september/october 1999


SEPTEMBER 10 11 12 13 14
FRI 10   7 & 8:45 P.M.  SAT 11    3, 4:45, 7 & 8:45 P.M.
SUN 12   3, 4:45, 7 & 8:45 P.M.,   . MON 13   7 & 8:45 P.M. ,  TUES 14    7 & 8:45 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE
SPEAKING IN STRINGS
U.S. 1999
DIRECTOR: PAOLO DI FLORIO  Italian-born, New York-raised Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is a true original, a classical musician who is a far cry from her reserved or intellectually rigorous peers. Off-stage she is irreverent, spontaneous and possessed by a rare passion, an emotion she readily brings to her soloist career as a virtuoso violinist. This intimate portrait of Salerno-Sonnenberg traces her life from a 17-year-old winner of the Naumburg Foundation International Music Festival to her debut at Carnegie Hall in 1982, to appearances on "The Tonight Show" and "60 Minutes." It also features the artist in rehearsals, on stage and during recording sessions. Not solely an unabashed tribute, SPEAKING IN STRINGS explores Salerno-Sonnenberg's personal and professional struggles and the difficulty balancing life and art. In the process we discover a woman whose emotions seems to emanate out of her skin, an attribute that ties her closely to the world and the world of music. As philosopher George Steiner has suggested, "we cannot learn without tears." Nadja generously shares hers, of turmoil and joy, in the most candid of fashions. Not just for music aficionados, SPEAKING IN STRINGS speaks to all interested in the lifelong unfolding of the human condition.NOMINATED FOR GRAND JURY PRIZE AT THE 1999 SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL, SPECIAL JURY AWARD, 1999 NEWPORT INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL. (73 mins.) Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg opens the 1999-2000 Oregon Symphony season on Thursday, September 9 at 7 p.m.  For ticket information call 503-228-1353 or visit the Symphony's website at www.orsymphony.org.
PRECEDED BY
TOCATTA FOR TOY TRAINS
U.S. 1957
DIRECTOR: CHARLES EAMES
If SPEAKING IN STRINGS is a metaphor for experience, then TOCATTA FOR TOY TRAINS is a classic example of unencumbered innocence. Using model toy trains and landscapes, the celebrated filmmaker/designer has created a bustling world-within-a- world with this moving and musical tableau. (13 mins.)



CHANGING THE GUARD:
A FESTIVAL OF NEW BRITISH CINEMA
Kicked off in 1996 by TRAINSPOTTING and mainstreamed by the international success of  THE FULL MONTY,  a new British cinema emerged at the end of 18 years of Conservative government and the election of New Labour. In 1997, riding an unmistakable sense of national revival and confidence, a new generation of British filmmakers arrived center stage, drawing energy and momentum from the pervasive cultural ferment of the mid-Nineties manifested in such diverse phenomena as Britpop, the Young British Artists scene, and New Lad culture. The key films in this new wave- UNDER THE SKIN, NIL BY MOUTH and TWENTYFOURSEVEN-are the stylistic and spiritual progeny of Ken Loach and Mike Leigh, but though the docudrama-naturalist tradition (invariably termed "gritty") is New British Cinema's ground zero, reflected here in films like THE SCAR and THE GIRL WITH BRAINS IN HER FEET. That's not the whole story. Some filmmakers have refracted this style through genre (FACE is a heist movie, URBAN GHOST STORY a horror film, DIVORCING JACK a comedic conspiracy thriller). Others, such as John Maybury's LOVE IS THE DEVIL and Richard Kwietniowski LOVE AND DEATH ON LONG ISLAND have reacted against it in the idiosyncratic tradition of stylized personal vision diversely manifested by Jarman, Greenaway, Roeg, Russell and Powell. That strand is represented here by films like GALLIVANT, MOJO and ROBINSON IN SPACE.  Nineties British film has also advanced in several other respects: the emergence of distinctive regional voices like Shane Meadows in Nottingham, the Amber Collective in Tyneside, and Peter Mullan in Scotland, and of a strong cadre of women directors, including Antonia Bird (PRIEST), Carine Adler (UNDER THE SKIN), Sandra Goldbacher (THE GOVERNESS) and upcoming talents Lynne Ramsay and Sara Sugarman. And the explosion of short filmmaking in Britain in the early Nineties has fueled the new talent boom, with the British Film Institute's annual New Directors shorts program the most notable springboard for a new generation of filmmakers. This series brings you a selection of some of the most vital and distinctive new cinema of the past few years, work that has been overlooked by American distributors looking for the next FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL.-Gavin Smith, Curator.

CHANGING THE GUARD, curated by Gavin Smith and Kent Jones, is co-presented with Joy Pereths and John Tilley of ProActive, with major support from The British Council. The series is sponsored by INTERVIEW magazine, Hugo Boss and Bombay Sapphire Gin with additional support from British Airways. Local sponsorship generously provided by The Horse Brass Pub.

SEPTEMBER 16  17
THUR 16  7 P.M.,  FRI 17  7 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERE
THE TICHBORNE CLAIMANT
GREAT BRITAIN 1998
DIRECTOR: DAVID YATES   In 1866, the aristocrat Sir Roger Tichborne disappeared at sea. Sent to find him but becoming stranded in Australia, his African manservant Andrew Bogle decides to painstakingly transform a drunken louse into the lost aristocrat with the agreement each will share the vast Tichborne inheritance. Recounting a curiously true episode in British history, THE TICHBORNE CLAIMANT draws comparison to THE RETURN OF MARTIN GUERRE as it explore the nature of truth and identity, in this case with a peculiarly British sensibility. This "elegantly-crafted Victorian yarn brimming with intrigue, deception and class conflict has an added bonus in a string of cameos from such seasoned scene-stealers as Stephen Fry (WILDE, A CIVIL ACTION), Sir John Gielgud and Charles Gray."-SCREEN INTERNATIONAL. (97 mins.)

