ArtsWatch Weekly: popcorn time

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

What does ArtsWatch watch? Pretty much, the culture in and around Portland: plays, dance, art, music, ideas that interest us and interest you. In other words, we’re local: What’s going on here and now that’s worth seeing and thinking about?

Still, local means a very different thing in 2016 than it did in 1816 or 1416, when travel was difficult and the idea of place was much more isolated. Today, ideas and influences arrive from everywhere. We’re hooked into a global culture whether we like it or not. Portland is an open city. It might have a bubble, but it doesn’t have a wall. Culturally, that means that much of what we think of as local – what we read and see and hear and even eat – is arriving from somewhere else, influencing the ways we live and think and sometimes, in turn, being influenced by what it encounters here. “Local” is an extremely fluid, and often arbitrary, concept.

A Japanese snow monkey in the widescreen visual poem "Baraka."

A Japanese snow monkey in the widescreen visual poem “Baraka.”

So this week, let’s go to the movies.

Actually, we go to quite a few of these vivid interlopers from the “outside” world, and we’ve been writing about them, insightfully and entertainingly, as a vital part of our local culture. Our expanded film coverage, under the expert eye of critic and editor Marc Mohan, includes reviews, interviews, and now, a weekly film newsletter, FilmWatch Weekly, in which Mohan spotlights a few fresh films (in his first letter, it was the made-in-Portland Green Room, starring the legendary Patrick Stewart) and keeps you up-to-date on all the movies we think you’ll find of interest: not the mainstream blockbusters, usually, but the genuinely interesting, challenging, and sometimes risky stuff.


Review: “City of Gold” is a moveable, and enjoyable, feast

This documentary about the noted food writer Jonathan Gold should appeal to even the most discriminating palates.

I’m no gourmand. I’m not even a foodie. I mean, I like food, and I like food that tastes good better than food that tastes bad. But when I watch documentaries about thousand-dollar sushi or modernist Danish restaurants, I can be a tough crowd. When it comes to fetishes and porn, my favorite kinds don’t come prefixed by ‘food-.’

And there have been nearly as many food-porn movies in recent years as there have been actual sex-porn movies. All this preface is my excuse for not getting around to watching “City of Gold,” the documentary profile of Los Angeles Times food writer Jonathan Gold, until now. My mistake. This is a movie that’s about food, yes, but also a fascinating human and the infinitely diverse metropolis he calls home.

Jonathan Gold


I’d never heard of Jonathan Gold before I learned about this film. (See, not a foodie.) But he is apparently one of the key figures in shifting the focus of restaurant reviews from white-linen French bistros to taco carts and strip malls. If it feels like a cliché now to say that you can always find the best ethnic food (whatever that means) in sketchy, linoleum-encrusted outposts, it’s because Gold shined a light on neighborhood Korean barbecue joints and Iranian cafes.

In other words, pretty much every food cart pod should be renamed in his honor. But he’s also a charmingly reticent, thoroughly decent-seeming profile subject with layers that would make an onion proud. Whether detailing his all-too-human struggles with deadlines, depicting his contentedly cluttered family life, or relating his time as the cellist in a punk rock band, the movie doles out biographical data judiciously.

“City of Gold,” though, lives up to its title, tagging along as Gold cruises around Los Angeles in his Dodge pickup, showering love on this patchwork, polyglot urban domain. Most positive cinematic portraits of L.A. are tinged with at least some derision, but this is might be the first film I’ve ever seen that made me actually want to live there. Or at least appreciate why others do. And only part of it has to do with food.

(“City of Gold” opens Friday, March 25, at Cinema 21. Jonathan Gold will appear live via Skype following the 7 p.m. screening on Thursday, March 31.)

