elvis & nixon

FilmWatch Weekly: “Green Room,” “Hologram” and more

A typically busy cinematic calendar has Tom Hanks, Patrick Stewart, a Japanese snow monkey, and Don Cheadle.

The big deal in Portland film this week is the long-awaited local premiere of “Green Room.” Director Jeremy Saulnier and a cast that included none other than Captain Jean-Luc Picard, Patrick Stewart, himself, shot the film in the Portland area during the fall on 2014. Nearly a year after its world premiere at last May’s Cannes Film Festival, the intense thriller gets to thrill the folks who might have glimpsed Sir Patrick gamboling about town wearing a Timbers scarf 18 months ago.

The movie’s about a punk rock band who end up trapped in a seedy, remote club that caters to racist skinheads. It’s not for the weak of heart, but it’s a nasty, fun ride that should be extra enjoyable in the midst of an enthusiastic crowd. ArtsWatch’s Marc Mohan, who moderated a Q&A session with the director and cast following a private screening with crew, interviewed Saulnier. (Cinema 21)

Patrick Stewart in "Green Room." © A24 Photo by Scott Patrick Green, courtesy of A24.

Patrick Stewart in “Green Room.” © A24 Photo by Scott Patrick Green, courtesy of A24.

Other April 22nd openings of note include the tantalizing notion of Michael Shannon and Kevin Spacey as, respectively, “Elvis & Nixon,” in a film inspired by the famous real-life meeting between these oh-so-American idols. Eric D. Snider reviewed for ArtsWatch. (Living Room Theaters and other locations)

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Film Review: In “Elvis & Nixon,” the King meets the Prez

Michael Shannon as Elvis and Kevin Spacey as Nixon make for a slight but very amusing treat

No doubt you’ve seen the famous 1970 photo of President Richard M. Nixon and Elvis Presley shaking hands in the Oval Office, which was just about as incongruous a coupling of rock ‘n’ roll and the Establishment as anyone could have imagined at the time. What on earth did they have to talk about? Who arranged the meeting? And why?

Kevin Spacey stars as Richard Nixon (left) and Michael Shannon stars as Elvis Presley (right) in Liza Johnson’s ELVIS & NIXON, an Amazon Studios / Bleecker Street release.

Kevin Spacey stars as Richard Nixon (left) and Michael Shannon stars as Elvis Presley (right) in Liza Johnson’s ELVIS & NIXON, an Amazon Studios / Bleecker Street release.

Some of the answers to those questions are known, and the ones that aren’t, well, “Elvis & Nixon” — a jaunty, silly movie about a trivial event — makes ’em up, then has Kevin Spacey (Nixon) and Michael Shannon (Elvis) act them out. The casting alone is a delight. Were you even aware that you needed Michael Shannon’s Elvis impersonation in your life? Most likely not, and yet once you see it, you cannot live without it.

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