THUR 16  9 P.M.,   FRI 17  9 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
THE GIRL WITH BRAINS IN HER FEET
GREAT BRITIAN 1997
DIRECTOR: ROBERTO BANGURA   In the spirit of Ken Loach and Bill Forsyth's small, semi-precious, but never precious, films, FEET views the coming-of-age of its heroine, Jacqueline, as a footrace between pleasing her family and track coach and pursuing her blossoming sexuality. Joanna Ward inhabits the role of the 13-year-old living in Leicester in the early 1970s. Like other teens her age, she has a mouth that can roar with expletives in the company of her peers, yet she maintains a gentle bond with her mother (Amanda Mealing, FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL). "Roberto Bangura's assured debut is at once a lively period piece (powered by a terrific early 70s score), a subtly piercing exploration of girlhood, and a nicely offhanded study of life in a Midlands town."-FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER.  (98 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
CROCODILE SNAP
GREAT BRITAIN 1997
DIRECTOR: JOE WRIGHT   A child's impressionistic account of the day her mother left her father featuring SECRETS & LIES' Claire Rushbrook.  (9 mins.)

SEPTEMBER 18 19
SAT 18  7 P.M.,  SUN 19  6 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
FACE
GREAT BRITAIN 1997
DIRECTOR: ANTONIA BIRD   From the director of the highly-charged PRIEST, featured in the 18th PORTLAND INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL, comes this dazzling London crime-thriller about a robbery gone wrong. The dreams of five East End lowlifes who rob a security depot and come up with less cash than expected quickly turn sour. Soon the infighting begins. This fast-paced dip into the seedy world of its protagonists also has a splash of left-wing politics and several intriguing plot twists tossed in. But it is the cast that ultimately sparkles. Robert Carlyle (THE FULL MONTY) "projects a barely controlled fury and barely remembered tenderness that's riveting."-Amy Taubin, THE VILLAGE VOICE. Carylye is joined by Ray Winstone (NIL BY MOUTH), Phil Davis, Steven Waddington and Damon Albarn, from the leading Britpop band Blur, who makes his acting debut.   (105 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
JOYRIDE
GREAT BRITAIN 1995
DIRECTOR: JIM GILLESPIE  A taut thriller by the director of I KNOW WHAT YOU DID LAST SUMMER.   (11 mins.)

SAT 18  9:15 P.M.  SUN 19  8:15 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
THE SCAR
GREAT BRITAIN 1995
DIRECTOR: THE AMBER FILMS COLLECTIVE   The Amber Films Collective has been documenting British working-class life through fiction and documentary since 1969. THE SCAR, a uniquely powerful film, asks: What do you do after the event that has defined your own life and the life of your community becomes a distant memory? May (Charlie Harwick) is a lost woman in her mid-40s, raising two disaffected teenage kids. A heroine of the 80s miners' strike, both she and her town have had their hearts torn out by the pit closures and the subsequent environmental devastation of "open-cast (strip) mining." When May falls in love with the new mining supervisor, she's cast adrift in a sea of confusion. Like all the best political filmmaking, THE SCAR is clear in its aims and imagery, but firmly rooted in individual experience. "Nowhere more than in THE SCAR, a magnificently acted love story set in a desolate coal-mining town in County Durham on the northeastern coast of England, are the country's growing pains portrayed with more excruciating exactitude. A highpoint of the series."-THE NEW YORK TIMES.  (95 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
ANTHRAKITIS
GREAT BRITAIN 1998
DIRECTOR: SARA SUGARMAN    An idiosyncratic portrait of an elderly Welsh eccentric (Liz Smith) living in a world of her own amidst ramshackle decay.  (14 mins.)

SEPTEMBER 20 21
MON 20   7 P.M.,  TUES 21  7 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
SMALL TIME
GREAT BRITAIN 1997
DIRECTOR: SHANE MEADOWS   Shane Meadows (TWENTYFOURSEVEN, PIFF 22) has a stirring eye and emotional hold on Britain's lower-class and is proving himself to be one of his country's brightest talents. In SMALL TIME, his lively, no-budget comedy debut, depicts the fumbling activities of a gang of petty thieves and the gradual parting of the ways between ringleader Jumbo (memorably played by Meadows himself) and his best friend Malc (Mat Hand). Inept crime antics, private laddish jokes and musical/dance interludes are interwoven within a well-observed study of divided emotional loyalties and domestic discontents. "Meadows combines the crude with the delicate, creating high-anxiety set pieces full of moments of distilled inspiration."-CHICAGO READER. (60 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
WHERE'S THE MONEY, RONNIE?
GREAT BRITAIN 1997
DIRECTOR: SHANE MEADOWS  Meadows' celebrated short is a freewheeling, comically confused narrative of a bungled swindle. (12 mins.)

MON 20   8:45 P.M. ,  TUES 21   8:45 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
BFI NEW DIRECTORS SHORTS
GREAT BRITAIN 1989-1996
DIRECTORS: VARIOUS   This selection of shorts reflects the diverse array of emerging talents supported by the British Film Institute. KILL THE DAY (1996) by Lynne Ramsey, whose new feature RATCATCHER premiered at this year's Cannes Film Festival, is a stark portrait of a junkie wrestling with addiction and haunting memories. (17 mins.) Thomas Napper's DEAD LONDON (1996) focuses on two investigators obsessed with chaos theory as they trace the hidden patterns underlying a series of accidental deaths. (20 mins.) FEVER (1994), by Carine Adler (UNDER THE SKIN), is an earlier study of compulsive sexuality and the exorcising of mother-daughter tensions. (16 mins.) Simone Horrocks' SPINDRIFT (1996) follows a day in the life of two homeless London teens. (12 mins.) FLAMES OF PASSION (1989) by Richard Kwietniowski (LOVE AND DEATH ON LONG ISLAND) reworks the classic BRIEF ENCOUNTER into a gay fantasy. (18 mins.) And Richard Heslop's FLOATING (1991) is a dark comedy about a dysfunctional family whose patriarch has Noah's Ark delusions. (39 mins.)

