Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Cinema Project & NW Film Center present EMPTY QUARTER

Cinema Project and the NW Film Center are banding together this coming Friday, January 28th at 7pm to present a special screening of the new 16mm film by directors Alain Letourneau and Pam MintyEmpty Quarter is, as the film's promotional website describes it:

"...about the region of Southeast Oregon, an area populated by ranching and farming communities, in Lake, Harney, and Malheur counties. The region is roughly one-third of Oregon’s landmass yet holds less than 2% of the state’s population.

Southeast Oregon, though familiar by name is a foreign place, particularly to those who reside in urban environments. It is a landscape in the making, constantly undergoing change, being re-worked. It is a highly politicized landscape, evoking differing opinions concerning resource management and land use. It is also a landscape that is, despite some beliefs, rich with diversity, as seen by the presence of East Indian families, Japanese families, ancestors of Basque sheep herders, home to the Paiute tribes people, and to Latinos who have come to help work the land.

Empty Quarter borrows from earlier forms of documentary. Rather than subscribe to a modern form of documentary replete with talking heads and B-roll images, Empty Quarter presents stark portraits, waiting to be explored and digested by the viewer. Their meaning can be felt in the slow process of accumulation and measured response. Through a series of stationary shots, recording open landscapes and activities of local residents, Empty Quarter reflects on the character of the region. Natural areas are viewed among images of industry, various labor processes, resource management and recreation. Voices of local residents describe the history of pioneer settlement, social life of rural communities, and the struggles of small town economies."

Empty Quarter screens at the Whitsell Auditorium at 7pm this coming Friday night (1/28).  The Whitsell Auditorium is located at 1219 SW Park Ave.  Portland, OR 97205

Portland ❤ film & February is a great month for film in PDX

Hello and welcome to The Rain Falls Down on Portlandtown, a multi-topic blog focusing mainly on cinema but also on art, life and more in the little big city that is PDX, Oregon.

I've been toying with the idea of blogging for about a year now, mostly due to wanting an outlet for writing about film.  This February, I'll be working the door at one of the six screening venues for the 34th annual Portland International Film Festival (PIFF).  The gig translates, for me, as access to press screenings, etc. and it seemed like the perfect excuse/opportunity to force myself into (blogging) action.  No time like the present, eh?

The full festival schedule won't be announced until February 1st.  However, the following films have been confirmed by various local media outlets such as The Oregonian, Willamette Week and The Portland Mercury:

Certified Copy dir. Abbas Kiarostami (Taste of Cherry, Close-Up)
Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives dir. Apichatapong Weerasethakul (Syndromes and a Century, Tropical Malady)
Some Days Are Better Than Others dir. Matt McCormick (The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal)
When We Leave dir. Feo Aladag
Honey dir. Semih Kaplanoglu
How to Die in Oregon dir. Peter Richardson (Clear Cut: The Story of Philomath, Oregon)
Son of Babylon dir. Mohamed Al Daradji (Dreams)
Outrage dir. "Beat" Takeshi Kitano (Fireworks, Sonatine)
Potiche dir. Francois Ozon (Water Drops on Burning Rocks, Swimming Pool)
In a Better World dir. Susanne Bier (After the Wedding, Brothers)
The Revenant dir. D. Kerry Prior (Roadkill)
The Princess of Montpensier dir. Bertrand Tavernier (Coup de Torchon, The Clockmaker)
Of Gods and Men dir. Xavier Beauvois (Le Petit Lieutenant)
Cold Weather dir. Aaron Katz
Flamenco, Flamenco dir. Carlos Saura (Tango, Carmen)
Mutant Girls Squad dir. Yoshihiro Nishimura (Suicide Club) and Noburu Iguchi (The Machine Girl)
Passione dir. John Turturro (Romance & Cigarettes) 
Rubber dir. Quentin Dupieux

The festival begins on the 10th and comes to a close on the 27th of February.  I'll be sure to post again as soon as the official schedule appears online.  Plus, I'll spend some time talking about films as I see them.  Thanks for taking the time to peruse this post.  Press screenings begin on Monday, so keep an eye out for updates.  And, who knows, I might find something else to blather on about before then...
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