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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.

Looking for something new to watch?
We welcome everyone who loves art in all its forms, a great story well told, or is longing for connection to join us in exploring new ways of seeing the world through cinema unbound.

From Amy Dotson, NWFC Director and PAM Curator, Film & New Media
The Last Black Man in San Francisco
Director: dir. Joe Talbot, United States
Available on Amazon Prime

Jimmie Fails and Joe Talbot were best friends growing up in San Francisco. They were two teenagers who loved movies—making them, writing them, dreaming of a day where their vision of their world would make it to the big screen. I was lucky enough to work with them and read Joe’s early draft of LBMISF and the visuals brought to life were there on paper from the very beginning. Loosely based on Fails’ life and friendship with Joe (he is credited as actor and writer in the film), Talbot spins a mighty, unusual and enormous tale that winds together an exploration of gentrification, masculinity, and the full throttle love affair two young men have for the city of their birth. Oscillating wildly from poignant to joyful, bizzare to universal and back again—the film offers incredible acting turns from newcomers like Jimmie and legends alike (Danny Glover in particular gives a star turn), as well as introduces an incredible new cinematic visionary in Joe Talbot. The only thing we know in life that is consistent is change, and this touching movie about two friends who refuse to give up on the dreams and the home of their youth flips the script in exciting ways that are worth watching. 

From Micah Vanderhoof, Theater Manager
Paranoia Agent
Director: Satoshi Kon, Japan 2004 – 13 episodes.
Available from Funimation studios (free with advertisements)

This limited run series from existential animation master Satoshi Kon follows two detectives investigating what appears to be a string of assaults committed by a boy on rollerblades with a golden bat. Providing a sophisticated critique of the human tendency to abstract away responsibility and complicity and an investigation into the nature of the aesthetics and ideology of commercialized chibi, Paranoia Agent is filled with the introspection and endless questions that is so central to Kon’s repertoire. 

Pairs well with Shannon Strucci’s Horror Theory: the Uncanny Valley 

From Ben Popp, Filmmaker Services Manager
Grand Bizarre
Director: Jodi Mack, U.S. – 13
Available on MUBI (get a free three-month trial with link)

Filmmaker Jodi Mack’s travelogue film utilizes the animation concept known as “Replacement Animation” in which at every frame, or every other, depending on motive, a new image is put in front of the camera to create a visual smorgasbord of colors and patterns. Traveling to over 15 countries over a period of five years, collecting fabrics and in many cases photographing them via her process in the locations they were found, Mack has created an abstract documentary of the many anonymous hands that have sewed, woven, and stitched their culture’s identity into vibrant textiles. As Mack “weaves” the finds into animation, she accompanies the film with a soundtrack made up entirely from her own incredibly imaginative mind. If you happen to live in a legalized state, pop a gummy, sit back and enjoy this psychedelic journey.  

From Morgen Ruff, Exhibition Program Manager & Programmer
A sui generis gems from the 2019 Portland International Film Festival.

Directors: Gabriel Abrantes & Daniel Schmidt, Portugal/France
Streaming on the Criterion Channel (offers free trial; also available for rent through various services)

This unclassifiable film follows the world’s biggest football (soccer) star, the titular Diamantino, after he loses his famous goal-scoring touch during the World Cup final. Directors Abrantes and Schmidt tap into deep wells of creativity from this relatively simple premise, throwing all sorts of challenges their star’s way as he spirals out of control, including undercover agents, shadowy right-wing fringe groups, genetic modification, and much more. Carloto Cotta stars in a genius turn as the bumbling Diamantino, an oblivious anti-hero for our precarious times.

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.