The last week of the Portland International Film Festival is the quietest, but we've still got some excellent features left. Just like the previous two weeks, we watched every feature we could get our hands on.
Also, we're using our new four-star rating system. Here's another run-through in case you missed it:
* : This movie sucks, don't watch it.
** : This movie is entertaining but flawed.
*** : This movie is good. We recommend you watch it.
**** : This movie is excellent, one of the best of the year.
Death in Sarajevo (Bosnia-Herzegovina/France)
[DRAMA] Strippers in the basement, news broadcasters on the roof, and VIPs in the penthouse suite: What do they have in common? Hotel Europa. Bosnian Oscar winner Danis Tanovic's Death in Sarajevo takes place on June 28, 2014, the 100th anniversary of the assassination of Austrian Archduke Franz Ferdinand. The film's simple set serves as a wonderfully detailed base for its dramatic themes. Hotel manager Omer (Izudin Bajrovic) stirs stressfully at the colossal bills, having not paid his staff in over two months. He angrily attempts to persuade his front-desk agent, Lamija (Snezana Vidovic), to stop her mother, Hatidza (Faketa Salihbegovic-Avdagic), and the other hotel staff from striking. On the roof, TV news reporter Vedrana (Vedrana Seksan) debates Sarajevo's war-torn history with nationalist Serb Gavrilo Princip (Muhamed Hadzovic). AMY WOLFE. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium: 8:30 pm Friday, Feb. 24. Fox Tower: 6:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 25.
Kati Kati (Kenya/Germany)
[SUPERNATURAL THRILLER] Kenyan director Mbithi Masya tells the story of a 28-year-old woman named Kaleche (Nyokabi Gethaiga) who has mysteriously died and reawakened in a remote, purgatorylike village. Valley: 6 pm Wednesday, Feb. 22.
The Dreamed Ones (Austria/Germany)
[AVANT-DRAMA] You'd think watching German-language poets Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan read two decades of love letters to each other would get old. Well, you're wrong. Fox Tower: 8:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Old Stone (China/Canada)
[THRILLER] According to a persistent urban legend, Chinese rules of the road have adapted in brutal ways to the looming financial penalties for drivers who hit pedestrians but leave them alive. Johnny Ma's gripping thriller follows the downward spiral of a kind-hearted cabbie (Chen Gang) who puts bank account, marriage and sanity at risk by delivering a faultlessly struck pedestrian to the hospital, despite the virtual guarantee of back-breaking hospital payments. Employing verité camera work to condemn traditional social realist targets of deadened bureaucracy and police corruption, Ma sustains a creeping noir sensibility by accentuating the claustrophobic unease of tiny smoke-filled cars hurtling along teeming streets toward blood-soaked ends ever threatened. JAY HORTON. Valley: 8:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 22. Fox Tower, 3:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 23.
The Olive Tree (Spain/Germany)
[ROAD COMEDY] This border-crossing odyssey follows Alma on her travels from Spain to Germany to recover an olive tree that once belonged to her grandfather. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium: 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 23.
Raising Bertie (United States)
[DOCUMENTARY] Filmed over the course of six years, director Margaret Byrne's feature debut documents the lives of three young black men fighting an uphill battle against generational rural poverty, educational inequality and lack of opportunity. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium: 5:45 pm Wednesday, Feb. 22.
[COMING-OF-AGE DRAMA] Sara (Julie Lübbert) is a 12-year-old girl just a few weeks away from 13. As her birthday approaches, she's pulled away from her childhood innocence under the mounting pressures of fitting in at school and taking care of her little sister. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium: 3:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 25.
Starless Dreams (Iran)
[DOCUMENTARY] Starless Dreams is a compassionate documentary that offers an intimate look at the lives of teenage girls in a juvenile detention center in Tehran. Laurelhurst: 9 pm Thursday, Feb. 23.
The Stopover (France/Greece)
[WAR DRAMA] Two French soldiers, Aurore and Marine, stay at an opulent resort for three days of post-combat "decompression" before flying home. Fox Tower: 3:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Without Name (Ireland)
[ECO-HORROR] This exercise in paranoia pits a professor against a primeval Irish woodland. Whether as punishment for his infidelities with a student, or simply because he is sent to the absolute wrong place, nothing goes well for Eric. Director Lorcan Finnegan's film makes an excellent first impression in the quiet-horror subgenre, the performances matching the beauty of the wilderness. Fans of Altered States, The Wicker Man and The Witch will enjoy Finnegan's psychedelic montages, Eric's descent into madness, and the forest's meditative unease. NATHAN CARSON. Bagdad: 10:30 pm Friday, Feb. 24.
