SIFF Chief Splits

By most accounts, this year's Seattle International Film Festival was a success —more ticket buyers, more movies, and more venues. So why, after only two years heading the fest, did SIFF director Helen Loveridge step down? Was it something we said? Certainly her tenure seemed an improvement over that of SIFF co-founder Darryl MacDonald, who tolerated way too much softness, sentimentality, and bloat in its recent programming. Loveridge is headed back to her native England, according to a SIFF press release, taking her good taste with her, but no pressing personal reasons are cited. Either she's got a great new job in Blighty or the SIFF board was displeased with her performance for reasons unknown. Meaning a new director needs to be found pronto—before the fall festival season, when SIFF begins selecting its 2006 lineup. BRIAN MILLER


Founding general director of Seattle Opera Glynn Ross first contracted opera while serving with the occupation forces in Italy after World War II. The infection was immediate, virulent, and lifelong. Ross, who died last week at age 90, was never much interested in opera as art; he often said that anybody who couldn't mount a production of one of the standards in 48 hours shouldn't be in the business. He loved opera as artifact, phenomenon. We think we're more sophisticated these days. I wonder. ROGER DOWNEY


Seattle art dealer Linda Farris died last Friday after a two-year battle with cancer. Farris was well known for her flamboyant dress and behavior, but her professional accomplishments were equally impressive. As a longtime Pioneer Square gallery owner, she helped organize the original First Thursday art walks; she also spearheaded the ContemporaryArtProject, a group of 16 collectors who pooled their money to purchase contemporary art, ultimately donating it to the Seattle Art Museum. LYNN JACOBSON


Vulcan is getting into the outdoor-cinema game, with a new, short series that debuts this weekend on the lawn at Westlake Avenue North and Denny Way (behind Vulcan's South Lake Union Discovery Center). First up, the original G-rated Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory (Fri., July 29), followed by Cabaret (PG; Fri., Aug. 12) and Waiting for Guffman (R; Fri., Aug. 26). Questions? Call 206-342-5900. LYNN JACOBSON


Despite a last-ditch fund-raising effort, the Seattle Music Festival, slated for Aug. 12–14 at Alki Beach, was canceled on July 20. Organizers say featured headliners They Might Be Giants could still perform in Seattle this August if enough interest is shown by fans. For information, go to RACHEL SHIMP

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