The Best of HUMP!
See Film, this issue. Cinema 21.
Bigger Than Life: The Films
of Nicholas Ray
Americans never fully understood the films of Nicholas Ray. In the New York Times' review of Wim Wenders' Lightning Over Water, a 1980 documentary about the maverick director's final days, Vincent Canby wrote, "Perhaps the worst thing that ever happened to Nicholas Ray... was when, in the late 1950s, he began to hear himself acclaimed as 'an artist,' and attempted to live up to the reputation that had been imposed on him, initially by European critics and filmmakers." Ouch. Perhaps Canby was thinking of Ray's most famous film, 1955's Rebel Without a Cause. Have you seen it lately? Have you seen it as a grownup? It's... not very good. See "Rebel, Rebel," Film, April 22. NED LANNAMANN NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
The Bridge on the River Kwai
"Do not speak to me of rules. This is war! This is not a game of cricket!" Laurelhurst Theater.
Essential Gus Van Sant
(& His Influences)
The NW Film Center has assembled a lineup of notable films directed by Van Sant—Mala Noche, Drugstore Cowboy, My Own Private Idaho, Milk, Gerry, Elephant, and Last Days—alongside work by his major influences. We'll never be closer to the Portland that Van Sant captured in his early films than we are at this moment, so maybe now is as good a time as any for a retrospective of Van Sant's work. See "Portland's Own," Film, April 22. ALISON HALLETT NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Far From the Madding Crowd
See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.
The Hand That Feeds
Hot and Crusty, a 24-hour New York City restaurant chain, serves as a microcosm of America this documentary, which follows its employees' efforts to unionize. Directors Rachel Lears and Robin Blotnick capture the struggles, setbacks, and successes of the workers, many of whom are undocumented. The result: An inspiring movie for anyone who likes rooting for the underdog, and one that's especially great for anyone involved in the fight for an increased minimum wage. SHELBY R. KING Clinton Street Theater.
Video game movies are maybe the dumbest, least-rewarding genre of film ever created. This month's Hecklevision entry, Double Dragon, almost singlehandedly proves that theory. Come mercilessly mock a movie adapted from a game whose entire existence can be described as "Punch person, move right." Hollywood Theatre.
Hobo, You Can't Ride That Train
A look at the lives of train-hoppers throughout history as documented in various 16mm shorts from local film archivist Dennis Nyback. Hollywood Theatre.
Women are funny! Just not in Hot Pursuit. COURTNEY FERGUSON Various Theaters.
I Am Big Bird
Did you know that the man inside the Big Bird costume has been the same guy since the beginning? It's true! His name is Carroll Spinney, and I Am Big Bird documents his rocky beginnings with Jim Henson's Sesame Street crew to finding his calling as an eight-foot-tall bird and being just about the nicest guy around. ELINOR JONES Living Room Theaters.
Lambert & Stamp
All Kit Lambert and Chris Stamp wanted was to make a movie. When the two decided in 1964 to make a documentary about a West London rock 'n' roll group, their fates were sealed. The band they set their sights on became the Who, and Lambert and Stamp became two of the most notorious—and ingenious—rock managers in a field crowded with the likes of Brian Epstein, Andrew Loog Oldham, and Robert Stigwood. Massive success followed, and of course it all went to shit as the partnership dissolved in lawsuits, acrimony, and frantic grabs for cash. James D. Cooper's brilliant, wholly absorbing documentary captures both the era and the managers' partnership. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10.
Mad Max: Fury Road
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
National Lampoon's Vacation
"We're all gonna have so much fucking fun we'll need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles." Academy Theater.
Pitch Perfect 2
See review this issue. Various Theaters.
QDoc: Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival
See Film, this issue. Hollywood Theatre.
A monthly series "showing vintage and contemporary films that are obscure, neglected, and from the fringe." This month: A 35mm print of A Day at the White House, a 1972 farce that's never been released on home video in any format. Hollywood Theatre.
A River Between Us
Jeff Martin's film—produced by State Senator Jason Atkinson—about the Klamath River and "the sometimes violently opposing views on how to manage this majestic resource." Director in attendance. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.
Sex Workers Film Series
A series offering "the best films by and about sex workers." This month: Georgie Girl. More at cstpdx.com. Clinton Street Theater.
Zaza Urushadze's Estonian-Georgian drama, and a nominee for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. Living Room Theaters.
Welcome to Me
Alice Klieg (Kristen Wiig) is a woman you probably wouldn't be friends with. She's self-absorbed, needy, socially clueless, and kinda mean. Against the advice of her therapist, she quits taking Abilify and decides to manage her borderline personality disorder by eliminating carbs and eating a lot of string cheese. As Welcome to Me begins, Alice wins $86 million in the lottery, and things could really turn around for her. But instead, Alice uses that $86 million to create a talk show about herself. She enters the stage riding in a swan boat; she sings her own theme song; she spends a five-minute segment eating meatloaf cake. If this sounds slightly painful to watch, yes, you're right. It is. ELINOR JONES Cinema 21, Kiggins Theatre.
While We're Young
Noah Baumbach takes what could have simply been Look at These Fucking Hipsters: The Motion Picture and transforms it into a hilariously sharp look at the generation gap. The movie distributes its scorn equally and with a rueful good humor. It gets as good as it gives. ANDREW WRIGHT Cinema 21.
MEANS WE RECOMMEND IT. Theater locations are accurate Friday, May 15-Thursday, May 21, unless otherwise noted. Movie times are updated daily and are available here.