36th Portland International Film Festival Line-Up Announced

PIFF 2013 Header Framed

The Northwest Film Center has unveiled their full line up of films for the 36th annual Portland International Film Festival (PIFF), and it is truly exceptional. They’ve put together a collection of films from around the world that will make any fan of the Criterion Collection leap for joy.

From Alain Resnais to Olivier Assayas, the festival highlights a number of films from this past year that many here in Portland have not had the chance to see yet.

Here is my list of most anticipated, and Criterion-related films playing at the festival this year:

  • The Last Sentence – Jan Troell
  • Lore – Cate Shortland
  • Laurence Anyways – Xavier Dolan
  • Memories Look At Me – Song Fang
  • Alois Nebel – Tomas Lunak
  • The Hunt – Thomas Vinterberg
  • Something In The Air – Olivier Assayas
  • You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet – Alain Resnais
  • Happy People: A Year In The Taiga – Dmitry Vasyukov, Werner Herzog
  • Pieta – Kim Ki-duk
  • Beyond The Hills – Cristian Mungiu
  • Tabu – Miguel Gomes
  • Kon-Tiki – Joachim Ronning, Espen Sandberg
  • Post Tenebras Lux – Carlos Reygadas
  • Our Homeland – Yong-hi Yang
  • A Letter To Momo – Hiroyuki Okiura
  • Reality – Matteo Garrone
  • The Angel’s Share – Ken Loach
  • Sightseers – Ben Wheatley

Below you’ll find the complete line up, along with screening information. There will likely be time and venue changes as we get closer, and I’ll try to keep this updated regularly.

We’ll likely be hosting some giveaways, so be sure to follow us on Twitter and Tumblr.

You can find all of the information for the festival through the Northwest Film Center’s page.


ARGENTINA

CHINESE TAKE-OUT

Sebastián Borensztein

Staunch loner Roberto, owner of a small hardware store in Buenos Aires, is shaken out of his solitary daily routine of collecting absurd newspaper clippings and visiting his parents’ grave when Chinese immigrant Jun literally falls into his life out of the back of a cab. Through a series of events that go against Roberto’s better judgment, the out-of-work Jun moves in with him, which proves a nightmare for Roberto as he makes increasingly desperate (and also touching and hilarious) attempts to get rid of his new roommate. Borensztein’s warm, endearing film offers a heartfelt reminder that friendship can crop up between the strangest, most mismatched, and plain old grumpiest of odd couples. Winner of the Best Actor, Best Supporting Actress, and Best Film Awards at the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences of Argentina. (98 mins.) In Spanish and Mandarin.

Filmography: Sin Memoria (10).

2/10 2:30pm World Trade Center Theater

2/16 3:00pm World Trade Center Theater

Sponsored by Hotel Modera.

CLANDESTINE CHILDHOOD

Benjamín Ávila

Ávila’s partly autobiographical account of his upbringing is a moving portrait of adolescent life in politically tumultuous 1970s Argentina. After years of exile, 12-year-old Juan and his family cautiously return to Buenos Aires with fake identities. Juan’s parents are members of the Montoneros organization, fighting against the ruling military junta. His friends at school know him as Ernesto, and as he tries to make friends and lead a normal life, he knows his life depends on him not forgetting who he really is. Ávila’s powerful portrait of childhood innocence at odds with life-or-death political ideals won the Casa de America Award at the San Sebastian International Film Festival and is this year’s Argentine submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (112 mins.)

First Feature.

2/10 7:30pm Cinemagic

2/11 9:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/14 6:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by OPB.

WHITE ELEPHANT

Pablo Trapero

In the dangerous, poverty-stricken slums of Buenos Aires, two Catholic priests tirelessly fighting for the dispossessed take very different paths in their struggle against violence, corruption, and injustice. The older Julian uses his political connections to see to the construction of a critical hospital, while the younger Nicholas, troubled by his lack of faith in the Church’s ability to help the poor, questions his calling. Between them is Luciana, an atheistic social worker who works with one as she becomes romantically involved with the other. Enduring constant struggle, torn apart by the conflicting interests of rival drug cartels, venal politics, rampant police corruption, and the basic needs of the people, a moment of reckoning tests friendship, faith, and the worth of their commitment. (110 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Crane World (99), Rolling Family (04), Carancho (10).

2/21 8:45pm Cinemagic

2/23 6:00pm Cinema 21

Sponsored by OregonLive.com.

AUSTRALIA

LORE

Cate Shortland

Lore explores the tribulations faced by the young in the aftermath of World War II. When their Nazi SS parents are arrested by the Allies, five siblings are suddenly left to fend for themselves. Teenaged Lore, the oldest, takes charge, and the children set out on foot to join their grandmother in Hamburg, 500 miles away. Along the arduous journey, they encounter a populace suffering from postwar denial and deprivation and for the first time are exposed to the reality and consequences of their parents’ actions. The children meet Thomas, a young Jewish survivor who helps them negotiate their way but who by their teaching is the enemy, despite his help and allure. A moving film about guilt, forgiveness, and survival, Lore is this year’s Australian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (109 mins.) In German with English subtitles.

Selected Filmography: Somersault (04).

2/10 7:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/11 5:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by Lamar Transit Advertising.

THE SAPPHIRES

Wayne Blair

In 1968, in a remote Australian town where white racism rules, an Aboriginal country-western singing group struggles to make it in the music business. Their fortunes change when they meet garrulous Irish pianist/drinker Dave (Chris O’Dowd, Bridesmaids), who recognizes their talent and adds soul music to their repertoire. Soon, the precocious singer Julie (Australian music star Jessica Mauboy), boy-crazy Cynthia, tough and tart-tongued leader Gail, and cousin Kay who wishes she were white, score an unexpected gig: entertaining American troops in Vietnam. A rousing, heartfelt tale based on screenwriter Tony Briggs’s true-life family, the mix of charming romance, fine performances, and Motown classics sprinkled with Aboriginal folk songs adds up to a sparkling musical adventure set against the chaos of war and the civil rights politics of the era. (99 mins.)

First Feature.

2/8 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/10 5:00pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by French American International School and KINK.fm.

AUSTRIA

COMING OF AGE

Sabine Hiebler, Gerhard Ertl

Rosa meets Bruno. Two people who consider themselves to be over the hill and irrelevant in today’s world suddenly learn what it means to pursue once-in-a-lifetime happiness, to find one’s soulmate. The only problem: Rosa has only six months to live. The two decide to go for it anyway. Bruno breaks out of his marriage and a family life where everything’s been routine for some time, and Rosa runs away from the retirement home where her niece hoped she would quietly disappear. They set up house together and are then forced to face the question of whether happiness has an expiration date or if memories of special moments with the kind of a person you meet only once are much more important. Winner of the Audience Prize at the Montreal Film Festival. (90 mins.)

Filmography: Nogo (02).

2/9 3:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/13 6:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

With the support of the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles.

PARADISE: LOVE

Ulrich Seidl

The first installment in Seidl’s Paradise trilogy, Paradise: Love explores the collision of Christian virtues with worldly realities. Leaving her wearying job and troublesome teenage daughter in the care of her sister for a brief vacation, Teresa heads for a “full-service” beach resort in Kenya—a popular sex tourism destination for middle–aged women. The buff young men on the beach in front of the hotel are there to sell trinkets or themselves as need be, but for Teresa, the boundaries of sex, love, and oppression are not so clear. As Seidl explores the perspectives of a woman who, while in power, is not at all sure of what she wants or even if it is for sale, his provocative mix of wincing candor, keen social observation, striking visual storytelling, and dark humor paints a portrait of paradise so near and yet so far. (120 mins.) In German, English, and Swahili with English subtitles.

Selected Filmography: Dog Days (01), Jesus, You Know (03), Import Export (07).

2/8 6:00pm Cinemagic

2/15 8:45pm Cinemagic

With the support of the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles.

PARADISE: FAITH

Ulrich Seidl

The second installment of Seidl’s controversial and unflinching Paradise trilogy follows the fanatically devout Anna Maria, who in her desperate search for “paradise” spends her summer vacation away from her job by doing missionary work: in this case, going door-to-door with a large statue of the Virgin Mary hoping to win converts. At home, she prays with a startling fervor, tinged with a taste for masochism. After a long separation, her husband Nabil—a tradition-minded Egyptian Muslim confined to a wheelchair—returns, and his pushy demands for his wife’s attention put her faith to the test. Winner of the Special Jury Prize at the Venice Film Festival. (113 mins.) In German and Arabic with English subtitles.

Selected Filmography: Dog Days (01), Jesus, You Know (03), Import Export (07).

2/22 6:00pm World Trade Center Theater

2/23 3:15pm World Trade Center Theater

With the support of the Austrian Consulate General in Los Angeles.

BELGIUM

OUR CHILDREN

Joachim Lafosse

Based on the true, headline-news story of Genevieve Lhermitte, Our Children unfolds the riveting story of Murielle (Émilie Dequenne, winner of the Best Actress Award in the 2012 Cannes Film Festival’s Un Certain Regard section), a Belgian schoolteacher caught in a claustrophobic domestic nightmare. Struggling financially, she and her Moroccan immigrant husband Mounir are forced to move in with his adoptive father, Dr. Pinget. When the couple begin to have children, the house starts to feel small and suffocating, and the pressure to please both men—each domineering in their own ways—gradually overwhelms Murielle, leading to a shocking act of liberation. This year’s Belgian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Lafosse’s direction of this perverse narrative of patriarchal power and female oppression is like steel wrapped in silk. (111 mins.)

Filmography: Private Madness (04), Private Property (06), Private Lessons (08).

2/15 8:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/17 7:30pm Regal Fox Tower 6

Sponsored by Stella Artois.

BRAZIL

NEIGHBORING SOUNDS

Kleber Mendonça Filho

With an acute eye for the push and pull of modern life, Neighboring Sounds delves into the lives of a group of prosperous middle-class families residing on a quiet street in Recife, close to a low-income neighborhood. The private security firm hired to police the street becomes the catalyst for an exploration of the neighbors’ discontents and anxieties, their feelings exacerbated by the palpable unease of a society that remains unreconciled to its troubled past and present inequities. Meticulously constructed, with unexpected compositions and arresting editing, you’re never quite sure where things are headed as it builds imperceptibly toward its stunning payoff. Winner of the FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize at the Rotterdam International Film Festival. “Sensational.”—Artforum. “Thrilling.”—Film Comment. (131 mins.)

Filmography: Critico (08).

2/9 8:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/13 6:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/15 9:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by Hotel deLuxe.

