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Marc Mohan

Streamers: Hot docs and cool jazz

Marc Mohan’s Streamers column considers the deeper recesses of your video options. This week that means a jazz classic and a trove of documentaries.

Movies Without Borders: The 42nd Portland International Film Festival

The tagline for this year’s Portland International Film Festival is “Empathy has no ethnicity.” While clearly intended as a response to the xenophobia and intolerance currently plaguing our nation, it’s also a timeless reminder of the value of global cinema. It harks

Will Vinton, 1947-2018: An Appreciation

The innovative Portland filmmaker Will Vinton, best known for his iconic work with stop-motion animation, died on Thursday, October 5, at the age of 70, following a 12-year battle with multiple myeloma. Vinton was the first Oregonian to win an Oscar, and

FilmWatch Weekly: Brazil nuts rejoice

The Northwest Film Center has just wrapped up its epic, weeks-long centenary tribute to Ingmar Bergman. I was going to write “iconic Swedish director Ingmar Bergman” or “canonical philosopher of cinema Ingmar Bergman” but, you know, if you’re reading this column and

FilmWatch Weekly: OMSI goes avant-garde

A pair of veteran participants in Portland’s truly independent film culture will be back in action over the next couple of weeks, presenting the work of visiting artists, while another is on the verge of departing after over two decades spent laying

FilmWatch Weekly: Wrestling with God now and then

On the off chance that you have managed to maintain an optimistic perspective on the fate of the human species, Paul Schrader is here to bring you back to Earth. Or maybe it would be more accurate to say that he’s here

FilmWatch Weekly: Queer Docs, fat Buddhas, and more

As American society has taken steps—some halting, some confident—toward recognition and acceptance of a wider variety of gender and sexual identities, compelling true-life tales reflecting a previously stifled panorama of experiences have emerged. Each year, the Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival presents

FilmWatch Weekly: May it please the court

This week’s column necessarily begins with a personal aside. When it became clear to me in 2016, after years of writing about movies for The Oregonian (God rest its soul), that Portland’s daily newspaper was not willing to invest in regular local

FilmWatch Weekly: Transgressions then and now

A 65-year-old male director, world-famous, Oscar-nominated, a legendary auteur, makes a movie about a 23-year-old woman rediscovering her sexuality through masochistic fantasies and by working the afternoon shift at a brothel. In several scenes, some of them taking place in her imagination,

FilmWatch Weekly: Cinematic obsessions spring onto the screen

Obsession can take many forms, and at least a few of them are on display in films opening this week in Portland. An obsession with justice, if not revenge, drives Joe, the haunted, brutal character played by Joaquin Phoenix in director Lynne

Film Review: A Bosnian War epic emerges from “Underground”

One of the most fascinating films of the 1990s returns to the big screen this week in Portland when Cinema 21 hosts a restored version of director Emir Kusturica’s 1995 historical fantasia “Underground.” The movie was a cinematic event when it won

Aaron Katz on his new thriller “Gemini” and popcorn problematics

“Gemini” is a sleek, entertaining new thriller set in the glamorous world of Hollywood and drenched in celebrity culture. It’s also directed by Portland-raised Aaron Katz, and for anyone familiar with Katz’s previous work, that synopsis might come as a shock. “Sleek,”

Film picks: “Faces Places” and “The Death of Stalin”

Who doesn’t love Agnes Varda? Anybody who isn’t thoroughly charmed by the venerable, diminutive legend of French filmmaking probably isn’t worth knowing. If any 88-year-old can be said to be precocious, it’s her, and her latest (please, not her last!) effort, the

The Oscars are dying: So what?

The Oscars are dying. So what?On March 4, the Motion Picture Association of America held the 90th Academy Awards ceremony. You may not have heard about it, since reportedly nobody really cares about the Oscars anymore. As someone who religiously watches, and

Act globally, view vocally: PIFF’s Portland ties

As the 41st Portland International Film Festival rounds the far turn and enters its second week, a mouth-watering array of cinematic flavors remain to be sampled. (We’ll even mention a few of them below.) But PIFF has always done an excellent job

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