Visiting Artists

Visiting Artists

2013-2014 PROGRAM

An core part of Northwest Film Forum's mission is to discover and champion the work of visionary filmmakers: join us as we bring an array of film artists and arts professionals to speak in person about new film, both on and off our screens.

Special support provided by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

Want to talk movies with other film lovers? Join us for our monthly, free Framing Pictures critics' talk.

 

Surviving Cliffside

Director Jon Matthews in attendance!

Conversation at 4pm before the screening with Jon Matthews, filmmaker Amy Benson, and program director Courtney Sheehan

Nov 02

(Jon Matthews, United States, 2014, 65 min)

Surviving Cliffside opens with a title card that reads, “dedicated to my homestate of West Virginia and all her complexities, contradictions, and immense beauty.” Those complexities and contradictions are explored through tender contemplation and unconventional narrative structure in this rare portrait of rural West Virginia. 

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American Interior

With an introduction by director/musician Gruff Rhys! 

Come see the film before Gruff's show around the corner at Barboza
Bring your concert ticket stub and get a $1 off your movie ticket!
 

Nov 14

(Dylan Goch, Gruff Rhys, Wales, 2014, Blu-Ray, 91 min)

Gruff Rhys of Welsh electro-psych rock outfit Super Furry Animals embarks on a quest into the American interior to retrace his ancestor’s footsteps. In the late 18th century, Welsh explorer John Evans became convinced that a fellow countryman had discovered the Americas. To prove his point, he set out on his own in search of a Welsh-speaking Native American tribe, and along the way mapped the Missouri river (a document that proved handy for Lewis and Clark) and entrenched himself in the contested frontier. 

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A Spell to Ward Off Darkness

Director Ben Russell in attendance!
With introduction and Q&A moderated by film critic Jay Kuehner! 

Nov 15

(Ben Rivers and Ben Russell, 2013, Estonia/France/Germany, DCP, 98 min)

The first major collaboration of celebrated film and media-makers Ben Rivers (Two Years at Sea) and Ben Russell (Let Each One Go Where He May) proposes a different dialectic for artistic partnership. A mysterious loner roams across three movements: a commune on a small Estonian island, the majestic wilderness of Northern Finland, and a black metal concert in Norway. The lead performance by Brooklyn-based musician Robert A.A Lowe fuses the psychedelic, mystical threads of Russell's work and the dedicated nomadism of Rivers'.

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The Unity of All Things 物之合

Visiting filmmaker Daniel Schmidt in attendance!

Apr 19

(Alexander Carver and Daniel Schmidt, United States, 2013, 97 min)

Shot in three languages, two types of film (16mm and 8mm) and in locations ranging from China to Chicago to CERN in Switzerland, The Unity of All Things is a work of experimental science fiction about the construction of a particle accelerator on the U.S./Mexico border.

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We Are Alive! The Fight to Save Braddock Hospital

Visiting filmmaker Tony Buba!

Feb 16

(Tony Buba, Tom Dubesnky, United States, 2013, 95 min)

We Are Alive! The Fight To Save Braddock Hospital chronicles a small town’s fight for quality healthcare for all. The residents from Braddock, Pennsylvania waged war against the ten billion dollar non-profit/medical corporate giant University of Pittsburgh Medical Center to keep their community hospital open. Home to a YMCA, a chapel and the town's only restaurant, the hospital employed 630 people, and its emergency room served over 25,000 patients a year. Winner of the Studs Terkel Award for Media and Journalism.

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Photo by Andrew Kolker.

Getting Back to Abnormal

Visiting filmmaker Paul Stekler!

Feb 23

(Louis Alvarez, Andrew Kolker, Peter Odabashian, Paul Stekler, United States, 2013, 92 min)

New Orleans' long history of political dysfunction gets a new lease on life when Stacy Head, a polarizing white woman, wins a seat on the city council after Katrina. Four years later, she needs to get black votes to be re-elected. Getting Back to Abnormal follows the odd couple of Head and her irrepressible political advisor, Barbara Lacen-Keller, as they try to navigate New Orleans' complicated political scene. Featuring provocative commentary from New Orleans cultural figures like David Simon (Treme, The Wire).

