ICONS REBELS & VISIONARIES:
ARTISTS ON FILM
Our 11th annual survey celebrating extraordinary visions in the visual, performing, literary, moving image arts and architecture salutes Stan Brakhage, the Beats, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Andy Warhol, William Wegman, Cassandra Wilson, Sviatoslav Richter, Richard Wagner, Carlo Scarpa, Steven Holl, John Szarksowksi , Guy Bourdin, and others in more than 15 premieres from around the world. A special thanks to our community cosponsors: BOORA Architects, Fletcher Farr Ayotte PC, Powell's Books, Savage Fine Art, Sienna Architecture Company and Zimmer Gunsul Frasca Partnership.
APRIL 3 SAT 8 P.M.
VISITING ARTIST PORTLAND PREMIERE
DIRECTOR: CHUCK WORKMAN From smoke-filled coffeehouses, much traveled roads and real and metaphorical caves emerged a remarkable cultural movement, the Beats, a generation of bohemian writers and artists whose impact on popular culture remains a constant. The Film Center welcomes Chuck Workman (SUPERSTAR: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ANDY WARHOL) as he premieres THE SOURCE, a film that uncovers the underground springs of the Beat movement and follows its influence to the present day. From the 1940s and the first contacts between Allen Ginsberg, Jack Kerouac and William Burroughs, often called the Holy Trinity, Workman traces the trajectory of those writers' careers through the political and social upheaval of the 60s and 70s. Interviews and film clips with such figures as Timothy Leary, Michael McClure, Ken Kesey, Ed Sanders and Gregory Corso stand alongside those of Ginsberg, Kerouac and Burroughs as the impact of the cultural revolution unfolds. "The true scope and significance of the so-called counterculture has yet to be historically examined. In doing so here, Workman gives us an opportunity to rethink the status quo of everything from art to social consciousness; from gay, feminist, and other political changes to popular culture."— 1999 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL (90 mins.) SPONSORED BY POWELL'S BOOKS
APRIL 7 8
WED 7 7:30 P.M., THUR 8 7:30 P.M.
THE ART OF INFLUENCE
DIRECTOR: DEBORAH DICKSON Influence is as much a companion to the creative process as inspiration as witnessed in Academy-Award nominee Deborah Dickson's (SUZANNE FARRELL: ELUSIVE MUSE) multi-disciplinary and international inquiry into the creative process and artistic touchstones. Fourteen contemporary artists in music, dance, film, theater, painting, photography and literature reveal their twentieth century influences as Dickson draws from interviews and archival sources to create a masterful collage. Jazz vocalist Cassandra Wilson reveals what she learned from Miles Davis, South African playwright Athol Fugard discusses the legacy of Bertolt Brecht, action star Jackie Chan demonstrates his debt to such masters of physical comedy as Buster Keaton and Charlie Chaplin, choreographer Bill T. Jones explains how the writings of Marcel Proust resonate in his autobiographical dances, Sinead O'Connor reflects on how Bob Marley has given her the courage to write her increasingly spiritual songs, filmmaker Kenneth Anger champions Jean Cocteau, Chinese dissident artist Niu Bo relates his affinity with Marcel Duchamp, and painter Helen Frankenthaler discusses Jackson Pollock. (87 mins.)
APRIL 10 SAT 7 & 9:15 P.M.
THE LIFE AND TIMES OF ANDY WARHOL
DIRECTOR: CHUCK WORKMAN Chuck Workman's (THE SOURCE) film is a fascinating portrait of Andy Warhol, his art, films and the world he was part of and created. Weaving together varied, and often enigmatic, interviews with the artist shot over three decades, images of his art and films along with interviews and appearances with such observers and participants as Viva, Dennis Hopper, Roy Lichtenstein, Gerald Malanga, David Hockney, Taylor Mead and many others in the Warhol "family," Workman takes no overt stand toward Warhol other than to confirm his place as a true visionary. The complex interaction between Warhol's personal, artistic and celebrity lives, and his profound impact on the culture of our time, emerge to further illuminate one of the most creative minds of the century. (90 mins.)
SCREEN TESTS (1963-66)
DIRECTOR: ANDY WARHOL Between 1963 and 1966, Andy Warhol shot more than 150 screen tests of artists, those in his inner circle and others he deemed interesting, each running three minutes. Among the ten screen tests featured in these newly released works are those of filmmaker Harry Smith, actor Taylor Mead, poet Diane Di Prima and writer Susan Sontag. (30 mins.)
APRIL 13 14
TUES 13 7:30 p.m, WED 14 7:30 P.M..
GREAT BRITAIN 1997
DIRECTOR: MURRAY GRIGOR As Goethe said: "Venice can only be compared to itself." Perhaps the same holds true for Venetian architect Carlo Scarpa (1906-1978) whose restorations reveal an impeccable blend of design, craftsmanship and a coalescing of natural materials—stone, tile, marble and wood—in classic fashion. From such sites as the Querin Stanpalia Palace, the Torcello Cathedral and the famed Olivetti showroom, Grigor introduces us to both Scarpa the man and the architect. From his structural rhythms to his concern about the smallest of details, even the design of hinges, Scarpa could seamlessly merge modern and classic forms. Murrary Grigor's film admirably introduces a man whose name is often mentioned alongside Le Corbusier and Frank Lloyd Wright. (58 mins.)
GUGGENHEIM MUSEUM BILBAO
DIRECTOR: ULTAN GUILFOYLE Immediately hailed as one of the great architectural achievements of the 20th century, the Guggenheim Museum in Bilbao is truly a modern landmark. This introduction to the museum offers commentary from its architect Frank O. Geary as well as from Guggenheim director Thomas Krens, and artists Robert Rauschenberg, Jenny Holzer, Julian Schnabel and Richard Serra, each of who has works in the museum's permanent collection. (9 mins.)
SPONROED BY BOORA ARCHITECTS
APRIL 15 18
THUR 15 7 P.M., SUN 18 1 P.M.
RICHTER, THE ENIGMA
DIRECTOR: BRUNO MONSAINGEON "When Sviatoslav Richter (1915-1997) died last year—shortly after the completion of this prize-winning film—it has been said that the great age of Russian pianist classicism came to an end. Director Bruno Monsaingeon (THE GLEN GOULD CYCLE; YEHUDI MENUHIN, THE VIOLIN OF THE CENTURY) has made a film appropriate to both the singularity of its subject and to the complexity of his milieu. Dominating the proceedings with his still-striking good looks and an often piercing, self-deprecating wit, Richter narrates the events of his life with a combination of candor and canniness. Illustrated with well-chosen archival and performance footage (much of it in impossibly saturated Mosfilm color), the pianist's journey from provincial obscurity to international stardom emerges with breadth and clarity."—1998 VANCOUVER INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (144 mins.)
APRIL 16 FRI 7 & 9 P.M.
JOHN SZARKOWSKI—A LIFE IN PHOTOGRAPHY
DIRECTORS: RICHARD B. WOODWARD & SANDRA MCLEOD Tonight we move from the expansive range of the gray scale to a kaleidoscope of color. Though a photographer in his own right, John Szarkowski is best known as the former Curator of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art, a position he held for almost 30 years. In this finely honed portrait, Szarskowski speaks with great candor about his approach to photography and photographers, providing insight into the lives and works of Eugene Atget, Louis Sullivan, Walker Evans, Diane Arbus and Garry Winogrand among others. He also looks at his own beginnings in Wisconsin with his first Kodak Brownie. Throughout, he reveals his approach to the medium, his view of its evolution and its humanistic potential. After years of looking at other people's works, Szarkowski himself proves to be a worthy subject as he balances his keen reflections with self-effacing humor. (47 mins.)
