Thursday, June 14, 2012


Proving the theory that in Portland pretty much anything can be cross pollinated with the local bike culture, the Portland Zine Symposium and Independent Publishing Resource Center are joining forces to present a "Zine Bike Ride" followed by a "Bike-In Movie" (yup, that would be a drive-in movie, only with bikes instead of Fords and Chevys) on Thursday, June 21st.  The film selection for that second event?  None other than Richard Donner's 1985 made-in-Oregon classic The Goonies.

The event is a fundraiser for the upcoming symposium.  More info is available on the I.P.R.C. and Portland Zine Symposium websites.

The Goonies screens as a "Bike-In Movie" at the new I.P.R.C. at 1001 SE Division on Thursday, June 21st at 9pm. 

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Would it be cynical to note that the local screenings of Bohdan Sláma's (The Country Teacher) latest feature Four Suns are scheduled to arrive just in time for Father's Day?  While the movie certainly doesn't belong to any of the genres (action flicks & westerns among them) usually marketed alongside the holiday, one could easily point to it as a meditation on fatherhood or, more accurately, how to completely mishandle that role.

Fogi (Jaroslav Plesi) is a man in his late 30s with a wife and two kids.  Despite his family obligations, he continues to party without purpose, ignoring the passage of time.  His eldest son Véna (Marek Sácha) is running wild, causing Fogi to worry that his willful case of puer aeternus has set a poor example for his kid; he's right, of course.  Meanwhile, Fogi's long suffering wife Jana (Anna Geislerová) is finding her affections tested by her husband's chronic irresponsible nature. 

While this Czech import plays out very much in the standard indie family drama mode, it does quite a few things well, exploring Fogi's existential crisis through his connections to others.  There's also a quirky and unexpected metaphysical component added to the tale involving stones, trees and the quest for a "master" that adds a lot to the proceedings even if it's hard to take it all that seriously.

Traveling a well-worn path, Four Sons is a well-acted, finely produced film that doesn't offer much new in the realm of family dramas but still manages to tells a compelling story.  It comes across like the hybrid, love child of the early films of Miguel Arteta if they settled down with a slightly lighter version of Mike Leigh's output.  All in all, a very pleasant, if not earth-shattering, film.

Four Suns screens at the NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium (in the Portland Art Museum) as a part of their New Czech Cinema series on Saturday, June 16th at 7pm and Tuesday, June 19th at 7pm.  More info available here.

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A big heads-up to all you creative women working in film:

Jen Wechsler, the managing director of POWFest, reached out to me (quite a while back, admittedly) to share the news that the annual Portland Oregon Women's Film Festival is accepting submissions for their 2013 outing.  

Here's what Jen wanted to convey to any and all interested parties:

The Portland Oregon Women’s Film Festival (a.k.a. POWFest) is now accepting entries for its sixth annual festival scheduled to take place March 7 - 10, 2013. The regular deadline for entries is Friday, August 17, 2012. POWFest showcases the art and cinematic contribution of women directors from around the world and seeks to present films that have been directed or co-directed by women; of any length, style, or genre. 

Deadlines & Fees Early Bird Deadline: Postmarked by June 20, 2012 ~ $20 
Regular Deadline: Postmarked by Friday August 17, 2012 ~ $30 
Late Deadline: Postmarked by Friday September 14, 2012 ~ $35 WAB 
Extended Deadline: Postmarked by Friday October 5, 2012 ~ $45 

For more details regarding the submission process go to Filmmakers can also submit via Withoutabox by clicking on this link  

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Those looking to check out the work of solid, locally-based filmmakers have two strong options this evening.  Brian Lindstrom's (director of Finding Normal and the much anticipated Alien Boy) latest documentary Writing Myself will have its local premiere at Cinema 21.  The film is Lindstrom's exploration of Portland's own Playwrite Inc., an organization that helps "underserved-youth" create works for the stage. 

The official synopsis goes something like this:

“Writing Myself” is the newest full-length documentary by filmmaker Brian Lindstrom, taking a peek into a 2-week PlayWrite workshop and showing the transformation of 8 students into performed playwrights.

Also screening tonight at the NW Film Center is Alison Grayson's The Love of Beer.  Grayson's documentary takes a look at the local brewing explosion, spending much of its time with women who are carving out a place for themselves in the overwhelmingly male world of meticulously-crafted beer.

The film's website describes the doc as being:

...a feature length documentary celebrating the women in the Pacific NW beer industry. Produced by Lingering Illocutions and created by Alison Grayson, The Love of Beer stars Bend Brewing’s Tonya Cornett and Saraveza’s Sarah Pederson and featuresTeri Fahrendorf, Lisa Morrison, Gayle Goschie, Amy Welch. 

The Love of Beer from Lingering Illocutions on Vimeo.

Writing Myself screens at Cinema 21 on Thursday, June 14th at 7pm.  More info available here. 
The film screens again at the Clinton Street Theater on Friday, June 15th at  7pm.  More info on that screening here.

The Love of Beer screens at the NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium (in the Portland Art Museum) on Thursday, June 14th at 7pm.  More info available here.

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