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differently, Molussia

Director in attendance!

Nov 27, 2013

(Nicolas Rey, France, 2013, 16mm, 81 min)

Based on fragments from Günther Anders’ novel The Molussian Catacomb, which was written between 1932 and 1936, Nicolas Rey’s captivating nine-part film presents allegorical stories and musings by political prisoners sitting in the pits of an imaginary fascist state called Molussia. Shown in random order whenever it is screened (there are 362,880 potential versions of the film), the film’s nine 16mm reels ruminate on capitalism, imperialism and resistance—accompanied by gritty, unsettling self-processed images of undefined landscapes. 

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Pasolini’s Last Words

Director in attendance!

West Coast premiere!

Aug 23, 2013

(Cathy Lee Crane, United States, 2012, Blu-ray, 60 min)

Pier Paolo Pasolini is one of Italy's most important filmmakers, but he made his name first as a poet. This biographical film tells the story of the poet and filmmaker’s shocking murder in 1975, using film footage of his life alongside the texts he published or left unfinished during his last year. A telling account of an artist whose work demands to be re-discovered.

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Off Label

Directors in attendance Friday & Saturday!

Sep 06 - Sep 12, 2013

(Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri, 2012, United States, Digital, 80 min)

Like an urban legend, the specter and scope of America's pharmaceutical dependence keeps most of us from even dwelling on the issues it provokes, which is what makes Off Label a miraculous investigation. Telling the stories of those affected by the pharmaceutical industry (from patients to physicians to professional guinea pigs) while keeping their stories human and even humorous, directors Mosher and Palmieri expose the causes and tragic consequences of overmedication.

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October Country

Directors in attendance Saturday!

Sep 07 - Sep 08, 2013

(Donal Mosher and Michael Palmieri, 2009, United States, 35mm, 80 min)

In an age when reality TV regularly makes public examples of unusual families, the grace of this documentary is in its refusal to treat its subjects as anything but individuals. Living practically under the same roof are four generations of the Mosher family, a clan where domestic violence is passed from mother to daughter and where only Desi, the youngest of them, insists she is “smarter” than to resign herself to her relatives’ way of life. Tracking the family’s trials between one Halloween and the next, this exquisite family portrait is a Faulkner-style epic.

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Big Joy: The Adventures of James Broughton

Director in attendance!

Special pre-screening poetry reading on Sunday, 7pm, from poet Thomas Pruiksma!

Nov 01 - Nov 07, 2013

(Stephen Silha/Eric Slade/Dawn Logsdon, 2013, United States, Digital, 83 min)

When artist James Broughton came on the scene in the 1940s, he struck with a personality so big and joyous that the film community could not help but follow. In the spirit of Broughton himself, Big Joy’s celebration of an experimental filmmaker’s life is a lively collage of movie clips, diary entries and unreserved conversations with the people who knew him best (including former lover Pauline Kael).

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E Haku Inoa

Co-presented with Longhouse Media

Director in attendance!

Seattle premiere!

5:30pm reception with eats from Marination Station!

 

Nov 16 - Nov 17, 2013

(Christen Hepuakoa Marquez, 2013, United States, Digital, 57 min)

A young, multi-racial Kanaka Maoli (Native Hawaiian) woman, filmmaker Christen Hepuakoa Marquez, sets out to discover the meaning of her incredibly lengthy Hawaiian name from her estranged mother (whose diagnosis as schizophrenic in the 80′s caused their family separation). Christen discovers not only her self within the name, but gains a whole new perspective on the idea of sanity and how cultural differences can sometimes muddle its definition.

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Let Your Light Shine: Experimental Animations by Jodie Mack

Director in attendance!

Jun 01, 2013

Jodie Mack's insightful, handmade films use collage to explore the relationship between graphic cinema and storytelling. Combining the formal techniques and structures of abstract/absolute animation with those of cinematic genres, her film work explores the tension between form and meaning. Mack received her MFA in film, video, and new media from The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2007 and currently teaches animation at Dartmouth College.

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The Invisible Forest

Director in attendance!

