Cinema 21 Program Notes January - March 2009

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Program Notes January - March 2009

One Week Only: February 27 - March 5


Premiere (2009, 137 min.)
Directed by Matteo Garrone
 Drama   Language: In Italian with English Subtitles

When director Matteo Garrone came to adapt Roberto Saviano's muckraking book about the Naples mafia, he went in the opposite direction of most cinematic accounts of the mob. Critical of that world as they may be, movies such as The Godfather and Goodfellas still exact from the viewer a sneaking admiration for the powerful, violent characters at their centers. Garrone will have none of it. Using an almost neo-realist style and an open-ending structure with an unsentimental tone, Garrone adapts five stories from the book, following a young aspirant, an aged bagman, two troublesome losers, an ambitious garment designer, and a waste disposal expert. The result is "darkly compelling," according to Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News, "corrosive and ferociously unsentimental," to Manohla Dargis of the New York Times, "gritty and intense," to Susan Granger of the SSG Syndicate, and yet still "operatic" to Andrew O'Hehir of GOMORRAH is also, paradoxically, "a beautiful movie," announces Anthony Lane of the New Yorker, going on to add that director Garrone "refuses to let his style be bulldozed by the runaway violence of his subject," and that he has "surpassed, not merely honored, the author’s courageous toil." Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal notes that "the sense of tragedy is momentous." Lisa Schwarzbaum of Entertainment Weekly advises the viewer not to "look for resolution, romanticism, or comic relief in this underworld tour, shot with a fast, you-are-there look and no pity; you won't find picaresque goodfellas or Sopranos-style ziti eaters here. Instead, there's the power of damning truth."

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One Week: March 6 - 12

Two Lovers

Premiere (2009, 110 min.)
Starring Joaquin Phoenix, Gwyneth Paltrow   Directed by James Gray
 Drama/Romance   Language: In English (but made in France)

Based loosely on a story by Dostoyevsky called "White Nights," TWO LOVERS observes the track of a bipolar, suicidal man in Brighton Beach, New York named Leonard (Joaquin Phoenix) who alternates between the nice young girl (Vinessa Shaw) that his mother has introduced him to, and the mysterious neighbor (Gwyneth Paltrow) with an alarming benefactor. Director James Gray (The Yards, We Own the Night) has worked with star Phoenix twice before in crime dramas, but here for the first time they explore a softer, denser side of life. TWO LOVERS has an "expressiveness that stays with you, according to Peter Rainer of the Christian Science Monitor, while Joshua Tyler of finds the film, "genuine and affecting." Pete Hammond of deems it a "beautifully made romantic drama," while Joe Morgenstern of the Wall Street Journal salutes "an inspired performance by a superb actor in an elegantly grave romantic drama." James Rocchi of advises viewers to go see "real human beings on the big screen as they try to wrap their heads and hearts around the hopes and hurts of real life," while Robin Clifford of Reeling Reviews praises "an attractive cast, solid acting and deft direction." Anthony Lane in the New Yorker was particularly struck by the performance of Isabella Rossellini as Phoenix's mother: "There are a couple of expressions in that captivating gaze of hers which are so brimful of love, understanding, and pity that you hardly know where to turn," adding that the film "wells with sights and sounds that are guaranteed to lift, not sink, the spirits."

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One Week: March 13 - 19


Premiere (2009, 263 minutes)
Starring Benicio Del Toro as Che Guevara   Directed by Steven Soderbergh
 Biography/Drama   Language: In English and Spanish with subtitles

