November 2 - 11, 2000


The Northwest Film Center has now spent its twenty-seventh year watching an exceptional creature: Northwest Film. And filmmakers who, from Portland, Seattle, Bozeman, Anchorage, Vancouver, BC and all points between, have committed their time and that of others to making films of beautiful complexity, stark simplicity, and fierce independence.

Over three hundred works were submitted this year. Forty-three have been included in the Festival. Among them are edgy animated shorts, thoughtful and sometimes brutally touching documentaries and narratives of assured craft.

There is a complicit relationship at work here. Each year the Festival relies on our community for support and is answered by a host of organizations and individuals, public and private, who champion the Festival with an overwhelming amount of enthusiasm for the work itself. Our major sponsors, The Paul G. Allen Foundation for the Arts, McMenamins Theaters and Pubs, Hollywood Entertainment and Regal Cinemas each share our interest in recognizing a flourishing media arts community in the Northwest.  We would especially like to welcome a new sponsor: The Portland Mercury, who in the past few months on our street corners has demonstrated a feisty intelligence that we hope to watch evolve.

The Film Center thanks those of you with a taste for the raw charm of independent film:
our audience, who?as we hold a finger to the pulse of this celluloid chimera?come to be amazed by your neighbors down the street and across the region.

As you watch this week reveal itself, see if you can recognize within it the hand of this year’s Festival Judge, Todd Haynes. With a
combination of intelligence, wit, patience and instigation, he has shaped a program that not only represents fine film and video making, but also a passion for the medium’s possibilities for personal expression. We thank him for his generous spirit and hope you find his insights as provocative as his films.
 And so The Northwest Film & Video Festival begins November 2, offering an alternative to the onslaught of commercial film, amidst likely just enough rain to send you slouching happily to the darkness to watch this exceptional creature that is Northwest Film.

Bill Foster, Director, Northwest Film Center
Meagan Atiyeh, Festival Coordinator

Living in Portland most of this year?and finding a lot more creative elbow-room than in New York?I was curious to see what kinds of films would be coming out of this crazily beautiful Pacific Northwest. And I guess I saw it all?from the ravishing to the perfunctory?without too noticeable a regional stamp on anything, save perhaps the documentaries. Whatever it was I may have expected?paeans to grunge or Sasquatch spottings? the selections I made reflect as much about me than they do the breadth of the work submitted. As usual I was drawn to films in whatever category that countered that unexamined instinct to just make product… films that surprised or challenged or ventured into the hybrids of classification. The result, I am happy to say, is a preponderance of experimental work and of films by women, resulting in three programs of longer films (one dramatic feature and several docs), and three (count ‘em three) colorful and diverse programs of shorts.

Since most of the films submitted were under 30 minutes in length, I decided to limit awards in each category to short films alone. That is not to diminish in any way the quality of work in the longer programs. ROLLERCOASTER is a remarkably assured debut feature by Scott Smith concerning a group of teens on a fateful trespass, and is joined by compelling documentaries, including 30 FRAMES A SECOND, a thoughtful examination of the WTO demonstration in Seattle.

The three eclectic programs of shorts that  follow, divided loosely into films from the heart, the spleen and?for lack of an appropriate organ? from the edge, are sure to offer something for everyone. THE CLOUDS THAT TOUCH US OUT OF CLEAR SKIES is a haunting, imagistic documentary about miscarriage. FANSOM THE LIZARD is not only witty and wise, but uses digital animation to celebrate the lost charms of projected celluloid. EULOGY, an arch little b&w narrative, takes a sharp, witty slice at the fall of the artist, while SOULMATE, with chilling acuity, confronts sexual loneliness?or rather, allows it to confront us. And among the many strong and varied experimental films?from the giddily raunchy to the serene? KNUCKLE DOWN provides some resilient symbology,
perhaps even inventing a new visual metaphor for non-phallic, feminine pleasure!

