“I’ve wanted to host an event like the 40th Anniversary Gala ever since I became part of the Northwest Film Center’s community in 1995. Back then I was crestfallen to learn that the Center was only 23 years old, but after waiting 17 long years I can honestly say I’m more excited than ever to host the event!”
In anticipation of the 1940s Classic Hollywood themed Gala, which will take place on Saturday May 12th, the NW Film Center thought you might like a little exposure to the relevant slang and phrases of the time. So here they are, in no particular order:
- Take a powder – to leave
- Eager beaver – enthusiastic helper
- In cahoots with – conspiring with
- Doll dizzy – girl crazy
- Ducky shincracker - a good dancer
- Above my pay grade – don’t ask me
- Cook with gas – to do something right
- Killer-diller – good stuff
- Stompers – shoes
- Flip your wig – to lose control of yourself
- Pennies from heaven – easy money
- Gas - either a good time or something that was really funny
- Grandstand – to show off
- What’s buzzin’, cousin? – how’s it going?
- Hi-de-ho - hello
- Applesauce – an expletive; same as horsefeathers, As in “Ah applesauce!
- Broad- a woman
- Carry a Torch – to have a crush on someone
- Cat’s Meow – something splendid or stylish; The best or greatest, wonderful
- Dame- a woman
- Gams – a woman’s legs
- Hard Boiled – a tough, strong guy
- Hooch – bootleg liquor
- Hoofer – dancer
- Horsefeathers – an expletive; same usage as applesauce
- Hotsy-Totsy – pleasing
- Jalopy – old car
- Joint – a club, usually selling alcohol
- Keen – attractive or appealing
- Kisser – mouth
- Line – insincere flattery
- Moll – a gangster’s girl
- Pushover – a person easily convinced or seduced
- Ritzy – elegant (reference to the Ritz hotel)
- Scram – ask someone to leave immediately
- Soitently- sure!
- Speakeasy – an illicit bar selling bootleg liquor
- Spiffy – an elegant appearance
- Spread Out!- Get out of the way! Give me some room! Stop crowding me!
- Stuck On – having a crush on
- Swanky – ritzy
- Swell- wonderful
- Wise guy- a smart ass
- Whoopee – to have a good time
Taking place on Saturday May 12th, the 1940s Classic Hollywood themed Gala will be an evening of film-related auction items, delicious food and drink, phenomenal music, and A-list company. For more information and tickets to the event, please visit the NW FIlm Center’s website. For further discussion of 1940s slang, check out the online essay From Hep Cats to Full Birds: Slang of the 1940s by Michelle Carr, courtesy of the North Carolina Museum of History.
The process that delivers the furniture into our homes is often as grim as the process that delivers the food onto our plates. Aerial vistas of butchered landscapes look like ecological crime scenes, the brown swathes of mowed hillsides replacing the chalk outlines. The murder weapons drip with water instead of blood, freshly bathed for the next sanctioned slaughter. The morbid din of strained cedars slit at their mammoth bases, tipping over, their broad tops exploding on impact could just as easily have been confused with an animal’s death throes.
The kinetic bowels of the Pacific Northwest cedar mills cloister a volatile and highly competitive bureaucracy of shingle weavers, sawyers, packers, pilers, and movers with hands that evolve to house one-track minds of their own. It’s hard to find a hand that is whole; the hands are slowly shorn in time to resemble those of baby dolls. But apparently it doesn’t take many fingers to play a game of poker, or to drink a jug of whisky, or to pick another fight. The manner in which hand to saw dance can often resemble the game of splaying one’s fingers across a wooden surface and seeing how fast a blade can strike the spaces in between without cutting the flesh.
The relationship between loggers and the woods is both captivating and horrifying, documented in both eloquence and brutality in Charles Gustafson’s Cuts and Ron Finne’s Natural Timber Country. In Cuts, Mr. Gustafason let’s the resident workers define their hardened livelihoods in their own words and mutilated limbs, bringing the viewer so close to the industrial blade, hands will surely find a place to cower. In Mr. Finne’s Natural Timber Country, the changing culture of logging is gracefully detailed through a richly presented history of logging from the second half of the 19th century and coupled with interviews, recordings, tales, and songs from the people for whom served as the lifeblood of the industry.
These two films screen together in one 88-minute program as part of the Film Center’s Essential Northwest series—a pay-what-you-will-night that encourages the Portland community to see films plucked from the NW filmmaking vault. Professor Stephen Beckman of Lewis and Clark College and Director Ron Finne will discuss Natural Timber Country and talk about life in the early logging camps.
