nav-left cat-right
cat-right


Veronica Mars...

Did you know that there are only a few theaters that were chosen to play the Veronica Mars movie?

VM

We’re lucky enough to be one of them!

The story of The Veronica Mars movie is actually a unique one.  It was funded by the fans of the show via Kickstarter and quickly became the fastest campaign in Kickstarter history to reach its goal, raising 2 million dollars in only 10 hours.  It also has the distinction of having the most backers (91,585) of any Kickstarter project.  The final donations totaled 5.7 million!  That’s not to say that Warner Brothers isn’t helping out too.  They’ll be assisting with distribution, marketing and legal aspects of the film.  Still, after the enormous success of the Veronica Mars campaign it will be interesting to see how crowdfunding will impact the future of filmmaking.

VM poster

Anyway, the movie opens at midnight on March 13th and tickets went on sale last week- they’re selling like hot cakes!  Don’t worry if you haven’t jumped on the Veronica Mars bandwagon yet though, there is still time.  You can buy the series, or better yet stream it for free if you are an Amazon Prime Member (and you didn’t hear it from me but you could sign up for their free trial offer and then cancel once you’ve finished watching the show…).  Even if you haven’t seen the show it’s a great time to join the fun and become a new fan by celebrating the return of everyone’s favorite sloth-loving teenage detective (if you don’t get the sloth reference, please click here.  Seriously, just trust me on this one) here at Living Room Theaters!

tumblr_ly8t16qhDg1qaa163o1_500

Tickets can be purchased here: http://pdx.livingroomtheaters.com/veronicamars.cfm

The Academy Awards!...

academy-awards-filmstrip-logo

I have four brothers. Every year we fill out March Madness brackets and every year I lose horribly. So this year I decided that we should start a new tradition, one that I actually have a chance of winning. And so the first annual Davenport Family Oscar Ballot was created. I’m happy to say that they’ve embraced the idea- luckily I’m not the only movie lover in the family.

<> on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.<> on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.<> on October 19, 2009 in Santa Clarita, California.

I’ve begun studying already. Can I just say that studying for the Oscars is pretty great? It helps that we’re showing a lot of the nominated films here at LRT (Her, Nebraska, The Great Beauty, 20 Feet From Stardom, and starting Friday 1/31, all of the nominated short features) which makes it super convenient for me to see them. I’m especially looking forward to seeing the shorts. Don’t tell anyone (especially not my brothers- if I lose this one I’ll never live it down. Ever.), but I think the secret to winning an Oscar contest is in the “smaller” categories. Get a handle on those and you’re golden.

OscarShorts_2014_Poster

So hurry in and catch up before it’s too late- March 2nd will be here before you know it!

Richard II...

So, you may or may not be aware that the RSC (Royal Shakespeare Company) in Stratford-upon-Avon recently put on the play RICHARD II, starring everyone’s favorite doctor- David Tennant. For those of you who are not Whovians, Mr. Tennant starred as the 10th doctor in the British series DOCTOR WHO (which is currently available on Netflix, you should watch it if you get the chance. It’s pretty amazing. Plus, David Tennant).

David_Tennant

But I digress. This play is wonderful. Take the talented cast that is the RSC, performing in Shakespeare’s hometown, add David Tennant, and you have a must see. Which is probably why it sold out so many shows. Luckily for us here in the States they recorded one of the performances and are allowing us to broadcast it. We’ll be showing it at Living Room Theaters on Sunday, December 8th at 12pm and then again on Thursday December 12th at 7pm. And to help get you into that Shakespearean mood we’ll have special Renaissance themed food and drinks available here at the theater (never tried Mead? This is your chance!). Get your tickets online or at the box office now so that you don’t miss out!

DTRSC

Your Scariest Movies...

Dracula in 3D

Dracula in 3D

My name is Gabriel and I’m part of the programming team at Living Room Theaters. While my tastes tend toward more “artsy” type movies, I’m a huge horror film junkie so I always enjoy this time of year when we get to revisit some of our favorite scary movies. 

This year for Halloween, we’re pleased be opening the new film from one of the genre’s greatest directors, Dario Argento. Dracula in 3D opens at Living Room on October 25 and is a salacious, luridly creepy 3D version of the classic vampire tale, drenched in gore and sex. To celebrate the opening, we’re giving away several collectible lenticulars from the film. You can see them in action HERE.

To be entered to win one of the lenticulars, just post a list of the five films that you consider the scariest ever made in the comments of this post. We’ll select winners at random and post the names in the comments. We’ll announce winners on Thursday, October 30. To get you started, here are the five films I consider the scariest, in no particular order.

