November 17th, 2008 5:33 pm | by AARON MESH News | Posted In: CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP, CLEAN UP

Person Who Is Almost Certainly James Franco Spotted at Milk Premiere! UPDATED with NW Film & Video Fest Winners


(Photo by Maggie Gardner)

Is this a photograph of pansexually smoldering actor James Franco at the swank Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall premiere of Gus Van Sant's Milk on Friday night? We're reasonably sure that it is! Everybody who is anybody in Portland was at the Outside In benefit (we weren't; we were buying groceries at Wal-mart), and several sources have confirmed that the heartthrob who broke Sean Penn's gay-kissing cherry was working the crowd of 2,200. (No, he was not kissing all 2,200 people, though that would have been kind of wonderful.)

Franco may not be gay (even if he is this month's Out magazine cover boy) but on Friday he was surrounded by everyone in Portland who is. He was seen hobnobbing with Milk director Gus Van Sant, fellow New Queer Cinema auteur Todd Haynes, Pink Martini bandleader Thomas Lauderdale, former WW Queer Window columnist Byron Beck (we miss you!) and mayor-elect Sam Adams.

The Portland premiere of Wendy and Lucy the following night was a quieter affair: Neither star Michelle Williams nor director Kelly Reichardt showed up. But screenwriter Jonathan Raymond and producer Neil Kopp were there, along with a crowd of 320—that's just 40 seats short of the Whitsell Auditorium's capacity. Not bad for a movie about losing your dog outside Walgreens!

Wendy and Lucy was the last screening of the 35th Northwest Film and Video Festival. The good people at the NW Film Center are furiously tallying the audience-choice award votes; we'll have results later this afternoon.

UPDATE: The NW Film Center has announced the festival's Audience Choice winners. The best short goes to Hirsute, and the best feature is the documentary On Paper Wings. Our reviewer liked it too:
Many think the only attack on U.S. soil during World War II was Pearl Harbor. Less is known about six people killed in the southern Oregon town of Bly, resulting in WWII's only continental-U.S. casualties. The culprit? Japanese balloon bombs: gigantic, hydrogen-filled paper balloons sent into Pacific jet streams and designed—ingeniously in theory, not so much in execution—to autonomously drop bombs on the U.S. On Paper Wings goes beyond simply explaining this strange tactical experiment. Director Ilana Sol focuses on three sets of people, all children when the bomb hit Bly: the Japanese schoolgirls ordered to create the balloons, family members of Bly's victims (five children and a pregnant preacher's wife), and a Japanese-American child, interned at nearby Tule Lake, who 40 years later bridged the gap between the groups. In finding such unique connections, Sol transcends boring histrionics. On Paper Wings examines war's toll on the innocent—both victims and unwilling participants. AP KRYZA.

More Milk premiere photos below:


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