Rated R (but only for a few f-bombs), 96 min. Grade: A-


Last chance: Jacques Rivette’s 12-hour “Out 1” screens this week

The legendarily hard-to-see marathon film from 1971 will screen once more

It’s one of the cardinal rules of film criticism, something close to an ethical commandment: Thou shalt not review a film unless thou hast witnessed with thine own eyes its entirety. Makes sense, of course, almost all the time. But I’m about to break it. Please forgive me.

Last fall, one of cinema’s most ambitious works, very rarely seen since its creation forty-five years ago, screened in New York. The film was French New Wave veteran Jacques Rivette’s twelve-plus-hour “Out 1,” and upon hearing that this nigh-legendary opus had been restored and was getting a commercial release, I immediately asked the Northwest Film Center if they had plans to screen it here.

OUT 1_EP02_01

My wish came true, oddly enough, and starting last weekend, the Film Center showed “Out 1,” divided into eight episodes, over a four-night span. However, despite having access to online screeners for the episodes, and despite a fervent desire to consume the entire massive thing, I’ve only managed to get about three-fourths of the way through as of this writing. (Keeping up with the Film Center’s excellent Wim Wenders series, as well as the multifarious other openings about town, can fill up a schedule pretty quickly, especially when normal life has to fit in there somewhere too!)

So, despite the fact that I don’t know what happens over the last four hours or so, I’m going to strongly recommend that anyone with an interest in the outer limits of what narrative cinema can accomplish check this out, starting Saturday, March 12, with an encore screening of the first two episodes. (The others will follow over the course of the week, and then they’ll be gone.)

The best way to experience “Out 1” might be without any background or context whatsoever. But for those who need some sort of framework, here’s the deal: The film follows, basically, four sets of characters. Two of these sets are a pair of avant-garde theater troupes in the process of rehearsing a pair of Aeschylus plays. One, led by the imposing Robert (Michel Lonsdale), is doing “Prometheus.” The other is tackling “Seven Against Thebes.” Both employ physical, almost carnal, Living Theatre-style methods to explore their respective texts, and these efforts are captured in long (I mean, like, twenty-minute long) uninterrupted takes that frequently involve wordless grunting, primal writhing, and so forth.

The other ‘sets’ of characters are sets of one. A deaf-mute panhandler (Jean-Pierre Leaud) armed with a harmonica accosts restaurant diners for spare change. It turns out (spoiler alert!) he’s faking the deaf-mute thing, but when he’s mysteriously given a series of enigmatic letters, he deduces that some sort of conspiracy is afoot, and that it is somehow related to Balzac’s “History of the Thirteen,” three short novels originally published in the early nineteenth century. Meanwhile, a beautiful young woman in great pants makes her own hand-to-mouth living as a con artist. When she, after sort of seducing a chess player, steals a batch of letters from him, she finds herself slowly drawn into the story of the Thirteen as well.

OUT 1_EP04_02

Having this sparse skeleton of story in mind may help you get into the almost hypnotic groove you need to attain in order to complete this unique and challenging marathon. Like most marathons, there will be times when your body and your mind will be telling you to quit, and you’ll wonder what the point of the whole thing is, exactly. Balzac reportedly drank fifty cups of coffee a day, and you might wonder if that’s what you’ll need to get through this meandering plot that feels like a full season of “The X-Files” written on Quaaludes.

But, both in its making and in its viewing, “Out 1” is about process, not product. The journey is its own reward. And once you make it through the whole thing, you will have earned the right to scoff with elitist pretension when your friends tell you they watched all of Season 4 of “House of Cards” in a weekend.

(“Out 1” Episodes 1 & 2 screen Saturday, March 11, at 6:30 p.m., at the Northwest Film Center. Episodes 3 & 4 follow on Monday, March 14, episodes 5 & 6 on Wednesday, March 16, and episodes 7 & 8 on Thursday, March 17. Each episode is between 90 & 100 minutes, with a fifteen-minute intermission between episodes.)

Film in Portland roundup for March 11

Movies opening in Portland this weekend include the latest from Terrence Malick, the first Colombian Oscar nominee, and a charming Japanese animation from 1991.

