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Originally published Thursday, March 15, 2012 at 4:04 PM

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At A Theater Near You: Festivals, classics, French films

Screenings and events around the Seattle area for the week of March 16 include "Rendez-Vous with French Cinema" at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown; the Rural Route Film Festival, a collection of short narrative and documentary films about rural people and places, at the Grand Illusion; and the Seattle Jewish Film Festival, at various locations.

Seattle Times movie critic

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SIFF Cinema at the Uptown this weekend presents a "Rendez-Vous with French Cinema," a series of seven new French films plus a newly restored presentation of "Children of Paradise." The films were all seen recently at the Film Society of Lincoln Center; some will screen with recorded Q&As with the filmmakers. Series passes are available: eight films for $50 ($30 SIFF members). Also at the Uptown, on Thursday only: a special screening of the fly-fishing drama "The River Why," presented as a benefit for the nonprofit Partnership for Water Conservation. Tickets are $20 and include a pre-screening reception. Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N; 206-324-9996 or www.siff.net.

At the SIFF Film Center (Northwest Rooms, Seattle Center campus), the San Francisco Opera Cinema series continues with "Samson and Delilah" by Camille Saint-Saëns, Monday at 6:30 p.m. Tickets are $15 ($14 students/seniors; $10 SIFF members); for more information, see www.siff.net or call 206-324-9996.

This week, the Grand Illusion presents the Rural Route Film Festival, a collection of short narrative and documentary films about rural people and places. "Best of Shorts," a selection from last year's festival, plays Friday, Monday and Thursday; the urban agriculture documentary "Truckfarm" screens Saturday and Tuesday; and Sunday and Wednesday feature the documentaries "Driftless," "Sand Mountain" and "Land of the Pure." Grand Illusion, 1403 N.E. 50th St., Seattle; 206-523-3935 or www.grandillusioncinema.org.

The Seattle Jewish Film Festival, now in its 17th year, has a full schedule of screenings this week at Pacific Place, SIFF Cinema at the Uptown and the Stroum Jewish Community Center. For John Hartl's preview article about the festival, see www.seattletimes.com (search "Jewish Film Festival"); for more information about the festival, see www.seattlejewishfilmfestival.org or call the SIFF box office at 206-324-9996.

In addition to "Adventures in Plymptoons!" (see review), Northwest Film Forum this week presents a one-night tribute to underground filmmaker George Kuchar (1942-2001) with a Tuesday screening of his 1973 farce "The Devil's Cleavage," showing with his short film "Hold Me While I'm Naked." Also screening at NWFF are the three films commissioned by the 2011 Jeonju Digital Project: Claire Denis' "Aller au Diable," Jose-Luis Guerine's "Memories of Morning" and Jean-Marie Straub's "An Heir," all showing Wednesday and Thursday. NWFF, 1515 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-267-5380 or www.nwfilmforum.org.

Play it again, Sam: "Casablanca" celebrates its 70th anniversary with a return to theaters on Wednesday only, presented by Turner Classic Movies and Fathom Events. TCM host Robert Osborne will introduce and discuss the film in a special pre-screening broadcast. Participating local theaters include Pacific Place, Thornton Place, Bella Bottega, Alderwood, Southcenter and more; for additional information, see www.fathomevents.com.

Matthew Bourne's wonderfully dramatic version of "Swan Lake" — which famously uses all male dancers for the swan ensemble — will play in movie theaters Tuesday only, in a 3-D version recorded at Sadler's Wells Theater in London last year. At Pacific Place and the Federal Way 16 only; see www.fathomevents.com for more information.

And finally, this weekend's midnight movie at the Egyptian is "Labyrinth," the 1986 fantasy adventure directed by Jim Henson and starring David Bowie and a very young Jennifer Connelly. Friday and Saturday only; 805 E. Pine St., Seattle; 206-781-5755 or www.landmarktheatres.com.

Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or mmacdonald@seattletimes.com

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