24 Hour Party People
Michael Winterbottom's 2002 look at Factory Records and the "Madchester" scene responsible for groups like Joy Division, New Order, and the Happy Mondays. Starring Steve Coogan, Andy Serkis, and Paddy Considine. Screening on Fri June 6 will benefit XRAY.FM and feature a post-screening after party. Academy Theater.
Ai Weiwei: The Fake Case
A documentary that picks up after the arrest and imprisonment of Chinese artist Ai Weiwei. Not screened for critics. Whitsell Auditorium.
Charlie Chaplin on Clinton Street
A screening of Chaplin's The Pawnshop (1916), with Chaplin expert Dan Kamin and live music from Philip Van Scotter. Clinton Street Theater.
Cold in July
After panicking and shooting a burglar who's broken into his Texas house, Richard (Michael C. Hall) deals with the fallout—including the vengeful threats of the dead man's dangerous father, Russel (Sam Shepard). Dour and angry, Cold in July grinds along until Don Johnson shows up midway through, playing a private eye named "Jim Bob Luke" who drives a red convertible with longhorn steer horns mounted to the grill. Soon enough, the three forge an awkward alliance to get to the bottom of a shadowy conspiracy. Johnson brings a welcome, easy levity to the otherwise grim proceedings, but neither the pulp-noir script (by Nick Damici and Jim Mickle, adapting Joe R. Lansdale's novel) nor Mickle's self-conscious direction ever gel for long enough for the film to find a voice. ERIK HENRIKSEN Cinema 21.
A documentary about dams and dam removal that caters to Portland's vibrant community of people who fucking hate dams. Hollywood Theatre.
Edge of Tomorrow
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
The Fault in Our Stars
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
The Ghosts In Our Machine
A look at the lives of animals as they get caught up in the fashion, food, entertainment, and research industries. Sponsored by Food Fight! Grocery, as is legally required for every documentary about animals that screens in Portland. Clinton Street Theater.
A dour, black-and-white film about a young convent girl on the brink of taking her vows. Sent to find her only living relative—an unhappy, hard-drinking, man-eating aunt—the two bond over their family's mysterious tragedy in a listless story that doesn't live up to its stunning visual arrangement. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.
In the Land of the Head Hunters
A reconstruction of the 1914 film about the Inuit people, presented by the NW Film Center and the Oregon Historical Society. Whitsell Auditorium.
Just a Sigh
This French film, about a broke, unhappy actress who picks up Gabriel Byrne at a funeral and has passionately anonymous sex in his hotel room, is oddly dull considering the inherent sexiness of the premise. Per the title, star Emmanuelle Devos does indeed do a lot of sighing, presumably because she's bored by her own boring movie. ALISON HALLETT Living Room Theaters.
Kung Fu Theater
What good is having the only known 35mm print of a kung fu masterpiece like The Mystery of Chessboxing if you're not going to screen it once in a while and educate people on who the real Ghostface Killer is? Hollywood Theatre.
It's been a long time since I've seen an Angelina Jolie movie. Everybody gets lame after having kids; how could a sexy millionaire humanitarian be any different? I gave up. And hadn't you? BUT GET THIS: It's not too late for our beloved St. Angelina! As "Mistress of All Evil" Maleficent, Jolie gives us nothing but the badass, murder-faced, classic Angie we fell in love with years ago. ELINOR JONES Various Theaters.
New Czech Cinema
The NW Film Center's annual survey of Czech films kicks off with the promisingly titled Lousy Bastards. See next week's Mercury or nwfilm.org for more info.
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
North by Northwest
"That wasn't very sporting, using real bullets." Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Does the world really need another stylish film about privileged kids scoring weed and puking in each other's driveways? Probably not, but Palo Alto at least succeeds in executing it with competence and authenticity, occasionally revealing searing moments of awkward realism. MARJORIE SKINNER Cinema 21.
The Present: Selections from Cinema Project's First 10 Years
Cinema Project celebrates the end of their 10th year with an outdoor screening of experimental shorts pulled from previous programming. Expect frantic camerawork and poetic narration; highlights are the shortest short, There's a Pervert in Our Pool!, by Martha Colburn (featuring Woody Allen and Bill Clinton and boobs collaged in a pool together for three minutes), and the longest short, the rare film The Present, by renowned photographer Robert Frank. There's also Betty Tells Her Story (1972), an early film from the feminist movement—a touching nonfiction piece by Liane Brandon about a woman's search for the perfect dress. JENNA LECHNER The Big Country.
Sex Worker Film Series
A series offering "the best films by and about sex workers." This week's selection: Meet the Fokkens. More at cstpdx.com. Clinton Street Theater.
You think you've seen my moovie, but you havunt seen my moovie undil you've seen my moovie with me tahking about duh moovie while you watch duh moovie! And das whad I will be doing at duh Fif Abenue Cinema! I'm on duh commentree track! I'm insightful! ARNOLD SCHWARZENEGGER Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Words and Pictures
Did you know the word “avocado” comes from the Aztec word for “testicle”? Now you do, thanks to the etymological tirades delivered by high school English teacher Jack Marcus (Clive Owen). Marcus has a fiery passion for both language and an art teacher, Dina (Juliette Binoche). There's a great dynamic between these two, but Words and Pictures is a romcom stuffed inside an eye-rolling premise: a debate over whether words are more powerful than pictures. It's fluffy and predictable, and I kind of liked it, although I also watch shows like Gilmore Girls, so no surprise. JENNA LECHNERVarious Theaters.
X-Men: Days of Future Past
You could do a lot worse if you want to see Wolverine wave his claws around while Magneto lectures boring regular people about how fancy he is. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.