Cinema 21 Program Notes

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Program Notes

One Week: January 5 - 11
Premiere (2005, 93 minutes)
In the spirit of the documentary, The Story of the Weeping Camel, this film by Byambasuren Davaa concerns a nomad girl named Nansal who finds a puppy in the Mongolian veld, an animal that grows up to be her best friend, despite the opposition of her parents. It's only when Zocher, the dog, saves the life of the family's youngest son that the father and mother finally see the animal's goodness. Andrew O'Hehir of says that CAVE OF THE YELLOW DOG is a "stunningly beautiful docudrama about a nomadic family and a thoroughly adorable little dog." "One of the film's joyful fascinations is the chance to see kids being imaginative kids," writes Sheri Linden, of the Hollywood Reporter. "Gorgeous, haunting," opines Nathan Rabin of the Onion AV Club, while Elizabeth Weitzman of the New York Daily News finds the film to be perfect “for moviegoers of any age."

From the Academy Award Nominated Director of "The Story of the Weeping Camel"

"A TIMELESS MOVIE! A rare chance for the whole family to take a spectacular cinematic trip across continents and cultures!" - Washington Post

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One Week: January 5 - 11
Premiere (2006, 80 minutes)
A gay American Pie, this sequel to the popular indie comedy finds Kyle (Jim Verraros), after losing the boyfriend he earned in the first film, setting his sights on a seemingly straight new neighbor, Troy (Marco Dapper), the new art model in town. Kyle decides to woo Troy by pretending to be a "reformed" gay (Kyle's logic is that, "He'll let me have sex with him if he knows I'm not gay"), and he convinces his friend Tiffani (Rebekah Kochan) to pose as his slutty-looking girlfriend. The film also stars Emily Brooke Hands, from the previous film, and Mink Stole, from the John Waters troupe. Phillip J. Bartell and Q. Allan Brocka's EATING OUT 2 is "10 times funnier than the original," according to Annie Wagner of the Varsity Daily. Ed Gonzalez of Slant writes that EATING OUT 2 "relishes in capturing those fluid days of youthful abandon when everyone's sexual agency was up for grab." Michael Wilmington of the Chicago Tribune finds the film a "cheerful" comedy that "keeps throwing out comic variations on the idea of the line between gay and straight sexuality."

"A snappy romantic farce that would suit must-see television i it weren't for the full frontal nudity!" - The Seattle Times

"Ten times funnier than the original...makes 'Borat' look tame!" - The Stranger

For Mature Audiences

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One Week: January 12 - 18
Premiere (2006, 179 minutes)
News flash from the weird world of David Lynch: Besides introducing his own brand of coffee, releasing Twin Peaks on DVD, publishing a book about his relationship with transcendental meditation, and mounting an art show in Paris, Lynch has found time to make another movie. But INLAND EMPIRE is unusual because Lynch has chosen to release it outside the mainstream avenues of motion picture distribution, and the Cinema 21 is proud to be a part of Lynch's network. Starting out as a variation on his last film, Mulholland Dr., INLAND EMPIRE soon evolves into a phantasmagoric account of one woman (Laura Dern) and her struggle for identity across an international landscape, that includes a foray into Poland and a family of oversized bunnies. Shot digitally, INLAND EMPIRE also stars Jeremy Irons, Harry Dean Stanton, Grace Zabriskie, and Diane Ladd. It's a film that "single-handedly returns Lynch to the forefront of filmmakers,” announces Chris Barsanti of Film Journal International, while Ed Gonzalez of Slant Magazine calls it "compulsively watchable and insanely self-devouring." Ken Fox of TV Guide's Movie Guide singles out Laura Dern's "astonishing performance, which few actresses are likely to top anytime soon." Manohla Dargis of the New York Times calls INLAND EMPIRE simply "one of the few films I've seen this year that deserves to be called art."

