Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Portland Recognized as Cinematic Hub

"The movie will show first in Austin, Tex., where its writer-directors, the brothers Mark and Jay Duplass, got their filmmaking careers in gear. Then Baghead will probably move on to Dallas, Houston or, maybe, Portland, Ore. — cities that, in the words of Tom Bernard, the co-president of Sony Pictures Classics, 'tend to connect with what’s new and different.'" - Mark Cieply, The New York Times (7/3/08)

Damn straight.

I've been waiting for the studios to catch onto what everyone who's been to Portland - including many filmmakers - already know. Portland is a city full of people itching for something a little more cutting edge; something outside the mainstream. Our music scene is already known across the country, but it's high time the film scene received some recognition. I'm not going to go on and on about our many fine rep theaters, the bar theater scene, or the fact that there are regularly more interesting, varied film programming in Portland than any other city I've been to.

But I will say this - The Puffy Chair, Mark and Jay Duplass' feature debut, went over very well in Portland. It played for several weeks at a Regal theater (an art house Regal theater to be sure, but nevertheless). At the time I saw it, I wrote that I was riveted by the film right up until the end, which I felt undermined essentially the entire journey. It was nevertheless a wholly engrossing film, which makes their follow-up effort a must-see.