May 1, 2023

The 49th Seattle International Film Festival 2023: Picks for Classic Film Fans

Seattle International Film Festival is back in theaters May 11-21 and streaming May 22-28. As always, there’s plenty on the schedule to please classic film fans. Here are my picks for 2023:

Archival Films 

There’s not much in the way of selection or adventurous picks for archival offerings this year, but The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957), Midnight Cowboy (1969) and Seven Samurai (1954) are all films that especially need the big screen treatment to be fully enjoyed and should be a treat to see in restored versions. I can’t remember the last time a classic sci-fi flick was included on the schedule and the tale of a scientist who finds his stature alarmingly reduced is particularly fun due to all those enormous props and an encounter with a monstrous kitty cat. Midnight Cowboy is a story best experienced in total immersion and an epic like Seven Samurai must be seen blown up as large as possible.

Desperate Souls, Dark City and the Legend of Midnight Cowboy tells the story of the legendary Oscar-winning film in two ways: how the culture of its times breathed life into the production and how it subsequently had its own cultural effect. 

Douglas Sirk – Hope as in Despair bases its exploration of the influential German filmmaker who made a splash in Hollywood via interviews and entries about the man from his wife’s journal. 

A Disturbance in the Force tells the history of the once mocked and now mocked and celebrated The Star Wars Holiday Special, a 1978 television production that a mortified George Lucas tried to bury, but that keeps coming back to life for Star Wars fans. The poetically eccentric experimental filmmaker Jonas Mekas gets the spotlight in 

Fragments of Paradise, an appropriately experimental documentary which features footage from his extensive visual diaries. 

Classic televisions fans can get a closer look at a television legend with Being Tyler Moore, which features interviews with Rob Reiner and James L. Burrows.

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