commissioned by The Northwest Film Forum, Seattle, Wa.
curated by Vanessa Renwick
A lot of trees were cut down to make Portland, but the sap still glistens fresh with new creations. Tonight, visiting filmmaker Vanessa Renwick presents a sampling of great short films by Portland artists. The program features the first two films in Renwick's ongoing CASCADIA series of Northwest portraits, Gus Van Sant's new short FIRST KISS, made for the Cannes Film Festival's 60th Anniversary, and work by Jon Raymond (writer of OLD JOY), animator Karl Lind, Marc Moscato, Gretchen Hogue and many others. Don't miss this impressive survey of Portland's cinematic lifeblood.
The Mysteries of Life Kept Secret by Jo Jackson
Jo Jackson is an artist who draws and paints, sculpts sometimes and makes videos and films.
Battles on the Astral Plane by Jon Raymond
Battles on the Astral Plane was made using the facilities of Portland Cable Access in about 1995.
Jon Raymond is a writer living in Portland. He wrote The Half-Life, a novel, and Old Joy, a story that became a motion picture. Another story, Train Choir, has been adapted to film and is currently in post-production. He also co-edits Plazm magazine, and is a contributing editor to Tin House magazine.
Slow Dance Recyttal by Peter Burr, Christopher Doulgeris & Cassandra C Jones
Peter Burr, Christopher Doulgeris, and Cassandra C Jones, born in 1980, 1980, and 1976 respectively, began working together in 2003 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Their mutual interest in animation, narrative music composition, installation, and performance art has spawned a variety of artworks under the title SLOW DANCE RECYTTAL. In this particular story, a regal forest creature gathers magical tokens from the excesses of his world. The excesses of his world in turn gather him.
Disconnected by Karl Lind
A woman sits waiting by the phone while a million tiny hearts break and a lonely song stiltedly plays over and over. Somehow, everything is much more one sided than we would like it to be.
Karl Lind is a filmmaker; he is also the curator of the Odds and Ends Screening series. He has called Portland home for the better part of the last ten years, currently he is praying for snow.
Where's My Boyfriend? By Gretchen Hogue
A biological clock explosion! Penises and Fetuses! This one is for the ladies. Can you hear the ticking?
Gretchen Hogue is a film and video-maker based in Portland Oregon. She is also the director of the Portland Documentary & eXperimental Film Festival (PDX Fest, fer short).
First Kiss by Gus Van Sant
In First Kiss a projectionist becomes enchanted with a woman in a film he is projecting. Starry eyed, he leaves the projection booth to get a closer look at her. She sees him and waves seductively, as she wades in the ocean tide. He strips into a swimsuit and joins her on screen.
This short film was created as part of a compilation of shorts entitled "Chacon son cinema" which translates to "To Each his Cinema" that celebrated the 60th Anniversary of the Cannes Film Festival.
Gus Van Sant is an author, musician, and photographer, but is best known as a film director. His film career began with the critically acclaimed "Mala Noche". His works range from indie films such as "Last Days" and "Elephant", which won both the Palm D'Or and Best Director of the 2003 Cannes Film Festival, to major studio productions, including "My Own Private Idaho","To Die For", "Good Will Hunting" and "Finding Forrester". Gus is an involved member of the Portland community and has been a recipient of the ACLU "Freedom of Expression" award.
Wolves and Wolverines by Zak Margolis
The "Wolves and Wolverines" music video is Zak Margolis' visual interpretation of Old Time Relijun's often frenetic and sometimes meditative sounds. It's based on some of OTR's more mythical imagery as spoken by Arrington de Dionyso himself and even includes some of Arrington's own drawings. It follows the adventures of a man in a kind of emotional purgatory and his road to catharsis.
Zak Margolis is an artist and animator living in Portland, OR. He's been friends with Old Time Relijun members since before OTR even existed. His current work in progress is called "Moonbabies" which can be seen at www.endsound.com/drowningboy.
If I Wasn't Me I Would Be You by Harrell Fletcher
A video of people's scars with the stories of how they got them.
Harrell Fletcher has worked collaboratively and individually on a variety of socially engaged, interdisciplinary projects for over a decade. His work has been shown at SF MoMA, the de Young Museum, The Berkeley Art Museum, and Yerba Buena Center For The Arts in the San Francisco Bay Area, The Drawing Center, Socrates Sculpture Park, The Sculpture Center, The Wrong Gallery, and Smackmellon in NYC, DiverseWorks and Aurora Picture show in Houston, TX, PICA in Portland, OR, CoCA and The Seattle Art Museum in Seattle, WA, Signal in Malmo, Sweden, Domain de Kerguehennec in France, and The Royal College of Art in London. Fletcher exhibits in San Francisco and Los Angeles with Jack Hanley Gallery, in NYC with Christine
Burgin Gallery, in London with Laura Bartlett Gallery, and Paris with Gallery In Situ. He was a participant in the 2004 Whitney Biennial. In 2002 Fletcher started Learning To Love You More, an ongoing participatory website with Miranda July. A book version of the project was published in 2007 by Prestel. He is the 2005 recipient of the Alpert Award in Visual Arts. His current traveling exhibition The American War originated in 2005 at ArtPace in San Antonio, TX, and traveled in 2006 to Solvent Space in Richmond, VA, White Columns in NYC, The Center For Advanced Visual Studies MIT in Boston, MA, PICA in Portland, OR, and LAXART in Los Angeles. Fletcher is a Professor of Art and Social Practice at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon.
