Click here for our guide to every damn movie that's showing this year at SIFF!
They don't call SIFF America's biggest film festival just for kicks. Besides corralling 276 feature films (plus a couple dozen shorts packages) from all over the globe, the 2014 Seattle International Film Festival is three and a half weeks long, which means you have almost an entire month to dive into SIFF, get sick of it and ignore it for a while, then dive back in all over again.
Even better, the 2014 festival contains more great stuff than any SIFF ever. Compelling proof of this fact is found all over SIFF 2014, starting with the opening-night film, JIMI: All Is by My Side, John Ridley's multifaceted snapshot of the fledgling Jimi Hendrix, starring André Benjamin of OutKast and boasting a depth and nuance rarely found in rock biopics. (Bonus: Director Ridley—a recent Oscar winner for his 12 Years a Slave screenplay—will be attending the opening-night gala screening.) The exceptional quality carries on through all of SIFF 2014's special events, from the centerpiece gala screening (Richard Linklater's brand-new, instantly canonical Boyhood, with Linklater in attendance!) to the trio of tribute screening events honoring actor extraordinaire Chiwetel Ejiofor, actor extraordinaire (and David Lynch muse) Laura Dern, and Grammy-hoarding entertainment legend Quincy Jones, each of whom will submit to onstage Q&As before screenings of their signature films.
Beyond the sparkly celebrity events exists a world of good films, great films, and totally effed-up crazy films. What follows in these pages is a guide to every single film that is screening in SIFF 2014, featuring original reviews of more than 120 films—39 of which we enthusiastically recommend, and 23 of which we order you to see at all costs. For a day-by-day breakdown of film screenings, see our awesome online guide at thestranger.com/siff.
For tickets, go to siff.net.
—David Schmader, Film Editor