Halloween (1973)

Halloween

Halloween

Although John Carpenter’s Halloween didn’t invent the slasher film, it set the bar for all those that followed. Michael Meyers is an escaped psychopath who returns to his hometown to kill remorselessly while wearing an expressionless hockey mask. The film relies on suspense rather than sensationalism. Our fear is caused by what might happen rather than actual events, as Carpenter spends a good amount of time in darkness, making us see things that may or may not be there. Halloween is noted for its camerawork, which has the audience identifying with the villain for the first part of the film (a device used to similarly creepy effect in Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho and Bob Clark’s Black Christmas). The formula, by now, is legendary: Take a group of promiscuous high schoolers, throw in one vestigial virgin and one psychotic killer and watch the horror unfold. Great fun!

The Exorcist (1973)

The Exorcist

The Exorcist

When The Exorcist hit theaters in 1973, it redefined the horror genre and revolutionized the way these movies blended legitimate scares will stomach-churning special effects. The movie tells the story of Father Damien Karras’ (Jason Miller) attempts to drive a demonic spirit out of the body of a young girl named Regan MacNeil (Linda Blair).

The makeup used to show Blair’s transformation from young girl to full-fledged demon were so disturbing for audiences at the time that some theaters actually handed out “Exorcist Barf Bags” in case anyone’s stomach couldn’t quite handle the horror.

But it wasn’t just in the physical distortion of a young girl that made this movie so disturbing; there is also a lot of religious desecration throughout the movie that struck a chord with some of the more devout members of the public.

Psycho (1960)

Pyscho

Pyscho

A bonafide masterpiece, Alfred Hitchcock’s Psycho was a cultural slap in the face. Censors wanted to ban it, while screaming audiences couldn’t get enough of it. Hitchcock employs all of his tricks – shifting audience sympathies, killing off the main character halfway through the film and a ton of macabre humor – but more importantly he makes the horror internal. Norman Bates isn’t a monster in the classic sense; he suggests that the greatest evil can lurk beneath the quietest, most pleasant surface. A perfect film that can be watched again and again and again…

Night of the Living Dead (1968)

Living Dead

Living Dead

George A. Romero’s Night of the Living Dead is a national treasure. Shot on a shoestring budget in and around Evans City, Pennsylvania, the zombie classic stands as a crucial milestone for independent cinema, an untouchable gem amongst horror purists and an intelligent, thought-provoking time capsule from the Civil Rights era. The dead are walking, and hunger for human flesh. A group of panicked survivors are barricaded in a deserted farmhouse while the army of flesh-eating zombies hovers outside their door. For a movie that features graphic scenes of zombies gnawing on human flesh, it is also sublimely beautiful.

The Innocents (1961)

The Innocents

The Innocents

If you ever find yourself having to defend the horror genre’s honor to some elitist blowhards (you know, the ones who always devalue scary movies into a form ghettoized cinema), tell them to watch Jack Clayton’s The Innocents. Deborah Kerr plays a governess who arrives at a bleak mansion to take care of Flora (Pamela Franklin) and Miles (Martin Stephens), the wealthy household’s two children. Outwardly the children are little darlings, but the governess begins to feel that there’s something unwholesome behind those beatific smiles. It’s the best kind of creepy film, one that works beautifully as a suspenseful tale of the supernatural but is also elegant, prestigious, and impervious to the genre’s naysayers. 

Ida...

toronto-international-film-festival-2013
One of the best things about any film festival is the opportunity to see some really wonderful films. This year GRAVITY was great, DON JON was funny and I hear that 12 YEARS A SLAVE was amazing (I missed seeing it myself, don’t ask). But those weren’t surprises, we all pretty much knew going in that they were going to be good. It’s the little ones- the ones that you just happen to see because they fill a hole in your schedule, or because you like the actor, or director, or because the buzz around them is building. And then you watch them and they turn out to be unexpectedly inspiring- or hilarious- or heart wrenching. Those are the ones that I love.

IDA
For me this year one of those was a small Polish film, shot in black and white, called IDA. It wasn’t really on my radar to begin with but two of my friends at the festival recommended that I see it. And I’m so glad that I did. Although sometimes slow paced, I found this understated film to be beautiful and moving.

Ida2

Set in Poland in 1962, IDA is the story of a young girl who is about to take her vows to become a nun- before she can do that though she must visit with her only surviving relative, an Aunt. She and her Aunt then begin a journey to find their family’s tragic story.