DREAM GIRLS: THE PHOTOGRAPHS OF GUY BOURDIN
GREAT BRITAIN 1996
DIRECTOR: NICOLA ROBERTS "Fashion photographer Guy Bourdin produced outstanding images for French VOGUE for almost thirty years, particularly in the 1970s. His style is instantly recognizable. Behind the perfect surface gloss is a sense of tension and anxiety, almost cruelty, which Jean-Baptiste Mondino described as a 'Technicolor Nightmare.' This documentary features Bourdin's own Super-8 footage from some of his bizarre fashion shoots. Influenced by Hitchcock, the film uses a VERTIGO motif to allude to Bourdin's abandonment by his mother and his subsequent desire to 'shoot' red-haired girls and pin them down on the page forever. Contributing to this portrait are Helmut Newton, Jerry Hall, Mondino and fashion editor Grace Coddington."—1998 Montreal Festival International du Films sur l'Art. (49 mins.)
APRIL 17 18
SAT 17 8 P.M., SUN 18 4 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE VISITING ARTIST
TO THE GERMAN PEOPLE:
CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE:
WRAPPED REICHSTAG, BERLIN 1971-1995
DIRECTORS: WOLFRAM HISSEN AND JORG DANIEL HISSEN Monumental, yet fleeting, the public art works of Christo and Jeanne-Claude linger like dreams inhabiting a scale all their own. From their Valley Curtain and Running Fence to Surrounded Islands and Umbrellas, man and nature intersect leaving the spectator with a truly visceral rush. In WRAPPED REICHSTAG, the Hissen Brothers follow the epic will of Christo and Jeanne-Claude over a 24-year period as they plan and execute their vision of wrapping this German symbol of democracy. Through three decades, with 54 visits to Germany by the artists, the use of more than one million square feet of fabric, 51,000 feet of rope, the skill of 90 professional climbers, and many other astounding statistics, the project was completed on June 24, 1995 and on view for a brief two weeks. The Film Center welcomes co-director Jorg Daniel Hissen to screen and discuss his film. (98 mins.)
SPONSORED BY SIENNA ARCHITECTURE COMPANY
APRIL 23 25
FRI 23 7:30 P.M., SUN 25 4 P.M.
DANCE OF LIFE
DIRECTOR: SØLVI A. LINDSETH Edvard Munch (1863-1944) is one of the seminal figures in modern art, a founder, along with Van Gogh, of Expressionism. His paintings and prints, like "The Scream" and "Anxiety" have become icons. Drawing upon the artist's letters, diary entries and notes, Lindseth has re-created important moments in Munch's life—ones that shaped him both as artist and man. From childhood to old age, a complex portrait full of a tangle of emotions emerges. Munch eloquently, albeit painfully, brought these experiences to his art. DANCE OF LIFE, shaped as a series of evocative vignettes, carefully spans the artist's life's work. (52 mins.)
CIRCLE OF LIFE
DIRECTOR: LARS NILSSEN Over a span of 40 years, Gustav Vigeland (1869-1943) devoted himself to the making of a 60-acre sculpture garden is Oslo which features 58 bronzed sculptures, 60 bas-reliefs and a 470-ton obelisk made of 121 intertwined granite figures. Taken in total, the works depict the circle of life from birth to death. Shot in 35mm, Lars Nielsen pays homage to Vigeland's lasting legacy as he follows the Vigeland Park through the life cycle of the four seasons. Best Documentary, Bilbao International Short and Documentary Film Festival. (12 mins.)
HUBERT ROBERT— A FORTUNATE LIFE
DIRECTOR: ALEXANDER SOKUROV In contrast to Vigeland and Munch, Hubert Robert (1733-1808) was an artist of favor from Paris to St. Petersburg whose fanciful paintings of landscapes and buildings won him many admirers. After a sojourn to Italy, he returned to Paris and initiated the vogue of painted ruins which proved a lucrative proposition. Alexander Sokurov (MOTHER AND SON) draws from Robert's works in the Hermitage Museum as the artist's privileged life is recounted. Winner of the National Film Board of Canada's Creativity Award at the Montreal Festival International du Films sur l'Art. (26 mins.)
APRIL 25 SUN 7 P.M.
SING FASTER: THE STAGEHAND'S RING CYCLE
DIRECTOR: JON ELSE Wagner's RING CYCLE—four operas with a 17 hour running time—is a singular event and a mammoth undertaking. Imagine, if you will, having to manage the complexity of launching the space shuttle with the response time of the best of firefighters and you have the job of the opera's stagehands. Award-winning director/cinematographer Jon Else (CADILLAC DESERT, THE DAY AFTER TRINITY) goes behind the scenes of the San Francisco Opera to view the Cycle from this unique vantage point and the results are invigorating. "While the gods are out on-stage singing about the great problems in the world we are doing all the hard stuff," says one stagehand in the middle of his eighty-five-hour work week during dress rehearsals. According to the blow-by-blow account of the libretto we get from the ongoing poker game backstage, the "sexy" Rhine maidens struggle to get their gold back, and the Valkyries sing "loud...really loud." The relaxed attitude alters immediately during scene changes, when everyone springs into action like a well-oiled machine. Then we embark on a visual trek through Styrofoam rock formations and over painted mountain tops, learning the secrets of classic Wagnerian special effects: fog, fire, thunder, earthquake, and of course a dragon."—1999 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL (58 mins.)
DIRECTOR: KEIKO IBI The transformative power of theater comes to the fore in one of this year's Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary Short Subject. Subtitled IMPROVISATIONS ON ROMANCE IN THE GOLDEN YEARS, Ibi focuses on a group of senior citizens on the Lower East Side of Manhattan who are in the process of creating "The Personals," an original play at a community theater. Drawing from the lonely world of these DWF, DWM, SWF, SWM, etc. of the senior set, they rehearse their ensemble play under the direction of a frazzled director, face budget cuts, illness and more. But throughout their hardships, their real longing for love and relationships clearly surfaces and their humor shines through. Tender and bawdy, this is a view of an often neglected, yet vital, segment of society and art's capacity for rejuvenation. (37 mins.)
APRIL 27 TUE 7 P.M.
STEVEN HOLL: THE BODY IN SPACE
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL BLACKWOOD Steven Holl, who studied at the University of Washington, is one of the most innovative of contemporary mid-career architects. Eschewing both Postmodernist and Modernist views, Holl takes a geometric, almost scientific, approach to design while embracing its sensual elements. Light, perspective and discovery on the part of the user mark his works. Michael Blackwood's (RICHARD MEIER; ARATA ISOZAKI) profile of the architect follows his Museum of Contemporary Art in Helsinki from groundbreaking to completion while also examining his most recent works, including the Makuhari Housing Complex in Chiba, Japan; the Chapel of St. Ignatius in Seattle; and the Cranbrook Institute of Science in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan. (58 mins.)
DIARY OF AN ECCENTRIC ARCHITECT
DIRECTOR: BARBARA WOLF Philip Johnson, a true inconoclast, has designed elegant buildings that punctuate the landscape across America—the IBM Tower in Atlanta, the Museum of Television and Radion in New York, the PPG Building in Pittsburgh among them. Drawing inspiration from the likes of Mies Van der Rohe and Le Corbusier, Johnson has been an influential force of the Modernist Movement. In a most special way, he is also a landscape architect who not only deals with space, but embraces the processional. Barbara Wolf’s DIARY OF AN ECCENTRIC ARCHITECT turns away from Johnson’s larger commissions and focuses instead on his passion, the evolution of his estate in New Canaan over the last five decades. Johnson provides a fascinating tour of his estate—The Glass House, Brick Guest House, Pavilion, Painting and Sculpture Galleries, Study, Ghost House, an homage to Frank Gehry, the Lincoln Kirstein Tower and his latest addition, The Visitor Center, inspired by the work of Frank Stella—and remains throughout the eloquent grandmaster of American architecture. (60 mins.)
sponsored by zimmer gunsul frasca partnership.