"His most ambitious mind-bender yet! ...Laura Dern in a monumental performance." - Peter Travers, ROLLING STONE

Extraordinary, savagely of the few films I've seen this year that deserves to be called art." - Manohla Dargis, THE NEW YORK TIMES

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Two Weeks: January 19 - February 1
Premiere (2006, 112 minutes)
There are two versions of Guillermo del Toro. There is the director of big traditional Hollywood action-horror films (Mimic, Hellboy). The other directs quietly gripping tales that explore the implications of horror in real life. The second del Toro made this film. Something of a companion piece to his earlier film The Devil's Backbone, PAN'S LABYRINTH contrasts the outer world of a little girl Ofelia (Ivana Baquero) whose mother (Ariadna Gil) has married again, to an oppressive captain (Sergi López) in Franco's army. The setting is the Spanish civil war, and Vidal is heading a lone outpost battling the rebels. Meanwhile, in Ofelia's inner, fantasy life, she is the lost princess of a secret empire. Stephanie Zacharek of deems the film "not only one of the great fantasy pictures but one of the great end-of-childhood elegies." David Ansen of Newsweek writes that PAN'S LABYRINTH "unfolds with the confidence of a classical fable, one that paradoxically feels both timeless and startlingly new," and Aaron Hillis of Premiere magazine labels it a "magnificent and moving horror-fantasy for adults." judges it to be "that rarest of cinematic rarities, a fully and flawlessly realized fantasy film."

"Magnificent and moving horror-fantasy for adults!" - Premiere Magazine

"That rarest of rarities. A fully and flawlessly realized fantasy film!" - Jim Emerson, ROGEREBERT.COM

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Ten Days Feb 2-11 plus late until March 24
Spike & Mike's Sick & Twisted Festival Of Animation!!
See for more details about the films!

Tickets $9.50
Sorry, no one under 18 admitted!

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Three Days: February 5, 6, 7
Public Screenings

Provides an inside look at the abuses that occurred at the Iraqi prison in the fall of 2003. Award-winning filmmaker Rory Kennedy explores how, given the right circumstances, typical boys and girls next door can commit atrocious acts of violence.

Unofficially Sundance Site IMDB Entry <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page

One Day Only: February 15
Premiere (2006, 90 minutes)
From the late 1970s through the early 1980s the Pacific Northwest witnessed a surge of idiosyncratic musical creativity that, for a time, competed with the slack-jawed banality of mainstream music, condemning it to the shabby bargain basement of the cultural wasteland where it belonged. Numerous young men and women turned their backs on popular culture, which had become a hollow blather generated in corporate boardrooms. These punksters produced their own music and art with a rebellious, energetic glee. NORTHWEST PASSAGE: THE BIRTH OF PORTLAND'S DIY CULTURE is an independent, locally produced film that examines the exciting alternative music movement in Portland that thrived from 1978 to 1983. Directed and produced by video pioneer Mike Lastra, NORTHWEST PASSAGE is a narrative told by the musicians and artists themselves via interviews, archived performance videos, photographs, and vintage news clips. Poison Idea, Sado-Nation, The Wipers, The Dead Kennedys, The Neo Boys, Smegma, The Bags, The Rats, and The Styphnoids are just a few of the bands that appear in the film, sure to still rattle the cages of the corporate cultural elites.

The Reel Music Festival presents a film by Mike Lastra

An independent film celebrating the infectuous creativity of the late 70s alternative music scene

The Birth of Portland's DIY Culture

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Six Days: February 16 - 21
Premiere (2006, Animation - 86 min, Live Action, 99 min)
The fruits of the 79th Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Science's commitment to honor international short film makers and perhaps even the future filmmakers of the world are on display in this program that gathers all the nominees in the short live action film, short animated film.

Here is the list of nominated films for 2006 in both categories. These films will be shown as part of these programs at Cinema 21.

Programs of both the live action and animated shorts comprised of the films that were nominated in January.

Note: Live Action Program and Animation Program are Separate Admissions

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Four Days: February 22 - 25
All International Premieres
Considered one of the region's most culturally diverse arts events, the Portland International Film Festival is a "window to the world" that offers an accessible and broad mix of films along with art events, and multicultural, family, and educational events, to both a globally aware and globally curious audience. The Festival premieres more than 100 films from 30 countries and more than 30,000 people attend every year. This year's Portland International Film Festival opens on February 9th at the Portland Center for the Performing Arts Newmark Theatre with The Lives of Others, this year's German submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. The Cinema 21 joins in to play host to several of the films on this year's diverse offerings. Check out the festival schedule when it is published in January.