It's one of the most ambitious biopics ever conceived, and one of the more astute political films ever made by an American. A collaboration between director Steven Soderbergh and lead actor Benicio Del Toro, CHE is an attempt to encapsulate the life of the Che Guevara, the doctor turned revolutionary, through two feature films of equal length but shot in two wholly different styles. Part One is called "The Revolutionary," and chronicles Che and Fidel Castro's toppling of the Batista government in Cuba in the late 1950s. Part Two, "Guerilla," follows Che as he attempts to foment revolution in Bolivia. Taken together, "you can smell the gun smoke and taste the cigars," according to Wesley Morris of the Boston Globe. Del Toro offers a "tour de force performance," in the eyes of MaryAnn Johanson of Flick Filosopher, and Peter Canavese of Groucho Reviews writes that CHE is a "complex production mounted, with confidence and a scrupulous eye for detail, by one of our great American filmmakers." "The director has approached his subject as the complicated human being he was in life, not the overblown symbol he has become since his death," notes Kurt Loder of MTV. For Beverly Berning of CHE is "a revelation, an enlightening analysis of a man whose devotion to a political movement defined his life." For Brian Tallerico of Movie Retriever CHE is "both a subtle commentary on failed political ideals and an amazingly detailed character piece," adding that CHE "is like no movie you've seen in a long time. It's one of the best of 2008." The Cinema 21 will be presenting the special Road Show edition of CHE, with no titles or credits (a program will be distributed to the audience) and one intermission. In addition, director Soderbergh will be in attendance to introduce and discuss the film its opening weekend.

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Starts March 20

The Great Buck Howard

Premiere (2009, 87 min.)
Starring John Malkovich, Colin Hanks, Emily Blunt   Directed by Sean McGinly

In writer-director Sean McGinly's comedy, law-school dropout Troy Gable (Colin Hanks)answers an ad for a "personal assistant to a celebrity performer," hoping it will catapult him to a glamorous career in the entertainment industry. Little does he know that performer is Buck Howard (John Malkovich), a "mentalist" infamous for his 61 appearances on The Tonight Show (and based on The Amazing Kreskin), who has been reduced to a has-been magician in need of a pretty big trick to get him out of this slump. It's a "smoothly turned-out entertainment" with a "nice head of comic steam," opines Justin Chang of Variety. The film is a "valentine to the talk-show mainstays of yesteryear," according to Kathy Fennessy of SIFFBlog, and "a crowd pleaser" to Josh Tyler of CinemaBlend. For Neil Miller of Film School Rejects, THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD gives Malkovich an "arena in which he can strut his stuff." For Alex Billington of the Sundance review site, the film has "a real hometown charm," and for Scott Weinberg of Cinematical, it is "a smoothly, strongly appealing comedy." Erik Childress of eFilmCritic notes that director McGinly "wants to put on a good show and to that, he does it quite well." THE GREAT BUCK HOWARD also stars Tom Hanks as Troy's father and Emily Blunt as a fiery publicist, with cameos from Jon Stewart, Martha Stewart, Regis Philbin, Kelly Ripa, Tom Arnold, and George Takei.

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One Night Only: Thur, March 26

Crüe Fest Live

Starring Mötley Crüe - with Buckcherry, Trapt, Sixx: A.M., Papa Roach  

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One Week: March 27 - April 2

The Wrestler

Return Engagement (2009, 109 min.)
Starring Mickey Rourke, Marisa Tomei, Evan Rachel Wood   Directed by Darren Aronofsky

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One Week: March 27 - April 2

Slumdog Millionaire

Directed by Danny Boyle

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One Night Only: Sat March 28

Paris Blues

(1961, 98 min.)
Starring Paul Newman, Joanne Woodward, Sidney Poitier   Directed by Martin Ritt
  Language: B&W;

Bill Evans: Piano


March Through May

An all-new, late-night event arrives at Cinema 21, presenting the finest in uncut, still-unavailable jazz performances and masterly black-and-white cinema. The series launches on Sat. March 28 with PARIS BLUES, the 1961 Martin Ritt-directed study of two jazz bohos (Paul Newman and Sidney Poitier) gigging in Paris and juggling love affairs. From the novel by Harold Flender, PARIS BLUES is an "American New Wave" artifact--rolling in romantic existentialism--featuring Louis Armstrong as Wild Man Moore, with a Duke Ellington score (Newman does a great horn-synch to "Mood Indigo"). Preceded by two concerts: live on German television in 1963--the THELONIOUS MONK QUARTET, and a house party filmed in Finland in 1970 of the BILL EVANS TRIO.

