The Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival
The 12th Annual Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival ends Saturday, September 27. All films screen at Cinema 21. Not all films were screened for critics. For more info, hit plgff.org.
Otto; or Up with Dead People
Wow. I've never seen a gay zombie film where a man fucks another man's disembowelment hole! COURTNEY FERGUSON
Have you ever wished you could study the ancient religion of Kabala with a hot brunette French/Hebrew girl at a picturesque old stone school in the high hills of Israel, all while wearing deliciously form-fitting knit sweaters, pencil skirts, and heeled brogues? Of course you have! And have you also wished you could defy the patriarchal orthodox Jewish community by bathing naked in the men's only purity pool with the aforementioned hot brunette? Again, of course you have! Well run out and see The Secrets, then! It's everything you've ever dreamed of, and more! KIALA KAZEBEE
A 16-year-old from a gay-friendly San Francisco home is sent to a conservative suburb in SoCal.
Were the World Mine
A musical in which a gay high schooler cast as Puck in A Midsummer Night's Dream magically turns "much of his narrow-minded town gay, beginning with the rugby jock of his dreams." Wow. There are gay movies, and then there are super gay movies.
The World Unseen
A white woman in South Africa in the 1950s begins to have... urges for a black woman. Awkward!
Two 90-minute screenings of bike-centric porn, The Pornography of the Bicycle and Bike Porn 2: Bikexploitation. Hollywood Theatre.
China's Stolen Children
A doc about two Chinese parents who try to find their abducted son. Narrated by Howie Mandel. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
See review. Various Theaters.
Doxita: A Festival of Documentary Short Films
Six documentaries on varying subjects, all 40 minutes or less in length. Hollywood Theatre.
See review. Fox Tower 10.
See review. Various Theaters.
A not-screened-for-those-heathen-critics Christian flick starring the born again Kirk Cameron. Originally slated to be the closing night film at the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival. Bridgeport Village Stadium 18, Division Street, Movies on TV.
Flow: For the Love of Water
A documentary about how we're running out of water and we're all going to die of terrible, terrible thirst. (Kevin Costner and his ear-gills dare to disagree!) Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Peter (Jeremy Strong) is an awkward, uptight medical student who joins the mysterious Bogart (Fairuza Balk) on a visit to her home in northern California, where everybody grows—and smokes—the sticky green stuff. Despite good supporting performances from Brad Dourif and Peter Bogdanovich, Humboldt County is a bird-brained, oddly gooey mess, where all of Peter's problems are quickly solved by puffin' a bit of mother nature, man. By stealing its opening shot from The Godfather and its closing shot from Five Easy Pieces, this weirdly sentimental movie only demonstrates its lack of ideas. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre.
The Lucky Ones
See review. Century Eastport 16, City Center 12, Fox Tower 10.
Within the first five minutes of Mad Detective, Hong Kong Police Department's Inspector Bun (Ching Wan Lau) stabs a dead pig, stuffs himself into a duffel bag, rolls down the stairs, solves a murder, and cuts off his own ear, handing it to his boss in resignation. (This is exactly how I plan to resign from all future employment.) Five years later, after Van Gogh-ing himself into an early retirement, Bun is contacted by another officer, who's in need of Bun's special sort of crazy to solve a crime. What follows is a refreshingly weird take on the psychological crime genre, and a gentle wink and a nod at Roman Polanski's Chinatown. KIALA KAZEBEE Living Room Theaters.
Miracle at St. Anna
See review. Various Theaters.
Nights in Rodanthe
Nights in Rodanthe finally helped me understand why some men recoil so violently from romantic films. It's because they will never live up to Richard Gere: Their personality flaws can't be cured by a weekend on a stormy beach with soon-to-be-divorced devoted mother of two Diane Lane. Their estrangements from their handsome sons are too complicated for Diane Lane's love alone to solve; their own failed relationships are more than blurry, distant images; they are unlikely to risk their lives preserving precious medical supplies from floods in remote Ecuadorian villages; and they are fucking lousy at conjuring grief-relieving wild ponies on the islands of North Carolina. MARJORIE SKINNER Various Theaters.
On the Wing
This documentary about the swifts that roost every summer in the chimney of Northwest Portland's Chapman Elementary is gently educational and only faintly self-congratulatory. The swifts are a local institution and it's about time they got their own movie. Did you know that swifts mate while in flight? True! ALISON HALLETT Cinema 21.
The Road to Eternity
The second part of Masaki Kobayashi's epic "The Human Condition" trilogy. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Director Alex Cox's (Sid and Nancy, Repo Man) comedy is a "satire of American culture, cars, movies, militarism, and the MPAA." The film wasn't screened for press, though Cox will be in attendance at the screening. Cinema 21.
Peter Galison and Robb Moss' film about "the invisible world of government secrecy and its tug-of-war with civil liberties." Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
See Sex PDX Featurette. Clinton Street Theater, Bagdad Theater, The Waypost, Voodoo Doughnut Too
A Soldier's Prayer
Loved The Road to Eternity? Then don't miss the final part of Masaki Kobayashi's epic "The Human Condition" trilogy! Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
For a film so audaciously titled, you'd think this documentary would hold actual ideas about what to do with the clusterfuck that is the illegal immigration issue. Nope. Solving Immigration would have been more accurately titled Histrionic and Tired Arguments about Immigration, Followed By a Few Title Screens Offering Lame "Solutions" Like "Secure the Border." Local director Mike Shiley fills his disjointed hour-long film with rambling interviews, from people like the Minutemen patrolling the border to "border angels" who set out water for those trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico desert. He tosses in long clips of cartoons from South Park and Current TV's Super News! (both clips make smarter points about immigration than Shiley's film does), and after making your head spin, he spends all of 10 minutes on the shallow "solutions" part. AMY J. RUIZ Cinema 21.
Spirit of the Marathon
A documentary about those running in the Chicago marathon. Not screened for critics. Cinema 21.
See review. City Center 12, Fox Tower 10.
Robert Zemeckis' 1980 comedy screens as a benefit for the Oregon Media Production Association. Actor Gerrit Graham will be in attendance for a Q&A. Laurelhurst Theater.