CANADA

THE END OF TIME

Peter Mettler

“Time is nature’s way of preventing everything from happening at once,” Einstein once said. But how do we really get our heads wrapped around it? Swiss/Canadian filmmaker Peter Mettler takes the challenge with a probing, playful meditation on the elusive nature of time. From the 27-mile-long particle accelerator in Switzerland where scientists seek to probe regions of time we cannot see to frozen-in-time lava flows in Hawaii, from the time-stands-still disintegration of downtown Detroit to a Hindu funeral rite near the place of Buddha’s enlightenment, Mettler explores our perceptions, dreams the future, and celebrates the wonder of the everyday in visually spectacular fashion. (109 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Picture of Light (94), Gambling, Gods, and LSD (02), Petropolis: Aerial Perspectives on the Alberta Tar Sands (09).

2/9 3:15pm World Trade Center Theater

2/16 6:00pm World Trade Center Theater

LAURENCE ANYWAYS

Xavier Dolan

Set in 1990s Montreal, Laurence Anyways narrates the story of Laurence, a handsome high school teacher and writer who is madly in love with his girlfriend, Fred, a film producer. Their joyful life is turned upside down when Laurence announces his transsexuality and his choice to live as a woman. Fred vows to support Laurence during his transition, but the couple’s new lifestyle clashes with friends, family, and society in general. Told with a visual flair and signature style that bespeaks 23-year-old Dolan’s astonishing talent, Laurence is, above all, an epic, ten-year love story that examines a couple’s inability to exist without each other. “This big, dreamy, audacious picture has large questions about relationships and identity. Can anyone be true to his or her inner self in the context of romantic love?”—Tara Brady, Irish Times. (168 mins.)

Filmography: I Killed My Mother (09), Heartbeats (10).

2/16 8:00pm Cinema 21

2/20 7:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by QDoc: Portland Queer Documentary Film Festival.

WAR WITCH

Kim Nguyen

War Witch unfolds as a harrowing fairy-tale, told by a 14-year-old African child soldier to her unborn son. Taken from her village, Komona is given a hallucinogenic milk that gifts her with a sorceress’s ability to see the ghosts of the fallen. Fighting alongside an albino boy named Magician, she soon comes to understand that her career as “witch” to the rebel leader will only last as long as their victories. The two set off together, putting their violent past behind them as they bond while searching for the white rooster she has demanded as proof of his love. Nguyen has interwoven true stories of child soldiers in Burma with footage captured in the Democratic Republic of Congo to fashion a story of touching beauty about the search for love and finding inner peace. This year’s Canadian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (90 mins.)

Filmography: The Marsh (02), Truffe (08), City of Shadows (10).

2/8 8:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/18 4:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by MercyCorps.

CHILE

NO

Pablo Larraín

Exploring the moral and spiritual costs of the rule of Chilean military dictator Augusto Pinochet, No follows the exploits of René Saavedra (Gael García Bernal), a clever advertising executive appointed by the opposing coalition to spearhead the “no” campaign in the 1988 referendum. Intent on revealing Pinochet’s human rights atrocities, Saavedra insists that the way to overcome voter fear is with glitzy, jingle-filled spots that promise that “no” is simply a vote for “happiness.” Liberally peppered with black comedy, the film reveals not only the hypocrisy of the regime but that of the left-leaning opposition and the cynical advertising world manipulations as well. Shooting on video cameras used during the era allows Larraín to seamlessly blend archival footage and to visually riff on the aesthetics of the microwave and soft drink commercials appropriated for the campaign. This year’s Chilean submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (118 mins.)

Filmography: Fuga (06), Tony Manero (08), Post Mortem (10).

2/15 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/17 4:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by Alaska Airlines.

CHINA

MEMORIES LOOK AT ME

Song Fang

Song Fang’s remarkable directorial debut, in which she travels from Beijing to Nanjing for a visit with her family (many of whom play themselves), gracefully expounds on several poignant topics: how an adult child’s relationship with her parents changes as they grow older and how to negotiate one’s place as a single woman in a world of married couples. Song, who many will remember for her wonderful performance as Juliette Binoche’s nanny and aspiring filmmaker in Hou Hsiao-Hsien’s Flight of the Red Balloon (PIFF 2008), perfectly captures the rhythms of brief sojourns home, trips filled with reunions (both joyful and heart-wrenching), reminiscences, and moments of feeling painfully out of place. Winner of the Best First Feature Prize at this year’s Locarno Film Festival. (91 mins.)

First Feature.

2/16 2:30pm Cinema 21

2/19 9:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

OLD DOG

Pema Tseden

Filled with breathtaking shots of the Himalayan countryside, Tibetan filmmaker Tseden offers an emotional allegory about urbanization and generational conflict. On a visit to a frontier town, middle-aged Gonpo decides to sell his faithful Tibetan mastiff to a Chinese trader who specializes in procuring dogs for wealthy landowners as status symbols. Gonpo’s father, Akhu, disturbed by his son’s lack of regard for their dog, purchases the animal back, initiating the simple storyline revolving around the dog’s destiny and the ensuing familial dynamics. Rich with commentary on the evolving conflict within Tibetan culture and a way of life that is quickly giving way to outside forces, Old Dog poetically surfaces the conflicted views of a culture’s future. (88 mins.)

Filmography: The Silent Holy Stones (05), The Search (09).

2/17 2:30pm Cinemagic

2/18 2:00pm Cinema 21

Sponsored by Chipotle.

COLOMBIA

LA SIRGA

William Vega

With moving intimacy, Vega depicts the challenges and obstacles that face Colombia’s indigenous population—not just the struggle to sustain cultural traditions and values but simply to stay alive in the strife that has long beset the country. Fleeing the fighting in her hometown that has taken her family, 19-year-old Alicia arrives at her aunt and uncle’s ramshackle inn, La Sirga, on the isolated shores of a lake high in the Andes. By day, Alicia assists the couple in fixing up the inn, hoping the area’s tourists will return next season, but at night, perhaps due to the trauma she has witnessed, Alicia sleepwalks. Against this setting of evocative natural beauty, a quiet drama of identity and healing plays out in enthralling fashion. (88 mins.)

First Feature.

2/8 8:45pm World Trade Center Theater

2/10 7:30pm World Trade Center Theater

2/18 2:30pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by OPB.

CUBA

ONE NIGHT

Lucy Mulloy

Despite the stark choices around them, three Havana teens defiantly maintain their self-worth and dreams for a better future. After a run-in with a tourist puts the police on his tail, hotheaded Raul impulsively decides it’s time to escape to Florida and begins planning with his friend Elio. When Elio’s twin sister Lila discovers what the two are up to, her dismay gives way to a decision to join them on the perilous sea journey. Brimming with the nervous energy of Havana’s restless youth and the evocative cinematography of the sun-bleached capital, One Night follows one sweltering day, full of hope and fraught with tensions, that burns to a shocking climax. Winner of the Best New Narrative Director, Best Cinema-tography, and Best Actor Awards at the Tribeca Film Festival. (90 mins.)

First Feature.

2/20 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/21 9:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by the Heathman Hotel.

CZECH REPUBLIC

4SOME

Jan Hrebejk

Two ostensibly ordinary middle-aged couples, Marie and Vitek and Dita and Ondra, are linked by more than just a lifelong friendship, a shared house in a small town, and same-aged adolescent children: they are linked by love. Both men, Ondra and Vitek, who are work colleagues, sincerely love their wives, but they each harbor a secret yearning for the other’s wife. When the two of them are offered a job together—restoring the electrical grid on a sparsely inhabited Caribbean island—they leap at the chance to enjoy a little tropical sunshine while launching the kind of cunning plan people in Czech sex comedies tend to launch. What ensues is a sunny romp with a couple of (not too) serious questions in the back of its mind. (80 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Cosy Dens (99), Divided We Fall (00), Up and Down (04), Beauty in Trouble (06), Kawasaki’s Rose (09).

2/19 8:45pm Cinemagic

2/20 6:00pm Cinemagic

ALOIS NEBEL

Tomáš Lunák

Based on the graphic novel trilogy by Jaroslav Rudiš and Jaromír Svejdík, this superbly atmospheric rotoscope animation employs noirish black-and-white images and an evocative soundtrack to portray the fractured psychology of a man and his country. In summer 1989, Alois Nebel works as a stationmaster in a small village in the Jeseník Mountains, close to the Polish border. Preferring old timetables to people, Nebel lives through his memories, haunted by the violent postwar expulsion of the Germans and getting lost in the mists of time. Encounters with a mysterious mute man and the kind Květa help him to connect the past with the present and to find middle-aged love. Winner of the European Film Award for Best Animated Film, Lunák’s auspicious debut is “destined to become a classic of the form.”—Piers Handling, Toronto International Film Festival. (84 mins.)

First Feature.

2/9 3:30pm Cinemagic

2/12 8:30pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by LAIKA.

IN THE SHADOW

David Ondříĉek

In 1950s Prague, police detective Hakl is investigating a jewelry store heist, until East German State police specialist Zenke arrives and takes over. Zenke believes that members of the Jewish community are responsible and that an underground ring may be smuggling funds to Zionist terrorists in Israel. Unconvinced, Hakl continues his own investigation. But which version of the truth do the Communist authorities prefer to find? Ondříĉek spins a suspenseful noir tale of standing up to the mistrust and fear in Stalinist, postwar Czechoslovakia. This year’s Czech submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (106 mins.) In Czech and German with English subtitles.

Selected Filmography: Loners (00), One Hand Can’t Clap (03), Grandhotel (06).

2/9 8:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/13 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/16 12:00pm Cinema 21

DENMARK

A HIJACKING

Tobias Lindholm

A gripping suspense drama focusing on negotiation tactics and complex human psychology, A Hijacking chronicles the nightmare endured by the small crew of a Danish cargo ship when Somali pirates suddenly take them hostage in the Indian Ocean. Back in the shipping company’s office in Copenhagen, the demand for a $15 million ransom sets in motion tense negotiations, which, against the advice of professional hostage negotiators, the macho (and frugal) president decides he will handle himself. Plunging the company, the crew and their families, and the pirates into an extended battle of wills, we watch as the fear and tension aboard the ship is on course for disaster. At once a procedural thriller, an almost documentary–like look at modern, high-tech piracy, and a telling reminder of economic disparity, Lindholm’s (also the screenwriter of The Hunt) gripping saga rings true. (110 mins.)

Selected Filmography: R (10).

