ALTMAN

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Robert Altman (1925-2006) was, during his long filmmaking career, one of Hollywood’s mavericks—never concerned with popular tastes or prevailing trends. Despite this, he made some of the most enduring films of the 1970s and 80’s and was able to carve out a niche, resulting in a long, sometimes turbulent, wildly varied career. As Ron Mann’s documentary portrait shows, Altman influenced much of today’s American filmmaking landscape, with critics often deploying the term “Altmanesque” to describe films that hit a distinctly American nerve. Screens with three of Altman’s rarely screened early shorts: THE KATHRYN REED STORY (1965), POT AU FEU (1965), and THE PARTY (1965). (122 mins.)

ALTMAN screens Friday, January 16 at 7pm, Saturday, January 17 at 4:30pm, and Sunday, January 18 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Lav Diaz’ NORTE, THE END OF HISTORY

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Known as “a Filipino freedom fighter that choses cinema as his weapon, a rebolusyonario that shoots film instead of people,” Philippine New Wave director Lav Diaz’s gripping epic finds it’s inspiration in Dostoyevsky’s Crime and Punishment as it reflects on the past century of rural life still overcoming its post-colonial experience. In the island province of Luzon, Fabian, an embittered young law-school dropout, commits a horrific double murder. Escaping justice, an innocent family man is convicted of the crime and sentenced to a life in prison that leaves his wife and children to fend for themselves. At once a meditation on cultural memory, class, personal and national guilt, the tyranny of ideology, and the reality of cosmic injustice, NORTE provides an immersion into a reality not soon forgotten. “Makes you wish it were twice as long.”—Time Out. (250 mins.)

This year’s Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission from the Philippines.

 

NORTE: THE END OF HISTORY screens Friday, January 9 at 7pm and Saturday, January 10 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Tsai Ming-Liang’s STRAY DOGS

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In Ming-Liang’s vision, existence seems to hang by a thread that could snap at any moment. Under a torrential downpour in Taipei, a single father does odd jobs to make a meager living. His children, left without supervision, roam the streets. Their divorced mother spends her nights creeping around like a ghost in her rundown building and feeding the stray dogs that take shelter there. With his latest offering, the Taiwanese filmmaker delves deeper into his evocative cinematic world, one where disenfranchised people are overcome with uneasiness they can’t explain. With its gorgeous lighting and striking locations and compositions, STRAY DOGS is “as visually powerful as it is emotionally overwhelming and bracingly pure in both its anger and its compassion. One of the finest works of an extraordinary artist.”—New York Film Festival. “Imbued with mystery, sly humor, and an enormous heart.”—Toronto Film Festival. Grand Jury Prize, Venice Film Festival. (138 mins.)

STRAY DOGS screens Friday, December 26 at 7pm, Saturday, December 27 at 7pm, and Sunday, December 28 at 4 & 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Get Ready for the New Year by Downloading our January/March 2015 schedule

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The print edition of our January/March 2015 schedule is hitting the streets right now and is on its way to mailboxes all around town.  We’re really excited about our upcoming lineup, which includes:

classes & workshops at our School of Film
Italian Style, featuring films by Fellini, Antonioni, Lean, and others!
–a Ruben Östlund (FORCE MAJEURE) retrospective entitled “In Case of No Emergency: The Films of Ruben Östlund
–the local and regional selections that populate our Northwest Tracking series
–four Alec Guiness powered films from his classic Ealing Studios days
–a mini-selection of Altman-oriented goodies
–films by Andrei Tarkovsky, Lav Diaz, and much more

If you’d like a handy & portable digital version of the schedule to comb over, you’ve come to the right place.  Just click on the image below to view, download or embed our January/March 2015 schedule:

 

Chris Marker’s LEVEL FIVE

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French film essayist Chris Marker (LA JETEE, A GRIN WITHOUT A CAT, LE JOLI MAI) singular place in cinema is distinguished by a constant probing of how he, and we, come to experience time, memory, history and cinema itself. Unreleased in the United States until now, Marker’s film presciently uses cyber-space to explore a chapter in wartime Japan. Laura “inherits” a task: to finish writing a video game centered on the Battle of Okinawa—whose development played a decisive role in the way World War II ended. The game is strange one, in fact. Contrary to classical strategy games whose purpose is to turn back the tide of history, this one seems willing only to reproduce history as it happened. While working on Okinawa and meeting, through a rather unusual network (a parallel to the Internet), various informants and even eye-witnesses to the battle (including film director Nagisa Oshima), Laura gathers pieces of the tragedy until they start to interfere with her own life. Melding retro-futuristic sci-fi imagery, references to American film noir, and reflections on history, Marker crafts a visually and philosophically provocative puzzle. “A passionate and cerebral science-fiction adventure…there is nothing else in theaters now that feels quite as new.” —The New York Times. (106 mins.)

LEVEL FIVE screens Friday, December 19 at 7pm, Saturday, December 20 at 8pm, and Sunday, December 21 at 2:30 & 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

2014 British Arrow Awards

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This annual juried survey (37th edition), formerly called the British Television Advertising Awards, never fails to deliver an entertaining mix of commercial creativity of the highest order. Drawn from submissions across the UK’s multimedia advertising platforms—from traditional broadcast and cinema to new online mediums—trademark British wit and gleeful innovation shine through. Whether touching drama or high-tech dazzle, low-budget invention or mind-boggling production, this eclectic collection of prizewinners does have something in common: they are all delightfully short and inspired. Thanks to the British Arrows, London, for this creative crash course on the marriage of advertising and film, art and commerce. (74 mins.)

