Spotlight on South Korean pix, Goldblum retro included

VANCOUVER — The 29th Annual Seattle International Film Festival kicks off Thursday, May 22, with a U.S. bow of the Buenos Aires-set “Valentin.” And it closes a whopping 23 days later, on June 15, with a gala screening of the French hit “Jet Lag,” a comic romancer toplining calendar straddlers Juliette Binoche and Jean Reno

In between, about 220 other pics will unspool, with more than 50 world and international preems on tap. The world bows are Japan¹s “The Hunter and the Hunted,” the Canadian “Time of the Wolf,” and a dozen, mostly low-budget Yank offerings: Uli Edel¹s “Caesar,” Stuart Gordon¹s “King Of the Ants,” “Alone Against the Sea,” “Crude,” “Dominoes,” “Freedom¹s Fury,” “A Great Wonder,” “Limelight,” “The Naked Proof,” “Nate Dogg,” “Nudity Required,” “Overnight,” “Westender,” and “Tribal Journey: Celebrating Our Ancestors,” a docu from Scott Macklin.

North American preems include Germany¹s “Big Girls Don¹t Cry” and “They¹ve Got Knut,” U.K. helmer Michael Winterbottom¹s new “In This World,” the British-Cambodian co-pro “Belonging,” Italy¹s “Gasoline,” France¹s “The Butterfly,” the Russian “Black Ice,” Sweden¹s “Elina” and “Kopps,” Singapore¹s “I Not Stupid,” China¹s “Me and Dad,” and the Johnnie To-helmed “P.T.U.” and Mabel Cheung¹s “Traces of the Dragon: Jackie Chan and His Lost Family,” both from Hong Kong.

Other fest highlights are a spotlight on South Korean films, a gala screening of New Zealand¹s “Whale Rider,” and retrospective evenings with thesp Jeff Goldblum and FX wizard Ray Harryhausen.

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