2005 LESBIAN AND GAY FILM FESTIVAL

For more on the fest, see "All Gayed Up and Nowhere to Go" on pg 53. For more on the fest's parties and events, hit www.plgff.org. And check next week's Mercury for info on shows playing on Oct 22-Oct 23, when the fest moves from Cinema 21 to the Hollywood Theatre.

THE AGGRESSIVES
A documentary about women who dress as men for NYC's drag balls. Cinema 21

APRIL'S SHOWER
Alex (Trish Doolan) prepares to host a wedding shower. Guests arrive and eventually discover that Alex has a secret in this comedy. (It's probably a good bet that the secret involves gayness.) Cinema 21

ADAM & STEVE
See review this issue.
Cinema 21

CÔTE D'AZUR
See review this issue.
Cinema 21

DORIAN BLUES
See review this issue.
Cinema 21

THE DYING GAUL
The self-expression of a gay screenwriter (the awesome Peter Sarsgaard) collides with sex and business in this drama. Cinema 21

EL FAVOR
A comedy about two Argentinean lesbians who want to have a kid—by having one of the women sleep with the other woman's brother. Insemination shenanigans ensue! Cinema 21

GIRLS SHORTS
Five short films for the lesbians. Cinema 21

GUYS AND BALLS
A film about an all-gay soccer team. And yeah, that title's for real. Cinema 21

SARAH S. SILVERMAN : JESUS IS MAGIC
Sarah Silverman's new comedy. It's weird this is screening at the fest, since Silverman's not gay—she's dating Jimmy Kimmel. Even weirder: The fact that Sarah Silverman is dating Jimmy Kimmel. Cinema 21

LIFE IN A BOX
A documentary about a gay singing duo, Y'all, who met up with a third man, causing them to fall in three-way love. Cinema 21

LOGGERHEADS
See review this issue. Cinema 21

MARGARET CHO: ASSASSIN
Margaret Cho's latest comedy concert. Though it might be cooler if she really was an assassin. Cinema 21

NIGHT WATCH
See review this issue. Cinema 21

SÉVIGNÉ
A Spanish drama about a theater director who examines her life. Cinema 21

TRANSAMERICA
A transsexual woman (Felicity Huffman) finds that when she was a man, she accidentally had a son. Awk-ward! Cinema 21

WHERE THE TRUTH LIES
See review this issue. Cinema 21

WINTER PASSING
A young actress returns home to her estranged family, where she meets the strange friends of her father (Ed Harris)—a former grad student (Amelia Warner) and a musician caretaker (Will Ferrell). Cinema 21


10 Skies
Experimental filmmaker James Benning's "companion film" to 13 Lakes. Here, he shoots 10 different skies from his backyard in Southern California. Guild

13 Lakes
The latest from experimental filmmaker James Benning, shot at—yep—13 different lakes. Guild

9 Songs
To clear this up right off the bat, Michael Winterbottom's 9 Songs is perhaps best approached not as the piece of respectable art-house cinema it purports to be, but rather what it actually is—well-shot pornography. It's appropriate to lower the bar here for the sake of both the viewer and the filmmaker, as it's really the only way that either party can comfortably justify their involvement with this exercise in the universal tedium of mechanical sex, shitty drugs, and monotonous rock 'n' roll. As fairly straight porn, on the other hand? Not, uh... not too bad. Over the course of a year's worth of vignettes (read: sex scenes), two underdeveloped, deeply unlikable lovers play out a relationship set to music. To combat the tedium of asshole shots and blowjobs, Winterbottom splices the sex scenes with poorly shot live footage of rock bands (Dandy Warhols, BRMC, Franz Ferdinand), and monologues over footage of the Antarctic (ham-fisted metaphor alert!). (Zac Pennington) Hollywood Theatre

Atlantic City
Louis Malle and Burt Lancaster: A match made in heaven. Whitsell Auditorium

Bite the Hand Cinema: Psicklops
A ridiculously named event with an even more ridiculous premise: "Though there will be no image, it is a film of sorts, to be watched in the dark all the way through. Psicklops aims to provide an exclusively auditory piece with the point-of-view vocabulary normally limited to visual based cinema." The Know

Calcutta
For a documentary filmed almost 40 years ago, with little narration and no cinematic flourishes, Louis Malle's Calcutta is surprisingly compelling. Malle is obviously fascinated with Indian culture, but he neither glorifies nor condemns it. Instead, whether filming lepers, religious rites, or rich people playing golf, Malle's persistent camera is unflaggingly curious and driven by an infectious desire to explore the culture differences between East and West. (Alison Hallett) Whitsell Auditorium

The Dean's Wife
It's "smut night" at the Clinton St., with the X-rated The Dean's Wife—a tale about swingers who "dose an establishment figure with LSD and have an orgy in his house." Nice work, swingers! Clinton Street Theater

Domino
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Elizabethtown
See review this issue. Regal Cinemas, etc.

