RAIDERS OF THE LOST ARCHIVE: Human Growth (Written by Lester Beck, Directed by Sy Wexler, 1947/1962)

We’re headed Back to School again this week and tackling that most interesting and uncomfortable of classroom topics: Sex Ed. Raider/Contributor Phil Oppenheim takes a look at the late 40’s and early 60’s in-classroom, let’s-watch-a-film-on-that approach to this topic from the University of Oregon and it is quite curious (frustrating? enlightening? stereotype-izing?) to see the differences between the two and, even more so, between then and now. On top of that, in a state with such a (forgive us) well developed animation industry, it’s also great to see such early roots for that particular art form even if it is at the expense of poor Aunt Sarah (who might have have a few questions to answer about her hateful niece’s origins).

You can see and experience it all for yourself here:

This is where our story begins…(1962 version).

How did you learn about the birds and the bees?

If you were an American adult before the ‘50s, there’s a good chance you picked up what you could from the streets, the old-fashioned way — or, if you were a more adventurous sort, you skulked down to a seedy neighborhood movie theater to catch a tawdry exploitation film masquerading as “education.”  The odds are pretty good that you’d have seen the amateurish teen-sex scare film Mom and Dad, directed by B-picture hack William “One-Shot” Beaudine and road-showed all over the country by the sleaze-entrepreneur Kroger Babb, and drifted home afterwards feeling like you needed a shower (although being no better informed than you were when you bought the ticket).  Read More »

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Praise for 24 Hour Comic

Comic-Con screening follows national distribution for Oregon comics doc

Cartoonist-stars Paul Guinan and David Chelsea join filmmaker Milan Erceg to celebrate 24 Hour Comic screening at San Diego Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival.

Cartoonist-stars Paul Guinan and David Chelsea join filmmaker Milan Erceg to celebrate 24 Hour Comic screening at San Diego Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival.

The biggest little indie feature doc in Oregon, 24 Hour Comic, screened at the San Diego Comic-Con International Independent Film Festival this July. Director Milan Erceg, whose film documents a marathon of comic book creation, says the recognition from Comic-Con film festival “is about the biggest honor we could have.” Comic-Con founder Mike Towry, who attended the screening, said he found 24 Hour Comic “interesting and entertaining.” Nat Gertler, who launched the first 24-hour comic day in 2004 which ultimately inspired Erceg’s movie, also joined 24 Hour Comic filmmakers and cast members in San Diego to celebrate the film’s acceptance at one of the world’s most important pop culture festivals.

“We never would have guessed this little documentary would have the response and opportunities that it has had” says Erceg.  Read More »

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Raiders of the Lost Archive – Metal Messiah: Born Again Sage (Nick Wells, 2010)

Raiders continues its Back to School theme this week with some much needed Music Appreciation. Whether you launched your appreciation of a certain genre of Energy Music through Heavy Metal Parking Lot, or just hours of stereo volumes pegged to 11 followed by blurry road trips to see Ozzy or Mötley Crüe, or maybe you just liked the wardrobe and appreciate Mark Wahlberg in “Rock Star” – we all have been touched in some way by our own rock n’ roll journey and Raider Contributor Phil Oppenheim takes us down one particular path that starts at Oregon City High School (and, coincidentally or ironically enough, the shooting location for Netflix’s “Everything Sucks” this past summer).

One of the greatest joys for movie raiders is discovering the micro-budgeted indie movies hiding unheralded in the back racks of movie rental stores, overshadowed by mega-branded blockbusters in endless alphabetical listings in streaming services, or buried at 3 am on cable tv.  They’re unchampioned by studio marketers or public-relations flacks, and often rely only on the kindness of strangers — or the strangeness of movie nerds — for attention and love.  These weird little pics might be lacking in professional slickness or conventional standards of commercial entertainment, but at their best they make up for all of that stuff in individualistic vision, passionate authenticity, and genuine surprises.

Metal Messiah: Born Again Sage, produced, written, directed, and starring Nick Wells (AKA The Phantom Hillbilly) is, for me, that kind of movie.   Read More »

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Oregon Locations Shine In “Lean on Pete”

Lean On Pete” has been collecting some great reviews, and has already premiered internationally in the Venice International Film Festival and Toronto International Film Festival, and also screened in the US at Telluride.   Writer-Director, Andrew Haigh  (“45 Years”) adapted Willy Vlautin’s 2010 novel of the same name, that shot in Oregon last summer.  The #OregonMade feature made great use of locations, shooting in NE , and SE Portland, at the Portland Meadows race track, a family ranch in Molalla, and out in eastern Oregon in Burns, Hines, and at the Harney County fairgrounds.  Oregon’s often overlooked high-desert, big sky, wide-open spaces were integral to this film, considering the events that unfold actually happened in this dusty sage-brush landscape.  Richard Lawson, of Vanity Fair, said of Haigh’s choices that they beautifully captured, “a dazzling array of lonely and picturesque landscapes in the scrub deserts of eastern Oregon and Idaho.”

