25 New Faces of Independent Film
The NW Film Center presents films by three filmmakers included in Filmmaker Magazine's survey of emerging filmmakers. Tonight, films from Ewan McNicol and Anna Sandiland; Scott Blake; and Corvallis' Nandan Rao, who will be in attendance to discuss Hawaiian Punch, "an unconventional buddy movie" about missionaries in Hawaii. Whitsell Auditorium.
See review this issue. Living Room Theaters.
Ain't Them Bodies Saints
All art aspires to the condition of music, said the 19th century English essayist Walter Pater. Though there's truth in this famous statement, some works of art strive to be like music much more than others. For example, the music is very low in the films of British socialists like Mike Leigh and Ken Loach. But it is certainly very high in American indie movies like Upstream Color and Ain't Them Bodies Saints (David Lowery edited the former and wrote and directed the latter). Saints has a story that could easily form the lyrics of a tune; it's a sad song, and a solid movie. CHARLES MUDEDE Cinema 21.
Close Encounters of the
Spielberg's 1977 classic, screening as part of the Hollywood Theater's "Family Pictures" series. Which is a weird call, considering it's about an obsessed asshole abandoning his family. Hollywood Theatre.
A legal thriller/espionage flick that aspires to a talky exploration of abuse of government powers. Closed Circuit isn't as intricate and involved as Tinker Tailor Soldier Spy, but it's not nearly as dumb as most Age of Terror thrillers. It's a perfectly adult, and sort of square, night out at the movies that has the good sense to raise all the right questions about the security state, while not condescending to pretend that the answers to those questions are easy. PAUL CONSTANT Various Theaters.
The Dancer Diaries
A documentary about Portland's strip club scene, accompanied by readings from Andy Norris (The Dancer Diaries) and Viva Las Vegas (The Magic Gardens) and a screening of the short film Would You Like Me to Stay, "about the trials of lapdancing." Clinton Street Theater.
Everything Is Terrible
See My, What a Busy Week! Holocene.
Wong Kar-wai's latest, starring Tony Leung and Ziyi Zhang, focuses on Ip Man, the legendary teacher of Wing Chun kung fu. As good as it is, this edited version of the film also feels straightforward and segmented—neither of which are traits one usually associates with Wong Kar-wai's best stuff. If only, in this modern era, there was some way to use a computational device—along with some sort of online network, perhaps?—to track down the original version. If only. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
The Harder They Come
A digital restoration of the 1972 Jimmy Cliff flick. Hollywood Theatre.
Kung Fu Theater
A 35mm print of Jimmy Wang Yu's 1977 kung fu saga Return of the Chinese Boxer. Hollywood Theatre.
The Machine Which Makes Everything Disappear
This documentary is set in the republic of Georgia and mostly involves interviews with young people. Early on, you may feel that the director, Tinatin Gurchiani, has no goal, no program, no agenda. We watch interviews and scenes of everyday life drift across the screen like autumn leaves, seemingly random but strangely compelling. In the film's last five minutes, however, we finally see the source of the narrative pull and the force that unifies the whole picture. This is tourism of a country's soul, a soul torn between the new and the old. CHARLES MUDEDE Whitsell Auditorium.
NW Animation Festival
A "best of" program featuring "12 of this year's best animated shorts from around the world." More at nwanimationfest.com. Hollywood Theatre.
Out of Sight
"I know a guy who walks into a bank with a little glass bottle. He tells everyone it's nitroglycerine. He scores some money off the teller, walks out. On his way out, the bottle breaks. He slips on it and knocks himself out. The 'nitro' was canola oil. I know more fucked-up bank robbers than ones who know what they're doing. I doubt if one in 20 could tell you where the dye pack is. Most bank robbers are fucking morons." Laurelhurst Theater.
I don't know if I like Forbidden Zone, but I think you should probably see it. The 1982 non-budget madcap romp from director Richard Elfman (of Oingo Boingo, as is his brother Danny, who appears here as Satan) is a one-of-a-kind thing—a pansexual, absurdist, satirical slice of American weirdness that defies description. Elfman has colorized his original black-and-white film, and he's appearing at tonight's screening, introducing the film by marching around in a clown suit banging a bass drum. The film's many obsessed cultists are no doubt soiling themselves at this news. NED LANNAMANN Kiggins Theatre.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Short Term 12
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
Spark: A Burning Man Story
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
Summer of Chris Freeman
A screening of Portland filmmaker Chris Freeman's "recently-completed, three-month experimental video/social practice project," in which he "did something social and made a video of it every day." That's 92 videos! Ninety-two videos! Clinton Street Theater.
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
Walking the Camino
A documentary about "six people who walk the Camino de Santiago trail in Northern Spain." Director in attendance for all screenings except those on Sun Sept 8. Hollywood Theatre.