Fifty Years Later by Matt McCormick
Retracing the steps of family road trips and a forgotten roadside attraction. And a father's day present.
Matt McCormick is a 34-year-old artist and filmmaker who has made several award winning short films in recent years. His work blurs the lines between documentary and experimental filmmaking to fashion witty and abstract observations of contemporary culture and the urban landscape. His film Towlines explores the role of the tugboat in modern society, while American Nutria examines the plight of an imported species while chastising capitalism's tendency to create its own disasters. The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal makes the observation that the process of destroying one art form unwittingly creates another, while his installation piece Ride a Wave To Tomorrow's Sunset reflects on the need for 'synthetic meditation'. Matt is also the founder of the video label Peripheral Produce and the Portland Documentary and eXperimental Film Festival. When not completely immersed in cinematic endeavors, Matt may be found making music under the guise Very Stereo.
The More Things Stay the Same by Marc Moscato
The More Things Stay The Same examines the life and world of Hobo King, "Clap Doctor" and whorehouse physician Dr. Ben Reitman (1879-1942). From labor unrest to sex education to the genesis of the homeless crisis in America, Reitman's work continues to have importance and relevance to the hard-hitting issues of today. The More Things Stay The Same not only sheds new light on this lost but vital slice of underground Americana, but also provides an urgent rallying cry for the present.
Marc Moscato is a filmmaker based in Portland, Oregon. His work has screened at film festivals, small theatres and non-traditional spaces across the country, including the New York Underground Film Festival, the Chicago Underground Film Festival and Video Mundi Festival. He currently works as Communications Coordinator at the City Club of Portland, a non-partisan organization dedicated to promoting civic engagement. Previously, he worked as Publicist for Microcosm Publishing, a radical book publisher and zine distribution operation, and was Managing Director at Peripheral Produce, an independent video distributor and provocateur of the PDX Fest. Also a curator, he ran DIY multi-arts center My House in Eugene, OR between 2001-2003.
Blood and Sunflowers by Christiane Cegavske
Sunflowers smile. You lie there like dead. The demon rat creature brings needle and thread.
Christiane Cegavske was raised among the dark, dank Douglas Fir trees along the Umpqua River in Oregon. She escaped at the tender age of 17 to study painting and animation in San Francisco. She holds a B.F.A. degree in painting from San Francisco Art Institute and was the second youngest student ever accepted there.
She is currently living in Portland, Oregon after having lived in Los Angeles for a number of years working as a stop-motion animator and participating in gallery shows with her paintings
and sculpture. Her self-produced animated films include her animated feature film titled "Blood Tea and Red String" which is a charming story of greed, loss and death.
I WISH I WAS AN ANIMAL by Sarah Shapiro
Hand painted stop motion to go with song from new album of same title. A tender suicide note of sorts. The story of a girl who wants to leave the world, give up the quest for health insurance and cars, abandon her body and become a wild horse. She begs her lover to go with her and becomes a bear. They kill each other in a bloody battle under sparkling stars. The animals and birds all sing a funeral song and it goes ' la la la la la la la la'
Sarah Shapiro is a writer and director living in Portland Oregon. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College in New York she spent a year working with David lachapelle and then onto Hollywood where she sank almost 3 years into the dark reality show ghetto, directing steamy exotic dates on The Bachelor, and cursing the irony of a feminist working for the worst part of "the man". Hoping to use all the knowledge she gained to subvert the patriarchy, she fled north with a horse and a plan for a new tomorrow. She wishes she was a horse all the time, but sometimes is glad she has a brain. She records as a solo artist and with her band New England Roses (with JD Samson of Le Tigre and BARR of BARR) - she is still formulating a plan.
Portrait #1: Cascadia Terminal by Vanessa Renwick
A mesmerizing stare with a hypnotic score at the most efficient grain terminal at the port of Vancouver, B.C. Cascadia Terminal...this place, a grain elevator in Vancouver, B.C....a place where many kids used to hang out and get high and make out, a ruin of sorts, even though it is still operating. A large industrial space within the city, on the water, giving one the feeling of space, of being maybe further out in the country. There even used to be a squat there in an industrial bldg. near the property for a bit. Since shooting this film Cascadia Terminal has become tied up with "homeland security" type port issues, and it is not possible to go and hang out there anymore.
Portrait #2: Trojan by Vanessa Renwick
Trojan Nuclear Facility, Oregon's powerful iconic landmark, goes adios.
Vanessa Renwickis the Founder and janitor of the Oregon Department of Kick Ass
A filmmaker by nature, not by stress of research. She puts scholars to rout by solving through Nature's teaching problems that have fretted their trained minds. Her iconoclastic work reflects an interest in place, relationships between bodies and landscapes, and all sorts of borders. Working in experimental and poetic documentary forms, she produces films, videos and installations that explore the possibility of hope in contemporary society.