Seattle International Film Festival

Having crept upward from two weeks at the Moore to almost four weeks at a dozen-plus regional venues, with 257 features and docs on its schedule (plus scores of shorts), SIFF demands your attention for 25 days. It’s a bully that grabs you by the lapels and shoves you into the alley beside the Egyptian, where you find yourself in line with a throng of badge-and-lanyard-wearing obsessives busily annotating their schedules with colored markers. Before you know it, it’s June already. Where did the time go? Where did your life go? The festival is immersive, even epic; and the whole SIFF-going experience begins to morph into a grand narrative of its own. Each movie becomes a scene and you the protagonist of some great quest—perhaps to catch every Secret Festival screening, every French title, every gala, every bloody and/or sexy midnighter. Each grail is as different as those sitting around you. SIFF’s main venues are the Admiral, Egyptian, Harvard Exit, Pacific Place, Neptune, and SIFF Cinema, with special screenings at other locations. Most tickets are $11; galas cost more; and passes start at $57. BRIAN MILLER

May 19-June 12, 2011

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