Labor Day marks the unofficial end of summer, which means we'll all be hunkered down indoors before we know it. Why not start early and find refuge in a theater? Catch an old favorite or watch something you've had on your list for a while now. Here are some of the best flicks revived across Portland screens right now.
Sweet Sweetback's Badasssss Song (1971)
Recognized as the first film in the Blaxploitation movement, director Melvin Van Peebles also stars as Sweet Sweetback, a brothel-raised orphan who works in an underground sex show as an adult. He experiences a radical awakening after witnessing police brutality, seeks retribution and ends up on the run bound for Mexico. NW Film Center, Sept. 8.
Sometimes a Great Notion (1970)
Filmed in Oregon, the movie based on Ken Kesey's second novel focuses on the battle between labor and capital within the context of the timber industry. The son of a logging family (Paul Newman) creates a rift in the community by refusing to join a union strike. The climactic drowning scene is unexpectedly long and incredibly excruciating. Hollywood, Sept. 10.
The seismic vibrations being felt in a small backwater in Nevada aren't tectonic plates shifting. Prehistoric sandworms are stalking the town, periodically bursting to the surface and dragging away victims in their oversized jaws. Clinton, Sept. 10.
Punishment Park (1971)
Before Black Mirror, there was Punishment Park, which similarly illustrates a twisted humanity. In this fictional documentary, U.S. prisons are at capacity and all new convicts are given the choice of serving a full sentence behind bars or spending three days in Punishment Park. The latter is less Disneyland and more Westworld: Prisoners are hunted for sport by the feds. NW Film Center, Sept. 10.
Academy: Leon: The Professional (1994), Sept. 6.
Clinton: Hysteria (2002), Sept. 11.
Hollywood: 1990: The Bronx Warriors (1983), Sept. 7. To Wong Foo, Thanks for Everything! Julie Newmar (1995), Sept. 9. Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Sept. 9. Fist of the White Lotus (1980), Sept. 11.
Mission: Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981); Sept. 5, 8-9. Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984); Sept. 9, 11.