PIFF Takes! Quick Film Reviews for Friday, March 15 to Thursday, March 21

Shadow
Shadow Well Go USA
As the Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) heads into its final week, here are some brief impressions of stuff I've seen that'll be screening over the next few days. (For our previous coverage of this year's PIFF, see here, here, and here.)

THE WILD PEAR TREE
At three-plus hours, Turkish director Nuri Bilge Ceylan’s The Wild Pear Tree tries the audience with a rambling character study of an aspiring writer reckoning with his father’s gambling addition. That sprawl, which worked so effectively in Ceylan’s masterpiece Once Upon a Time in Anatolia, feels excessive here, although the central character of Sinan (Dolgu Demirkol) is meant to test your patience. He’s arrogant, argumentative, and convinced of his own genius, but Ceylan continually puts him up against the limits of geography and genetics. There are a couple breathtaking sequences here, and despite long stretches where you want to throttle the protagonist, The Wild Pear Tree’s autumnal greens and browns are beautiful enough to tide you over. Fri March 15, 5 pm, Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 SW Park; Sat March 16, 3 pm, Cinemagic, 2021 SE Hawthorne

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Today Is Music Millennium's 50th Birthday

Terry Currier
Terry Currier MEG NANNA

Terry Currier first discovered Music Millennium in 1972, when he was a 16-year-old living in Vancouver, Washington. He’d recently gotten a job at the Jantzen Beach location of regional record store chain DJ’s Sound City and was dating a fellow clerk. One evening, the girl told him she had a surprise for him.

“I was thinking something different,” Currier says. “But she took me to Music Millennium.”

Currier was immediately floored by the store’s selection, which had already gained a reputation among record shoppers for stocking imports and other hard-to-find titles. He found himself visiting up to four nights a week.

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Swedish Psychedelic Legends Träd, Gräs och Stenar Are Coming to Portland

A lot of big-ticket concerts were announced this week, including Built to Spill's four-night celebration of their 1999 album Keep It Like a Secret at the Doug Fir on October 30-November 2, and the Black Keys, Modest Mouse, and Shannon and the Clams hitting Moda Center on November 22. But the single most exciting ticket that went on sale this week is for a show featuring an obscure Swedish psychedelic band whose name I'm not entirely sure how to say out loud.

Träd, Gräs och Stenar (it means Trees, Grass, and Stone) was a legendary band on the Swedish progg scene, and they played freeform psychedelic pagan jams that sound like continents banging into each other. Their name was mostly a whisper on the lips of record nerds for decades until their legendary stuff was reissued in recent years, alongside records from the band's earlier incarnations Parson Sound and International Harvester (later shortened to Harvester).

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Was Captain America's Beard Made Out of Hawkeye's Side Hair? An Investigation

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The new Avengers: Endgame trailer came out yesterday, and already 870 trillion people have watched it on YouTube!! It truly is an Avengers world we live in!!

There are two very important things about this:

1) This trailer contains even more hints that in a post-Endgame universe, Captain Motherfucking Marvel will be the leader of the Avengers, probably palling around with around Doctor Strange and Black Panther and hopefully Black Widow, and Carol Danvers as President of the Avengers is something I CANNOT WAIT TO SEE (get the fuck outta here, Tony, you're fuckin' done)

2) IS CAPTAIN AMERICA'S BEARD MADE FROM HAWKEYE'S SIDE HAIR???

Is "side hair" the correct term for it? Who can say, really. (A barber could. —Ed.)

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A New Study Shows Alcohol Is Deadlier Than All Other Drugs

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Doucefleur/Getty Images
There 's no shortage of news reports regarding the many dangers cannabis poses to our society. And while some of them have merit—i.e., cannabis edibles should always, always, ALWAYS be secured somewhere where children and pets have no opportunity to consume them—an intoxicant which is taxed, regulated, and celebrated at festivals and gatherings across the state is far more more dangerous, and some sobering numbers about its impact were just released.

A report issued last week reveals that Oregon has a rate of alcohol-related deaths that are twice the national average. Per data released by the Trust for America's Health, out of the 50 states, Oregon ranks fifth in alcohol-related deaths, and Washington is 10th.

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Timbers v. Cincinnati Match Preview

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Craig Mitchelldyer/Portland Timbers
After absorbing a 4-1 beatdown in Los Angeles last weekend, the Portland Timbers will on Sunday be at Nippert Stadium in Cincinnati, Ohio for a historic occasion: the newest MLS side's first ever top-flight home game.

There, the Timbers, will be facing a handful of familiar faces — and doing so minus the services of the suspended Diego Chara, a player without whom they have not won in an extraordinary 22 straight MLS games (2 p.m., TV on FOX Sports 1).

