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The Whitsell Auditorium and the Northwest Film Center Equipment Room are closed to the public in an effort to further stem the spread of COVID-19. All classes canceled until further notice. Stay connected to art, film, and more by signing up for our newsletter.

Directed by Ben Shapiro

United States 2012 78 mins.

Gregory Crewdson’s riveting photographs are elaborately staged, elegant narratives compressed into a single, large-scale image, many of them taken at twilight. Set in small towns in western Massachusetts or in meticulously recreated interior spaces, his strange tableaus call to mind the haunting worlds of Alfred Hitchcock, David Lynch, and Edward Hopper. Shapiro’s fascinating profile includes stories from Crewdson’s childhood (in which he tried to overhear his psychologist father’s patients), his summers in the bucolic countryside (which he now imbues with a sense of dread and foreboding), and his encounter with Diane Arbus’s work in 1972 at age 10. Novelists Rick Moody and Russell Banks and fellow photographer Laurie Simmons comment on the motivation behind their friend’s haunting images. But Crewdson remains his own best critic: “Every artist has one central story to tell. The struggle is to tell and retell that story over again—and to challenge that story. It’s the defining story of who you are.”

Genres: Documentary

Appears in: On Art and Artists



The Northwest Film Center recognizes and honors the Indigenous peoples of this region on whose ancestral lands the museum now stands. These include the Willamette Tumwater, Clackamas, Kathlemet, Molalla, Multnomah and Watlala Chinook Peoples and the Tualatin Kalapuya who today are part of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, and many other Native communities who made their homes along the Columbia River. We also want to recognize that Portland today is a community of many diverse Native peoples who continue to live and work here. We respectfully acknowledge and honor all Indigenous communities—past, present, future—and are grateful for their ongoing and vibrant presence.