At times I recognize the existential dilemma of being a film lover in Seattle: Sometimes there are so many choices that one decides not to do anything at all. The temptation to do nothing will be especially accute this week, with so many festivals coming to town. My only request is that you head out and see something, instead of buckling under the flood of movies and staying home.

One hub of activity this week is the Varsity, where the InFACT Theatrical Documentary Showcase kicks off with an evening with Richard Schickel (Thurs Nov 6). For some film critics, words are not enough. This is especially true for Schickel, longtime film critic for Time magazine, who has supplemented his writing by directing documentaries on films and filmmakers. His latest is Charlie: The Life and Art of Charlie Chaplin, and he's in town to present it; after the screening he'll sit down with Movieline critic Stephen Farber for a spirited discussion.

InFACT continues for a week, with repeated showtimes to accommodate your schedule. I've heard Bus 174 is not to be missed, and the Hunter S. Thompson movie Breakfast with Hunter sounds good. The full lineup is at

Maybe you're in the mood for some award-winning Polish films. Well, you're in luck. The 12th Annual Seattle Polish Film Festival opens for the first of two weekends at the Broadway Performance Hall. The opening-night film, When the Sun Was God--An Ancient Tale, will have a gala with the director present. For more information, call 901-0146 or go to Elsewhere, the 12th Annual Seattle Human Rights Film Festival continues at 911 Media Arts Center and closes on November 9 with a day full of screenings at the Seattle Art Museum. For more info on that, go to

Saturday, November 8, brings us Finnish Cinema Day at the UW's HUB Auditorium. This is a day of free screenings, and two of the featured actors will be present to introduce the films ( Then again, music might be your bag, in which case you'll want to head to the Little Theatre for Earshot Jazz Films, which includes a Nina Simone movie (Thurs-Fri Nov 6-7), the space-age Sun Ra movie Space Is the Place (Sat-Sun Nov 8-9), and a collection of "Jazz Transmissions" on Tuesday, November 11.

Other visiting filmmakers this week: Paul Hannum will present his movie The Real Old Testament (Fri-Sun Nov 7-9) at Consolidated Works; producer Randy Baker will talk about making Fear and Favor in the Newsroom after a screening (Sun Nov 9) at the Independent Media Center; and author Jack Stevenson will be at the Little Theatre on Wednesday, November 12, for a talk about those wacky Dogme filmmakers before a screening of their documentary, The Purified.