Bullshit extravaganza

Ah summer, with its lack of homework and near nonstop barbecues and campouts, you would think the misery would never end. Looking for a great way to avoid the sun and watermelon seeds? Hollywood has you covered with a summer extravaganza of mostly bullshit movies.

An Egyptian weekend

Have you been waiting to see an Egyptian-set film that does not feature Charlton Heston? I know I have. This weekend the Northwest Film Center will be showing five Egyptian films from the past eight years. Sure, cinema in Egypt doesn’t seem up to par as French films, but still, this offers an opportunity to see an Egypt that doesn’t involve pyramids or the book of Exodus. And as an added bonus, the films put on during the Film Center’s contemporary Egyptian series are rare presentations, unlikely to be seen elsewhere.

Wrestling is real?

Toward the eastern edge of Portland, among dilapidated commercial buildings and car repair shops, lies a small, discreet warehouse. Inside, a dozen rows of mismatched chairs surround a wrestling ring that snugly fits where stacked cardboard boxes and a forklift used to be. Metal music blares as Wage Reichten enters the ring to a chorus of jeers from a crowd of 50. Wage is a pile of muscles trying to escape a small piece of spandex. Climbingthe corner turnbuckles of the ring, he gives a horrific scream as the duct-tape wrapped ropes shake beneath his weight. A young man yells from the crowd: “You look like a shaved vagina from the 1980s.”

Herzog continues

A Quest for the Sublime: The Films of Werner Herzog continues for another three weeks at the Northwest Film Center. The German filmmaker’s filmography is as interesting as it is long, so don’t miss out on your chance to see some classics on the big screen. Here is a guide to just a few of Herzog’s films you can see over the next two weeks.

Filming at the edge of Earth

Werner Herzog is relentless. Once during an interview he was shot with an air rifle, paused, told the reporter “it was not a significant bullet,” and continued the interview while blood oozed from his stomach.

Singing toward death

Joe’s doctor doesn’t think he should go on tour. Joe ignores the advice and travels around the world to perform. Pretty standard for a young rock star, right? Well, yes.

Don’t forget Judd Apatow

Judd Apatow is a goddamned, bona fide comedy powerhouse. From his underground comedy sensation Freaks and Geeks through last year’s Knocked Up, Superbad, and the underrated biopic spoof Walk Hard, he has created his own comedic aesthetic and a talented roster of go-to actors.

In the lens: films on Judaism

In 1938, Nazi Germany annexed the country of Austria. For the young Vienna resident Ferry Tobler, this was a troubling action. For one, he was Jewish. Secondly, the Nazis murdered his father, leaving the teenage boy alone to try to survive in a Europe that was becoming increasingly deadly.

An American Movie, an American dream

“I was a failure and I can’t be that anymore … with a beer in my hand thinking about the great American movie … this time it’s most important not to drink and dream, but rather to create and complete.” These are the words of Mark Borchardt, an independent filmmaker and the subject of 1999’s American Movie, which follows Borchardt and his rag-tag crew of volunteers on their quest to make what will be his masterpiece, a thriller film called Northwestern.

Human Giant

The YouTube era is a strange one. Millions of people can now watch an idiot dancing, or, more frightening, a man cutting his penis off (as far as I know, this isn’t available on YouTube, but one can only hope). Hell, you can even watch a variety of videos of people reacting to the online video of a man cutting his penis off.