Cinema 21 Program Notes

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Program Notes


One Week: September 15 - 21

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

Premiere (2006, 90 minutes)

Over the years, both indie and mainstream filmmakers have grappled with the Motion Picture Association of America (MPAA). The issues of piracy, ratings, and the unequal treatment of independent filmmakers (as opposed to the signatory members of the MPAA) are all at the forefront of this ongoing debate. Now, filmmaker Kirby Dick (Sick) leaps into the fray with THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED, a documentary posing as a detective story that ends up being a call to action. Dick asks several questions: whether studios receive different treatment, why violence and sex are treated so disparately, and, most interestingly, why the MPAA ratings must operate behind a veil of secrecy. This censoring process is commented on by filmmakers ranging from John Waters to Kevin Smith, from Kimberly Peirce to Darren Aronofsky, as Dick examines why filmmakers are left in the dark about what triggers an NC-17 and who and what the MPAA represents. Peter Travers of Rolling Stone calls the film "indispensable" while Todd McCarthy of Variety considers it an "outrageous, and sometimes outrage-inspiring, entertainment." Owen Gleiberman of Entertainment Weekly thinks that THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED "is a movie that might just shake up the world of movies." Mark Keizer of Boxoffice says that director Dick finds "enough hypocrisy and inconsistencies to justify scrapping the system for something entirely new."

"Cunningly outraged documentary about the MPAA and its infamous dogged ratings board." - Entertainment Weekly

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Premiere, September 21, 7PM! - Director John Cameron Mitchell in person!

Shortbus

Premiere; 18 yrs. & over only! (2006, 102 minutes)

For his second feature film after the surprise hit musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell controversially takes an intimate peek into New York City at its most vulnerable. SHORTBUS explores an array of semi-lost souls as they grasp for human connection, intimacy, and gratification. It's a sexual symphony, with a cast that includes Raphael Barker, Lindsay Beamish, Bitch, Sook-Yin Lee, and Rachael C. Smith. Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter finds that the "graphic sex is certainly inventive and enthusiastic," while Todd McCarthy of Variety found it "playfully and provocatively entertaining." Writer Emanuel Levy says that SHORTBUS is a "sexually explicit, vastly entertaining film that reflects Mitchell's determination to break social and cinematic taboos." This film is not rated. For mature audiences only.

Director John Cameron Mitchell (Hedwig and the Angry Inch) IN PERSON September 21, 7PM!

"Walking a fine line between high camp and serious discussion of sexual mores of New York's hip crowd, straight and gay, SHORTBUS is a sexually explicit, vastly entertaining film that reflects Mitchell's determination to break social and cinematic taboos." - EMMANUELLLEVY.COM

18 Years & older only!

Advanced Tickets and Premiere Info <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page



Two Weeks: September 22 - October 5

The Science Of Sleep

Premiere (2006, 105 minutes)

Director Michel Gondry got his start in rock videos and then enjoyed a fruitful collaboration with screenwriter Charles Kaufman (Human Nature in 2001, and 2004's Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind). Now in this hilarious yet thoughtful comedy, which Gondry also wrote, a man (Gael Garcia Bernal) held captive by the people in his dreams tries to wake himself up and take control of his own imaginings. Also starring are Charlotte Gainsbourg as the girl next door, and Miou-Miou as his mother, the film alternates between the contents of his mind and the reality he needs to cope with. Web critic Collin Souter wrote that the film "demands to be seen more than once." Todd McCarthy of Variety finds the film to be "a whimsical, irrepressibly creative and playfully childlike confection," and Sally Foster of Film Threat concludes that THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP "truly has to be seen to be believed." Ed Gonzalez of Slant proclaims that "the difference between Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind and THE SCIENCE OF SLEEP is the difference between a good pop song and a great punk record."

"A kaleidoscopeic concoction of novel images! A wild visual phantasmagoria. In short, it's a textural mindblower and a lot of fun!" - The Hollywood Reporter

"A Whimsical, Irrepressibly creative and playful concoction!" - VARIETY

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The Tenth Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival

See www.plgff.org or the Myspace Page for more program information!

See www.plgff.org for festival details.

