|January 17, 2020
Dear Friends and Neighbors,
Happy New Year!! Please forgive my tardiness in getting my first newsletter out this year. It appears that I've already broken my New Year's resolution to write my newsletter in a more timely manner, along with the resolution to hit the gym at least three times a week. Oh, well, tomorrow is another day.
We love the idea of turning over a new leaf. The story of the prodigal son, Saul on the road to Damascus. Everyone wants a second chance. Over the holidays I watched the The Kominsky Method on Netflix, and one character is a 40-something drug addict who enters rehab for the umpteenth time. When she promises her father that this time it's different, he doesn't believe her. I understand that. When we've had our hopes dashed time after time again, it's hard to imagine that it will all turn out differently now.
But we also believe that people, situations, and circumstances may change. At any point in our lives we can choose a different path. So, hurray for resolutions. Even broken, we've made some positive progress by simply imaging a new reality for ourselves.
I hope as we move into 2020, our country can move in a new direction. I can only speak for myself, but my biggest resolution this year is to open myself up to the change that is possible when we love and forgive each other. May the healing begin!
-- Alicia Ostriker - 1937
Whether it’s a turtle who drags herself
Slowly to the sandlot, where she digs
The sandy nest she was born to dig
And lay leathery eggs in, or whether it’s salmon
Toward pools that call, Bring your eggs here
And nowhere else in the world, whether it is turtle-green
Ugliness and awkwardness, or the seething
Grace and gild of silky salmon, we
Are envious, our wishes speak out right here,
Thirsty for a destiny like theirs,
An absolute right choice
To end all choices. Is it memory,
We ask, is it a smell
Or just what is it—some kind of blueprint
That makes them move, hot grain by grain,
Cold cascade above icy cascade,
A hundred miles
Inland from the easy, shiny sea?
And we also—in the company
Of our tribe
Or perhaps alone, like the turtle
On her wrinkled feet with the tapping nails—
We also are going to travel, we say let’s be
Oblivious to all, save
That we travel, and we say
When we reach the place we’ll know
We are in the right spot, somehow, like a breath
Entering a singer’s chest, that shapes itself
For the song that is to follow.
WHAT'S HAPPENING THIS WEEK
Portland Underground Film Festival
Friday, Saturday and Sunday, Jan 17 - 19
Yay!!! It's finally here--the 2020 Portland Underground Film Festival!
Underground films are borne out of love, not out of a desire for fame or to have an impact on popular culture, and our intent is to honor those films that excel in pushing the boundaries of the cinematic arts to create a new audio-visual language. The Portland Underground Film Festival (PUFF) has, at its core, a mission to pay tribute to those films and videos that challenge commonly held attitudes toward technique, content, and form.
Over three glorious days at the historic Clinton Street Theater, we will screen 100 remarkable shorts and one feature-length film in 14 separate blocks. We've curated a wide-ranging program reflecting unique and new voices. These films hail from 14 different countries, and offer a wide variety of underground films in every genre--music videos, experimental, documentary, horror/sci-fi/fantasy, political commentary, and comedy, along with shorts that refuse to fit into any one box.
The final block of the festival on Sunday night is dedicated to the Portland Film Community. Each month the Portland Film Community group meets at the Clinton to celebrate Portland films and the artists that make them, so this year at PUFF we are bringing the best of the best from 2019.
Each PUFF film, no matter the length, uniquely examines, explores, and celebrates the creative process and provides glimpses into deep universal themes. We can't wait to share these films with the Portland community.
For a quick glance at what's screening and when, the full schedule on the PUFF website provides a link to each of the blocks with general information about the films included. If you click on the name of the film, you will go to a page with detailed information about that film.
To make this art accessible to all, festival admission is “pay what you can." Please join us!!!
