40-Second Gift for 40 Years of Film

The Newsroom has been abuzz with news of our 40th Anniversary events including teasers of what’s to come at our 40s-themed glamorous Gala on May 12. You may also remember the Make it Short contest, where lovely NW Makers came together to show off their 40-second shorts, well we received a 40th anniversary gift in that style from experimental animator Devon Demonte:

“Rubbings of the historic Moviola editing machine from NW Film Center’s School of Film are animated by cameraless methods using only photocopies and adhesive tape onto 16mm film leader. Inspired by NWFC’s 40 second movies project, this is exactly 40 seconds long, 960 frames of picture. The variations in grid square size are the result of the Moviola’s metal footpedal being worn down in the editing of countless movies. This evidence of millions of miles of film footage, lovingly cut by scores of editors is recast upon wings of light via crotchety projection contraptions in wishing NWFC all the best for the next 40 years.”

40th Anniversary Gala Preview: Boy and Bean

Boy and Bean, local swing/jazz trio, has made a name for themselves with their faithful covers— with a modern twist— of Depression-era songs from the ’20s, ’30s, and of course, the ’40s. Husband-and-wife duo Luke Short and Amber Short harmonize beautifully on vocals,  with Luke also on guitar, and Andrew Jones on upright bass. Covering songs by The Mills Brothers, The Boswell Sisters, Ella Fitzgerald, Louis Armstrong, Billie Holiday, and crooners of days-gone-by, Boy and Bean will be a fabulous addition to a fabulous evening at our 40th Anniversary Gala.

Boy and Bean will be playing at the NW Film Center’s 40th Anniversary Gala, on Saturday, May 12th, 2012, during the Silent Auction. Can’t wait? Have a listen here.

Bruno Recommends: ‘Drive’

This review is republished from Nick Bruno’s blog, The Rain Falls Down on Portlandtown.

Though the man has been making films for more than fifteen years now, it was in 2011 that Nicolas Winding Refn truly arrived with Drive; a cool distillation of 1980s Hollywood action and thriller tropes remixed by a cultural outsider.  Many have already pointed out how Drive pulls from works associated with that decade by Michael Mann, Paul SchraderWalter Hill and Brian De Palma and, yes, there’s absolutely something valid about that comparison.  But it’s a bit of a stretch to describe the film as just an homage to films like Thief, HardcoreThe Driver and Dressed to Kill.

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McClanahan Recommends: ‘Bronson’

With the delightfully surreal Bronson Nicolas Winding Refn made took a big step forward in his career. This is the first of his three films dealing with transformation, and it’s easily his most stylistically adventurous film to date, using just about all the tools in cinema to tell this odd biopic that’s any thing but a normal entry in that typically snoozy genre.

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McClanahan Recommends: ‘Valhalla Rising’

Valhalla Rising is without a doubt a fresh, under the radar gem that could easily become a future cult, midnight movie classic in the vein of Alejandro Jodorowsky’s El Topo and The Holy Mountain. Surely, this is the kind of film for which the saying, “it’s not for everyone,” was invented. For those who enjoy the cinema of sensory experience, where striking visuals and ambient music creates mood and atmosphere, this is the film for you. There are camera shots guaranteed to linger in the mind well after leaving the theater, tones and feelings that will play on a loop in your memory. The narrative for Valhalla Rising is cryptic enough to incite a stimulating discussion afterwards, but the film asks a lot of the audience, trusting them to pay attention and give in to the experience of watching it.

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Adjust Your Tracking #9: Awash In Remakes

Adjust Your Tracking is the podcast produced through the facilities of the Northwest Film Center Newsroom. The show is hosted by Joe von Appen and Erik McClanahan, and produced by Jessica Lyness and Laurel Degutis. Opinions expressed are that of the hosts, and not necessarily of the Northwest Film Center.

In last week’s episode, Joe and Erik discuss the work of excellent Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn. His films are still screening at the Whitsell Auditorium as part of the Film Center’s new series, Driven: the Films of Nicolas Winding Refn. That series ends this Sunday, March 18 with screenings of “Bronson,” “Valhalla Rising” and “Drive.” This week’s show starts with a review of the new comedy “21 Jump Street,” and in discussing the comedy which opens this Friday, we segue in to our second segment on the endless glut of remakes, TV adaptations and the overall infiltration of 80s nostalgia in mainstream movies. We end the show with another recommendation in our Laptop Cinema segment.

New episodes of AYT are released every Thursday, so make sure to come back and check out what Joe and Erik are discussing every week. We’d love to hear your feedback in the comments section, or feel free to email adjustyourtracking@gmail.com or follow us on Twitter at twitter.com/adjustyourtrack. You can download the podcast by right-clicking the link below and selecting ‘Save Link As…’ Once saved, the show can be played in iTunes or any other mp3 player. Or stream it on the embedded player.

WARNING: Explicit language is used in this podcast.

AYT #9

Bruno Recommends: ‘Faded: Girls + Binge Drinking”

This review is republished from Nick Bruno’s blog, The Rain Falls Down on Portlandtown.

Janet McIntyre’s latest film Faded might be the saddest locally-produced documentary in recent memory. It also feels terribly important, shedding light on a serious social problem in a complex yet approachable way.  Sporting the subtitle Girls + Binge Drinking, the accessibility of the piece is a large part of its success, offering hope that it can be used as a pedagogical tool for opening up conversations with the very demographic that it documents.

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Bruno Recommends: ‘Fear X’

For his third feature, “Fear X,” Danish-born director Nicolas Winding Refn brings his uniquely effective eye for cinematic violence to America.  He couldn’t have chosen two more appropriate symbols for the country than the film’s setting–a shopping mall–and the violence with which the plot concerns itself; it’s located in the past, connoting a history of violence, as well as the dark potential for future mayhem.

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McClanahan Recommends: ‘Pusher III: I’m The Angel Of Death’

“I’m not a crime buff in any way, but I am interested in people, the sociological aspect. With gangsters, it’s life or death which intensifies the drama,” Refn says in the documentary “Gambler,” and while that’s hard to believe, it’s actually the secret to the “Pusher” films.

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Nicolas Winding Refn: An Appreciation

Sometimes you just know, but can’t always properly articulate, why a particular film is great. Or, in the case of “Drive”—the latest film from Danish filmmaker Nicolas Winding Refn and starring Ryan Gosling as a movie stunt driver by day and getaway driver by night who falls in love while getting on the bad side of some nasty criminals—when the trailer finally dropped way back in June 2011, we thought the film looked amazing, and never imagined we’d have to explain why. It’s one of those previews you see and it looks like the most badass piece of cinema in years (the trailer is not unlike the one for “The Tree of Life” in its power to capture the imagination and induce puddles of film-loving drool, but for genre movie geeks instead of arthouse nerds), and then you watch it again, and again.

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