We're just as bummed out as you are that the 40th Portland International Film Festival is coming to an end. Luckily, Willamette Week has obtained an early list of highlights from next year's program. As we wave goodbye to three weeks of quiet dramas, brutal Euro horrors and documentaries, whet your appetite for PIFF XLI with these previews.
18 Hours (Damn You, Chumlee!) (Denmark)
[DRAMA] Danish biopic master Lars Larssonsenson offers his grand opus chronicling a little-known American legislative event. A shot-for-shot reconstruction of C-SPAN footage depicting the successful, 18-hour filibuster by Sen. Bluff Chuffins (R-Ga.)—implemented by reciting the dialogue from seasons 1 to 4 of the show Pawn Stars—of a Democratic bill that would ceremonially list the dodo bird as the "National Extinct Species." 1,086 mins. ZACH MIDDLETON.
2,222 Girls, One Cup (Brazil)
[ROMANTIC COMEDY] It's ladies-only night at a Manaus soccer stadium, and the crowd is going wild. But after the breakout of a mysterious virus that makes everyone "lovesick," a nauseating wave of amory and gastroenteritis washes through the stadium. Programmer's note: Contains violently graphic sexual and scatological content. 87 mins. ZACH MIDDLETON.
Bogdan's Big Day (Moldova)
[SATIRE] Bogdan (Vinde Gogosi) is a file clerk working at Moldova's least-busy DMV. After meticulously filing all of the files he's been assigned to file, his boss politely assigns him more files to file. 400 mins. CURTIS COOK.
Dans le Poche (Into the Pocket) (France/Algeria)
[ROMANTIC COMEDY] This elegant black-and-white film catalogs the life of a nameless French-Algerian man from the perspective of the condom he keeps in his pants pocket. A sonic tour of the City of Lights: the footsteps of tourists and sizzling kebabs of the Latin Quarter cut against sights of fumbling fingers. Has he finally met his match, or is he just buying another pack of cigarettes? 136 mins. LAUREN TERRY.
The Day My Mother Returned From the Store With Bananas and a Murdered Child (United States)
[EXPERIMENTAL] Portland avant-garde auteur Jarrick Startremble recalls, via found, unedited camcorder footage of a banana being savagely peeled in 1986, the formative day of his childhood on which his mother killed him. Or, metaphorically, his childlike innocence. 1,440 mins. ISABEL ZACHARIAS.
[HORROR] The latest app for photo editing is guaranteed to show an irresistibly glamorous life for those who choose the correct filter. But as four teenage girls are about to learn, choosing wrong has deadly consequences. A coming-of-age slasher film shot entirely in 30-second cellphone videos. 93 mins. LAUREN TERRY.
Flying Solo (Canada)
[THRILLER] A popular YouTube celebrity suffering from an abnormal, severe form of schizophrenia shifts between believing he is a bird and a beetle. Problems ensue when he becomes cognitively stuck, simultaneously acting as both creatures, climaxing in an attempt to eat himself on Facebook Livestream. 75 minutes. JACK RUSHALL.
[DOCUMENTARY] Director Magnus "The Charlie Kaufman of Norway" Sorderstrooom employs animated pencil drawings and marionette puppetry to tell the tale of Norway's oft-forgotten pencil shortage of 1941, an event that led to the development of the No. 2 pencil, Scantron testing and, Sorderstrooom argues, love. 62 mins. AP KRYZA.
I Love You, Period (France)
[DRAMA] Set in the "red tents" of biblical lore, acclaimed director Abdellatif Kechiche's spiritual sequel to Blue Is the Warmest Color follows the blossoming romance between two adolescent girls exiled for four days per month, where their confusion about menstruation leads them on an erotic journey of self-discovery. 179 mins. AP KRYZA.
Isabella Upon the Stairs (France)
[DRAMA] Shot entirely in the stairwell of a suburban apartment complex, these vignettes follow 12-year-old Isabella meeting her fellow tenants ascending and descending the steps each day. Dialogue artfully obscured by the stairwell's echo serves as a metaphor for class struggle. 246 mins. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER.