Did we mention the live jazz in the lobby? Of course!

Come for, Mike Horsfall and Craig Snazelle Duo, on vibes and bass.

Then, on Sat. April 25, the series continues with HUD, the Newman wrecker-role about "The Man With The Barbed Wire Soul," also directed by Ritt (1963); HUD won Supporting Actor/Actress Academy Awards for Melvyn Douglas and Patricia Neal. Taken from Larry McMurtry's novel, "Horseman Pass By," HUD is a giant piece of dark work catching the exploits of an uncontrollably selfish Texas stud-muffin. Cinematography by James Wong Howe. April's jazz concert program stars HERBIE HANCOCK and CHICK COREA in "Headhunters and Return To Forever," a 1974 broadcast of fusion-loaded, jazz-rock. Live jazz-in-the-lobby, t.b.a.

BONUS: Oregonian film critic Shawn Levy will be at the April 25 show, to introduce HUD and preview his new book: "Paul Newman: A Life" published by Harmony Books.

On Sat. May 16, the series concludes with a brand-new 35mm print of THE HUSTLER. Newman's signature role as pool-ninja Fast Eddie remains rude and astonishing--matched by a batch of equally great performances by Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott (my favorite!) and Piper Laurie, as a punk femme fatale. Directed and produced by Robert Rossen (BODY AND SOUL) in 1961, based on Walter Tevis' book, THE HUSTLER broods on the nature of being a winner-and-a-loser, forever/ says the vintage tag: "A Motion Picture That Probes The Stranger...The Pick Up...Why A Man Hustles For A Buck Or A Place In The Sun."

May's jazz program presents MILES DAVIS (July 10, 1991 at La Grande Halle de la Villette in Paris, France). Three months before his death at 65, Davis arranged a concert with 17 of his protégés (past and present). The result is worth sharing. Personnel: Kenny Garrett, Bill Evans, Wayne Shorter, Jackie McLean, Steve Grossman, John McLaughlin, John Scofield, Deron Johnson, Chick Corea, Josef Zawinul, Herbie Hancock, Richard Patterson, Dave Holland, Darryl Jones, Ricky Wellman, Al Foster, Joe "Foley" McCreary. Live jazz-in-the-lobby, t.b.a.

JAZZ JEWELS AND PAUL NEWMAN is co-sponsored by KMHD and Jazz Society of Oregon.

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Starts April 3


Premiere (2008, 112 min.)
Starring Yû Aoi, Yosi Yosi Arakawa, Jean-François Balmer, Julie Dreyfus, Ayako Fujitani   Directed by Michel Gondry, Leos Carax, Bong Joon-ho
  Language: In Japanese and French with Subtitles

Tokyo, the largest city in the world, with a population of 35 million, a congregation of 32 municipalities, destroyed twice (by earthquake and firebombing) with the volcanic Mount Fuji reposing ominously in the background. It's been destroyed by Godzilla, spied on by James Bond, and sliced to pieces by The Bride in Kill Bill. Now, three of world cinema's most surrealistic and visually acute filmmakers take turns pondering the metropolis in this endlessly entertaining anthology film. Joon-ho Bong (The Host), Leos Carax (Les Amants de Paris), and Michel Gondry (Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind), all using an exclusively Japanese cast, but that also includes French expatriate Julie Dreyfus, each tells tales of how hard it is to find a place to live in Tokyo. Mark Olsen of the Los Angeles Times finds TOKYO! "by turns playful and melancholy, provocative and sentimental," and that the three shorts that make up the film seem like "direct responses to the city itself as well as being jumping-off points for each director's personal quirks." For Scott Tobias of the Onion AV Club, notes that each director "comes [with] a sharp outsider’s perspective, approaching Tokyo as a strange, mysterious organism that infects the populace." V.A. Musetto of the New York Post praises TOKYO!'s "originality in an era of cookie-cutter moviemaking," while the economically minded Reyhan Harmanci of the San Francisco Chronicle notes that TOKYO! offers "three tantalizing films for the price of one movie ticket."

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One Week: April 10 - 16

Harvard Beats Yale 29-29

Premiere (2008, 105 min.)

