buddymoon

ArtsWatch Weekly: a Tempest and an operatic pot shot

A look at the week that was in Oregon arts. A glimpse ahead at the week that's going to be.

WELL, SHOOT. The whole thing explodes into a duel, of course, but before that there’s a tangled romance, and a cad’s carelessness, and a whole lot of glorious singing, and, well, why not a wintry tale for a midsummer opera? Portland Opera moves into the cozier confines of the Newmark Theatre beginning Friday night for its new production of Eugene Onegin, Tchaikovsky’s lyric opera based on Pushkin’s verse novel, and things are looking promising – if not for Onegin himself, who lives to deeply regret shooting his best friend, Lensky, then for the audience. ArtsWatch’s Christa Morletti McIntyre interviewed stage director Kevin Newbury, fresh off his acclaimed world-premiere production of Fellow Travelers at Cincinnati Opera, and discovered his plan to create an Onegin that will resonate with his fellow Gen Xers. Newbury has reset the late 19th century tale in the 1980s, around the time of the collapse of the Soviet Union and crumbling of the Berlin Wall. The “political and nuclear-threatening war of grudges” between East and West, McIntyre writes, helped “to unpack the meanings and individual lives impacted by this new kind of war, which was as visually stunning as it was oppressive and terrorizing.” All that, of course, plus some gorgeous music.

Ilya Repin, "Eugene Onegin and Vladimir Lensky's Duel," 1899, watercolor, white lead and India ink on paper, Pushkin Museum, Moscow/Wikimedia Commons

Ilya Repin, “Eugene Onegin and Vladimir Lensky’s Duel,” 1899, watercolor, white lead and India ink on paper, Pushkin Museum, Moscow/Wikimedia Commons

 


 

JULY’S FIRST THURSDAY IS THIS WEEK, and there is considerable to look forward to the monthly gallery walk. (Some galleries open shows on Last Friday or First Friday or according to their own schedules). A few we have our eye on: J.D. Perkin’s Island, an exhibit of the Portland sculptor’s fascinating-looking contemporary busts, coupled with some selected works by the late, great Robert Colescott, at Laura Russo Gallery; Sarah Siestreem’s Winter Work paintings, with Cynthia Mosser’s Beach Body, at Augen; the all-star anniversary lineup at PDX Contemporary in A Stand of Pine in a Tilled Field: 21 Years at PDX; the stylized figures and settings of R. Keaney Rathbun’s Memory and Stone, at Waterstone; and Blackfish’s annual Recent Graduates Exhibition of work from Oregon’s college and university art departments. Also, the Portland Biennial, an ambitious overview of work by 34 contemporary artists, opens Saturday at Disjecta, and should be well worth a long look. And on the north coast in Astoria, K.B. Dixon’s 32 Faces, his black-and-white environmental portraits of well-known Oregon artists in their elements, opens Saturday. ArtsWatch wrote about the exhibit when it opened at Michael Parsons Fine Art in Portland in February.

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This week’s notable movies include a pair of unique buddy comedies, a portrait of testicular quackery, and one role each for Stellan Skarsgard and his son Alexander.

 

ARTSWATCH REVIEWS:

 

“Swiss Army Man”: Frontrunner for most bizarre comedy of the year, this debut feature from the directing duo Daniels stars Paul Dano as a suicidal castaway and Daniel Radcliffe as the washed-up dead body who comes to his rescue. (Hollywood Theatre) READ MORE

David Giuntoli and Flula Borg star in "Buddymoon."

David Giuntoli and Flula Borg star in “Buddymoon.”

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FILM REVIEW: “Grimm” star David Giuntoli in “Buddymoon”

Shot in Oregon, the comedy is a labor of love for Giuntoli and two longtime friends

As NBC’s “Grimm” heads towards its sixth and possible final season, it’s time to face facts. There may come a time when Portland is no longer graced by the regular presence of David Giuntoli, the actor who plays protagonist Detective Nick Burkhardt on the supernatural cop show. Giuntoli has made the city his adoptive home, and has declared himself an unabashed fan of the place many times over.

It comes as no surprise, then, that “Buddymoon,” the low-budget, passion-project independent movie he made with his two old roommates from Los Angeles would be shot in Oregon. (Of course, shooting the film during breaks from production on “Grimm” made that a practical as well as emotional choice.)

When David’s fiancé breaks up with him just before their wedding, he’s despondent. But his best bud Flula (Giuntoli’s real life pal, YouTube star Flula Borg) convinces him not to cancel his planned honeymoon hiking trip through the Columbia Gorge, and the two of them embark on a “Buddymoon.” That’s the cue for a series of outdoor antics in which the free-wheeling, German-accented Flula plays off David’s mopey straight man.

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