 

THE 2014 BRITISH ARROW AWARDS screens Wednesday, December 17 at 7pm, Thursday, December 18 at 7pm, Saturday, December 20 at 4 & 6pm, and Sunday, December 21 at 5pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Japanese Currents: THE TALE OF IYA

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Tokushima Prefecture’s Iya Valley, a stunningly beautiful natural area of southern Japan, is the true star of Tsuta’s tantalizing feature. The film follows two strands: Haruna (Rina Takeda), a teenage girl who, as a baby, was the only survivor of a wreck. Found by an older man (dance legend Min Tanaka) living a simple life in the mountains of Iya, she grows up and faces the choice of staying in the mountains, or move to big city Tokyo. Meanwhile, a massive industrial project threatens the delicate natural balance of Iya, and a young man arriving with hopes of a quieter life is drawn into a battle between a monolithic corporation and a group of protestors. Between the threads of the story, the film’s cinematography (shot on 35mm) ushers us into a fever dream of “instant and startling brilliance.”—The Telegraph, UK. (169 mins.)

THE TALE OF IYA screens Saturday, December 13 at 7pm and Sunday, December 14 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our annual Japanese Currents series.  Special thanks to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and the Portland-Sapporo Sister City association, with additional support from Lane Powell PC, Shigezo Restaurant, the Japan America Society of Oregon, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Japanese Currents: DISCONCERTO

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Tatsushi Omori’s new film, starring hot young actors Eita and Ryuhei Matsuda, is a freewheeling, idiosyncratic dive into big social issues through the unlikely lens of a buddy comedy. Tada (Eita), proprietor of a fledgling do-it-all service, is fed up with couch-crashing, pessimistic Gyoten (Matsuda), who has a colorful past populated with sketchy episodes and even sketchier characters. When several of these episodes resurface—including an emergency babysitting gig and Gyoten’s relationship with a religious cult leader—their friendship is pushed to the brink, leaving it to the optimistic Tada to find the silver lining. Eita and Matsuda, two of Japan’s hottest young actors, brilliantly play off each other in this unorthodox, uplifting comedy of errors. “A package of unsinkable charm!”—Vancouver International Film Festival. (124 mins.)

DISCONCERTO screens Friday, December 12 at 7pm and Sunday, December 14 at 1:30pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our annual Japanese Currents series.  Special thanks to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and the Portland-Sapporo Sister City association, with additional support from Lane Powell PC, Shigezo Restaurant, the Japan America Society of Oregon, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Japanese Currents: UZUMASA LIMELIGHT

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In this loose remake of Charlie Chaplin’s LIMELIGHT (1952), Ochiai thrusts the viewer into the highly structured world of chanbara (samurai film) production, but with a very particular subject: kirare-yaku, or actors whose sole job is to die on camera, often spectacularly. Kamiyama (real-life kirare-yaku Seizo Fukumoto), the elder statesman of the craft, is nearing retirement. When his studio decides to end production of chanbara films, citing the public’s waning interest, Kamiyama is faced with impending retirement. However, the arrival of a promising young actress (Chihiro Yamamoto), who seeks tutelage from Kamiyama, reinvigorates not only the studio’s interest, but also the mentor’s desire “to be cut” during the limelight of his career. Audience Award, 2014 New York Asian Film Festival and Best Film, Fantasia International Film Festival. (103 mins.)

UZUMASA LIMELIGHT screens Wednesday, December 10 at 8pm and Saturday, December 13 at 1:30pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our annual Japanese Currents series.  Special thanks to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and the Portland-Sapporo Sister City association, with additional support from Lane Powell PC, Shigezo Restaurant, the Japan America Society of Oregon, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

Japanese Currents: THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND MADNESS

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Studio Ghibli, Japan’s most influential animation studio and one of the world’s most famous, is the subject of this fascinating documentary. With a heavy focus on the production of master animator and studio chief Hayao Miyazaki’s final film THE WIND RISES, Sunada explores the nuts and bolts of producing an animated feature from start to finish. Seeing the storyboards, drafts, sketches, work shopping, and experimentation provides a deep appreciation of Miyazaki, his craft, and his honored place in the world of animation. “The atmosphere inside Studio Ghibli may suggest a zen-like idyll, but animation is a painstaking—and sometimes painful—process…Sunada’s tour of the ‘Kingdom’ makes us appreciate the magic all the more.”—Variety. (118 mins.)

THE KINGDOM OF DREAMS AND MADNESS screens Saturday, December 6 at 7pm and Tuesday, December 9 at 7pm in our Whitsell Auditorium (located in the Portland Art Museum).  The film is being presented as part of our annual Japanese Currents series.  Special thanks to the Japan Foundation, Los Angeles and the Portland-Sapporo Sister City association, with additional support from Lane Powell PC, Shigezo Restaurant, the Japan America Society of Oregon, and the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

Tickets are available online or at the door.

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