Even people who aren't football fans, or who have never been to an ivy league college have loved Kevin Rafferty's documentary about a crucial college game played on November 23rd, 1968, a the height of America's cultural and generational revolutions. Though the title seems to give away the film's secret, in fact a great deal of suspense builds up as the rivalry between the two schools reaches a fever pitch, especially as participants and spectators – including Frank Champi, Brian Dowling (the Yale quarterback who inspired the Doonesbury character B. D.), Vic Gatto, Kyle Gee, and future actor Tommy Lee Jones – wax retrospective on the event. HARVARD BEATS YALE 29-29 is "wonderful," according to Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times: "an irresistible human story and as fine a documentary on football as Hoop Dreams was on basketball." Manohla Dargis of the New York Times finds the documentary "preposterously entertaining ... it pulses with the artful, exciting beats of a thriller." Steven Rea of The Philadelphia Inquirer labels it "thrilling" and "not just a great sports movie," but a film that "captures a pivotal moment in our recent history." David Fear of Time Out New York gives it four stars and a rating of "close to perfect," while J. Hoberman, of the Village Voice finds HARVARD BEATS YALE 29-29 to be "the best football movie I've ever seen."

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One Week: April 10 - 16

Monty Python & the Holy Grail

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One Week: April 17 - 23


Premiere (2009, 96 min.)
Starring Michael Fassbender, Liam Cunningham, Stuart Graham   Directed by Steve McQueen

The first film by film and photography artist Steve McQueen, HUNGER is an "unconventional biopic that tells in an aesthetic no-holds-barred way the harrowing story of Irish Republican Army activist Bobby Sands," according to Dennis Schwartz of Ozus' World Movie Reviews. Though almost a silent film, HUNGER is notable for a long one-take dialog scene between Sands (Michael Fassbender), and a frank and talkative priest (Liam Cunningham). For Dan Jardine of the Apollo Guide, HUNGER is an "astonishing film," while for Victoria Alexander of, it is "Breathtaking. Astonishing. My pick for Best Picture of the Year. See this for one of cinema's greatest ever scenes, tagged as 'The Scene'." Robert Roten of Laramie Movie Scope praises it as "a lean, spare film, which is highly visual," while Emanuel Levy of EmanuelLevy.Com deems it a "stunning debut, and the most powerful film at the 2008 Cannes Film Fest." Harvey S. Karten of Compuserve finds the film a "gut-wrenching prison drama." Glenn Whipp of the Los Angeles Daily News notes that xx "stands as one of the year's finest movies, full of imagery and ideas that will stay with you long after this piece of powerhouse art has ended." Rich Cline of Shadows on the Wall finds it a "riveting, harrowing true story that forces us to examine exactly what's involved in putting your life on the line for a cause." Finally, Ed Scheid of Boxoffice Magazine concludes that HUNGER is a "remarkable directorial debut from British artist Steve McQueen."

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One Week: April 24 - 30

Anvil! The Story of Anvil

Premiere (2008, 90 min.)
Starring Steve "Lips" Kudlow and Robb Reiner,   Directed by Sacha Gervasi

Back when they were 14 years old, Canadian youths Robb Reiner and Steve "Lips" Kudlow took their love of music eventually to the top. Their heavy metal band Anvil was the peer of Metallica, Slayer, and Anthrax. But hard times fell. Now middle aged with day jobs and families, their dream lives on as they aspire to record their 13th album and go on a European tour. In Sacha Gervasi's documentary we see the consequences of their ambition, as they deal with both rabid fans and small crowds, and internal tensions that must be expressed. The result is a "charming, touching and very funny film, according to Peter Bradshaw of the Guardian. Laura Bushell of Little White Lies finds that the film is "hilarious and painful by turns, much like Spinal Tap, but with the added pathos of knowing these guys are real." Anthony Quinn of the Independent notes that the film's "refusal to patronise Anvil's endurance eventually becomes quite moving. It's a study in the blind hopefulness that just drives some people on, through every setback," while Alistair Harkness of the Scotsman adds that Gervasi's film "gets to the heart of what it means to pursue a personal passion in the face of seemingly insurmountable odds." ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL is "Funny, tragic, brilliantly put together and eventually sweetly uplifting," for Jon Fortgang of Britain's Channel 4 Film, while it is "one of the most engaging, big-hearted music movies yet made," for Wendy Ide of the London Times. Heat says that the film is both "hilarious and heartbreaking," while Tim Evans of Sky Movies opines that there is "something endearing about this odd couple traipsing through the slush, gunbelts tethered below their sagging paunches and pates glistening in the weak sunshine, waiting for that elusive Comeback." Finally, Nigel Andrews of the Financial Times concludes that ANVIL! THE STORY OF ANVIL is "bitterly funny, uproariously sad, irresistibly human."