For cinephiles, the most significant release this weekend is the latest film from reclusive, eccentric auteur Terrence Malick, “Knight of Cups,” which stars Christian Bale and features supporting performances and cameos from a busload of other stars. Look for a full review in the next day or two, but our takeaway is that Malick seems stuck in a stylistic and thematic rut. Sorry.

A scene from "Only Yesterday."

A scene from “Only Yesterday.”

“Only Yesterday”: With the announced retirement of master animator Hayao Miyazaki, the fortunes of Studio Ghibli, the production house he founded and which has released dozens of cartoon classics over the last decades, seem up in the air. Regardless, however, American audiences have a chance to catch, starting this weekend, the only Studio Ghibli movie that has never been released theatrically or on home video in the U.S. before now. And it’s delightful, of course.

Made in 1991 by director Isao Takahata (“Grave of the Fireflies,” “The Tale of the Princess Kaguya”), “Only Yesterday” is a quiet tale of nostalgia for childhood, as 27-year-old Taiko (voiced by “Star Wars” star Daisy Ridley) takes a vacation from her Tokyo office job and heads to the countryside to work on a safflower farm. Along the way, and during her stay, she reminisces to herself and others about her experiences as an 11-year-old fifth-grader. Whether being befuddled by fractions or by boys, whether dealing with a stern father or mean older sisters, her experiences are universal and affectingly portrayed.

One of those experiences explains, apparently, why “Only Yesterday” has eluded American audiences. After the Walt Disney Company bought the U.S. rights to Ghibli’s films, they quailed at releasing this one because of references to menstruation—namely, an extended sequence in which Taiko and her friends discuss getting their first periods with a touching, hilarious mixture of awkwardness and curiosity. In other words, it’s nothing that any present-day fifth- or sixth-grader isn’t familiar with, and it’s treated in an utterly humane and sensitive manner. Luckily, the distributor GKids, which has become a leader in putting international animation on stateside screens, stepped in and picked this one up for a 25th anniversary release.

If your impression of Japanese animation is that it only deals with mutated monsters, cuddly critters, and/or objectified schoolgirls, think again. This is an emotionally compelling, beautifully rendered story about memory, regret, and following your heart. (Opens Friday, March 11, at Regal Fox Tower and the Kiggins Theatre)

Astronaut Eugene Cernan, the subject of the documentary "Last Man on the Moon"

Astronaut Eugene Cernan, the subject of the documentary “Last Man on the Moon”

“Last Man on the Moon”: The name Gene Cernan has been a footnote, if not a punchline, in the history of the American space program. At least until now. This admiring documentary tells the story of the commander of Apollo 17, the final mission of NASA’s glory years. Cernan, now 81, talks at length about his career as a Navy jet pilot, his induction into the astronaut corps, and his status as the twelfth and final human being to depart the lunar surface.

The film features priceless, rarely-seen archival footage of the training sessions and the flight itself, as well as interviews with luminaries such as Alan Bean, Jim Lovell, and retired NASA Flight Director Gene Kranz. It’s sure to appeal to anyone with even the slightest hope that someday in the future, Cernan will cede his title to some other Earthling—maybe not even a male one. (Opens Friday, March 11, at the Living Room Theatres)

Films that premiered locally at the Portland International Film Festival continue to trickle back into area theaters. ArtsWatch’s Erik McClanahan spoke with the Oscar-nominated director of the Colombian film “Embrace of the Serpent,” which opens today at the Living Room Theaters. The Norwegian disaster flick “The Wave,” after opening regionally at the Kiggins Theatre last week, starts an engagement at Cinema 21 this week, as does Peter Greenaway’s racy, revisionist “Eisenstein in Guanajuato.”

