Streaming Wars: Revisit James Westby’s 2005 PDX Gem “Film Geek”

Your weekly film queue.

PORTLAND PICK:

A MAX train-riding movie obsessive named Scotty (Melik Malkasian) chases romantic and professional success in James Westby’s Film Geek (2005). Westby captures the rituals of cinephiliacs with eerie accuracy—when Scotty, who works in a video store, lectures about the difference between widescreen and full screen, certain members of the audience will both cringe and smile affectionately. Also, legendary PDX film critic Shawn Levy cameos as himself. Fandor, Roku.

INDIE PICK:

Over 40 years, British filmmaker Terence Davies has quietly amassed an impassioned following. If you enjoyed his latest film, Benediction (now playing at Fox Tower), try The Deep Blue Sea (2011), his romantic, anguished portrait of postwar London. Based on a play by Terence Rattigan, it stars Rachel Weisz as a wayward wife enmeshed in a toxic relationship with a charismatic (and likely closeted) former British Royal Air Force pilot (Tom Hiddleston). Amazon Prime, Roku. Free on Crackle, Tubi.

HOLLYWOOD PICK:

Last week, Amber Heard was ordered to pay ex-husband Johnny Depp over $10 million in damages because of an op-ed in which she didn’t even name him as her abuser. The message was sickeningly clear: Free speech is under attack and the zealotry of Depp fans is being given more credence than allegations of sexual assault. I’m protesting this week by recommending Heard’s highest-grossing film, Aquaman (2018), in which she plays the ocean-faring warrior Mera. HBO Max.

INTERNATIONAL PICK:

Swedish director Ruben Östlund triumphed at Cannes this year, winning the Palme d’Or for Triangle of Sadness, a satire starring Woody Harrelson. But it wasn’t the first time—he won previously for The Square (2017), about an embattled art curator (The Northman’s Claes Bang) having an affair with a journalist (Elisabeth Moss). The cast also features Terry Notary, the famed movement coach who worked on the Planet of the Apes films. Unsurprisingly, he plays a simian role. Hulu, Magnolia Selects, Mubi.