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One Night Only: Saturday April 25

Hud (Jazz and Paul Newman!)

(1963, 112 min.)
Starring Paul Newman, Melvyn Douglas, Patricia Neal   Directed by Martin Ritt

After a great debut in March, the Cinema 21 "Jazz & Paul Newman" series returns for a second go of rare music-media, classic black-and-white movies, with cool live jazz in the lobby (and wine and beer!). Keep reading for more details! Regarding the evening's scheduling, there was a little confusion in March. Here's an exact order: * Live jazz guitarist Neil Mattson, in a duo performance with Adam Trachsel on acoustic bass, begins at 9:40. * A selection of Herbie Hancock and Chick Corea video-performances at 9:50. * Shawn Levy, top film critic of The Oregonian, introduces the feature film at 10:30. * HUD, the intense Paul Newman masterpiece, starts at 10:40. We hope you can join us for this night of excitement! - JAZZ AND PAUL NEWMAN CLASSICS - Co-sponsored by KMHD and Jazz Society of Oregon Ticket $8.00 HUD, the Newman wrecker-role about "The Man With The Barbed Wire Soul," also directed by Ritt (1963); HUD won Supporting Actor/Actress Academy Awards for Melvyn Douglas and Patricia Neal. Taken from Larry McMurtry's novel, "Horseman Pass By," HUD is a giant piece of dark work catching the exploits of an uncontrollably selfish Texas stud-muffin. Cinematography by James Wong Howe. April's jazz concert program stars HERBIE HANCOCK and CHICK COREA in "HEADHUNTERS and RETURN TO FOREVER," a 1974 broadcast of fusion-loaded, jazz-rock.

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May 9 - 10

Sing-A-Long Sound of Music

Back by Popular Demand! (1965, 165 min)

It's been SEVEN LONG YEARS since SING-A-LONG SOUND MUSIC's last visitation to Cinema 21. Much has been endured and much has changed since 2002, but the need to get together with a crowd of like-minded Van Trappists is as great as ever ... should we say greater? Isn't it time to dust off your nun's costume again or that Nazi uniform in the back of the closet? Isn't it about time to get some quality Maria time? Is it time to get your group of friends together to sing your hearts out to that remarkable Rodgers and Hammerstein songbook? We'll provide the costume contest, the hostess who channels Julie, the funpacks and the lyrics on screen. You gather up a few of your favorite people and climb every mountain to get here when our halls will be alive with The Sound of Music once again!

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One Week: May 8 - 14

Good Food

Premiere (2008, 72 min.)
Directed by Mark Dworkin, Melissa Young

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Ends May 28

The Limits of Control

Premiere (2009, 116 min.)
Starring Isaach De Bankolé, Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt   Directed by Jim Jarmusch

