WATCH: Cruising and Knife + Heart
We’re now halfway through Pride Month, so keep the celebration going with a screening of some stellar LGBTQ+ films—and because not everything is sunshine and rainbows, make it a double-feature night with these dramas that explore the dark side of desire. In Cruising, Al Pacino stars as an undercover detective assigned to catch a serial killer targeting gay men in New York’s underground S&M scene. Directed by The Exorcist’s William Friedkin, this controversial 1980 crime thriller was criticized for its portrayal of gay culture upon release, but has since found a devoted cult following. Majorly influenced by Cruising and giallo cinema, Knife + Heart (2018), a surreal NC-17 horror film, centers on a gay porn producer (Vanessa Paradis) who embarks an ambitious new project after her girlfriend-editor leaves her. But when one of her actors winds up murdered, she’s thrust into a bloody, perverse mystery. Streams on Amazon Prime, Apple TV, Criterion Channel, Google Play, Kanopy, Shudder, Vudu, YouTube.
STREAM: Don’t Quill the Messenger
Grants Pass-based podcast Don’t Quill the Messenger invites listeners down the rabbit hole of what host Steven Sabel politely calls “the Shakespeare authorship question,” which suggests William Shakespeare, the Bard of Stratford-upon-Avon, England, did not pen the Western world’s most famous plays. Sabel is a member of the Shakespeare Oxford Fellowship, an international organization that posits Edward de Vere, the 17th Earl of Oxford, was the true writer of the Shakespeare canon and rightful source of the pen name “William Shakespeare.” While it’s a belief dismissed and deemed either far-fetched or beside the point in most academic circles, Don’t Quill the Messenger makes its case by interrogating what it views as an undocumented and invented history of Stratford’s Shakespeare and plumbing the life of de Vere for textual connections. Agree or disagree, it’s still a fascinating listen. Streams at dragonwagonradio.com/dontquillthemessenger.
WATCH: Church of Film presents The Devil Queen
After 15 long months, Church of Film is back at the Clinton Street Theater. Hosted by local film curator Muriel Lucas, the series is devoted to off-the-radar arthouse gems that have never been distributed in the U.S. Church of Film’s second screening since returning to the Clinton promises to be particularly worthwhile. The Devil Queen is a violent, brightly colored 1970s Brazilian flick that follows a power-obsessed femme queen crime boss and her plot to protect one of her crew members from the police. If you can’t make it in person, or if you’re not yet up for sitting indoors with strangers, The Devil Queen is already streaming for free on Church of Film’s Vimeo page. Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., cstpdx.com. 8 pm Wednesday, June 18. $6.
Before the pandemic, Kelly’s Olympian established itself as one of the best places in town to catch sets by up-and-coming Portland hip-hop artists. So it only makes sense that the venue’s first in-person show in over a year would be packed with local emcees. Headlined by confessional rapper KayelaJ, the lineup showcases a diverse array of artists, from Jordan Fletcher’s hard-hitting social commentary to DJ Chuckk Pasta’s R&B and house-centric sets. Kelly’s Olympian, 426 SE Washington St., kellysolympian.com. 8 pm Friday, June 18. $8. 21+.
GO: Juneteenth Oregon Livestream from Jack London
Oregon lawmakers only recently voted to officially recognize Juneteenth—the day in 1865 when Texas finally heeded the Emancipation Proclamation and thus confirmed the end of slavery in the United States—as a state holiday, but commemorative events have been occurring in Portland for almost a half-century. This year, nonprofit Juneteenth Oregon partners with the Jack London Revue to mark the day with a jam-packed concert livestreamed from the downtown basement jazz club. Performers include veteran Portland rappers Cool Nutz, Libretto and Mic Crenshaw, sound artist Amenta Abioto, R&B singer Parisalexa, and Portland Trail Blazers DJ OG One, with appearances by Gov. Kate Brown, U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley and jazz legend Mel Brown, among others. Streams at juneteenthor.com and pdxjazz.com, and on Facebook and Instagram. 1-6 pm Saturday, June 19.
DO: Pride Night Monster Ball
Drag queens and DJs pay tribute to Lady Gaga, serving the best of Mother Monster’s discography along with a group listening party for Chromatica, which dropped in the midst of the pandemic and has thus never been properly celebrated—you’ll finally hear “Chromatica ii” transition into “911” in a loud, sweaty room, just as God intended. Star Theater, 13 NW 6th Ave. 8 pm Saturday, June 19. $10. 21+.
STREAM: Second Annual Digital Pride Parade & Dykes on Bikes Rally
This year’s digital Pride Parade and Dykes on Bikes Rally are being recorded on June 4 at Portland International Raceway. Whether that’s because of downtown doom mongers or the ongoing pandemic is unknown, but it’s at least a fresher take on a pre-recorded parade than last year’s Zoom talent show and archival footage of the Gay Pride 1999 parade. See portlandpride.org for streaming information. 11 am Sunday, June 30. Free. All ages.
GO: A Celebration of Pride at the Lot
Most of this year’s high profile Pride events are still taking place online, so this gathering, held at Portland’s newly launched socially distanced outdoor entertainment venue, is effectively standing in for the big shebang that typically takes place up the river at Waterfront Park as 2021′s centerpiece celebration. Stones-y rockers Ashleigh Flynn and the Riveters “headline,” while local legend Poison Waters leads a midafternoon drag performance and Bollywood masters DJ Anjali and the Incredible Kid open with a set of worldly dance jams. Just remember: Keep the groove to your designated pods, please! The Lot at Zidell Yards, 3030 S Moody Ave., thelotatzidellyards.com. 6 pm Sunday, June 20. $35-$50 per person. All tickets sold as two-, four- and six-person seating pods. VIP seating pods available. All ages.
GO: It’s Brittany, Buddy Pedalpalooza Ride
Now that a decade-plus of fan protests to end Britney Spears’ conservatorship is about to culminate in a court hearing, it’s obviously a very stressful time to be a Britney stan. Thankfully, on the eve of the pop icon’s Zoom court testimony about her father’s legal control over her life and finances, you can commune with the very specific demographic of people who love Britney as much as they love biking. Part of Pedalpalooza, this leisurely 5-mile loop will, of course, be packed with timeless tunes by the Princess of Pop. But it’ll also include stops for snacks and discussion about the #FreeBritney movement and disability justice. Ladd’s Circle Park and Rose Garden, Southeast Harrison Street and Ladd Avenue, shift2bikes.org. 6 pm Tuesday, June 22.