Decrypter & more
Clinton Street Theater

July 16-18

This whole goddamn weekend is insane at the Clinton St. Theater! Programmer Seth Sonstein kicks things off on Friday with "Seth's Birthday Bash," celebrating with beer, pizza, and two of his favorite movies, Repo Man and Fletch. Then, on Saturday at midnight, it's the biannual "Over 18" screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show. (Sonstein promises "massive amounts of debauchery.") And then, Sunday's "Bring Your Dog to the Movies Day"--featuring 80 minutes of "classic dog movies" and free doggy treats! Hell yeah! Free doggy treats!

All right, let me calm down here for a minute... okay... whew... breathe... doggy treats.... Okay. Now I can talk about the Clinton's other weekend event, the world premiere of Colin O'Neill's Decrypter. This film screens ONLY on Saturday and ONLY at 9:30 pm, but unless you're acquainted with the cast and crew, don't bother planning around it. I despise saying that about a truly independent, 100% local, feature-length film, but I have no choice: Decrypter is just not enjoyable to watch.

Decrypter is one of those "big score/con" movies where everything gets turned 180 degrees in the end. It tells the muddled story of brilliant hacker, Micro (Chris Murray), who gets tangled up with a beautiful woman, Velvet (Sarah Rosenberg), who happens to be affiliated with some half-baked hoods trying to pull a computer heist. Instead of focusing on the heist, however, O'Neill and his writing partner David McManus explore the far less interesting inner psyches of their protagonists. Shot on murky digital video, Decrypter is all psychoanalytical dialogue, depicted with a suffocating seriousness that is compounded by the Human Genome Project's droning soundtrack. This film is a joyless experience, as if no one--not even the filmmakers--enjoyed being a part of it. God bless you, Portland filmmakers, for doing that thing you do, but don't forget Rule #1: This is supposed to be fun.