His first five in five years (since Broken Flowers), Jim Jarmusch has gathered a terrific cast for his long awaited new film, including Bill Murray, Tilda Swinton, John Hurt, and Gael Garcia Bernal. For his subject matter, Jarmusch has returned to the world of his earlier ironic hit man movie, Ghost Dog: The Way of the Samurai. This time it is Isaach De Bankolé, as a lone wolf sent to do a job in Spain. He is, according to Jarmusch's website "a mysterious loner, a stranger, whose activities remain meticulously outside the law. He is in the process of completing a job, yet he trusts no one, and his objectives are not initially divulged. His journey, paradoxically both intently focused and dreamlike, takes him not only across Spain but also through his own consciousness." Bearing no guns, and abstaining from sex (even in the presence of Paz de la Huerta), De Bankolé's character is, in his own words, "among no one," as he tries to track down industrialist Murray. Film scholar Juan A. Suarez calls Jarmusch, the director also of Down by Law, Stranger Than Paradise, and Mystery Train, "one of the most influential filmmakers to emerge in the United States in the last three decades." Another scholar, J.D. Lafrance, writes that "Jarmusch has you leaving the theatre imagining that his characters are still out there, somewhere, having adventures. He is willing to delve deep into his characters rather than resorting to superficial stereotypes. It is this approach that makes his films very rewarding to watch."

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Late shows Fri-Sat in June

Spike and Mikes Sick & Twisted Festival of Animation

Premiere (2009, 85 min.)
 Animation Shorts

It's back, the world's best collection of the most twisted animated shorts! Don't expect to see them nominated for Academy Awards (that's a good thing). This time around the TWISTED FEST offers up 14 short films – including one by Spike and Mike themselves – guaranteed to twist your mind and expand your senses. Things kick off with Patrick Walker's "Odius Lepus" (which warns, beware of wedgies in the dark), followed by Bruce Simpson's "On-rop," a simple tale about watching porno ass backwards. Also on hand are "Crab Revolution" (Aurthur De Pins), on the philosophical views of a crab; "Love and Limbs" (Ben Lazarus), which advises, be careful what you say!; the musical ditty "My First Boner" (Patrick Mallek); "Weird-o-torium" (Nick Gibbons), the ultimate freak show; "Washington" (Brad Neely), a rap about the former president; two films by Breehn Burns in his "Beyond Grandpa" series, plus Dave Foss's "Horned Grandma" (C'mon doncha wanna give Granny a kiss?); "Coco the junkie pimp" (Pete Metzger), which reveals that pimpin' aint easy; "Harry Pothead and the Magical Herb" (Los Primos), which offers a new take on an old classic tale; "No Neck Joe - The Best Of Craig McCracken"; and finally Spike and Mike's own "1300cc" in which honesty pays off in the end.

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Held Over through June 11

The Girlfriend Experience

Premiere (2009, 77 min.)
Starring Sasha Grey, Chris Santos, Peter Zizzo   Directed by Steven Soderbergh

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Sat June 6 (with Jazz!) then Sun-Thur June 7 - June 11

The Hustler

(1961, 134 min.)
Starring Paul Newman, Jackie Gleason, George C. Scott   Directed by Robert Rossen
  Language: B&W;

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One Day Only: Sat June 6

Rock 'n' Roll High School

30th Anniversary (1979, 93 min.)
Starring P.J. Soles, Vince Van Patten, Clint Howard...and The Ramones!   Directed by Allan Arkush (produced by Roger Corman)

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One Night Only: Tue June 9


Premiere (2009)
Directed by Gary Hustwit ("Helvetica")

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One Week: June 12 - 18


Premiere (2008, 121 min.)
Starring Johannes Krisch, Irina Potapenko,    Directed by Götz Spielmann
 Crime/Drama   Language: In German and Russian with English Subtitles

A hit of the most recent Portland International Film Festival, as well as Oscar nominated for best foreign film, Götz Spielmann's REVANCHE is a crime story with a difference. Ex-con Alex (Johannes Krisch) dreams about starting a new life with a Ukrainian prostitute named Tamara (Irina Potapenko). To do so, he plans a bank robbery, but things go wrong, and Alex flees to the farm of his father where thoughts of revenge arise. For web reviewer Daniel Kasman, REVANCHE ("revenge") shows "just how successfully one can transpose the plot and character based drama of Hollywood to the refined style osf European art-house cinema without hampering it with a sense self-importance." Alisa Simon of Variety finds it "taut," "elegant," and "gripping." It's an "intoxicating thriller" for Louise Keller of Urban Cinephile, while Boyd van Hoeij of European Films praises it as a "spectacular psychological portrait." For Andrew Sarris of the New York Observer REVANCHE is one of the "most compelling assemblages of character studies I have seen so far in this too-often-dismal year of moviegoing."