I don’t know yet if we’re going to be playing IDA at Living Room Theaters. I hope that we do. But even if we don’t, and you have the chance to see it, I suggest that you take it.

http://tiff.net/thefestival/filmprogramming
What films are you looking forward to from this year’s festival?

A day in the life of a film festival attendee...

6:30am: Your alarm goes off. You wonder how much longer you can sleep if you skip breakfast.

6:40am: You decide you can hit the snooze button one more time and still get to your first movie on time.

6:50am: You contemplate calling a taxi so that you can sleep a little more. Decide that walking is probably the better choice, given that you will be sitting for 8-12 hours that day.

7:00am: You finally get out of bed. Shower, dress, pack up your bag. Make sure that you have your movie schedule, industry credentials, snacks and a charged up phone-which is mainly used as a Kindle- there’s a lot of sitting and waiting between shows. Also appropriate attire for when it’s hot outside, cold in the theaters, and possibly raining on the way back.

8:30am: The first movie starts.

projector

10:30am: The movie’s over. And it sucked. You wonder why you even got out of bed.

11:00am: You’re already in the next film, hoping for the best.

1:00pm: Success! This one was a definite winner. You now wonder if you have time to run out of the theater, find something to eat and get back in time for the next show. You don’t- and the concession stand wins again.

4:00pm: You’re in your fourth movie of the day. It’s a tear jerker and you’re trying to hide the fact that you’re crying like a baby from all of the other press and industry people in the theater.

woman-crying1(Disclaimer, this isn’t really me.  I’m not blond.  And I don’t wear gowns to the movies.  Usually.  But the ugly cry and running mascara?  Accurate.)

6:00pm: You have time to eat real food! You text people you know at the Festival and set up a quick dinner. You talk about what you’ve seen, what you want to see and what should be avoided.

7:00pm: Another film. It’s crazy and not at all what you expected. You really like it anyway.

9:00pm: There are only Midnight Madness (read: scary) movies playing at this hour.

scared-woman-retro

(Again, not really me.  But pretty much how I react to anything that’s even potentially scary. I’m kind of a wimp).

Needless to say, you decide to head back to the hotel.

10:00pm: Make notes on which films you should try and play and e-mail them to your bosses. Plan out your film schedule for the next day.

11:00pm: Go to a party or go to sleep? You must be getting old cause you’re in your pajamas before you even get to the end of the question.

Rinse and repeat.

Toronto International Film Festival...

TIFF

The first time I attended the Toronto International Film Festival was in 2010. It was a last second decision and I was in constant awe of everything going on around me. Luckily I had a mentor there, who happened to be my boss at the time and also a veteran festival goer. She showed me the ropes and helped me develop my own “festival style”- which has turned out to be researching films early, but not actually putting my schedule together until the last minute. I’ve gone every year since then and have continued to learn and enjoy what the Festival has to offer.

This year I attended the Festival as a representative of Living Room Theaters. I saw 28 films in one week (which is a lot, but still only 10% of the 288 they played!). By being there I was able to help scope out the next year or so of films that we are going to try and show here at the theater.

For the next few weeks I plan on giving you an insider’s look at what goes on in a Festival and also a sneak peek of some of the best films that I saw. Stay tuned!

Intox Short Film Festival...

Living Room is happy to announce that we will be hosting the first ever Intox Short Film Festival.  This festival is being co-curated by local artists Tasha Virgil and Sarah Buckley with the help of The Northwest Animation Festival and will feature 15 short films from as many local filmmakers.  The genres span the board including animation, live action narrative, stop motion, experimental, & comedy.  There will be a short Q&A with the filmmakers after each screening as well as a reception in the lounge between showings with further opportunities to network and free live music provided by Catherine Feeny.

We are approached a few times a year about screening short films.  As film buffs, we appreciate shorts and see their place in the grand realm of cinema , but as theater operators they pose a problem as the only viable way to show them is via a collection.  No one wants to pay to see 1 five minute movie, but 15 of them is more justifiable.  The problem then becomes, how do you go about collecting and projecting them?  Luckily, Sarah and Tasha came to us asking if they could program a series of shorts to celebrate local filmmakers.  They were excited about doing the legwork of finding the films and promoting the screening, but needed some logistical input which we were able to provide.  It was a win-win scenario and the result is a really nice program of short films from our vibrant film community.