At Cinema 21 February 22 - 25; films also show at the Whitsell Auditorium and the Broadway Threatre downtown; this page shows PIFF films showing at Cinema 21 only.

See for PIFF details

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Four Days: February 26 - March 1
New print! (1971, 100 minutes)
The first directorial effort of former cinematographer Nicolas Roeg, this gorgeous film, now available in a brand new print, recounts the struggle of two abandoned kids (Jenny Aguter and Lucien John) who are rescued by an Aborigine youth (David Gumpilil) engaged in a ritual six-month rite of passage. Roger Ebert calls the film a classic about the "mystery of communication," while Edward Guthmann of the San Francisco Chronicle finds it to be "a stunning fable about the importance of respecting the earth." Roeg went on to direct such masterpieces as Don't Look Now and The Man Who Fell to Earth.

35th Anniversary Presentation! Brand New Print!

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One Week: March 2 - 8
Premiere (2006, 180 minutes)
The name Ralph Nader sparks fiery debate among people across the country. To some, he is an icon of rare idealism, while others see him simply as the political spoiler of the last two elections. But no matter what you think of the man, the fact remains that he is a tireless crusader. Hailing from modest means in small-town Connecticut, Nader rose to prominence during the ‘70s as a consumer rights' activist. He has saved thousands of lives by initiating legislation ranging from seat-belt mandates to food safety regulations. This documentary recounts his entire career, from the early days when Nader went up against General Motors, and in turned inspired young activists who adopted the title "Nader's Raiders," through the recent controversies engendered by Nader's candidacy in the last two presidential elections. Henriette Mantel and Stephen Skrovan skillfully dissects Nader's life and work. Michael Ferraro of Film Threat found this documentary to be a "nice refresher course to remind us how hard Nader has fought for everyday citizens, ultimately saving hundreds of lives in the long run," and Dennis Harvey of Variety praises if for its "absorbing material." Look for local progressive firebrand Greg Kafoury among the interviewees.

Q & A Sessions after Fri and Sat 7PM shows!

The Life and Career of Ralph Nader, one of the most unique, important and controversial political figures ofour time

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the conditions that surround him...the unreasonable man adapts the surrounding conditions to himself. All progress depends on the unreasonable man." - George Bernard Shaw

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One Week: March 9 - 15
Premiere (2006, 96 minutes)
Set in 1985, this film by Tom Vaughan, from a novel by David Nicholls, concerns a working-class student named Brian Jackson (James McAvoy of The Last King of Scotland) who navigates his first year at Bristol University and ends up representing his school on a then-popular TV quiz show. Leslie Felperin of Variety notes that the film's harsh life lessons are "taught with a gentle, forgiving spirit." Stella Papamichael of the BBC lauds the film's "quick-fire wit and uncompromising sense of Britishness." Pam Grady of notes that the film "benefits from an inviting story, but it is McAvoy's lively performance that lends the movie its engaging buoyancy."

Loyalty, class, falling in love and the difference between knowledge and wisdom

Based on the novel by David Nicholls

"Terrific Fun! A funny, romantic, seriously smart comedy!" - Time Out (London)

IMDB Entry <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page

To Die in Jerusalem
Directed by Hilla Medalia
Public Screenings (90 Minutes)

Ever since 17-year-old Rachel Levy, an Israeli, was killed four years ago in Jerusalem by a Palestinian suicide bomber, her mother Abigail has found hardly a moment's peace. Levy's killer was Ayat al-Akhras, also 17, a schoolgirl from a Palestinian refugee camp several miles away. The two young women looked unbelievably alike. TO DIE IN JERUSALEM unabashedly explores the Palestinian-Israeli conflict through the personal loss of two families. The film's most revealing moment is in an emotionally charged meeting between the mothers of the girls, presenting the most current reflection of the conflict as seen thru their eyes.

