One of the city’s sweetest holiday traditions kicks off Friday: Frank Capra’s wondrous “It’s a Wonderful Life” settles in for its 42nd annual December run at the Grand Illusion. It plays most afternoons and evenings (including Christmas Eve and Christmas Day) through Dec. 27. 1403 N.E. 50th St., Seattle; 206-523-3935 or www.grandillusioncinema.org. “Merry Christmas, movie house!”
Looking for a holiday gift? Seattle Art Museum is selling passes for its winter film series: “Viva Italia: Italian Film from Fellini to Commedia All’Italiana.” The series begins Jan. 10 with Federico Fellini’s “Nights of Cabiria” and continues on Thursday nights through March 7, with films featuring the likes of Sophia Loren (“Marriage, Italian Style”), Anna Magnani (“Mamma Roma”) and Marcello Mastroianni (“Divorce, Italian Style,” “La Dolce Vita”). All films screen in 35mm. Series passes are $68 for nine films ($63 for SAM, SIFF, NWFF and TheFilmSchool members) and available through the SAM box office at 206-654-3121 or firstname.lastname@example.org. For more information on the series: www.seattleartmuseum.org.
The Festival of the Archives screens at SIFF Cinema at the Uptown this weekend, with 13 newly restored movie classics including “All About Eve,” “Alien,” “The Spy Who Loved Me,” “The Parent Trap,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” “Singin’ in the Rain” and more. Each title will be introduced by a film archivist who will discuss its restoration. (For a preview, go to www.seattletimes.com and search for “Festival of the Archives.”) On Wednesday (aka 12/12/12), the End of the World As We Know It Apocalypse Film Festival begins and continues through Dec. 20, with such end-of-the-world films as “Dr. Strangelove,” “Planet of the Apes,” “Shaun of the Dead’ (my personal favorite) and more. The festival continues through Dec. 20; tickets are $10 per film. Uptown, 511 Queen Anne Ave. N., Seattle; 206-324-9996 or www.siff.net.
Northwest Film Forum, in association with Seattle Met, presents the three-day series “Screen Style,” featuring favorite movies from a panel of Seattle fashionistas. The films include “Purple Noon” (Friday at 8 p.m.), “Rockers” (Saturday at 8 p.m.), “The Passion of Anna” (Sunday at 5 p.m.) and “Beau Travail” (Sunday at 8 p.m.). The series includes a free panel discussion Saturday at 5 p.m. Also at NWFF this week: the music film “Valtari Film Experiment” (Friday through Sunday), in which a dozen filmmakers took inspiration from a Sigur Rós song; a free “Home Movie Day” Saturday at 10 a.m.; and a New Dance Cinema collection of dance-themed short films on Monday at 7 p.m. All events take place at 1515 12th Ave., Seattle; 206-267-5380 or www.nwfilmforum.org.
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“The Art of Flight 3D,” an action sports film about snowboarding (featuring Travis Rice and other athletes), will screen at Pacific Place on Friday only, at 7 p.m.; tickets are $15.50 and available through www.artofflightmovie.com.
The Olympia Film Society presents a benefit screening Sunday of “No God, No Master,” a crime drama about political oppression in 1919 starring David Strathairn. Admission (suggested donation $5-$15) will go to support the imprisoned Olympia grand jury resisters Katherine Olejnik and Matt Duran. The event will include a Q&A with director Terry Green via Skype. 7:30 p.m. at the Historic Capitol Theater, 206 Fifth Ave. S.E., Olympia; for more information, see www.olympiafilmsociety.org.
And finally, in honor of “Hitchcock” (now in theaters, starring Anthony Hopkins in the title role), “Psycho” settles in for a midnight weekend at the Egyptian, so you can compare and contrast Janet Leigh and Scarlett Johansson. Friday and Saturday only, 805 E. Pine St., Seattle; 206-781-5755 or www.landmarktheatres.com.
Moira Macdonald: 206-464-2725 or email@example.com