Everything is Illuminated
In paring down Jonathan Safran Foer's novel—which takes place in both a centuries-old shtetl and a modern, history-scarred Europe—first-time director Liev Schreiber takes the tidy approach of just leaving half the book out. (It's the artier shtetl half, for those wondering.) Unfortunately, most of Foer's themes and heart come from those pages; in excising the more difficult and historically tricky chunk of the book, Schreiber has made an enjoyable enough film that has all the quirks of Foer's work with none of the impact. (Erik Henriksen) Fox Tower 10

The Fog
Not screened for critics (Read: "No reviews are better than bad reviews"), this remake of John Carpenter's The Fog has one thing going for it: The AWESOME washboard abs of Tom Welling (from TV's Smallville). Sure, his acting skills are somewhat less refined than an all-chimp production of Hamlet, but I'm sure he'll take off his shirt at least once, causing you to say, "Ohhhh... so THIS is what all the fuss is about!" (Wm. Steven Humphrey) Regal Cinemas, etc

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The Future of Food
I admit, I'm a sucker for conspiracy theories—but this shit is real! Because assholes like Dan Quayle, George Bushes I and II, John Ashcroft, and even the Food and Drug Administration are in cahoots with profoundly evil corporations like Monsanto, the company has never been required to test the safety of the genetically altered seeds or food they create. The Future of Food deals with all this, and it's profoundly horrifying. (Katie Shimer) Hollywood Theatre

Ganges: River to Heaven
Exactly the type of documentary you want to run across when you're stoned and channel surfing at two in the morning. By turns absorbing, depressing, and creepy, filmmaker Gayle Ferraro's film explores the religious and cultural significance of the Ganges River. Though its waters are considered sacred, the levels of pollution found in the river pose serious health problems. Much of the film takes place at a hospice by the river, and though watching old Indian women die is hardly my idea of a good time, it's nonetheless interesting to see an exploration of the many roles filled by the river. (Alison Hallett) Hollywood Theatre

Good Night, and Good Luck
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10

Junebug
There's a lot of drama goin' on in Junebug, and the film hinges on the ability of its actors to convey a remarkable range of emotion with a relatively taciturn script. But while the script isn't anything special, the cast's compelling acting results in a modest, thoughtful film that quietly exceeds the low standards it sets for itself. (Alison Hallett) Laurelhurst

Mala Noche
See My, What a Busy Week! on pg. 17. Wonder Ballroom

Mirrormask
Artist Dave McKean's status as preferred wallpaperer to the goths is well deserved. Working as a cover artist for, among others, writer Neil Gaiman's legendary Sandman comic series, McKean's compositions incorporate bones, splinters, and junk-store detritus into a darkly creepy whole. Mirrormask, McKean's much-anticipated feature-length directorial debut, shows that whatever his gifts, moving pictures may not yet be his medium. Taken on a shot-by-shot basis, McKean's talents for design are more than evident, with bizarro cityscapes and oddball characters rendered even more impressive by the miniscule $4 million budget. On a whole, however, the results are less Lewis Carroll and more Labyrinth. Working again with Gaiman, McKean has crafted a curious oddity: a unique new world, crammed to the gills with invention, which comes off as almost completely static. A fantasy can be a lot of things, but dull shouldn't be one of them. (Andrew Wright) Fox Tower 10

Murder & Mayhem: An Evening of Short Films by Chris Cooley
Portland filmmaker Chris Cooley's ambition is somewhat astounding. Dude's 21 and he already has a sizeable glut of Super 8, 16mm, and DV shorts, most which flex an impressive knowledge of editing, post-production, and sound mixing. And it's great that the Hollywood Theatre is always game to give local artists a venue to share their stuff, especially those who work as hard as Cooley. And gosh darn it, I wish I could say these films are good—but they're the clear products of a very young person with a lot of sophisticated tools to play with. They look and sound great, but the dialogue—usually in the Tarantino-inspired comedy-crime-violence vein—is across the board terrible, delivered by wooden actors. That being said, narrative moments do stick out, like the sped-up murder clean-up scene in the dark apartment comedy Noise, and the transmogrifying introvert who scratches his own face out of pictures in Identity. Cooley has the seeds of talent and the drive to help them grow, so check him out tonight and throw in some green fertilizer of your own. (Justin Sanders) Hollywood Theatre

