Fall Arts 2023

An Astrological Guide to Portland’s Film Festival Scene

Let the stars in the sky be your guide to the screen.

Get Thee to a Gallery

Our picks for Converge 45 and other Portland gallery shows you must not miss this fall.

Making Matta Moves

Chef Richard Văn Lê closed his cart, and moved into restaurant collective Lil’ Dame.

Portland’s Coolest New Record Shop Is Also a Cultural Hub

Beacon Sound, Musique Plastique, Super Electric, Lost Avenue, et al—the signage is going to be intense.

What Does Basketball Fashion Have to Do With Basketball?

Not a lot, but in Mitchell S. Jackson’s new book, Fly, it sure is fun to look at.

Birth of a Comedy Corridor

After a blowout summer of Comedy in the Park, Kickstand hopes audiences will join them indoors.

Artists Repertory Theatre Will Keep Building

Four years into its two-year tour, the company faces another setback.

EverOut's Guide to Fall 2023 Arts Events in Portland

Concerts, Exhibits, Performances, and More Events to Put on Your Calendar

Appreciating the Musical Genius of John Williams

We asked associate conductor Deanna Tham to unpack the Oregon Symphony’s take on the greatest modern film composer.

PICA’s New Arts Festival Takes Its Time

Stepping in for the Time-Based Art festival, Time-Released promises chaotic good performance art in bursts.

There Will Be Black Art

Intisar Abioto brings first-of-Its kind exhibit Black Artists of Oregon to the Portland Art Museum.

Works in Progress

Checking in with two of Portland’s most important art projects:  the Doug Fir and Tomorrow Theater.

Why Were So Many Libraries Closed This Summer?

Seven of 19 Multnomah County libraries are currently closed for renovation—here’s why.

While I do not believe astrology is real, I believe that astrology is usually right. Holding these two ideas in constant tension is how I get through any given Portland dinner party. And I know that there are at least 12 zodiac signs, which pairs well with the dozen or so local film festivals scattered throughout the year. And as film festivals are the focus, we’ve listed them more or less chronologically—but we imagine you can find your zodiac sign below:



Godzilla, as far as I know, has never battled a giant centaur, but I also wouldn’t put it past the dude. Plus “sag season” sounds like what would happen to the suspension bridges of Tokyo during a Godzilla attack. The Hollywood Theater’s Godzillathon triumphantly returns in September after a few years on hiatus. It’s a great opportunity to see some golden-age kaiju fisticuffs on the big screen, and this time round the focus is on his swinging ‘60s oeuvre, including his battle with the much-maligned—yet still iconic—smog monster Hedorah. Sat Sept 16 & Sun Sept 17, Hollywood Theater, hollywoodtheatre.org/events/godzillathon



Cancer the crab is master of two domains: the mighty ocean and the orgy buffet table, and it is in that second realm that the HUMP! festival resides [and full disclosure, HUMP! is a creation of this very publication’s company-eds]. The fest’s homemade porn and porn-adjacent short films have been vying for your hearts and minds (and other important organs) since 2005, which means it’s theoretically old enough to participate in one. This year’s festival was in March at Revolution Hall, but you can catch a repeat screening this September, or get started shooting your own salacious submission for 2024 (entries due by December 8th). Thurs Sept 14-Sat Sept 16, Clinton Street Theater, humpfilmfest.com


Portland Film Festival

The Portland Film Festival is for people who really love the festival part of the film fest equation. Expect red carpets, velvet ropes, indie auteurs, and slick-haired marketing flacks slamming top-shelf vodka Red Bulls in nearby fancy hotel bars. Like a lot of Leos, PFF comes on strong and never downshifts, but there’s no denying that the organizers love indie cinema. Maybe they love the industry stuff more, but there’s a strong subset of Sundance-y cinephiles in the mix. Art and commerce have always been uneasy allies in the world of film, and never more so than at festivals like PFF. It’s unclear how this year’s fest is going to shake out in October, but hopefully the focus will drift in the direction of exciting new talent. Thurs Oct 12-Mon Oct 16, various locations, portlandfilm.org



The scorpion is objectively the scariest critter in the zodiac, and her stingy domain conveniently includes the objectively scariest month, October. Given how hard Portland loves Halloween, there will be a fair number of frightening films on offer—from vaporwave VHS mayhem at Cinemagic to an intriguing haunted video store installation at Movie Madness—but allow me to direct your attention to Guignolfest: a 72-hour filmmaking challenge that traditionally culminates in a raucous gore-splattered screening night at the Clinton Street Theater. It’s impossible to say if there will be any actual scorpions on screen, but expect gallon after gallon of blood-red cornstarch slurry on every available surface and Tom Savini-esque attempts to simulate intestines on a microbudget. Filming Fri Oct 13-Mon Oct 16, awards Sat Oct 21, Clinton Street Theater, guignolfest.com