Studio openings include the quasi-sequel to a 2008 found-footage monster movie, “10 Cloverfield Lane”; the New Testament-via-Anne Rice saga “The Young Messiah”; and the horror flick “The Other Side of the Door.” Sacha Baron Cohen’s fall from grace apparently continues with the action-comedy “The Brothers Grimsby.” It wasn’t screened for Portland critics, which seems like an act of kindness judging from the out-of-town reviews.

The Liberty Theatre in Camas is showing “Glassland,” an Irish drama about a cabbie who gets sucked into the world of human trafficking while also trying to care for his drug-addicted mother (Toni Collette).

On the revival front, the Laurelhurst is showing the campily entertaining, hyperviolent sci-fi from 1993, “Demolition Man,” which stars Sylvester Stallone (take that, Oscar!) and Dennis Rodman—I mean, Wesley Snipes. The Academy goes for class over crass with Paul Thomas Anderson’s 2007 American epic “There Will Be Blood,” featuring Daniel Day-Lewis’ most intense performance (and that’s really saying something, you know). Family-friendly options include the Kiggins Theatre, which has a newly restored digital print of “E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial” screening through Tuesday, and PSU’s 5th Avenue Cinema, which is showing the bestest “Batman” of them all, namely the 1966 campfest starring Adam West and Burt Ward, from Friday through Sunday.

Born to Run (and to Film): Wim Wenders Series Continues

The second weekend of the German director's retrospective includes "The American Friend" and "Paris, Texas."

The second weekend of The Northwest Film Center’s retrospective “Wim Wenders: Portraits from Along the Road” features some of the German director’s most accomplished work.  If the films screened last week were the work of someone exploring the possibilities of cinematic storytelling, the ones on deck show Wenders’ cementing his identity as a filmmaker and searching for his place within the history and industry surrounding the form.

In his early features “Alice in the Cities” and “The Wrong Move,” Wenders’ protagonists are a journalist who takes up photography and an aspiring author. In 1976’s “Kings of the Road,” the concluding part of his “Road Movies” trilogy, Wenders’ on-screen correlative, actor Rudiger Vogler, plays an itinerant projectionist named Bruno who travels from village to village repairing the machinery of movies.

Rudiger Vogler in "Kings of the Road"

Rudiger Vogler in “Kings of the Road”

The film opens with a conversation between Bruno and a cinema owner who recalls the glory days of silent films like “Die Nibelungen” and “Ben-Hur,” and the cinematic references pile up from there. After Bruno rescues a lost soul named Richard (Hanns Zichsler) who has driven his Volkswagen into a river, the pair form an existential-bromance sort of bond, traveling the byways along the border between East and West Germany.

Bruno’s usual costume, a pair of striped overalls, is as much his trademark as Chaplin’s cane or Keaton’s straw boater. In one sequence, the two men are repairing a speaker prior to a presentation in a school auditorium, and their backlit antics behind the movie screen entertain the assembled children as much as any silent film comedy. This post-1968 version of Huck & Jim floats along  side roads and through forgotten towns, their truckload of cinema ready to transport them to the past or the future, or even to help them fall in love, if only for a night.

I said that “Kings of the Road” starts with a conversation, but it actually begins with its own technical specs as opening credits: “in black & white, widescreen 1.66:1 and production sound, shot in 11 weeks between July 1 and October 31, 1975,” and so on. This sly self-consciousness about the filmmaking process is even more evident in 1982’s “The State of Things,” but in a much more curdled vein.

To understand why requires mentioning a film that’s not part of the Film Center’s series, the misbegotten “Hammett.”

Dennis Hopper in "The American Friend."

Dennis Hopper in “The American Friend.”

Wenders followed up “Kings of the Road” with 1977’s “The American Friend,” which was based on a novel by American crime writer Patricia Highsmith. It’s the director’s homage to film noir, features his first American lead (Dennis Hopper as Highsmith’s iconic antihero Tom Ripley), and has two of Hollywood’s most famously idiosyncratic auteurs (Samuel Fuller and Nicholas Ray) in supporting roles. It’s no surprise that Wenders was approached by producer Francis Ford Coppola to direct what would be his American debut, a fictional take on the life of pulp novelist Dashiell Hammett.