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The 32 Best Things to Do in Portland This Weekend: March 15-17

Tiffany Haddish
From her break-out role in the chick-flick comedy Girls Trip, to becoming the first Black woman comedian to host Saturday Night Live, the last couple of years have been huge for Tiffany Haddish. Her very first comedy special, Showtime’s She Ready: From Hood to Hollywood, is a raunchy, lafftastic riot that also acknowledges her humble roots of growing up in the foster care system, and being temporarily homeless in LA while paying her dues in comedy. Her highly anticipated new Netflix special was set to be filmed in early 2019, so Haddish’s show at the Keller gives audiences a chance to see her new material before the internet gets ahold of it. You’d be a fool to miss it. (Sat 8 pm, Keller Auditorium, $50-150) JENNI MOORE

Savage Love Live!

Savage Love Live!
Virtually no relationship dynamic, kink, or fetish is off the table when it comes to the Savage Love column, or the Savage Lovecast, Dan Savage’s podcast about sex, relationships, and their myriad overlappings. Special musical guest Elisabeth Pixley-Fink and comedian Corina Lucas will join Dan at this live recording. (Fri 8 pm, Revolution Hall, $35) BLAIR STENVICK


Jump to: Friday | Saturday | Sunday
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What To Watch This Weekend: Shrill, Fantastic Planet, Triple Frontier, and More

Triple Frontier
Triple Frontier Netflix

Welcome to What to Watch This Weekend™, a weekly post in which I tell you what to watch this weekend! I will continue doing this post until you have watched everything you should watch.


Shrill, the Hulu series based on former Mercury contributor Lindy West’s bestseller, is now on Hulu! Mercury Arts Editor Suzette Smith says that, "surprising no one, it's super funny."

The weird, great Fantastic Planet is at the Hollywood Theatre on Sat March 16. "It’s been described as a mixture of Salvador Dali, Hieronymous Bosch, and Terry Gilliam," says Senior Editor Ned Lannamann of the 1973 film, "and that drool-inducing assessment is not far off."

Styx, which Ned calls a "lean maritime thriller," is at the Living Room Theaters starting Fri March 15. "It’s suspenseful as all hell," Ned adds, "but it’s intensely emotional, too."

On Netflix, two new films are streaming that weren't screened for the Mercury, but we're definitely curious about both of 'em:

Love, Death & Robots sees David Fincher teaming up with Deadpool director and visual effects artist Tim Miller for a promising collection of sci-fi animated shorts for mature audiences.

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Good Morning, News: White Supremacist Terror, Students Strike Against Climate Change, and Trump's TERRIBLE Week

Stay up to date on Portland news and politics. Looking for fun? Here are the best Things to Do in Portland today.

Students are striking today to protest inaction on climate change.
Students are striking today to protest inaction on climate change. Georgia O'Callaghan / Getty News

GOOD MORNING, PORTLAND! I may run and hide when you're screamin' my name (alright). But let me tell you now, there are prices to fame (alright). LET'S GO TO PRESS.

Right-wing white supremacists are behind the absolutely horrifying attack on mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, that left 49 people dead and many more injured. Heavily armed gunmen wearing military garb were behind the well-orchestrated attack, and one man who, according to police, was a famed internet troll and had written a manifesto against Muslims and immigrants, broadcast parts of the massacre live on social media. Four people are in custody, though only three of them are thought to be involved in the violence. And if you're the type of person that thinks that this tragedy doesn't affect you since you live in America—the manifesto writer also name-checked Dylann Roof, the US citizen who, in 2015, murdered nine black people in a South Carolina church.

In another example of how social media companies are unable to control the monster they created, THIS: "More than eight hours after the shooting video was first live-streamed on Facebook—apparently by the man who killed 49 people in a mosque in Christchurch—it still was getting uploaded and re-uploaded continuously by other people onto YouTube."


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Pickathon Starlight Series, Episode 6: Rising Appalachia

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nehemiah sliwoski

Beware the Ides of March, but also celebrate, because there are only 139 days until Pickathon! This edition of our ongoing Starlight Series—which spotlights performances at the nocturnal Starlight Stage from 2018's festival—features Rising Appalachia, a soulful, genre-bending folk group led by sisters Leah and Chloe Smith, with a rotating cast of musicians filling in on stand-up bass, guitar, fiddle, cello, n’goni, and talking drum.

Today's video finds the band performing "St. James Infirmary," a jazz standard of unknown origin popularized by Louis Armstrong and later tackled by countless musicians (my favorite is Cab Calloway's version for the 1933 Betty Boop film Snow White—worth checking out for his spine-tingling vocals and the surreal animation). Rising Appalachia gives "St. James Infirmary" a funky spin, complete with a mid-song tambourine jam and dance break.

