Casting Call for CBS Reality Show
CBS is searching far and wide for the "Ultimate Maven of Domestic Living." While this premise seems questionable because it reinforces the stereotype that women should bake, sew, garden, and make floral arrangements, Portland does have a lot of crafty ladies who might want to apply. Contestants will live together somewhere in the Northeastern U.S. and spend their days competing in various home-keeping related tasks. Apply at www.cbs.com, including a two-minute videotape demonstrating why you're a great candidate, and two color photos with your forms; Or, see casting producers on Saturday, June 5 from 10 am-5 pm by the Skidmore Fountain at Saturday Market, or Sunday, June 6 from 11 am-6 pm at Pepsi Waterfront Village at the Rose Fest.
13 Going on 30
It's 1987 and 13-year-old Jenna wants nothing more than to grow up and become the editor of her favorite fashion mag, Poise. In her way is a group of horrid junior high bitches, and her fat neighbor who carries a Casio and a huge crush. After a particularly traumatic experience, Lil' Jenna uses "wishing dust" to become Big Jenna--a 30-year-old knockout with a closet full of shoes, a hot boyfriend, and her dream job. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Regal Cinemas, etc.
* Archaeology Film Series
For the first week of the Kiggins' Theater film series, they'll be showing The Lost Memory of Easter Island, which follows Italian archaeologist Giuseppe Orifici as he tries to discover the origins of the people who settled on the island by looking at their ceremonial centers, caves, sculptures, and petroglyphs. Following is The House of Hermogenes, an animated 3-D reconstruction of a typical house in the ancient Greek city of Priene, and Return to Belaye: A Rite of Passage about a Senegalese man who must undergo the initiation into manhood by his childhood tribe. Kiggins Theater
A horribly annoying Mickey Rourke plays Charles Bukowski in this depressing film about sloppy drunkeness. Blind Onion
* Best of Broadcast
The Broadcast film collective has been building a community over the last four years with open-forum screenings of local independent films. Tonight see the audience picks for the best shorts. Guild Theater
Mildly depressed and almost completely wooden faced, Bunny Barzynski is sleepwalking through life, supposedly shell-shocked from the horror of his childhood. Being an 18-year-old slacker in New York City is hard! And trying to put the pieces of his future together, well that's not easy either. Will he start college in the city? Will he find a nice girl? Will he follow his dreams of moving to London and finding his long lost sister? None of these questions are in the least bit intriguing in this low budget picture with big hopes of evoking such great films as L.I.E. and Igby Goes Down. Bun Bar is only marginally successful with sub-par acting, clichés galore, a paper-thin script, and completely undeveloped characters. I found it difficult to watch. Only some pretty cinematography from Christian Huguenot made it palatable. My advice: if you want to hear a tale of woe from a mop-headed indierocker, just belly up to your local bar and buy one a drink; their story is probably more compelling. (Michael Svoboda) Sabala's Mt Tabor Theatre
The Academy Award Winner for Best Foreign Film, this 1997 film from the Netherlands is dark and brooding, and full of lonely lovers, war, rain, ambition, and dark alleys. Does it really matter what the plot is about? It's about fatalism. What is the Film Center thinking? It's summertime! Whitsell Auditorium
* The Cockettes
A funny, well-constructed video documentary about a troupe of revolutionary, socialist, hippie, drag queen midnight-movie performers in San Francisco in the--surprise!--late '60s. They took a lot of drugs, broke a lot of rules, and sucked a lot of cocks, and everyone loved them. But once they took their show to New York, they discovered that hipster and hippie didn't match. Features interviews with survivors and witnesses (including John Waters), and opens a window into one of the most unusual cultural miscegenations in semi-recent history. Also: genitals! (Sean Nelson) Cinema 21
* The Day After Tomorrow
The Day After Tomorrow is a summer blockbuster--an all-purpose film, meant to entertain you and me and popcorn-huffing Middle Americans and apocalypse-watchers and the Jake Gyllenhaal Fan Club alike--and in the interim, hopefully earn back some of the 100 million clams it dropped on special-effecting the Empire State Building to freeze up and bend over. But that's just gravy. The Day After Tomorrow is, in actuality, a two-hour-long, stern visual memo from director Roland Emmerich to George W. Bush RE: his absentee environmental policies, and it couldn't be more awesome. Okay, it could be more awesome--but it's more interesting than you might expect. (Julianne Shepherd) Regal Cinemas, etc.