That experience, as it has for so many European filmmakers in Hollywood, turned into something of a nightmare. The movie was shot in 1979, essentially re-shot in 1981, and was eventually released in 1982 with, say some sources, only 30% of it drawn from Wenders’ footage. By that time, Wenders had completed a whole other feature, “The State of Things,” in which a filmmaker and his cast and crew are screwed over by their producer. Coincidence? Probably not.

Samuel Fuller, Patrick Bachau, and others in "The State of Things"

Samuel Fuller, Patrick Bachau, and others in “The State of Things”

Director Freidrich Munro (Patrick Bachau) is working on a postapocalyptic sci-fi B-movie in a seaside Portuguese town when his cameraman (Sam Fuller again) informs him that they are out of film and money. After languishing in the town’s dilapidated resort hotel for days while trying to reach the producer, Friedrich hops on a plane and heads to Los Angeles. In contrast to the Road Movie trilogy, “The State of Things” is about people who’ve come to an abrupt and paralyzing halt.

Once in L.A., Friedrich has encounters with a lawyer played by Roger Corman and eventually gets quasi-kidnapped by his mobile-home-dwelling producer (Allen Garfield, billed here as Allen Goorwitz). The atmospheric of cinephilia saturates these sections, with shout-outs to (then-)forgotten film noir classics like “They Drive By Night” and “Thieves’ Highway” juxtaposed against oppressive billboards for the forgettable crop of current box-office hits (“Ordinary People,” Ringo Starr in “Caveman”). Like Woody Allen had done with “Stardust Memories” and the Coen brothers would later do with “Barton Fink,” Wenders turned artistic frustration into a scathing, highly entertaining expression of itself.

Harry Dean Stanton in "Paris, Texas"

Harry Dean Stanton in “Paris, Texas”

This sort of primal scream can often clear a filmmaker’s aesthetic throat, and in Wenders’ case, it led directly to perhaps his greatest accomplishment, 1984’s “Paris, Texas.” This film begins a whole new chapter in the director’s career. Instead of fleeing America after the debacle of “Hammett,” he dove headlong into its landscapes and mythologies. (With European financing, though.)

“Paris, Texas” was written by Sam Shepard and adapted by L.M. Kit Carson, and on the surface it seems to fit the Wenders road-movie template. A haggard soul named Travis (Harry Dean Stanton) is found wandering in the south Texas desert after having been missing for four years. He’s retrieved by his brother (Dean Stockwell), who reunites Travis in Los Angeles with his young son Hunter. Travis then takes Hunter on a trip back to Texas in order to confront the events that led to his disappearance and the woman (Natassja Kinski) he left behind.

It’s a simple, moving story that’s as much about the blues—both the color of a wide Texas sky and the Ry Cooder soundtrack music—as it is about human fallibility and the happy endings that are always just out of reach. By the end of its two-and-a-half hour running time, it’s clear that Wenders has worked through whatever anxieties he may have had and emerged whole, confident in the knowledge that he was put on this planet to make movies.

(“Kings of the Road” screens Thursday, March 10, at 7 p.m.; “The State of Things” screens Friday, March 11, at 8 p.m.; “The American Friend” screens Sunday, March 13, at 4: 30 p.m.; and “Paris, Texas” screens Sunday, March 13, at 7 p.m. All screenings are at the Northwest Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium.)


“How to Be Single” Tries to Cash In on Feminist Irreverence and Fails

Kourtney Paranteau thinks that "How to Be Single" is a great example of how not to make a movie.



