Cinema begins at home. That's the motto of NW Documentary (it is not actually its motto, but maybe it should be), the local nonprofit that teaches Portlanders to tell personal and neighborhood stories through documentary filmmaking. It's like a farming CSA, but for movies. And this Friday is the thrice-annual feast: The first-time filmmakers who've participated in NW Documentary's 10-week fall workshop present their work in the Homegrown DocFest at the Mission Theater. The people on the screen will also be in the audience: The directors are asked to invite their subjects to watch the premieres of movies about them. "It's kind of a bonding between the filmmaker and the subject," says NW Documentary instructor Ian McCluskey, "and a giving back—saying, 'You gave me your story; here it is back.'" Don't think of it as a film festival—think of it as a barn-raising for the digital age. (With beer.) Here are five of the movies being raised this weekend.
For the Love of Ping Pong
Former Olympic table-tennis player Sean O'Neill trains a new generation to wield the tiny rubber paddle.
Between Sasquatch and Superman
A profile of a young man with Down syndrome, whose two heroes are Bigfoot and the Man of Steel.
A study of a first-wave java phenomenon: the Ethiopian coffee ceremony.
Little Drummer Boy
Punk drummer Spit Stix (real name: Tim Leitch) loses his job, his marriage and his brother, then starts over as a caretaker for an elderly woman with dementia.
From Egg to Fry
The director is in eighth grade, but he returns to his elementary school to film a program where kids raise salmon eggs to release the fry into wild rivers.
GO: Homegrown DocFest screens at the Mission Theater & Pub, 1624 NW Glisan St., 223-4527. 7 pm Friday, Dec. 10. $7. 21+.
WEDNESDAY DEC. 8
The Posies are an underrated institution of Northwest music. Two decades after the Bellingham-born soft-pop group's formation, it's still releasing relevant, affecting and rocking records.
FRIDAY DEC. 10
Director Alex Cox (he of
cult fame) drives up from his Ashland home to talk about the director's cut of his 1987 punk-rock spaghetti western.
[SCREEN] RARE EXPORTS: A CHRISTMAS TALE
A new Finnish movie finds Santa Claus buried in the ice. When thawed, Santa eats children. This is exactly what we wanted for Christmas. Regal Fox Tower Stadium 10, 846 SW Park Ave., 221-3280. Multiple showtimes. $10.50.
Imago pulls together favorite scenes from the company's two puppet/pantomime/mask shows, Frogz and Biglittlethings, for a tour-friendly bundle of surprising visual delights. 7 pm Fridays (except 2 pm Dec. 24), 2 and 7 pm Saturdays, 2 pm Sundays Dec. 10-19; 2 pm Sundays-Tuesdays and Thursdays, 7 pm Wednesdays Dec. 21-29. No show Christmas Day and New Year's Eve. $29, $25 students, $16 under age 16.
[MUSIC] BIG FREEDIA
Every Big Freedia concert should take place in a strip club—like, say, Sassy's, where Freedia played an impromptu set for Into the Woods during this year's MusicfestNW. The bootie-bass queen will play Holocene tonight, but that really shouldn't stop anyone from getting naked. Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 239-7639. 9 pm. $13. 21+.
SATURDAY DEC. 11
Oregon Ballet Theatre has a vision, and it involves more than dancing sugarplums. Artistic director Christopher Stowell's new show is based on the stories and cultural traditions of the company's dancers, who come from far-flung parts of the globe.
SUNDAY DEC. 12
The local crafting extravaganza returns with more than 250 artisans.