[DOCUFICTION] At any given time, in dozens of nations around the world, a drama using a man's midlife crisis as a metaphor for cultural change is in production. But what about the midlife crises of the actors portraying those men? Shot on the sets of six films, Middle blends truth and fiction to capture the universality of ennui in receding hairlines and poorly financed sports car purchases. 184 mins. WALKER MACMURDO.
My Hunger, Quietly (Ukraine)
[DRAMA] An isolated, aging farmhand in the Donbass must come to terms with his legacy when his eldest daughter defies tradition and marries his prized stallion. Shot in stunning black-and-white and called a "devastating, Tarkovskian meditation on duty and loss" by Sight & Sound. 441 mins. WALKER MACMURDO.
A Night for Poundcake (Italy)
[COMEDY] An adaptation of a critically panned short story by civil asset forfeiture judge-cum-writer Balucio Antonioni, hilarity ensues when three bumbling Swedes attempt to break into an Iron Curtain-era Prague bakery. 91 mins. ZACH MIDDLETON.
An Ocean Without Water (Russia)
[DOCUMENTARY] Filmed over the course of 30 years, this relentless documentary finally provides unequivocal proof that it is, in fact, difficult to be a poor, black, transgender, one-armed, half-Jewish, female orphan serving a life sentence of hard labor in a Siberian prison. 224 mins. CURTIS COOK.
Our Family Home (Hungary/Czech Republic)
[DRAMA] In a morose, striking portrait of a former Soviet republic, the shadow of totalitarianism looms over a middle-class family. Teenage Marco is unsure he wants to follow in the footsteps of his father, a jaded civil servant. Playing Marco's mother, acclaimed Swiss movie star Greta Mischler smokes in the background through many charged conversations. 121 mins. CHANCE SOLEM-PFEIFER.
The Bathhouse (Armenia)
[HORROR] Every year the inhabitants of a tiny, rural Armenian village journey to a thousand-year-old bathhouse in the Geghama mountain range. They return to their village days later, missing their hands, with no memory of what happened. An American documentarian and his small crew travel to the village to investigate the phenomenon. 96 mins., of which 50 comprise real villagers having their hands mutilated. JACK RUSHALL.
Screen Door Submarine (Poland)
[DOCUMENTARY] Celebrated documentarian Stas Kolinskikiza combs through history to examine the history of Polish jokes, confronting both the long-standing stigma against his nation and seeking to discover the true fate of the Polish hockey team, which perished during an outdoor match in August. 86 mins. AP KRYZA.
Tea With Oolie (Germany)
[COMEDY] Oolie drinks tea over the course of this whimsical biopic about the act of drinking tea and the art of being named Oolie. Programmer's note: Contains explicit sexuality involving peroxide and a biscotti. 118 minutes. AP KRYZA.
[COMEDY] Every single fucking person who Thijs Van den Berg has ever known is fucking dead, but this masterfully art-directed coloring of Thijs' clothes and surroundings gets brighter and brighter as he therapeutically draws each page of his eventually best-selling graphic memoir. 96 mins. ISABEL ZACHARIAS.
Twarzowy (Becoming) (Ghana/Canada/Angola/Vietnam/United Arab Emirates/Cambodia/Egypt/Guatemala/Austria/Burkina Faso/Greece/Iceland/Nepal/Chile/Australia/France/Slovenia/South Korea)
A Polish woman gives birth in a field. 114 minutes. WALKER MACMURDO.
Weird Scheisse (Turkey/Germany/Belgium)
[FAMILY] Praised as "the Turkish answer to Stranger Things" by Variety, this German-language feature follows three Deutsche tomboys and a psychic, Eno-obsessed, gender-bending glam-tot star in this throwback about live-action role-playing in the days before the Berlin wall fell. You'll find no Eggos in this Belgian waffle, but a CGI-restored Peter Falk sublimely plays both himself and the enigmatic "Dungeonmeister." 112 minutes. NATHAN CARSON.