The past year proved one in which female sensibilities, particularly in comedy, rose to a prominence never before approached.  The reigning popularity of Amy Schumer, “Broad City,” and Tina Fey and Amy Poehler’s return to the Golden Globes podium all signaled a new level of attention towards truly funny, unabashedly feminist humor.  Christian Ditter’s “How to be Single,” from this vantage point, felt readily poised to catch the momentum laid out before it.  However, the film, at nearly every opportunity, plays out like a cash grab capitalizing on pop culture’s warming to the tastes and voices of female narratives.  

(L-r) REBEL WILSON as Robin and DAKOTA JOHNSON as Alice in New Line Cinema’s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ and Flower Films’ comedy “HOW TO BE SINGLE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release. Photo by Barry Wetcher

(L-r) REBEL WILSON as Robin and DAKOTA JOHNSON as Alice in New Line Cinema’s, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Pictures’ and Flower Films’ comedy “HOW TO BE SINGLE,” a Warner Bros. Pictures release.
Photo by Barry Wetcher

Buoyed by the reputation of Rebel Wilson’s brash persona, Dakota Johnson’s other big feature (“Fifty Shades of Grey”) and Leslie Mann’s overall likeability, the film, by its skin alone, holds a fierce amount of promise. “How to be Single” quickly squanders, though, any timeliness or contribution to a genre riddled with disappointingly reductive routines when it comes to imagining the lives women lead while predominantly around only each other.  

Alice (Johnson), recently out of a relationship, takes a job as a paralegal and attempts to traverse the Big Apple for the first time as a single, alongside her friend Robin (Wilson) and her older sister (Mann).  The film’s home base is a pick-up bar where a semi-attractive bartender preys on unsuspecting young women and dispenses mediocre advice and casual sex to Alice.  Lucy (Alison Brie), another bar regular, pops in and out of “How to Be Single” as a love-obsessed young woman who uses the bar’s Wi-Fi as she toggles between internet dating sites.  

Brie’s Lucy feels like an updated and more forgivable Charlotte of Sex in the City and her presence breathes the only spark into an otherwise ignorable plot.  Whenever the narrative finds Lucy (only to soon forget her) the central characters are revealed  as even duller, hackier and bigger wastes of times from the last time we saw  them.  Brie, on the heels of the much more successful “Sleeping With Other People” (Leslye Headland, 2015), seems to be finding a voice that can be heard even through the clutter of pointless excitations the rom-com genre often becomes stuffed with.  

Because, at its heart and despite the light protestations of its title and rhetoric, “How to be Single” is a romantic comedy–and if it were titled “How to Spend Your Time While You’re Single to Make You More Dateable Later On,” the title would be hundreds of times more honest.  Based on a book by the same author as the equally deplorable “He’s Just Not that Into You,” “How To Be Single” is a disgusting narrative masquerading as a guidebook. It tells women who want partnership to continue taking it on the chin until the right guy comes along.  

Never actually confronting the possibility that singledom has perks, the film spends nearly all of its depicted nights out dancing, drinking to excess and sleeping on couches, without any characters washing their faces, let alone moisturizing.  Ditter’s film makes single life out to be an exhausting peril of bandage dresses and taxicabs.

Johnson’s Alice cannot even unzip her own clothing without help, and watching the actress struggle to disrobe over and over again resonates as more embarrassing than relatable. Wilson’s Robin never becomes anything more than an exemplar of excessiveness.  She drinks the most, talks the loudest, has the most sex and the most fun, and dresses extravagantly, but her character lacks any sense of interiority and her physicality as an overweight woman appears to have been used by Ditter to cheat his way into explaining female pleasure.

The usual complaints over popular media’s depiction of youth in New York City all remain; Alice’s apartment outperforms her salary, the central characters lack diversity, occupations feel like accessories, and the prospect of romance overrides the gratification of friendship.  This familiar list of gripes, however, is continually overshadowed by how hollowly “How to Be Single” reverberates. Besides the scarce appearances of Alison Brie, the film’s one contribution to an otherwise desolate landscape is the truly casual sex its characters are able to have without guilt, humiliation, or walks of shame.  Beyond this amendment and a handful of jokes clearly written by a punch-up artist, “How to be Single” disappoints even within its disgraced genre.  

