Next week we bring you the event you have all been waiting for. Willamette Week's Longbaugh Film Festival, presented by Comcast, kicks off for a fifth year of in-your-face independent film. With nearly 100 features, documentaries and shorts to choose from, Longbaugh continues the tradition of eclectic, diverse programming that is as entertaining as it is thought-provoking.
The not-so-secret pride of Longbaugh has always been its eclectic showcase of documentaries. Raymond Gale's Electric Purgatory: The Fate of the Black Rocker uncovers the harsh reality of racism in rock music through poignant interviews and the blistering performances of legendary bands like Fishbone, Bad Brains and Living Colour. Along similar lines, Jeff Adachi's documentary Slanted Screen offers an insightful and thorough look at the way Asian men have been portrayed in American film, starting with silent-era heartthrob Sessue Hayakawa to Bruce Lee and beyond. PEZheads: The Movie provides a lighthearted glimpse into the world of PEZ collectors. That's right...collectors of PEZ.
Not to be outdone by the docs, Longbaugh also has an amazing lineup of features, including The Nine Lives of Tomas Katz, a film so bizarre it almost defies description. Imagine early David Lynch crossed with Monty Python on LSD, and that barely begins to scratch the surface of Ben Hopkins' tale of a stranger wandering the streets of London as the end of the world looms close. Just added to the schedule is Everything's Gone Green, a tale of an ambition-challenged slacker who finds himself corrupted by success. It's written by that zeitgeist-grabbing Canadian Douglas Coupland (author of Generation X).
And, of course, there is the return of Lil' Longbaugh, a program of short films for the whole family. This is the perfect program for parents concerned that prolonged exposure to High School Musical will rot the brains of their children, turning them into the sort of simple-minded slobs that think Wild Hogs is quality cinema. Hosted by Indiekid Films, this international collection showcases 12 films for (and often by) children from all over the world. DAVID WALKER.