So here’s to the crazily beautiful, the raunchy and the serene! I had fun. So will you.
—Todd Haynes

In the late 80s, Todd Haynes became a cult hero with SUPERSTAR: THE KAREN CARPENTER STORY, a dissection of the life of the sweet-as-pie singer who succumbed to anorexia. “Already Haynes was learning to give voice to that most postmodern of beings,” said the Village Voice, “the decentered subject.” Due to disputed music rights, SUPERSTAR was sent underground, appearing at microcinemas and basements in bootleg form. Four years later, the indie icon won the Grand Jury prize at Sundance with POISON (1991), an equally controversial work that was condemned by the religious right for its (NEA-funded) homosexual content and has come to be regarded as a cornerstone of new gay cinema. Haynes continues to shape a body of edgy, smart, and resonant films which adeptly deconstruct our role as the modern voyeur?including his most recent extravagant glam-rock VELVET GOLDMINE (1998) and SAFE (1995), an examination of modern alienation and sickness that has been lauded as one of the most important films of the last decade.



Eulogy, Sarah Nagy


Soulmate, Chel White


Knuckle Down, Sarah Marcus & Kate Hardy


The Clouds that Touch us out of Clear Skies, Lynn Shelton


Fansom the Lizard, Evan Mather


NOV 2  THU, 9-11 P.M.
Join us for a floating party on the Willamette River aboard the Portland Spirit, the perfect locale to launch this year’s Festival. Throughout the night we will screen the five Festival Judge’s Awards, present this year’s Oregon Arts Commission Media Arts Fellowship Award and celebrate independent vision.
Co-sponsored by Hollywood Video, the Portland Spirit and McMenamin’s
LOCATION: Board the Portland Spirit at Salmon Springs Fountain (Waterfront Park & SW Salmon Street).
Advance Tickets Available at The Film Center’s Guild Theatre Box Office.

NOV 3  FRI, 7 P.M.
Magic Carpet Ride
Phillip MJ Bacon, Matt Meagher
Galiano Island, BC
“A stop-action flick with old-world charm.” TH
4 1/2 mins.
Toy Box
David Steven Phillips/Seattle, WA
An unloved doll is an unhappy doll.
1/2 min.
Sarah Nagy/Portland, OR
Josh Whitfield could be a great photographer if only he could take a decent picture.
“A sharp, witty slice at the gall of the artist, beautifully shot and cut.” TH
11 1/2 mins.
Satan’s Holiday
Vanessa Renwick/Portland, OR
Ms. Renwick confronts the devil. “This could
be you.” TH
3 mins.
Rick Raxlen/Victoria, BC
Vintage animation lines this dada-esque peek into a typographer’s daydream.
3 1/2 mins.
James Yu/Portland, OR
“A frank and tender declaration despite the things people do to protect us.” TH
4 mins.
Iron Fist of Man: How Old Are You? & Love on the Ropes
Helen Reed, Jennifer McNeely, Megan Stanton
Galiano Island, BC
What if everyday TV violence was wrapped up in a box for your little girl? “Two devilish treats.” TH
1 1/2 mins.
The Man from Venus
James Diamond/Vancouver, BC
A touching dialogue on gender identity. “It seems to come spliced from within, full of raw fidelity.” TH
4 mins.
Kristi and Tiffany’s Spacegasmic Sexploration
Kristi Schaefer & Tiffany Danielle
Olympia, WA
Life in outer space can be hard sometimes. Kristi and Tiffany deliver “Raunchy, space-age fun.” TH
4 1/2 mins.
Atomic Titz
Mark O’Connell/Seattle, WA
strikes again with his own brand of digital warfare. “The name says it all. “ TH
4 mins.
Chel White/Portland, OR
A bold and unsettling film confronting sexual loneliness and the intimate but unspoken tie
between a landlady and her young male tenant, based on a story by National Public Radio personality Joe Frank.
14 mins.
Knuckle Down
Sarah Marcus & Kate Hardy/Portland, OR
“A richly evocative wrestle with lesbian desire, punctuated with smart and resonant visual metaphors.” TH
8 mins.
The Man with the Empty Room
Todd Korgan/Portland, OR
From the director of Festival favorites HAVE YOU SEEN PATSY WAYNE and JOHNNY BAGPIPES comes this beautiful black and white parable. “A wry, bittersweet tale about trying to overcome loneliness.” TH
12 mins.

