Thurs July 5
We at the Mercuryknow what it's like to be one year old. How good it feels to grow and learn--to stand after months of crawling, to fish around in our own diapers, and to manipulate our parents through crying and breath-holding. So it's with glee that we inform you that one of our favorite Portland institutions, the monthly indie filmmaker extravaganza known as The Charm Bracelet, turns one year old this month!
We turned one year old last month. We are older and stronger and wiser than The Charm Bracelet. We will always be able to beat the Charm Bracelet up. But we should not fight, because we love the Charm Bracelet as an adorable younger sibling--one who is playful, gullible, resistant to torture, and possesses excellent toys.
In its first year, The Charm Bracelet has pioneered new ways to watch film. Stumptown Coffee, Meow Meow, the Robot Steakhouse and other film-indifferent venues have all been temporarily transformed into packed movie theaters. Charm Bracelet organizer and ultimate AV geek, Brad Adkins, has lugged his almost-portable video and celluloid projection kit all over this town, straining his groin for your entertainment and enlightenment. As the fame of this monthly cinema event has grown, the Bracelet has been dampened by, then flooded by, and is now swimming in, scores of audiovisual submissions--many worthy, some mostly worthy, and some perhaps not totally worthy, but the Charm Bracelet thanks you and encourages you to send more.
Still, it's a lot of work, organizing a monthly film screening that has no home and only one regular coordinator. So, to celebrate their first year of post-projectionist festivity, they are showcasing an Austin, Texas-based touring film program, curated by visiting DIY hand animator Trixy Sweetvittles.
For once in a real goddamn movie theater!--the Charm Bracelet presents Trixy Sweetvittles' Wild and Wooley Festival of Animation! It's 14 fun, funky and oh-so-experimental, hand-animated works by award-winning and emerging filmmakers from across the United States and Canada. As is usual for Charm Bracelet shows, these works demonstrate how sublime beauty can be created from scratch, by normal folks without million-dollar movie gear.
For instance, animator Helen Hill has two handmade entries. One is titled Scratch & Crow, and the other title I don't know, because it was obscured on the press preview tape by a very annoying tracking device on my VCR. In the anonymously titled film, Hill presents a delicate eulogy to her grandfather, who's "shriveling up" due to kidney failure. He's portrayed in watercolor, hand-drawings, papercuts, and old footage, as a woman's voice describes his personality. It's like she's reading a good, honest poem, describing something so intimate.
Most of the shorts are like that. They're not like Looney Tunes, where every time you turn around, some feral animal is waiting to drop an ACME anvil and crush your cerebral cortex. These films are delicate, but not like your skull. In Trixy Sweetvittles' Wild and Wooley Festival of Animation, you'll see a photo of a guy with his face cut up into four, you'll see a town that works like a brain, you'll see a dog turn into a strawberry. In Amy Lockhart's unique film, you'll see a butterfly and lambs flying around to the pretty sound of a toy piano. You'll even see a Superman in a wheelchair, eating ice cream. You will not see anything like Duff's Beer, Ariel the Little Wanton Mermaid, the crotch-scratching guy from King of the Hill, or strippers.
But these films have been laboriously spliced, watercolored, scratched, and crayola-ed, which is cool when you think about their makers thinking up characters in a basement somewhere--artists gone mad with the idea of LIVING, BREATHING STICK FIGURES.
Furthermore, self-described "Portland Icon" Beau Von Hinklywinkle will present a very special slide show. And after the screening, animators and ticket holders will retire to Blackbird (37th & Sandy) for an art raffle and funky disco spun by DJ theincrediblekid. This is THE event to take that weird, quiet, arty crush of yours to.