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Seattle International Film Festival 2011

"What would the Seattle International Film Festival be if it wasn't the biggest in the country?" asks Kathleen Murphy in the Queen Anne & Magnolia News. "Piling on 450 movies at 19 different venues between May 19" — hey, that's today! — "and June 12, the 37th SIFF presents feature films from some 70 different countries, docs, archival treasures, secret flicks, and shorts. Every conceivable niche audience is addressed: families, kids, horror film aficionados, music fans, followers of the burgeoning Northwest filmmaking community and others. Ewan McGregor, so great last year in Roman Polanski's The Ghost Writer, will be dropping in to accept a Golden Space Needle Award. And Al Pacino, on national tour, stops at the Paramount Theater on June 11 just in time to be co-opted as a SIFF special presentation. What more could a body — or a city — ask? Well, maybe an overarching aesthetic vision or set of selection standards." And she elaborates, noting that "for every, say, ten movies watched in SIFF, maybe one or two will make an authentic claim on your time and critical/emotional faculties."

Which why a little guidance comes in handy. Should you find yourself in the upper lefthand corner of the Great 48, turn to the Parallax View, the Stranger, the Seattle Weekly and/or, at IFC, Stephen Saito.

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FYI: an update on Al Pacino. He cancelled. Turns out the even was set for the night before the Tony Awards, and since he was nominated, he’s decided not come out Seattle.

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