Here's the latest on what's going on at the Clinton Street Theater. For more info, check out
September 27, 2019

Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Thanks to everyone for the overwhelming love and support during the past few weeks. My father died on September 18th, and even though he was 90 and in poor health, the precipitous decline caught me off guard, and I wasn't prepared to say goodbye.

My relationship with my father was not always a good one. But he was still my father, and I loved him. I was worried that the funeral would be a bit preachy, but I was grateful that the pastor chose to speak on my dad's hospitality, which was unending to the end. He always welcomed strangers into our home. Missionaries on sabbatical were frequent guests, as were the single service men stationed with my dad at Tinker Air Force Base, who were hungry for a home-cooked meal. We had several childhood friends, who, for whatever reason, stayed with us for weeks and months on end, even though there were already seven of us packed into a 1200 square foot house with only one full bathroom.

The pastor also shared the story that recently, as my father's Alzheimer's became more acute, he woke one morning completely confused. He kept asking why he was sleeping in a rich man's house. My father came from humble beginnings. His parents never owned their own home--they were dirt poor sharecroppers in Arkansas. The home I grew up in was also modest--an enlisted man's paycheck didn't stretch far. So the home he lived in when he died must have seemed very rich indeed, since it was beautifully furnished and more than anything, it had a flushable toilet and hot, running water.

It's easy sometimes to compare ourselves to those who have more, and covet what we don't have; when in actuality, we really do have so much. In the volunteer work I've done in Nicaragua, it was apparent that often those who have next to nothing are the most generous, while those who have millions and billions live only for their greed for more, more, more. 

My father started out with nothing, and he would have shared all that he had with friend and foe alike. In the days and weeks ahead, I will find comfort in these thoughts, and endeavor to act with the same open-hearted generosity.


Like Any Messiah Taken Unaware by Death

Aisha al-Saifi


Like any Messiah taken unaware by death
I saw my father                he was nodding to the palms, surrendered
To his sweet sad songs, was greeting
Happily the doves which settled on his shoulder

Alone     no shadow to soften his loneliness 
Alone the clouds    were praying to him

And I was calling    Father! Death is colder than a cup of water on my body, and
Fonder to me than sand

Father    the water surrounds me with longing and there is no time to shame the night 
With light, and melancholy with memories


My father, answering
What is gone     is gone


Prepare your exiles for the hard years, turn absence 
Into silver ribbons through your hair
Push your hands into the pockets of your shirt
Out comes your country 
Brimming ashes, fragment-crammed


Father     the directions have exhausted me


My father, saying  
What is gone     is gone


Distance has left me limp, father
Hunger is complete with me
And I am full with all the countries that threw me 
A babe into the river
This longing is no great thing to me
Earth switched on me, the skies
Are not the skies

No light to guard me     for distance betrays
No wind to bear me    for the clouds they age

Between my shadow and me / the butterflies    
Enchanted by the poems and the songs


My father, saying  
What is gone     is gone


Neither will the butterflies restore childhood to the water
Nor mother tongue loan you its ABC names
Nor dream pack your soul with clouds    Nor poetry, nor hopes


Like any Messiah taken unaware by death         My father
It was not a dream I saw, it was 
Reading the secret of drought on the palms
It was too much for poetry          but no great thing to death

I was calling to him: Father of wind
Father of water
Father of night
Father of hunger

                                      Father of death
                 Father of death
Father of death 

Surrendered to his sad yearning songs
Greeting the doves 
Which settled on his shoulders

Like any Messiah taken unaware by death

My father, saying
Be not afraid. Of mortal flesh is Man
Of mortal flesh is every son
Of Adam

What is gone     is gone




Friday, Sep 27 @ 4:00pm, Saturday, Sep 28 @ 2:00pm, Thursday & Friday, Oct 3 - 4 @ 7:30pm.

Premiering at Tribeca and going on to play Overlook, Fantasia, and Fright Fest, among others, BLISS is a hallucinatory hell-ride into the seedy Los Angeles underbelly. 

Struggling artist Dezzy (Dora Madison) breaks free of her major creative block by indulging in a new designer drug that not only inspires her painting, but also leaves her with an insatiable hunger for human blood. As the body count mounts in-step with progress on her new masterpiece, Dezzy finds herself spiraling into an addiction from which there may be no recovery.

Shot in gloriously gritty 16mm yet mastered in 4K, the film is a sensory experience that’s almost tactile, and has been compared to the classic works of Abel Ferrara with a Gaspar Noe vibe.

Tickets $7-10 suggested; no one turned away for lack of funds. $8 ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE.


Flamenco Syndrome

A Portland Premiere!!!

Friday, Sep 27 @ 7:00pm. Tickets $5; AVAILABLE IN ADVANCE.