SEPTEMBER 22 23
WED 22  7 P.M.,  THUR 23   7 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
GURU IN SEVEN
GREAT BRITAIN 1998
DIRECTOR: SHANI GREWAL   With a refrain that could be Austin Powers' "Do you want to shag now or do you want to shag later?," GURU IN SEVEN gets its title from the challenge Sanjay (Nitin Chandra Ganatra), a young Punjabi artist on the dole,  receives from his partying friends. When his girlfriend (Ernestina Quarc) leaves him and heads to L.A. for a week because he won't commit to marriage, his pals suggest he forget her by taking on a bet. If he sleeps with seven different women in seven days, he'll become a guru. This lively comedy of sexual manners, an ALFIE for the 90s, is bolstered by an energetic young cast, a director who has a gifted visual sensibility and a music track that furthers the action along. What sounds like an exercise in nihilism (Are you horny, baby?) really has its poignant moments as Grewal, with stops in Paris and Bombay, touches on the drive and desperation that are part of life in the Asian diaspora.   (107 mins.)

WED 22   9 P.M. ,  THUR 23    9 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
MOJO
GREAT BRITAIN 1997
DIRECTOR: JEZ BUTTERWORTH   Adapting his own prize-winning play, Jez Butterwoth's MOJO is set at The Atlantic Club, the place to be in 1958 Soho. The club's pop-idol star, Silver Johnny (Hans Matheson) is closely guarded by the club's owner, (Ricky Tomlinson, RIFF RAFF) and his henchmen and hangers-on led by Mickey (Ian Hart). But underworld kingpin Sam Ross (Harold Pinter) wants a piece of the action. Gorgeously shot by Bruno de Keyzer ('ROUND MIDNIGHT, BEATRICE, QUEEN OF THE NIGHT), MOJO masterfully moves from cheerful exuberance to calculated murder. "Jez Butterworth's evocation of the pre-Beatles, gangster-operated London rock scene, with an electrifying ensemble cast that includes Harold Pinter as the most evil mobster of them all."-Amy Taubin, THE  VILLAGE  VOICE.  (90 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
SMALL DEATHS
GREAT BRITAIN 1995
DIRECTOR: LYNNE RAMSEY   Three unique yet indelible vignettes serve as milestones in a girl's journey from innocence to experience.  (11 mins.)

SEPTEMBER 26 27   SUN 26   6 P.M. ,  MON 27   7 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
URBAN GHOST STORY
GREAT BRITAIN 1998
DIRECTOR: GENEVIEVE JOLLIFFE  Proving there's more than one ultra-low-budget supernatural thriller with its share of scares out there and URBAN GHOST STORY easily holds its own with the best of them. In a run-down Glasgow housing project, 12-year-old Lizzie (Heather Ann Foster), who has just survived a near-death experience and lives with her mother and younger brother, is terrorized by poltergeist manifestations. Soon the furniture is moving, the police are called in and journalists call attention to the family's plight. Surprisingly, even the parapsychologists are at a loss to explain the events. Shot in Super 16mm and blown up to 35mm, imagine POLTERGEIST given a dose of documentary realism. Jolliffe and screenwriter Chris Jones "show they can multiplex with the best of Blighty wannabes."-VARIETY   (90 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
FRIDGE
GREAT BRITAIN 1995
DIRECTOR: PETER MULLAN   Two homeless people struggle to free a child trapped in a refrigerator in this turn-of-the-screw drama directed by the star of MY NAME IS JOE.    (20 mins.)

SUN 26  8 P.M.,   MON 27  9 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
DIVORCING JACK
GREAT BRITAIN 1998
DIRECTOR: DAVID CAFFREY   "Belfast, 1999. Newly independent, Northern Ireland appears to be on the road to political harmony with a charismatic candidate for prime minister (Robert Lindsay) poised to win the upcoming elections by a landslide. The only one who doesn't buy the common wisdom is Dan Starkey (David Thewlis, BESEIGED, NAKED), a wasted but lovable newspaper columnist on the outs with his wife (Laine Megaw). A fling with a beautiful art student (Laura Fraser) ex-girlfriend of a notorious IRA hardman (Jason Isaacs) ends abruptly when Dan finds her dying from stab wounds, her final words a cryptic message "Divorce Jack." From then on, Dan's disheveled life is blasted inside out. David Caffrey's daring political comedy keeps juggling its multiple emotional turnabouts, reversals of fortune, and shifting loyalties, until your nerve endings are as frayed as those of its hero."-FILM SOCIETY OF LINCOLN CENTER (109 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
HELLO, HELLO, HELLO
GREAT BRITAIN 1995
DIRECTOR: DAVID THEWLIS   The directorial debut of David Thewlis follows an unlikely encounter between a sardonic policeman and a woman artist scavenging materials.    (11 mins.)

