Lots going on over the long weekend at SIFF’s various venues; here are capsule reviews of movies seen in advance by John Hartl and myself, and a few more suggestions:
— If you can, definitely check out Megan Griffiths’ charming rom-com “Lucky Them,” screening tonight at 9:15 at the Egyptian. Griffiths herself and other crew members will be there; should be a party atmosphere for the film’s Seattle debut. (If you can’t, know that it’ll be opening at NWFF for a week’s run next month.)
— Shortsfest — the festival-within-the-festival that focuses on short films — concludes Monday at the Uptown with a package of films from around the world.
— If you like silent films: a selection of Charlie Chaplin shorts screens Sunday afternoon at the Uptown, followed by the 1930s silent Chinese film “Song of the Fishermen,” both with live accompaniment by Donald Sosin.
— A few of the higher-profile films this weekend: “Begin Again,” from the director of “Once,” stars Keira Knightley, Adam Levine and Mark Ruffalo, and had good buzz in Toronto last fall under the title “Can a Song Save Your Life”; it plays at the Egyptian Saturday and Sunday. “I Origins,” a science fiction tale from Mike Cahill (who previously directed “Another Earth,” which also stars Brit Marling), is the Saturday-night-party film this weekend at the Uptown; it also screens Monday night at the Egyptian. The man behind — or, rather, inside — Big Bird, Caroll Spinney, will appear at screenings of the documentary “I Am Big Bird” this weekend (Sunday at the Egyptian, Monday at the Harvard Exit); bring the kids. (A “special guest” is coming with him — could it be the big yellow bird himself? Or maybe Oscar the Grouch?) And I would be remiss if I didn’t point out that “Zombeavers,” the festival’s only film about ravenous undead beavers (and a group of unfortunate college students whose vacation at a lake cabin goes oh-so-horribly wrong), screens this weekend too. (That title really needs an exclamation point, don’t you think?) More info on any of these or other films can be found at the festival website. Happy SIFF-ing!