Skip to content

Directed by Evan Raymond Spitzer

85 mins.

Oregon-based filmmaker Evan Raymond Spitzer presents three uniquely crafted films, each using different techniques. In Praise of Shadows (2014) is an observational portrait of a family in upstate New York, where they live off the grid with no electricity, gas, or internet. While mostly quiet in nature, Spitzer provides a window for the outside world to gaze in as the young family goes about their lives—from the early morning hours getting ready, throughout the day making works of art, and into the evening preparing to go to bed. Antiquarian Combustion (2015) uses early animations from phenakistoscopes (optical toys created before cinema) and the light source of fire to create a temporal meditation on lasting imagery. Rounding out the evening is Spitzer’s latest work, the three-paneled documentary Keeper of Fire (2019), which explores the multiple reactions to the 1980s volcanic eruption at Mount St. Helens and the subsequent “tale of two forests”: where one part of the blast zone was allowed to regenerate without humans, while the other was reforested. Director Evan Raymond Spitzer in attendance for a question and answer following the program.



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.