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Ends July 16th

Food, Inc.

Premiere (2009, 94 min.)
Starring Michael Pollan (author of "Omnivore's Dilemma"), Eric Schlosser (author of "Fast Food Nation")   Directed by Robert Kenner

Presented by Powell's Books. How much do we really know about the food we buy at our local supermarkets and serve to our families? In Food, Inc., filmmaker Robert Kenner lifts the veil on our nation's food industry, exposing the highly mechanized underbelly that's been hidden from the American consumer with the consent of our government's regulatory agencies, USDA and FDA. Our nation's food supply is now controlled by a handful of corporations that often put profit ahead of consumer health, the livelihood of the American farmer, the safety of workers and our own environment. We have bigger-breasted chickens, the perfect pork chop, insecticide-resistant soybean seeds, even tomatoes that won't go bad, but we also have new strains of e coli, the harmful bacteria that causes illness for an estimated 73,000 Americans annually. We are riddled with widespread obesity, particularly among children, and an epidemic level of diabetes among adults. Featuring interviews with such experts as Eric Schlosser (Fast Food Nation), Michael Pollan (The Omnivore's Dilemma) along with forward thinking social entrepreneurs like Stonyfield Farm's Gary Hirshberg and Polyface Farms' Joel Salatin, Food, Inc. reveals surprising and often shocking truths about what we eat, how it's produced, who we have become as a nation and where we are going from here.

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One Day Only: June 27

Serenity / Equality Now Benefit

Directed by Joss Whedon

PDX Browncoats Presents the 4th Annual Charity Benefit of Serenity at Cinema 21 PDX Browncoats, a local nonprofit group comprised of fans of Joss Whedon’s “Firefly”, are gearing up for their 4th annual Can’t Stop the Serenity event screening of the movie Serenity to benefit Equality Now. Equality Now ( ) is an organization that works to end violence and discrimination against women and girls around the world through the mobilization of public pressure. Over the last three years Portland alone has raised over $28,000 for Equality Now. While the screenings started locally in Portland, they have become a global phenomenon raising more than $250,000 for Equality Now since the first events in 2006. This year, we will hold two screenings. The first screening will be open to all ages. Doors open at 3PM. We are very excited to announce that Portland’s second screening will be the first ever Special Hell showing of Serenity. Have you ever wanted to shout your favorite lines at the screen? Tell the actors to watch out? Warn Wash before that crucial moment when he meets his fate? This is your chance! The Special Hell screening allows us, the fans, to poke a little fun at our favorite Joss Whedon film. And who better to make fun of it than those who love it most? The fun doesn’t stop there, though. As we did in 2006, we will be teaming up with the Gypsy to bring you a pub quiz, costume contest, and Dr. Horrible’s Sing-a-Long Blog Karaoke! Come to the early screening, stay for the fun at the Gypsy, and come back to have your say at the second show!

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One Night Only: July 3

Team America: World Police

(2004, 98 min.)
Directed by Trey Parker

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Starts July 17

Every Little Step

Premiere (2008, 96 min.)
Directed by Adam Del Deo, James D. Stern

In 2006, when the popular musical A Chorus Line was about to enjoy a revival on Broadway, over 3000 dancers auditioned for the show. The road to the final casting process would take eight months, and only 19 dancers would get the final nod. Thus, terpsichorean hopefuls were living the very show they wanted to be in. Filmmakers James D. Stern and Adam Del Deo couldn't resist the irony, and came forth to document the process in this behind-the-scenes look at the casting. Editing the film from over 400 hours of footage, the filmmakers also sifted about 100 hours of historical footage. The result is, for Andrew Schenker of Slant, "entertaining ," and for Kaori Shoji of the Japan Times it shows "skill, grace and heartfelt sympathy ... what is most impressive is the incredible stoicism of people who dance for a living." Karina Longworth of Sprout calls EVERY LITTLE STEP a "crowd-pleasing expose" that is both "candy for confirmed theater nerds, and functioning propaganda for the uninitiated." EVERY LITTLE STEP is a "fast-paced documentary that captures the angst, joys, and disappointments of the young hopefuls," writes Brandon Judell of Entertainment Asylum, and for Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat of Spirituality and Practice, it is "immensely entertaining," while for Doris Toumarkine of Film Journal International, EVERY LITTLE STEP is a "superb documentary" that should "rouse several generations of fans who will be swept away by nostalgia for a beloved classic."