2/20 8:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/21 6:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

THE HUNT

Thomas Vinterberg

Vinterberg’s devastating drama follows an upstanding member of a small, close-knit Danish community charged with an unthinkable crime. Lucas (Mads Mikkelsen) is a kindergarten aide beloved by students and parents alike, until a girl in his class accuses him of inappropriately touching her. No sooner is the charge leveled than Lucas is deemed guilty in the public eye and then ostracized—indeed, hunted—by his former friends and neighbors. Knowing that Lucas is indeed innocent adds a chilling layer of horror to an already breathless tale. A provocative, all-too-believable study in mob mentality and the unfailing belief of adults in the innocence of children, The Hunt is a gripping psychological drama with a stellar performance by Mikkelsen, who won the Best Actor Prize at this year’s Cannes Film Festival. Winner of the Audience Award at the Vancouver International Film Festival. (115 mins.)

Filmography: The Celebration (98), It’s All About Love (03), Dear Wendy (04), Submarino (10).

2/18 7:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/21 8:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by the ScanDesign Foundation and the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation.

FINLAND

PURGE

Antti Jokinen

Estonia, 1994. Soviet occupation has ended, but not the grip of Stalinist memories or the new hold of the Russian Mafia. Aliide, who has lived through a generation where a sentence to Siberian prison camps was all too regular, encounters Zara, a young girl who has exhaustedly escaped the clutches of sex slavery. Though from different eras, both women are haunted by their own tragic pasts and a dark history that binds them. Based on the award–winning novel of the same title by Sofi Oksanen, this unflinching family drama, a story of sex trafficking, violent abuse, betrayal, and loss, is this year’s Finnish submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (125 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Resident (11).

2/9 5:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/12 8:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/16 5:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by the Finlandia Foundation and the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation.

FRANCE

THE PAINTING

Jean-François Laguionie

Inside the magical world of a painting, figures divide themselves into three castes: the realistically rendered, highly polished Alldunns, who hold court in a castle; the Halfies, who for want of a brushstroke are denied the privileges of the Alldunns; and the Sketchies, rough and ragged outlines treated as untouchables by the others. A forbidden romance between the Halfie Claire and the Alldunn Ramo leads the two, along with Claire’s friend Lola, to run away—all the way to the edge of their painting, where they hop out of the frame and into the studio of the man who created them. An inventive, animated fable about art and life, appearance and perception. “Enchanting!… This consistently enjoyable, inventive, and beautifully crafted tale is a color riot suitable for all ages… A constant feast for the eyes.”—Variety. (76 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Gwen, The Book of Sand (85), A Monkey’s Tale (99), Black Mor’s Island (04).

2/9 8:45pm Cinemagic

2/17 5:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by French American International School, TV5Monde, and LAIKA.

RENOIR

Gilles Bourdos

The South of France, 1915: 74-year-old Pierre-Auguste Renoir (Michel Bouquet) still paints every day, despite the pains of old age and the loss of his dear wife. The arrival of a new 15-year-old model, Andrée (Christa Theret), brings an incandescent energy into the household, inspiring not only Renoir le père’s painting but also stirring the passions of les filses Jean (Vincent Rottiers) and Claude (Thomas Doret). Against the backdrop of World War I, the film locates a fascinating moment of change, one century’s way of thinking giving way to the next, and the passing of the torch from a great painter to the great filmmaker of such classics as Grand Illusion and Rules of the Game. Featured as the Closing Night Film of the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival. (111 mins.)

Selected Filmography: A Sight For Sore Eyes (03), Afterwards (08).

2/10 4:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/13 8:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by Your Own French Home, the Alliance Française de Portland, and TV5Monde.

SOMETHING IN THE AIR

Olivier Assayas

Assayas’s evocative portrait of the upheaval in France in the early 1970s is seen through the eyes of a group of youth living in suburban Paris amidst a whirlwind of new politics, art, and sex. Gilles is a high school student torn between left-wing activism and his aspiration to become a painter or filmmaker. He and his friends take to the streets in running battles with the police, continuing the struggle that in May 1968 took France to the brink of revolution. When someone is badly injured, Gilles and his friends must flee to Italy, where they live a bohemian life drifting between parties, rallies, and agitprop film screenings. But while politics are central, the group discovers that at their age, everything is mutable, every day holds new possibilities, and life awaits the curious… Winner of the Best Screenplay Prize at the Venice Film Festival. (122 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Irma Vep (96), Les Destinées (00), Boarding Gate (07), Summer Hours (08).

2/16 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/21 5:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by TV5Monde and King Estate Winery.

YOU AIN’T SEEN NOTHIN’ YET

Alain Resnais

“Based on two works by the playwright Jean Anouilh, You Ain’t Seen Nothin’ Yet opens with a who’s-who of French acting royalty being summoned to the reading of a late playwright’s last will and testament. There, the playwright appears on a TV screen from beyond the grave and asks his erstwhile collaborators to evaluate a recording of an experimental theater company performing his Eurydice—a play they themselves all appeared in over the years. But as the video unspools, instead of watching passively, these seasoned thespians begin acting out the text alongside their youthful avatars, looking back into the past rather like mythic Orpheus himself. An alternately wry and wistful valentine to actors from a director long fascinated by the intersection of life, theater, and cinema.”—New York Film Festival. (115 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Hiroshima, Mon Amour (59), Last Year at Marienbad (61), Stavisky (74), My American Uncle (80), Same Old Song (97), Wild Grass (09).

2/20 6:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/23 9:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by TV5Monde.

GEORGIA

KEEP SMILING

Rusudan Chkonia

Writer/director Chkonia brings a woman’s eye to this satiric tragicomedy, set in the Georgian capital of Tbilisi, that tells the story of ten desperate housewives and their fierce rivalry to win a beauty contest—one open only to mothers with three or more children. Competing in five categories pigeonholing women, including “Best Cook” and “Super Mom,” the grand prize is a coveted apartment and $25,000. But dreams soon vanish as realization dawns that the competition is a scam and all they are getting are media hounds, chauvinist pigs, and their own domestic nightmares. This heartfelt story, filled with equal measures of humor and humanism, is this year’s Georgian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and offers a multi-faceted look at contemporary Georgia. (94 mins.)

First Feature.

2/18 7:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/19 8:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by OregonLive.com.

GERMANY

HANNAH ARENDT

Margarethe von Trotta

Von Trotta’s film is an intelligent and powerful dramatization of the life of the philosopher and writer Hannah Arendt, whose The Origins of Totalitarianism (1951) made her famous in philosophical circles before her controversial chronicle in The New Yorker of Nazi Adolf Eichmann’s 1961 trial for war crimes shot her to broader international celebrity. Focusing on the Eichmann era, Barbara Sukowa perfectly embodies the academic Arendt, who observes that it is the ordinariness of Eichmann (“He looks like a nobody”) that leads her to fashion her most startling concept—the “banality of evil”—while her reporting on collaborating German Jews causes a firestorm of protest. “What could have been a dry, intellectually ponderous film is given flesh and blood, resulting in a drama that is both stirring and emotionally rewarding.”—London Film Festival. (113 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Second Awakening of Christa Klages (78), Sister, or The Balance of Happiness (79), Rosa Luxemburg (86), The Promise (95), Rosenstrasse (03).

2/16 8:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/18 5:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by Zeitgeist Northwest.

HAPPY PEOPLE: A YEAR IN THE TAIGA

Dmitry Vasyukov, Werner Herzog

“Paradise on earth? Through writer and narrator Werner Herzog’s lens, that is what Bakhtia, a village on the river Yenisei in Russia’s far north might seem like in this breathtaking, rich, and frequently funny documentary. He and first-time director Vasyukov capture the local people—nearly always in companionship with their dogs—making their own tools, trapping sable, felling trees to build boats, fishing, harvesting food, and holding ceremonies for the turning of the seasons. Sharing their perspectives on greed, war and mortality, as Herzog notes: They live off the land and are self-reliant, truly free… No rules, no taxes, no government, no laws, no bureaucracy, no phones, no radio, equipped only with their individual values and standard of conduct.”—Telluride Film Festival. (90 mins.)

Selected Documentary Filmography: Land of Silence and Darkness (71), La Soufrière (77), Lessons of Darkness (92), Grizzly Man (05), Cave of Forgotten Dreams (10).

2/16 5:30pm Cinema 21

2/19 8:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by Zeitgeist Northwest.

POLLUTING PARADISE

Fatih Akin

Çamburnu is a small village in northeastern Turkey where people have lived for generations off tea cultivation and fishing. But the idyllic landscape has been compromised by the decision ten years ago to build a garbage landfill directly above the village. Despite protests by the mayor and the villagers, the site has continued to pollute the air and ground water, while rains flush the waste down the slopes, and flocks of birds and stray dogs besiege the village. In 2006, Akin went to Çamburnu, his grandparents’ home village, and over five years returned many times to chronicle the village’s struggle against the government and document the disasters that threaten this former paradise. Polluting Paradise provides a remarkable portrait of a small community fighting for its life and an inspirational story of activist courage. (85 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Head-On (04), Crossing the Bridge: The Sound of Istanbul (05), The Edge of Heaven (07), Soul Kitchen (09).

2/17 3:00pm World Trade Center Theater

2/23 12:45pm World Trade Center Theater

Sponsored by Chipotle.

THIS AIN’T CALIFORNIA

Marten Persiel

Skateboarding becomes a metaphor for freedom in this love letter to the subversive power of youth. In East Germany in the 1980s, for three teens—Nico, Dirk, and Dennis—life in the GDR was dominated by skateboarding. But in a nation where “the streets were not for playing around,” skating was as much a revolutionary act of defiance as it was a spectacular sport. Using a clutch of priceless Super-8 films, animations, reenactments, and archival footage, all set against a delirious punk soundtrack, This Ain’t California follows the three through adolescence and into adulthood on the eve of reunification. Through the lenses of the skater kids amongst the Stasi comes a rare, stylishly witty glimpse into East Berlin counterculture. (90 mins.)

First Feature.

2/9 1:00pm World Trade Center Theater

2/12 6:00pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by Zeitgeist Northwest.

great britain

THE ANGELS’ SHARE

Ken Loach

In his bittersweet caper-comedy, which won the Jury Prize at Cannes, Loach turns his gaze on Robbie, a new father in trouble with the law. When he holds his newborn son for the first time, Robbie is determined that the boy will have a better life, one with opportunities. But Robbie must first sort out his life as a prison sentence looms. Given one more chance and sentenced to community service, he meets Rhino, Albert, and Mo, former criminals who also can’t find work. But, ironically, turning to drink changes their lives. Robbie, it turns out, has a rare gift—a great palate and a delicate nose for fine malt whisky. This newly discovered talent leads to an inspiration that might turn things around for him—but first, he faces a true test on a trip with the gang to the Scottish Highlands. (101 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Black Jack (79), Riff-Raff (91), Sweet Sixteen (02), The Wind That Shakes the Barley (06), It’s a Free World… (07), Looking for Eric (09).