NOV 3 FRI, 9 P.M.
30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle
Rustin Thompson/Seattle, WA
As former freelance cameraman Rustin Thompson steps into the fray of tear gas, sit-ins and demonstrations to make an objective
document of the WTO protests in Seattle, an interesting dynamic ensues: “I found it difficult to be objective,” he says. And so Thompson soon found himself reacting to the surrounding melee. “A fine work of memory, delicately crafted and suitably humble. Thompson is not concerned with politics so much as he is intrigued by the process of experiencing.”—Jamie Hook, The Stranger. “Thoughtful and reflective.” TH
75 mins.
The Googlie Eye Movie
Zak Margolis/Portland, OR
In 1974, Howard Lester began obsessively taking photographs of people wearing funny glasses known as “googlie eyes.” The first photo in this series was of a new born baby named Zak Margolis. 25 years later, Zak returned to create this homage to an amazing collection.
10 mins.

NOV 4 SAT, 2 P.M.
These titles reflect the perspective and response of young mediamakers grades K-12 opting to speak on important political and social issues through the video medium.  Join us for a program comprised of regional student work (including several selections from this year’s Young People’s Film & Video Festival) that speaks loud and clear.

NOV 4 SAT, 4-5:30 P.M.
Digital Roundtable:
To Stream or Not To Stream?
Sponsored by PowerMacs/Apple Computers
Software, storage, hard drive size… that’s only the beginning. What about on-line Festivals and digitally minded distributors such as Ifilm and Atom Films? Is there a there there? The Festival invites artists working with, or interested in, digital mediums, to come share your insights, questions, short-cuts, frustrations, delights, knowledge and naivete with others in this complex digital dilemma. Representatives from Powermax will be on hand to help troubleshoot the technical side.

NOV 4 SAT, 7  P.M.
Vision Point
Stephen Arthur/Vancouver, BC
A journey through Western Canada as if on a liberated rollercoaster, VISION POINT debuts a new form of experimental animation that creates a surreal portrait which “captures the surreal beauty of the Northwest” TH
1 1/2 mins.
Serge Gregory/Seattle, WA
“An elliptical and observant adaptation from the Nabokov story of one father’s winter.” TH
11 1/2 mins
Grand Island
David Steven Phillips/Seattle, WA
“A giddy poem to the bovine.” TH
1 min.
David Ishi Bookseller
Doug Ing/Seattle, WA
A both humble and lavish portrait of one man as told by those he loves: the friends and books.
3 1/2 mins
The Day Stashi Ran out of Honey
Sonia Bridge/Victoria, BC
The honesty of simple charcoal on paper is as skillfully crafted as the story it tells. “A handsome WWII animated memoir.” TH
5 mins.
Eating My Words
Rachel Lord /Seattle, WA
Oral fixation and regret are crafted into a simple hymn?the girlfriend’s regret?
3 mins.
One Story
Israel Katz/Seattle, WA
A woman reflects on her life as a South Korean child adopted at the age of three by a Washington family and the complexity of growing up an outsider within a white world.
5 mins.
Yellow 40, Red 06
Billy Caliente/Portland, OR
“A simple, elegant piece that uses the tableau of children to speak about color and exclusion.” TH
4 mins.
David Massachi /Portland, OR
“A nasty little brother delivers a patient parable for how sadism invented cinema.” TH
18 mins.
The Clouds That Touch us Out of Clear Skies
Lynn Shelton/Seattle, WA
“A powerfully absorbing documentary that uses very touching personal stories and poetic imagery to unearth the virtually inexpressible topic of miscarriage.” TH
27 mins.