PUFF Day One, January 17
Meow Mix: Short Music Videos
Friday, 1/17/20 - 6:00pm
There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats. ~Albert Schweitzer
Extra Anchovies, Please: Sci-Fi/Thriller/Horror Shorts
Friday, 1/17/20 - 7:30pm
Horror films are the anchovies of the cinema. Either you like them, or you don't. ~George A. Romero
Not on the Map: Horror Shorts
Friday, 1/17/20 - 9:00pm
Searchers after horror haunt strange, far places. ~H. P. Lovecraft
PUFF Day Two, January 18
After Something: Experimental Shorts
Saturday, 1/18/20 - 1:00pm
There is no abstract art. You must always start with something. Afterward you can remove all traces of reality. ~Pablo Picasso
Scintillation Cocktails: Documentary Shorts
Saturday, 1/18/20 - 2:30pm
The artist is a receptacle for emotions that come from all over the place: from the sky, from the earth, from a scrap of paper, from a passing shape, from a spider's web. ~Pablo Picasso
Here Comes the Sun: Dramatic Shorts
Saturday, 1/18/20 - 4:00pm
Truth is like the sun. You can shut it out for a time, but it ain't goin' away. ~Elvis Presley
Unbowed, Unbent, Unbroken: Documentary Revelations
Saturday, 1/18/20 - 5:30pm
Courage is fear holding on a minute longer. ~George S. Patton
Personal Divination: Experimental Shorts
Saturday, 1/18/20 - 7:00pm
There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you. ~Maya Angelou
Feature-length Narrative: Sometimes Our Friends Come Over (and sometimes we're all alone)
Saturday, 1/18/20 - 8:30pm
One's real life is often the life one does not lead. ~Oscar Wilde
Day Three, January 19
No Dull Bits: Dramatic Shorts
Sunday, 1/19/20 - 1:30pm
Drama is life with the dull bits cut out. ~Alfred Hitchcock
Satyagraha: Political Shorts
Sunday, 1/19/20 - 2:45pm
Blind belief in authority is the greatest enemy of truth. ~Albert Einstein
Old Faithful: Experimental Shorts
Sunday, 1/19/20 - 4:00pm
For me, comedy starts as a spew, a kind of explosion, and then you sculpt it from there, if at all. It comes out of a deeper, darker side. ~Robin Williams
I'm Not Kidding: Comedy Shorts
Sunday, 1/19/20 - 5:00pm
Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious. ~Peter Ustinov
PDX Film Community Best of 2019
Sunday, 1/19/20 - 7:00pm
All year the Clinton Street Theater has hosted the Portland Film Community for a monthly celebration of Portland films and the artists making them. Here's the best of 2019!
Featuring the Short films:
63 Miles away (Honorable Mention, "The Engineer" & "The Red Shoes" )
Word on the Street
Iago - (Honorable Mention "Beg")
Tony Eats a shrimp,
King: A Filmed Record...From Montgomery To Memphis
16th Annual Martin Luther King, Jr. Tribute
Monday, Jan 20 @ 6:30pm
King: A Filmed Record...from Montgomery to Memphis is the landmark documentary that chronicles the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., from the beginnings of the Civil Rights movement in Montgomery, Alabama, and culminating with his assassination in Memphis in 1968.
Originally screened in theaters for only a single night in 1970, King: A Filmed Record combines dramatic readings by Harry Belafonte, James Earl Jones and Paul Newman, among others, with newsreel and archival footage to create a powerful and comprehensive record of Dr. King's legacy and the American Civil Rights movement.
King: A Filmed Record is an indispensable primary resource of a pivotal moment in American and world history.
This is a free community event. The documentary is three hours long, and you are welcome to come and go as needed.
DYING TO KNOW screening (RIP Ram Das)
Presented by the Portland Psychedelic Society
Tuesday, Jan 21 @ 7:00pm
The psychedelic pioneer once known as Richard Alpert died at age 88 a few weeks ago. So passed one of the figures who helped make postwar America vastly more individualistic, libertarian, weird, and wonderful.
Join us on the 21st to honor Baba Ram Dass and the life that he lived, the love that he gave, the wisdom he spread.
We will speak about the ways Ram Dass changed our lives before we settle to watch the film together.
DYING TO KNOW is an intimate portrait celebrating two very complex controversial characters in an epic friendship that shaped a generation. In the early 1960s Harvard psychology professors Timothy Leary and Richard Alpert began probing the edges of consciousness through their experiments with psychedelics. Leary became the LSD guru, asking us to think for ourselves, igniting a global counter-cultural movement and landing in prison after Nixon called him 'the most dangerous man in America'. Alpert journeyed to the East becoming Ram Dass, a spiritual teacher for an entire generation who continued into his 80s teaching service through compassion. With interviews spanning 50 years the film invites us into the future encouraging us to ponder questions about life, drugs & the biggest mystery of all: death.