APRIL 28 29
WED 28 7:30 P.M., THUR 29 7:30 P.M.
DIRECTOR: CHERYL DUYNS Not only are dogs William Wegman's best friends, they are also his best subjects. As a photographer, painter and videomaker, Wegman's sleek Weimaraners Man Ray and Fay Ray and their offspring have been his subjects for twenty-five years and whether fitted with costumes or au naturel, the wry situations they have posed for, in the studio and in the world, are captivating. In WEGMAN'S WORLD, Cheryl Duyns observes the artist at work, creating the settings and scenes for his pliable canine subjects. As Wegman says "Dogs are bred to work with humans, and to not work with them is to neglect them." (72 mins.)
WILLIAM WEGMAN: SELECTED WORK—REEL 8
DIRECTOR: WILLIAM WEGMAN In addition to his photography, Wegman is a facile videomaker, producing works for SATURDAY NIGHT LIVE, SESAME STREET and NICKELODEON as well as more personal projects. In REEL 8, comprised of his most recent work, a series of untitled skits unfold using simple sets and costumes and protracted shots incorporating Wegman's deadpan wit. While his dogs make fewer appearances than usual, Wegman turns his attention to the entertainment industry with a droll flair while special appearances by David Letterman, Paul Schaffer, Andrea Beeman and the artist himself, tweak the natural order of things. (25 mins.)
MAY 1 SAT 7 & 9 P.M.
CHUCK CLOSE: A PORTRAIT IN PROGRESS
DIRECTOR: MARION CAJOURI With a major retrospective of Chuck Close now at the Seattle Art Museum, CHUCK CLOSE: A PORTRAIT IN PROGRESS is a stirring primer about an artist whose large scale paintings redefine portraiture. Up close his nuanced color palette can look like an abstract mosaic, yet at a distance, the prism of colors he uses metamorphose into works of striking realism. Utilizing photography and linear grids, the resulting self-portraits and portraits of friends, family and fellow artists take on an extraordinary, almost frightening, intimacy. Marion Cajorij follows Close's evolution as an artist as she brings us into his studio and into a circle that includes Alex Katz, Philip Glass, Kiki Smith and Robert Storr while subtly drawing correlations between their artistic practices. (57 mins.)
DONALD JUDD: MARFA, TEXAS
DIRECTOR: CHRIS FELVER As artist and critic, there was a considerable duality to Donald Judd (1928-1994)—he was at once a man of intellectual rigor and a multi-disciplinary conceptualist who deftly moved towards a new minimalism. In 1971, he relocated from the center of the art world, New York, to the prairies of Presidio County in Southern Texas, 20 miles from the Mexican border. It is here, in Marfa, Texas, that Chris Felver interviews Judd, providing insights into his process, his materials—aluminum, brass, Plexiglas, and concrete—and the freedom he sought to achieve from institutions trying to define what art is. A rare visit with an exceptional talent and a compelling destination for art aficionados. (24 mins.)
sponsored by savage fine art.
MAY 5 6 7
WED 5 7:30 P.M., THUR 6 7:30 P.M., SAT 8 7 & 9 P.M.
THE UNDERGROUND ORCHESTRA
DIRECTOR: HEDDY HONIGMANN Two years ago, Heddy Honigmann charmed audiences with the erotically charged O AMOR NATURAL in which the director took her camera to the streets of Brazil and discovered the primal and poetic energy of its people and celebrated poet, Carlos Drummond de Andrade. In her revelatory new film, she explores the melancholy world of street musicians in Paris—the accordionists, the violinists, harp players, Malian singers, tribal singers and others whose music is a strong echo of their lives. "She encounters people who have come from all parts of the globe. Each time, she wants to know where they came from, what forced them to leave, why they are driven to play music. Their tales are a survey of the troubles of contemporary history--civil war in Algeria, social dislocation in Romania, genocide in Yugoslavia, concentration camps in Zaire. In each case, music has been key to their survival. It is not just a way to wangle loose change from fellow Parisians; it is a way to mourn and to heal, to maintain a connection, however tenuous, with a world that is otherwise lost to them. It's intensely moving, the music they create--it tells of their deepest longings, and also speaks to ours."—SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL (108 mins.)
MAY 12 13
WED 12 7:30 P.M., THUR 13 7:30 P.M.
DIRECTOR: JIM SHEDDEN Since the 1950s, Stan Brakhage (DOG STAR MAN, ACT OF SEEING WITH ONE'S OWN EYES, STAR GARDEN) has been at the forefront of the avant-garde cinema, a visionary who has made more than 300 personal and independent works—meditations, modern and classic mythologies, hand-painted and optically printed films each with their own poetic sensibilities. In Jim Shedden's provocative profile, Brakhage speaks of the extraordinary possibilities of the medium as he shares excerpts from his works and the works of others, including George Kuchar, Jonas Mekas, Willie Varela. Archival footage is blended with interviews with Brakhage, his family, friends, colleagues and critics to create a compelling portrait of the man, his aesthetics and the intertwining of the personal with his public life. "Stan Brakhage continues to make his highly personal films. Resonating with an undiminished visual intensity and a potent engagement with the fundamental questions of life, each new work bears witness to Brakhage's prolific achievements and his continuing role as one of the modern masters of the medium."—Bruce Jenkins, Walker Art Center. (75 mins.)
MAY 14 FRI 7:30 P.m.
MASTERPIECE OR FORGERY:
THE STORY OF ELMYR DE HORY
DIRECTOR: KNUT W. JORFALD How many Rembrandt paintings are there really? How many Van Goghs? Forgery might have been a form of flattery in the East, but in the West? One of the great forgers of our time was Elmyr de Hory who made more than 1,000 counterfeit paintings, primarily in the style of the post-impressionists, before he died—or disappeared—in 1976. A central figure in Orson Welles' film on hoaxes, F FOR FAKE, his works were sold throughout North America, Europe and Japan and their total market value has been estimated at over one hundred million dollars. Shot on location in Europe and America, Knut Jorfald's intriguing investigation into de Hory's life includes interviews with such friends as author Clifford Irving and actress Ursula Andress as well as museum curators, smugglers and auctioneers. (52 mins.)
DIRECTOR: PHILIP HAAS Allen Ginsberg once suggested that sanity is the trick of agreement. The same might be said for currency. Conceptual artist J.S.G. Boggs tests the latter of these ideas through his own unique art form. Boggs, whose artwork has been confiscated by the U.S. Treasury Department, makes money the old fashioned way, hand-drawn one bill at a time, then engages in a wonderfully subversive process of spending it (he calls these "transactions")—at restaurants, hotels, for art supplies—while art collectors then try and retrieve his playful pieces. Philip Haas (THE MUSIC OF CHANCE, ANGELS AND INSECTS) has created an ingenious film about a truly enterprising artist. In attendance: J.S.G. Boggs. (60 mins.)
Tonight's screening presented in conjunction with Seeing Money: A Unique Art Event of Uncommon Currency, a project of The Portland Old Town Arts and Culture Foundation, MAY 6—June 6. For information call 228-0252.
