With the 2016 Sundance International Film Festival right around the corner, the Sundance Institute has revealed all its in-competition films including selections from their U.S. Dramatic Competition, U.S. Documentary Competition, World Cinema Dramatic Competition, World Cinema Documentary Competition and their featured NEXT competition for emerging filmmakers. Have a look through the list to find standouts in a year that looks surprisingly slim on them. Read More
Women He’s Undressed, Gillian Armstrong’s new documentary about Hollywood costume designer Orry Kelly, opens over an unnaturally-saturated view of a blue sky, with a quote from actress Fanny Brice: “Let the world know who you are because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose; then where will you be?” The stage is thus set for a bio-documentary that will reveal some hidden aspect of its subject, guaranteeing an interested viewer who will surely be surprised – and likely touched – by the revelation to come. Read More
Primary Peruvian exports include non-monetary gold powder, cooper ores, concentrates, cathodes and non-crude oil. You can now add to the list supremely compelling cinema as Magallanes, the product of first-time Peruvian director Salvador del Solar, is a true festival stunner. Soaked in a gleeful amount of real world suspense and intensified by rich dramatic character work from its apt principal cast, the slow-but-steady-building drama-thriller is a certifiable symphony of hard-won victories – both from a narrative and practical standpoint. Read More
If you wiggle a pencil fast enough, it appears soft. Rubbery. Made of flesh. It’s only when you reach out and touch the pencil that you realize it’s made of hard wood. In a film, we cannot reach out, we cannot exert force or physical contact, so we rely on cues that the filmmaker plants within the picture; clues that help us distinguish the realm of the real from that of the imaginary. Der Nachtmahr (The Nightmare) is an exercise in distinguishing the real from the imagined through the lens of what is essentially ET’s aborted fetus. Read More
A short line of blackclad fantasy lovers wrapped around the block, waiting for the Mission Theater to open its orange cathedral doors. The sun is shining in Portland’s chic Pearl District. The air is warm and dry. In short, a perfectly idyllic late summer/early fall day in Portland. Read More
Be Careful What You Wish For
How Far Would You Go For Art?
Michael Medaglia’s fantasy/horror/comedy mindscrew Deep Dark updates the classic Monkey’s Paw trope, investigating the source and meaning of real art in the meantime. Have you ever experienced writer’s block? Felt like you had something to say, but just couldn’t quite find the words? Have you ever wanted something so bad you can taste it in the back of your throat? Read More
When most people think of reggae music, they think of Bob Marley; Jamaica; smoking sensamilla; the red, yellow, and green and the Jamaican flag. More informed heads might even think of Jah-on-Earth Haile Selassie, the last Emperor of Ethiopia, or the Lion Of Judah. No matter how into reggae you are, you are not likely to picture two skinny white Israelites from Tel Aviv, the subject matter of Ariel Tagar’s Congo Beat The Drum documentary.
It is the challenge of every young person to find and define their own selves, apart from expectations from society, family, friends, & personal history. This is, unfortunately, exponentially more true for women of all ages, but particularly young women, with everyone having opinions about their bodies, their style, even their mood (you’d be prettier if you smiled more). Birds Of Neptune, director Stephen Richter’s English-language debut after the Portuguese Center Of Gravity, investigates this battle for self-identification, by following two eccentric young sisters, Rachel and Mona, chilling portrayed by Britt Harris and Molly Elizabeth Parker. Read More
Sometimes, to really appreciate what you have, you have to view it through someone else’s eyes. GRU-PDX, which opens the third installation of the Portland Film Festival, is filmmaker Daniel Barosa‘s loving glimpse into Portland’s underground music scene, with all of its quirks. In 2013, the atmospheric indie rock duo Quatro Negro flew to Portland, Or. to make a record with The Helio Sequence. While GRU-PDX started out to document the record-making process, it quickly expanded outward to gaze at Portland’s music scene, both over- and under-ground, looking at the way it’s changed in the wake of the “Portlandia”-hype. Read More
Zombies! Madness! Faeries! Reggae!
Portland Film Fest returns, in its 3rd incarnation, cementing its place as a cultural tour de force and earning its reputation as one of the “Top 25 Coolest Film Festivals In The World 2014” from MovieMaker Magazine. Portland is at an interesting crossroads in its cultural evolution. On one hand, it is the run-down, rusted, gloomy, economically-depressed and overly-tattoed old school version of itself, which we all know and love. On the other, it is a shining mecca for the 21st Century, a beacon of progressiveness, DIY ethos, and collaborative creative communities. Read More