BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER She's not the real Buffy, but she's still pretty good.


Films screen at the Mission Theater and the Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium. Not all films were screened for critics. For more info, see Film, this issue, Movie Times, and nwfilm.org. All reviews by Ned Lannamann, who really likes music documentaries.

The Ballad of Mott the Hoople
See Film, this issue.

Benda Bilili!
A French film following the Congolese band Benda Bilili.

Cab Calloway, the Dandy of Harlem
An impressionistic look at the performer, via dance, artwork, and interviews. It's slightly less annoying than it sounds. Preceded by 1979's jazz doc The Last of the Blue Devils.

Foo Fighters: Back and Forth
A warts-and-all overview of Dave Grohl's band that's interesting all the way through, even when its last stretch turns into a promo for their newest album.

Frank Zappa: Phase Two—The Big Note
An examination of Zappa's weirdest music, including some of his orchestral work. Some chronology or biographical info would've been nice.

George Harrison: Living in the Material World
See Film, this issue.

Live at Preservation Hall: Louisiana Fairytale
My Morning Jacket collaborates with the Preservation Hall Jazz Band. This movie needs way more Preservation Hall and a lot less My Morning Jacket. Screens with The Devil's Box, a documentary on the annual Texas-style fiddling championship competition that's likable enough. But there sure is a lot of fiddle playing.

Mr. Mojo Risin': The Story of L.A. Woman
In 1970 a mediocre band, bankrupt of new ideas, recorded a crappy blues album, and then broke up after their terrible, pretentious, drunken singer died in a bathtub. This is their story.

Richard Thompson: Solitary Life
A thumbnail look at the British songwriter/guitarist. There's a revealing look at his nasty divorce with singer Linda Thompson, but the film's too short to do the man's lengthy, remarkable career justice.

Ride, Rise, Roar
A concert film of David Byrne's 2009 tour, in which dancers shared the stage with the musicians. The movie is well made, but pales in comparison to the actual performances—Byrne's Portland show was phenomenal, and I can't really say the same about this movie.

The Sound of Mumbai: A Musical
Children from the Mumbai slums get a chance to perform songs from The Sound of Music. There is nothing sadder than watching the sweet, charming Ashish grinning widely after his big performance, then returning to a life of unspeakable poverty.

Stravinsky: Once at a Border
A long but involving 1982 doc that provides a complete biography of the Russian-born composer.

The Swell Season
See Film, this issue.

That Was Then, This Is Now: Portland Music Videos
See My, What a Busy Week!

This Is Noise Pop
Over a decade's worth of performers at San Francisco's annual Noise Pop Festival are asked, "What is indie rock?" Amazingly, most answer politely.

Vinyl: The Alternate Take
An alternate version of Alan Zweig's 2000 documentary about vinyl collectors.


Films screen at Cinema 21. Not all films were screened for critics. For more info, see "Re: Dolly Parton, Vampires," Movie Times, and plgff.org.

Bite Marks
Gay hitchhikers + abandoned junkyard full of vampires.

Codependent Lesbian Space Alien Seeks Same
Coneheads and Clerks go on a date. It's in black and white and they are lesbians. There are some good jokes but none of them are delivered well. Tiny Furniture's Alex Karpovsky shows up as an alien-chasing government agent. Figuring out what other movie he'd been in is the film's saving grace, but I've already told you, so now you'll have nothing. SUZETTE "THE INTERN" SMITH

An Icelandic film about a 16-year-old struggling with "a harsh, agonizing secret about himself."

The Night Watch
The closing-night selection, and a drama based on Sarah Waters' novel "following the lives of four young Londoners throughout different stages of the second World War."


A Chinese historical epic in which a rebel leader with a goatee (Jackie Chan with a goatee) wages war against the ruling Qing Dynasty. Hollywood Theatre.

B-Movie Bingo
A screening of 1990's non-classic American Hunter, with special-made bingo cards so you can spot the B-movie clichés to win prizes. Hollywood Theatre.

Bang Bang
Set amid an Asian American teen gang, Bang Bang's plot follows the rocky, drug-infused, gun-toting lifestyle of two young gangsters with different ideals. The two boys—Justin (rapper Thai Ngo), a lower-class teen jaded by gang life, and Charlie (David Huynh), a wealthy latchkey kid enamored by the gangster glamour—work through their own angsty issues amid gang drama. These shoot-outs and fistfights are filmed in slow-mo black and white, adding to the angst—but despite a unique focus on the Asian-American gang crowd, Bang Bang mostly just follows a generic coming-of-age plot. ALEX ZIELINSKI Hollywood Theatre.

Battle for Brooklyn
A documentary about Brooklyn's Prospect Heights residents and their fight against corporate developers. Director in attendance. Hollywood Theatre.

recommended Buffy the Vampire Slayer
See My, What a Busy Week! Academy Theater.

Guilty Except for Insanity
In 1975, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest was shot at the Oregon State Hospital in Salem. Over three decades later, Portland-based filmmaker Jan Haaken uses that movie as a framework to revisit the psychiatric facility and examine mental health laws in Oregon. Haaken follows a handful of patients and officials to get at why certain patients end up there and how they're treated. Though overly clinical at times, Guilty Except for Insanity is a compassionate study of a complex, misunderstood topic. Director and subjects in attendance at the 7 pm show on Sunday, October 9. JAMIE S. RICH Cinema 21.

The Ides of March
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

The Life and Times of Allen Ginsberg
A doc about "the visionary poet and founding father of the Beat generation." Director in attendance. Northwest Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium.

Real Steel
See review this issue. Various Theaters.

See review this issue. Fox Tower 10.

Sarah Palin: You Betcha!
How did a film from British muckraker Nick Broomfield about the most polarizing woman in US politics wind up so boring? This documentary seeks to paint a portrait of where Sarah Palin grew up, and while it includes a few interesting scenes (her parents have a crazy dog!), it contains little you haven't already heard in the past three years of our Palin-centric media avalanche. Clinton Street Theater.

recommended The Way
Emilio Estevez wrote and directed The Way, in which his dad, President Bartlet, walks the Camino de Santiago, a Christian pilgrimage route through France and Spain, in memory of his dead son (Estevez, annoyingly turning up in flashbacks) who was killed during a storm while also traveling the Camino. Along the way President Bartlet befriends three fellow travelers, all of whom are some variation of the lost white tourist looking to inject meaning into a privileged life. The movie's sentimental as all get out, but the scenery's good and The Way is surprisingly touching in non-formulaic ways. NED LANNAMANN Fox Tower 10.