Instead of exploring the space women share or occupy together prior to or in place of a heterosexual, romantic partnership, “How to Be Single” ends up as a frantic tale of how to complete oneself for the enjoyment of a male onlooker, despite its flimsy gestures toward independence and solidarity among the female sex.  Like a meal comprised only of carbohydrates, Ditter’s film takes up space but without much flavor or color, and the craving which brings you to the table is only satisfied for a moment.


(“How to Be Single” is currently playing in theaters nationwide.)


Oscars 2016: How to see all the nominees before Sunday’s ceremony

Your guide to catching up on everything from "The Revenant" to "Fifty Shades of Grey"

The 88th edition of the Academy Awards are less than a week away, so we’re taking a brief pause from the ongoing coverage of the 39th edition of the Portland International Film Festival to provide the following public service.

Despite their predictable lameness, and their lamentable whiteness, the Oscars remain a cultural touchstone for moviegoers, celebrity hounds, and fashion mavens around the globe. Millions of Americans, many of whom haven’t seen most (or even any!) of the nominated films, will fill out ballots and enter office pools. The best way to improve one’s chances of winning these kinds of contests if to browse the various expert websites, most of which will agree on some sort of consensus prior to Sunday night. That consensus will turn out to be largely correct. But where’s the fun in that?



Unless the kids’ college fund is at stake, it’s much more rewarding to see as many of the movies as possible and vote with your heart at least some of the time. That way, if you win, it’s doubly sweet, and if you lose, you can curse the ignorant voters and the vagaries of fate with sublime satisfaction. It’s like being a Cleveland Browns fan.

To that end, here is a list of every feature film nominated for a 2016 Oscar, along with the ways you can see it, either in a Portland-area theater or at home, in the next week. Every one of the 42 movies is available somehow, with the exception of the Colombian Best Foreign Language Film nominee “Embrace of the Serpent.” If you missed that one during PIFF, you’ll have to wait until March 11, when it opens at the Living Room Theaters.

Both the animated and live-action short film nominees are playing at the Living Room now, but you may have missed your chance to see the short documentary nominees. It does look like all the short film nominees will be available for download and via Video on Demand starting Tues., Feb. 23. (These buggers can be the tiebreakers in that office pool, so they may be worth looking at. They’re also really good.)

The list is divided into two parts. The first has the films up for “major” awards: Best Picture, Director, or one of the four acting trophies. The second is all the rest, including the unpleasant reminder that “Fifty Shades of Grey” is an Oscar-nominated film (for Best Song, but still…).

This is a great opportunity to get to know your local, second-run, independent theaters, for what it’s worth: several of the nominees initially released late last year are playing at the Laurelhurst Theater and/or the Academy Theater.

Lastly, this list is good through Thursday, Feb. 25. We’ll try to update the post by then to reflect any relevant changes for last-minute catching-up.


“45 Years” (Best Actress): Living Room Theaters, Regal Bridgeport Village. No DVD/Blu-ray or digital release dates announced.

“The Big Short” (Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Adapted Screenplay, 1 other): Living Room Theaters, Hollywood Theater, Bridgeport Village. Coming to DVD/Blu-ray March 15.

“Bridge of Spies” (Best Picture, Supporting Actor, Original Screenplay, 2 others): Academy Theater. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Brooklyn” (Best Picture, Actress, Adapted Screenplay): Cinema 21, Clackamas Town Center, Regal Tigard 11. Available digitally on Tues., Feb. 23, and on DVD/Blu-ray on March 15.

“Carol” (Best Actress, Supporting Actress, Adapted Screenplay, 3 others): Laurelhurst Theater, Academy Theatre. Coming to DVD/Blu-ray March 15.

“Creed” (Best Supporting Actor): Academy Theatre. Available digitally for purchase only; coming to DVD/Blu-ray March 1.

