May 1, 2014

Schedule Announced for Seattle International Film Festival 2014

I am delighted to once again have received media credentials for the Seattle International Film Festival. As I did last year, I will focus on screenings of classic films, an often overlooked, but important part of this diverse event. SIFF is showing major love for archival flicks this year with a whopping 14 classic movies on the program. That's almost twice as many as in 2013.

This year I won't attempt to view all of the archival offerings. More recent flicks like Queen Margot (1994), The Skin (1981), Serenity (2005), Wild at Heart (1990) and the Whole Wide World (1996) are too far out of the time range I typically cover at A Classic Movie Blog. I'm also very tempted to cover the festival's midnight screening of The Rocky Horror Picture Show (1975), but this classic cult favorite doesn't quite fit the vibe around here.

It's great to see the new prints of The Pawnbroker (1964) and Mr. Deeds Goes to Town (1936) recently screened at TCM Film Festival on the program. I'm especially excited that Nicholas Ray's, western The Lusty Men (1952) with Robert Mitchum and Susan Hayward has been included. That will be fantastic to see with an audience.

I was glad to see that Last Year at Marienbad (1961) will be shown; a great tribute to the recently departed director Alain Resnais. The unsettling, but deeply compelling Joseph Losey film The Servant (1963) is my favorite Dirk Bogarde film; it'll be great to see that on the big screen. While The Stunt Man (1980) edges into that time frame I typically avoid, I must write about Peter O'Toole in one of his most deliciously slippery, and scary, performances.

There will also be lots of silents at SIFF 2014, all of them with live musical accompaniment. Last year I took my daughter to see Safety Last! (1923), which she loved, though it probably would have really tried her patience if it were any longer. This year I'm hoping she'll be more occupied by a program of four Chaplin shorts, including Kid Auto Races in Venice (1914), the first appearance of the Little Tramp character and one of my favorites. I hope she enjoys it as much as I do.

Other silents on the schedule include the pacifist World War I epic J’accuse (1919), directed by Abel Gance, who is most famous for his also impressive Napoleon (1927). From China comes Song of the Fisherman (1934), which tells the story of a poor family struggling to survive near Shanghai.This one intrigues me simply because I've never heard of it before!

There will also be a new experimental film on the program with a classic focus. A Masque of Madness (2013) focuses on the many faces of Boris Karloff. It consists of only scenes featuring the actor edited together in a variety of ways. I'm especially curious to see this one, because it combines two things I adore: classic movies and experimental film.

As always, I'm impressed by the variety in this line-up. SIFF always fills me with hometown pride. It's going to be a great festival! I can't wait to share more details about these films and the screenings I attend.

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