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Tom Tangney’s top 10 picks for SIFF 2017

Every year, KIRO Radio’s movie critic Tom Tangney attends the Seattle International Film Festival. He’s a busy guy, which means he has to choose wisely. You can bet Tom will check out one of these SIFF films (May 19 – June 12).

1) Anjelica Huston Tribute

The Festival is honoring the distinguished actress Anjelica Huston with a screening of her latest film, “Trouble,” and an on-stage interview that will examine her lengthy career. It might have been hard to grow up in the shadow of her legendary father John Huston (and her Oscar-winning grandfather Walter before that), but Anjelica Huston has put her own individual stamp on Hollywood and show business. An Academy-Award winner for “Prizzi’s Honor” and the star of other great films like “The Grifters,” “The Dead,” “The Witches,” and “The Addams Family,” Huston has also carved out a strong career for herself in TV too, most recently in “Smash” and “Transparent.” The author of two autobiographies, Huston is smart, cultured, and fashion-conscious, having also been a top international model.

Runs: Wednesday, June 7, 2017, 7 p.m.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian

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2) Wallflower

A fictional film based on the horrific 2006 late-night massacre at a Capitol Hill house that was home to many in the rave community. Local filmmaker Jagger Gravning says the narrative arc of the killer is not the arc of the film – that it’s more a film about the pursuit of joy and happiness. Count me curious.

Runs: Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 7 p.m.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian

Thursday, June 8, 2017, 3:30 p.m.
SIFF Cinema Uptown
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3) Manifesto

Avant-garde German director Julian Rosefeldt gives Cate Blanchett the role of a lifetime, or rather the roles of a lifetime. The great Australian actress plays 13 wildly different characters, each spouting a distinctive artistic or political manifesto. The words may be the words of famous people but the characters delivering them are anything but – a homeless man, a 5th-grade teacher, a news anchor … Here’s hoping it’s as brilliant as it sounds.

Runs: Monday, May 22, 2017, 9 p.m.
SIFF Cinema Uptown

Friday, May 26, 2017, 7:30 p.m.
SIFF Film Center
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4) Landline

Actress and comedian Jenny Slate had a break-out role in Gillian Robespierre’s “Obvious Child” a couple of years ago and now she’s reunited with Robespierre in “Landline,” a serio-comic film about strained family dynamics. Slate plays one of two sisters who suspect their father of cheating on their mother, a suspicion that is compromised by the sisters’ own lives. John Turturro and Edie Falco play the parents.

Runs: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 5:30 p.m.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian
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5) The Young Karl Marx

Fresh off his Oscar-nominated documentary about James Baldwin, “I Am Not Your Negro,” director Raoul Peck plunges into the 19th century with a reportedly lush period drama about a 26-year-old Karl Marx and his budding friendship with Friedrich Engels. The birth of Communism on the Big Screen anyone?

Runs: Sunday, June 11, 2017, 6 p.m.
Cinerama Theatre

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6) The Net

Talk about topical. On the heels of the election of a new leader in South Korea, and in the midst of the serious saber-rattling of Kim Jong Un, comes a South Korean film about just such tensions. A North Korean fisherman is caught in South Korean waters and suspected of being a spy. A rough interrogation ensues.

Runs: Monday, May 29, 2017, 11 a.m.
SIFF Cinema Egyptian

Tuesday, June 6, 2017, 7 p.m.
SIFF Cinema Uptown

Sunday, June 11, 2017, 3 p.m.
SIFF Cinema Uptown
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7) The Trip to Spain

Michael Winterbottom’s original “The Trip,” starring Steve Coogan and Rob Brydon, was the funniest film I’d seen in years. The premise couldn’t have been any simpler – two guys on a road trip through northern England, supposedly reviewing high-end restaurants, but really just shooting the breeze, hilariously. The follow-up, “The Trip to Italy,” wasn’t quite as funny but the two stars’ improvisational skills were so strong that it was still fun just hanging out with them. I have my fingers crossed that this third go-round will hold its own.

Runs: Saturday, May 20, 2017, 7 p.m.
AMC Pacific Place

Sunday, May 21, 2017, 11 a.m.
SIFF Cinema Uptown
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8) I, Daniel Blake

The big winner at last year’s Cannes Film Festival, this Ken Loach film tells the story of a carpenter with a bad heart who fights the British welfare bureaucracy.

Runs: Friday, June 2, 2017, 7 p.m.
AMC Pacific Place

Monday, June 5, 2017, 4:30 p.m.
AMC Pacific Place
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9) My Journey through French Cinema

Veteran director Bertrand Tavernier does for French film what Martin Scorsese has done in his documentaries about American and Italian movies. Over the course of 3 hours and 10 minutes, Tavernier reviews the high points of French filmmaking and revives some of its unjustly forgotten efforts. How can any movie lover resist this?

Runs: Saturday, June 3, 2017, 3 p.m.
SIFF Film Center

Friday, June 9, 2017, 7 p.m.
SIFF Film Center
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10) Those Redheads from Seattle in 3-D

This is a perfect example of why we need film festivals: to showcase films that we otherwise would never even know existed. “Those Redheads” is a 1953 Technicolor Gold Rush musical about burlesque performers from Seattle. Sounds bloody awful if you ask me, but I wouldn’t miss it for the world!

Runs: Tuesday, May 23, 2017, 6:30 p.m.
SIFF Cinema Uptown

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