Other places don't get this sort of variety, movie-wise. Or if they do, it's not successful enough to sustain itself. Most cities are stuck with whatever corporate cinemas provide, but in Portland, we've got options, and we take advantage: Sure, we'll sell out show after show of There Will Be Blood at Cinema 21, but we'll also turn up in droves for splatter-ific double features at the Grindhouse Film Festival. And yes, it's embarrassing to admit that Portlanders kept What the Bleep Do We Know!? on the big screen for months, but there's also a healthy number of subtitle-lovers who show up for the Portland International Film Festival every year. Maybe the interminable rain has taught Portlanders to appreciate the myriad delights of cinema, much as it's taught us to love the myriad delights of alcohol.
Another example of Portland's genre-defying cinematic tastes can be glimpsed with Supertrash, this weekend's festival of pulp cinema, burlesque, and artwork.
The movies: There's 1985's gory cult classic Re-Animator, 1972's Return of the Dragon (AKA "The Great Bruce Lee vs. Chuck Norris Battle of '72"), John Carpenter and Kurt Russell's near-perfect Big Trouble in Little China (1986), an appearance by the man in the titanium can himself with 1990's RoboCop 2, and George Romero's Night of the Living Dead (1968). And there's more: 1989's Swayze-centric Road House, 1968's druggy Psych Out, Peter Lorre's 1935 Mad Love, and (for some reason) Vincent Gallo's Buffalo '66 (1998).
There'll be live burlesque between the films (for "when movies aren't enuf," brags Supertrash's garish promo material), and Saturday sees the return of the live spoof of talk shows, The Famous Mysterious Actor Show, which features an appearance by the Mercury's own Wm. Steven Humphrey.
And then there's the art: Indie comics publisher Fantagraphics chimes in to put a smarty-pants spin on things with an art show in which artists have recreated classic movie posters in their own styles.
It's an impressive lineup, with a little bit of everything for anyone who can appreciate the bloodier, sexier, and campier sides of Hollywood. Which probably means that here in Portland, Supertrash will do just fine.