“The Danish Girl” (Best Actor, Supporting Actress, 2 others): Laurelhurst Theater, Academy Theatre. Available digitally for purchase only; coming to DVD/Blu-ray March 1.

“The Hateful Eight” (Best Supporting Actress, 2 others): Laurelhurst Theater, Academy Theatre. Coming to DVD/Blu-ray March 29.

“Joy” (Best Actress): Laurelhurst Theater, Academy Theatre. No DVD/Blu-ray or digital release dates announced.

“Mad Max: Fury Road” (Best Picture, Director, 7 others): Playing Monday, Feb. 22 and Friday, Feb. 26 at Century Cedar Hills Crossing. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“The Martian” (Best Picture, Actor, Adapted Screenplay, 3 others): Laurelhurst Theater. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“The Revenant” (Best Picture, Director, Actor, Supporting Actor, 7 others): Playing at multiple local theaters, including Lloyd Cinemas, Regal Fox Tower, and Hollywood Theatre. No DVD/Blu-ray or digital release date announced.

“Room” (Best Picture, Director, Actress, Adapted Screenplay): Laurelhurst Theater, Academy Theatre. Available digitally for purchase only; coming to DVD/Blu-ray March 1.

“Spotlight” (Best Picture, Director, Supporting Actor, Supporting Actress, Original Screenplay, 1 other): Regal Fox Tower, Century Eastport, Regal Bridgeport Village. Available digitally for purchase only; coming to DVD/Blu-ray Tuesday, Feb. 23.

“Steve Jobs” (Best Actor, Supporting Actress): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Trumbo” (Best Actor): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.


“The 100-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out the Window and Disappeared” (Best Hair/Makeup): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Amy” (Best Documentary): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Anomalisa” (Best Animated): Cinema 21. No DVD/Blu-ray or digital release dates announced.

“Boy and the World” (Best Animated): Plays at Kiggins Theater in Vancouver Sat. & Sun., Feb. 20 & 21. No DVD/Blu-ray or digital release dates announced.

“Cartel Land” (Best Documentary): Not in theaters. Available digitally; coming to DVD March 29.

“Cinderella” (Best Costume Design): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Embrace of the Serpent” (Best Foreign Film): Opens at Living Room Theaters March 11.

“Ex Machina” (Best Original Screenplay, Visual Effects): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Fifty Shades of Grey” (Best Original Song): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“The Hunting Ground” (Best Original Song): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Inside Out” (Best Original Screenplay, Animated): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“The Look of Silence” (Best Documentary): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Mustang” (Best Foreign Film): Living Room Theaters. Coming to DVD/Blu-ray May 10.

“Racing Extinction” (Best Original Song): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Shaun the Sheep Movie” (Best Animated): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Sicario” (Best Sound Editing, 2 others): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Son of Saul” (Best Foreign Film): Cinema 21. No DVD/Blu-ray or digital release date announced.

“Spectre” (Best Original Song): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Star Wars: The Force Awakens” (Best Sound Editing, Visual Effects, 2 others): Playing at multiple locations. No DVD/Blu-ray or digital release date announced.

“Straight Outta Compton” (Best Original Screenplay): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray and digitally.

“Theeb” (Best Foreign Film): Not in theaters. Available digitally; coming to DVD/Blu-ray May 17.

“A War” (Best Foreign Film): Plays at the Portland International Film Festival on Opens at Living Room Theaters Feb. 26.

“What Happened, Miss Simone?” (Best Documentary): Not in theaters. No digital or DVD/Blu-ray release date announced. Available on Netflix.

“When Marnie Was There” (Best Animated): Not in theaters. Available on DVD/Blu-ray.

“Winter on Fire” (Best Documentary): Not in theaters. No digital or DVD/Blu-ray release date announced. Available on Netflix.

“Youth” (Best Original Song): Not in theaters. Available digitally for purchase only; coming to DVD/Blu-ray March 1.