“Lean on Pete” follows the story of “fifteen-year-old Charley Thompson (Charlie Pummer) who,wants a home, food on the table and a high school he can attend for more than part of the year. As the son of a single father working in warehouses across the Pacific Northwest, stability is hard to find. Hoping for a new start they move to Portland, Oregon where Charley takes a summer job, with a washed-up horse trainer, (Steve Buscemi) and befriends a failing racehorse named Lean on Pete.” (IMBD)  “Lean on Pete”premiered at the Venice Film Festival 201728 Aug 2017 – 06 Sep 2017, and at the Toronto International Film Festival September 7-17th.


Vanity Fair



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World Premiere Of North Of Blue By Indie Animation Queen – Joanna Priestley


Acclaimed Indie animation queen Joanna Priestley has jumped off the deep end of the image pool into a luscious, mind bending, abstract animated feature film that will premiere at the Hollywood Theatre (Portland, OR) on September 21, 2017 at 7 PM. North of Blue (60 min.) began in the mysterious winter landscape of the far north where Priestley was filmmaker-in-residence at the Klondike Institute of Art and Culture in Dawson City, Canada. The program will include a special slide show about the Yukon and a demonstration on how the film was made. Tickets are available now.

Drawing inspiration from natural landscapes, “North of Blue” offers a dense multiverse of images and shifting focal points where scenes transmogrify from rhythmic dances to sublime trance-inducing patterns. Priestley deconstructs conventional icons to create shapes that spark a sense of connection and shared history. Jamie Haggerty’s music and sound design, with additional sound effects by Chris Barber, provide a dense soundscape and melodic compliment to the ever evolving patterns of Priestley’s animation. Paint effects and title design and animation were created by Brian Kinkley. All of the crew is from Portland, OR. Animation assistants on “North of Blue” were a talented quintet of interns from the Art Institute of Portland and the project was supported by fellowships from the Caldera Foundation and Willapa Bay AIR.

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Francis Ford Coppola In Conversation With Melena Ryzik of The New York Times, At The Schnitz October 2nd

Literary Arts is honored to host Francis Ford Coppola, one of the most iconic filmmakers of our time, on Monday, October 2 to discuss his latest book Live Cinema and Its Techniques. Coppola will appear in conversation with The New York Times reporter Melena Ryzik.

Francis Ford Coppola is an award-winning director, producer, and writer whose films include The Godfather Trilogy, Apocalypse Now, and The Conversation, among others. With more than five decades of experience in the film industry, Coppola has produced more than 50 motion pictures and earned six Oscars, including Best Director, Best Adapted Screenplay, and Best Picture.

Coppola’s latest work includes the book Live Cinema and Its Techniques. Filled with lively anecdotes and invaluable lessons, the book offers an indispensable and entertaining guide to “live cinema,” a visionary new form of filmmaking. By weaving his vision of the cinematic medium with autobiographical and historical vignettes, Coppola convinces the reader that live cinema will transport filmmaking into a new era.

Melena Ryzik has been a roving culture reporter for The New York Times for over a decade. Recent projects have included a broadly shared report on diversity and representation in Hollywood, an oral history of the activist group the Guerrilla Girls, and a series on socially conscious, genre-defying artists. As the awards season columnist known as the Carpetbagger, she has attended the Oscars five times and sent dispatches from film festivals around the world. A native Russian speaker, she has also served as a national correspondent in San Francisco and the mid-Atlantic states.

Thank you to our event sponsors Angeli Law Group LLC, The New York Times, Oregon Film, The Oregonian, and Oregon Public Broadcasting.”

Tickets now on sale.



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“Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge” Airs on YouTube Red

Another #OregonMade Series debuts next week. YouTube Red announced an all-new original series known as Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge.

Billed as the very first “unscripted sneaker design competition series,” Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge comes from the minds of sneaker designer and Portland-based Pensole Academy founder D’Wayne Edwards and executive producer Ken Mok, who is best known for his work on America’s Next Top Model. Hosted by Adande “sWoozie” Thorne, YouTube Red’s new “sneaker design competition” program will feature special guest appearances by Fetty Wap, Anthony Anderson, Ashley Graham, Macklemore, Stan Smith, Eddie Huang, James Harden and other high-profile, fan-favorite celebrities.

Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge will bring together “aspiring footwear designers” from all around the globe, allowing the contestants to engage in a battle to determine the individual best suited to “design, develop and produce the next great sneaker.” For the grand finale, the designers-to-be will compete to win an opportunity to design and create their very own limited edition James Harden Sneaker; the winner will also secure a position as a designer for adidas.

Lace Up: The Ultimate Sneaker Challenge will debut on YouTube Red on September 14, while the lead trailer for the series can be viewed here.