SEPTEMBER 28  TUES 28  7 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
GALLIVANT
GREAT BRITAIN 1997
DIRECTOR: ANDREW KOTTING   "Gallivant:" to roam about in search of pleasure or amusement. "Andrew Kottingís wildly inventive GALLIVANT documents a three-month 6,000 mile trip he took around the coasts of England, Wales and Scotland with his remarkably energetic 90-year-old grandmother and his seven-year-old daughter who suffers from the rare life-threatening neurological disorder, Joubert's Syndrome. GALLIVANT, which is often hilarious, occasionally melancholy, and always profoundly aware of the fragility of life, combines British history, family history, film history, geology, seminology, and tourism into a non-fiction comedy of manners. Kotting owes something to Ross McElwee and Peter Greenaway, but he's a more adventurous and humane filmmaker than either. And his grandmother could give a lesson to Charlie Rose on how to make good conversation with strangers."-Amy Taubin, THE VILLAGE VOICE. "GALLIVANT isn't for a moment mawkish or sentimental. On the contrary, it's a constant delight in the celebration of sheer, irrepressible human daffiness." -INTERNATIONAL FILM GUIDE.  (100 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
SMART ALEK
GREAT BRITAIN 1993
DIRECTOR: ANDREW KOTTING   Radically disjunctive visuals stoke this story of a tense family holiday car trip that ends in mayhem.     (20 mins.)

TUES 28   9:15 P.M.
CHANGING THE GUARD
PORTLAND PREMIERES
ROBINSON IN SPACE
GREAT BRITAIN 1997
DIRECTOR: PATRICK KEILLER  In this follow-up to his idiosyncratic 1994 essay LONDON, Patrick Keiller serves up a delightful free-associative tour of English landscapes and localities. Paul Scofield's anonymous narrator accompanies the unseen protagonist Robinson, who has been engaged to conduct "a peripatetic survey of the problem of England." A droll commentary of esoteric observation and unlikely trivia connects each location to literature, politics, capitalism and history.    (82 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
YELLOW
GREAT BRITAIN 1996
DIRECTORS: SIMON BEAUFROY AND BILLE ELTRINGHAM  A sharply observed snapshot of the uneasy balance of power on a country road trip by the writer of THE FULL MONTY.   (12 mins.)



SEPTEMBER 24 25
FRI 24   7:30 P.M. ,  SAT 25   7:30 P.M.
VISITING ARTISTS
PORTLAND PREMIERE
LIVE MUSIC + FILM EVENT
THE GAUCHO
U.S. 1927
DIRECTOR: F. RICHARD JONES   In the first of two special live music performance and film events (see October 23), the Film Center welcomes Seattle's Young Composers Collective 13-piece DEGENERATE ART ENSEMBLE as they perform live their original musical score for THE GAUCHO. One of Douglas Fairbanks most quixotic films, it mixes romance, religiosity and breakout action as it combines the energy of THE MARK OF ZORRO with the solid production values of ROBIN HOOD.  Fairbanks is the Gaucho, an Argentine bandit from the Andes. He is pitted against three other forces: Ruiz, a greedy government official; the Black Death, a stalking figure of the plague; and the Blessed Virgin (in a cameo by Mary Pickford, appropriately enough). Of particular note is the performance of Lupe Valdez as a barmaid who catches the Gaucho's attention. Expect the unexpected as the DEGENERATE ART ENSEMBLE's musical approach brings to the proceedings "elements of Jimi Hendrix, Toru Takemitsu, Igor Stravinsky, John Zorn, Kurt Weill, Cecil Taylor and Charles Mingus."-THE STRANGER.   (103 mins.)
SPECIAL ADMISSION: $8 GENERAL; $7 MEMBERS/SENIORS.


OCTOBER  1 2 3 4 5 6 7
FRI 1   7 & 9:15 P.M.,   SAT 2    5, 7 & 9 P.M.,
SUN 3    3,  5 & 7 P.M.,  MON 4    7  & 9 P.M.,
TUES 5    7 & 9 P.M.,  WED 6    7 & 9 P.M. ,
THUR 7    7 & 9 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE   VISITING ARTISTS
RETURN WITH HONOR
U.S. 1999
DIRECTORS: FREIDA LEE MOCK AND TERRY SANDERS  For many Americans, the Vietnam War was an unchosen war, its social and political complexity revealed in such films as Bill Couturie's DEAR AMERICA: LETTERS HOME FROM VIETNAM and Oliver Stone's PLATOON. RETURN WITH HONOR, the new film by the Oscar-winning documentarians Freida Lee Mock and Terry Sanders (MAYA LIN: A STRONG, CLEAR VISION, BIRD BY BIRD WITH ANNIE) is a true and gripping testimonial to the courage of veteran U.S. airmen shot down over North Vietnam who endured years of systematic torture and oppression as P.O.W.s..  Told through riveting, first-person accounts by some two dozen pilots imprisoned at the infamous "Hanoi Hilton," among them Arizona Senator and presidential hopeful John McCain, former Reform Party Vice-Presidential candidate James Stockdale, and less public figures whose resilience and sense of patriotism are truly inspiring, RETURN WITH HONOR weaves interviews, rare footage shot by the North Vietnamese as it also gives voice to the wives and families who withstood years of waiting and anguish, to meld a document of extraordinary power. "There is Commander Jeremiah Denton, a prisoner of war for more than seven years who foiled his captors by blinking the word "torture" in Morse code when placed before newsmen and told to make a "confession." There is Lt. Comdr. Richard Stratton who, when put in front of news cameras, embarrassed the North Vietnamese by pretending to be a brainwashed North Vietnamese version of THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE. There is Seaman Douglas Hegdahl, who mastered a memory technique that enabled him, when released and debriefed, to reel off the names of all 268 American prisoners of war."-THE NEW YORK TIMES.   (102 mins.)
IN PERSON, FRIDAY, OCTOBER 1, DIRECTORS FREIDA LEE MOCK AND TERRY SANDERS. MOCK AND SANDERS PRESENT A WORKSHOP, PRODUCING THE INDEPENDENT FEATURE, ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 2. SEE SCHOOL OF FILM INSERT FOR DETAILS.


