Archive for October, 2007

Orphans vs. A Good Hog Trampling

October 30, 2007

A voice from our audience pipes up with interesting commentary about recently screened films in the Imamura series.  The third film, “My Second Brother” is here contrasted with Monday’s film, “Pigs and Battleships.”

Modesty requires that the aforementioned audience member remain anonymous.

“My Second Brother was ok, but had a  cartoonish, “Mayberry”  quality to the characters. Everyone was struggling, but noble and always-willing to help. Everyone was one-dimensional. The only character that had any depth, the ostensibly  evil old crone, was at times amiable, even likeable,  certainly more  for comic relief than anything else.

Pigs and Battleships also   portrayed people on the edge of poverty, in a post-feudal world that  hadn’t  modernized yet. But, unlike Second Brother, it was populated by  the venal and  avaricious, the cruel and psychopathic, the murderous,  the foolish, the  bumbling idiots, the desperate, beaten sex workers  and a lovely co-star who  wasn’t merely impure she was not unwilling to  be a whore. The Americans were  portrayed as boorish, violent oafs who  treated the women as sexual chattel or  were grifters who predictably  abandoned and ripped off their Japanese  co-criminals who then  proceeded to betray each other. The protagonist was  likeable even  adorable (the lead in Stolen Desire and Second Brother) but he  was a  stupid, foolish man with a streak of hubris that would have made   Demosthenes happy. There was the father, a loser, a drunk and an  embarrassment  to his son. It had a gun fight and best of all it had  death by hog  trampling!”

The careful film-goer will note that we have plenty of stupid, hubris-streaked, Demosthenes-pleasing characters in the weeks to come.  I am unsure  how many hog tramplings are included.

Another star

October 29, 2007

A post from Liz Shepherd, our children’s film festival director and head of country music programming:

Porter Wagoner – one of the most resplendent stars in the country music constellation – was celebrated in Northwest Film Forum’s recent presentation, “You’re Lookin’ at Country.” Now, he’s gone. So gaze up at the sky tonight – if it seems a little brighter than usual, you can bet that’s one of Porter’s rhinestone suits shining down on us as he strides into honkytonk heaven.

Rest in peace Porter Wagoner, you were the coolest.

Sing us one for old times’ sake

Start brushing up on your Imamura

October 22, 2007

This will help.

The Legacy of Shohei Imamura

starts this Friday, October 26 with STOLEN DESIRE.

Complete schedule is available here.

It’s still not cool to wear these to the director retrospectives

October 22, 2007

Just read about this on Cinematical, and it’s kind of hilarious

Bright Eye For The Third Eye

October 21, 2007

Over at greencine today you’ll find an article about the New York Film Festival, which makes reference to forthcoming Film Forum guest Michael Robinson. Here’s what they had to say:

Last year’s startling new discovery, Chicago-based Michael Robinson, has, if anything, upped his game from last year. To my mind there can no longer be any question that Robinson is the most significant new experimental filmmaker to emerge in the last decade. And part of what makes his work so overwhelming is the fact that he refrains from grand statement, preferring to explore the unique headspace of his (and my) generation

Michael will be here at NWFF on November 14 at 8pm as part of our Third Eye cinema program. The first guest for that program James Benning arrives on Monday with his ONE WAY BOOGIE WOOGIE and 27 YEARS LATER.

And They Will Know Us By The Trail…

October 19, 2007

Another great dies. British actress Deborah Kerr, who shared one of cinema’s most famous kisses with Burt Lancaster in From Here to Eternity, has died, her agent said Thursday. She was 86. She appeared in two films screened at NWFF earlier this year; King Solomon’s Mines and Tea And Sympathy. The Oscar segment honoring this year’s departed is going to be unfortunately very strong this year.

West Coast cool meets East Coast cool

October 18, 2007

Kathy Fennessy has posted an interesting reaction to Bruce Weber’s LET’S GET LOST over at SIFFblog.  I must admit, I didn’t know Weber was most recently known for his photography of  Abercrombie & Fitch models.  Though the cinematography for LET’S GET LOST is credited to Jeff Preiss, I’ll surely be considering the juxtaposition of Chet Baker’s jazz milieu with that of the  modern fashion scene when I see the film next week.

LET’S GET LOST starts October 26 at NWFF.

Strange Culture gets Serious

October 16, 2007

There’s an update this morning in the case of Steve Kurtz, as chronicled in the film ‘Strange Culture‘: Genetics researcher Robert E. Ferrell, 64, has plead guilty for helping Kurtz, of the Critical Art Ensemble, obtain non-threatening bacteria for his MassMOCA-approved installation.  Critical, indeed.

Full story here.

Get out the vote…

October 15, 2007

Librarian of Congress James H. Billington seeks nominations for the National Film Registry. To be eligible for the Registry, a film must be at least 10 years old and be “culturally, historically, or aesthetically significant.” The number of public votes a film receives is a factor weighed during the selection process. Congress first established the National Film Registry in the 1988 National Film Preservation Act, and most recently extended the Registry with passage of the National Film Preservation Act of 2005 (part of the Family Entertainment and Copyright Act of 2005, Public Law 109-9). Along with mandating continuing implementation of a plan to save the American film heritage, this law authorizes the Librarian of Congress (after reviewing public suggestions and consulting extensively with film experts and the 44 members and alternates of the National Film Preservation Board) to select up to 25 films each year for inclusion in the Registry.

The 450 films chosen during the first eighteen years illustrate the vibrant diversity of American film-making, and range from well-known Hollywood classics (Casablanca, The African Queen, and A Night at the Opera) to landmark independent, documentary and avant-garde masterpieces (Nothing But a Man, Louisiana Story, and Meshes of the Afternoon).

For consideration, please forward recommendations (limit 50 titles per year) via email to:

Email is preferred given security issues on Capitol Hill and delays in postal delivery. To submit via regular mail:

National Film Registry
Library of Congress, MBRS Division
Washington, D.C. 20540
Attn: Steve Leggett

European Film Awards

October 15, 2007

This in the news today:

“In recognition of their outstanding dedication to cinema, Jean-Luc Godard and Michael Ballhaus will receive honorary awards at the 20th European Film Awards on 1 December in Berlin.”

I know that you know the first, but the second? click… I dare you!