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Originally published Saturday, June 11, 2011 at 7:08 PM

A list of SIFF films coming soon to Seattle

A roundup of films from the Seattle International Film Festival scheduled to open in the Seattle area over the next few months.

Also opening

(but not screened for review)

"Angel of Evil": June 17

"The Trip": June 17

"Late Autumn" June 17

"Winnie the Pooh": July 15

"If a Tree Falls: A Story of the Earth Liberation Front": July 22

"Another Earth": Aug. 5

"The Last Circus": August, tbd

"The Interrupters": Sept. 5

Seattle Times staff

Today's Best Bet

Sniff, sniff. It's the end of SIFF.

TODAY'S THE LAST DAY of the 2011 Seattle International Film Festival, but it most certainly is not going out with a whimper. It's going out full-throttle, with more than 30 screenings today — ranging from "Winnie The Pooh" to "Poupoupidou (Nobody Else but You)" — and one giant Closing Night Gala.

The Gala starts with a screening of "Life in a Day," a dazzling time-capsule-y documentary shot in one day by people around the world. On July 24, 2010, executive producers Tony and Ridley Scott ("Blade Runner") and Academy Award-winning director Kevin Macdonald ("The King of Scotland") basically asked the entire world, via YouTube: "Hey! What's up?" More than 80,000 people from 192 countries responded with videos; Macdonald arranged 300 of them into roughly chronological (but non-narrative) order.

Anchored around four questions — What do you fear? What do you love? What makes you laugh? What's in your pocket? — "Life in a Day" offers a kaleidoscope of personal human activity: preparing meals, praying, working, raising children, arguing, recovering, jumping from airplanes, celebrating, conversing, dying — or doing nothing at all.

Seattle Times reviewer John Hartl gave "Life in a Day" 3 ½ stars, calling it "spectacular and intimate ... philosophical and heartfelt ... a glorious choice for the SIFF finale."

The screening is at 6 p.m. at Cinerama (editor Joe Walker is scheduled to attend); the party follows at Pan Pacific Hotel. Tickets, which include the screening and the party, are $40-$80 ($35-$70 for SIFF members).

Note that the SIFF schedule changes daily; to confirm information, see

Sandy Dunham,

Seattle Times features staff

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For a lot of films, the Seattle International Film Festival is just one stop on a much longer road trip. Here's a chronological list of SIFF movies tentatively scheduled to open in the Seattle area over the next few months, along with abbreviated versions of Seattle Times reviews (for the full reviews, see Release dates are subject to change.

Already open

2.5 stars"Submarine." Set in a dank and dark Wales, "Submarine" is the comic tale of a brilliant, self-conscious teen named Oliver (Craig Roberts) who juggles a strange romance with an elusive, cynical girl (Yasmin Paige) while trying to prevent the breakup of his parents (Noah Taylor, Sally Hawkins) after Mom's ex-lover (Paddy Considine) moves next door. Desultory at times to the point of distraction, "Submarine" still has a lot to recommend it, especially a strong, focused cast.

Tom Keogh, Special to The Seattle Times

3.5 stars "Beginners." Quirky, sad and utterly charming, Mike Mills' film is a wistful tale of two very different kinds of love: that between a young man (Ewan McGregor) and his father (Christopher Plummer), the latter of whom has just come out of the closet shortly before being diagnosed with cancer, and that same young man after his father's death, taking tentative steps toward love with a sunshiny woman (Mélanie Laurent). There's even a dog who speaks in subtitles — which absolutely shouldn't work, but does. McGregor and Plummer, as always, are stellar.

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic


2 stars"Viva Riva!"/June 17. There are moments of grim wit in this crime drama from the Democratic Republic of Congo. They're especially noticeable whenever the filmmakers narrow their focus to the title character: a charming crook, irresistibly played by Patsha Bay, whose latest prize is a truck full of hijacked gasoline. Despite a nifty final twist, the film meanders when it adds porn addiction, a restless mistress and a shockingly brutal Angolan gangster to the narrative.

John Hartl, Special to The Seattle Times

3 stars"Buck"/June 24. If only everything that moves on four legs, two legs or no legs at all were treated with the deep compassion and understanding Buck Brannaman — who inspired both the novel and film "The Horse Whisperer" — brings to troubled horses. This penetrating, stirring documentary takes us into the life, wisdom and wry humor of Brannaman as he takes his mobile clinic around ranch country, helping horse owners better understand the troubles of their animals. Robert Redford, star and director of "The Horse Whisperer," appears in the film.

Tom Keogh, Special to The Seattle Times


3 stars"Page One: Inside The New York Times"/July 1. Those who care about the future of newspapers, whether print or virtual, will find much that's compelling in Andrew Rossi's look inside the Gray Lady as it struggles to keep afloat and relevant during what one talking-head in the movie calls "a dangerous moment in American journalism." David Carr, a wispy-voiced NYT reporter who cheerfully acknowledges his drug-addicted past, emerges as this film's star and journalism's wise defender.

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic

4 stars"The Last Mountain"/July 8. Stunningly effective, informative and well-argued documentary about the devastating environmental and personal harm caused by mountaintop-removal coal mining in rural West Virginia. Robert Kennedy Jr. lends his weight to a fight also joined by inspirational young people participating in nonviolent acts of civil disobedience.