Jun 12, 2013

(Antero Alli, USA, 2008, HD, 111 min)

Antero Alli's The Invisible Forest is a surrealistic trip through the internal landscape of one man's subconscious to a place beyond belief, beyond words and beyond the mind itself to. Alex, an experimental theater director (Antero Alli), brings his troupe to a forest to perform his vision of French Surrealist Antonin Artaud's magic theatre of ghosts, gods, and demons. During their "paratheatrical experiment," Alex is haunted by a recurring nightmare where Artaud appears and mocks his ambitions. With his sanity pushed to its outer limits, Alex visits a psychotherapist who suggests hypnotic regression to remedy his problem. Written and directed by Antero Alli with text also by William Shakespeare and Antonin Artaud.

 

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Dreambody/Earthbody

Director in attendance!

Seattle premiere!

Jun 13, 2013

(Antero Alli, 2012, USA, HD, 80 min)

Since 1977, underground filmmaker Antero Alli has been developing a medium of "paratheatre," inspired by the late Polish visionary of theater, Jerzy Grotowski.  Alli's paratheatre is a highly visceral process that incorporates physical theatre, Zazen meditation, modern dance and vocalization to gain access to the internal landscape. For this "dreambody/earthbody" ritual, Alli trained a group of seven in paratheatre methods to execute a ritual choreography, using movements recalled from their nocturnal dreams.  The result is a rare and haunting glimpse into a microculture of asocial group ritual dynamics, normally performed in total privacy. 

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The Rambler

Seattle premiere!

Director in attendance opening night!

Jun 28 - Jul 04, 2013

(Calvin Reeder, 2013, USA, Blu-ray, 97 min)

If you’ve ever comforted yourself with the knowledge that the worst of America’s horrors were safely locked behind bars, The Rambler will make you think twice. A nameless prisoner is released from under lock and key and begins a search for his brother, making him an eyewitness to all that is strange and gruesome in America’s overlooked corners. As he experiences these nightmares with an unfazed and uncomplicated vision, The Rambler takes us on a once-in-a-lifetime wandering across highways and through wilderness, leaving us perplexed as to whether the film’s true subject is its hero or the people he encounters.

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Band of Sisters

Extended run by popular demand!

Director  and Sister Nancy Sylvester in attendance opening weekend!

Apr 12 - Apr 28, 2013

(Mary Fishman, USA, 2012, Blu-ray, 88 min)

The new film Band of Sisters tells the story of the Catholic Church's bravest heros—the nuns of the 1960s and onwards who were inspired by the reforms of Vatican II and the great social movements of the 20th century to fight for social justice across the United States. Even when their actions provoked the anger of the Vatican, the graceful struggles of these sisters for civil rights and immigration reform persisted.  This poignant, funny and moving documentary by first-time director Mary Fishman shows us a forward-thinking portrait of religious women as citizens of the world and covers half a century of activism.

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Image from "The Return" by Nathaniel Dorsky.

Nathaniel Dorsky: Program 2

Director in attendance!
Q&A moderated by Jonathan Marlow, co-founder of Fandor

Apr 11, 2013

Nathaniel Dorsky is one of a rare breed of filmmakers whose work can be classified as essential viewing.  In his visually handsome films, Dorsky renders the prosaic a poetic experience, editing nature, light, and figure to create an utterly sensual cinema. In tonight's program, enjoy a series of 16mm shorts delving into themes and images of memory, grieving and the passage of friends.

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Image from "Winter" by Nathaniel Dorsky.

Nathaniel Dorsky: Program 1

Director in attendance!
Q&A moderated by Jonathan Marlow, co-founder of Fandor

Apr 10, 2013

Nathaniel Dorsky is one of a rare breed of filmmakers whose work can be classified as essential viewing.  In his visually handsome films, Dorsky renders the prosaic a poetic experience, editing nature, light, and figure to create an utterly sensual cinema. In tonight's program, enjoy a series of 16mm shorts delving into themes and images of winter, poetry and prayer.

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The Men of Dodge City

Director in Attendance Friday!

