SIFF lineup this week a trip down memory lane

  • Thu May 24th, 2012 7:53am
  • Life

By Robert Horton Herald Movie Critic

Some recommendations for the upcoming week at the Seattle International Film Festival.

“Paul Williams Still Alive”: If you were around in the ’70s, you remember the diminutive songwriter-singer Paul Williams, who not only wrote “We’ve Only Just Begun” and “The Rainbow Connection,” but also popped up as a quick-witted guest on talk shows and game shows.

Filmmaker Stephen Kessler intrudes on Williams’ present-day life in a variety of ways — some amusing, some annoying — but it’s nice to see Williams still plugging away. Tonight, 6:30 p.m., Egyptian; Saturday, 1 p.m., Uptown.

“Rebellion”: Actor-director Mathieu Kassovitz does an admirable job of depicting a real-life 1988 incident, when an insurgent uprising in the French possession New Caledonia coincided with a presidential election in France; political issues dictate the handling of a hostage crisis, with disastrous results. Saturday, 6 p.m., Everett Performance Hall.

“The Snows of Kilimanjaro”: One of those rare movies that depict human goodness as a believable option for behavior in the world.

A staunchly left-leaning middle-class couple in Marseilles have their ideals tested when they experience employment loss and a violent crime; veteran director Robert Guediguian guides this with a wise touch that never feels sentimental. Saturday, 9 p.m., Uptown; Monday, noon, Harvard Exit.

“Two for the Road”: Stanley Donen’s 1967 film about a couple, refracted through different European trips in the twosome’s life and presented in a tricky, time-tripping structure.

A memorable movie, especially when the couple is played by Audrey Hepburn and Albert Finney. (A new “4K digital restoration” is promised.) Sunday, 2:30 p.m., Uptown.

“Fat Kid Rules the World”: This generous-hearted movie looks at a chubby Seattle teen who finds some solace in the local music scene. Directed by the actor Matthew Lillard. Monday, 6 p.m., Everett Performing Arts Center.

“The Ambassador”: Both outrageous and outraged, this documentary follows journalist Mads Brugger as he bribes his way to an African ambassadorship and demonstrates how the illegal trade in blood diamonds can function with full diplomatic immunity.

A movie both shocking and hilarious. Tuesday, 6 p.m., Everett Performing Arts Center.

“The French Connection”: In conjunction with an upcoming appearance by director William Friedkin, here’s the Oscar-winning best picture of 1971, with Gene Hackman as rogue cop “Popeye” Doyle, a dynamo turned loose in Friedkin’s gritty vision of the urban jungle. Tuesday, 7 p.m., Uptown.

“Eden”: Seattle-based director Megan Griffiths brings a strong hand to this based-on-fact story of a young woman kidnapped into sex slavery, a film with an uncanny sense of what to include and what to leave out about this harrowing tale. Tuesday, 8:30 p.m., Everett Performing Arts Center.

“Keyhole”: The Canadian goof Guy Maddin directs this black-and-white excursion into bizarre world, which blends the gangster picture with the haunted-house movie, but might just be a really, really puzzling purgatory. Wednesday, 6:30 p.m., Uptown.

For information on securing tickets (there are a variety of different methods), you can visit siff.net, which also has a full calendar to browse through.