It doesn't seem like it's been a whole year, but it has, and now Longbaugh is less than a month away (April 6-9, to be precise). For those of you who don't know, Longbaugh is the film festival put on by WW and Comcast (and a few other kind sponsors). This will be the festival's fourth year, and the biggest to date as it moves to the Laurelhurst, Cinema 21, Clinton Street, Kennedy School, Mission Theater and the Bagdad.
Taking over more theaters, however, doesn't really mean much if you don't have great films playing. It would be hard to top Longbaugh 2005, which featured films like Álex de la Iglesia's El Crimen Ferpecto and the eventually Oscar-nominated documentaries Murderball and Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. But I'm happy to say we have topped last year's festival (hence the eye twitch and lack of sleep), and we've got a great lineup in store.
As in years past, Longbaugh will feature an incredible mix of independent films, ranging from no-budget guerrilla fare made by people you've probably never heard of, to some high-profile films with familiar faces. From the cutting edge of fringe filmmaking we have movies like The Hole Story, a hilarious, Herzog-esque look at one man's descent into madness as he attempts to make a documentary about a mysterious Minnesota lake that doesn't freeze over despite sub-zero weather. On the other end of the spectrum come films like Edmond, based on David Mamet's play, and starring William H. Macy in one of his best performances. And that's not all. There are films by local directors, like Nick Hagen's The Trouble with Anne and David Waingarten's Addison's Wall, which comes to Longbaugh after a stunning appearance at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, as does Nick Lyon's Punk Love, a dark, brooding love story set on the rain-soaked streets of Portland.
Over the next few weeks, I'll be writing about some of the films playing at Longbaugh. Any day now, the schedule will be online at www.longbaugh.com, as will the program book. So keep your eyes open, and mark your calendars.