Espacio Flamenco Portland and Portland Flamenco Events are proud to present: Flamenco Syndrome.

The passion for flamenco dance takes the Indian-American filmmaker Bijoyini Chatterjee to Jerez (Spain). The encounters with the gypsies and the "payos" flourish in friendships and the filmmaker tries to understand the Flamenco Syndrome: the inexplicable seduction by the mysterious songs and by the addiction to the dance. As the music penetrates her pores, the filmmaker is deeply transformed by songs, dance, people and landscapes. The film reflects on how to sing the songs of others and in the process reveals the essence of one in a foreign and predominantly gypsy culture that has an incredible attraction.

We will be connecting with filmmaker Bijoyini Chatterjee via Skype for a brief Q&A following the film.



Friday, Sep 27 @ 9:30pm, Saturday, Sep 28 @ 4:00pm, Monday, Sep 30 @ 4:00pm, Tuesday, Oct 1 @ 7:00pm, Wednesday, Oct 2 @ 4:00pm, Thursday, Oct 3 @ 4:00pm.

ZEROVILLE is about Hollywood's upheaval in the 1970s. Vikar (James Franco) rides the bus into Hollywood with a tattoo of Montgomery Clift and Elizabeth Taylor as they appear in A Place in the Sun on his shaved head. Making an impression on the beautiful actress Soledad (Megan Fox), and friends with Hollywood producer “Viking Man” (Seth Rogen) and editor Dottie (Jackie Weaver), Vikar begins a dreamlike journey into the world of films where he makes a tragic and almost horrific discovery. 

ZEROVILLE is based on the novel by Steve Erickson, written by Paul Felton and Ian Olds, and produced by James Franco, Vince Jolivette, and Michael Mendelsohn. 

Tickets $7-10 sliding scale; $8 ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE.



Saturday & Sunday, Sep 28 - 29 @ 7:30pm. 

MANHATTAN SHORT is one of my favorite shorts festivals each year. Nicholas Mason, founding director, curates an assortment of amazing short films from all over the world. The line-up is always thrilling, engaging, thought-provoking, and more. 

MANHATTAN SHORT is not a touring Festival; rather, it is an instantaneous celebration that occurs simultaneously across the globe, bringing great films to great venues and allowing the audiences to select their favorites. If the Film Festival experience truly is about getting great works in front of as many eyes as possible, MANHATTAN SHORT offers the ultimate platform -- one that sees its films screened in Sydney, Mumbai, Moscow, Kathmandu, Vienna, Cape Town to cinemas in all fifty states of the United States and beyond.

The fun part of the festival is that you get to vote for Best Film. When you arrive, you will be handed a voting card upon entry, and asked to vote for the ONE film you think should win. Votes are tallied by each cinema and sent through to MANHATTAN SHORT HQ. The over all winner is announced on Monday October 7, 2019.

"In times like these, cross-border events like MANHATTAN SHORT that contribute towards greater tolerance and understanding are needed now more than ever. This is a festival that's about communities bonding together via their local cinema. I want to thank and congratulate all the filmmakers and cinemas involved in the global cinematic event. MANHATTAN SHORT is not going to cable TV or Video on Demand or anywhere else. So get down to your local theater to see 9 of the best short films the world has to offer," said Founding Director Nicholas Mason. 

Tickets $7-10 sliding scale; no one turned away for lack of funds. $8 ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE.



Presented by Portland JACL

Sunday, Sep 29 @ 2:30pm. $10 general admission; $8 for JACL members (if purchasing in advance, please contact JACL for the promotional code). ADVANCE TICKETS AVAILABLE.

HIRO'S TABLE is a film portrait of master chef Hiroji Obayashi and his wife Yasuyo tending to both their family and their restaurant, Hirozen’s Gourmet. It’s a story of immigration, following your dream, cooking and all of the joys and sorrows that life entails.

Q & A with the director and producer Lynn Hamrick and Hiroji and Yasuyo Obayashi who now make Portland their home.

Founded in 1929, the Japanese American Citizens League is the oldest and largest Asian American civil rights organization in the United States. A membership-driven national organization whose mission is to secure and uphold human and civil rights, and to promote and preserve the cultural heritage and values of Japanese Americans.



Monday, Sep 30 @ 7:00pm. FREE screening. Please consider making a donation to our nonprofit partner, ADELANTE MUJERES. Reserve your seat and make a $5 donation in advance.

In 1996 Ry Cooder gathered together some of the greatest names from the history of Cuban music to collaborate on the best selling and Grammy winning album The Buena Vista Social Club. This ground-breaking documentary, inspired by the album, includes appearances by legendary performers Ry & Joaquim Cooder, Ibrahim Ferrer, Ruben Gonzales, Eliades Ochoa, Omara Portuondo, Compay Segundo and many other renowned Cuban Musicians.

