|June 27, 2019
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
We're taking most of next week off to spend time with family and friends. 4th of July is coming, but I haven't been in much of a "rah, rah, yay, yay, U.S.A." spirit of late, especially with the daily and ongoing human rights offenses along our Southern border.
The poem for this week was first published in 1936, and sadly, Langston Hughes' supplication to the better angels of our nature is still necessary. But watching the debates the past two evenings I've felt a wee bit more hopeful. Happy Independence Day!
Let America Be America Again
Let America be America again.
Let it be the dream it used to be.
Let it be the pioneer on the plain
Seeking a home where he himself is free.
(America never was America to me.)
Let America be the dream the dreamers dreamed—
Let it be that great strong land of love
Where never kings connive nor tyrants scheme
That any man be crushed by one above.
(It never was America to me.)
O, let my land be a land where Liberty
Is crowned with no false patriotic wreath,
But opportunity is real, and life is free,
Equality is in the air we breathe.
(There’s never been equality for me,
Nor freedom in this ‘homeland of the free.’)
Say, who are you that mumbles in the dark?
And who are you that draws your veil across the stars?
I am the poor white, fooled and pushed apart,
I am the Negro bearing slavery’s scars.
I am the red man driven from the land,
I am the immigrant clutching the hope I seek—
And finding only the same old stupid plan
Of dog eat dog, of mighty crush the weak.
I am the young man, full of strength and hope,
Tangled in that ancient endless chain
Of profit, power, gain, of grab the land!
Of grab the gold! Of grab the ways of satisfying need!
Of work the men! Of take the pay!
Of owning everything for one’s own greed!
I am the farmer, bondsman to the soil.
I am the worker sold to the machine.
I am the Negro, servant to you all.
I am the people, humble, hungry, mean—
Hungry yet today despite the dream.
Beaten yet today—O, Pioneers!
I am the man who never got ahead,
The poorest worker bartered through the years.
Yet I’m the one who dreamt our basic dream
In the Old World while still a serf of kings,
Who dreamt a dream so strong, so brave, so true,
That even yet its mighty daring sings
In every brick and stone, in every furrow turned
That’s made America the land it has become.
O, I’m the man who sailed those early seas
In search of what I meant to be my home—
For I’m the one who left dark Ireland’s shore,
And Poland’s plain, and England’s grassy lea,
And torn from Black Africa’s strand I came
To build a ‘homeland of the free’.
Who said the free? Not me?
Surely not me? The millions on relief today?
The millions shot down when we strike?
The millions who have nothing for our pay?
For all the dreams we’ve dreamed
And all the songs we’ve sung
And all the hopes we’ve held
And all the flags we’ve hung,
The millions who have nothing for our pay—
Except the dream that’s almost dead today.
O, let America be America again –
The land that never has been yet –
And yet must be – the land where every man is free.
The land that’s mine—the poor man’s, Indian’s, Negro’s, ME —
Who made America,
Whose sweat and blood, whose faith and pain,
Whose hand at the foundry, whose plow in the rain,
Must bring back our mighty dream again.
Sure, call me any ugly name you choose—
The steel of freedom does not stain.
From those who live like leeches on the people’s lives,
We must take back our land again,
I say it plain,
America never was America to me,
And yet I swear this oath—
America will be!
Out of the rack and ruin of our gangster death,
The rape and rot of graft, and stealth, and lies,
We, the people, must redeem
The land, the mines, the plants, the rivers.
The mountains and the endless plain—
All, all the stretch of these great green states—
And make America again!
WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
Dungeon Battle Karaoke
Friday, Jun 28 @ 7:30pm. Are you ready for an adventure? Dungeon Battle Karaoke is a game show adventure combining elements of karaoke and tabletop roleplaying games. Players navigate an original storyline while using the power of song to face challenges along the way. I've been told it's the best thing since sliced bread. Spectators $12, players $20.
DARK ZONE THIRTEEN
Saturday, Jun 29 @ 7:30pm. Fitzofhorror.com called Joe Sherlock the “King of Indie Horror Anthologies,” and Joe says, “Since I’m in my third decade of making fun b-horror flicks and many of them are anthologies, I’ll take it!”