CUBA: INSIDE/OUT
1999 marks 40 years since Fidel Castro led the revolution that altered a political landscape that reached far beyond Cubaís borders. Ironically, it is also the year that Fidelís likeness is now in Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum. CUBA: INSIDE/OUT is a look at the country from within and outside its borders as it brings together a remarkable selection of post-revolutionary Cuban cinema in a wide range of styles, from the historical epic of Humberto Solas' A SUCCESSFUL MAN to Tom·s Gutierrez Alea and Juan Carlos Tabioís romantic comedy GUANTANEMERA, from the genre-spinning THE ADVENTURES OF JUAN QUIN QUIN by Julio Garcia Espinosa to Manuel Octavio Gomezís vivid evocation of the war of 1868, THE FIRST CHARGE OF THE MACHETE. Along with these works are views of Cuba, directly and indirectly, by Canada's Michael Rubbo (WAITING FOR FIDEL), Switzerland's Christian Frei (RICARDO, MIRIAM AND FIDEL), U.S. independent filmmaker Leandro Katz (THE DAY YOU'LL LOVE ME) and Soviet director Mikhail Kalatozov (I AM CUBA). Special thanks to Howard and Jane Glazer and The Onda Gallery for their support of this series.

OCTOBER 8  14   FRI  8   7:30 P.M.,  THUR 14  7 P.M.
CUBA: INSIDE/OUT
PORTLAND PREMIERE
A SUCCESSFUL MAN  (UN HOMBRE DE EXITO)
CUBA 1986
DIRECTOR: HUMBERTO SOLAS   Chronicling 30 years of Cuban politics and history, Solas' (LUCIA) epic has been compared to Francis Ford Coppola's THE GODFATHER and the grand cinema of Luchino Visconti with its meticulous period recreations. Beginning in 1932 and concluding at the start of the Cuban revolution, Solas takes us through three decades of glitter, corruption and the decline of the middle-class. Paralleling the lives of two brothers separated by ideology and ambition, the story follows the life trajectory of Javier and Dario. At the beginning, both are in school and each of their futures is full of promise. But it soon becomes apparent that Javier has an unquenchable thirst for power. His self-serving ways, while leading him through an opulent lifestyle, slowly cause the disintegration of his family. Dario remains an idealist whose middle-class upbringing does not curb his desire for revolution even if it means losing the woman he loves to his detested brother. With its themes of corruption versus innocence, power versus morality, idealism and opportunism, A SUCCESSFUL MAN offers a complex look at the roots of the Cuban revolution. WINNER, GRAND CORAL, HAVANA FILM FESTIVAL.   (110 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
THE DAY YOU'LL LOVE ME
(EL DIA QUE ME QUIERAS)
U.S. 1998
DIRECTOR: LEANDRO KATZ   Death and the power of photography are at the center of Leandro Katz's illuminating meditation on the final picture taken of revolutionary Ernesto Che Guevara. This haunting image of Guevara's corpse surrounded by Bolivian generals has been compared to Mantegna's "Dead Christ" and Rembrandt's "The Anatomy Lesson of Professor Tulp." Blending reportage, rare archival footage, unpublished photos taken that day, scenes of Bolivian ceremonies honoring Che, and an insightful interview with Freddy Alborta, the photographer who took this powerful image, Katz's award-winning miniature masterpiece rethinks history in provocative new terms.    (30 mins.)

OCTOBER 9   SAT   5 & 9 P.M.
CUBA: INSIDE/OUT
GUANTANEMERA
CUBA 1994
DIRECTORS: TOMAS GUTIERREZ ALEA AND JUAN CARLOS TABIO   Individually Tomas Gutierrez Alea (MEMORIES OF UNDERDEVELOPMENT, THE LAST SUPPER, DEATH OF A BUREAUCRAT) and Juan Carlos Tabio (HOUSE FOR SWAP, THE ELEPHANT AND THE BICYCLE) have both explored the social realities of Cuba. As collaborators on STRAWBERRY & CHOCOLATE and GUANTANEMERA, they were also able to reach wider audiences across oceans with their dynamic points-of-view. GUANTANEMERA, their final team effort (Alea died in 1996), celebrates the contradictory nature of a country's politics and its people as it follows Yoyita, a Havana singer who returns to her small hometown after 50 years to rekindle a long-lost love. The kindling turns so hot that her love, Candido, dies with their embrace. This daring romantic comedy then turns to the business of bringing Candido's coffin back to Havana, a road trip full of misadventure as Yoyita and her growing entourage run head-on into the staple of Cuban life: adversity. Starring Mirtha Ibarra, Conchita Brando, Raul Eguren and Carlos Cruz, "the film's target is mindless, pig-headed bureaucracy. The weapons it brings to bear against it are romance, sexuality and irreverence."-Roger Ebert, THE CHICAGO SUN TIMES.   (110 mins.)

SAT 9   7:15 P.M.  WED 13  7 P.M.
CUBA: INSIDE/OUT
PORTLAND PREMIERE
RICARDO, MIRIAM & FIDEL
SWITZERLAND 1996
DIRECTOR: CHRISTAIN FREI   "Christian Frei merges painful generational dynamics with the inevitable decay of revolution, to mark the intersection of Castro's faded dream and a daughter's parting from hero-father and homeland. Back in 1956, young Ricardo went off to the Sierra Maestra to found Radio Rebelde, on which Che Guevara's radical, new truths were broadcast to Cuba. The little cowgirl who gazes up at her guerrilla dad in an old snapshot idolized the rebel who fought for his country's freedom. Now the adult Miriam, a teacher ostracized for breaking with the party line, listens to Radio Marti out of Miami, a station that speaks against the regime her father fought for. When Miriam decides to seek a better life in the USA, Ricardo is forced to take stock of the revolution he helped to bring to Cuba."-HUMAN RIGHTS WATCH FILM FESTIVAL. PRESENTED IN COOPERATION WITH THE CONSULATE-GENERAL OF SWITZERLAND.   (90 mins.)