NOV 4 SAT 9 P.M.
Boar’s Head
Bruce Bickford/Seattle, WA
Surreal line animation hiding a nasty
roadhouse visual pun.
4 mins.
Deere John
Mitchell Rose and Jamey Hampton/Portland, OR
Absurdist and elegant, heavy machinery makes for an unlikely pas de deux.
5 mins.
Flip Foot
Paula Kinsel/Portland, OR
Found footage combines with nonsense poetry to form a visual-linguistic gymnastics lesson.
3 mins.
Bob Appleby is a Loser
Josh Byer/Burnaby, BC
Bob Appleby, as the title may suggest, is a twenty-something welfare recipient whose is trying, with the help of his best friend?a bitter, aging crack dealer? to overcome the childhood neurosis running rampant in his head.
10 mins.
Thief  of Souls
Clancy Dennehy/Vancouver, BC
“A raw, mini-claymation gothic ode to Hitchcock.” TH
5 mins.
I Love Mickey
Bryan Deats/Bozeman, MT
Mickey takes a gamble, skipping out on the kids he’s supposed to be supervising in hopes of making the big time. “Psycho absurdity.” TH
8 mins.
Surface Dive
Joanna Priestley/Portland, OR
Three layers of sublime abstract animation: drawings on paper, glass pieces and solid sculptures, are beautifully manipulated to form a “trippy, bulbous blend of gel, cell, and claymation.” TH
7 1/2 mins.
Martin Friedman/Seattle, WA
“Fun, stylish slapstick follows one pen through some amazing mishaps and adventures, and finally to a quirky chance meeting.” TH
10 mins.
Matt McCormick/Portland, OR
Disguised as a pyramid-scheme/self-help financial video, “media manipulators get a taste of their own medicine.” TH
4 mins.
Fansom the Lizard
Evan Mathers/Seattle, WA
“With a low-fi look and a hi-fi past, this is smart and sophisticated animation that draws you right in.” TH
9 1/2 mins.
Watching Mrs. Pomerantz
Steve Rosenberg/Vancouver, BC
The year is 1972 and the Pomerantz’s are the only family in this middle class Jewish neighborhood to have a swimming pool and mother who looks good in a swimsuit. “A sweet,
nostalgic ode to the other side of the frame.” TH
19 mins.
Bear Necessities
Cameron Lizotte/Vancouver, BC
A bear, tired of zoo life, hatches a sadist
escape plan.
3 mins.

NOV 5 SUN 5 P.M.
Echo of Water Against Rocks: Remembering Celilo Falls
Ian McCluskey & Steve Mital/Eugene, OR
On March 10th, 1957, the newly constructed Dalles Dam closed its floodgates, backing up the Columbia River over Celilo Falls. Regional newspapers heralded an era of hydropower, while upstream hundreds of people paid their final respects to the passage of a 10,000 year-old way of life. Two generations later, Celilo resonates in this document of touching empathy, through a gathering of photographs from those who marked the occasion, and a gathering of stories passed from the Celilo fishing families to their children and grandchildren.
13 mins.
Islas Hermanas
Mark Dworkin & Melissa Young/Seattle, WA
Celebrating a unique 13-year relationship between Bainbridge Island, Washington
and Ometepe Island in Nicaragua, ISLAS
HERMANAS travels from the volcanic slopes of Nicaragua, where the Ometepe community cultivates organic coffee beans, to the Pegasus Coffee Company, on Bainbridge, where
volunteers roast, pack and distribute the fair-trade commodity. But it’s more than coffee. These “sister” communities have become a part of each other’s consciousness. Bainbridge
students raise money to send to Ometepe, and in turn Ometepe families open their homes to the students, for whom a visit to the village can be a priceless look into another world.
28 mins.
Conscience and the Constitution
Frank Abe/Seattle, WA
Long before the civil rights marches of the 1960s, another group of young Americans fought for their basic rights, willing to go to war only for a country that recognized their rights as citizens. From internment camps like Heart Mountain and the nine more that housed over 120,000 west coast Japanese and American-born citizens, resisting the draft became, for some, the last chance to protest their imprisonment. Prosecuted by the government and ostracized as traitors by Japanese American leaders and veterans, these protestors served two years in jail and were written out of popular history for the next fifty years. Through home movies, archival film and interviews, producer Frank Abe seeks, four decades later, to answer not “why did you not resist?” but “why did you not support those who did?”
56 mins.
NOV 5 SUN 7 P.M.
30 Frames a Second: The WTO in Seattle,
The Googlie Eye Movie
Please see Friday, November 3 description