2/9 6:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/15 8:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by Southpark Seafood Grill.

GINGER & ROSA

Sally Potter

London, 1962. While tied to the hip—“forever”—of her best friend Rosa (Alice Englert), Ginger (Elle Fanning) is beset by two crises: the collapse of her parents’ marriage and the growing worldwide anxiety concerning nuclear Armageddon. If that’s not enough, the joys and terrors of dawning sexual identity and creative ambition are equally consuming. As her family implodes and the Cold War meets the sexual revolution, lifelong friendship will be shattered by ideology and personal betrayals. Looking back on the idealism and roots of a feminist generation, Potter’s exploration of the price of coming of age features a striking performance by Elle Fanning and a supporting cast that includes Timothy Spall, Oliver Platt, Annette Bening, Christina Hendricks, and Alessandro Nivola. (90 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Gold Diggers (83), Orlando (92), The Tango Lesson (97), Yes (04), Rage (09).

2/9 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/12 8:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by Higgins.

THE PERVERT’S GUIDE TO IDEOLOGY

Sophie Fiennes

Following up on his provocative The Pervert’s Guide to Cinema, confrontational Slovenian philosopher and film theoretician Slavoj Žižek continues his riveting search for the hidden languages of cinema, exploring the idea of films as collective fantasies that shape our beliefs, practices, and society. Žižek’s high-concept take on what psychoanalysis reveals about ideology is a treat for cineastes seeking profound yet accessible analysis of the classics and is guaranteed to provide fresh perspective. Fiennes captures Žižek (amusingly inserted into scenes from the films he talks about) as he examines a wide range of works (also music, history, and current events) including Robert Wise’s classic epic The Sound of Music, John Carpenter’s alien invasion B-movie They Live, Stanley Kubrick’s Full Metal Jacket, Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, and dozens more. Little did you know! (134 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Hoover Street Revival (02), The Pervert’s Guide To Cinema (06), Over Your Cities Grass Will Grow (10).

2/17 12:00pm Cinema 21

2/21 8:30pm Cinema 21

SIGHTSEERS

Ben Wheatley

Lovey-dovey Tina and Chris set out on an erotic holiday in their camper through the North of England, aiming to take in Yorkshire, the Lakes, and hit such must-sees as the Ribblehead Viaduct and the Keswick Pencil Museum. But things get off to a bloody start when Chris casually rolls over a litterbug at the Crich Tramway Village, revealing a certain antisocial behavior. As more people meet his disapproval, Tina, initially confused, quickly opts to stand by her man, joining him on a rolling murder spree that whacks anyone who happens to intrude on their bliss. As this Midlands Bonnie and Clyde motor through the countryside, the laughs and mayhem unfold in equal, deranged measure. “Darkly funny, quasi-sweet, and incredibly bloody.”—Ain’t It Cool News. “Hugely entertaining… Hilarious.”—Indiewire. (88 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Down Terrace (09), Kill List (11).

2/21 6:00pm Cinema 21

2/23 3:15pm Cinema 21

Sponsored by Music Millennium.

TWO YEARS AT SEA

Ben Rivers

Two Years At Sea is a nearly wordless portrait of Jake, who lives a solitary existence in a Scottish forest in Aberdeenshire. Surviving frugally, he passes his time with strange projects and living the radical dream he had as a younger man, which he spent two years working at sea to realize. Rivers has made 20 shorts over the past decade, free of narrative, drama, and character develop-ment, inspired by literature and fine art, and exploring worlds at the far fringe of civilization—places of ragged, strange beauty where inventors, seers, and eccentric philosophers live in zealous communion with nature. “Too much exposition is the kind of thing that makes me bored with Hollywood movies,” Rivers says. “I like films that leave a lot to the audience.” Winner of the FIPRESCI Critics’ Prize at the Venice Film Festival. (88 mins.)

First Feature.

2/17 7:30pm Cinemagic

2/20 8:45pm Cinemagic

Co-presented with Cinema Project.

WASTELAND

Rowan Athale

“Cross Ocean’s Eleven with The Usual Suspects, move the setting to a northern English city, and you have the basis of this remarkable debut. Harvey had dreams of becoming a lawyer before being convicted of drug possession. We meet him in a police interview room. Bloodied, bruised, and recently paroled from prison, he’s about to be interrogated about the violent robbery of a workingmen’s club. What follows is a series of flashbacks as Harvey reveals his version of how he ended up back in the hands of the law. Wasteland has all the elements of a classic heist thriller: a likeable group of guys, a beautiful and reluctantly involved ex-girlfriend, revenge, and the sense that all can be forgiven if justice—even of the street variety—is served. A gritty, exhilarating ride.—Toronto International Film Festival.” (106 mins.)

First Feature.

2/10 4:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/12 5:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

GREECE

UNFAIR WORLD

Filippos Tsitos

“I don’t want to be unfair,” says hangdog Athens police interrogation specialist Sotiris (Antonis Kafetzopoulos). But in his line of work, and in debt-crisis-gripped Greece, there is little incentive for fairness. After a payment to an informant backfires into a blackmail threat, Sotiris experiences a “disobedient” trigger finger, settling that score…but the money goes missing. Surely cleaning lady Dora (Theodora Tzimou) must have seen it? Tsitos’s deadpan, absurdly comic crime story won the Best Director and Best Actor Prizes at the San Sebastian Film Festival and is this year’s Greek submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (118 mins.)

Filmography: My Sweet Home (01), Plato’s Academy (09).

2/17 4:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/22 8:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by the World Affairs Council of Oregon.

HONG KONG

A SIMPLE LIFE

Ann Hui

With perfectly judged performances from Andy Lau and Deanie Ip (winner of the Best Actress Award at the Venice Film Festival), Ann Hui’s moving film looks at the decades-long relationship between a man and his devoted family servant. Ip plays Ah Tao, who has worked for the Leung family for 60 years. For the past decade, the only member of the family left in Hong Kong is Roger (Lau), who works in the film industry. Having cared for Roger from childhood, Ah Tao suffers a stroke and asks to be admitted to a nursing home. There, she becomes part of a new family made up of colorful characters. All the while, as roles are reversed, Roger tenderly cares for her as she enters the final phase of her life. Based on a true story, A Simple Life delicately traces a decades-long bond with pathos and humor. This year’s Hong Kong submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (118 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Boat People (82), Song of the Exile (90), Ordinary Heroes (99), All About Love (10).

2/8 9:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/10 2:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by Perkins Coie.

HUNGARY

THE EXAM

Péter Bergendy

Following the failed 1956 Hungarian Revolution, the Soviet-appointed prime minister—a very paranoid János Kádár—orders that each and every national security office’s loyalty be tested according to new and rigorous directives. András supervises a network of civilians spying on their neighbors and coworkers. But little does he know that the government is now monitoring him as well. His superiors have chosen Christmas Eve to implement “the exam,” a procedure designed to challenge an agent’s loyalty without his or her knowledge. The problem with finding surprises is that you may find surprises. Bergendy’s sardonic thriller twists and turns through a world where nothing can be taken for granted and personal loyalty is subservient to survival. Winner of the New Directors Prize at the Chicago International Film Festival. (89 mins.)

Filmography: Stop Mom Theresa! (04).

2/13 8:45pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/18 5:15pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/21 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

JUST THE WIND

Benedek Fliegauf

This year’s Hungarian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar chronicles the final days of a Romany family living in a provincial Hungarian backwater. Hoping to reunite with their father in Canada before the ethnic violence that has recently claimed many neighbors’ lives finds them too, time is growing short as the authorities turn a blind eye to the persecution. Fliegauf blends neo-realistic elements—the actors are non-professionals, recruited from local villages—with atmospheric sound design and expressionistic use of music. “The film’s three leads are tracked by a roving camera in a naturalistic style reminiscent of Gus Van Sant’s Elephant; as in that film, the mundane is contrasted with the horrific, here highlighting the ingrained nature of racism and the isolating effects of poverty.”—Sydney Film Festival. Winner of the Jury Grand Prize at the Berlin Film Festival. (86 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Forest (03), Milky Way (07), Womb (10).

2/16 6:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/20 6:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

INDIA

BARFI!

Anurag Basu

In this timeless, enchanting fable, rising Bollywood star Ranbir Kapoor gives a winning performance as a deaf-mute man whose life is a series of comic and tragic misadventures. Dedicated to Charlie Chaplin and Buster Keaton, the nearly wordless Barfi! follows the resourceful title character as he falls in and out of love with the beautiful Shruti, whose parents pressure her into a respectable arranged marriage. Later, he finds love again with the autistic Jhilmil, whose father plots to defraud her of a sizable trust fund, only for Shruti to unexpectedly reenter his life. In between, Barfi finds himself caught up in a bank robbery, two botched kidnappings, and all other manner of slapstick mayhem. This broadly entertaining treat for film lovers of all ages is this year’s Indian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (151 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Saaya (03), Gangster (06), Life in a Metro (07), Kites (10).

2/9 2:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/10 6:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/12 7:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

Sponsored by Vindalho.

ENGLISH VINGLISH

Gauri Shinde

Shashi (Sridevi) is a beautiful, dedicated Pune homemaker, devoted wife, and mother. Yet because of her poor English, she is made to feel insecure by her husband and teenage daughter and by society at large. When she is called to New York to help prepare her niece’s wedding, Shashi overcomes her fears of traveling alone but is nevertheless overwhelmed. Humiliated for not been able to order a cup of coffee properly, she secretly enrolls in an accelerated English class and quickly becomes a dedicated student. With the other multi-ethnic students acting as a support system and boosted by the admiration of French classmate Laurent in particular, she rediscovers her own worth. “Breezy and charming but with much to say about the delicate balance between tradition and modernity, English Vinglish marks the return to the big screen—after a 15-year hiatus—of beloved Indian mega-star Sridevi.”—Toronto International Film Festival. (133 mins.)

First Feature.

2/14 8:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/17 7:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/18 2:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by Delta Airlines.

IRAN

MODEST RECEPTION

Mani Haghighi

Leyla and Kaveh are a mysterious pair from Tehran, traveling the mountainous countryside in their Lexus coupe to push big bags of money on the locals. This turns out to be not so easy but fascinating to watch as the cagey couple invent increasingly brazen stratagems to place cash in the hands of the wary, proud, or indifferent. Will they push things too far? Are they losing sight of their mission? What exactly is their mission? This bold, perversely fascinating comedy-drama unfurls with unexpected force amid subtle themes of power, privilege, and corruption. “Setting the scene is a brilliantly shot comic opener that starts the game over-the-top, in a tone which only gets shriller and wilder as the story goes on. By far the director’s most daring work.”—Hollywood Reporter. (100 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Abadan (04), Men at Work (06), Canaan (08).