Sherlock’s latest is DARK ZONE THIRTEEN which reveals tales from the infamous unpublished thirteenth issue of a fictional lost pulp magazine, and had its World Premiere at this year’s Crypticon Seattle Film Festival in May. $7-10 sliding scale.
The Films of Suzan PITT
Wednesday, Jul 3 @ 8:00pm. Surrealist daydreams explode into a theater of miracles, sexuality, depression and anxieties in Suzan Pitt’s brilliant films, all of which required detailed handpainting and drawing and meticulous craftsmanship that required years to complete.
Inspired by Leonora Carrington, Betty Boop cartoons, comic books, and her own psyche, Suzan Pitt was widely recognized as one the world’s greatest animators. This set includes nearly all of her work, including JEFFERSON SONG CIRCUS (1973), her masterpiece ASPARAGUS (1979), which famously ran before midnight movie screenings of Eraserhead, her broodingly psychedelic JOY STREET (1995), all the way up to 2013’s PINBALL!
Brought to us by Church of Film. Tickets $5-8 suggested, and no one turned away for lack of funds.
The Clinton Street Resistance Series is taking a break for the summer. We return in September with lots of great films to watch and great nonprofits to support.
July's "KILLER QUEEN" is all about the hair, darling. Tons of great performers along with the regular cast of Killer Queen residents. July 5 @ 9pm.
Meet the iconic Tramp character who conquered the world with his comic antics. Charlie Chaplin was the first truly global superstar, drawing crowds in the tens of thousands wherever he traveled. This entertaining and informative presentation by Dan Kamin will be illustrated with rare and fascinating images, music and pristine restored film. Dan Kamin trained Robert Downey, Jr. for his Oscar-nominated performance inChaplin and created Johnny Depp’s physical comedy routines in Benny and Joon. ONE NIGHT ONLY--July 6th!!
Come join Ollie for a night of honest entertainment, in the 5th installment of "My Americana." Performed every two years since 2011, "My Americana" is an experimental performance piece with a single stage performer accompanied with a live musician and overhead projections. July 7 @ 8pm, tickets only $5.
Local-produced indie Feature ZILLA AND ZOE has a 3-day run in July! ZILLA AND ZOE started with a script that was quarterfinalist in Francis Ford Coppola's Zoetrope Screenwriting Contest and now filmed has turned into a movie that critics say "has the potential to become a classic family film" and "is a great first effort from a director ...of creativity and talent with …potential for future success". In the film, 10-year old Zoe is obsessed with making horror films. Sound familiar?
Music lovers head to the Waterfront Blues Festival Thursday, July 4th - Saturday, July 7th 2019 at Tom McCall Park. More fun than a barrel of monkeys.
15th Annual Lavender Daze Festival is July 6.
Portland Summerfest Opera in the Park, in collaboration with Portland Parks & Recreation presents VIVA VERDI! AN OPERATIC EXTRAVAGANZA on Sunday, August 4.
We have less than a dozen pics on our instagram account, and we used to have more than 1,000. It's a sad tale of loss and betrayal, too long and ugly to share here, but our Intagram account was hijacked (twice), and we've lost all of our photos and followers. If you've ever shared pics of the Clinton Street Theater and our events or you want to share some now, the new official instagram account is cst_pdx. Thanks.
Another group in town is using Portland Underground Film Festival in its name, but DON'T BE FOOLED BY IMITATIONS!!! Since its inception in 2004, the Portland Underground Film Festival has been part of the fabric of the Clinton Street Theater. We do not charge a fee for submissions and our tickets for the festival are "pay what you can." We don't focus on horror, grindhouse, or whatever genre "gross-out" might be, although we always have one or two shorts programs that focus on these gory gems. Our primary intent is to honor those films that excel in pushing the boundaries of the cinematic arts to create a new audio-visual language. SUBMISSIONS ARE OPEN NOW, and the true PUFF is coming the weekend of October 17 to 20.
I'm proud to announce that this year the Clinton Street Theater is one of the Pickles sponsors! Never heard of the Pickles? Go to the website and find out more!
You have to love a nation that celebrates its independence every July 4th, not with a parade of guns, tanks, and soldiers who file by the White House in a show of strength and muscle, but with family picnics where kids throw Frisbees, the potato salad gets iffy, and the flies die from happiness. You may think you have overeaten, but it is patriotism.
— Erma Bombeck
Don't be a stranger. Come see us soon.