* Edward Scissorhands
An Avon lady harkens upon Edward (played by Johnny Depp), a loving boy with scissors for hands. She good-naturedly brings him back to her suburban neighborhood, but society has difficulty accepting him. Fifth Avenue Cinemas
Ginger & Cinnamon
This Italian film is about a series of silly goof-ups and mild-mannered solutions. An Italian woman looking to get away from her routine and her drab boyfriend escapes to Greece. But what she doesn't know is that her (blossoming) 14-year-old niece has tagged along. Guild Theater
* Good bye, Lenin
In 1989, Alexander Kerner (Daniel Brühl) is a young East Berliner not beginning, as he had hoped, a career in space, but one as a TV repairman. Though not happy about his situation, Alexander is not an angry youth, nor is he openly hostile to his mother, whose faith in the Socialist Party contradicts his emerging political beliefs. During a protest against the state, which is brutally repressed by the police, Alexander's mother chances to see him being beaten and arrested by the very cops who serve the party that she is devoted to. The mother faints and has a heart attack, which sends her into a coma. During her sleep, the Berlin Wall falls, East Germany dissolves into West Germany, and the society changes its money, its clothes, its entire mode of material existence. After eight months, the mother awakes, but because she is frail, the doctor strongly recommends that her recovery not be shaken by shocks and surprises. It's at this point that Good Bye, Lenin! becomes interesting. (Charles Mudede) Laurelhurst
* Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.
One of the most endearing films about a tortured artist, this 1958 film portrays a cranky Bohemian painter who lives somewhere between fame and poverty. He freeloads, even though the National Gallery is hosting a retrospective of his work. He wants to paint an expansive mural of Lazarus, but his patrons only want pictures that go with the interior design. Whitsell Auditorium
A spoof on how science can make for more efficient living, the fictional Swedish Home Research Institute sends observers to examine kitchen habits in 1950s Norway. The subtext of this gentle comedy is a homosexual love story. The "text" is much less interesting. Beware: your grandparents will love it. (Andy Spletzer) Cinemagic
La Vie Promise
Some films make you say, "The horror, the horror," like that movie about the dumbest animals in the universe, camels (The Story of the Weeping Camel). Other films make you say, "The waste, the waste," which is certainly the case with La Vie Promise. What's wasted is Isabelle Huppert's talent. Beautiful as always, Huppert plays a Nice prostitute on the run from a murder she did not commit, as well as some very mean pimps. She also has an unhappy daughter, and a mind that is in the process of dissolving. None of this, however, is convincing. The French government should make it a crime to waste the fine gifts of Isabelle Huppert. (Charles Mudede) Hollywood Theatre
* The Last Waltz & Gimme Shelter
Scorsese proves he can RAWK with this loving documentary about The Band's final performance. Afterwards see the Rolling Stones tour documentary Gimme Shelter which chronicles the tragic California concert where the Hell's Angels went apeshit on the fans. XV
The story of a street urchin who bounces in and out of a strict reformatory school. The film was nominated for the Golden Palm at the first Cannes Film Festival, but never received the award because the festival was cancelled when World War II broke out. Whitsell Auditorium
This is the Netherlands apology to the Dutch Indies. A middling bureaucrat tries to do the right thing but is thwarted by his corrupt superiors who are making good money on their exploitation. Whitsell Auditorium
Mayor of the Sunset Strip
"What do you think is so special about mingling with celebrities?" That question, and the failure by any of this film's many interviewees to answer it even partially, is the bleeding heart of a great documentary. Though the nominal subject of this piece is faded Los Angeles deejay Rodney Bingenheimer, the movie is a lot more interested in Bingenheimer's tattered Hollywood milieu than in presenting a simple has-been's biography. (Sean Nelson) Laurelhurst
* Mean Girls
Mean Girls is no Heathers--it lacks the surreal quality of the teenage years, the quality that's found a strange but correct analogue in supernatural teen dramas like Buffy the Vampire Slayer and Sabrina the Teenage Witch--but it's pretty good. Really, when you think about what sort of crap is out there for teenagers, about how teenagers live and interact and what Hollywood thinks is at stake for them (Chasing Liberty, anyone?), Mean Girls starts to look great. It's funny, lively, and smart, with a couple of characters who seem realer than not, and had I seen it as a teenager it might have changed something for me. Regal Cinemas, etc.
Jodie Foster plays Nell, a girl raised in the backwoods of North Carolina by her mother, who had been afflicted by a stroke. Because Nell has never interacted with anyone except her impaired mother, her speech is gibberish and she has no knowledge of social conventions. Then along comes a mean scientist and a nice doctor who battle over Nell's future. PSU Smith Memorial Union Rm 225
* Once Upon a Time in the West
Released in 1968, starring Henry Fonda, and co-written by Bernardo Bertolucci, an epic tale of a woman who loses her husband only to be threatened herself by the man who killed him. Laurelhurst
Osama is not directly about bin Laden. The film is about a little girl forced to disguise herself as a boy to prevent her jobless mother and grandmother from starving under the oppressive Taliban regime--subtle. It's a fantastic film, with invaluable historic significance, but a devastatingly joyless experience. (Marjorie Skinner) Laurelhurst
* Passion of Board
Hammersurf, a Northwest surfboard company, will unveil the winners of its Proven in the Northwest film contest. The top 10 independent surfing, snowboarding, and skating films show tonight. Followed by an after-party sponsored by Rockstar, Liquid Vodka, and 360 Vinyl. Hollywood Theatre
Mothers' Day doesn't have to end! If you can't get enough of that springtime female energy, drag it out by seeing Raising Helen, the latest from cheese-peddlin' director Garry Marshall. It stars Kate Hudson as glamorous party girl Helen, who is entrusted with the custody of her dead sister and brother-in-law's three kids. Not that Helen's deft enough to walk a tightrope, but it does perform a precarious balancing act between the gravity of its plot and its image as pop-culture confection. It's a dynamic that might have worked, had it been a darker comedy. (Marjorie Skinner) Regal Cinemas, etc.
