PORTLAND DOCUMENTARY AND EXPERIMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL
The Portland Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival (PDX Fest) runs through Sunday, May 10. For more info, see Film, this issue.
Bruce Conner: In Memoriam (Programs I and II)
Shorts Program #1
New experimental documentaries. Clinton Street Theater.
Talking Points & Talking Ponies
Selections form new media artist Ben Coonley, accompanied by a lecture from the artist. Clinton Street Theater.
RiP: A Remix Manifesto
MUPPETS, MUSIC, AND MAGIC: JIM HENSON'S LEGACY
Commercials and Experiments
See Film, this issue.
The Dark Crystal
The Gelflings might be the most annoying Muppets in history. With their dreamfasting and Skeksis baiting, Jen and Kira are the only two inhabitants of the world Thra who can tolerate each other—with everyone else electing to leave this mortal coil by throwing themselves upon the merciful lobster claws of the Gathim. Besides having their essence drained and speaking gibberish to animals, the Gelflings roam the countryside communing with flowers, talking about the healing powers of crystals, walking their dog, Fizzgig, and playing with Kira's fairy wings, exactly like that insufferable hippie couple you knew in college. COURTNEY FERGUSON
Muppet History 101
See Film, this issue.
The Muppet Movie
Probably the most delightful movie ever made, 1979's The Muppet Movie is witty, sweet, funny, and way more meta than you remember. If you don't love this movie, then I don't want to know you, and neither does anyone else. ERIK HENRIKSEN
Anvil! The Story of Anvil
Drummer Robb Reiner and Steve "Lips" Kudlow have kept the dream of their metal band, Anvil, alive since the early '80s—when they almost made it big, but were surpassed by Metallica, Megadeth, Slayer, and Anthrax. Still, the pair never got discouraged, and the documentary Anvil! depicts the Canadian rockers—now in their fifties—as they continue to desperately clutch at dreams of rock stardom. It sounds pathetic, but that's part of the movie's appeal. Anvil! is wickedly funny, Reiner and Kudlow make a great buddy team, and the film tells a familiar but surprisingly emotional story. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.
Battle for Terra
A mediocre kids' flick about what happens when a bunch of floating hippie aliens (all of whom inexplicably look like sperm) get invaded by aliens... from Earth! It's more or less entirely forgettable, though there's a cool space battle or two. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
The story of an adorable group of Japanese ninth-graders who are sent to an island and forced to kill each other. Highly recommended. ERIK HENRIKSEN Clinton Street Theater.
The Big Lebowski
KUFO's Cort and Fatboy present "Cinco de Lebowski," in which "a parade of Dudes" will casually stroll from Laurelhurst Park to the Bagdad Theater to catch a screening of The Big Lebowski. Attendees must "wear a bathrobe," "have their ID on them," and "abide," and should show up no later than 9 pm at Laurelhurst Park on Friday, May 1. The screening will begin at 11, but the only way to get in is to partake in "the March." Bagdad Theater.
Cowboy Bebop & Appleseed
Two modern anime favorites: The fantastic, stylish Cowboy Bebop (2001) and the slick, action-y CG Appleseed (2004). Clinton Street Theater.
"Part documentary, part urban fairy tale," 1981's film follows a day in the life of New York artist Jean-Michel Basquiat, then 19 years old. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
The Earrings of Madame De...
Max Ophül's 1953 film about an unnamed woman (hence the elipses) and her earrings in Paris. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Ghosts of Girlfriends Past
Is There Anybody There?
If I were an old person, I think I would sort of resent having my demographic constantly used as a cinematic foil for young people to learn Important Lessons about mortality. Is There Anybody There? is a particularly egregious example: A young boy whose parents run a retirement home develops an unhealthy interest in the occult, and at least three or four old people have to kick it before he learns there's no such thing as life after death after all. ALISON HALLETT Fox Tower 10.
A "successful asset manager who has just received a huge promotion" is stalked by his office temp! True, this film wasn't screened for critics—but it does costar Beyoncé and Jerry "Remember Me?" O'Connell! Eh? Eh? On a related note: Jesus Christ, Hollywood blows. Various Theaters.
One Day You'll Understand
A Parisian husband and father stumbles into a moral quagmire when work on the family tree uncovers documents pointing to what appears to be a shocking secret.THIS IS WHAT HAPPENS WHEN YOU GET INTO SCRAPBOOKING, PEOPLE. Living Room Theaters.
Oregon Sesquicentennial Film Festival
Shall We Kiss?
A bit of fluffy French romance. Funny in that tastefully droll, yet cheeky, manner that Europeans have cornered, the film chronicles the chance meeting of an attractive woman and man, both in long-term relationships, who've got the hots for each other. But rather than give in to a nice French roll in the hay, the woman (Julie Gayet) recounts the tale, through flashbacks, of two friends who took that very road, only to hurt the ones they loved. COURTNEY FERGUSON Fox Tower 10.
Sing-Along Sound of Music
OH SWEET JESUS MAKE IT STOP FOR THE LOVE OF GOD MAKE IT STOP Cinema 21.
Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation
The all-new, all-improved voyages of the starship Enterprise! See next week's Mercury for our review. Various Theaters.
New rule: No more buzzed-about Sundance films that include "sunshine" in the title. Please? Discovering that Sunshine Cleaning shares producers with Little Miss Sunshine is like finding out something lame that you kind of suspected might be true about the person you're interested in, but that you were willing to overlook out of optimistic desperation. It makes you feel gullible for being attracted to it. Still, one could hardly be blamed for finding comfort in the offbeat premise of a single mom, Rose (Amy Adams!), and her grungy, grumpy sister Norah (Emily Blunt!!!) going into business together as biohazard removers and crime scene cleaners, scraping up the decomposing remains of the victims of suicide, murder, and various other messy deaths. MARJORIE SKINNER Fox Tower 10, Roseway Theater.
X-Men Origins: Wolverine