Paul de Barros, Seattle Times arts writer

3.5 stars"Project Nim"/July 22. This fascinating documentary explores the relationship between chimps and humans. Director James Marsh (who made the Oscar-winning "Man on Wire") focuses on the testing of Nim Chimpsky, who was brought up as part of a human family in the 1970s, when the chimp was said to learn sign language. He also demonstrated a savage, spoiled side; Marsh carefully captures the ultimately tragic side of the story.

John Hartl, Special to The Seattle Times

2.5 stars"Salvation Boulevard"/July 29. This lightly entertaining black comedy about the cover-up of an unintended shooting, and an effort to pin the blame on a convenient patsy, is largely enjoyable for an unbeatable cast. Pierce Brosnan stars as a larger-than-life minister of a megasize evangelical church. After he gets into hot water one night, he manages to shift suspicion onto a former Deadhead (Greg Kinnear), who is then lost in a nightmare of kidnappings, attempted murders and police conspiracies. Jennifer Connelly is atypically funny as Kinnear's wide-eyed, controlling wife; Ed Harris delivers a shrewd performance as a best-selling atheist; and Marisa Tomei is a delight as another former Deadhead-turned-cop.

Tom Keogh, Special to The Seattle Times

3.5 stars"Life in a Day"/July 29. Reminiscent of "Koyaanisqatsi" and IMAX's "To the Limit," this dazzling film draws from thousands of YouTube videos that were shot in dozens of countries on the same day: July 24, 2010. Thanks to the perceptive work of Oscar-winning director Kevin Macdonald (who made "Touching the Void") and his editor, Joe Walker, the result is both spectacular and intimate. What could have been a slick commercial gimmick turns out to be philosophical and heartfelt.

John Hartl, Special to The Seattle Times

3 stars"Tabloid"/July 29. Errol Morris, who usually makes serious documentaries about the fog of war and the horrors of Abu Ghraib, takes a much lighter approach with this account of a Mormon kidnapping scandal that became a U.K. headline-maker in the late 1970s. The chief testimony is provided by smart former beauty queen Joyce McKinney (168 I.Q.), whose sexual appetite landed her in lots of compromising situations. The movie is sometimes literally a mockumentary, but it's easy to take and sometimes very funny.

John Hartl, Special to The Seattle Times


2 stars"The Future"/Aug. 5. Writer-director-star Miranda July's follow-up to "Me and You and Everyone We Know" (which opened SIFF several years ago) is narrated by Paw Paw, a cat who sounds a lot like July. She also plays half of a bored couple who vow to take 30 days to break from their routines and explore their potential. Like July's previous work, it's cute, quirky and kinda creepy.

John Hartl, Special to The Seattle Times

3 stars"The Whistleblower"/Aug. 12. Rachel Weisz is terrific as Nebraska cop-turned-U.N.-peacekeeper Kathryn Bolkovac in this true story about corruption and sex trafficking in Bosnia about a decade ago. A harrowing, unsettling film with an eye toward grim detail, "The Whistleblower" moves like a thriller but will break your heart. An excellent international cast includes one of those golden (if too-brief) performances by Vanessa Redgrave.

Tom Keogh, Special to The Seattle Times

3 stars"Circumstance"/Aug. 19. Maryam Keshavarz's debut feature, a prizewinner at Sundance this year, shows us a world rarely seen: two teenage girls in contemporary Iran's well-hidden club scene, exploring their sexuality and independence in a society that forbids it. Filmed, quite beautifully, undercover in Beirut, "Circumstance" lets us come to know wealthy, confident Atafeh (Nikohl Boosheri) and orphaned, less-certain Shireen (Sarah Kazemy); we watch them, bursting with energy and vibrancy, coming to realize their limited options.

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic

4 stars"Magic Trip: Ken Kesey's Search for a Kool Place"/date tbd. In 1964, novelist Ken Kesey ("One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest') and his Merry Pranksters famously embarked on a cross-county trip — pun intended — in a wildly painted "magic bus" with a good supply of LSD. Unbeknown to most, Kesey and his pals — who included Jack Kerouac hero Neal Cassady as official driver — filmed the journey, with plans to edit and release the results. Here, finally, is this rare footage, embedded into a humorously shot, decidedly nonsensationalist documentary that explains what this countercultural birth moment was really all about.

Paul de Barros, Seattle Times arts writer


3.5 stars"Weekend"/Oct. 14. When the chemistry is just right, as it is in "Blue Valentine" and "Brokeback Mountain," love stories can still be engaging and affecting. That's the case with this spare, creatively staged two-character British drama about a male couple who discover they can't stop seeing each other — even if one of them is due to leave for America very soon. Tom Cullen's shyly romantic Russell and Chris New's more cynical and eloquent Glen are just the kinds of opposites who do attract, and they talk and fight and forgive like no other gay characters in the movies right now.

John Hartl, Special to The Seattle Times

3.5 stars"Killing Bono"/date tbd. Imagine that you are a pair of Irish teenage brothers in the '70s, and a few of your mates at school form a band — and that band eventually becomes U2, making albums that sell millions of copies. Meanwhile, you form a band, making an album that sells 10 copies. That's the based-on-true-events premise of Nick Hamm's winning and at times poignant comedy about dreams of stardom, wonderfully cast (watch for Pete Postlethwaite's final screen role, as a flamboyant landlord) and winningly performed.

Moira Macdonald, Seattle Times movie critic

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