OCTOBER 10   SUN   4 P.M.
CUBA: INSIDE/OUT
THE FIRST CHARGE OF THE MACHETE
CUBA 1969
DIRECTOR: MANUEL OCTAVIO GOMEZ   Bringing the war of 1868 between Spanish soldiers and Cuban peasants directly into the present in the manner of Peter Watkins' THE WAR GAME, Gomez has created a film of great immediacy and power. Combining interviews with soldiers and revolutionaries on the battlefield and victims of Spanish oppression, inserting historical perspectives on the use and origins of this tool turned weapon, and by taking his camera to the streets of Havana so people of the time can voice their opinion, Gomez has made a motion picture as if motion pictures were possible in the mid-19th century. "It is constructed as if it were a piece of contemporary documentary reportage, shot in high contrast black and white to imitate very early film stock. The result is a paradigm of Brechtian cinema for the way it shifts cinema's usual perspective on history, shattering the normal visual surface with its extraordinary swirling abstract images of battle."-BRITISH FILM INSTITUTE.   (80 mins.)
PRECEDED BY
LBJ
CUBA 1968
DIRECTOR: SANTIAGO ALVAREZ   LBJ, by a Cuban master of found footage cinema, is one of Alvarez's most famous films, a stunning anti-imperialist, anti-American satire which exemplifies the director's "nervous montage" technique. "He commandeered every different documentary genre, from the pamphlet to satire, by way of the reportage of war. . . Alvarez amalgamated creative kleptomania with the skills of a bricoleur to reinvent Soviet montage in a Caribbean setting." -Michael Chanan.    (18 mins.)

OCTOBER 10  SUN   6 P.M.
CUBA: INSIDE/OUT
I AM CUBA (SOY CUBA)
RUSSIA 1964
DIRECTOR: MIKHAIL KALATOZOV   A stunning collaboration between the ICAIC, Cuba's state-run film agency and three artists of monumental stature in the then Soviet Union director Mikhail Kalatozov (THE CRANES ARE FLYING), cinematographer Sergei Urusevsky and poet/filmmaker Yevgeny Yevtushenko (THE KINDERGARTEN) I AM CUBA is a film of visual virtuosity with such gravity defying sequences that one critic coined the term "shot in gyroscope." Newly restored with the help of Martin Scorcese and Francis Ford Coppola, the film unfolds as a series of four folk tales designed to reveal the decadence of Fulgencio Batistaís pre-communist Cuba.  "Taken as either historical footnote or a mad aesthetic flight, I AM CUBA is remarkable."-VARIETY  "A feverish pas de deux of Eastern European soulfulness and Latin sensuality. . . it suggests Eisenstein filtered through LA DOLCE VITA with an Afro-Cuban pulse."-THE NEW YORK TIMES.   (141 mins.)

OCTOBER 11   MON  7 P.M.
CUBA: INSIDE/OUT
THE ADVENTURES OF JUAN QUIN QUIN
(LA AVENTURAS DE JUAN QUIN QUIN)
CUBA 1967
DIRECTOR: JULIO GARCIA ESPINOSA   Hailed as revolutionary Cuba's first feature-length comedy, Julio GarcÌa Espinosa's picaresque, parodic and hugely popular adventure film offers a giddily inventive mix of classic movie genres and styles: war, Western, slapstick, musical, gangster, BuÒuelian satire, Soviet-style Socialist Realism, and more. THE ADVENTURES OF JUAN QUIN QUIN is set in pre-revolutionary Cuba, where the flim-flam, jack-of-all-trades hero lives by his wits and ekes out an existence as, variously, a farmer, altar boy, bullfighter and circus act (as Jesus on the cross, no less). Godardian intertitles, animated sequences, and comic strips further enliven the anarchic proceedings. An encounter with cartoonish imperialists ultimately turns the hero into an anti-government guerilla. Espinosa conceived of the film as an accommodation between"serious" and "popular" art, as an attempt to combine movie entertainment with a subversive critique of old forms of movie entertainment. The result was one of the most widely seen films in Cuban history."-PACIFIC CINEMATHEQUE.  (113 mins.)
 
OCTOBER 12   TUES   7 P.M.
CUBA: INSIDE/OUT
WAITING FOR FIDEL
CANADA 1974
DIRECTOR: MICHAEL RUBBO   A pioneer of personal documentaries, a torch carried later by such filmmakers as Nick Broomfield, Alan Berliner and even Michael Moore, Michael Rubbo's WAITING FOR FIDEL has become an icon of its genre, a comic gem. Travelling to Cuba with millionaire capitalist Geoff Stirling and Joseph Smallwood, the former socialist premiere of Newfoundland, Rubbo, in his own forthright style, had planned a group interview/discussion with the Cuban president. "There was Cuba laid out for us with tours here and there to schools and mental hospitals while we waited for Fidel to drive through the gates of the mansion where we were lodged. Within a day I knew that life could not have handed me a more intriguing drama."-Michael Rubbo.   (58 mins.)
FOLLOWED BY
HOUSE FOR SWAP  (SE PERMUTA)
CUBA 1984
DIRECTOR: JUAN CARLOS TABIO   The desire for upward mobility in a country where everyone is considered equal is at the center of Tabio's clever satire and one of Cuba's most celebrated comedies. "In a country with a severe housing shortage (where people exchange dwellings rather than sell them as their marriages break up and reform) apartment-swapping is fueled by heartthrobs, hearth-lust and sexual and social aspirations. In HOUSE FOR SWAP, a mother executes a complicated three-way housing swap to move her daughter to a neighborhood where she can meet a better class of boy. When her daughter gets engaged to a fast-talking ad man, she begins another round of swaps to win them a dream house. And of course no sooner is the plan in place than the lovers start swapping partners."-FILM COMMENT.  (103 mins.)


