NORTHERN LIGHTS – Revival 35mm print screenings!

Northern Lights

One of the landmarks of American independent film, NORTHERN LIGHTS won the Caméra d’Or (best-directed first feature) at the Cannes Film Festival. An old man (played by 94-year-old Henry Martinson, an actual participant in the dramatized events) turns the pages of a brittle diary, and we’re back in the winter of 1915, as Robert Behling crisscrosses a bleak North Dakota in his Model T to drum up support for the Nonpartisan League against the trust-held grain elevators, trains, and banks that constantly threaten foreclosure. Shot on the proverbial shoestring in temperatures that hit 40 below, with a cast largely of non-professional locals and North Dakotans, apart from Behling, onscreen fiancée Susan Lynch, and pesky friend Joe Spano. (95 mins.)


NORTHERN LIGHTS screens Friday, April 18 at 7pm and Sunday, April 20 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.


A Spell to Ward Off the Darkness

“As collaborators, Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, two intrepid and nomadic talents of experimental film and art, have created one of the most bewitching cinematic experiences to come along in a great while. In A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS, Robert A. A. Lowe, the celebrated musician behind Lichens and Om, gives a strangely affecting, perhaps even trance-inducing performance as the film’s Parsifal figure, a quixotic man who embarks on a quest for utopia—the holy grail of infinite truth, self-knowledge, and spiritual connectedness. He finds some measure of it in three seemingly disparate contexts: in a small collective community on a remote Estonian island, in isolation in the northern Finnish wilderness, and onstage fronting a black metal band in Norway. While his experience seems to be a perpetual one of home, exile, and return, for us, it is purely magical.”—Museum of Modern Art. (98 mins.)

A SPELL TO WARD OFF THE DARKNESS screens Friday, April 18 at 9pm and Saturday, April 19 at 7pm and 9pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

SELECTED 3: Films Shortlisted for the Jarman Award

Selected 3

SELECTED 3 is a collection of artists’ film and video chosen by the artists shortlisted for The 2012 Jarman Award. The Jarman Award honors the legacy of avant-garde filmmaker Derek Jarman, recognizing and rewarding the exceptional creativity of today’s British artist-filmmakers whose work, like Jarman’s, resists conventional definition. Jamie Wyld, program co-curator, will be present to introduce the films, which include new works by Emma Alonze (I SPRAY HAIRSPRAY INTO THE AIR), Sophie Beresford (MAKING ADIDAS MERMAID), Nicholas Brooks (ARRASTRE), Mat Fleming (TWO LAKES), Piotr Krzymowski (BOYS), Naheed Raza (SILK), Frances Scott (THE MIRACLE METHODS series), Daniel Shanken (COHESION), Cheryl Simmons (WHAT ARE YOU DOING MAN?), and Edward Thomasson (JUST ABOUT MANAGING). (80 mins.)

Produced by videoclub and Film London Artists’ Moving Image Network (FLAMIN) and supported by Arts Council England and Film London.


SELECTED 3 screens Tuesday, April 15 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Aleksandr Sokurov’s FAUST


Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, FAUST is Sokurov’s fourth and final film in his tetralogy on the corrupting effects of power. In MOLOCH (1999), TAURUS (2001), and THE SUN (2005), Sokurov turned his gaze on Hitler, Lenin, and Japan’s Emperor Hirohito, respectively. Here, the RUSSIAN ARK director offers a visceral, freestyle reading of the legend of Dr. Faust, a scholar who exchanges his soul for unlimited knowledge. Departing sharply from Goethe’s version of the tale, Sokurov’s Faust (Johannes Zeiler) inhabits an earthy, 19th-century world of primitive autopsies and medical rituals. He becomes obsessed with the beautiful Margarete (Isolda Dychauk) and desperately turns to a physically grotesque Moneylender to conjure their union. “Intensified by the immersive, painterly cinematography of Bruno Delbonnel (AMELIE), FAUST is a poetic meditation on, and a sensually overwhelming vision of, man’s unyielding hunger for knowledge.”—AFI Film Festival. (140 mins.)

