings about it. I’m not a big fan of seeing movies in bulk — I’d always rather see one movie a day than four or five, to give it time to marinate — and those long lines do get wearying. And so far, of the movies I’ve been able to catch in advance, few have really grabbed me (though I quite liked “Beginners,” with Ewan McGregor and Christopher Plummer, and the documentary “Page One: Inside the New York Times”).
But every year, something at the festival thrills me (or, if I’m lucky, several somethings), so I’ll be out there braving the lines this weekend; most likely for “Cameraman” and “Black Narcissus” tomorrow. (SIFF’s archival program always contains something gorgeous; this film, from the “Red Shoes” team of Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, should be breathtaking.) For those wondering where to spend their SIFF time, here are a few pointers. Capsule reviews from Times critics (including me) are available here; the page will be updated with new capsules daily throughout the festival. If you like to attend films that will have Q & As attached, check here for SIFF’s list of festival guests (also check that same page for schedule changes/corrections/updates). In general, I always tell people that the documentaries section always contains some great stuff, the New American Cinema section is a dangerous one (there are always some truly awful films lurking within, usually starring a famous TV actor/actress), that you should always sit in the back half of the Egyptian for a subtitled film (if you’re in the front half, which hardly slopes at all, and get a tallish person or big-haired head in front of you, you can’t read a thing), and that you should always ask the people around you in line what they’ve liked. Likewise, if you see something at SIFF that you like this weekend, post a comment here and let the rest of us know. Happy weekend!

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