OCTOBER 15 16 17 18 19 20 21
FRI 15   7 & 9:15 P.M.,  SAT 16   5, 7:15 & 9:30 P.M. ,
SUN 17   3,  5 & 7 P.M.,  MON 18   7:30 P.M. ,
TUES 19   7:30 P.M.,  WED 20  7:30 P.M.,  thur 21   7:30 p.m.
PORTLAND PREMIERE    VISITING ARTISTS
WHO'S THE CABOOSE?
U.S. 1997
DIRECTORS: SAM SEDER & CHARLES FISHER   SPINAL TAP struck a comedic nerve. WHO'S THE CABOOSE? breaks the funny bone. Just when you thought it was safe to go to Hollywood comes this delicious satire on the television industry and its alluring dreams of stardom for young comics. A film crew with $25,000 in grants plan on making a documentary about the rare fatal diseases of homeless people in New York, but things quickly change as they visit a comedy club and meet Susan (Sarah Silverman, THERE'S SOMETHING ABOUT MARY, THE LARRY SANDERS SHOW, SEINFELD), a young comedienne. She's about to head off to L.A. for pilot season, that "magic hour" from January to May when the competition for parts is at its heaviest. Following Susan in tow is her boyfriend Max (Sam Seder, THE SHOW, SPIN CITY), "a comic-cum-performance artist," whose distrust of Hollywood is equal to his love for Susan. This faux documentary, with its improvisational tone and abundance of quick one-liners, showcases a host of young broadcast comics including Andy Dick from NEWS RADIO,  H. John Benjamin from DR. KATZ and Kathy Griffin from SUDDENLY SUSAN among them, as "the cast etches a line-up of air-kissing, backstabbing agents, managers and thesps with hilariously accurate restraint that never strays into caricature."-VARIETY. WINNER OF THE BLACK DIAMOND AWARD AT THE ASPEN U.S. COMEDY ARTS FESTIVAL.   (93 mins.)
IN PERSON AT OCTOBER 15 & 16 SCREENING: DIRECTORS SAM SEDER & CHARLES FISHER. SEDER AND FISHER PRESENT A WORKSHOP, PRODUCING THE INDEPENDENT FEATURE, ON SATURDAY, OCTOBER 16. SEE SCHOOL OF FILM INSERT FOR DETAILS.


OCTOBER 22 23 24 26
FRI 22   7 & 9:15 P.M. , SAT 23   2 & 4:30 P.M.,
SUN 24  2, 4:30 & 7 P.M.,  TUES 26 7:30 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE
LEILA
IRAN 1998
DIRECTOR: DARIUSH MEHRJUI   A cinematic luminary alongside Iran's Abbas Kiarstomi and Moshen Makhmalbaf, Dariush Mehrjui takes us into the heart of Tehran's bourgeois and the razor-sharp conflicts that exist between its modern landscapes and Islamic traditions. A delightful and loving bond nourishes the recently married Leila (in a stunningly subdued performance by Leila Hatami) and her husband Reza (Ali Mosaffa), one where shared intimacies are both spoken and unspoken. But upon discovering her daughter-in-law might be infertile, Reza's mother (Jamileh Sheikhi) turns out to be "the most villainous woman to appear on the screen since Snow White's stepmother."-Amy Taubin, THE VILLAGE VOICE. Because she wants to have a male grandchild to carry on the family name, Reza's mother does everything in her power to undermine the marriage, going so far as to arrange a second wife for her son. The psychological war that ensues leaves no one untouched as Mehjuri's telling mise en scene moves toward its inevitable conclusion. "That a story of feminine life as staggeringly sensitive and complex as LEILA comes from a culture as seemingly restrictive as Iran's is beyond ironic, clearly pointing up, among other things, the meager sexual power plays allowed women in Hollywood." -LA WEEKLY. "LEILA transforms a cultural anomaly into a universal tragedy." THE BOSTON PHOENIX  (129 mins.)


OCTOBER 23   SAT  9 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE    VISITING ARTISTS
LIVE FILM + MUSIC EVENT
THE SPROCKET ENSEMBLE PRESENTS IDEAS IN ANIMATION
TOONS 'N TUNES
DIRECTORS: VARIOUS   The Film Center welcomes Nik Phelps & The Sprocket Ensemble from San Francisco as they perform live music set to contemporary and experimental animation. From the sublime to the surreal, this fusion of live music with the most fluid of art forms promises to be this year's autumnal treat. Phelps, who wrote the music for THE TWISTED TALES OF FELIX THE CAT and a former member of The Clubfoot Orchestra, is joined by leading musicians from the Bay area. Together they add another dimension to the works of such acclaimed animators as Sara Petty, Jane Aaron, Stacey Steers, Nina Paley and others who share their enthusiasm for this hybrid performance art. With works ranging from three to ten minutes, this compendium of animation lends itself to a variety of musical stylings, a challenge The Sprocket Ensemble meets head on. Joining them for this two hour show are some of Portland's own musical luminaries.
SPECIAL ADMISSION: $8 GENERAL; $7 MEMBERS/SENIORS. ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE BEGINNING OCTOBER 1 AT THE FILM CENTER OFFICE, 1219 S.W. PARK AVENUE.


