Two weekends down, 10 days to go and 74-odd films yet to see. We’re three-fifths of the way through the 23rd Seattle International Film Festival, and some of us are getting a bit punchy.
Maybe what’s getting to us is the long hours spent watching dancing images of light waft through the darkened interiors of aging theaters. Maybe it’s the uncompromising hardness of the seats in those same theaters.
Could be it’s just the 600-mile drive from Spokane to Seattle and back.
Whatever, the punchiness is likely to lift when the house lights go down tonight. Because there’s nothing like a festival film to thrill hard-core movie-lovers.
For you fervent film fans (and also you amateurs), the weekend’s highlights look like this:
“In Full Gallop” (The Egyptian, today at 5 p.m.): Another of 1996’s Foreign Language Oscar nominees, this 1950s-era Polish film centers on a young boy’s coming to grips with his eccentric aunt and her struggle with Poland’s totalitarian government.
“Mandela” (Harvard Exit, today at 5 p.m.): This Oscar-nominated documentary tells the story of South African leader Nelson Mandela and his decades-long fight for freedom.
“Life and Nothing But” (Harvard Exit, Saturday at 12:30 p.m.): As part of its retrospective series, SIFF presents this free showing of Bernard Tavernier’s 1990 film about the relationship between a World War II officer checking the remains of dead soldiers and a woman seeking word about her lost-in-action husband.
“In the Company of Men” (Harvard Exit, Saturday at 3:30 p.m.): Winner of the Sundance Film Festival’s Filmmaker’s Trophy for drama, this psychological thriller involves two frustrated executives who vie for the same woman.
“Sick: The life & Death of Bob Flanagan, Supermasochist” (Harvard Exit, 9:15 p.m. Saturday): This documentary revealing the work of a performance artist whose act involves exactly what the title says won prizes at both the Los Angeles Independent Film Festival and Sundance.
SIFF at a glance
Sites: The Egyptian, 801 E. Pines; Broadway Performance Hall, 1625 Broadway; Harvard Exit, 807 E. Roy; Guild 45th, 2115 N. 45th.
Ticket prices: Individual tickets are priced at $7 for most evening screenings ($6.50 for Cinema Seattle members), $5 for matinee and midnight shows. Cinematic Six-Packs are $36, weekly passes are $125, Student and Senior Deals are $25 for any five films and tickets to the Films 4 Families series are $4.
How to order: Advance credit-card purchases by phone can be made by calling (206) 325-6150. Same-day purchases must be made at the theater where a particular film is playing (Broadway Performance Hall purchases can’t be made until 30 minutes before show time). To order by the Internet, access the SIFF Web site at www.seattlefilm.com (which carries the entire 25-day schedule). Call (206) 325-6828 for information.