36th Portland Int’l Film Festival starts!


PIFF 36 is here!  The opening night film was a great start to the festival –

You should see Blancanieves when it comes your way –  a Spanish version of the Grimm fairy tale Snow White…with bullfighting at its core. Set in the 20s, this b/w silent film has gorgeous cinematography and a moving score.   It was Spain’s submission for Best Foreign Film.   This little piece of art was directed by Pablo Berger.

Made the Paper

Well…barely. Bryan showed me today’s Oregonian. I am the person in the lowest left corner of the picture. This has been such a wonderful festival – I saw another wonderful film . Now my second favorite film. The favorite is still The Lives of Others…that’s the director speaking to us in the picture. This second film was a French one – Avenue Montaigne. The french name is Fauteuils d’ Orchestre…now I don’t speak french…but that translation is a bit off, non? Hard to describe, but all of the characters – a pianist, art collector, actress were wonderful people. You know those movies where you like the characters so much that its a loss of sorts when the movie ends? This was like that. If you could find it anywhere you should. The Lives of Others, my other fave, is actually around in theaters…it opened up in New York on the night we saw it. We were lucky that the director was with us instead of in New York that night 🙂

still at the PIFF

The Portland International Film Festival, or ‘piff’, has been amazing so far. Last nights film, a documentary called Hear and Now had the whole room sniffling and wiping their eyes. It’s a story about a couple, both deaf since birth, who decide at the age of 65 to get cochlear implants which will allow them to hear. An amazing story…The filmmaker is their daughter..she’s from Portland.

Indoor Pursuits!

We’ve been waiting for this day to arrive. The Portland International Film Festival. B is a big festival guy and a dedicated San Francisco and Cinequest festival-goer. I was hoping that Portland would provide him with something comparable. Tonight was opening night….a mere jaunt across the park blocks to the theater! The film, The Lives of Others, was absolutely the best film I’ve seen this year. The director, Florian Henkel von Donnersmarck, was there for a Q & A afterwards. He was very charming to say the least 🙂

He had such good commentary on film in general, how it shapes our perception about life. He discussed the importance of the actor and how it is the purest art, no hiding behind a pen or brush or trumpet. Really was a fascinating evening – both with the film and afterwards.
The movie is set in the former East Berlin and tells the story of a couple under surveillance by the police…much deeper than that, but its hard to describe. It is Germany’s submission for the Best Foreign Film Oscar.
After the Q & A, B and I walked through the after party, got a sweet for the short walk home and mow we’re calling it a night! I have high hopes for this festival – its off to a great start!!!