Mar 22 - Mar 28, 2013

(Nandan Rao, USA, 2011, Blu-ray, 94 min)

The men of Dodge City are not quite men yet. J., Zach and Ben, three young friends transplanted to Detroit with the aspiration of transforming an abandoned cathedral-sized church into a lively arts space, are trying hard to articulate their enthusiasm and noble ideas. All the while they play, flirt, tell stories and struggle to define themselves with their grand schemes. Filmed in the winter, the physical space in The Men of Dodge City—the church, in all its beauty and decrepitude—is a character of its own. The film moves, joyfully, in small steps, rewarding the audience with thoughtful and charming characters, confident cinematography and stunningly beautiful location. Winner of our Jury Award for Best Feature at Local Sightings Festival 2012. 

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Eco Warriors

Seattle premiere!

Producer Jennifer Pickford in attendance!

Mar 12, 2013

(The Red Octopus Collective, Canada, 2012, Blu-ray, 52 min)

When did activism become terrorism? And why are America's heroes being jailed, while its corporations continue to be rewarded? These questions are front and center in the timely, heartfelt and engaging documentary Eco Warriors. The film follows the story of Portland activist Tre Arrow, who was on the FBI's Most Wanted List for his radical environmental actions and forced to seek asylum in Canada rather than face life in jail.

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Fourplay

Director in attendance Monday!

Sponsored by Three Dollar Bill Cinema, the Foundation for Sex Positive Culture and The Center for Sex Positive Culture 

Mar 04 - Mar 05, 2013

(Kyle Henry, USA, 2012, Blu-ray, 80 min)

Bathroom sexcapades, porn store shenanigans and complex human-canine relationships are just some of the adventures in Kyle Henry’s engaging feature anthology, Fourplay. The film is divided into chapters/cities: in Skokie, a closeted woman’s infatuation with her minister’s wife is sublimated during a weekend of dog sitting. In Austin, a young couple struggles with opposing desires regarding conception and arrive at a startling compromise. In Tampa, a queer man plagued with self-doubt finds a surreal nirvana in a public mall restroom. And in San Francisco, a cross-dressing prostitute faces a challenging assignment with a quadriplegic man.
 

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The Bitter Buddha

Director and comedian in attendance, with a Q&A moderated by Linas Phillips!

Feb 23, 2013

(Steven Feinartz, USA, 2012, Blu-ray, 90 min)

Ever been to a famous city and gone on an underground tour with a friend who’s lived there for years? The Bitter Buddha is a side-streets tour through the world of comedy, hosted by names most of us know (Dana Gould, Sarah Silverman, Zach Galifianakis) and spotlighting a comic most people don’t: Eddie Pepitone, secret cornerstone of today’s young comedy tradition. Though he’s never been a household name, Pepitone continues to craft his hilariously livid stage persona. In Buddha, a wide circle of Pepitone's friends come together to help tell the story of his decades-long “rise and fall.”

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Arcadia

Director in attendance!

Feb 22, 2013

(Olivia Silver, USA, 2012, Blu-ray, 91 min)

Independent film favorite John Hawkes, riding on a series of award-nominated performances over the last two years, stars in Arcadia as a single father trying to move himself and his children across the country, to California. Though he promises his daughters a life of luxury and sunshine, Tom struggles to keep his head up while dealing with the difficult truth about his children’s mother, which threatens to tear his family apart.

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Nana

Director in attendance Friday, Monday, Tuesday!

Jan 11 - Jan 17, 2013

(Valerie Massadian, France, 2011, 35mm, 68 min)

Nan Goldin collaborator Valerie Massadian’s directorial debut stars a four year old.  “There's not one word, one gesture—nothing—that I imposed on her. We played,” she told Craig Hubert of Interview Magazine. Toddler  actor Kelyna Lecomte plays Nana, a girl abandoned by her mother on the outskirts of her grandfather’s pig farm.  Filmed with a voyeuristic distance, Nana unfolds in the allowed space as the character’s isolation endows her own developing independence. Audiences are given an innocently intimate, contemplative glimpse of the world as Nana views it. Played with extraordinary composure, the character of Nana is a quiet delight to watch.  Winner of the Best First Film prize at the Locarno Film Festival, this is a sweet, life-affirming faux-fairytale, simultaneously enchanting and elegiac.

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