Just yesterday, I mentioned Eugene filmmaker Henry Weintraub while joking about the various occasions on which zombies have roamed Eugene. Today, in a nice bit of timing, a press release arrrived announcing the premiere of Weintraub's newest feature film, the promisingly titled The Darkest Corner of Paradise.
Paradise is a change of pace for Weintraub, whose previous films include the not-quite-a-zombie-movie Melvin and the revenge short Depraved. Now, as the release says, he's "finally trying his hand at drama." The film, which was shot in Eugene and Portland, stars Patrick O'Driscoll, Richard Leebrick, John Schmor and Kato Buss; Sawyer Family bassist Zac Sawyer provides the score.
So what's it about, you ask?
When college graduate Peter Landsman moves to the city to pursue a career in professional accounting, he finds himself in a situation far less predictable. With the disappearance of a mysterious woman, Landsman is lured into an underworld of black market traders and killers.
The Darkest Corner of Paradise premieres Friday, June 19, at the Bijou. For more info, see 531 Productions.
Hey y'all! It's that time, from 9 am to 1 pm today â€” the National Arts Journalism Summit! They say we can use our websites to stream (without taking up bandwidth ... hm, we'll see about that!). So here 'tis! You can also use Twitter to sign in or to follow the discussion, with the hashtag #artsj09. I'll be in and out, what with meetings and such, but I hope to take part in at least some of it! After the event ends, I believe you can watch rebroadcasts of it here as well. Enjoy, arts people!
About eight years ago camera crews from the Cascadia Media Collective caught protests, logging, police violence, civil unrest and a whole lot of people banding together to try to save the world. The film features footage from the WTO protests to Bush's inauguration, and according to Understory Productions "There will be something in this film to offend and inspire almost anyone."
Watching this film just may remind you that just because Barack Obama's the next president, doesn't mean that there won't be another Bush-like regime down the road someday.
So once you've rested up after your Thanksgiving Tofurkey, head on over to Cozmic Pizza this Sunday at 7:30 to see A Year in the Streets. Free.
Fans of the Oregon-based film, The Tails of Abbygail, who number in the "thousands," according to a press release, sure love them this film. And, if the comment shitstorm that went down on the Portland Mercury's blog after a review of the film's premiere was posted there is any indication, they love them some Abby tail! The film also has one wacky poster (see above). I have some issues with this poster:
1) I'm guessing this film is about a group of dogs who fulfill their "dream" of breaking free from their barnyard prison to roam free? I mean, why else are there so many KEYS in this poster?
2) The poor photoshop job on the trees on the right leaves them with a sickly blue cast, as if the sky is melting all over the foliage.
3) Abbygail (the dog in the center, I presume) appears to be wearing a wireless shock collar, one of those devices that keeps dogs within the parameters of a backyard, for example.
4) Apparently one of the dogs ran through a cotton-candy machine.
5) The eye-patch for the dog in the lower left corner has a pirate's skull-and-crossbones symbol on it. Does that mean this dog is a pirate? I'm guessing he or she is the villain since he or she has a key around his or her collar. The jailer?
6) The URL for the film's website, WeLoveAbby.com, is in microscript in the bottom right corner. OK, so I'm sure Abbygail is a lovable pup. But it's really hard to discern whether this is a serious film or simply a love letter from director Terry Lynn Link to her own dog (see pic below). To find out, I've requested a review copy. I'll report back later...
Supposed to show at 7 pm Sunday, March 16. Too bad, I was looking forward to this one ... but that's not stopping me from renting it.
Great poster, by the way.
Go SEE This Movie.
... but only if you have a strong stomach and were a fan of Children of Men, and you don't mind seeing Paul Dano get beaten up by Daniel Day-Lewis (this was tough for me, because I'm still seeing Paul Dano's brooding teenager from Little Miss Sunshine in his character here, but Dano's performance here is leagues above and beyond Sunshine).
ADDENDUM: This film's ending has been ridiculed, described as a complete and utter hogwash, a failure, and other preposterously overloaded words of hyperbole from critics across the U.S. For the record, I thought that, yes, the ending parted on a dark note, but that nevertheless it fit in with the rest of the film and couldn't have ended any other way for a horror film.
ONE MORE ADDENDUM: One more thought on the ending: it's a homage to Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey and A Clockwork Orange. Anderson actually wanted the bowling alley set to be painted in pure white tones a la Clockwork Orange, so I'm not off the mark.
This came in past our deadline, but we thought it was a worthwhile film event. Check out the Oct. 25 screening of:
The Love and Legacy of Edward Weston & Charis Wilson
Smart. Sassy. Sexy. Charis Wilson is the most famous nude in Photography. At age 90, she's still got it. With warmth, wit, and candor, Charis intimately shares her coming-of-age as model and wife to Modernist photographer Edward Weston in the new documentary film ELOQUENT NUDE. Shot in vibrant high definition and blended with gritty black and white Super-8mm, this visual journey transports the audience back to the riveting days Charis and Edward changed photography.
Eugene welcomes Emmy Award-winning filmmaker and University of Oregon journalism School graduate, Ian McCluskey to share in an evening of art and conversation.
â€¢ A screening of ELOQUENT NUDE before the film embarks on a national
museum and festival tour.
â€¢ Post-film Q&A with award-winning filmmaker Ian McCluskey
â€¢ Refreshments and conversation with filmmaker after screening
Thursday, Oct. 25th
182 Lillis Hall, UO campus
Go SEE this documentary.
Not only will you find yourself rooting for a high school math teacher:
You will also find yourself hating this guy:
His name is Billy Mitchell. At one point he was the best gamer out there, scoring a perfect score in Pac-Man and the highest score on the incredibly difficult Donkey Kong arcade game. But he hasn't really been playing games anymore.
That's when unassuming dad Steve Wiebe steps in and proceeds to strip Billy's overinflated mafioso world down, piece by piece. It's beautiful filmmaking and a true human story for our time.
And it's probably only playing tonight and tomorrow at the Bijou, so go see it!
But if you also happen to be from New Hampshire (or visited there once), you might have fond memories of Fun Spot at Weirs Beach, on Lake Winnipesaukee. Apparently it's the epicenter for classic video games. (People who want to have the highest score in a particular game will make the pilgrimage here to prove themselves on Fun Spot's machines, as Wiebe does in the film ... and Mitchell does not.)
When I visited Weirs Beach six years ago, a Harley Hog rally was taking place. Wind-toughened, meaty guys and their sun-scorched honeys pulled up on their choppers and bought ice cream cones. I didn't know Weirs Beach also attracted the largest classic gaming geek population in the States. But the writing was on the wall at Fun Spot: A four-foot poster of Billy Mitchell giving the thumbs-up and wearing his American Flag tie was on the wall, denoting his Pac-Man record (which he achieved at Fun Spot). I remember snapping a pic of the poster and then eventually photoshopping my head in Billy's place. The pic below isn't the one I took, but you get the idea.
So, in a lot of ways this documentary really made things come full circle for me. Now I just have to go see Into the Wild because a year ago I went to a casting call for the movie up in Astoria and they said I was perfect for a stand-in double for Emile Hirsch, the main character. But, wait, I wasn't so perfect: I was an inch too tall. So, for the record, I didn't get the gig, I didn't get to go to Alaska and Emile Hirsch is 5' 7".