Metropolitan Youth Symphony Music Concert Rooted Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon

Screening Room: Behind the camera in ’22

From the glories of Movie Madness to a flock of festivals to the tale of Will Vinton's lost dreams, it was a very good film year in Oregon.


Movies, television series, indie films, documentaries, animations, experimental film: Oregonians don’t just go to the movies, a lot make films and videos, too. In addition to our film columnist Marc Mohan’s Ten-Best List, our writers covered the creative process, from film festivals to behind-the-camera interviews to doing Shakespeare behind prison walls. It was, as things turned out, a very good year for filmmakers–and audiences–in the Pacific Northwest:


Jan. 25: McMinnville Short Film Festival: Jennifer Kramer follows in famous father’s footsteps. David Bates talks with Kramer, daughter of the late director Stanley Kramer, about NAKUSA, her “beautifully photographed 14-minute meditation on trauma and interiority, featuring Kramer in a raw, elegiac performance as the title character in a story she wrote and directed.” On Feb. 21, Bates followed up with an overview assessment of the 2022 festival.


Seattle Opera The Life and Times of MalcolmX McCaw Hall Seattle Washington

The Fu Dog from “Citizen Kane” shares space with a poster from the celebrated film at Movie Madness. Photo: K.B. Dixon

Feb. 22: Movie Madness: For the love of movies. Photographer and writer K.B. Dixon profiled Portland’s iconic video store and memorabilia museum, which kept the film lights flickering through the pandemic.

March 30: Ashland Independent Film Fest’s (hopefully) last online edition. “We’re looking to be Ashland, but with the clout and the power of Sundance”: Marc Mohan talks with Roberta Munroe, the festival’s new artistic director.

April 29: Copy/Transform/Combine. Portland filmmaker Kirby Ferguson’s new documentary Everything Is a Remix — Remixed shows how artistic creativity really happens — again, Brett Campbell writes.

May 24: “Repo Man” director Alex Cox talks about “Walker,” Blu-ray and more. An unrepentant (and successful) outsider talks from his Oregon coast home about indie movies, American imperialism, and the pleasures of a good beer and a good dog, Marc Mohan writes.

June 30: Greg Hamilton’s passion for the offbeat. From old movie trailers to car culture to “educational” reels to documentaries by the great Les Blank, Marc Mohan writes, if it’s 16 mm and offbeat, the Portland film curator is on it – and putting on a show.

July 25: “Fire of Love” director Sara Dosa talks anthropology, mushrooms, and Agnes Varda. The director of “the biggest documentary sensation of the summer” tells the volcanic tale of creating a film about fire and ice, Marc Mohan writes.

Aug. 2: Fraternal love, family trauma, and “Sam Now.” Two brothers with different mothers. One mother who disappears. A quest to find her again, and a family tale 25 years in the making. Marc Mohan talks with Portland director Reed Harkness about how and why Harkness made a feature documentary about his half-brother Sam.


Metropolitan Youth Symphony Music Concert Rooted Newmark Theatre Portland Oregon

Aug 3: A “Dream” comes true: Director Bushra Azzouz’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream in Prison.” A dozen years in the making, and three after its director’s death, a rare collaboration with inmate actors comes to the screen. Marc Mohan tells the tale of “a safe place inside a dangerous place.”

The irreverent early days at Will Vinton Studios.

Aug. 9: Director Marq Evans on his Will Vinton documentary “Claydream.” Marc Mohan talks with Evans about the Portland Claymation studio founder and Oscar winner, who had big dreams – and lost them in a legal battle with the Knights.

Sept. 14: Jean-Luc Godard, 1930-2022: An Appreciation. The French director, who never stopped reinventing forms and challenging beliefs, changed the face of cinema, Marc Mohan writes.

Oct. 4: Bend Film Fest: From candy criminals to gritty street stories. Marc Mohan takes the pulse of the Bend festival, which was back to full strength for the first time in three years and reeled ’em in with about 100 regional, national, and international films, available both in-person and virtually.

Oct. 27: A little “Candyman” in your trick-or-treat bag. Bobby Bermea makes the case for the 1992 movie, which raised the stakes on horror films by casting a Black man as the villain, and, like 1999’s Japanese Audition, gave a glimpse of the future.

Nov. 6: Backstage comedy on a mountaintop. Portland filmmaker Anthony Orkin’s Hello from Nowhere, Max Tapogna writes, blends romantic mixups and Gilbert & Sullivan on a Mount Hood camping trip.

Nov. 13: Reviving the tale of a musical “Lost Angel.” Brian Libby talks with Portland documentary filmmaker Brian Lindstrom (Alien BoyFinding Normal) and co-director Andy Brown about their new film on the life and sorrows of ’70s singer Judee Sill.


Seattle Opera The Life and Times of MalcolmX McCaw Hall Seattle Washington

Dec. 24: “The Cadence”: A Tale of Paper and Cloth. Amy Leona Havin considers the wonders of Portland filmmaker Luca DiPierro’s half-hour animated film, which uses paper, cloth, and found materials to bring a beautifully haunting world of folklore and magic to life.

A still from Luca DiPierro’s “The Cadence” in which a child on a horse with a mane of feathers encounters a curious giant.

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