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Held over through Aug 6

Summer Hours (L'heure d'été)

Premiere (2008, 102 Min.)
Starring Juliette Binoche, Charles Berling, Jeremie Renier, Edith Scob   Directed by Olivier Assayas
  Language: In French with English Subtitles

Making a radical divergence from his globalization thrillers, demonlover and Boarding Gate, French director Olivier Assayas turns to family drama in a film that internet reviewer Louise Keller calls a "pensive portrait about memories, secrets and forgotten stories." SUMMER HOURS (L'HEURE D'ETE) centers on the 75th birthday gathering of Helene's (Edith Scob). Her sons Frederic (Charles Berling) and Jeremie (Jeremie Renier) bring their wives Lisa (Dominique Reymond) and Angela (Valerie Bonneton) plus their respective children, and her daughter Adrienne (Juliette Binoche) flies in from America. The widowed Helene lives in the country house of a famous artist, whose works have to be passed on appropriately after her death, and the siblings are invited to face this reality. Carving up the estate, especially the house, brings out their different lifestyles and wishes, and teenage granddaughter Sylvie (Alice de Lencquesaing) must come to understand the importance of her late grandmother and the role the house played in her life. Iain Stott of One-Line Review praises the film's account of the "passing of time and the transience of art, familial relationships, and traditions," while web reviewer Daniel Kasman finds it a "breath of fresh air." Nick Schrager asserts that the film is "first and foremost enlivened by its cast�s superbly artless performances, with Binoche in particular expressing, with amazingly versatile, engaging naturalism, a complexity of emotions and motivations," while for Akiva Gottlieb of Slant SUMMER HOURS is "something rare and beautiful and surprising."

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Starts August 7

In the Loop

Premiere (2009, 106 Min.)
Starring James Gandolfini, Tom Hollander, Peter Capaldi, Gina McKee, Anna Chlumsky, Steve Coogan, Chris Addison, Mimi Kennedy   Directed by Armando Iannucci

In this comedy about global politics directed by The Thick of It's Armando Iannucci, the US President and UK Prime Minister fancy a war. But not everyone agrees that war is a good thing. US General Miller (James Gandolfini) doesn't think so and neither does the British Secretary of State for International Development, Simon Foster (Tom Hollander). But, after Simon accidentally backs military action on TV, he suddenly has a lot of friends in Washington, DC. If Simon can get in with the right DC people, if his entourage of one can sleep with the right intern, and if they can both stop the Prime Minister's chief spin-doctor Malcolm Tucker (Peter Capaldi) rigging the vote at the UN, they can halt the war. Aaron Hillis of Green Cine Daily deems the film a "cynical, razor-sharp, truly laugh-out-loud farce," while Alan Bacchus of Daily Film Dose calls it "one of the funniest films in a very long while." Shonette Laffy of Total Film proclaims the "smart, outrageous" IN THE LOOP as one of "the funniest of 2009," while David D'Arcy of Screen International finds it "inspired." For Matthew De Abaitua of Channel 4, IN THE LOOP is "required viewing."

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Held over thru September 4


Premiere (2008, 125 min.)
Directed by Martin Provost
 Biography/Drama   Language: In French and German with English Subtitles

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One Night Only: Tue August 25

Died Young, Stayed Pretty

(2009, 95 min.)
Directed by Eileen Yaghoobian (Will attend this screening!!!)

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Three Shows Fri-Sat Aug 28-29!

The Room

Directed by Tommy Wiseau

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