MUPPETS, MUSIC, AND MAGIC: JIM HENSON'S LEGACY
A Better World: Living in Harmony
The Muppet Movie
If you don't love this movie, then I don't want to know you, and neither does anyone else. ERIK HENRIKSEN
No need to introduce the awesomeness that is Jim Henson's Labyrinth—you know it, you love it from your wee baby days in 1986. But a rewatch will make you wonder: How many hours, working their Muppet magic, did those puppeteers spend with their eyes level with David Bowie's crotch? COURTNEY FERGUSON
PORTLAND DOCUMENTARY AND EXPERIMENTAL FILM FESTIVAL
Runs through May 10. More info: pdxfilmfest.com.
California Company Town
A look at "the landscape of California towns abandoned by the industries that created them." Clinton Street Theater.
Deliverance as recreated by "an all-female cast of experimental filmmakers who work in the academic field." Huh. Clinton Street Theater.
The Earth Is Young
A look at both young creationists and young paleontologists. (Here's hoping for a fistfight!) Screening with Origin of the Species, a film about a 70-year-old man in Scotland "obsessed with 'trying to really understand'" Darwin's works. Clinton Street Theater.
The Experimental Filmmaker Karaoke Throwdown
Never Merely Pretty: Films and Videos by Peggy Ahwesh
O'er the Land
Deborah Stratman's experimental documentary "serves as a meditation on the milieu of elevated threat addressing national identity, gun culture, wilderness, consumption, patriotism, and the possibility of personal transcendence." Phew. Preceded by two shorts from Sam Green and Ryan Garrett. Clinton Street Theater.
Peripheral Produce Invitational
Experimental filmmakers try to outdo and outweird each other! Clinton Street Theater.
Shorts Program #2
Experimental videos from Portlanders. Clinton Street Theater.
Shorts Program #3
Five short films from "American filmmakers abroad." Clinton Street Theater.
Shorts Program #4
Holy crap! More experimental shorts! Clinton Street Theater.
Shorts Program #5
Okay, now this is just getting ridiculous. Clinton Street Theater.
Eden Log is a mishmash of a ton of sci-fi genre films—Pitch Black, Soylent Green, Alien, Cube... you name it, it's in there. A very muddy French man wakes up in a cave and must tunnel and grunt his way out. Many, many more grunts later, he's being stalked by zombie creatures, and ultimately realizes that he's in a labyrinthine root system under a huge cognizant tree, the sap of which runs a city's electrical grid.... Yeah, it's not as good as it sounds, and it sure doesn't sound good. COURTNEY FERGUSON Living Room Theaters.
Imitation of Life
Douglas Sirk's 1959 drama featuring Lana Turner and Sandra Dee. Bagdad Theater.
A League of Their Own
You know who's great? Jon Lovitz! You know who's not great? Rosie O'Donnell. You know who's depressing? Lori Petty. Kennedy School.
Life on the Edge of a Bubble
A doc that proposes our current financial clusterfuck isn't as unique as we'd like to think, insisting that "each generation has found itself precariously perched on the edge of a bubble." Hey, anybody remember Mr. Bubble bubble bath? Good times, good times. Clinton Street Theater.
The Lord God Bird
An "empowering Portland conservation event" about the Ivory-Billed Woodpecker. Hollywood Theatre.
Finally, a feature adaptation of The Elder Scrolls IV: Oblivion! From the majestic introduction of Emperor Uriel Septim VII to the thrilling Daedric invasion of Tamriel, this is sure to be an epic fantasy adventure that spans the vast world of Cyrodiil, from the ancient tombs of—oh, wait. No, our mistake. This is a 2008 film from the Netherlands, directed by Heddy Honigmann, in which Honigmann examines the "everyday reality" of Peru's city of Lima, "revealing startling contrasts of wealth and poverty." Never mind, then. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Remembering William Stafford
Three short films about former Oregon Poet Laureate William Stafford: An Oregon Message (1976), The Skookum's Tongue (1983), and Every War Has Two Losers (2009). Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Spike & Mike's Sick and Twisted Festival of Animation
Roman Polanski directs himself in his film from 1976. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
The Treasure of the Sierra Madre
1948's adventure/Western, starring Humphrey Bogart. Laurelhurst Theater.
Valentino: The Last Emperor
The grandiosity of this relatively modestly budgeted documentary is entirely appropriate when you consider that its subject is one of the most legendary couturiers on the planet. Italian designer Valentino and Giancarlo Giametti have been inseparable as lovers and business partners for over a half-century, pooling the beauty-obsessed Valentino's design prowess with the business smarts of Giametti to create a business worth hundreds of millions. Valentino is focused on the two years prior to the designer's retirement after 45 years—an anniversary celebrated with a panoply of excess verging on the absurd. At times endearing (director Matt Tyrnauer's camera is as interested in the designers' adorable pack of pugs as he is in Valentino's bitchy quips and tantrums) and gluttonous, the less glamorous footage of seamstresses carrying out their master's orders with intricate hand stitching offers an all-too-brief glance at a disappearing tradition that could make for a more substantial documentary of its own. MARJORIE SKINNER Fox Tower 10.
A Wink and a Smile
Ten students enroll in Miss Indigo Blue's Academy of Burlesque, and we watch the ups and downs of their training. A Wink and a Smile is an examination of an art form with a long and storied history, as well as a celebration of female empowerment, and... aw, fuck it. Look, I tried. I watched this entire documentary, and I truly attempted to suspend my skepticism about burlesque's artistic legitimacy. But I still couldn't shake the feeling that it's all a bit of a sham. Also, Indigo Blue seems incredibly pretentious. I mean, this movie's wall-to-wall with naked women, and I still didn't like it. So... um... I'm sorry? Screw it. I'm going to Mary's Club. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.