We will also be creating a shrine on stage to help us grieve the loss of Ram Dass. Please bring a flower or leaf, or a meaningful token to place on the shrine. Items will be returned after the film ends and the shrine is dismantled.
OP/POP--Postwar Art of the Japanese Avant-Garde
Presented by Church of Film
Wednesday, Jan 22 @ 8:00pm
Built upon radical collectives, Japanese experimental art and cinema revived itself in the wake of the disastrous world war with renewed energy and purpose, adventuring into all media to explore a brave new world.
Our collection will focus on the pop art and op art innovations of a new wave of independent animation, such as the subversive, eye-popping work of the Animation Group of Three and Tadanori Yokoo, the conceptual film experiments of the Film Independents group, the work of artists such as Yayoi Kusama (Self-Obliteration), Tadanori Yokoo, and many more!
Tickets $5-8 suggested donation; no one turned away for lack of funds.
We're taking a break because we need to find more sponsors and gifters of raffle-prizes in order to continue. We also need a few good volunteers. If you're interested in how you can help, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
FERTILE GROUND FESTIVAL!!! The creators of Sirens of Coos Bay and Frankenstein: A Cabaret present a new musical set in Soviet-era Berlin, retelling Ovid's Pyramus and Thisbe, the original star crossed lovers, this time divided by the Berlin Wall. Reflecting on our own political moment of division and borders, the play documents Pyramus and Thisbe in love through a wall for twenty years before making a last desperate attempt to be together. MULTIPLE DATES AND TIMES. Check our website for more information.
For Black History Month, Melanated Sisterhood PDX presents the Hidden Colors Series. This five-part documentary film series was directed by Tariq Nasheed and produced through King Flex Entertainment, to explain and describe the marginalizing of African Americans in America and the world. Five different shows; each a different day and time. Check the website for more details.
Our Sixth Annual Groundhog Day Community Event is on Groundhog Day, of course!! February 2nd @ 7:30pm. Trivia contest, raffle prizes and quite possibly a very special surprise guest!
10 Minute Play Festival Open Casting Call is coming up Sunday, February 2nd from 10am to 5pm. All are welcome! There is nothing like being on stage in front of a packed audience. If you throw yourself out there, be positive and collaborative, and get cast in a role, we promise you one of the funnest experiences you will have in 2020!
How to Really, REALLY? (REALLY!) Love a Woman, produced/directed/performed by friend of the theater Eleanor O'Brien, is at the Clinton for one night only--Valentine's Day, February 14. This part vagina monologue, part TED talk, part stand-up comedy routine,
part true confession, part truth or dare invites the audience to celebrate a return to old-fashion goddess worship, with a modern twist!
Can't be with your sweetie on Valentine's Day? Well, we've got Eva DLuscious's Annual Valentine's Day Tribute to Led Zeppelin on Saturday, February 15. Burlesque and variety acts with Zepp covers from local band Scarlett Siren & The Howlin' Tramps.
If you're interested in buying a copy of my book, you can pick up a copy at the theater for $15. If you aren't in the Portland area, you can order one from Powell's Online Book Store, Amazon or Barnes & Noble. Not sure if you want a copy? You can read an excerpt in Hip Mama Magazine.
SafeOregon provides a reliable, anonymous method to report unsafe situations. Funded by the Oregon Legislature as part of a statewide effort to improve safety, SafeOregon offers a way to report concerns such as threats of violence, fights, drugs and alcohol, weapons, bullying, harassment, intimidation and self-harm. Find out MORE.
Get rid of your winter blues @ the Portland Winter Light Festival, a three-day vibrant outdoor art festival February 6 - 8 that features interactive light-based art installations, dynamic live performances, stunning kinetic fire sculptures, and educational programming. Now in its fifth year, you'll find over 100 artists, performers, and creators: www.pdxwlf.com.
The next Portland Womxn's March & Rally for Action is scheduled for Sunday, March 1, 2020. Save the Date!!! Details coming soon.
Forgiveness says you are given another chance to make a new beginning.
— Desmond Tutu
Don't be a stranger. Come see us soon.