MAY 21 22 23 24 9:30 P.M.
RON ATHEY: A STORY OF DELIVERANCE
DIRECTOR: CATHERINE GUND SAALFIELD The blood of the poet meets the holy rollers is one way to approach the work of performance artist Ron Athey. Body artist, extreme masochist, H.I.V.-positive gay man and former heroin addict, Athey turned from his Pentecostal roots as a child to create public rituals that possess their own kind of transcendentalism. As he himself says, "There are many ways to say hallelujah." Saalfield combines interviews with Athey and his disenfranchised companions with excerpts from his performance trilogy: "Martyrs and Saints," "Four Scenes in a Harsh Life," and "Deliverance" to yield an intrepid look into one man's personal and public exorcism. With piercing, bondage, branding, and more, this is not a film for the squeamish. "Not to be missed."—THE VILLAGE VOICE (90 mins.)
FOR MATURE AUDIENCES ONLY.
MAY 27 THUR 7:30 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE VISITING ARTIST IN PERFORMANCE
THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC
DIRECTOR: CARL THEODOR DREYER Tonight we present one of the cinema's true masterpieces, THE PASSION OF JOAN OF ARC, presented with an original score for solo cello performed live by Laurie Goldstein of The Black Cat Orchestra. Dreyer based his script on the actual transcripts of the trial of Jeanne d'Arc in Rouen in 1431, boiling down months of interrogation to a single day's ordeal. As Jeanne, he chose Renee Falconetti, a stage actress who never made another film. Shot in stark black and white by Rudolph Mate (TO BE OR NOT TO BE, GILDA) in extreme close-up, an unheard of practice at the time, and the results captured the essence of the actors' performances. "JEANNE D'ARC seems like an historical document from an era in which the cinema didn’t exist."— Jean Cocteau. (80 mins.)
BRAZIL — CINEMA NOVO &
From the 1960s to the 80s, Cinema Novo emerged as following Italian neo-realism and the French New Wave as it explored its country’s dreams and divisions, politics and poverty, it introduced the world to Joaquim Pedro de Andrade, Carlos Diegues, Glauber Rocha and Nelson Pereira dos Santos, directors who continue to influence a new generation of Brazilian filmmakers. The Film Center is pleased to present BRAZIL — CINEMA NOVO & BEYOND, nineteen newly struck 35mm prints which move from the 60s to the present to reflect with vitality and vision a country's unique dynamics. This touring retrospective is is a collaboration between the Ministry of Culture, Brazil, and the Department of Film and Video, The Museum of Modern Art, New York.
MAR 26 28
FRI 26 7:30 P.M. SUN 28 5 P.M.
DOÑA FLOR AND HER TWO HUSBANDS
DIRECTOR: BRUNO BARRETO A hit in the U.S. and abroad, Baretto's bawdy comedy is based on Jorge Amado's novel and stars Sonja Braga as Flor, a newly remarried cooking teacher whose respectable husband, Teodoro (Mauro Mendonca), lacks the passion she desires. What better than to call up the ghost of her first husband Vadinho (José Wilker), who she nostalgically remembers as the embodiment of virility. While this might have been true, he was also a gambler, a woman chaser and prone to violence. Directed by Baretto when he was only 23, this potent sex farce easily draws both sexes into its frame. "The Bahian colors, florid carnival costumes, and palpable flavors (with cooking instructions: bring a pad and pencil) are a thin mask for entrenched social conventions that Dona Flor subversively flaunts in making her uninhibited secret life her reality."—Pacific Film Archive. "Braga is a joy to watch as the very proper and very sensual Doña Flor."—Judith Crist. (110 mins.)
MAR 28 29
SUN 28 7 P.M., MON 29 6 P.M.
THE AMULET OF OGUN
DIRECTOR: NESLON PEREIRA DOS SANTO Considered the conscience of Cinema Novo, Nelson Pereira dos Santos (BARREN LIVES, MEMORIES OF PRISON) made this film "for the people." At once a gangster film and a celebration of the Afro-Brazilian religion Candomblé, the film follows Gabriel, a young man (Ney Sant'Ana, the director's son) from the impoverished Northeast who moves to the violent outskirts of Rio. Protected by a ritual amulet which was given to him by a Candomblé priest, he is soon taken under the wing of a local crime boss. Like BLACK GOD WHITE DEVIL, also featured in this retrospective, the film is framed around a balladeer who sings of one man’s path from innocence to exploitation. Released at the same time as Dos Santos' "Manifesto for a Popular Cinema," the film reflects the director's move away from a film industry tailored for the middle-class, aiming instead for a truer audience, one of the people. (112 mins.)
MAR 29 MON 8 P.M.
DIRECTOR: SYLVIO BACK "OUR INDIANS is a collage of hundreds of Brazilian films and films from other countries—features, newsreels and documentaries—that show how the film industry has seen and heard Brazilian Indians, since they were filmed in 1912 for the first time. The surprising images are surrounded by music and poetry that inaugurate the viewers in the universe of Brazilian Indians, that is alternately idealized and prejudiced, religious and militaristic, cruel and magic. The director presents this rich film under the motto of the documentary-maker Richard Leacock: 'The only good Indian is a filmed Indian'.Sylvio Back: 'The film archives in Brazil are a treasure chest of material that can help us find out more about our existence. By discovering more and more about history, we are able to see the judgments and prejudices about our country in a different light.'"—Rotterdam Film Festival. (70 mins.)
APRIL 2 5 FRI 2 7 P.M., MON 5 6 P.M.
ALL NUDITY SHALL BE PUNISHED
DIRECTOR: ARNALDO JABOR Winner of the Silver Bear at the 1973 Berlin Film Festival, ALL NUDITY WILL BE PUNISHED is the story of a wealthy widower, Herculano (Paulo Porto), and his son, Serginho (Paulo Sacks), each of whom has embraced celibacy but for different reasons. Breaking Herculano's vow is a challenge too good to pass up for his brother and he finds a way to lead Geni (Darlene Gloria), a vivacious prostitute and nightclub singer, to his palatial home. In this subversive satire and a direct attack on upper-class hypocrisy, Geni soon breaks down the facade of respectability as father and son find themselves in a ménage à trois the results of which leave no one unscathed. ALL NUDITY WILL BE PUNISHED has gusto, bite and a witty vulgarity that MAY announce a new phase of Brazilian filmmaking."—VARIETY (102 mins.)
FRI 2 8:45 P.M., MON 5 8 P.M.
HOW ANGELS ARE BORN
DIRECTOR: MURIO SALLES The poverty in the "morro," the hills of Rio de Janeiro, is matched only by the crime rate, a situation that forces its children to grow up fast. So it is with 13-year-old Branquinha who, abandoned by her parents, is forced to marry Maguila (André Mattos), a local low-level drug-trafficker. When Maguila challenges and ends up killing his boss, this unlikely couple find themselves on the run with Branquinha's schoolmate Japa and are soon caught up in a string of violent mishaps, ultimately taking an American businessman and his teenage daughter hostage. With excellent performances by its young actors, especially Priscila Assum as Branquinha, Salles has fashioned both a poignant drama with its own relentless tensions and an exploration of the deep divide between Rio's rich and poor. (96 mins.)
APRIL 9 FRI 7 & 9:15 P.M.