2/8 9:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/10 2:15pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/16 3:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

Co-presented by the Global Film Initiative and Global Lens 2013.

IRELAND

MEN AT LUNCH

Seán Ó Cualáín

This remarkable documentary explores the untold story behind “Lunch Atop a Skyscraper,” one of the most iconic images of the twentieth century. Anonymously published in 1932 in the New York Herald Tribune, the photograph of immigrant workmen taking their lunch perched on a girder high above New York City on the 69th floor of Rockefeller Center symbolized an era. After exhaustive research, including interviews with archivists, photographers, and historians, Cualáín eventually uncovers compelling evidence that a few of the photo’s subjects may have roots in the small village of… Part homage, part investigation, this is the beautiful tale of an American icon, an unprecedented race to the sky, and the immigrant workers who built New York City. (80 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Maírtín Ó Cadhain: King of Words (06).

2/17 5:15pm World Trade Center Theater

2/18 12:00pm Cinema 21

Sponsored by Pro Photo Supply.

ISRAEL

THE GATEKEEPERS

Dror Moreh

“How exactly do six million people maintain control over several million stateless neighbors for 45 years? That’s how long the Israeli occupation of the West Bank has lasted. Some of the occupation’s instruments are obvious—border crossings, military checkpoints, soldiers on patrol. But the most vital and lethal lurk beneath the surface: the vast and ubiquitous intelligence network of the Shin Bet, Israel’s feared internal security organization. Using intelligence operatives and informants, interrogators and assassins, the directors of the Shin Bet enable Israel to fight any who take up arms—or suicide bombs—against it. Dror Moreh’s path-breaking documentary interviews six former directors, who describe in chilling detail how they did this and how their bosses, Israel’s elected leaders, led the Jewish state into a deadly quagmire of unending occupation and perpetual conflict.”—Telluride Film Festival. (95 mins.)

Filmography: Sharon (08).

2/17 5:15pm Cinema 21

2/21 6:00pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by the Institute for Judaic Studies.

OFF-WHITE LIES

Maya Kenig

A deadbeat Israeli inventor and his estranged teenage daughter try to reconcile their differences in this delicate blend of poignant coming-of-age drama and offbeat comedy. After years living in California with her mother and stepfather, sharp–witted but introverted 13-year-old Libi returns to Israel to spend time with her unemployed and homeless father Shaul. With the outbreak of the Second Lebanon War, Shaul devises a scheme to put a roof over their heads by posing as war refugees until they are taken in by a well-off family in Jerusalem. As the masquerade wears thin, the bemusing circumstances give way to a bourgeoning father-daughter bond forged by a shared talent for telling “off-white lies.” Winner of the Best Actor Award and nominated for six other Israeli Ophirs including Best Film, Director, and Screenplay. (86 mins.)

First Feature.

2/10 1:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/11 8:30pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/17 2:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by the Consulate of Israel and San Francisco.

ITALY

CAESAR MUST DIE

Paolo Taviani, Vittorio Taviani

Winner of the Golden Bear at the Berlin Film Festival and this year’s Italian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Caesar Must Die deftly melds narrative and documentary in a powerful drama-within-a-drama. In Rome’s Rebibbia prison, the prisoners prepare to stage Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar and in exploring the text find a tale of fraternity, power, and betrayal that parallels their own lives and stories. Seamlessly moving in and out of the text as they wrestle with notions of necessity and the boundaries of order, drama comes alive on multiple, and timeless, levels. “This latest masterpiece from Italy’s famed Taviani brothers not only serves as a deeply human document but a caustic portrait of our own imprisoned societies, reminding us that a life without art truly is a prison.”—AFI Fest. (76 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Allonsanfan (74), Padre Padrone (77), The Night of Shooting Stars (82), Fiorile (93).

2/8 9:00pm Cinemagic

2/11 6:00pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco, and the Italian Film Commission, Los Angeles.

PIAZZA FONTANA: THE ITALIAN CONSPIRACY

Marco Tullio Giordana

Giordana’s engrossing tale of terrorism, conspiracy, and deceit is based on a devastating true story set within decades of Italian political violence and resistance. A bomb goes off at a Milan bank in December 1969, killing 17 and wounding dozens of others. Detective Luigi Calabresi heads up the investigation of the crime, which many in the government want to pin on the anarchist left. Unconvinced, Calabresi wants to investigate the shadowy organizations on the neo-fascist right, including possible CIA connections. But after a key suspect meets an untimely death, the clock starts ticking for Calabresi as a malevolent, Machiavellian labyrinth of deceit by extremists, police, informants, and spies envelopes the investigation. (129 mins.)

Selected Filmography: One Hundred Steps (00), The Best of Youth (03), Sanguepazzo (08).

2/18 1:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/22 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco, and the Italian Film Commission, Los Angeles.

REALITY

Matteo Garrone

Garrone takes a critical swipe at contemporary Italian society and the powerful role of television and the media in instilling obsessive envy and lust for fame. After seeing a former reality star make an electrifying surprise appearance at his cousin’s wedding (one of several paid appearances for the enterprising self-promoter), common man Luciano decides to try out for the Italian version of “Big Brother.” Sure he will soon get the call, Luciano begins to conduct his life as if he’s already being watched. Playing Luciano’s delusions not only for laughs but for thoughtful, ethical examination, Garrone blends a Fellini-esque love for grotesquerie and fairy-tale surrealism with gritty Neapolitan social realism. Winner of the Grand Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. (116 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Land in the Middle (96), Roman Summer (00), The Embalmer (02), First Love (04), Gomorrah (08).

2/10 7:30pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/14 5:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco, and the Italian Film Commission, Los Angeles.

THE LAST SHEPHERD

Marco Bonfanti

Renato Zucchelli lives in the beautiful mountain farmlands just outside Milan. He is the last traveling shepherd in the region, the last man tending sheep in Lombardy, an area ever consumed by urbanization. Renato has a dream: to lead his flock into the heart of Milan to meet children who have never seen someone like him, showing them that dreams and freedom will always exist as long as there is still room to believe in a last shepherd. At once funny, touching, and serious, The Last Shepherd is ultimately a warm and endearing portrait of a man, his dog, his family, and his sheep, who conquer a city with nothing more than the power of imagination. (76 mins.)

First Feature.

2/13 8:30pm Cinemagic

2/16 8:15pm Cinemagic

2/17 12:30pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco, and the Italian Film Commission, Los Angeles.

SHUN LI AND THE POET

Andrea Segre

Winner of the Best First Feature Prize at the London Film Festival, this tender story begins with Shun Li working in a textile factory near Rome. She’s slowly paying off the broker who brought her from China to Italy, while trying to save money to bring her young son over. Transferred to work as a bartender in Chioggia, a small island town in the Venetian lagoon, she meets Bepi, a handsome old Slav immigrant nicknamed “The Poet.” A soulful friendship grows between them, but soon prejudice threatens their innocent relationship. Both a tender portrait of survival in an immigrant world and an exploration of Venetian life far from the Grand Canal, Segre’s delicate, bittersweet film showcases a memorable performance by Tao Zhao, who earned the David di Donatello (Italian Academy) Best Actress Award. (100 mins.)

First Feature.

2/9 8:45pm World Trade Center Theater

2/10 5:00pm World Trade Center Theater

Sponsored by the Italian Cultural Institute, San Francisco, and the Italian Film Commission, Los Angeles.

JAPAN

KEY OF LIFE

Kenji Uchida

“Kenji Uchida’s brilliantly entertaining comedy-drama is essentially a riff on Trading Places, but it takes the notion that we all play roles every day much further than John Landis ever dreamed. A failed actor, unlucky in love, steals the identity of an accident victim and finds himself prey to the attentions of the mob—he discovers that he’s now a famously ruthless fixer for the underworld. Meanwhile the actual fixer wakes in the hospital with amnesia and has to learn to live anew as a failed actor. Perhaps fortunately, a needy woman executive (having set herself a two-month deadline to get married) is on hand to help him and/or get in his way. Much of this is deliciously funny, not to mention brilliantly timed and acted with relish by the all-star cast.”—London Film Festival. (128 mins.)

Filmography: A Stranger of Mine (05), After School (08).

2/14 6:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/20 8:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by the Consular Office of Japan in Portland.

A LETTER TO MOMO

Hiroyuki Okiura

From anime master Hiroyuki Okiura comes this touching, fantastical tale of a young girl’s grief and the three mischievous spirits sent to look after her. After the death of her father, 13-year-old Momo and her mother move from Tokyo to the remote island of Shio. Here, Momo is haunted by the discovery of an unfinished letter her father was writing to her—and plagued by the presence of three heaven-sent goblins whose bumbling efforts to protect her tend to cause more chaos than good. “As gorgeous as Momo is to behold, the film’s sensitive portrayal of a teenager dealing with grief proves its most compelling element… With its complex characterizations and multiple storylines, [Momo] rivals mature live-action drama.”—Variety. Winner of the Grand Prize at the New York International Children’s Film Festival. (120 mins.)

Selected Filmography: key animator on Roujin Z (91), Ghost in the Shell (95), Jin-Roh, The Wolf Brigade (99), Paprika (06).

2/10 12:00pm World Trade Center Theater

2/12 6:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by the Consular Office of Japan in Portland and Chipotle.

OUR HOMELAND

Yong-hi Yang

This year’s Japanese submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar tells the moving story of a family divided by the historic political conflicts between Korea and Japan. During Japan’s colonial rule of Korea before World War II, thousands of Koreans were brought to Japan where they suffered painful discrimination. After the war, thousands chose to be repatriated to North Korea in hope of a better life. Few managed to escape their fateful choice. Japanese-Korean director Yong-hi Yang, born in Japan but from a North Korean family, tells the story of her brother Son-ho, who after living in North Korea for 25 years after leaving Japan at age 16, is given rare permission to visit his Japanese family and receive specialized medical care. Under the tense surveillance of a North Korean agent, Son-ho must come to grips with whether he has a place in either culture. (100 mins.)

Filmography: Dear Pyongyang (05), Sona, the Other Myself (09).

