See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
"Fuck, man, this is better than Disneyland!" Hollywood Theatre.
Best of the Northwest Filmmakers' Festival
See My, What a Busy Week! Whitsell Auditorium.
After her adult son gets involved in a horrific accident, a wealthy Romanian woman begins calling in her considerable markers. A witty, more-than-a-little Oedipal drama sparked by Luminita Gheorghiu's towering performance as a woman bent on imposing her will over reality. Every time the camera lands on her, there's something new to see. ANDREW WRIGHT Living Room Theaters.
A Cinema of Mutual Respect
Cinema Project presents three films by New York and Lisbon-based collaborators Daniel Schmidt, Gabriel Abrantes, and Alexander Carver, featuring: monotone voices! a dying grandmother! a particle accelator! It's video art, and they're spacey, conceptual films with a little deadpan humor. Two of the films are full-length: Palaces of Pity (screening Mon April 21) is the most accessible, with the plot involving a dying grandmother and catty teenage cousins vying for her estate. In The Unity of All Things (Wed April 23), scientists stare into space and ponder life's big questions, and say things like "Your thinking is more lateral than vertical." The one short of the collection—A History of Mutual Respect, screening with Palaces of Pity—features two bros running around in the jungle trying to have sex with a "native woman," which I think is supposed to be political commentary on globalization or something, but is so clearly written and produced by dudes that it instead feels maddeningly misogynistic. JENNA LECHNER Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Filmed by Bike
An annual Portland film festival to which amateur filmmakers and bike enthusiasts submit films, resulting in a wide range of topics and styles, with bicycles being the only connective thread. This year's is a four-day-long event, featuring beer and an opening night street party and other fanfare, but the film screenings are by far the main event. More at filmedbybike.org. MARJORIE SKINNER Clinton Street Theater.
Heaven Is for Real
The latest in a series of low-budget religious movies put out by Hollywood to capture the elusive "movies are too risqué for me" dollar. The movie adapts a 2010 book by Pastor Todd Burpo about the time his 4-year-old son Colton had a particularly vivid dream. About going to Heaven! The adults take Colton's dream about Heaven so seriously because "Everything he says is impossible!" and his memory of Heaven is "very specific." Equally vague are Colton's claims that "Heaven is beautiful" and "nobody wears glasses in Heaven." I'm more persuaded by the portrayal of the afterlife in All Dogs Go To Heaven, though both movies agree that there will be domesticated animals in paradise. ALEX FALCONE Various Theaters.
1981's trippy animated sci-fi/horror/fantasy/etc. anthology, based on Heavy Metal magazine and featuring the vocal stylings of John Candy, Eugene Levy, and good ol' Rodger Bumpass. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
The Missing Picture
Part documentary and part biography, Rithy Panh uses a combination of archival images and clay dioramas to recount the difficult story of his childhood as the only surviving family member under Pol Pot's regime. Illuminating and nightmarish, it's an important account that many wouldn't have the strength to tell in this level of detail. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.
The Cannes-approved drama from 1978. Whitsell Auditorium.
A fucking marathon. Released theatrically in two volumes (with a couple weeks' recovery time in between, what with all the chafing), Lars von Trier's four-hour-long meditation on fucking, fly fishing, and the futility of love takes a kind of smug satisfaction in the severity of its indulgences—it revels in explicitness, violence, and anguish to an even greater degree than the director's already thoroughly misanthropic previous works. ZAC PENNINGTON Various Theaters.
A film series sponsored by In Other Words Feminist Community Center. This month: Siren Spirits. More at cstpdx.com. Clinton Street Theater.
Re-run Theater presents "TV Still Knows Best," "an insane hodgepodge of PSAs, instructional films and a very special episode of the sitcom Mr. Belvedere where life lessons are dramatized and sage advice is dispensed." RIP, Mr. Belvedere star Christopher Hewett, 1921-2001. Hollywood Theatre.
See My, What a Busy Week! Laurelhurst Theater.
Silent Films from the
Moving Image Collection
The Oregon Historical Society presents a program of silent films made between 1900 and 1950, including "black-and-white footage of Portland circa WWII" and shorts featuring live piano accompaniment. More at hollywoodtheatre.org. Hollywood Theatre.
A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness
Unfortunately, A Spell To Ward Off Darkness doesn't provide any spells to ward off boredom. A film that follows a man's journey of self discovery through a Finnish hippie commune, wilderness isolation, and playing in a black metal band, A Spell also shows you just how long an hour and a half can be. If you're interested in the exploration of existential philosophy and societal structure, by all means, enjoy—but if you're looking for something with some entertainment value or if you don't understand the draw of blistering metal, you might wanna skip this one. ARIS WALES Whitsell Auditorium.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Winter in the Blood
Virgil First Raise (Chaske Spencer) is a Blackfeet Indian living on a the outskirts of a tiny Montana town. He's a drunk who spends his days teetering between hangover and heartbreak; he's plagued by memories of dead relatives; he treats women terribly. But Virgil's journey through darkness is bright in the telling—Winter in the Blood is both deeply interior and cleanly, visually arresting, offering an utterly contemporary take on the vision-quest narrative. Co-director Andrew Smith in attendance on Wed April 23. ALISON HALLETT Whitsell Auditorium.
With Morning Hearts
David MacDougall's 2001 documentary about a group of boys' first year in school in Dehradun's Doon School. Director in attendance. Whitsell Auditorium.