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Four Days: October 16 - 19

49 Up

Premiere (2005, 135 minutes)

"Give me the child until he is seven, and I will show you the man," goes the old Jesuit maxim, and Michael Apted took it seriously, way back in 1963 when the director worked on 7 Up, a profile of British children from all walks of life. Seven years later he followed up on the kids, and then did it again seven years after that. Now, 43 years and six films later, Apted catches up again with most of those kids (12 of them) now at the age of 49. Internet reviewer Christopher Null announces that 49 UP "marks a return to basics and fine form." Sandra Hall, of the Sydney Morning Herald writes that the films are "a testament to the perversely arbitrary nature of time, which alters so many things about us as we age while leaving others mysteriously untouched." The website Urban Cinefile notes that it is "refreshing to see people on the screen who are neither particularly influential, political nor clutching at the dress of fame. There is great humor and poignancy in their stories." Eddie Cockrell of Variety reveals that "no diminishment of the shock in seeing these brave, beleaguered citizens age in the blink of an eye."

In 1964, filmmakers interviewed a demographically diverse group of seven year-olds...every seven years since, they have revisited the original subjects who are now forty-nine years old...

"A Fascinating Work" - Urban Cinephile

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Two Weeks: October 20 - November 2

Shortbus

Premiere; 18 yrs. & over only! (2006, 102 minutes)

For his second feature film after the surprise hit musical Hedwig and the Angry Inch, filmmaker John Cameron Mitchell controversially takes an intimate peek into New York City at its most vulnerable. SHORTBUS explores an array of semi-lost souls as they grasp for human connection, intimacy, and gratification. It's a sexual symphony, with a cast that includes Raphael Barker, Lindsay Beamish, Bitch, Sook-Yin Lee, and Rachael C. Smith. Kirk Honeycutt of the Hollywood Reporter finds that the "graphic sex is certainly inventive and enthusiastic," while Todd McCarthy of Variety found it "playfully and provocatively entertaining." Writer Emanuel Levy says that SHORTBUS is a "sexually explicit, vastly entertaining film that reflects Mitchell's determination to break social and cinematic taboos." This film is not rated. For mature audiences only.

"Walking a fine line between high camp and serious discussion of sexual mores of New York's hip crowd, straight and gay, SHORTBUS is a sexually explicit, vastly entertaining film that reflects Mitchell's determination to break social and cinematic taboos." - EMMANUELLLEVY.COM

18 Years & older only!

Official Site View Trailer IMDB Entry <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page



One Week: November 3 - 9

Sing-a-long Mary Poppins

Premiere (1964, 140 minutes)

For those who loved dressing up and singing along with The Sound of Music at the Cinema 21 a few seasons back, here is another chance to bond with Julie Andrews. Come as your favorite ragamuffin or chimney sweep to SING-A-LONG MARY POPPINS, and enjoy the magical, musical nanny who brings a breath of fresh air into the stuffy Banks household in turn-of-the-century England,. as you sing along to "Chim Chim Cher-ee." This presentation begins with our host exercising the audience's vocal cords, explaining the proper procedure for using each person's fun-pack props to interact with the movie, and judging the Best Costume Contest. After that, the film rolls and the singing-a-longing is unrestrained! Don't miss this all-ages, classic movie big fun event! For advance tickets and group rate information check our website in early October. And get this: there are extra matinees Sat-Sun November 11-12.

An Interactive Musical Phenomenon About The "Practically Perfect" Nanny Who Changes A Family Forever!

Dress as your favorite character. Take Part in the BEST COSTUME CONTEST or come as you are - but get ready to SING!!!

Admission: $10/under 10 years, pay your age (5 years old & under: $5). Advanced Tickets available. Save with groups of 12 or more. Phone (503)223-4044 to order tickets or Click Here to buy tickets online.

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One Week: November 10 - 16

Al Franken: God Spoke

Premiere (2006, 90 minutes)

From Al Franken's USO tour in Iraq to the studios of liberal radio network Air America and then onto the campaign trail, filmmakers Nick Doob and Chris Hegedus were granted entree to one of the most effective political satirists of our time. Franken fearlessly confronts pundits and politicians, blurring the boundaries between political satire and impassioned citizenry. Featuring a host of beltway big mouths including Ann Coulter, Michael Moore, Al Gore, John Kerry, Robert Kennedy Jr., Sean Hannity, William Safire, Karen Hughes, and Henry Kissinger, the film is an hilarious look behind the front lines of the media wars during the most contentious election in recent history. But ultimately, the film is a personal drama of transformation, as Al Franken leaves his comedy days behind and moves from his seat in the sidelines to become a contender inside the political ring. On line reviewer Erik Childress says that "Franken is a master, and we need someone like him to both laugh at and pound his fist." Premiere magazine's Aaron Hillis judges AL FRANKEN: GOD SPOKE to be "an outspoken and pretty damn funny portrait." Emanuel Levy finds it "highly entertaining and poignant," while on line reviewer Eric D. Snider deems it "entertaining," thanks to "Franken's intelligence and quick wit."

