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Directed by Tom Chamberlin

Oregon 1983 102 mins. In English

Twenty-five years before Portlandia, the idea of a television show capturing the zeitgeist of life in the Rose City became reality when author Larry Colton’s weekly column in Willamette Week, “Pilllars of Portland,” was fashioned into a pilot for a proposed weekly tv series. The characters were stereotypes of their Portland neighborhoods: MAC member Wes Hills, bookstore guy Grant Parks, snobby lawyer Al Ameda, wack author Sandy Burnside, along with the likes of Marshall Lovejoy, Laurel Hearst, and Elliot King. With a cast and crew made up by a sizable contingent of Portland’s film and theater scene, Pillars was a singular community happening, and when it aired as a special on KOIN 6 on December 14, 1983, the anticipation was high. But most found it an amateurish mess, and the production–perhaps the first regionally produced television soap opera in the nation–was quickly assigned to the vault, the ambition of the failed project little appreciated. Rarely seen since, tonight we’re joined by many of the creators for a special screening and distanced appraisal, including director Tom Chamberlin, author Larry Colton, cinematographers Jim Blashfield and Eric Edwards, and many more. Co-sponsored by Willamette Week.

Genres: Soap Opera



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.