RODENTS OF UNUSUAL SIZE "Rodents of unusual size? I don't think they exist."

★ MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.

Bad Reputation
Joan Jett got her start by hanging out at the Sunset Strip nightclub Rodney Bingenheimer’s English Disco, where she plunged into the glam-rock scene. In retrospect, it’s hard to believe they let in teenagers like 14-year-old Joan. As with Manhattan’s Studio 54, every manner of vice was on offer, but she emerged relatively unscathed. Through the club, she met the notorious Kim Fowley, who helped her put together an all-girl band. If Jett longed to be taken seriously as a musician, the overwhelmingly male-dominated media of the time couldn’t see past the Runaways’ jailbait image (manager Fowley, who used it as a marketing tool, shares in the blame). Only in London, during the punk era, did Jett feel like she fit in. Director Kevin Kerslake’s documentary proceeds through the years as Jett struggles to remain commercially viable, a challenge for any legacy act, irrespective of genre, gender, or orientation. (Opens Fri Sept 28, Hollywood Theatre) KATHY FENNESSY

Dark Money
It shares a title and subject with Jane Mayer’s acclaimed 2016 book, but Kimbery Reed’s in-depth documentary is its own thing—a wonky examination of how unknown corporations, shadowy activists, and (possibly) foreign interests are dumping vast amounts of untraceable money into right-wing political campaigns and causes, irrevocably and deceitfully changing the course of American democracy. Reed’s Dark Money focuses on the campaigns that have sought to exploit resource-rich Montana, and draws on the dogged work of Montana Free Press reporter John S. Adams, but make no mistake: When it comes to dark money, Montana is a microcosm of the rest of the country, and from Citizens United to the Koch brothers to local elections, this shit matters across the board. “Campaign finance is like the gateway issue to every other issue that you might care about,” says Ann Ravel, the former chair of the defanged Federal Election Commission. “Whether it be education or tax reform or foreign policy, campaign finance is at the heart of all the policy decisions that are being made.” Director in attendance. (Fri Sept 28-Sat Sept 29, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium) ERIK HENRIKSEN

Hold the Dark
So Jeremy Saulnier, the guy who mercilessly fucked you up in the woods with Blue Ruin and then remorselessly fucked you up in a skinhead enclave with Green Room, has a new movie starring Jeffrey Wright, Alexander Skarsgård, Riley Keogh, and a bunch of wolves, all stuck in the Alaskan wilderness together. Surely audiences will enjoy a pleasant, even-keelish evening of fine company and droll conversation, yes? Not a gut-churning horrorshow of betrayal and death, surely. (Fri Sept 28, Netflix)

The H.P. Lovecraft Film Festival
Portland’s annual celebration of all things slimy and betentacled. (Extra-tentacled? Tentacular?) Fri Oct 5-Sun Oct 7, Hollywood Theatre)

Killer of Sheep
Charles Burnett’s gritty 1977 portrait of a Watts ghetto has a lot to live up to—namely, its own hype. Burnett made Killer of Sheep as a UCLA film student for $10,000, using friends and neighbors as actors and shooting on weekends for over a year. But not only does Killer of Sheep live up to its own mythology, it transcends it as a fascinating, melancholy, and entertaining work of art and social realism. (Fri Sept 28, Hollywood Theatre) CHAS BOWIE

Mandy
Panos Cosmatos’ violent, surreal saga is kind of sad, kind of lyrical, and kind of rock ’n’ roll; its first half is an earnest, artsy character study, and its second is a greasy, sordid revenge flick. It also features one of Nicolas Cage’s most bugfuck crazy performances, so: Mandy isn’t for everyone. But for those it is for? It’s a hell of a thing. (Now playing, various theaters) ERIK HENRIKSEN

recommended Not Sorry: Feminist Experimental Film From The 1970s To Today
See preview. (Sun Oct 7-Sun Oct 28, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium)

recommended Portland EcoFilm Festival
See preview, this issue. (Thurs Sept 27-Sun Sept 30, Hollywood Theatre)

Portland Queer Film Festival
The Portland Queer Film Festival offers a grab bag of queer-centric documentaries, dramas, and comedies, including Ideal Home (starring Steve Coogan and Paul Rudd), Transmilitary (about transgender people serving in the US military), and The Very Best of HUMP!, which collects some of the best amateur porn shorts from the Mercury’s HUMP! fest. (Fri Sept 28-Thurs Oct 4, Cinema 21) ERIK HENRIKSEN

Rodents of Unusual Size
When I first moved to Portland, a housemate pointed out a nutria at a swampy MAX stop—they’re large, rat-tailed, orange-toothed, and kind of hard to miss—and informed me they were native to the area. She was wrong. Nutria were imported to Oregon in the 1930s to support the area’s fur trade, back when nutria fur coats were a thing, and much of the documentary Rodents of Unusual Size attempts to make a case for nutria fur coats becoming a thing again. Largely filmed in Louisiana, R.O.U.S. focuses on the problem of nutria-caused erosion, and most of its interviews are with people who kill nutria for the state’s $5 bounty on each tail. There are many, many dead nutria in this film, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t a fun, weird movie to watch—it’s full of grizzled old Louisiana men doing things like holding poop in their hand and saying, “That’s a nutria turd.” Filmmakers in attendance Thurs Sept 27. (Thurs Sept 27-Sun Sept 30, Clinton Street Theater) SUZETTE SMITH

recommended Sex Weather
You know exactly the type of weather Sex Weather refers to. They are the best Portland days—dreary, but not so freezing that you crank the heat, so your house is still a little cold, so you nest under the blankets with another warm body. Set and filmed in Portland, Sex Weather opens with two hungover, naked adults squinting at one another and trying to find their phones. Over the course of a single cloudy day spent in bed, Darrel (Al’Jaleel McGhee) and Sydney (Amber Stonebraker) play out a relationship’s worth of intimacy and affection and being total assholes the way you only can when you really love someone. You’d better be okay with those conversations, because this is 100 percent of the film’s content—which felt like way too much at first, but as I got to know the characters, I became a thirsty little fly on the wall, loving the drama and happy for the grey day that pushed these characters inside. Filmmakers in attendance. (Mon Oct 1, Hollywood Theatre; Tues 0ct 2, NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium) ELINOR JONES

recommended The Sisters Brothers
See review.. (Opens Fri Oct 5, various theaters)

A Star Is Born
See review. (Opens Fri Oct 5, various theaters)

Swinging Roman Cinema: Il Sorpasso
Dino Risi’s 1962 comedy is the latest installment in author Shawn Levy’s Swinging Roman Cinema series. (Wed Oct 10, Hollywood Theatre)

Venom
See review. (Opens Fri Oct 5, various theaters)