2/21 6:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/23 9:00pm Cinema 21

KENYA

NAIROBI HALF LIFE

David Tosh Gitonga

Despite his family’s pleas, 19-year-old Mwas leaves his small village for the promise of life in the capital and the dream of becoming an actor. Naïve and filled with hope, he quickly learns why the city is nicknamed “Nairobbery.” A few rookie mistakes land him in jail, which eventually leads him to fall in with a gang and survival on the streets via theft and violence. But underneath it all beats the heart of a dream. Working under the mentorship of German director Tom Tykwer (Run Lola Run), first-time director Gitonga has fashioned Kenya’s second-ever Best Foreign Language Film Oscar submission. “Fundamentally honest and vividly realistic.”—Hollywood Reporter. (97 mins.) In Swahili and Kikuyu with English subtitles.

First Feature.

2/11 6:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/17 7:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by OregonLive.com.

MEXICO

AFTER LUCIA

Michel Franco

Following a car accident, Roberto is left grieving the death of his wife and raising his emotionally distant yet self-sacrificing daughter Alejandra alone. The broken family uproots their lives in Puerto Vallarta and moves to Mexico City in hopes of starting anew. After Lucia focuses on Alejandra as she simultaneously attempts to deal with both her mother’s death and a drunken, teenage mistake that makes her the target of cruel harassment and abuse from her classmates. Ashamed and unable to tell her distressed father or anyone else about the escalating bullying at school, Alejandra’s silence ultimately takes a dreadful toll. This exquisitely told tale of the heartbreaking pain of insensitive bullying won the main prize in the Un Certain Regard section at the Cannes Film Festival and is this year’s Mexican submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (93 mins.)
First Feature.

2/17 2:15pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/21 8:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by the Consulate of Mexico in Portland.

HERE AND THERE

Antonio Méndez Esparza

Winner of the Grand Prize at the Critics’ Week at the Cannes Film Festival and a New York Film Festival selection, Esparza’s lyrical film captures the reality of the life of a migrant worker who struggles on both sides of the border. Pedro returns home to a small mountain village in Guerrero after years of working in the US. His daughters feel more distant than he imagined, and his wife Teresa is delighted that he’s back but troubled by their circumstances. With the money he has earned, he can create a better life for his family and maybe even start the band with his cousins he has dreamed about for years. But work back home remains scarce, and the temptation of heading back north of the border remains as strong as ever. (110 mins.)

First Feature.

2/16 3:00pm Cinemagic

2/18 5:00pm Cinemagic

2/19 6:00pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by the Consulate of Mexico in Portland.

POST TENEBRAS LUX

Carlos Reygadas

Reygadas’s enigmatic, visually ravishing film presents the occurrences around Juan and Natalia, a wealthy couple living in a stunning house in the lush countryside with their two little children and their pack of dogs. Mundane domestic events are punctuated by a series of disparate, occasionally fantastical subplots within a tableau of overwhelming beauty haunted by mysterious sinister forces. “In this expressionistic Mexican film, magnificent dreamlike exteriors together with memories and dream sequences tell the story of one man’s ability to resist temptation and stop himself from sinning. The story is at times told from the perspective of Satan, showing us the world through the Devil’s ambivalent eyes. The use of a nonlinear storyline gives way for emotions, hopes, and dreams of a family looking for redemption and the meaning of life.”—Stockholm Film Festival. Winner of the Best Director Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. (115 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Japón (02), Battle in Heaven (05), Silent Light (07).

2/20 6:00pm Cinema 21

2/22 6:00pm Cinema 21

Sponsored by the Consulate of Mexico in Portland.

NETHERLANDS

KAUWBOY

Boudewijn Koole

The European Film Academy’s Best European Youth Film and the Dutch submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Kauwboy tells the story of 10-year-old Jojo, who lives alone with his security guard father, a sometimes volatile man of few words. Missing his absent mother, a country singer said to be away touring, worried Jojo finds solace in an unexpected friendship with a baby jackdaw that has fallen from its nest. A tender portrait of a young boy trying to come to terms with a family that’s not what it once was and struggling to find a balance between reality and desire, this cinematic, emotionally astute film sensitively explores issues of loss and sorrow while painting a joyfully upbeat picture of acceptance and love. (81 mins.) In Dutch with English subtitles. Appropriate for ages 10+.

First Feature.

2/9 1:00pm Cinemagic

2/16 1:00pm Cinemagic

NORTH KOREA

COMRADE KIM GOES FLYING

Anja Daelemans, Nicholas Bonner, Kim Gwang Hun

“A winning, life-affirming fable about a young coal miner’s pursuit of her dream to become an acrobat, this is the first Western-financed fiction feature made entirely in North Korea. But this charming film wears its heavy historical mantle with grace, weaving a lovely, light-hearted tale whose themes—overcoming adversity and realizing the dream of a lifetime—upend our assumptions of a largely cloistered culture. Kim Yong-mi works as a coal miner in a small village. She dreams of one day joining the national circus and performing on the trapeze—despite the fact that she is deathly afraid of heights. When she is promoted and sent to the capital, Pyongyang, she seizes the opportunity. This gorgeously filmed romantic comedy transports us to a fantastic world seemingly out of time, with astonishing, candy-colored images of the seldom-seen North Korea.”—Toronto International Film Festival. (83 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Kim Gwang Hun—My Wish (01), Unforgettable Man (02), Watch Us (08), Great Bear (09).

2/10 5:15pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/15 6:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

NORWAY

KON-TIKI

Joachim Rønning, Espen Sandberg

Thor Heyerdahl’s intrepid 1947 journey across the Pacific on a primitive raft, made famous by his own book and documentary, comes alive in this spirited, visually dazzling epic. Ethnographer Heyerdahl (who couldn’t swim and had never sailed!), along with a motley crew, constructs a hemp and balsa wood raft inspired by the pre-Columbian Incas as a means of proving his theory that the Polynesian Islands were settled by South Americans crossing the 4,000-mile Pacific. What follows is the Peru-to-Polynesia excursion, which co-directors Rønning and Sandberg—employing a crew of hundreds and technological magic—fill with high-seas adventure and nail-biting suspense, set against majestic cinematography and the vastness of the ocean. This year’s Norwegian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (118 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Bandidas (06), Max Manus: Man of War (08).

2/17 7:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/19 6:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by the Norwegian Consulate General, San Francisco.

POLAND

80 MILLION

Waldemar Krzystek

80 Million is set in the autumn of 1981, 10 days before the proclamation of martial law in Poland. Three members of the anti-Communist union movement in Wroclaw miraculously manage to withdraw 80 million zlotys (circa $2 million US then) from the organization’s bank account, just before it is blocked by the authorities. With Security Service agents on their trail, a tense cat-and-mouse game that involves wily clergy, black market money changes, and committed Solidarity activists unfolds with inspirational drama and surprising twists and turns. Less a political film than a heist-thriller and dark comedy, this entertaining film is this year’s Polish submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (102 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Suspended (87), Dismissed From Life (92), The Little Moscow (08).

2/11 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/16 3:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/19 6:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

Sponsored by the Polish Library Association and the Polish Festival Nonprofit Organization, Portland.

PORTUGAL

BLOOD OF MY BLOOD

João Canijo

This year’s Portuguese submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and a critical and popular hit in Portugal, Canijo’s film balances nuanced social realism and intense melodrama to fashion a sprawling, humane portrait of a troubled working class family. Márcia is a weary matriarch who lives with her lonely sister Ivete and grown children—delinquent Joca and nursing student Cláudia—in suburban Lisbon. Cláudia’s affair with a married professor and Joca’s involvement with drug dealers threaten Márcia’s attempts to keep her family afloat. Employing tracking shots and overlapping dialogue, Canijo follows the family through the cramped spaces of the household, mapping the physical and emotional distances between the characters in a way that lends a sense of vivid vérité. (131 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Get A Life (01), In the Darkness of the Night (04), Misbegotten (07).

2/18 7:00pm Cinema 21

2/20 8:45pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/21 8:45pm Regal Fox Tower 6

TABU

Miguel Gomes

“The ghosts of F.W. Murnau, Luis Buñuel, Joseph Cornell, and Jack Smith hover above this exquisite, absurdist entry in the canon of surrealist cinema. Shot in ephemeral black-and-white celluloid, Tabu is movie-as–dream—an evocation of irrational desires, extravagant coincidences, and cheesy nostalgia that nevertheless is grounded in serious feeling and beliefs, even anti-colonialist politics. There is a story, which is delightful to follow and in which the cart comes before the horse: the first half is set in contemporary Lisbon, the second, involving two of the same characters, in colonial Mozambique in the early 1960s. Phil Spector’s ‘Be My Baby’ belted in Portuguese, a wandering crocodile, and a passionate, ill-advised coupling seen through gently moving mosquito netting make for addled movie magic.”—New York Film Festival. Winner of the FIPRESCI (International Film Critics) Award at the Berlin Film Festival. (118 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Face You Deserve (04), Our Beloved Month of August (08).

2/8 5:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/10 7:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by Nel Centro.

ROMANIA

BEYOND THE HILLS

Cristian Mungiu

Based on a real-life case of supposed demonic possession, Mungiu’s gripping existential drama takes place at a remote Orthodox monastery in Moldavia where devout young women give up all. Alina (Cristina Flutur) arrives to visit her meek friend Voichita (Cosmina Stratan), a nun in training, and desperately tries to convince her to return to Germany with her. But Voichita is unsure, and so the tougher but untethered Alina hangs around in hopes of prevailing. But as the days pass, the oppressive environment takes a further toll on Alina and her sense of identity. Soon, the conflict between personal empowerment and religious dogma leads to a harrowing prescription. For their remarkable lead performances, Flutur and Stratan shared the Best Actress Prize at the Cannes Film Festival. This year’s Romanian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar. (150 mins.)

Selected Filmography: 4 Months, 3 Weeks, and 2 Days (07), Tales from the Golden Age (09).

2/9 8:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/13 7:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by the Romanian American Society.

RUSSIA

WHITE TIGER

Karen Shakhnazarov

World War II is drawing to a close. Furious fighting is exhausting both the Soviet and Nazi forces. The more the Soviet army advances, the more often “White Tiger,” a huge, indestructible Nazi tank, appears on the battlefield. Emerging from the smoke of combat, it ruthlessly destroys the adversary and then swiftly vanishes. The Soviets decide they must build an extraordinary tank—with a team headed by a commander who was nearly burnt alive. Although he no longer remembers his own name, he has gained the ability to understand the mystical language of tanks… The pursuit of the monster begins. Who will win in this duel? “This strange, potent war movie plays like Moby Dick on the Eastern front, with a score by Richard Wagner. The strong aesthetic and suspenseful action sequences should wow audiences worldwide.”—Variety. (104 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Jazzman (84), American Daughter (95), The Rider Named Death (04), Ward No. 6 (09).