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Hall Monitor: The Care and Keeping of Cops

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TODD SAUCIER

It’s becoming harder and harder for Portland to attract—and retain—new police officers.

In a recent analysis of the police bureau’s finances by the City Budget Office (CBO), city economists say that the headline-grabbing problems plaguing the Portland Police Bureau (PPB) can all be traced back to this one issue.

As an example, the CBO points to the city’s recent surge in 911 calls. In the past five years, Portland’s 911 call volume has increased by more than 25 percent, while PPB’s number of sworn officers has remained the same. To meet the demand of responding to the increased calls (the vast majority of which, it should be noted, are made to complain about an “unwanted person” or “disturbance,” and not actual crimes in progress), Police Commissioner and Mayor Ted Wheeler passed a 2018-19 budget that included increasing the number of on-patrol PPB officers by 49.

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Oregon Reps Are Fighting for LGBTQ Equality in Congress

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MARC BRUXELLE / GETTY IMAGES

Oregon’s members of Congress kept busy this week by introducing two new bills to protect LGBTQ people.

In the Senate, Sen. Jeff Merkley was one of four senators to introduce the Equality Act of 2019, which would ban discrimination against LGBTQ people on the federal level, on Wednesday. While Oregon already includes LGBTQ people in its nondiscrimination law, the majority of US states do not.

If the Equality Act passes and is signed into law, sexual orientation and gender identity will become federally protected classes, like race, religion, and age. That means it would be illegal to deny someone housing, a job, a private loan, or federal funding because they identify as LGBTQ.

“Today, the bell of freedom does not ring for LGBTQ Americans, who still face discrimination in 29 states,” Merkley said in a press release. “It is way past time to fully open the doors of opportunity for every American. Let’s pass the Equality Act. Let’s do it this year."

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Beto Brings Warmth, But He Does Not Spark Joy

Behold the 16th Democratic contender for 2020.
Behold, the 16th Democratic contender for 2020. Christ Chavez / GETTY IMAGES

The guy who raised tons of money losing to Ted Cruz in a Senate race last year has tossed his ten gallon hat into the race for president. In an announcement video released Thursday morning, Beto O'Rourke sits on a couch beside his wife, Amy, who silently looks on as her husband waves his arms and delivers a rousing speech from the couch. "This moment of peril produces, perhaps...the first peck of pickled peppers in Ameripan pistory," he said in his opening gambit. (He actually finished the sentence by saying "...the greatest moment of promise for this country and for everyone inside of it," but you get it, you're here with me on this blog.) Here's a few initial thoughts on Beto.

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The Latest in Portland Hip-Hop: New Music from Blossom, ePP, SamuelThe1st, and More

Blossom’s <i>Career Suicide</i> album art
Blossom’s Career Suicide album art

There’s a lot going on this month, and there’s no way I could possibly fit all of it into this column. Nonetheless, here’s some dope shit that’s happening.

A Beat Happening: Amenta Abioto, Kokio, ThomasHenry, Emcee Dimension

Calling all beat-heads! For A Beat Happening’s 14th installment, they’re showcasing the endless talents of singer/songwriter Amenta Abioto, who’s known for her intimate, mesmerizing performances where she uses a loop machine to weave together her powerful voice with stories and African sounds. Many tracks, like her latest single "Plant It," were created through improvisation. Buckle up for Abioto’s soul-powered performance of the aptly named “Revolution,” and expect beat sets from 17-year-old producer Kokio, Nashville transplant ThomasHenry, and hip-hop beatmaker McDimension, along with an appearance from DJ Tita of Noche Libre. (Thurs March 21, 6 pm, Future Shock, 1914 E Burnside, FREE,all ages)

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Portland Highball 2019: $5 Cocktails in Southeast Portland

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It's time for... the Portland Mercury's HIGHBALL!
It's cold and dark and windy, and spring feels very far away. But before you entirely lose your will to live, know that there's light on the horizon: The Portland Mercury’s HIGHBALL!

Along with our pals at Jim Beam and Portland Beverage, the Mercury has teamed up with 50 of Portland’s favorite bars and restaurants—each of which has created a one-of-a-kind, specially crafted cocktail just for Highball! And during Highball, each of those one-of-a-kind, specially crafted cocktails can be yours for a mere $5!

Here's a map of all of the Highball locations:

Here are a few of the cocktails you can get in Southeast Portland:

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The Conquistador Pinky Tuscadero


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Circa 33 Moonlight Colada


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