It’s all happening as NW Portland’s First Thursday Art Walk winds down on Thursday December 6th with two separate screenings (9pm and 11pm) of the same program.  Tickets are $9 and can be purchased by emailing intoxfilmfest@gmail.com.  Come out and see some wonderful short films from your community.  With enough interest we will be able to continue hosting collections of short films, perhaps even a program curated by YOU.

 

LAIKA Q&A following PARANORMAN on 9/27...

We had been keeping an eye on the stop-motion/animated feature PARANORMAN since last year.  We wanted to open the movie, but Focus Features (the distributor handling the movie) decided to give it to Regal at the Pioneer Place instead of Living Room Theaters.  We waited 4 weeks after the movie opened and picked up the “move-over” from Regal.  This finally gave us the opportunity to contact our friends at Laika to coordinate a Q&A event with some of the artists behind the movie.

We are pleased to announce that following the 6:00pm screening of PARANORMAN on Thursday, September 27th, Brad Schiff and Georgina Hayns of Laika will be on-hand with art and puppets from the movie to answer questions about the creation of this amazing movie.  Tickets are on sale now both online and at our box office.  To purchase them online, click here.

Brad Schiff
Animation Supervisor

As an animator, BRAD SCHIFF cut his teeth on a number of popular American television series including MTV’s Celebrity Deathmatch, The PJs and Gary & Mike. It was working on Gary & Mike in 2001 in which Brad brought home a Primetime Emmy® Award for “Outstanding Individual Achievement In Animation.” Brad’s commercial directing clients have included the NFL on Fox, Nintendo and Samsung.  In 2004, Brad animated on the first of what has turned out to be a series of Academy Award®-nominated features that include Corpse Bride, Coraline and Fantastic Mr. Fox.

Georgina Hayns
Creative Supervisor, Puppet Fab

GEORGINA HAYNS has been involved in all aspects of puppet fabrication for stop-motion films for over twenty years. Her career began in the UK, working for Cosgrove Hall Films, Mackinnon and Saunders and Warner Bros. In 1993, Georgina joined Mackinnon and Saunders as an armaturist where she supervised children’s television series and commercials, including BBC Television’s Noddy, HIT Entertainment’s Bob the Builder, Lipton® Brisk® Tea and Puffs Tissues. She also worked on animated feature films and shorts such as Mars Attacks! and the Academy Award®-nominated Periwig Maker. Prior to joining LAIKA in 2006, Georgina worked on Corpse Bride and most recently served as Supervisor of the Puppet Fabrication Department on Coraline.

BUG OUT FILM FEST with OVO by Cirque du Soleil...

UPDATE: Tickets are now on sale on our website.  The direct link to Friday’s tickets can be found here: http://tinyurl.com/6qh29qk and Saturdays here: http://tinyurl.com/cs5wm7w

We are very excited to announce a special screening event at our theater starting next Friday (April 6th).  We have partnered with Cirque du Soleil to bring you a mix of two very unique 3D movies once only seen on Imax.  These extraordinary movies have not been seen on the big screen in 3D in several years. First up will be CIRQUE DU SOLEIL’S JOURNEY OF MAN in 3D.  In this IMAX original production, Cirque du Soleil’s internationally acclaimed performing artists appear in a dramatic fantasy, shot in the high-definition IMAX format, which celebrates the human spirit as it follows the life of one man from childhood to old age.  Next is BUGS! A RAINFOREST ADVENTURE in 3D narrated by Judi Dench.  Follow the life cycles of a mantis and a butterfly, from their birth to their inevitable encounter in the rainforests of Southeast Asia, where predator meets its prey.

For the 7:00pm Friday & Saturday night screening (on April 6 & 7) we’ll be joined by a representative of Cirque du Soleil to talk about their upcoming production of OVO which opens on April 5th at the Portland Expo Center.  In addition, PSU PhD student Robert Richardson will be on hand with Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker aka The Bug Chicks to introduce some live insect specimens and talk about bugs. Finally, at the Friday evening screening, every person purchases a ticket for this special event screening will be given a raffle ticket for a chance to win a family 4-pack of tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s Portland run of OVO.

Kristie Reddick and Jessica Honaker are The Bug Chicks!

This will be a great event with surprises for both kids and adults.  Tickets for the Friday and Saturday evenings will be $15 and will go on sale on Monday.  Don’t miss out on this opportunity to experience something different at the theater!  Encore screenings of the double-feature JOURNEY OF MAN and BUGS! A RAINFOREST ADVENTURE (both in 3D) will be featured once daily from Sunday through Thursday.

« Previous Entries