2/14 9:00pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/16 9:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/18 7:30pm Regal Fox Tower 6

SENEGAL

LA PIROGUE

Moussa Touré

It is estimated that between 2005 and 2010 more than 30,000 Africans set off for Europe in small boats, with more than 5,000 dying on the journey. La Pirogue is the moving story of a group of Senegalese taking the chance in hopes of a better life. Baye Laye is the captain of a fishing pirogue—an open-top, wooden boat—who dreams of earning a better living for his family. When he is offered to lead one of the many pirogues that head from Dakar to Spain via the Canary Islands, he reluctantly accepts the job, knowing the dangers that lie ahead. Adroitly capturing the dilemmas and dangers facing these desperate men, La Pirogue is a powerful depiction of a story that is universally human. (87 mins.) In French with English subtitles.

Selected Filmography: Toubab Bi (92), TGV (98).

2/16 6:00pm Cinemagic

2/18 7:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by Chipotle.

SOUTH KOREA

MASQUERADE

Choo Chang-min

During King Gwang-hae’s reign in 17th century Korea, conspiracies abound. Driven by paranoia, Gwang-hae (Lee Byung-hun) orders his councilor to find him a body double. Soon after finding the perfect lookalike in the form of Ha-sun, a simple jester and mimic, the king is poisoned, and Ha-sun is forced to take the stage. The ensuing events form the dramatic, and often comedic, heart of Masquerade, a riff on the classic Prince and the Pauper story. Instead of Gwang-hae’s rigid policies and demeanor, the new king has charisma and rules on far more personal and humanitarian grounds, thus risking discovery—not to mention social and military upheaval. It’s clear that goodness does not automatically serve the country’s stability. Though spiced with humor, Masquerade provides a thought-ful meditation on the compromises faced by those who, willingly or not, take the fate of a nation into their hands. (131 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Mapado: Island of Fortunes (05), Late Blossom (11).

2/11 8:30pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/19 7:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by the Oregon Korea Foundation.

PIETA

Kim Ki-duk

Lee Kang-do works as a brutal, merciless loan shark who threatens and cripples those who can’t make their payments. One day, a woman appears on his doorstep claiming to be the mother who abandoned him as a baby. At first he rejects her but eventually quits his job to spend his days recapturing the time lost with her. When she is kidnapped, he must track down the culprit, revisiting all those whom he has hurt in the past, only to discover that his mother is harboring a dark secret of her own. Taking his inspiration from Michelangelo’s Pietà, Kim’s searing, violent meditation probes the depths of human suffering as it explores the themes of guilt and revenge with gripping beauty. This year’s South Korean submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar and winner of the Best Film Prize at the Venice Film Festival. (104 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Isle (00), Address Unknown (01), Spring, Summer, Fall, Winter…and Spring (03), 3-Iron (04), Arirang (11).

2/9 6:00pm Cinemagic

2/11 6:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by the Oregon Korea Foundation.

SPAIN

CARMINA OR BLOW UP

Paco León

Welcome to the surreal and wild world of Carmina, a crass 58-year-old bar owner in Seville. When the insurance company refuses to pay up following a series of robberies, Carmina (director León’s real-life mother) has to find an alternative way of getting the money back to support her family. While she waits in her kitchen for her plan to develop, the chain-smoking Carmina reflects on her life, deeds, and miracles and feeds the goat that lives with her. A box office phenomenon in Spain, León’s charming and wild film won the Special Jury Prize, Audience Award, and Best Actress Award at the Málaga Film Festival. (70 mins.)

First Feature.

2/14 6:00pm Cinemagic

2/16 8:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Co-sponsored and organized by PRAGDA, with support from the Embassy of Spain, Washington; American Airlines; and the Secretary of State for Culture-Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.

THE DOUBLE STEPS

Isaki Lacuesta

The best way to escape from your pursuers without leaving any traces behind you is to walk backwards over your own footprints. This is what French artist and author François Augiéras (1925–1971) believed as he painted every inch of the walls of a military bunker in the desert and let it sink into the sand so that no one would find it until the 21st century. But who is Augiéras? A legionary, painter, writer, gunman, saint, thief, devil, or a mix of all this? Catalan filmmaker Lacuesta and one of Spain’s foremost living artists, Miquel Barceló, guide us through the Mali desert in search of a fresco painted by Augiéras in this gorgeous film that won the Golden Shell at the San Sebastian International Film Festival. (86 mins.) In French and Bombarian with English subtitles.

Selected Filmography: The Legend of Time (06), The Condemned (09).

2/17 3:00pm Cinema 21

2/19 9:00pm Cinema 21

2/23 9:00pm World Trade Center Theater

Co-sponsored and organized by PRAGDA, with support from the Embassy of Spain, Washington; American Airlines; and the Secretary of State for Culture-Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.

MADRID, 1987

David Trueba

On a hot summer day in a vacant Madrid during a period of social and political transition in Spain, Miguel, a feared and respected journalist, sets up a meeting in a café with Ángela, a young journalism student. He takes her to a friend’s studio. His intentions are clearly sexual; hers are less clear. Chance events force them together for more time than they would have chosen, and the pair, who represent polarized generations, are pitted in a witty, sensual, but unevenly matched duel involving age, intellect, ambition, and experience. The political and social context of the period provides the background to the power shifts that continually take place between them over 24 hours. (104 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Good Life (96), Soldiers of Salamina (03), Welcome Home (06).

2/11 8:45pm Cinemagic

2/14 8:45pm Cinemagic

2/22 8:45pm World Trade Center Theater

Co-sponsored and organized by PRAGDA, with support from the Embassy of Spain, Washington; American Airlines; and the Secretary of State for Culture-Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.

SLEEP TIGHT

Jaume Balagueró

Toiling silently amongst the residents of an everyday Barcelona apartment building, doorman César harbors a dark secret: his sole desire in life is to make others unhappy. When he sets his sights on Clara, one of his building’s cheeriest residents, his need blossoms into a full-fledged obsession. Embarking on a series of harassments, César becomes determined to ruin her life by any means necessary. Soon his thirst for others’ sadness becomes manically unquenchable. Balagueró delves into the perverse fantasies of a man on the brink and delivers an unnerving tale of obsession and torment that delivers nonstop thrills right up to its shocking conclusion. Winner of the Gaudi Awards for Best Director and Best Screenplay. (102 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Nameless (99), Fragile (05), [Rec] (07), [Rec 2] (09).

2/15 8:45pm World Trade Center Theater

2/17 7:30pm Cinema 21

2/23 6:00pm World Trade Center Theater

Co-sponsored and organized by PRAGDA, with support from the Embassy of Spain, Washington; American Airlines; and the Secretary of State for Culture-Ministry of Education, Culture, and Sport.

THE WILD ONES

Patricia Ferreira

Ferreira’s elegant triptych of coming-of-age tales follows three teenage friends and their individual struggles to define themselves amidst hard family conditions and a seemingly indifferent society: Graffiti artist Alex, ignored by his parents and faced with the mounting living expenses for an art grant he wins; kickboxer Gabi, who lives in fear of his domineering gym-owner father; and wealthy Oky, who lives comfortably but without affection from her parents. “The sins of parents and teachers are visited on their progeny and students in this largely subtle, compassionate, and perceptive take on bad education affecting a trio of Catalan teens… An engrossing drama as well as an urgent cry for social change.”—Variety. Winner of the Best Film and Best Screenplay Prizes at the Malaga Spanish Film Festival and of the Grand Prize at the Montreal Film Festival. (100 mins.)

Selected Filmography: I Know Who You Are (00), The Impatient Alchemist (02), Broken Hearts (05).

2/11 8:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/15 6:00pm Cinemagic

2/17 4:45pm Cinemagic

WRINKLES

Ignacio Ferreras

Adapted from Paco Roca’s comic book, winner of the Spanish National Comic Prize, this beautifully crafted animated feature focuses on the friendship of Emilio and Miguel, two senior citizens living in a care facility. Suffering from the early stages of Alzheimer’s, Emilio is apprehensive about moving into a nursing home. Helping him make the transition is his roommate Miguel, a rascally Argentinean. Both sensitively told and refreshingly acerbic, Wrinkles smoothes its challenging subject into an inspiring story full of charm, wit, and universal appeal. Winner of the Best Animated Film and Best Adapted Screenplay Awards at the 2012 Goya Awards. (89 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Tokyo Onlypic 2008 (08).

2/8 6:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/17 1:45pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

Sponsored by LAIKA.

SWEDEN

FLICKER

Patrik Eklund

Eklund’s surreal, acid-drenched film has been described as being like a Coen Brothers version of “The Office.” A deadpan comedy about phone towers, online dating, the odd tarantula, and a militant group of people allergic to electricity, Flicker is set in the small town of Backberga, where a local telecom company is planning to freshen up its profile under a clueless CEO. Meanwhile, the accounts person is trying to find love online, the cleaning lady fancies herself an inventor, and, out in the field, the linesman toys with death. Weaving in and out of these individual stories, Eklund offers a bittersweet satire while building a warm, if often absurd, picture of ordinary people trying to find their place in a rapidly changing world. Winner of the Best Swedish Feature Award at the Gothenburg International Film Festival. (100 mins.)

First Feature.

2/14 9:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

2/18 4:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

THE LAST SENTENCE

Jan Troell

The Last Sentence is a biographical drama chronicling the career of celebrated Swedish journalist Torgny Segerstedt, who conducted his own crusading campaign against the Nazis while navigating a fraught personal life. Officially neutral, Sweden’s leaders did their best to silence Segerstedt, fearing German reprisal, especially as the journalist began inciting the ire of top Nazi officials. Troell adds an element of the supernatural as Segerstedt is visited by the ghosts of his lovers, something that, rather than haunting him, gives him bleak pleasure in a chaotic world. Reminiscent of Ingmar Bergman’s Wild Strawberries, The Last Sentence tells a melancholic tale about aging, told through the story of a man of great importance to Swedish journalism and politics. Winner of the New Director Award at the Montreal Film Festival. (126 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Emigrants (71), Flight of the Eagle (82), Hamsun (96), As White as in Snow (01), Everlasting Moments (08).

2/13 8:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/17 4:45pm Regal Fox Tower 6

Sponsored by New Sweden and the Scandinavian Heritage Foundation.

SWITZERLAND

MORE THAN HONEY

Markus Imhoof

Einstein supposedly said, “If the bee disappears from the surface of the Earth, man would have no more than four years left to live.” All over the world, bees have been dying, and although the causes are still a mystery, one thing is already clear: more is at stake than honey. Seeking answers—and employing incredible cinematography—Imhoof embarks on a journey to meet with people whose lives depend on bees: a Swiss beekeeper living in the Alps, a gigantic almond plantation in California, a bee brain researcher in Berlin, and a pollen trader in China. All report on how the bees are vanishing. The film tells much about bees’ lives—and much about our own. (90 mins.) In German with English subtitles.
Selected Filmography: The Boat Is Full (81), The Mountain (92), Fire in Paradise (97).

