Tonight in Seattle:  

The New SIFF Cinema

Seattle International Film Festival

Seattle International Film Festival

In case you haven’t noticed, our movie-crazed city has a new art cinema.

And the Seattle International Film Festival is feeding our fanaticism by offering year-round programming.

Their sure-to-be-gargantuan 2007 festival won’t begin for a couple months yet (and you’ll be hearing a lot about it from me), but SIFF is alive and kicking (and will be, 200 nights per year) in their new flagship: SIFF Cinema, located in the Nesholm Family Lecture Hall at McCaw Hall in Seattle Center. The 400-seat venue is a dream: comfy chairs, great sightlines and sound, amazing new equipment (a state-of-the-art Dolby Digital machine plus two new 35mm projectors), posh restrooms (take note, Harvard and Egyptian), and a slate of programming that is jamming my already-crowded calendar.

The new theater will allow SIFF to book encore performances and longer runs of popular festival offerings (I’m hoping OSS 117: Nest of Spies, which I missed at SIFF 06, makes it to the lineup) and other art house fare that’s passed over by Landmark and NWFF programmers, plus touring programs and retrospectives that wouldn’t have a home elsewhere.

First up is an unmissable series for any good film-lovin’ Seattleite. To commemorate Janus Films’ 50th anniversary (and Criterion’s recent release of a staggering DVD box set of classics from the Janus collection), SIFF is presenting a program of 32 legendary Janus titles at the new venue through April 22. The series includes new 35mm prints of many of the best-loved essentials by some of the world’s greatest cinema artists ever. We’re talking Hitchcock, Bergman, Cocteau, Fellini, Truffaut, and Kurosawa... and that’s naming only a few.

It’s the most extensive presentation of Janus Films outside of New York City, and the only presentation of the series in the Northwest. If there was ever a non-Bumbershoot reason to get yourself to Seattle Center, it’s this.

Current and upcoming events of note:

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