My Dinner with Andre
Two men sit in a restaurant and talk about how miserable the world, people, the theater community, and even they themselves are. It all could have been unbearable, really, but director Louis Malle had the brilliant idea to film it as though it was a comedy. That's why it works as well as it does. (Andy Spletzer) Whitsell Auditorium

Nosferatu
F. W. Murnau's truly frightening Nosferatu (1922), the first film adaptation of Bram Stoker's Dracula. With live musical accompaniment by the Devil Music Ensemble. Guild

Proof
Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by David Auburn, Proof looks at a father, Robert (Anthony Hopkins), and daughter, Catherine (Gwyneth Paltrow), both mathematicians who work diligently to discover new, complicated mathematical proofs. Now factor in a profoundly stupid plot (this play won a Pulitzer?), a conclusion completely without climax, an annoying relevance of the word "proof," and the fact that Gwyneth Paltrow never loses her signature "I'm so cute and sad" face for one goddamn second. (Katie Shimer) Fox Tower 10, Century 16 Cedar Hills Crossing, City Center 12, Cinetopia

The Revolution Will Not Be Televised
A documentary following the brief coup d'état involving Venzuealan president Hugo Chavez. The film will be followed by speakers Scott Nova and Liana Foxvog. PSU Smith Memorial Student Union

Roger Corman's Women - Mini Marathon
Four Corman films—The She-Gods of Shark Reef, Wasp Woman, Swamp Woman, and The Last Woman on Earth. What could be better than that? It's only five bucks, that's what. Clinton Street Theater

Separate Lies
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10

State of Fear
A documentary that serves as a collective memory of a 20-year war on terror, fought by Peru's army as they were given complete authority to go after the country's insurgents. For two years after the war ended, testimonies were gathered from over 17,000 Peruvians on their experiences during the war. Be prepared for a brutal 94 minutes of video footage and pictures from the war; the destruction, death and sadness presented will make you feel... well, pretty damn crappy. (Christine Blystone) Guild

The Straight Story & Mulholland Drive
It's a David Lynch double feature! Alberta Street Pub

Super-8 Opera Prima Encore
A program of short films from 10 different artists, with each artist experimenting with Super-8 film. Guild

Two for the Money
The one-two combination of sports and gambling should have been a lock for gripping cinematic excitement: Both have more rollicking highs and lows than a runaway rollercoaster. But instead, Two For The Money—which is billed as a high-octane combination of football, high-stakes gambling, and the power coupling of Al Pacino and Matthew McConaughey—completely flatlines. Instead of testosterone-fueled egotism and head-banging, the movie turns into a treatise on relationships, complete with long candlelit dinners, strolls through New York streets, and tireless talks. Are you kidding me? (Phil Busse) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Unchained
The "latest installment in the New World Disorder series" features some of the most insane mountain bikers in locations all over the world. I was going to make an easy joke ("Why, how EXTREME!"), but... uh... it actually looks kind of cool. (Erik Henriksen) Clinton Street Theater

Waiting
This story of underachieving twentysomethings stuck in dead-end jobs at "ShenaniganZ" (a would-be T.G.I. Fridays), aims squarely below the belt, serving up an hour and a half of oft-annoying, Kevin Smith-inspired sex monologues that are, sadly, more Mallrats than Clerks. That's not to say the sub-Super Troopers ensemble cast doesn't pull off some genuine laughs. The Jay and Silent Bob knockoffs T-Dog (Max Kasch) and Nick (Andy Milonakis) are particularly good, providing ample doses of well-done white gangsta posturing, and Raddimus (Luis Guzmán), the head chef who is obsessed with a staff-wide penis-exposing competition, also delivers enough laughs to liven up this otherwise unmemorable film. Send it back! (Kip Berman) Regal Cinemas, etc.

Wallace & Gromit: The Curse of the Were-Rabbit
Here we have Wallace, a cheese-loving inventor, and his loyal dog, Gromit; for work, the two humanely capture the rabbits that eat up their town's gardens—until a "were-rabbit" shows up to terrorize the town's produce. As amusing as the plot for Nick Park and Steve Box's claymation film can be, the focus here is firmly on the charming characters; just as in his shorts, Park infuses his plasticine creations with more character, love, and humor than most live-action films (or even most live-action people). (Erik Henriksen) Regal Cinemas, etc.

William Eggleston in the Real World
A portrait of modern photographer William Eggleston, with the filmmakers accompanying Eggleston on his cross-country trips and at his base in Memphis. Whitsell Auditorium