BYE BYE BRAZIL
DIRECTOR: CARLOS DIEGUES Diegues' (XICA, QUILOMBO) picaresque adventure playfully examines the fusion of western and indigenous cultures and traditional and technological influences that shape Brazil. Caravana Rolidei, a small travelling circus à la Fellini's LA STRADA is led by Lord Gypsy (José Wilker), a magician, and Salome (Betty Faria), his rumba-dancing mistress. Moving deeper and deeper into the Amazon jungle to perform their campy circus, they soon join with Ciço (Fabio Junior) and Dasdo (Zaira Zambelli), an Indian couple with whom they become sexually entangled. Either one step ahead or one step behind the ever encroaching television, disco music and Coca-Cola, they continue to find themselves performing before blank-faced Indians, lost in the mysteries of Brazil's vastness. "In BYE BYE BRAZIL, progress is synonymous with incessant flux. . . . Diegues' attempt to corner quicksilver is exhilarating."— Jay Scott. (110 mins.)
APRIL 11 12
SUN 11 2 P.M., MON 12 6 P.M.
DIRECTOR: LEON HIRSZMAN In what could be the epilogue for SÃO BERNARDO, E.M. Forester has written, "Property renders its owner enormously stout, endlessly avaricious, pseudo-creative, and intensely selfish." Such is the case with Paulo (Othon Bastos), a man who ruthlessly rose from peasant to plantation owner, and while building his dream, deconstructed his humanity. Set in the 1920s on the Sertão, the central part of the country where ownership of land means power, and based on Graciliano Ramos' socially conscious novel, SÃO Bernardo is seen through the eyes of Paulo himself, who in flashback and without remorse, looks back on his actions, including his opportunistic marriage to an educated woman (Isabel Ribeiro) he slowly destroyed. "SÃO BERNARDO has the weight and psychological realism of a Balzac novel, and is shot with a sense of colour and composition of an old-master painter."—British Film Institute. "Hirszman's methods recall those of Robert Bresson's DIARY OF A COUNTRY PRIEST."—Vincent Canby, THE NEW YORK TIMES (113 mins.)
SUN 11 4 P.M., MON 12 8 P.M.
DIRECTOR: WALTER LIMA, JR. This bittersweet love story, also set in the Sertão, follows a doctor who falls in love with a young woman struck down by malaria. Yet it is a love thwarted as her father has already chosen her a husband. Based on one of the masterpieces of Brazilian literature by Visconde de Taunay, INOCENCIA explores the role of women in the nineteenth century with a delicate, yet informed touch. (115 mins.)
APRIL 18 SUN 18 6 P.M.
LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE
DIRECTOR: SANDRA WERNECK Set against the sensual background of Rio de Janeiro, Sandra Werneck takes us alphabetically through the A to Z's of love, mixing in a healthy dose of Brazilian pop music, witty dialogue and a bit of a cynic's grasp of the subject through a series of vignettes. Ranging from "attraction," "idyll," "promises," "revenge," and "separation," LITTLE BOOK OF LOVE mixes documentary-like scenes with direct addresses to the camera to follow the path of Cabriel (Daniel Dantas) and Louisa (Andrea Beltrao), two skeptics about the possibility of love who are thrown together and quickly move through this emotion's highs and lows. With a gentle humor running throughout, Werneck gives equal time to both male and female perspectives in this huge box-office hit from Brazil. (91 mins.)
SUN 18 7:45 P.M.
A STARRY SKY
DIRECTOR: TATA AMARAL "A STARRY SKY is a singularly gritty film. Made with modest resources, this is one of the best kitchen-sink dramas to emerge from Brazil in recent years. It strikes at the core of women's role within Brazilian society, within relationships, and within themselves. Dalva (Alleyona Cavalli), is packing her suitcase to leave for Miami in search of a better life. She is abandoning her nagging mother, a passionate but chauvinistic ex-boyfriend, and a life in the doldrums. Victor, the boyfriend in question, arrives unexpectedly and forces his way in, spoiling Dalva's attempt to leave secretly. He desperately tries to persuade Dalva to take him back, and after a song and dance she starts to give in. Still harboring affections for him, Dalva listens to him with a mix of patience and suspicion. Victor is a man living on the edge, out of work and looking for ways to survive: it's clear he had it easy living with Dalva. What started as a desperate act of reconciliation rapidly deteriorates into violence as Victor strives to reassert his authority and keep Dalva in his life. As the police close in, however, Dalva strikes back."—TORONTO FILM FESTIVAL (85 mins.)
APRIL 24 26
SAT 24 7 P.M., MON 26 6 P.M.
LAND OF ANGUISH
DIRECTOR: GLAUBER ROCHA Glauber Rocha's most controversial film at home and influential film abroad, this is a work of great imagination and beauty, an operatic spectacle that nevertheless conveys a very true sense of the violence and irrationality that characterize political life in a country scarred by underdevelopment. The film, made in the wake of the coup of 1964, takes place in a fictitious country, Eldorado, where a populist governor clashes with a dictatorial leader. The protagonist is a poet-journalist who abandons his elite milieu for radical politics, only to become as disenchanted with his new comrades as he was with the cowardice of the intellectual class. "Saturated with anger, eloquence, personal and collective hysteria, [this] is in no sense a Hollywood film, for it investigates rather than exploits its emotions."—Robert Stam, BRAZILIAN CINEMA. (115 mins.)
SAT 24 9 P.M., MON 26 8 P.M.
DIRECTOR: JORGE BODANZKY "Iracema (an anagram for America) is a 14-year-old Indian girl who leaves her Amazon village to find out what life is like in the big city of Belem. There she survives by prostitution until she meets a truck driver on the Trans-Amazon Highway route who takes her on the road. The highway symbolizes the 'new' Brazil of fantastic wealth and mobility, but for Iracema the journey leads straight back to the same life of resignation. Her abuse and humiliation mirror the ruthless destruction of the Brazilian landscape, the beauty and squalor of which is captured in Jorge Bodanzky's color camerawork. With riveting performances by the two leads, Bodanzky'ssemi-documentary approach to fiction ran counter to the dialectic/operatic approach of Glauber Rocha and the main Cinema Nôvo directors, but was no less revolutionary. Iracema shows the Brazil of the developing outback in images so graphic that the film was originally banned from release."—Pacific Film Archive. " "The camera, much like Iracema, sees everything at a distance, as if for the first time. Not until the film's last frame do we realize the full measure of the filmmaker's concern and sorrow." —Vincent Canby, THE NEW YORK TIMES (95 mins.)
APRIL 30 FRI 30 7 & 9:15 P.M.
BLACK GOD, WHITE DEVIL
DIRECTOR: GLAUBER ROCHA Drawing from the legends and folk traditions of northeastern Brazil, Rocha's landmark film is literally translated GOD AND THE DEVIL IN THE LAND OF THE SUN, a title Randal Johnson in "Cinema Novo X 5" states "does not imply a struggle between God and the Devil as much as it does a struggle against both God and the Devil." Set in Bahia in the 1930s and marked by an hallucinatory power, Rochas' images depict the trajectory of two peasants, Manuel and Rosa, who become followers of Sebastião, a messianic priest. The barren landscape and uninterrupted violence have taken their toll on the people of the region who now look toward Sebastião for salvation. As his hunger-crazed followers are led to a massacre at the hands of government troops, Manuel and Rosa meet Corsico, a hero-bandit of the oppressed, the "white devil." After years of Brazilian audiences becoming accustomed to pallid melodramas, BLACK GOD, WHITE DEVIL, was one of the first films to confront political and social issues through its allegory. "BLACK GOD, WHITE DEVIL is the most beautiful thing I have seen in more than a decade, filled with a savage poetry."— Luis Buñuel. (120 mins.)