"Funny-man turned politico given the Pennebaker treatment." - rec.arts.movies.reviews

"This smoothly edited snapshot of a roaring mouse...is an OUTSPOKEN AND PRETTY DAMN FUNNY PORTRAIT!" - Premiere Magazine

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Eight Days (opening night at C21): November 10 - 18

The NW Film Center Presents:

33rd NW Film & Video Festival

OPENING NIGHT: Friday, November 10 Start off the Festival at Cinema 21 to see outstanding short films. Following the screening, wander down the street a couple of blocks to the Opening Night Party at the Laura Russo Gallery.

The Festival CONTINUES through Friday, November 17 at the NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium with a full schedule of shorts programs, documentaries and feature films from talented friends and neighbors in the Northwest. Workshops and discussions have also been designed to illuminate the resources available to filmmakers in the Northwest.

CLOSING NIGHT: Saturday,November 18 Closing night, at the Clinton Street Theater, includes a program entitled SHOEGAZER'S CINEMA, curated by Andrew Blubaugh.

For 33 years, the Festival has brought seminal and master works form filmmakers in Alaska, British Columbia, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington-often premiering work that finds great success as Festivals like Sundance and Ann Arbor. A total of 44 films will be screened at this year's Festival including new works from oft-awarded Portland filmmakers such as Jim Blashfield, Chel White, Ryan Jeffery, and Nick Peterson as well as many familiar filmmakers and new voices from throughout the region.

For more information visit: www.nwfilm.org.

The NW Film Center Presents:

Opening Night "Shorts" at Cinema 21!

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One Week: November 17 - 23

American Hardcore

Premiere (2006, 98 minutes)

Generally unheralded at the time, the early '80s hardcore punk rock scene gave birth to much of the rock music and culture that was to follow. There would be no Nirvana, Beastie Boys, or Red Hot Chili Peppers were it not for hardcore pioneers such as Black Flag, Bad Brains, and Minor Threat. Hardcore was more than music; it was a social movement created by Reagan-era misfit kids. The participants constituted a tribe unto themselves. AMERICAN HARDCORE traces this lost subculture from its early roots to its extinction. Based on Steven Blush's book of the same title, AMERICAN HARDCORE takes the audience on a frenzied joyride through the movement and across the country, showing the various regional incarnations, distinct in style but pulsing with the same frenetic energy and aggression. Director Paul Rachman draws upon phenomenal archival concert footage and conducts contemporary interviews with many of the key players, letting them tell it like it was. Sally Foster of Film Threat notes that "every element of the movie, from the archival footage to the interviews, carries a raw, unpolished aesthetic that echoes the subject matter," while Variety's Dennis Harvey notes that "[This] sharp survey brings an insular, now largely forgotten scene back to vivid life."

"EXCELLENT DOCUMENTARY [brings] largely forgotten scene back to vivid life." - Variety

Chronicles the hardcore punk movement that emerged in underground clubs in the latest 1970s and early '80s.

"Every element of the movie, from the archival footage to the interviews, carries a raw, unpolished aesthetic that echos the subject matter." - FILM THREAT

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One week: November 24 - 30

Fur: An Imaginary Portrait Of Diane Arbus

Premiere (2006, 122 minutes)

"Most people go through life dreading they'll have a traumatic experience. Freaks were born with their trauma. They've already passed their test in life. They're aristocrats." So said photographer Diane Arbus (1923 - 1971). Arbus had a knack for finding what were then considered extreme human beings to sit for her portraits (giants, dwarves) as well as for seeing the extreme in otherwise ordinary people (twins, a frustrated boy with a toy). Based loosely on the biography of Arbus by Patricia Bosworth, this unorthodox film by Steven Shainberg (Secretary) explores her life by positing a fictional romance between Arbus and the non-existent Lionel Sweeney (Downey Jr.), who in this film introduces her to the marginalized, and blends it with details from the photographer's life to offer a fascinating look at Arbus' artistic development. Nicole Kidman, who has already portrayed Virginia Woolf, Isabel Archer (from James's Portrait of a Lady), and TV weathercaster Suzanne Stone (in To Die For), adds to her growing gallery of diverse women this touching, urgent portrait of a woman rebelling against her background and the prevailing aesthetic of the times. Reviewer Emanuel Levy says that FUR is "a kind of hallucinatory exploration of the awakening of a creative genius."