2/14 8:45pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/18 2:15pm Whitsell Auditorium

Sponsored by the Consulate General of Switzerland in San Francisco and Chipotle.

TAIWAN

STARRY STARRY NIGHT

Tom Lin

Based on the children’s book by Taiwanese illustrator Jimmy Liao, the gentle Starry Starry Night follows the intersecting lives of inward 13-year-old Mei, who’s coping with the death of her grandfather and her parents’ crumbling marriage, and shy Jay, who endures a rootless existence caused by his abusive father. When Mei falls in love with Jay, a recent transfer student at her school, she finds solace from her troubles and begins a journey to find the missing parts of her troubled life. Venturing into the starry night, Mei and Jay set off on a romantic, perilous trip into the mountainous wilderness to find her grandparents’ cottage, a place of comforting memories, and destinations further. “A charming bit of whimsy that speaks to anyone who experienced a sense of emotional injustice during their formative years.”—Slant. (99 mins.)
Selected Filmography: Winds of September (08).

2/10 5:15pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/15 6:00pm Regal Lloyd Center 10

Sponsored by Steven Smith Teamaker.

TOGETHER

Hsu Chao-Jen

“A neighborhood’s lives and loves intertwine in this almost novelistic film, seen mostly through the eyes of 17-year-old Xiao Yang. Together’s various storylines cycle through several families who live on the same street in contemporary Taipei. Xiao Yang is a patient observer but not a neutral one: most of the love letters that charmingly still circulate in this working-class Taipei community pass through his hands, and he’s the catalyst of several of the story’s love affairs. The community includes a costume vendor, a Japanese-Taiwanese newlywed couple, and Xiao Yang’s sometimes violent, sometimes romantically inclined classmates. Everyone seems to be in the process of breaking up or finding a new lover. We are gently induced to interpret, to be active participants in framing the story. The result is a fully achieved first film of tangible power and abundant humanity.”—Vancouver International Film Festival. (114 mins.)

First Feature.

2/10 2:30pm Regal Fox Tower 6

2/15 9:15pm Cinema 21

UKRAINE

IN THE FOG

Sergei Loznitsa

Adapted from the novel by Vasili Bykov, Loznitsa’s film is a sobering meditation on the complicated moral decisions faced by both soldiers and citizens during wartime. Set in Nazi-occupied Belarus, the story begins with the hanging of three villagers for conspiring against their German oppressors. Later, Sushenya—a man spared by the Germans—is visited by two resistance fighters, who intend to execute him for presumed collaboration with the Nazis. But their plan is interrupted by enemy fire, and all three men become unwilling companions on an evasive trek through the forest. Through flashbacks, Loznitsa closely examines how each of the men reached this point in the chaos of war and their different responses. “An intense, slow-burning, and haunting drama […] shrouded in the fog of war, the fog of fear, and the fathomless fog of European history.”—The Guardian. (127 mins.)

Selected Filmography: My Joy (10).

2/19 6:00pm Cinema 21

2/23 6:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

UNITED STATES

ALIEN BOY: THE DEATH AND LIFE OF JAMES CHASSE

Brian Lindstrom

On September 17, 2006, James Chasse, a shy and gentle man with schizophrenia, was tackled by three police officers in front of dozens of eyewitnesses on a downtown street corner in Northwest Portland. He was not suspected of a crime, nor had he committed one, but nonetheless he suffered 17 broken ribs, a separated shoulder, a punctured lung, and numerous bruises and contusions—before dying. Chasse’s death and treatment shocked the city, asking profound questions about how we treat those with mental illness and what kind of a police force we want. Lindstrom’s moving film, six years in the making, provides both a detailed chronicle of Chasse’s tragic final hours and a deep look at the arc of his life from suburban childhood to trying to live as an independent adult with mental illness in a society ill-equipped to recognize his needs. (91 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Finding Normal (07).

2/15 7:00pm Cinema 21

Sponsored by Chipotle.

AMERICAN WINTER

Joe Gantz, Harry Gantz

Five years into the worst economic crisis since the 1930s, American Winter presents a telling snapshot of the state of our society as it exists for millions of Americans across the country. Shot over the course of the winter months of 2011–2012, the film follows eight Portland families—found through their calls to 211info, a referral service that steers thousands of families in crisis to available social services—battling to keep their heads above water while facing overwhelming financial challenges and a shrinking social safety net. The devastating effects of the mortgage lending crisis, soaring unemployment, a broken healthcare system, and the budget cuts to the social services are presented through the eyes of these families, all falling into poverty for the first time and struggling to keep their kids fed, clothed, and with a roof over their heads. (90 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Sex with Strangers (02).

2/17 3:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/18 7:30pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by OPB.

A FIERCE GREEN FIRE

Mark Kitchell

One of the great social movements of the 20th century, environmentalism continues as an urgent force in the 21st. Kitchell’s passionate film charts the advent of the modern environmental movement, from the early conservation causes of John Muir to the formation of landmark organizations like the Sierra Club and Greenpeace, to the creation of events like Earth Day and the continuing evolution of public conversation about the growing threats of pollution, climate change, overharvesting, and their effects on both our ecology and society. An essential primer for anyone interested in a broad overview of a remarkable era of global activism or anyone who might agree with one advocate’s observation: “There’s no Hispanic air. There’s no African-American air. There’s air! And if you breathe air—and most people I know do breathe air—then I would consider you an environmentalist.” (114 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Berkeley in the Sixties (90).

2/8 6:00pm World Trade Center Theater

2/15 6:00pm World Trade Center Theater

2/22 8:45pm Cinema 21

Sponsored by Chipotle.

HOW TO MAKE MONEY SELLING DRUGS

Matthew Cooke

“This fascinating documentary offers an in-depth look at the high-stakes world of drug dealing and drug enforcement, featuring interviews with top-ranking government officials and such celebrities as Woody Harrelson, Susan Sarandon, The Wire creator David Simon, and rappers Eminem, 50 Cent, and Rick Ross. Stylishly shot and cheekily framed as a subversive educational film, it takes a satirical look at a serious subject. Blending authentic reportage with pop culture references and a video game-like progression from level to level, the film illustrates step-by-step how to create a drug empire, from dealing on the corner to running a major cartel. Slyly, director Matthew Cooke builds a powerful case that drug policy needs rethinking, given the way in which drugs permeate all levels of society, current laws foster a violent criminal underworld, and punishment goes largely to the poor.”—Toronto International Film Festival. (96 mins.)

First Feature.

2/20 8:45pm Cinema 21

2/23 12:30pm Cinema 21

Sponsored by PDX Pipeline.

LA CAMIONETA: THE JOURNEY OF ONE AMERICAN SCHOOL BUS

Mark Kendall

Every day, dozens of decommissioned school buses leave the United States and migrate through Mexico to Guatemala, where they are repaired, repainted, and reborn as the brightly colored camionetas that bring most Guatemalans to work. Kendall’s lyrical film follows the migration of one Pennsylvania bus as well as the personal stories of five individuals whose lives become intertwined with its transformation. Like the bus that unites their stories, the choice between obsolescence and innovation defines their decisions, propelling them toward an increasingly uncertain future in a country where civil institutions and authorities are powerless to protect citizens from organized crime. What slowly emerges is a vivid and rich meditation
on the universal quest for mobility—and survival. (71 mins.) In Spanish with English subtitles.

First Feature.

2/9 6:00pm World Trade Center Theater

2/17 7:30pm World Trade Center Theater

Sponsored by KBOO.

LEVIATHAN

Lucien Castaing-Taylor, Véréna Paravel

Set in the North Atlantic, Leviathan is an amazing film about men at sea and fish on boats. Creatively (to use an understatement) deploying numerous small digital cameras, the filmmakers capture the sensory experience of the labor, ecology, sound, light, and motion of one of man’s oldest activities. “The filmmakers have made the ne plus ultra of immersive documentaries. In this stunning and unparalleled masterpiece, they have discovered new forms of cinema… See, hear, and feel it for yourself. It’s a monster.”—Vancouver International Film Festival. “The result is a hallucinatory sensory experience quite unlike any other. To paraphrase Francis Ford Coppola describing his Apocalypse Now, Leviathan isn’t a movie about commercial fishing; it is commercial fishing.”—New York Film Festival. (87 mins.)

Selected Filmography: Taylor—Sweetgrass (09); Paravel—Foreign Parts (10).

2/9 3:15pm Whitsell Auditorium

2/13 6:00pm Cinemagic

Sponsored by Chipotle.

LOVE, MARILYN

Liz Garbus

Marilyn Monroe may live as Hollywood’s most iconic sex symbol, but beneath the character she created and perfected was also one of the most self-possessed and ambitious artists in the industry. Drawing on Monroe’s never-before-revealed diaries and letters and never-before-seen footage and photographs, including materials from the Arthur Miller and Truman Capote estates, Garbus presents a fresh, vivid portrait of a savvy, disciplined, intellectually curious woman who, for all her tragic personal complexities (recounted in poignant detail as well), was much more than her glamorous stereotype. Expanding the conventions of traditional documentary, Garbus weaves in readings of Monroe’s writings by a surprising range of actresses and actors, emerging with an overall appreciation that will surprise even the most informed Monroe students. (105 mins.)

Selected Filmography: The Farm: Angola, USA (98), The Execution of Wanda Jean (02), Bobby Fisher Against the World (11).

2/16 3:30pm Regal Lloyd Center 4

2/18 4:30pm Cinema 21

2/23 3:00pm Whitsell Auditorium

URUGUAY

3 MILLION

Jaime Roos, Yamandu Roos

3 Million is a documentary for soccer lovers, but also for anyone who likes to root for the underdog. Like many countries, Uruguay’s heart stops and starts with the fate of its beloved soccer team. In this joyous documentary about the passion of soccer, the iconic Uruguayan musician Jaime Roos and his (Dutch) photographer son Yamandu follow the national team’s 2010 World Cup run to the electric semi-finals in South Africa. From Kimberley to Johannesburg to Cape Town to Pretoria, Jaime and Yamandu uncover truths about the players and the excitement of memorable games with the world’s top teams, as well as reveal their own relationship, which has its own suspense and surprise. A music-infused, father-son road trip in celebration of the powerful uniting force of sport. (135 mins.)

First Feature.

2/10 2:00pm Cinemagic

2/16 9:00pm World Trade Center Theater

Sponsored by OPB and SP Newsprint.

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