Sponsored by the Russian and German departments of Reed College.

FAUST screens Friday, April 11 at 7pm and Sunday, April 13 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Did you miss it at PIFF 37? Another chance to catch THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM!

The New Rijksmuseum

“The renovation of Amsterdam’s Rijksmuseum went on for ten long, expensive years, so it is fitting that a documentary on this torturous (and often inadvertently hilarious) process should turn into not one but two feature-length movies. Spanish architects Antonio Cruz and Antonio Ortiz have designed an ingenious new entryway, but the Dutch Cyclists Union won’t tolerate reduced access for the 13,000 bicyclists who ride through the passageway daily. The museum’s magisterial director, Ronald de Leeuw, and his successor, the younger, scrappier Wim Pijbes, battle with curators, politicians, designers, city bureaucrats, and the public as the price of construction soars to $500 million. It’s a messy, complicated story, but fortunately, one with a glorious ending.”—Film Forum. “THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM proves that films can describe nuances of character and situation as finely as the finest novel or creative nonfiction.”— (240 mins.)

PLEASE NOTE: The scheduled 2 p.m. screening on Sunday, April 13, has been cancelled.


THE NEW RIJKSMUSEUM screens Saturday, April 12 at 6:30pm and Monday, April 14 at 6pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.


Circadia See the Moon

A recent transplant from Seattle, Hanagan joins the Portland film community (and the Northwest Film Center staff) with a body of short film work that traverses a wide span of experimental and narrative approaches to visual storytelling. Each film is set in a world uniquely different from our own—one where buffoonery and eeriness are abundant in equal measure. With a passion initially sparked by the art of cinematography, his work demonstrates a concentrated study of experimentation with cameras, lenses, and all manner of visual trickery. His films playfully recreate cinematic genres, moving from the atmosphere of classic Universal horror films to ’60s psychedelic science fiction and beyond. Included in this screening are eight films: LANDING SHIP X-1 (2014, 8 mins.); ATLAS (2011, 7 mins.); HARVEY WULFE (2009, 4 mins.); SPANISH STEPS (2007, 3 mins.); TOASTERLAND (2007, 2 mins.); CIRCADIA SEES THE MOON (2005, 17 mins.); JACK STRANGE, LITERARY HERO (2001, 32 mins.); and HIT THE OFFICIAL IN THE FACE (2000, 5 mins.). (Total running time: 78 mins.)

Director Dave Hanagan will lead an audience Q&A following the program and will teach a workshop, MAKE YOUR OWN DSLR LENS, at the School of Film on June 14.


ROMANTIC MACABREDY: SHORT FILMS BY DAVE HANAGAN screens Thursday, April 10 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our ongoing Northwest Tracking series.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

NW Film Center and White Bird present ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS

Rocco and His Brothers

A chronicle of family loyalty and disintegration, Visconti’s epic masterpiece is one of the most powerful and emotionally charged movies ever made. Rosaria Parondi and her five sons journey north to Milan to seek a better life, but the industrial north proves just as unforgiving as the desolation in Sicily. Simone (Renato Salvatori) becomes the first brother to find success—but his career as a boxer flounders when he meets Nadia (Annie Girardot), a beautiful prostitute. When Simone’s possessiveness drives Nadia away, she falls in love with his younger brother Rocco (Alain Delon). The lovers set in motion a shattering chain of events for which the family’s traditional values leave them unprepared. The most dramatic and spectacular film of Visconti’s career, its sweeping operatic style, Nino Rota score, and striking Giuseppe Rotunno cinematography influenced the work of directors Martin Scorsese (MEAN STREETS), Francis Ford Coppola (THE GODFATHER), and a generation of other filmmakers. (177 mins.)

