In 1947, America's two most beloved pastimes, baseball and racism, came to a contentious head when Jackie Robinson made his debut for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Despite the noblest of intentions, 42 addresses this momentous occurrence with all the clumsy tact an overly glossy Hollywood sports film can possibly muster, heavy-handedly topping The Blind Side at the game of feel-good race relations and athletics. EZRA ACE CARAEFF Various Theaters.
Best of the 39th Northwest Filmmakers' Festival
A selection of shorts from last year's Northwest Filmmakers' Festival. More info: nwfilm.org. Whitsell Auditorium
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
The Company You Keep
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
Filmed by Bike
See My, What a Busy Week! Clinton Street Theater.
The Films of Pierre Étaix
The complete works of French filmmaker Pierre Étaix, all on 35mm, including Le Grand Amour, Land of Milk and Honey, As Long as You're Healthy, Yo Yo, and The Suitor. More info: nwfilm.org. Whitsell Auditorium.
Short documentaries made by students in the NW Documentary Workshop, plus a dance performance from A-WOL Dance Collective. More info: nwdocumentary.org. Mission Theater.
Let's Bury the Hatchet
(Deep in Your Face)
A locally produced, excellently titled, not-screened-for-critics revenge flick, accompanied by two short films. Director and cast in attendance. Clinton Street Theater.
The Little Fugitive
A 35mm restoration of Ray Ashley and Morris Engel's 1953 film. Whitsell Auditorium.
No Place on Earth
Caver (and Fred Flinstone sound-alike) Chris Nicola recently discovered remnants of human life while exploring Ukrainian caves. He figured out that five Ukrainian Jewish families lived in these caves for nearly two years during World War II, and in No Place on Earth, we watch as actors depict those families' lives. Given the actors and the intense soundtrack, No Place isn't shy about telling you when to feel sad and nervous—and while I would have preferred to hear the survivors tell their own tales, it’s a gripping story nonetheless. ROSE FINN Living Room Theaters.
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
Director Velcrow Ripper's film that aims to capture "the heart of the movement of movements that is sweeping the planet in response to today's economic and environmental causes." Oh, Occupy! So cute! Director Q&A via Skype between screenings. Clinton Street Theater.
On the Road
Jack Kerouac's annoying, classic novel is given reverential film treatment, with all of Kerouac's ponderous post-adolescent bluster intact and none of his jazzy kinetic energy. You'd think Walter Salles (The Motorcycle Diaries) would be a great pick to make it all work onscreen, and his two unknown leads are fine as Kerouac and brother-in-arms Neal Cassady. But the movie worships the book's pages much too severely, making for a somber, serious, un-fun movie. Prestige cameos by Steve Buscemi, Elisabeth Moss, Amy Adams, and the back of Aragorn's naked weiner (playing the back of William S. Burrough's naked weiner) aren't enough to elicit interest, and Kristen Stewart and Kirsten Dunst are in it too, which doesn't help. NED LANNAMANN Hollywood Theatre, Laurelhurst Theater, Living Room Theaters.
A grim Robert Duvall plays an ex-con looking to get even in this 1973 thriller. Screens as part of the Hollywood Theatre's Polyester Pulp: The ’70s Crime series. Hollywood Theatre.
The Place Beyond the Pines
The latest from Derek Cianfrance (Blue Valentine) is made up of three interlocking stories, focusing first on Luke (Ryan Gosling), a stunt motorcyclist who makes his living as a daredevil with a traveling carnival; then on rookie cop Avery (Bradley Cooper), who investigates corruption in the police force; and then Luke and Avery's sons, who, 15 years in the future, meet in high school. Pines is a big, jumpy, restless film, filled with intriguing characters whose motives remain tantalizingly hazy. But it's also got grand ambitions, and these very qualities are what make it frustrating: Despite its plottiness, it's far more effective as a character study than as some epic commentary on fathers and sons. ALISON HALLETT Various Theaters.
Radical Faerie Film Festival
A selection of shorts that make "80 minutes of fabulous mayhem and altered reality" and cover various facets of "radical queer sensibilities." Q Center.
A monthly series at the Hollywood Theatre, "showing vintage and contemporary films that are obscure, neglected, and from the fringe." This month: 16mm car-related shorts, from European car commercials to "sexy Loni Anderson reminding you to wear a seatbelt." Hollywood Theatre.
See review this issue. Cinema 21.
Here are some of the problems you may have with director Harmony Korine's already infamous Spring Breakers: (1) The young college gals depicted in the film invite degradation upon themselves with voracious, proud abandon. (2) Plotwise, there's probably less here than meets the eye. And perhaps most importantly, (3) Spring Breakers may make you come to the sudden, surprising realization you have a big stick up your ass. This is one hell of a polarizing film, and I'll say right now that, as someone who's sick of stale, predictable Hollywood product, I loved it. WM. STEVEN HUMPHREY Century Eastport 16, Lloyd Center 10 Cinema.
A fortysomething slacker discovers that 142 people—all of whom are the result of artificial insemination, and all of whom are his biological children—are suing him. Not screened for critics. Fox Tower 10.
Trance, like most Danny Boyle movies, is confident, and gorgeously shot, and beautifully scored—and there's undeniable potential in the idea of a psychological heist flick. But while Trance's first 10 minutes or so are tight, flashy, and fun, from the second "I know! Let's hypnotize him!" is turned into a supposedly legitimate plot point, everything goes from taut and sharp to messy and sloppy. ERIK HENRIKSEN Various Theaters.
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
Vanessa Renwick Retrospective
Two nights of work from Portland artist Vanessa Renwick, with each program accompanied by an interview and Q&A. Hollywood Theatre.
We Are Winning, Don't Forget: Short Works by Jean-Gabriel Périot
Work from French political filmmaker Jean-Gabriel Périot. Director in attendance. More info: cinemaproject.org. YU Contemporary.