OCTOBER 25   MON  7 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERES
THE NW FILM CENTER SCHOOL OF FILM PRESENTS
CERTIFIABLY YOURS
U.S. 1999
DIRECTORS: VARIOUS   While the British Film Institute provides opportunities for new filmmaking talent in London and the American Film Institute does the same in Los Angeles, the Film Center treasures its own nurturing role in the Northwest. Tonight we premiere a number of final projects completed by students in the Film Center's Certificate Program. In Gary Hunley's drama TRADITIONS, a ballerina has an enchanted music box she must pass down to someone in the next generation or be doomed to a life of never ending practicing and performing. Will the young ballet star accept or reject the prima donna's offer?  In Tyler Lee Osborn's work of science fiction, BODY OF WORK, Drew Faley must navigate the labyrinthian ONMI.SCI.ENT workplace or be assimilated into the body of work. Douglas Youngman follows a presumptuous panhandler who tells how it is making it as a beggar in GETTING MINE. EULOGY, a dramatic work by Sarah Nagy, introduces us to Josh Whitfield who loves his art more than himself. Is he ready to make an exchange?  Aysha Ghazoul's MY AMERICAN GRANDMOTHER is a personal documentary about the relationship between an Iraqi filmmaker and her Texan grandmother and the conflicts created by their cultural and political differences.  (Approximately 90 mins.)  FREE ADMISSION!


OCTOBER 27 28
WED 27   7 & 9 P.M.,  THUR 28   7 & 9 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE
THE TARGET SHOOTS FIRST
U.S. 1999
DIRECTOR: CHRISTOPHER WILCHA   A hit at the Chicago Underground Film Festival, THE TARGET SHOOTS FIRST is a hilarious and fast-paced ride up and down the corporate ladder. In this deadpan O'LUCKY MAN (cinema verite style), 22-year-old alternative music fan Chris Wilcha, just out of college with a philosophy degree, lands an entry-level job at Columbia House, the CD and tape club that has never overlooked a single mailbox in America or made a penny look so good. His timing couldn't have been more perfect. It's 1993, Nirvana is redefining the music scene, and grunge is a niche-market that needs developing. So who do you put in charge of the campaign? The new guy. Taking his Hi-8 camera to work everyday for two years, Wilcha gives us an insider's view of mass marketing and daily corporate intrigue in a 9 to 5 soap opera of humorous proportions. "THE TARGET SHOOTS FIRST presents the wondrous gallery of sardonic grins, blank stares, forced smiles, exasperated grimaces and open-mouthed horse laughs that Wilcha encountered and generated on his trips from floor to floor. Here, too, are the social rituals of today's office: lunches, parties, visits with babies, the unveiling of new braces for carpal tunnel syndrome. Wilcha kept at it until he succeeded, and Kurt Cobain committed suicide which seemed like a signal that it was time to quit."-Stuart Klawans, THE NATION.   (70 mins.)


OCTOBER 29 30 31 NOVEMBER 1  2
FRI 29  7 & 9 P.M.,  SAT 30  5, 7 & 9 P.M.,  SUN 31 5 & 7 P.M.,
MON 1  7:30 P.M.,  TUES 2  7:30 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE
23
GERMANY 1998
DIRECTOR: HANS-CHRISTIAN SCHMID   A riveting thriller that is the paranoid equal to PI and possesses the visual acumen of DRUGSTORE COWBOY, 23 is inspired by actual events from the 1980s when two German teenagers the simplesst of computers (read Atari 64), penetrated military, aerospace and arms industry mainframes and sold the information to the KGB. The leading hacker, 19-year-old Karl Koch, gives Jim Garrison a run for his money when it comes to conspiracy theories. A passionate devotee of the cult novel, ILLUMINATUS, which advocates the existence of a secret society aimed at world domination, Karl increasingly becomes caught up in the novel's hypothesis, as well as a pawn of the KGB, as finds himself and his friends in a lethal political game where reality and fantasy cannot be told apart. Set against the turbulent events of the times-the assassination of Olaf Palme, a heightening arms race and the Chernobyl disaster-23 is 99 minutes of style, substance and suspense that should not be missed.   (99 mins.)


NOVEMBER 3   WED   7 P.M.
PORTLAND PREMIERE
VISITING ARTIST
THE LAST STAND
U.S. 1998
DIRECTORS: TODD BRUNELLE & SHEILA LAFFEY   As our future seems to rest in the hands of special interest groups (i.e. the money trail), the ways communities unite and remain pro-active are evolving as well. Tonight the Film Center presents two intriguing and inspiring new works which tackle issues of land use head-on. In THE LAST STAND, Sheila Laffey and Todd Brunelle trace the battle to save The Ballona Wetlands, a fragile Los Angeles eco-system threatened by developers and the proposed site of DreamWorks Studio. As the filmmakers give voice to those on all sides of the issue-scientists, environmentalists, development advocates, actors, filmmakers, politicians and Native Americans who once lived in harmony with the region-this award-winning work "proves that just as the wetlands are a small but integral part of the entire area's environmental weave, so this conflict is bound up by issues that reach far beyond California and into our ever-tenuous relationship with the earth."-LA WEEKLY. Narrated by Ed Asner. Music by Joni Mitchell, Kenny Loggins and Joe Walsh.    (57 mins.)
FOLLOWED BY
WE ARE NOT BLOCKING TRAFFIC, WE ARE TRAFFIC
U.S. 1999
DIRECTOR: TED WHITE   In 1992, a small group of San Francisco bicyclists seized upon a way to make their streets more welcoming and safe for riders. With strength in numbers, they sparked both an unusual political movement and a "right of passage" like a rolling thunder review called Critical Mass, which has now spread to over 100 cities (including Portland) and 14 countries. Ted White (THE RETURN OF THE SCORCHER) traces this phenomenon in San Francisco over the ensuing six years in a cinematic essay exploring ways of reclaiming public space and ways to rethink traditional models of public demonstration.  At once a celebration of the bicycle and its riders, WE ARE NOT BLOCKING TRAFFIC is also a unique sociological study as it views the wide schism between politicians, police and the people.   (50 mins.)     IN PERSON: TED WHITE


[Return to Home Page]