NOV 6 MON  7 P.M.
The Last Angry Man:
Oregon’s Senator Wayne Morse
Christopher Houser, Robert Millis/Portland, OR
Oregon’s Senator Wayne Morse remains one of the most controversial politicians in the state’s history. In a career that stretched from1944 to 1968—when he was finally defeated by the up-and-coming Bob Packwood— Morse spoke his mind with rare courage, singular charisma and, to some, raw arrogance. A legend to labor unions and a champion of educators, Morse’s shining hour was the Vietnam War, when he was the most outspoken, and sometimes only, Senatorial conscience calling for immediate American withdrawal. Featuring a wealth of film clips and interviews with many of the political leaders of the era, from Mark Hatfield, George McGovern and Packwood to Ken Kesey, Houser and Millis’s film offers a fascinating overview of his political genius and enigmatic public career. In a time of increasing social activism and growing political cynicism, Morse’s legacy of outspoken challenge to the status quo remains all the more relevant.
56 mins.
Roll On Columbia: Woody Guthrie &
The Bonneville Power Administration
Micheal Majdic & Denise Matthews/Eugene, OR
In the spring of 1941, on the cusp of the Great Depression, a 28-year old, unemployed Dust Bowl balladeer, Woodrow Wilson Guthrie took a one-month job with the U.S. Department of the Interior’s Bonneville Power Administration (BPA). The BPA decided it needed a folksinger to help promote the benefits of building dams on the Columbia to produce cheap electricity for all. Guthrie, with a wife and three children, needed the job and more than delivered, writing 26 songs in 30 days, among them classics like “Roll on Columbia,” “Pastures of Plenty” and “Jackhammer Blues.” Majdic and Matthews’ captivating piece of regional history documents the most unusual convergence of a left-wing poet and a mammoth Federal Government project, drawing on the reminiscences of son Arlo Guthrie, daughter Nora Guthrie, Studs Terkel, Pete Seeger and many others on hand
at the time.
60 mins.

NOV 8 WED 7 P.M.
Echo of Water Against Rocks:
Remembering Celilo Falls, Islas Hermanas, Conscience and the Constitution.
Please see Sun, Nov 5 Description

NOV 9 THU 6 P.M.
Please see Fri, Nov 3 Description

NOV 9 THU 8 P.M.
Scott Smith/Vancouver BC
“One of the great things about growing up is getting to know yourself,” says first time director Scott Smith, “but a lot of teens fear themselves.” Rarely can a film relate the intensity of teen alienation without passing first through the tar pit of melodrama. But as a group of young friends first jump the fence into the starkly ornate amusement park, ROLLERCOASTER begins a tightly strung story that feels immediately honest. Two of the group-home-runaways plan to jump from the top of the ancient rollercoaster at the end of the day. The vulnerability of their world unfolds beneath expected sarcasm and pranks. “…Smith captures the crude, archaic language of alienated teenagers with an astoundingly acute ear.”—Stephen Holden, The New York Times. Winner of Best Narrative Feature at SXSW, Rollercoaster first premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival and has since been included in Festivals worldwide. “A remarkably assured first feature-?engrossing but restrained with extraordinary performances from its teenage actors.” TH
90 mins.
Cara Plouffe/Vancouver, BC
“A pensive, elegant reflection on loss.” TH
6 1/2 mins.

NOV 10 FRI 7 P.M.
Please see Sat, Nov 4 Description
Please see Sat, Nov 4 Description

NOV 11 SAT 6:30 & 8:30 P.M.
At McMenamins Mission Theatre and Pub
Gregg Lachow (SEVEN MYSTERIES OF LIFE, THE WRIGHT BROTHERS, MONEY BUYS HAPPINESS) has long concerned himself with constructing dreamlike realities. With SILENCE! He takes on an elaborate challenge. A multi-genre performance co-commisioned by the Seattle International Film Festival and Northwest Film Forum, SILENCE! fuses 35mm film of an actor and actress arriving on a 1920s movie set with live performances by those same actors, as well as a live score. Lachow is teamed with the amazing acting talent of his wife Megan Murphy, dialogue penned by Matthew Stadler and Stacey Levine, and is inspired by Delmore Schwarz’s 1937 story “In Dreams Begin Responsibilities.” “SILENCE! is an ambitious experiment; a film about the creation of film, with one eye on history and the other on the future… The multiple layers of meta-mimesis?of actors, characters, and audience watching themselves being watched?a dream about the delights and consequences of watching.”
—Sean Nelson, The Stranger
Co-sponsered by McMenamins and Northwest Film Forum.
LOCATION: McMenamins Mission Theatre and Pub, 1624 NW Glisan. 21 and over.
Advance Tickets Available at The Mission Theatre and Film Center’s Guild Theatre Box Offices

Return to Archive Page
Return to NW Film Center Home Page