New Movies, Old Movies and Film Festivals in Portland Sept 21-27.

Watch Germany's answer to Taken at the Portland German Film Festival and relax with the family at the Drive-In at Zidell Yards.

New Movies


A- Nearly two decades after Tango, Carlos Saura follows up his Oscar-winning drama with an ode to less-familiar forms of Argentine dance: la Zamba of the north, the coastal Chamamé, and the Malambo of the south, among others. But unlike Tango, the ethereal Argentina has no plot or discernible narrative structure. At one point, dancers dressed up as cats put on makeup in a dressing room that the camera pans out to reveal as part of the stage itself. Billed as a documentary, Tango is more of a series of events ostensibly unconnected vignettes and performances. The vignettes are connected, though— visually through Saura's habit of enlarging and distorting imagery, and spiritually through his unabashed love of his subject. GRACE CULHANE.

Not rated. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium. Sept. 25-27.

Fukushima, Mon Amour

B+ Wrapping up this year's Portland German Film Festival is a black-and-white traumedy of extremes. This reimagining of Hiroshima Mon Amour stars Rosalie Thomass as Marie, a German woman fleeing heartbreak for charitable validation as a volunteer clown in Fukushima's radiation zone. She meets Satori, an aging geisha (Kaori Momoi) determined to salvage her family's flooded home. Director Doris Dörrie uses natural moments like the different way each woman folds her legs before sitting to drink tea to deftly juggle the cultural ticks between German and Japanese people. Walking a tightrope between absurdist comedy and sincere mourning, Dörrie forces the viewer to deal with death and life all at once. LAUREN TERRY. Cinema 21. Sept 27, 7 pm.

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Old Movies

Medium Cool (1969)

Haskell Wexler isn't just considered one of the most important cinematographers of all time. His 1969 political thriller, Medium Cool, was filmed onsite in Chicago during the 1968 Democratic National Convention, blending real-life footage of protesters being assaulted by Mayor Richard Daley's notorious Chicago police into his story of a news cameraman who learns that his footage is being used by the FBI to identify suspects. Part of the NW Film Center's Print the Legend series on film and the media, Wexler's commentary on the relationship between the news media, race and the police was 50 years ahead of its time. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium. 7 pm Thursday, Sept. 22.

Drive-In at Zidell Yards

For the past four years, the NW Film Center and Zidell Yards have teamed up to bring the South Waterfront a week of good, old-fashioned fun. The films in this year's five-day program are all crowd pleasers. The Coen brothers' I-promise-not-to-write-about-this-every-time-someone-plays-it classic The Big Lebowski (1998) kicks things off Sept. 22, followed by Guy Hamilton's surprisingly problematic spy classic Goldfinger (1964). On Saturday, you have '90s-nostalgia supernova Space Jam (1997), and Sunday brings Cameron Crowe's beloved high-school love story Say Anything… (1989). Cool Hand Luke (1967), starring a historically handsome Paul Newman, wraps up things Monday. Zidell Yards. All showings at 7:30 pm Sept. 22-26.

Metropolis (1927) with live music

I'll try not to throw the words "timeless classic" around too many times, but Fritz Lang's timeless classic Metropolis (1927) is one of the true must-watch films. Its modernist and art-deco set and costume design have aged perfectly into a reflection of the aesthetics of the 1920s, while its depictions of workers toiling to their deaths are made all the creepier by the film's age. Oaks Park organist Dean Lemire will provide a live soundtrack to this silent film. Hollywood Theatre. 2 pm Saturday, Sept. 24.

Film Festivals

Portland German Film Festival

Watch Nick: Off Duty, the German version of Taken, where Til Schweiger (Inglorious Basterds) channels Liam Neeson and tries to save his daughter from an organ-harvesting clinic in Moscow. If Schweiger's not your schnitzel, there's a coming-of-age drama screening before and a skiing documentary after. Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave., 503-223-4515. 7 pm. $10. Through Sept. 27.

RELATED: The Portland German Film Festival 2015

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