MAY 2 3 SUN 2 6 P.M., MON 3 6 P.M.
MEMORIES OF PRISON
DIRECTOR: NELSON PEREIRA DOS SANTOS Based on the autobiographical novel by Graciliano Ramos, MEMORIES OF PRISON is set during the 1936 Brazilian witch hunts on the leftists by the Vargas regime, but is also a metaphor for Brazil in the 1980s and the travails of the political era. Because of his political beliefs, author and school principal Ramos is arrested and sent to an infamous island prison camp. It is an experience that will permanently alter his life and writings. "The prison in my film is a metaphor for Brazilian society. The middle class, teachers, doctors, civil servants, craftsmen, the military imprisoned for their political opinions mixed together with common law prisoners, the young, the old, the women, the peasants."—Nelson Pereira dosSantos (85 mins.)
SUN 2 7:30 P.M., MON 3 7:30 P.M.
DIRECTORS: WALTER SALLES & DANIELA THOMAS In 1990, Fernando Collor de Mello, the first elected president of Brazil after decades of dictatorships, confiscated the personal savings accounts of the entire population. It is from that point this gripping thriller takes off and becomes an intercontinental road movie shuttling between São Paulo and Lisbon. In Spain, Brazilian émigré Alex (Fernanda Torres) struggles to survive with her drug-addicted boyfriend Miguel (Alexandre Borges). In Brazil, Paco (Fernando Alves Pinto) must deal with the loss of his mother who drops dead because of Collor's money grab. Now both poverty and exile have pushed them all into the criminal underworld with crushing results. "A fragmented but gripping mystery that unfolds with lissome sensuousness. . . . superbly shot in seductive black and white."—VARIETY (100 mins.)
MAY 7 10
FRI 7 7 P.M., MON 10 6 P.M.
THEY DON'T WEAR BLACK TIE
DIRECTOR: LEON HIRSZMAN Winner of the Golden Lion at the Venice Film Festival, Leon Hirszman's tight-knit drama has been called a work of Cinema Novo de novo, marking a new direction in the movement's history. Tião and Maria, a young couple living in São Paulo, marry when Maria accidentally becomes pregnant. Meanwhile Tião's father Otavio, recently released from prison for his political views, becomes involved in a strike at the factory where all three work. What transpires is a battle of two generations, each shaped by different political climates. The modern Tião is more opportunistic and cannot fathom the values of his father—his faith in the union and solidarity. It is a generation gap that will soon divide this family. "A small, strong, extremely moving and beautifully directed and acted new Brazilian film."—Vincent , THE NEW YORK TIMES. (120 mins.)
FRI 7 9:15 P.M., MON 10 8:15 P.M.
HOUR OF THE STAR
DIRECTOR: SUZANA AMARAL Amaral's poignant first film, made after raising nine children, centers on Macabea, a naive young woman from the country who moves to São Paulo and says: I'm a typist, a virgin and I like Coca-Cola"—in essence, a woman destined to fail. With a knowledge -base consisting of things she's heard on Time Radio Station, a 24-hour broadcast of trivia, the ill-groomed Macabea fantasizes a life as a movie star, lives in a downbeat apartment with three women named Maria and tries to maintain a relationship with Olimpico (José Dumont), an uneducated brute who berates her. Based on a novel by Clarice Lispector, Macabea's attempts to overcome her naiveté and the cruelty with which her unworldliness is met form the heart of this moving tale. Marcélia Cartaxo won the Best Actress Award at the Berlin Film Festival for her portrayal of Macabea, "a simple soul transformed by the most sophisticated artistry into a redemptive icon of all the world's oppressed."—Andrew Sarris (96 mins.)
MAY 16 17
SUN 16 6 P.M., MON 17 6 P.M.
DIRECTOR: JOAQUIM PEDRO DE ANDRADE The wild and hilarious MACUNAÍMA dispenses with good taste from the start, making cannibalism the recurring metaphor for Brazilian society; director de Andrade declared that "every consumer is reducible, in the last analysis, to cannibalism." The film's amoral trickster "hero," Macunaíma (played by the great veteran actor Grande Otélo), is a composite of characters from indigenous myths of many regions of Brazil, born fully-grown into a racially-mixed family. Based on Mário de Andrade's classic 1928 modernist novel, His adventures in the jungle and the city include sexual adventures and reversals, changes of race and encounters with man-eating giants, magical objects, a beautiful urban guerrilla, and, fatally, a cannibalistic river nymph. MACUNAÍMA is "perhaps the first Cinema Nôvo film to be formally innovative, politically radical, and immensely popular with the Brazilian public."—Randal Johnson, BRAZILIAN CINEMA (108 mins.)
SUN 16 7:45 P.M., MON 17 7:45 P.M.
LANDSCAPES OF MEMORY
DIRECTOR: JOSE ARAUJO A work of great lyricism, LANDSCAPES OF MEMORY mixes elements of fiction and documentary as it centers around María (María Emilce Pinto) and Antero (Antero Marques Araujo) and their personal odyssey through the Sertãto. Maria is the female incarnation of Jesus, representing the strength of women in her region, a place devastated by drought and broken political promises. Along with a group of holy women, she embarks on a mission through the countryside where she meets Antero, a man haunted by his own religious visions. "In the Sertãto, political agitation mixes with mysticism and religious fervor. The people live in adversity, clinging to their belief in a freedom guided by saints and martyrs. LANDSCAPES OF MEMORY is a tender testimony to their culture, their love for the arid land, and their memories, poetry and spirituality."—Ramiro Puerta. (102 mins.)
TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES:
The Northwest Film Center is pleased to premiere some of the most provocative and challenging new works from the United States, Belgium, Canada, Iran, Germany and Poland, TRUTH & CONSEQUENCES: NEW DOCUMENTARIES surveys provocative new documentaries which merge personal and public histories as they uniquely re-examines major events of the 20th century, tapping not only into the truths of the past, but into the ways these truths impact the present.
FRI & SAT, MAR 12 & 13 at 7 p.m.
SUN MAR 14 at 2 & 7 P.M.
THE COLA CONQUEST
DIRECTOR: IRENE ANGELICO Perhaps COKE IS IT, but what does IT want to become? Irene Angelico's fascinating new film, which could be called "Dallas meets the Cold War and the Carbonated Generation," has the investigative savvy of I.F. Stone and the smarts of a great raconteur as it charts the course of this powerful soft drink company that so successfully sells a product that is more than 99% sweetened water. Told in three chapters, "The Great Sale," "Cola, War and Peace," and "Cola-Colonization," THE COLA CONQUEST is at once a family saga beginning with a snake oil salesman, a treatise on image-making, advertising and marketing, and a tale of espionage surrounding pop culture imperialism. Shot in the United States, Canada, Russia, England, France, Mexico and China, THE COLA CONQUEST begins during the Civil War and moves to the brink of the 21st century and don't think arch rival Pepsi is left out. A compelling look at how a simple drink has affected social struggles, international politics and the inescapable homogenization of the world. (150 mins.)
MON-WED, MAR 15 -17 at 7:30 p.m.
DIVORCE, IRANIAN STYLE
DIRECTORS: KIM LONGINOTTO, ZIBA MIR-HOSSEINI The Family Law Courts, Tehran. At one entrance, men are being frisked for weapons. At the other, women are being forced to remove their make-up." It’s a metaphor," says co-director Ziba Mir-Hosseinin of these opening shots, "two different entrances, two different sets of rules." Divorce, Iranian Style offers a slice of cinema verité which provides fascinating and often humorous insights into the everyday workings of the Iranian legal system. In particular, it is the story of three women trying to transform their lives—one because of physical abuse, one a 16-year-old trying to shed a 38-year-old husband, and one fighting for custody of her daughters. As the film reveals, under Islamic laws men can divorce their wives without specific grounds, whereas women can only divorce with their husband’s consent, or with valid grounds such as insanity, impotence or financial neglect. This highlight of the recent Portland International Film Festival, DIVORCE, IRANIAN STYLE is a film you won't forget. (80 mins.)