"Photography is a secret about a secret. The more it tells you, the less you know" - Diane Arbus

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One Week: December 1 - 7

F**k

Premiere (2005, 93 minutes)

This entertaining and thoughtful documentary takes a look at the history of the fabled F-word. Talking to celebrities, political figures, and other commentators who are eager to discuss this taboo-laden word, director Steve Anderson crafts a film that manages to combine an intense conversation about civil liberties with some highly amusing uses of a word that is still considered shocking. It's a serious documentary about the expletive's origin, why it offends some people so deeply, and what can be gained from its use. Variety's John Anderson finds the film "consistently amusing, often hilarious, and energetic in its editing," while on line reviewer Erik Childress announces that "Anderson's film should tour as part of an encapsulating trilogy with The Aristocrats and THIS FILM IS NOT YET RATED into the heartland and beyond as an important statement of where we've come and the f***storm we're headed for." On line reviewer Kevin A. Ranson dubs it "wonderfully entertaining."

Finally, a film for aficionados of the F-Word!

"In terms of entertainment, the film is consistently amusing often hilarious and energetically edited...this movie will have a cult following, the size of which may depend on whether it can be advertised anywhere." - John Anderson, VARIETY

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Two Weeks: December 8 - 21

Viva Pedro!

New prints! Eight films! Double features!

One-time novelist, journalist, comic book creator, and finally film director, Pedro Almodovar is Spain's modern renaissance man. A crucial figure in the La Movida Madrilena, a cultural movement that arose in the aftermath of Franco death, Almodovar has ended up one of the rare European directors working today who is truly internationally known. In anticipation of the release of Pedro Almodovar's latest film, VOLVER (see below) the Cinema 21 is proud to present this exclusive retrospective of the director's greatest works, beginning with his career-making hit, WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN (1988), here paired with ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER, from 1999 (December 8-11). That's followed by his morbid serious-minded paens to women's dramas, TALK TO HER (2002) and THE FLOWER OF MY SECRET, from 1995 (December 12-14). Of special interest to fans will be these two difficult-to-see early films, LAW OF DESIRE (1987) with MATADOR, from 1986 (December 15-18) Finally there is the great double of LIVE FLESH (1997), unusual in Almodovar's career for being based on a Ruth Rendell mystery, with BAD EDUCATION from 2004 (December 19-21). Among the actors whom Almodovar has discovered or reached international fame under his direction are Penelope Cruz, Carmen Maura, Antonio Banderas, and Javier Bardem. For more information, please visit www.sonyclassics.com/vivapedro/site.html.

"Volver" starts December 22!
 
New 35mm Prints! www.vivapedro.com

Double Features (single admission for both films each night)
 
Fri-Mon Dec 15-18: Matador nightly 7:00/late Fri-Sat 10:45 + Sat-Sun (2:30)
with: Law of Desire nightly 9:00 + Sat-Sun 4:45
 
Tue-Thur, Dec 19-21: Live Flesh nightly 7:00
with: Bad Education nightly 9:00

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Screen Legend MARGARET O'BRIEN, in person, to present her classic 1944 Christmas film

The film will be followed by a Q & A session with the audience.

Tickets on sale at Cinema 21 and Movie Madness, $10 each. This special event is sponsored by Movie Madness Video & More, Portland's favorite video store!

IMDB Entry <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page



Two Weeks: December 22 - January 4

Volver

Premiere (2006, 111 minutes)

Having digested eight of Almodovar's earlier films, are you ready for his latest, a film already heralded as a masterpiece, and which was the winner of the best screenplay and best actress (to Penelope Cruz) awards at the Cannes Film Festival? Receiving a rare 100 per cent approval rating on Rotten Tomatoes.com, VOLVER is the latest and greatest from the Spanish director. And it is yet another departure for him, as it is a ghost story. After her death, a woman (Carmen Maura) makes a return to her home town in order to fix the situations she couldn't resolve during her life, including those concerning her daughters (Cruz, Lola Duenas), as well as her grandchild (Yohana Cobo). Ray Bennett of the Hollywood Reporter deems it a "richly entertaining fantasy from a cinematic master," Variety's Jonathan Holland calls it "richly evocative." With VOLVER Almodovar is "at the peak of his powers," according to Richard Mowe of Boxoffice. "It's Almodovar's best picture since Live Flesh, charming, warm-hearted, humorous and life-affirming," concludes Christopher Bray of The First Post.

"Richly Entertaining Fantasy From a Cinematic Master." - Hollywood Reporter

"Cruz has never been better nor looked lovelier." - Europeanfilms.net

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