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January 22nd, 2014 AP KRYZA | Movie Reviews & Stories
 

AP Film Studies: Santa’s Last Stand

Papa Noël and his cronies take over the Clinton Street.

movies_apfilm_4012HO HO HORROR: Keep this Claus away from the kids. - Image courtesy of Centaur Productions
Despite what your neighbors who refuse to take down their saggy inflatable reindeer might say, Christmas isn’t over until the jolly fat man says so. And, unfortunately for your lazy-ass neighbors, the big guy says Christmas is over Friday, Jan. 24, at 10 pm.

ILLUSTRATION: Hawk Krall
It’s not just the main man at the North Pole making the call. It’s a whole shitload of Santas, and they’re taking over the Clinton Street Theater for X-mas Isn’t Over Until We Say It’s Over, a belated holiday gathering of the Portland Cacophony Society, the mischievous devils behind the infamous Portland Santacon.

Those expecting another debauched night of swilling gin out of Windex bottles and catapulting fruitcakes across the neighborhood are in for a very different event (don’t worry, there’s beer). X-mas Isn’t Over celebrates something all-too-often forgotten amid the chaos and binge shopping of Christmas: The holiday is about being jolly and laughing at the silly shit that brings us together. 

Here, the silly shit takes the form of public-domain Christmas shorts. The organizers won’t spill much, but if the one film they did reveal is any indication, it’s gonna be weird. That short, Hardrock, Coco and Joe: The Three Little Dwarfs, is a nightmare of a puppet film featuring singing dwarves and a Santa who, if you squint, looks like Mickey Rooney in Breakfast at Tiffany’s. Except scarier.

Hardrock and its creepy brethren will be used to springboard into talks about bizarre Christmas traditions: a demon who tags along with Santa and eats children, a Spanish custom of treating a log like a child and then beating it to death, and the Japanese holiday feast of KFC. And there’s a toy drive, because what’s boozy holiday creepiness without some charity? Good on you, Santas. Clinton Street Theater. 10 pm Friday, Jan. 24. 


Also Showing: 

  • That Cold Day in the Park is an early Robert Altman psychosexual drama about a lonely woman who lures a fake-mute man into her weird house of pleasure. So, kind of like A Prairie Home Companion? NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Wednesday, Jan. 22.
  • Ghost World ushered in the reign of Scarlett Johansson as Hollywood’s go-to sexpot, ushered out Thora Birch as Hollywood’s up-and-coming superstar, and established that comic-book movies don’t have to include exploding everythings. Hollywood Theatre. 7:30 pm Thursday, Jan 23.
  • Because of Monty Python and the Holy Grail, a whole generation of the British think saying “ni” is funny. It isn’t. But a rabbit eating a man’s head sure as hell is. Laurelhurst Theater. Jan. 24-30.
  • Vin Diesel’s career-best performance (to date, anyway) was as the voice of a gigantic 1950s space robot. That’s no slight to the Deez. It’s a testament to director Brad Bird, whose tear-jerking The Iron Giant paved the way for his Ratatouille and The Incredibles. Hollywood Theatre. 2:15 pm Saturday-Sunday, Jan. 25-26.
  • Curious about the state of labor, capitalism and greed in China’s oldest manufacturing district? Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks has 551 minutes of footage to clear that up for you. NW Film Center’s Whitsell Auditorium. Noon Sunday, Jan. 26.
  • OMSI brings in a wildlife biologist (and maybe a baby bear?!) for this screening of Grizzly Man. Anyone who has seen Werner Herzog’s magnificent documentary should be scared shitless. Hollywood Theatre. 7 pm Monday, Jan. 27. 
 
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
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