See review this issue. Cinema 21.
Martin Scorsese's forgotten 1985 comedy, featuring Griffin Dunne, Bronson Pinchot, and Cheech and Chong. (You think we're making this up, but we're totally not.) Clinton Street Theater.
Bill Cunningham New York
Since the late '70s, weekly photo collages of what people are wearing on the streets of New York have been a highlight in the pages of the New York Times. Many New Yorkers are acutely aware of the author of these photos: a wiry octogenarian snapping away at passersby in a cheap poncho when it rains, and a no-nonsense blue jacket when it shines. This is Bill Cunningham, the subject of Bill Cunningham New York, a documentary about the artist whose life's work is as much cultural anthropology as it is fashion, providing an intimate introduction to those who less frequently pass by his lens. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.
Clearcut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon
Logging tycoon Rex Clemens set up the Clemens Foundation in 1959, which ensured that every high school graduate of Philomath, Oregon, would have their college tuition paid for. Clearcut is about those now in charge of that Clemens Foundation, a group of Bible-thumping bigots who waged war against a "politically correct" school superintendent, threatening to pull the scholarships if he wasn't fired. Director in attendance. JUSTIN SANDERS Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
The Florestine Collection
The late New Orleans artist Helen Hill's film about "100 handmade dresses she found in garbage bags after Katrina, and her search for the seamstress." Finished after Hill's death by Paul Gailiunas, who will be in attendance. Hollywood Theatre.
The Hangover Part II
To paraphrase Oscar Wilde, "To experience one raging drug-induced blackout may be regarded as a misfortune; to experience two looks like carelessness." And "carelessness" is the operative word in The Hangover Part II, the fairly unnecessary sequel to the sporadically amusing The Hangover. In the first outing, three oddball pals (Bradley Cooper, Ed Helms, and Zach Galifianakis) black out during a bachelor party, forget everything that happened, and then frantically comb Las Vegas for the missing groom. While the story meandered at times, the upsides were memorable: the leads were likeable, the script sneakily mirrored a pulp mystery, and the film was peppered with bizarro dollops of tigers, hookers, and Mike Tyson. Here, we get more of the same. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Various Theaters.
Spencer Susser's film provides a rare, real look at what it's like to live in a boring town with crappy public schools, indifferent teachers, and bullies rampaging unchecked through the halls. TJ (Devin Brochu) is a sad, scrappy kid; his mom recently died, and his dad (a bearded Rainn Wilson) is still mourning, consoling himself with an aggressive pill habit. Enter Hesher (Joseph Gordon-Levitt), the school fuck-up and a note-perfect representation of those scarily reckless small-town kids with nothing better to do than get fucked up and break things. Hesher takes up uninvited residence in TJ's house and introduces an element of callow, reckless fun to the still-grieving household. But while Hesher-the-character refuses to play by the rules, Hesher-the-movie is dutiful in its adherence to a predictably redemptive indie storyline. ALISON HALLETT Hollywood Theatre.
Hobo with a Shotgun
Based on a faux trailer created for the publicity blitz surrounding Quentin Tarantino and Robert Rodriguez's Grindhouse, Jason Eisener's Hobo with a Shotgun joins the likes of Machete and The Devil's Rejects in the curious subgenre of movies that exist to pay homage to the exploitation flicks of yesteryear. Seemingly aware that he's a little late to the party, Eisener lays the gore on thick with a wink-wink sensibility that is both energizing and hollow—Hobo starts off exhilarating, but turns noxious and empty fast. DAVE BOW Hollywood Theatre.
The latest in the succession of movies centered around the great fashion designers of the 20th century, L'Amour Fou is a melancholy look at the life (and, to a lesser extent, the career) of Yves Saint-Laurent. Relying primarily on the testimony of a well spoken if not-terribly-riveting Pierre Bergé—Saint-Laurent's lifelong partner in business and love—Fou is surprisingly disconnected from fashion. Clearly hewing to Bergé's perspective, it uses the legendary auction of the couple's immense, breathtaking collection of art and objects as its contemporary tie-in to portray a creative genius wracked by depression. The result is lovely, if somewhat cold. MARJORIE SKINNER Living Room Theaters.
