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March 7th, 2007 David Walker | Movie Reviews & Stories
 

The Long And Shorts Of Longbaugh

Thermopylae is sacrificed to special effects

     
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In case some of you arrived late for the party, here's what's going on: It's just about time for WW's Longbaugh Film Festival, presented by Comcast. This will be the fifth Longbaugh, which gets its name from Harry Longbaugh, the notorious outlaw from the Old West widely known by his more popular nickname, the Sundance Kid.

There are so many great programs at Longbaugh this year I don't know where to begin. There are a ton of great short films—nearly 50 shorts altogether, divided up into seven different programs. Not to put down the shorts that have played at Longbaugh in the past, but this year boasts the strongest lineup so far. Brad "B. Radical" Spencer's The Package is more entertaining than most feature films you're likely to see, while The Red Balloon, clocking in at just three minutes, packs more of an emotional punch than other films 30 times longer. Surface of Things is pure poetic beauty, and The Story of Bubbleboy is a beautiful poem. And, of course, there is Steve Johnson's Room to Breathe, starring Everclear's Art Alexakis and the ultra-fine Daria O'Neill, which has become one of my favorite local films.

Not to be outdone by the shorts, Longbaugh also has a great collection of feature films, ranging from impressive debuts by up-and-coming talent like Curtis Pollock to superior work from seasoned veterans like Henry Jaglom. Pollock's 30 is a coming-of-age film for all of those Gen-X-ers who have yet to grow up. Jaglom, whose career spans four decades, delivers one of his best films, Hollywood Dreams, starring the incredible Tanna Frederick as a struggling actress with a ton of problems. Commit, a dark, psychological thriller, is composed of three continuous shots—one for each act—and represents the creative possibilities digital video can provide without breaking the bank.


The Longbaugh Film Festival takes place March 29-April 1 at Living Room Theaters, Laurelhurst Theater and the Clinton Street Theater. For more information, go to longbaugh.com.
 
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