After the Storm (Japan)
[DRAMA] Shinoda Ryota, a once-bestselling novelist slumming it as a detective, tries not to gamble away the alimony he owes. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium: 6 pm Saturday, Feb. 25.
Apprentice (Singapore/Germany/France/Hong Kong)
[DRAMA] A correctional officer is drawn into a friendship with one of Singapore's top executioners after being transferred to a high-security prison. Fox Tower: 8:45 pm Thursday, Feb. 23.
The Autopsy of Jane Doe (United States/United Kingdom)
[MYSTERY/HORROR] "Every body has a secret," whispers father mortician (Brian Cox) to son assistant (Emile Hirsch) when that of a young woman arrives at their small Virginia mortuary. Discovered half-buried in the cellar of the scene of a grisly murder, the titular Jane Doe arrives deceased, but ostensibly unscathed. As the duo attempts to find the cause of death, the autopsy gets progressively weirder. What begins as a novel spin on the claustrophobic thriller takes a turn for the familiar about halfway through, but strong performances, lean exposition and tight camera work keep indie-horror rising star André Øvredal's new feature compelling. WALKER MACMURDO. Bagdad: 10:30 pm Saturday, Feb. 25.
[HORROR] Hitchcock's shadow looms over this macabre French-language feature in which a young Belgian man takes a job as assistant to an eccentric photographer. Valley: 5:45 pm Thursday, Feb. 23.
[DRAMA] Based on the Hungarian opera Bluebeard's Castle, director Gastón Solnicki reimagines a journey through a haunted castle in the eyes of young women venturing toward maturity and womanhood in Buenos Aires. Fox Tower: 8:45 pm Saturday, Feb. 25.
[CRIME DRAMA] Despite dabbling in meth sales, aging shopkeepers Rosa and Nestor could barely keep doors open. A police raid pushes their children to desperate acts to bribe authorities for the couple's release. Valley: 8:30 pm Thursday, Feb. 23.
One Week and a Day (Israel)
[DRAMA] One Week and a Day follows Eyal and his wife, Vicky, at the end of their son's shiva, the week of mourning following his death. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium: 8:30 pm Wednesday, Feb. 22.
Panamerican Machinery (Mexico/Poland)
[BLACK COMEDY] When the owner of a small factory suddenly dies, its bumbling accountant reveals the company is bankrupt, sending the business into chaos. Fox Tower: 8:30 pm Friday, Feb. 24.
Staying Vertical (France)
[ROAD MOVIE] Alain Guiraudie's first film since 2013's Stranger by the Lake arrives as a drastic stylistic departure from the Cannes-blessed thriller. Though it opens with traveling screenwriter Léo (Damien Bonnard) bedding the farmer's daughter, Staying Vertical isn't quite a comedy either. As our uninterested hero dazedly journeys through an especially homoerotic stretch of rural France—he's disrobed by a phalanx of homeless men, a healer reached only by rowboat indulges a peculiar form of naturopathy—the slow build of trending-supernatural elements undermines mumblecore staging without ever quite becoming the fairy tale suggested. Despite the dramatic emphasis placed on wolves idly roaming the countryside, they're probably intended only as metaphor twinned to sexual appetites continually indulged. For all the characters' predatory bluster, they're just sheep in no clothing. JAY HORTON. Laurelhurst: 6 pm Thursday, Feb. 23. NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium: 8:45 pm Saturday, Feb. 25.
The Human Surge (Argentina/Brazil/Portugal)
[ENSEMBLE DRAMA] If you enjoy sitting slumped in a theater while an ambitious filmmaker attempts to bore you to death, you shouldn't miss this stultifying feature debut from writer-director Eduardo Williams. Fox Tower: 6 pm Wednesday, Feb. 22.
I Am Not Madame Bovary (China)
[SATIRE] Li Xuelian and her husband get a "fake divorce" as part of a plan to cheat the government. But when her husband remarries another woman, Li begins a decadelong series of lawsuits in an effort to undo the fake divorce, remarry her ex-husband and file for a real divorce. Fox Tower: 5:45 pm Thursday, Feb. 23.