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Ashland Independent Film Festival Expands the 28th Annual Varsity World Film Week

Varsity World Film WeekThe Ashland Independent Film Festival has assembled an intriguing and illuminating array of international independent films for the 28th annual Varsity World Film Week running October 6 through October 13 at the Varsity Theatre in downtown Ashland. The 13 films selected represent 23 countries, including Canada, Colombia, Lebanon, France, Thailand, Russia, Nepal, and the United States.

In addition to the week of screenings, this year will also feature opening and closing night festivities, including Q&A’s with film directors and after-screening parties.  “With the addition of these special events,” states AIFF Artistic and Executive Director Richard Herskowitz, “Varsity World Film Week is evolving into a vibrant full-fledged film festival, the second major festival that AIFF is presenting annually in Ashland.”

The opening night feature, on Friday, October 6 at 7:30pm, will be “Rebels on Pointe.” This film follows Les Ballets Trockadero de Monte Carlo — the all-male, drag ballet company founded over 40 years ago on the heels of New York’s Stonewall riots. The film juxtaposes behind-the-scenes access and intimate, character-driven stories of its dancers, highlighted by amazing performances shot around the world. Montreal-based director, and Southern Oregon University alumna, Bobbi Jo Hart will attend the film on opening night and participate in a post-show Q&A.  The screening will be followed by a Kickoff Dance Party, featuring special drag performances, at the Ashland Springs Hotel. This event help launch Rogue Valley Pride 2017.

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POWGirls Summer $5k Set To Raise Scholarship Funds By September 20th!

POWGirls Summer $5k!

Help us to raise scholarship funds for the 2017/2018 POWGirls Workshops!

$5000 Goal by September 20, 2017!

POWGirls depends on partnerships and donations to meet the costs of running our workshops. Since some POWGirls participants are unable to pay tuition, we rely heavily on scholarships to make our workshops available to all young women. NO APPLICANT IS TURNED AWAY DUE TO LACK OF FUNDS.

POWGirls offers workshops in video production, cinematography, audio recording, set lighting, digital editing and media literacy for girls ages 15-19. Our instructors are working media producers who inspire girls to be creative, tech-savvy leaders who will help realize gender equity in the film industry.

Help us empower young women to realize their power, creativity and voice in media production and encourage them to explore opportunities as future media-makers. Help us encourage girls to be creative, tech-savvy leaders who will help realize gender equity in media industries. Check out the awesome features on POWGirls in The Portland Mercuryand Willamette Week.  Read More »

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“Portlandia” Wraps After 8 Successful Seasons – Celebration And Plaque Dedication For City Hall

A celebration of Cast and Crew, gathered at Arbor Lodge Park today. Cast, Crew, Producers, and city officials gathered to celebrate 8 successful seasons of IFC’s and Broadway Video’s “Portlandia” shooting in Portland. The unveiling and dedication of a “Portlandia” plaque was then gifted to City Hall. The plaque will be placed near a specially commissioned “put a bird on it” bench on the third floor of Portland City Hall, outside the Mayor’s office.

On hand to accept the plaque, were the show’s producers, cast members and local crew as well as Oregon State Treasurer, Tobias Read,  and representatives from the Governor’s office, state legislators, Portland City Hall staff and employees. Additionally, producers from IFC and Broadway Video and Fred Armisen and Carrie Brownstein, were there to commemorate the event.

In addition, a commemorative bike rack, designed and created by Noah Dille, local welder and fabricator with a background in the motion picture industry, will be installed in front of City Hall for all Portlanders to use in celebration of the show.

The plaque and bike rack were specifically commissioned by Oregon Film and the Portland Film Office, with support from the Oregon Media Production Association (OMPA), as a gift to Portland City Hall to celebrate “Portlandia’s” contributions to the city.  Thank you to TRIbella and the Willamette Valley Wineries Association for providing fantastic crew gift bags and being on hand to talk to the cast and crew.

“Portland has been so much more than a shooting location for us,” says “Portlandia” producer and Portland native David Cress, “it’s been a inspiration and the source of many of our best ideas and talent.”

Fred Armisen (photo Teresa O’Neill, Travel Portland)

Tim Williams, Executive Director of Oregon Film (the Governor’s Office of Film, TV and Media) adds, “we have been lucky as a state to have a project which has consistently delivered jobs, training, worldwide marketing and, above all, humor while celebrating our largest city in its title alone.”

Over the last 8 years “Portlandia” has accounted for almost $40M of direct spending and supporting 200 annual jobs with nearly $15M in payroll, and $18M in in-state goods & services paid to more than 100 Oregon vendors each season.

With 20 award nominations to date, “Portlandia” has won 4 Emmy Awards and is currently nominated for another 3 Emmy’s for their 7th season. This is unprecedented among all of our #OregonMade internationally distributed TV series. Read more press below:


“Portlandia” Wraps After 8 Successful Seasons – Celebration And Plaque Dedication For City Hall



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