Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Now playing at SIFF Cinema: Amazing films from UA

The United Artists 90th Anniversary series has started playing at SIFF Cinema, and I plan to warm up for the Festival by getting my fill of some old-school masterpieces. My picks:

Annie Hall playing Friday, May 9th @ 7pm (followed by Manhattan @ 9 if you're looking for some double feature Woody Allen action).

West Side Story, Saturday May 10th @ 2 and 8pm (the first musical to win my heart - and I don't generally like musicals).

Some Like it Hot, Sunday May 11th @ 2:15pm

Dr. No/Goldfinger Double Feature on Sunday, May 18th @ 2/6pm or 4/8pm (HELLO Sean Connery Bond!)

And,AePThe Manchurian Candidate on Monday, May 19th @ 7pm (I've never actually seen this original - only the remake. I'm kind of a Liev Schreiber fangirl).

Whether or not I'll make it to all of those has not been determined yet, but I love that SIFF is giving me the opportunity to go see some greats on the big screen. Tickets are just $10 each (cheaper for members), or if you're feeling hardcore you can grab a pass for all twenty-one films for $100 ($85 for SIFF Supporters!). You can see the full schedule here.

SIFF Cinema is located at 321 Mercer Street at 3rd Avenue, McCaw Hall.


  1. Heaven's GateMay 2, 2008 at 8:35 AM

    Does anyone else think its odd that none of the founders of U/A, Charles Chaplin, Mary Pickford, Douglas Fairbanks, and D.W. Griffith are represented in this program? Seems like SIFF is missing a huge part of U/A history. Aren't they supposed to provide a context for what U/A is in the programming? I just don't see it. Instead it seems little opportunistic.

  2. That's an interesting comment - I hadn't thought about it that way at all. SIFF does credit Chaplin, Pickford, Fairbanks and Griffith in their description of the series and the studio. The context is explained as follows:
    "Our tribute spans the mid-'50s to 1980-when UA was at the heights of its powers-with many beautiful new 35mm prints. Happy Anniversary United Artists!"
    It would be great if they showcased films from the founders at some point, but if you think about it, there could be a hundred different reasons why they chose to focus on the films they are showing now. I don't think it means they are ignoring, or snubbing the earlier films in any way.

  3. I think the series was kind of pre-selected by UA, and SIFF programmers just chose from what they were offering. If you look at the UA-published souvenir booklet that accompanies the series, the silent era is nothing more than a footnote, while they give place of honor to, say, For Your Eyes Only. SIFF did a good job of selecting from what was offered, picking out a nice variety of relative rarities (when's the last time Marty screened in Seattle, or even The Great Escape), and acknowledged classics. Of course, any film buff could select an entirely different UA tribute (Showgirls, anyone?)

  4. Heaven's GateMay 7, 2008 at 8:48 AM

    I'll point out the Film Forum New York's program as an example of how it could've been done. I think they took the easy road actually. Take a look back at the NY program of the series and you'll see what I mean.

  5. That is indeed a very impressive selection. It can be found here:
    Had that been the program playing at the SIFF Cinema, my attendance would have doubled, at least. Still, SIFF had to keep it short in order to clear space for the actual Film Festival, and the other events that will be happening in the space in the next couple of weeks. It would have been nice if they'd waited for the summer to launch the UA retro, and do it more expansively.