WED & THUR, MAR 24 & 25 at 7 p.m.
PORTLAND PREMIERE VISITING ARTIST
HOUSE OF THE WORLD
DIRECTOR: ESTHER PODEMSKI In Poland, after the Holocaust, modest monuments were quickly put up as reminders where Jewish cemeteries once stood, small acts of reverence for the dead. In HOUSE OF THE WORLD (Hebrew for cemetery), former Portlander and second generation survivor Esther Podemski takes us on a personal odyssey as she seeks to come to terms with her family's and Jewish Poland's tragic past. Through a montage of historical footage, amateur photographs, archival music and moving testimonies, she discovers a Poland all but cleansed of Jews. Her poignant film, with its themes of loss and reverence, does more than link generations—it allows us to reconcile deeply felt emotions. (54 mins.) POST-FILM DISCUSSION WITH THE DIRECTOR. THIS PROGRAM COSPONSORED BY THE OREGON COUNCIL ON THE HUMANITIES.
TUES & WED, MAR 30 & 31 at 7:30 p.m.
VOICES FROM THE GREAT TERROR
DIRECTOR: DAVID PULTZ Featured in the 1998 Human Rights Watch International Film Festival, ETERNAL MEMORY examines Joseph Stalin's suppression of any and all forms of social and political resistance through state-induced famine, forced labor and wholesale executions which caused the death of 20 million citizens of the USSR during the 1930s and 40s. David Pultz journeyed to the Ukraine just after the break-up of the Soviet Union as citizens were, for the first time, able to speak freely about the great terror. Paralleling interviews with survivors and former prisoners, the KGB, other government officials and leading historians along with rare archival footage, the calamitous times unravel with riveting testimony. For the Ukrainians, the ritual exhumation and reburial of innumerable mass graves are seen as one form of healing. Narrated by Meryl Streep, Pultz has taken a lost history and brought it to the front with affecting clarity. (81 mins.)
THUR APRIL 1 at 7:30 p.m. & SAT APRIL 3 at 6 p.m.
DIRECTOR: JOHAN GRIMONPREZ Joining the vanguard of found footage filmmakers Craig Baldwin and Bruce Conner, Johan Grimonprez has taken discarded and forgotten footage to reinterpret the 60s and 70s. "Assembled Frankenstein-fashion from exhumed newsreel footage of hijacking scenes, terrorist attacks and their gruesome aftermaths (and with a little 'Do the Hustle' for good measure), Grimonrez's pseudo-documentary follows the flight path of skyjacking, concentrating on the glorious double decade of the 60s and 70s when violent assaults were as predictable as lost luggage. The cavalcade of crises is familiar: Tel Aviv, Athens, Tokyo--each a distant image of some lethal act. The reductive details are often frightening in their simplicity: on one flight hijackers demand birthday cake and champagne for a flight attendant; on another the pilot orders sandwiches for his famished terrorists lest the slaughter begin. Grimonprez culls the writings of novelist Don DeLillo for the intermittent flight announcements; one compelling quote declares that artists have disappeared from the radar screen, having lost the air to terrorists who still have a grip on reality."—SAN FRANCISCO INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. (68 mins.)
WHAT FAROCKI TAUGHT
DIRECTOR: JILL GODMILOW In a brilliant conceit, Jill Godmilow (FAR FROM POLAND) has made an exact replica of Harun Farocki's 1969 German short, INEXTINGUISHABLE FIRE, about Dow Chemical's development of Napalm B. Adding a new dimension to the discussion of art in the age of mechanical reproduction, Godmilow's inspired film is a direct challenge to the form of the documentary. "As reconfigured by Godmilow, the film is intellectually rigorous and emotional frightening, a ferocious, committed, important historical/political tract for the amnesiac 90s."—Gerald Peary (30 mins.)
TUES APRIL 21 & WED APRIL 22 at 7:30 p.m., SUN APRIL 25 at 2 p.m.
DIRECTOR: DARIUSZ JABLONSKI In 1987, in a Viennese antique shop, about 400 color slides were discovered in mint condition, some of the first color pictures ever made on a newly developed Agfa film stock. They were taken by Walter Genewein, the chief accountant of the Lodz Ghetto. Genewein used the Ghetto and its 300,000 inhabitants to perfect his skills with the camera and to document "subhumans" in the process of being civilized by the Germans’ culture of work and organization. Genewein never realized that he was, in fact, crafting a vivid—if not chilling—pictorial document of "the final solution." Narrated by Arnold Mostowicz, one of the few survivors of the Lodz Ghetto, Jablonski’s gripping document is terrifying testimony to not only the events in that city, but the depths of man’s inhumanity to man as it strikes a powerful emotional chord. Grand Prize, International Documentary Film Festival Amsterdam. (80 mins.)
SAT MAY 15 at 7:30 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE VISITING ARTIST
REGRET TO INFORM
DIRECTOR: BARBARA SONNEBORN One of this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary Feature and winner of two Sundance Jury Awards for Best Director and Best Cinemathography, "REGRET TO INFORM superbly portrays the lasting devastation of the Vietnam War as seen through the eyes of women, both American and Vietnamese, who lost their husbands. This is the story of one woman's journey to Vietnam, twenty years after her husband was killed there, and the women she encounters who were affected by the war. Hoping to find some closure for her pain and loss, Barbara Sonneborn wants to see and feel the places where her husband spent his last days. By intercutting emotional testimonials from women on both sides of the war who share their suffering, she makes us understand how real this war remains. Through seeing many different women's perspectives, we recognize how their emotions contrasted: helplessness on the part of those in the United States versus inevitable participation by North and South Vietnamese women. A very powerful, yet quiet, film, REGRET TO INFORM develops a yet-unseen perspective: that of those left behind. Focused on Vietnamese and American women, the film is filled with exceptional interviews which are revealing and poignant. Deeply personal and vastly universal, REGRET TO INFORM is an involving and moving lesson about the painful legacy of war."—1999 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. One of this year’s Academy Award nominees for Best Documentary Feature and winner of two Sundance Jury Awards for Best Director and Best Cinemathography, (72 mins.)
WED & THUR, MAY 19 & 20 at 7:30 p.m.
MADE IN GERMANY
DIRECTOR: THOMAS HAUSNER "Few countries have had their 20th-Century drama played out on as widely viewed a stage as Germany, and the idea that his country’s collective identity has been largely mediated by its international image is one that German documentary filmmaker Thomas Hausner relates with rare perspicacity and flair. In MADE IN GERMANY, Hausner eschews voice-over and interviews, instead piecing together archival footage of newsreels, beer and car commercials, movies, television specials and the like to describe a country that has had its political and cultural identity defined by its global performance. Even the fall of the Berlin Wall is seen by Hausner, who strings together Wall-related ad campaigns from AT&T, Caterpillar tractors, etc., to be a less monumental world event than an advertiser’s wet dream. By introducing such intertitles as "It’s no wonder we lost the war," Hausner hints at his amused displeasure not only with a world unwilling to let his country rise above playing a relatively meager role internationally, but with a country that would cultivate that role from within."—LA WEEKLY (85 mins.)
