GO: “Children of Men” at PIFF’s Cinema Unbound Drive-In
In some circles, Alfonso Cuarón's 2006 near-future dystopian thriller is considered the best movie of the aughts. We call those circles "the correct ones." An unexplained phenomenon has caused universal infertility, accelerating the gradual collapse of society, until Clive Owen stumbles upon a miracle in a manger (that part's a little on-the-nose, but we'll let it slide). It's tempting, and perhaps accurate, to say its themes resonate even more today, but equally significant are Cuarón's feats of filmmaking derring-do, including a scene involving an ambush on a country road that's yet to be topped for sheer technical bravado. It's the definition of a film best experienced on a big screen, so it's a good thing the Portland International Film Festival is including it as part of its repertory drive-in showings at Zidell Yards. 6:30 pm Wednesday, March 10. See cinemaunbound.org for tickets. $40-$60.
WATCH: “Identifying Features”
In Fernanda Valadez's acclaimed debut feature, violence near the Mexico-U.S. border prompts a mother to turn detective to follow the faintest trail of her missing son. With ensnaring sound design and a deft balance of clinical details and epic execution, Identifying Features wades into a crisis in which poor families, hamstrung governments and roving cartels are all, in their own ways, agents of disappearance. The recently deported Miguel (David Illescas) perhaps best sums up his generation of young men perpetually running away: "We all look the same from behind." Streams at cinemaunbound.org through March 14. Portland International Film Festival passes cost $75-$350. Individual tickets are $9.
GO: Carchella and Mixtape Revival at Oaks Park
Admittedly, of all the activities that shifted to drive-in models in the past year, live music stands to lose the most when viewed through a windshield. But hey, it still beats livestreaming a concert in your living room—and with actual, shoulder-to-shoulder, "smooshing your face into another person's back sweat" concerts probably being the last thing that returns post-pandemic, it'll be the best option available for a while. Oaks Park's Carchella series doesn't exactly live up to the star power of its punny name—performers include Gabby Holt, John Shipe and Howling Waters, all of whom have a "3 pm set at the Waterfront Blues Festival" vibe—but again, getting out of the house to see anyone play is probably worth the trip. Maybe even better? The amusement park's Mixtape Revival Series, featuring cover artists the Hair Jordans, has a Carpool Karaoke component: Film your car pod singing along to its repertoire '80s and '90s hits for a chance to get projected onto the big screen and win prizes. Mixtape Revival is every Friday from March 13 to April 16. 7 pm. $49 per vehicle. Carchella is every Saturday from March 14 to April 17. 7 pm. $59 per vehicle. See oakspark.com for complete schedule and tickets.
STREAM: “Things that have to do with fire” virtual walk-through
Vo Vo's new exhibit challenges the idea that Portland anarchists are simply angry kids more interested in breaking windows than caring for their communities. Inspired by their work as a radical educator and last summer's uprising, Vo Vo's solo show features video and large-scale textiles that examine U.S. iconography from the Capitol Building to Smokey the Bear. Things that have to do with fire is a fitting title on many levels—the collagelike banners emanate a kind of warmth, pulling from the wisdom of activists from Martin Luther King Jr. to Mariame Kaba. Fuller Rosen Gallery, fullerrosen.com. 3-5 pm Saturday, March 13.
DO: Toasts With Hosts
Beer lovers looking forward to the return of the Oregon Brewers Festival this summer are undoubtedly feeling a bit bummed by last week's announcement of its cancellation. If you're looking for some semblance of communal drinking or just a bunch of other beer nerds to commiserate with, this virtual tasting hosted by Hammer & Stitch should help alleviate the sting of a second year with no OBF. The brewery, which opened last October at the industrial edge of Slabtown, is preparing take-home packages that will include six 16-ounce beers, nine small bites prepared by Grand Cru Hospitality, two desserts, and an invitation to a Zoom session. On March 13, you can then get a personal description of the pairings courtesy of brewery co-founder and longtime Portland brewer Ben Dobler. It may not instill the pure joy that comes from drinking in Waterfront Park on a summer day, but at least you won't have to suffer through sweaty newbs yelling "Whoooo!" every time a keg kicks. 4:30 pm Saturday, March 13. Tickets available at hsbrew.co. $75.
DO: Oregon Cheese Fest To-Go
We know, we know—every day for the past year has been an at-home cheese fest for most of us. But in the case of this cheese festival, we're not talking about putting away a whole stack of Kraft singles while binge-watching Scrubs. The tasting kits for this virtual version of the annual Oregon Cheese Festival are chock-full of premium cheeses from all over the state—a whole 5 pounds' worth. Pick them up from their designated locations in Central Point and Grants Pass, and tune in on Facebook for a live tasting of aged Tillamook cheddar, among other events. 5 pm Saturday, March 13. See oregoncheesefestival.com for complete details. $95.
WATCH: “The Ides of March”
March 15 marks the 74th day of the Roman calendar, and you know what that means: Vengeance! Betrayal! The assassination of Julius Caesar! This week, watch a cautionary tale that offers a timeless warning to beware the Ides of March, like this 2011 tense political drama starring Ryan Gosling and George Clooney. When a junior campaign manager (Gosling) for the Democratic governor of Pennsylvania (Clooney) discovers a potentially career-ending secret about his boss, he grapples with maintaining his integrity in the face of immorality. Stream on Amazon Prime, Apple TV+ and other platforms.
CATCH UP ON: The State on Paramount Plus
The new streaming service du jour has been greeted with grumbles from certain corners of the Twitter commentariat due to the fact that most of its forthcoming "original" content is spin-offs or revivals. (Was the world really clamoring for The Continuing Adventures of Frasier Crane?) But the platform's apparent dedication to tickling Gen X's nostalgia glands isn't all bad, especially when it involves finally giving weird '90s kids a way to revisit The State. The cult-favorite MTV sketch show was a generational touchstone—at least for comedy nerds—but it's remained strangely elusive over the decades, even into the era of extreme content-mining. Not every cast member became a household name, but nearly all of them went on to become familiar faces that enliven everything they appear in, which covers a lot of ground. If you love Wet Hot American Summer and Reno 911 and Joe Lo Truglio on Brooklyn Nine-Nine but are too young to have seen all those people in their formative years, consider this worth the price of subscription alone—go dip your eyeballs in it. Stream on Paramount Plus.
HEAR: “Curbside Pickup” by Vinnie Dewayne
After an almost five-year hiatus, Vinnie Dewayne's third album is finally here. Last week, the Portland-born rapper released Curbside Pickup, his first album since moving to Chicago. Dewayne has made his name on introspective rap, but Curbside Pickup is arguably his most vulnerable release yet. Over its 10 tracks, Dewayne processes the death of a close friend, substance abuse and depression. But despite the heavy subject matter, the album is actually kind of fun. Dewayne's revamped, Chicago-meets-Portland sound is infused with trap-inspired beats and full of funny, tender moments. Stream on Spotify.