* The Return See review this issue. Cinema 21
The Saddest Music In the World
This is one hell of a film--or so it insists. From the very beginning it assaults its audience with the assertion that it is arty, deep, and important. This is first presented by the film's look--dark, grainy black-and-white that's purposely smeared so that the edges of every scene and figure are blurred and distorted. It's pretty uncomfortable to watch, and the bizarre storyline only exacerbates the disorienting effects. Set in Winnipeg during the Great Depression, the film is about a wealthy beer baroness (Isabella Rossellini) who throws a radio contest to see which country produces the saddest music in the world (and to sell beer to the depressed masses, especially the Americans terrorized by prohibition). Representatives from all over the globe come to face off, tournament-style. Curiously, most of the music in this film is quickly cut short, squandering an opportunity to showcase a limitless range of powerful styles. Also, curiously, most of the music really doesn't seem all that sad. (Marjorie Skinner) Cinemagic
The story of Australian pianist David Helfgott, who struggles with the demands of his father, his own mental illness, and his obsession with the extremely complicated Rachmaninoff Piano Concerto No. 3. Nominated for seven Academy Awards. Fifth Avenue Cinemas
Shrek 2 can best be described with a shrug. As in: it's fine, no big deal, just what you would expect. It is a harmless homerun--uninspired, for the most part (especially when compared to the original), but certainly watchable. This, I'm well aware, is not high praise, but then Shrek 2 is impervious to both praise and derision; safe and cozy thanks to the massive success of its predecessor, the film can just sit back and patiently tally what is sure to be its massive profit. (Bradley Steinbacher) Regal Cinemas, etc.
A Slipping Down Life
Lili Taylor and Guy Pearce star in this 1999 film about a small-town woman who becomes obsessed with a barroom country musician. Fox Tower 10
Tom Arnold, Snoop Dogg, and Method Man star in this film about the first black-owned airline, which features hydraulics, subwoofers, and big booty stewardesses. Regal Cinemas, etc.
The Spanish Earth
A globetrotting documentary-maker plunges into the frontlines of the Spanish Civil War. Commentary supplied by Ernest Hemingway and narrated by Orson Welles. This is a remarkable window to another time, place, and mindset. Whitsell Auditorium
Since stupidity runs rampant, it's amazing the subject has never been given a full scientific treatment. However, documentarian Albert Nerenberg and his film Stupidity, have taken a step in the right direction. The first thing we learn about stupidity is that none of the people interviewed can define it. However, they do seem to know it when they see it. Nerenberg makes the case that in actuality, we know much more about the concept of intelligence--even though stupidity causes much more damage in the world. Using experts, Nerenberg gives us a guided tour of how 20th-Century scientists developed the I.Q. (intelligence quotient) test, and the surprising origins of words like "idiot," "moron," and "imbecile." An even more interesting theory is how corporations, politicians, and the entertainment industry have learned to use "stupidity" to sell their products. (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Clinton Street Theater
* Super Size Me
In an inspired bout of artistic commitment, Morgan Spurlock set aside a month during which he ate nothing but McDonald's. The effects of this endeavor were astounding. He put on 30 pounds in 30 days, suffered periods of intense chest pain, shortness of breath, and was told by multiple doctors that if he continued at his unorthodox eating he would die from liver failure within six months. As the movie progresses, a palpable sense of dread mounts, as Spurlock continues to stuff McNuggets and french fries in the face of terrible health reports. (Justin Sanders) Fox Tower 10
Playing out something like the Cliffs Notes version of Homer's enormous epic poem, The Illiad, on which it's based, Troy attempts to conquer a huge amount of territory, but has no battle plan. (Katie Shimer) Regal Cinemas, etc.
Hugh Jackman plays Van Helsing, a long-haired Nancy-boy, who is paid by the Vatican to run around Europe and kill monsters, and who's eventually sent to Transylvania to kill Dracula. On his journey, he meets up with a sweet piece of ass (Kate Beckinsale) who also wants to kill Dracula because--surprise!--he killed her family. BUT! Unbeknownst to them, Drac has an evil scheme in mind! (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Regal Cinemas, etc.
* The Warriors See review this issue. Clinton Street Theater
* What the Fuck Do We Know?
What the #$*! Do We Know?, is a tidy, slick, and thoroughly compelling documentary-infused narrative, which attempts to break the ice of quantum physics without putting us to sleep. The dramatized portions follow a few days in the life of Portland photographer Amanda, as she deals with her separation from a cheating husband. (Brian Brait) Bagdad Theater, Hollywood Theatre