On Wednesday, NW Film Center will screen four short works from Portland documentary filmmaker Jodi Darby, who created the recent award-winning documentary Arresting Power: Resisting Police Violence in Portland, Oregon.
Her largely experimental short films are like tripping into a rabbit hole of rapid cuts and collaged images, like brief, well-crafted persuasive essays told in pictures.
The four films start with Constellation. At less than two minutes, this maybe the most powerful documentary you ever see. It's a single shot of the Mexico-U.S. border, superimposed with white dots that create constellations out of a surveillance camera, a plane and a gun shooting bullets made of stars.
Man Movie takes clips from dozens of films to explore men's roles in film, which turn out to be a lot of running, shooting and fighting.
In 100 Suns, Darby captures the terror of nuclear war, using archived nuclear test films and footage of houses exploding overlayed with grimy yellow, green and hot pink filters and a fuzzy guitar soundtrack. Stonewall is the most traditional documentary, with the Ken Burns effect and talking head interviews, it's a revisionist look at the Civil War from a queer perspective.
Critic's Grade: B+
SEE IT: NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Wednesday, March 30.