Mt. Hood Film Festival

Ah Gemini… the famous mythological creature best described as “two of a kind.” And you know what else you need two of to have a good time? Skis! If you’re one of those sick freaks who enjoys watching hour after hour of extreme athletes defy the laws of God and nature—to twisted EDM riffs and B-roll of majestic snow-capped pine trees—Mt. Hood Film Festival is for you. Details are sparse at the moment, but thanks to the fest’s connection with outdoor gear convention Snowvana, we’ll be inundated with info as the time to rock goggle tan lines grows closer. Fri Nov 3-Sun Nov 5, Portland Expo Center, snowvana.com/film-fest


Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival

Virgo—I’m reliably informed by Virgos—is the star sign for people who print out physical itineraries when they go on vacation. If that’s true, then the Virgos reading this already know about QDoc, one of a very few festivals anywhere dedicated entirely to queer documentary filmmaking. The festival gathers films and filmmakers from all over the world, and casts a welcome spotlight on work that might not receive much attention elsewhere on the festival circuit. Fri Nov 3-Sun Nov 5, Hollywood Theater, qdocfilmfest.org


Oregon Short Film Festival

Aquarius is known as the “water bearer” in the Western astrological tradition, and my assumption is that the members of this august house moisturize regularly and exist in a constant state of hydration. I’m assuming they need regular bathroom breaks, which makes the Oregon Short Film Festival such a good fit for this sign. The festival screens a number of times throughout the year, spotlighting a wide variety of indie and international short films, as well as animation and documentary subjects. Sun Nov 12, Clinton Street Theater, 5th Ave Cinema, filmfestivalcircuit.com/festival/oregon-short-film-festival


Filmed by Bike

Aries’ ram is the zodiac sign of war, and what is cycling but a war declared upon one’s own calves? Filmed by Bike is a long-running… excuse me… long-pedaling festival that does exactly what it says on the tin: Folks who like bikes make movies about bikes for other people who like bikes, and then everyone rides bikes afterwards. Much like a bicycle, this fest gets around—screening a best-of slate of films nationally, so there are some additional opportunities to catch some bespoked cinema outside the festival’s traditional dates in May. May 2024, Hollywood Theatre, filmedbybike.org


Fungi Film Fest

I like to imagine Capricorn as a happy little goat munching underbrush in a secluded glade somewhere, and that seems like the kind of energy the Fungi Film Fest also brings into the world. This is somehow the fourth year of this festival entirely devoted to short, medium, and feature length films about mushrooms and—you know what? Good for them. Since Fungi Film Fest doesn’t “fruit” until late November/early December, you may read this and may still find the submissions page open. I say good hunting. Cinema 21, fungifilmfest.com


Portland Queer Film Festival

It’s currently unclear if the Portland Queer Film Festival (PQFF) will hold a dedicated festival this year, and to that I say, “how like a Pisces to keep us in suspense.” PQFF has been uniting our city’s queer and film communities for more than two decades (with a couple years off for COVID), and represents an important mix of feature and documentary films from a shimmering constellation of queer themes. The fest presented a couple one-off screenings in June and July this year, and that may be what we get for 2023. Far be it from me to predict the movements of the oceans or a water sign. Pdxqueerfilm.com


Kanopy, 24/7, online

I’m a Taurus—always have been, always will be—so I can speak with authority on this one. Most of your modern respectable film fests require you to leave the comfort of your favorite section of the couch not just once, but potentially several times in sequence. Skip that cosmopolitan nonsense and sign up for Kanopy with your library card, if you haven’t already. (I’m speaking to the non-Taurses here.) Kanopy is completely free, pleasingly designed, and most importantly contains a wealth of the kinds of indie, arthouse, and documentary cinema you often can’t see outside the festival circuit. You don’t have to leave the house (nice) and you get to think about libraries while you’re doing it (also nice). kanopy.com



The Northwest Film Center was once a center for film in the Northwest, and it used to put on the Portland International Film Festival, which was a festival of international film. The organization has since rebranded under the somewhat inexplicable moniker PAM CUT, which I’m told it stands for Portland Art Museum’s Center for an Untold Tomorrow—but I don’t know what those words mean in that order. When I asked if they were bringing back PIFF, or indeed any film festival of any kind, PAM CUT directed me to a press release detailing their plan to turn Portland’s last porn theater into “a creative hub for artists and audiences not content to be contained to a single medium or art form.” Promises of a “playful and creative” food program, potential gaming and “XR” space, and selfie-worthy lobby decor followed. Libras, I dare you to tell me I’m wrong assigning this festival to your team. pamcut.org