One of the best and most impactful documentaries of the 1990s, Wim Wenders' exhilarating feature is at once a trbute to a pre-Castro generation of musicians as well as a largely bygone genre.
Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com

Tonight's nonprofit partner is ADELANTE MUJERES, which provides holistic education and empowerment opportunities to marginalized Latina women and families to ensure full participation and active leadership in the community.

Mister Designer

A Church of Film Presentation

Church of Film is a weekly gathering for the reverence and worship of cinema programmed and hosted by local cinephile Muriel Lucas. Welcome back from your overseas adventures, Muriel!!!

MISTER DESIGNER tells the story of Platon Andreyevich, an ingenious artist and designer, who  at one time led the avant-garde with a treatise on how the artist might perfect the imperfect creations of the gods. Now he seems to be slipping into madness. He is obsessed with using models to create lifelike dolls, and haunted by strange memories. One day he is approached by a wealthy client to design a house for his wife. But the man’s wife seems strangely familiar—-is she one of Platon’s former models, or one of his dolls?

Oleg Teptsov’s MISTER DESIGNER is a lavish gothic tale based on a story by Alexander Grin (Morgiana) that builds towards a spiraling, hallucinatory climax of horror and psychedelic lunacy. Also, the soundtrack is a killer!



DAY OF THE JACKAL, October 7; BRAZIL, October 14; ERASERHEAD, October 21; BEETLEJUICE, October 28; KUNG FU HUSTLE, November 11; TREMORS, November 25; HOW THE GRINCH STOLE CHRISTMAS, December 9; THE DARK CRYSTAL, December 16.

I don't wish to sound rude, Inspector, but wouldn't it be better if this sort of routine inquiry could be conducted through the proper channels, preferably when we're all awake?

You're invited to join us on Saturday, October 5 @ 2pm for a wonderful event, honoring and celebrating the stories of Produced by Her! Produced By Her is a youth documentary filmmaking program that inspires teenage girls to share the stories of women through documentary filmmaking.

Whisper Skin Theater presents The Rawness of Things October 11-13 @ 8pm. Journey with WHISPER SKIN through the caverns of the human psyche. Ten original surrealist dramas, written by five women-identified playwrights from ALL walks of life, traversing grief, trauma, motherhood, love, hauntings, forest spirits, other worldly beings, myth, loss of identity, reclaiming of self, and courage. Tickets on sale now for $15.

ORAEYC presents NO SMALL MATTER on October 23 & 24 @ 7pm. NO SMALL MATTER confronts America's most pressing problems with an unlikely but powerful weapon: babies and young children. This is a free community event.



Submissions are closed, but because of my father's death and my inability to properly promote the festival, PUFF has been postponed until January.

Two performances left--tonight and tomorrow at 7:30pm.

2019 Portland Greek Festival is October 4 - 6. Three days of authentic Greek cuisine, music, dance, family and much more!!!

2019 NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon Annual Gala is Saturday, October 5. Please join NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon for its biggest event of the year, and join them in fighting to protect and expand reproductive rights for all people.

Imagining a World Beyond Policing is Friday, October 11. Presentation by Alex S. Vitale, Professor of Sociology and Coordinator of the Policing and Social Justice Project at Brooklyn College. It will be followed by a Panel Discussion, Audience Q & A, and Book Signing. Childcare and ASL Interpretation will be available.

For Lovers of the Strange and Unusual. . . For the first time . . . The Portland Oddities & Curiosities Expo! Saturday, October 19th.

The publication of my memoir UNFIT: The Tale of One Pregnant Teen in the Time Before Roe v Wade has been postponed until December. If you would like to be on a list for presale announcements, please contact me directly at


Generosity is not giving me that which I need more than you do, but it is giving me that which you need more than I do.
Khalil Gibran

Don't be a stranger. Come see us soon.

Kind regards,

Lani Jo

Every Saturday night since April 1978, the historic Clinton Street Theater has played host to The Rocky Horror Picture Show.

On the first, third and fifth Saturdays of the month, members of our very own shadowcast, the Clinton Street Cabaret, perform live while the movie plays on the screen behind them. On the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, the Rocky Horror Picture Show is "Be It Yourself," turning the attention on YOU the audience. You bring the costumes! You bring the dance numbers! You bring the fun!

So unpack that French Maid's dress from that box behind the kids' old toys and dust off your tap shoes. Bring your rice, the toast, and some friends and come on down to the longest running RHPS in the WORLD! No matter when you decide to come, whether you are are a virgin or a veteran you'll delight in this cinematic right of passage and cherished Portland tradition.

Doors open at 11:30pm
Copyright © 2019 Clinton Street Theater, All rights reserved.

This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Clinton Street Theater · 2522 SE Clinton Street · Portland, OR 97202 · USA