Typically, when film programming highlights the seedy noir world of femmes fatales, crooked detectives, rainy streets and double crosses, it focuses on well-known classics like The Third Man or Double Indemnity. Noir City skips the standards and cuts deep. Hosted by film historian Eddie Muller, the three-day celebration of disrepute includes lost classics from the Film Noir Foundation's preservation program, among them the 1946 Peter Lorre creeper Three Strangers, the dark and femme fatale-driven Too Late for Tears, and the jet-black prison-break caper Crashout. It is, hands down, the most extensive collection of lesser-known noir to hit the city, and an essential weekend of viewing for any film fan.
Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd., 281-4215, hollywoodtheatre.org. Sept. 19-21.
Oregon Independent Film Festival
Like the Portland International Film Fest, minus the old people in berets, the Oregon Independent Film Festival hits the Clinton Street Theater (as well as Eugene's Bijou Art Cinema) with a slate of features, documentaries and shorts from around the world. Among this year's Oregon offerings is All the Little Things, Jeff Streich's documentary about the horrific 2003 murder of 18-year-old Portlander Cassondra Brown. On the less harrowing side—but still firmly in the horror camp—is Darla Rae and Michael Patrick Stevens' Brutal. It's scored by legendary synth composer Alan Howarth, he of John Carpenter classics Big Trouble in Little China and They Live.
Clinton Street Theater, 2522 SE Clinton St., 238-5588, oregonindependentfilmfest.com. Sept. 19-21.
Portland Queer Film Festival
It may have been rechristened after 17 years as the Portland Lesbian & Gay Film Festival, but the Portland Queer Film Festival remains one of the most compelling and respected fests of its kind. This year, the weeklong event has even scored a legend in the form of Olympic superstar Greg Louganis, who will be at Cinema 21 to introduce Back on the Board: Greg Louganis, which kicks off a week of shorts, docs and narrative features focused on LGBT experiences around the world.
Cinema 21, 616 NW 21st Ave., 223-4515, pdxqueerfilm.com. Oct. 3-9.
For the past 32 years, the worlds of music and film have collided during the NW Film Center's sprawling Reel Music series, which has the rare distinction of becoming more robust with each installment. This year offers an array of new films focused on everything from Elliott Smith (Heaven Adores You) and Nick Cave (20,000 Days on Earth) to the making of Nas' masterpiece, Illmatic. There will also be screenings of certified classics like the Talking Heads film Stop Making Sense—celebrating 30 years as the best concert film ever—and Nosferatu, celebrating 92 years of scaring the shit out of people, and playing here with a live, original score.
NW Film Center's Whitsell Auditorium., 1219 SW Park Ave., 221-1156, nwfilm.org. Oct. 10-22.