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One week: March 16 - 22
New, restored print (1939, 106 minutes)
Widely esteemed as one of the greatest films ever made, Jean Renoir's critique of the upper classes is also a "deeply personal statement of unusual richness and complexity," according to Howard Thompson of the New York Times. But it has a shaky history. Upon its original release, the film was withdrawn, recut, and eventually banned by the occupying German forces for its "demoralizing" effects. It was not shown again in its complete form until 1965. Now available in a newly restored print, THE RULES OF THE GAME still to be what Dave Kehr of the Chicago Reader calls " the greatest film ever made." Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times adds that the film is "so simple and so labyrinthine, so guileless and so angry, so innocent and so dangerous, that you can't simply watch it, you have to absorb it." Leslie Camhi of the Village Voice adds about the newly restored version that "if you think you know it, see it again for its newly rediscovered depth of field, and even more, for its infinite wellsprings of character and empathy."

Jean Renoir's Masterpiece - New 35mm Print! Digitally Restored!

"'The Rules of the Game' taught me the rules of the game. " - Robert Altman    "The Film of Films!" - Francois Truffaut

"So simple and so labyrinthine, so guileless and so angry, so innocent and so dangerous, that you can't simply watch it, you have to absorb it." - Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times

IMDB Entry <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page

White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki
Directed by Steven Okazaki
Public Screenings (82 Minutes)

From the Hollywood Reporter:

PARK CITY -- Filmmaker Steven Okazaki asks several contemporary Japanese teenagers in a Hiroshima mall if the date Aug. 6, 1945, means anything special to them. Beneath their baseball caps, Western-style teen wear, they seem puzzled. That date, and its horrific Nagasaki partner of Aug. 9, should never be forgotten, and this thoughtful HBO Documentary Films Presentation offers firsthand accounts from survivors, people who were lucky enough not to be vaporized like 200,000 of their fellow citizens.

Of those "lucky" enough to have survived, many have endured physical disfigurement and long-lasting psychological trauma. In this compelling and compassionate document, filmmaker Steven Okazaki interviews 14 survivors, intercutting their reflections and obvious physical burdens with film footage and photos from the days following the bombings.

With his focus entirely on the survivors, Okazaki has delivered a compelling account of the ferocity of those two days of mass destruction. Not diffused by any political statement or argument regarding the bombings, "White Light/Black Rain: The Destruction of Hiroshima and Nagasaki" is a stirring and heart-wrenching statement of the horrible powers that mankind holds in its fist.

Credit to Okazaki, who is able to overcome the talking-heads nature of such an interview film: He masterfully blends in historical footage with survivors' art to distill the horror of those days. There's also a startling "This Is Your Life" segment, featuring the pilot of the Enola Gay and a Japanese survivor embracing each other with respectful trepidation.

HBO Documentary Films presents
A Farallon Films production
Producer-director-editor: Steven Okazaki
Executive producers: Sheila Nevins, Robert Richter
Director of photography: Takafumi Kawasaki
Consulting editor: Geof Bartz
Running time -- 86 minutes
No MPAA rating

IMDB Entry <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page

One Week: March 23 - 29
New Print! Not On Video! (1964, 148 minutes)
This Academy Award winning tale of the epical conflict between King Henry II (Peter O'Toole) and the Bishop of Canterbury (Richard Burton) he installed has never appeared on video and has remained difficult to see. Now it enjoys re-release in a new print that captures the visual glory of Heritage Britain and highlights the great performances of its two powerhouse stars. Ken Hanke of the Mountain Xpress maintains that it is "the two stars [who] carry it off," and Internet reviewer Steven D. Greydanus adds that "Peter O'Toole roars magnificently both in laughter and in rage." John Gielgud also stars in this film, which garnered an Oscar for its screenplay by Jean Anouilh and Edward Anhalt.

Restored 35mm Print! Never available on video!

adapted by Edward Anhalt from Jean Anouilh's play

IMDB Entry <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page

IMDB Entry <<Back to Cinema 21 Main Page