ADMISSION: PAY WHAT YOU WILL (tickets available at the door)
Location: The NW Film Center’ Whitsell Auditorium in the Portland Art Museum
As we head into the final weekend of the 35th annual Portland International Film Festival there is still plenty to see. Today alone you can catch ten film screenings. Well, eleven if you count the nineteen minute French short I Could Be Your Grandmother that screens before Lebanese documentary Grandma, A Thousand Times, both playing at the World Trade Center Theater tonight at 8:45.
Director Mahmoud Kaabour has made an incredibly sweet documentary about his 85 year-old grandmother who is nearing the end of her richly lived life. Having raised a large family, Teta Fatima Kaabour now lives alone in a small and immaculately clean apartment in Beirut. Yet she is still a hookah smoking matriarch, still a sprightly woman who haggles with street vendors and the butcher, commanding respect within her section of old Beirut. Her husband, once a successful violinist but now long deceased, is the indirect source for much of this film, since director Mahmoud Kaabour not only shares his grandfather’s name but also his looks. Exploiting this resemblance throughout, Mr. Kaabour takes on the role of both grandson and grandfather as he gets ready for his wedding day while coming to terms with the reality of his grandmother’s mortality. In Arabic, with English subtitles.
Showing earlier in the day at PIFF35 is The Island President, a film about the (until very recently) President of the Maldives, Mohamed Nasheed (Nasheed was very recently overthrown by those with political ties to the old, tyrannical regime). Having been tortured, imprisoned, and exiled, Nasheed seems unable to stop his international fight against global warming, which threatens the very existence of the 200 islands that make up the Maldives. Watch the trailer below, and then go see the film tonight at 6:15 at the World Trade Center Theater.
There’s the family friendly Tales of the Night, playing at 1pm at the World Trade Center Theater. French animation master Michael Ocelot returns to the same format as his 2000 film Princes And Princesses (Princes Et Princesses), which consisted in a compilation of short fairy tales in silhouette from his short-lived 1989 TV series Cine Si. The six new short stories in Tales of the Night are each gorgeously rendered, told through the use of those lovely, Ocelot trademark silhouettes.
Showing at Cinema 21 at 3pm is Mr. Tree, director Han Jie’s documentary-like film, which is set in the small mining town of Jilin (a northwestern Chinese province bordering North Korea). Lead character Shu (Wang Baoqiang) is a lazy drunk and a danger to himself and others. When he temporarily blinds himself while welding in a garage, his unresolved despair over the brutal death of his older brother begins to surface. Once his sight is restored, Shu takes a joyride with friends to the nearby town of Jitai, where he meets attractive, mute massage-parlor girl Xiaomei (Tan Zhuo). An awkward courtship ensues, and Shu’s attempts to transform himself into marriage material only sow the seeds for greater disaster.
(Mr. Tree review taken in part from Variety).
From Jean-Marc Vallée (C.R.A.Z.Y., The Young Victoria) comes Café du Flor, a challenging and emotionally raw look at love.
Watch the trailer for Café de Flore below.
Told in two parallel stories, Flor first takes us to contemporary Montreal where hotshot musician DJ Antoine (Kevin Parent) and his ex-wife Carole (Hélène Florent), the mother of his two daughters, are clearly not over their breakup, which happened two years prior. Antoine is involved in an intense relationship with Rose (Évelyne Brochu), but he’s racked by guilt about the breakup. Yet his angst does not compare to Carole’s, who is tortured by the dueling forces of insomnia and strange nightmares, unable to come to terms with the reality that Antoine, whom she believed was her soulmate, is no longer sharing her bed, or her life.
The other narrative of Café de Flore unravels in 1969 Paris as we’ve hardly seen it: a decidedly unglamorous city. Jacqueline (Vanessa Paradis) is a single mother raising Laurent (Marin Gerrier), her Down’s syndrome afflicted son. Jacqueline’s single-minded determination to protect him from the world borders on obsession.
The two story lines eventually link up, possibly causing some viewers to lose their patience with the twisting, turning plots.
As usual, Vallée garners stunning performances from his cast. Paradis plays against type and dives headfirst into the surprisingly ferocious mother-on-a-mission role. Rose (Brochu) is the woman who’s stuck in the middle of the psycho-drama that is Antoine (Parent) and Carole’s (Florent) tumultuous relationship. But the stunner seems to be Parent. A singer-songwriter in real life, this is his first film, which he has pulled off with sublime skill. He embraces rock star confidence and sex appeal while hinting at tenderness.
With a soundtrack that weaves together Sigur Rós, Pink Floyd, The Cure, and the jazz-inspired song by British DJ Matthew Herbert that inspired the title, Café de Flore is a film not to be missed.
Catch Café de Flore at PIFF35. Playing Saturday February 11th at 5:30 PM (Lake Twin Cinema), Monday February 13th at 6 PM (Lloyd Mall 5), and Monday February 20th at 7:30 PM (Cinema 21).