TUES & WED, MAY 25 & 26 at 7:30 p.m.
POWER: THE JAMES BAY CREE
DIRECTORS: MAGNUS ISACSSON & GLEN SALZMAN
Echoing concerns very much alive in the Northwest, POWER is sure to ignite debate on such issues as First Nation rights, environmental issues and political engagement. Tracing the battle of the Cree of Northern Quebec to protect their land and wild rivers from the completion of The James Bay Project, one of the largest hydroelectric undertakings in the world with over 30 dam and hundreds of dikes in an area the size of France. Magnus Isacsson and Glen Salzman were given unusual access not only to the public activities to stop the dam, but the confidential talks between the parties themselves. The result is a riveting tale of successes and failures—the galvanizing campaigns and the divisions created —from the 1970s to the 90s. Among those who share their points-of-view are Quebec's premieres over the period, the Grand Chief of the Cree and Robert Kennedy, Jr. (90 mins.)
SPECIAL PROGRAMS AND EVENTS
MAR 18 19 20 21
THUR 18 7:30 P.M., FRI 19 6 & 8 P.M., SAT 20 6 & 8 P.M, SUN 21 2 P.M.
DIRECTOR: BENOIT JACQUOT A highlight of this year's "Frames of Mind" series, this subtle and complex look at the dynamics of a marriage in crisis explores the relationship between Mathilde (Sandrine Kiberlain, A SELF-MADE HERO) and her successful husband Nico (Vincent Lindon, BETTY BLUE, LA BELLE HISTOIRE). As the film opens, Mathilde is seen shoplifting and suffering from fainting spells. Though her husband is concerned, he expects a rational approach to her problems. But Mathilde meets a mysterious man who introduces her to hypnotherapy, theories of Jacques Lacan and Feng Shui, the Far East practice of living harmoniously with the energy of the surrounding environment. Canvassing her erotic history, the 29-year-old Mathilde soon experiences a sexual awakening, an event which shifts the power in her marriage. As Mathilde undergoes her personal metamorphosis, her husband begins to question his own staid realities. Jacquot's humane portrait foregoes melodrama, instead drawing its authority from the whirlpool of daily emotions to reveal its truths. "Middle-class marital 'seventh heaven,' it suggests, is a state of functioning imperfection, in which powerful psychological forces reach an equilibrium that is tenuous and unsatisfying at best, but somehow workable."—Stephen Holden, THE NEW YORK TIMES. (91 mins.) COsponsored by alliance francaise.
MARCH 27 SAT 7:30 P.M.
BEST OF THE NORTHWEST:
THE 25TH NORTHWEST FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL TOUR
Tonight's 16 shorts from this year's NORTHWEST FILM & VIDEO FESTIVAL are about to hit the road. These audience and critic favorites—including a healthy dose of Portland work— will travel the region and beyond, playing at art house cinemas, media arts centers and universities. If you missed them at the festival, or you just can’t get enough, come say bon voyage to the best from the more than 300 works submitted from filmmakers in five Northwest states. "I was looking for work that was provocative, arresting and, last but very much not least, entertaining. I was delighted that so many of the works I saw [also] had the ability to surprise."—Christine Vachon, 1998 Festival Judge.(128 mins.)
MAR 22 MON
Regional film and videomakers are encouraged to bring or send work for open screening. Admission is free and there is no charge to show work. To ensure we can arrange for the equipment you require, please make sure your works arrive at the Film Center office, 1219 S.W. Park, by March 18. FREE POPCORN.
APRIL 11 6:30 P.M.
DIRECTOR: ANDREW DOSUMNU Hair has long been an expressive medium in black American culture, from traditions emerging from African ancestry through styles indelibly fused with politics, entertainment, athletics and fashion. New York fashion stylist and music video director (for Isaac Hayes, Aaron Neville, Ziggy Marley and Morcheeba among others) Andrew Dosunmu dives headlong into the world of big hair, Detroit-style, emerging with a visually striking documentary portrait of contemporary "hair with an attitude" and the competitive world of black fashion "hair wars." What was once Motown might now be called "Hairtown" as stylists, contestants, press and hair-care product makers from throughout the mid-west and south converge to out do each other's dos'. (61 mins.) Tonight's screening, with director Andrew Dosunmu in attendance, is sponsored by Paper Magazine and Saucebox and is a benefit for the Black United Fund of Oregon's ARTIST SCHOLARSHIP Program and the Northwest Film Center's School of Film. Screening only tickets $10; ADVANCE Film and post-screening party at Saucebox $25.
APRIL 19 MON 7 P.M.
1999 STUDENT ACADEMY AWARDS JURYING
Tonight the Film Center hosts the regional jurying for the 25TH ANNUAL STUDENT ACADEMY AWARDS presented by the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences. During this public screening, jurors will view the top entries from college students in nine western states, among them USC, UCLA, CalArts, San Francisco State and Stanford, selecting the best animation, documentary, dramatic and alternative films which will be forwarded to Los Angeles for the final competition in May. Admission is free to this singular opportunity to see the work being done at the top west coast film schools.
MAY 21 22 23 24
FRI 21 7 P.M., SAT 22 7 P.M., SUN 23 7 P.M., MON 24 7 P.M.
PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL HIGHLIGHTS
LIFE ON EARTH
DIRECTOR: ADBERRAHMANE SISSAKO
The Film Center is pleased to reprise two films showcased as part of 2000 SEEN By in this year's Portland International Film Festival. On the eve of the year 2000, Abderrahmane Sissako, a Mauritania filmmaker living in France, goes home to visit his father in a small village in Mali. He roams the streets filming the visually stunning landscapes. An antiquated radio station broadcasts the news and details of new year celebrations around the globe. At the post office, residents attempt to reach the outside world on the village’s only telephone, while on the streets daily life goes on peacefully and unchanged as the new millennium arrives. Sissako’s poetic and incisive meditation asks how, on the eve of the new century, can the age of technological advancement have passed by entire sections of the world? (61 mins.)
THE BOOK OF LIFE
DIRECTOR: HAL HARTLEY
December 31, 1999. In Hartley's (HENRY FOOL, THE UNBELIEVABLE TRUTH) darkly comic retelling of the Apocalypse, Jesus (Martin Donovan) arrives at JFK Airport with his beautiful and intriguing assistant, Magdalena (PJ Harvey). The pervading question on everyone’s mind is: will the beginning of the new millennium mean the end of life? Jesus holds the key. Over the course of the day, he will battle the Devil for human souls, risk the wrath of God and banishment from heaven and struggle with himself to determine whether these lives are worth saving. In an unrelenting kaleidoscope of fast-moving images and heart-pounding music, amidst a techno driven, computerized world, the fate of man unfolds much like an espionage thriller—holding the viewer until the final moment. (62 mins.)
MAY 28 29 30
FRI 7 P.M., SAT 29 7 P.M., SUN 30 7 P.M.
THE 37TH ANNUAL ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL TOUR
The Film Center is pleased to present the best of the 37TH ANN ARBOR FILM FFESTIVAL, one of the oldest and most respected festivals celebrating American and international independent and experimental cinema. From animation to the avant garde, the ANN ARBOR FILM FESTIVAL is the only festival in the nation devoted solely to short works originating in 16mm. The exact works being screened are still being decided as we go to press, but with this year's judges, including Portland animator/filmmaker Chel White, Stanford University's Jan Krawitz and Canadian experimental filmmaker Michael Holbloom, the tour should boast a diverse selection of the celebrated and the unknown, the sacred and profane. (2 hrs.)