Film Shorts 

In Which We Hit It and Quit It

THE GUILLOTINES He told them to hold the pickles. They didn’t listen. Vengeance will be his.

THE GUILLOTINES He told them to hold the pickles. They didn’t listen. Vengeance will be his.

recommended Before Midnight
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

The East
Director Zal Batmanglij and actress Brit Marling's new film is a polarizing thriller, at first off-putting and cheesy, then mysterious and mesmerizing. This duality is no surprise from the team who made Sound of My Voice—Batmanglij and Marling have a panache for high-concepts that stumble on discomfiting plot points. The East is an eco-terrorist cell that squats in the woods, and Sarah (Marling) soon infiltrates their ranks, working as an operative from a hoity-toity detective firm whose clients are sick of being eco-pranked. The hippy trustafarians (among them Ellen Page and Alexander Skarsgård) engage in several missions and act like kids playing "cult" (Spin the Bottle, really!?). But the consistent and redeeming throughline of The East is the great supporting cast and a goofy seriousness that improbably gels the whole weird thing together. COURTNEY FERGUSON Fox Tower 10.

The Guillotines
A hyper-stylized spiritual successor to the schlock opus Master of the Flying Guillotine. While there are certainly more flying guillotines on display, this film has more in common with a Power Rangers episode than the splatterpunk excesses of 1970s wuxia flicks; while there are lots of explosions and jumpkicks in the first 10 minutes, things quickly devolve into a painful series of clichés and talking heads. Characters show up, exposit, and die at an alarming pace. The whole film makes for about one trailer's worth of good content, which is a shame—if there's one thing movies need more of these days, it's flying guillotines. BEN COLEMAN Hollywood Theatre.

The History of Future Folk
See review this issue. Hollywood Theatre.

International Pancake Film Festival
"A night filled with film shorts dedicated to the great breakfast food." Here is a list of things that are better than pancakes: waffles. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Jason and the Argonauts
Ugh. There's that Jason guy, trying to make fleece cool again. Laurelhurst Theater.

Long Distance Revolutionary: A Journey with Mumia Abu-Jamal
A documentary about activist and prisoner Mumia Abu-Jamal, featuring interviews with the likes of Cornel West, Angela Davis, and Alice Walker. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended Man of Steel
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

The Painting
The 2011 fable from animator Jean-François Laguionie, in which figures inside a painting divide themselves into castes: the Alldunns, the Halfies, and the Sketchies. Whimsically narrated by Tony Danza. Whitsell Auditorium.

recommended Portland Jewish Film Festival
See Film, this issue. Whitsell Auditorium.

Portland Stew
A monthly "open screening potluck" that combines food and experimental film. More info: cstpdx.com. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended The Purge
In the near future, crime has been eradicated in the United States—except for 12 hours every year, when bloody hell breaks loose. That day, known as the "Purge," is a no-holds-barred bloodfest. The haves lock themselves into their fortified McMansions, while the have-nots get beaten to pulps in dank alleyways. If it all sounds a little fraught and maybe a touch heavy-handed, I'm not going to spend too much time contradicting you. But it's also a suspenseful, twisty home-invasion flick that's gory and sick and allegorical, blanketed in physical darkness, with a tinge of Bret Easton Ellis-esque American psychopathy for good measure. COURTNEY FERGUSON Various Theaters.

Repressed Cinema
A monthly series at the Hollywood Theatre, "showing vintage and contemporary films that are obscure, neglected, and from the fringe." This month: Felony Flats, with director Bob Moricz in attendance. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended The Terminator
"Oh, come on. Do I look like the mother of the future? I mean, am I tough? Organized? I can't even balance my checkbook." Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Terminator 2: Judgment Day
"You broke my arm!" "There's 215 bones in the human body. That's one." Hollywood Theatre.

recommended This Is the End
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

Tom McCall Film Festival
A two-day series dedicated to former Oregon governor Tom McCall, including a 50-minute-long KGW TV segment on pollution, written and narrated by McCall in 1962; 2005's Politics of Sand, about Oregon's beaches; and Vortex I: A Biodegradable Festival of Life, 2005's doc about the hippie-baiting music festival designed to lure filthy longhairs away when Nixon visited Portland in 1970. Hollywood Theatre.

The Wall
Richly visual and beautifully cinematic, Julian Pölser's adaptation of Marlen Haushofer's novel runs dangerously close to placing style over substance. Inexplicably trapped in the Austrian mountains, a woman is left to fend for herself with only her dog for company, facing the possibility of never again experiencing human contact. Actress Martina Gedeck strikes the perfect tone as the troubled protagonist, losing herself as she bleeds into the Austrian landscape; her performance, however, is undercut by Pölser's decision to ignore the character's backstory that adds much to the novel. More disappointing still is Pölser's reliance on voiceover, which gives the impression he's made a stirring visual accompaniment to an audiobook rather than a film that might inspire in its own right. ALEX ROSS Living Room Theaters.

recommended We Steal Secrets: The Story of WikiLeaks
In looking at WikiLeaks from its founding to its meltdown, Alex Gibney patches together a tale that's mostly about the site's founder, Julian Assange, but also about Private Bradley Manning—a soldier and a tech geek who, depending on whom you ask, is either a traitor or a hero. Boasting interviews with just about everyone—except Assange and Manning—We Steal Secrets pulls from news footage, documents, and chat transcripts, and from the words of journalists, hackers, intelligence experts, and CIA directors. It's a sprawling, unpredictable infodump—even Lady Gaga turns up—and the result is formless but engrossing. ERIK HENRIKSEN Living Room Theaters.

recommended Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory
"Invention, my dear friends, is 93 percent perspiration, six percent electricity, four percent evaporation, and two percent butterscotch ripple." Academy Theater.

Tags:

Comments (1)

Showing 1-1 of 1

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-1 of 1

Comments are closed.

From the Archives

Most Commented On

Top Viewed Stories

All contents © Index Newspapers, LLC

115 SW Ash St. Suite 600
Portland, OR 97204

Contact Info | Privacy Policy | Production Guidelines | Terms of Use | Takedown Policy