Co-presented with White Bird Dance, which is presenting the world premiere of Dutch choreographers Emio Greco and Pieter Scholten’s dance-theater piece “Rocco,” based on the film, April 10-12. For information and dance performance tickets, visit

Admission to the film is free for White Bird ticket holders. Film attendees and Silver Screen Club members are eligible for a “Rocco” ticket discount. Choreographers Greco and Scholten will introduce the film.



ROCCO AND HIS BROTHERS screens Sunday, April 6 at 6:30pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Orson Welles’ THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI – Brand New 4K Restoration!

Lady from Shanghai

In THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI, writer/director Orson Welles shares the screen with Rita Hayworth, his second wife, creating a wildly stylish film noir that was years ahead of its time. Welles plays a tough, footloose Irish sailor who takes a job on a wealthy lawyer’s private yacht, only to fall in love with the sinister man’s beautiful wife. The story’s multiple double-crosses come to a boil in Marin County and San Francisco, where some of Welles’s (and cinema’s) most memorable visualizations of a twisted world of corruption and evil unfold with surreal delight. “The film’s bravura moments resonate beyond pyrotechnics, especially the magnificent sequences of reflexive cinema in the macabre Hall of Mirrors scene and the confession of love in a ‘fishbowl’—the San Francisco Aquarium.” —Pacific Film Archive. (87 mins.)

The brand new, 4K digital restoration of THE LADY FROM SHANGHAI screens Friday, April 4 and Saturday, April 5 at 7pm & 9pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Northwest Tracking: ICH HUNGER w/ Director Isaac Olsen in attendance

Ich Hunger

Tacoma writer/director/photographer/editor/animator Isaac Olsen’s expressionistic art film follows the exploits of an elusive “creature boy” who terrorizes a rural German township. This creature, naive but murderous, spends his days lurking in the woods and satisfying his lust for human flesh as an inspector from Frankfurt sets out to hunt him down. Olsen employs a visual cornucopia of moods, textures, and themes with miniatures, animation, water tank photography, and other techniques. With an international cast of non-actors speaking in German with English subtitles, this mostly black-and-white nod to German expressionism moves closer to the field of abstraction and transforms a simple narrative into a true sensory experience. (70 mins.)

Director Isaac Olsen will lead an audience Q&A following the screening.  Click here to hear a special interview edition of our Adjust Your Tracking podcast with Isaac Olsen speaking with host Erik McClanahan about the film.



ICH HUNGER screens Thursday, April 3 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our ongoing Northwest Tracking series.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Forever Burt: Added Screening of THE CRIMSON PIRATE on 35mm!

The Crimson Pirate poster

We’re happy to announce that we’ve added an additional 35mm screening of Robert Siodmak’s 1952 swashbuckling classic THE CRIMSON PIRATE to our Sunday, March 30 schedule, and that Burt’s youngest daughter Joanna Lancaster will be in attendance.

The most successful of Lancaster’s many action-packed swashbucklers made for his Hecht-Hill-Lancaster production company, THE CRIMSON PIRATE features Lancaster as Captain Vallo, leader of a ship of pirates intent on disrupting the plans of the British navy, who are sailing through the Caribbean to quash a rebellion on the island of Cobra. Aided by his first mate Ojo (Lancaster’s boyhood friend and circus partner Nick Cravat), Vallo meets with the rebels and promises to help them, but the rebels, wary of outsiders, do not trust him. As Vallo, Ojo, and the rest of the pirates work to prove themselves trustworthy, Vallo’s lust for money threatens to undermine their efforts. “Any viewer with a drop of red blood in his veins and with fond memories of the Douglas Fairbanks Sr. school of derring-do should be happy to go on this last cruise of the crimson pirate.”—The New York Times. (105 mins.)

THE CRIMSON PIRATE screens Sunday, March 30 at 4:30pm as part of our Forever Burt series in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Advanced tickets are available for purchase here.


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