23RD ANNUAL REEL MUSIC FEST
The Northwest Film Center's Reel Music Fest continues this week at the Guild and Whitsell. More info: nwfilm.org.
A short doc about the massive worldwide effect that jazz guitarist Django Reinhardt has had. Too bad director Jaime Kastner focuses more on his own travels than Django's fascinating history and brilliant music. (Erik Henriksen)
MUSIC IS MY LIFE, POLITICS IS MY MISTRESS
A look at politically active jazz singer Oscar Brown Jr.
A film about the steel guitar's prevalence in church communities across the US.
PUT A NEEDLE ON THE RECORD
Put a Needle on the Record documents the world of DJs, specifically the breed of house, electro, and jungle. But if you don't already care about this type of music, this doc will hardly make you. (Marjorie Skinner)
14TH ANNUAL PORTLAND JEWISH FILM FESTIVAL
The Northwest Film Center's Jewish Film Festival wraps up this week at the Whitsell and Guild. More info: nwfilm.org.
ISN'T THIS A TIME
A doc about Harold Leventhal, legendary manager o' folk music.
"A warm ensemble comedy that celebrates the multiplicity of Jewish lives in the modern world."
An award-winning doc about the barrier being built to divide Israel and the Palestinian territories.
PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL NATURE AND ENVIRONMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL
Smell that? It's the smell of hippies, getting their patchouli-soaked dreads all twisty in excitement for the PINE Film Fest. The Mercury cares little for hippies or their films; therefore, hit pinefilm.org if you need more info, hippie.
ALONE ACROSS AUSTRALIA
Dude traverses Australia.
It sounds like a porno, but it's actually about "the largest table mountain in the Amazon Basin."
A film about "20 biologists and adventurers" who raised the birds for the film Winged Migration.
THE CONFEDERATE STATES OF AMERICA
A mockumentary about what it'd be like if the South won the Civil War. (Hint: More NASCAR.)
A doc about a 14-year-old who works double shifts in a failing—and frequently fatal—silver mine in Bolivia.
THE DISAPPEARING OF TUVALU
Tuvalu's gonna have to be evacuated because of global warming. Yeah, right. Like global warming exists.
THE FUTURE OF FOOD
Evil corporations like Monsanto have never been required to test the safety of the genetically altered seeds or food they create. The Future of Food deals with this, and it's profoundly horrifying. (Katie Shimer)
A movie about the repercussions of a mining disaster in Northern Quebec.
THE LAND OF THE FALLING LAKES
It's about lakes. In Croatia.
THE OLIVE HARVEST
A Palestinian family struggles with issues in their tumultuous world.
ONE IN EIGHT: JANICE'S JOURNEY
A 33-year-old woman battles breast cancer.
"The planet you live on speaks out" with her "eternal whimsy and wisdom." Did we mention we hate hippies?
RETURN TO KANDAHAR
Director Nelofer Pazira returns to a war-battered Afghanistan.
A filmmaker examines Europe's cultural effect on Argentina.
SHARIF DON'T LIKE IT
That's the way uh-huh uh-huh Sharif don't like it....
A film about young Cambodian girls forced into prostitution.
THE TRAIL OF DARRYL HUNT
A doc about a black man wrongly convicted of a crime.
Venezuela's really poor, even though they've got oil. Discuss.
Annapolis See review this issue.
Big Momma's House 2
Hit portlandmercury.com on Friday, January 27 for our web-exclusive review.
The Californians See review this issue.
The titular garçon stupide is Loïc, an ignorant Swiss dude of 20 who works in a literal chocolate factory by day and, by night, a figurative chocolate factory, as a hustler. The film seems little a than masturbation material (there's lotsa dick) for director Lionel Baier, and while it stops short of being ridiculous, it also strays from being insightful. (Will Gardner)
Go, Cowboy, Go
Richard Linklater's very first feature film was called It's Impossible to Learn to Plow by Reading Books, in which he aimed a Super-8 camera at himself as he loitered in front of bus stations and other odd locales. It's drearily shot, hardly audible, and utterly pointless; subsequently, you'll pretty much never see it screened in public. Which is exactly the fate in store for local Darge Productions' Go, Cowboy, Go, a painful 40 minutes of two bad actors dressed like Kenny Chesney, driving around in a Camaro to a soundtrack by Rick Bain. It's drearily shot, hardly audible, utterly pointless, and subsequently, should never be screened in public. But who knows? Maybe it's the boring, self-indulgent romp director Clint Sargent needed to get out of his system before his real genius can burst through. (Justin Sanders)
The Indigo Evolution
This bullshit just has to be a trick to get you into some lame New Age hippie cult.
Seeing that America's pre-teen populous are apparently only interested in the travails of their British, semi-orphaned counterparts, the faux-gothic Mary Poppins update Nanny McPhee seems readymade to take a bite out of the multiplex market share. Take a half-dozen motherless, delightfully British children, add their lovelorn widower/mortician father and top it all off with the titular, terrifyingly prostheticized caretaker (Emma Thompson), and you've got yourself a just above-average rehash of the same damn children's movie you've been seeing every year since the dawn this century. (Zac Pennington)
Paul Jacobs and the Nuclear Gang
1980's Emmy-winning doc about the government's "suppression of health hazards of low-level radiation." Filmmaker Saul Landau will be in attendance.
Sandra Gibson + Luis Recoder + Daniel Menche
Two New Yorkers and a Portlander team up for an improvised film and sound performance with four projected films and a hypnotic score.
Boring. (Erik Henriksen)
The White Countess See review this issue.