Midnight in Paris
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
Nine Nation Animation
A series of animated films "drawn from award winners from Cannes, Berlin, Annecy, Clermont-Ferrand, and other short-film showcases." Get it? Drawn? Oh, Northwest Film Center! Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Northwest Animation Festival
A brand-spankin'-new animation fest that'll screen 78 international short films over the course of three days—including such promising titles as Just Can't Trust a Drunk Ninja. More info: nwanimationfest.com. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Portland Queer Documentary
Film Festival (QDoc)
See I'm Going Out. Clinton Street Theater.
Film Festival (PUFF)
The Clinton Street's annual celebration of underground cinema. See next week's Mercury or clintonsttheater.com for more info. Clinton Street Theater.
The most overrated Western in the history of the Western. Fifth Avenue Cinema.
Claude Lanzmann's 1985 Holocaust documentary is not easy viewing. With its harrowing subject matter, staggering nine-and-a-half-hour length, and ragged-edge filmmaking, Shoah will challenge even the most dedicated viewers to stick it out—though, as anyone who has can tell you, it's worth it when you do. Lanzmann made Shoah as a historical record of Holocaust stories Hollywood rarely gets into, zeroing in on the death factories at Treblinka and Auschwitz and gathering up survivors, observers, and persecutors and pushing them to tell their versions of events. With these witnesses, Lanzmann travels to the notorious camps and ghettoes, tracing the long march of death. Some of it's engrossing, some of it's slow, but all of it is essential. Shoah is both a tribute to man's resiliency and an indictment of our cruelty. It's shown in two parts, either across one day or two, so plan ahead. JAMIE S. RICH Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Small Town Murder Songs
Martha Plimpton and Peter Stormare star in "a modern, gothic tale of crime and redemption." Living Room Theaters.
The Richard Donner Cut
See My, What a Busy Week! Bagdad Theater.
Totally '80s New Wave Sing-Along
A "nonstop synthpop roller coaster ride" of sing-along hits from the '80s. More info: hollywoodtheatre.org. Hollywood Theatre.
When Where: Landscape and the Frame as Metaphor
Cinema Project presents an outdoor event that pairs "an international program of film and video with a commissioned poetic response by local scholar, educator, and poet David Abel." The 16mm films screening include works by Kurt Kren, Thomas Steiner, Emily Richardson, and more. More info: cinemaproject.org. The Big Country.
High-school wrestling might be the un-prettiest sport yet devised by humans, a competition in which pasty adolescent boys, bedecked in unflattering singlets, grapple one another while rolling around a gymnasium floor. Win Win doesn't shy away from this distinctly ugly truth. Director Thomas McCarthy's (The Station Agent) film depicts high-school wrestling in all its painful, gangly, bepimpled awkwardness, and the surprising result is one of the best sports movies in recent years. Of course, Win Win isn't exclusively a "sports movie": There's a bunch of family drama centered around the team's star wrestler, Kyle (Alex Shaffer), but it's one of the film's many strengths that it neatly avoids the sulking and brooding of your typical adolescent-in-trouble flicks. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.
World Ocean Day Films
Three ocean-awareness films presented by Bamboo Sushi to coincide with World Ocean Day: A Sea Change (Tues June 7, Hollywood Theatre), End of the Line (Wed June 8, Ecotrust), and Sea the Truth (Thurs June 9, PSU's Smith Memorial Student Union). Each film will be accompanied by a "relevant scientist with a question and answer session." Hollywood Theatre, Ecotrust, PSU's Smith Memorial Student Union.
X-Men: First Class
See review this issue. Various Theaters.