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LRT Pick Review by Ryan Graves

Recommended Book Tense, riveting, and thoughtful, the newest film from Volker Schlöndorff is a compelling war drama about one diplomat’s urgent fight to save Paris from imminent destruction. Given it’s sterling quality and it’s reliable genre attraction (who doesn’t love a good WAR movie) I have no doubt that the film would be popular with our clientele.

The film begins in 1944 in Paris. Allied forces have surrounded the city and the German officers are holed up in a decadent hotel. Their order from the Fuhrer arrives: Raze Paris to the ground before the Allies can fight their way in. As soldiers line the streets with explosives, one diplomat sneaks into the bedroom of the commanding officer and begs for the mercy of Paris.

Based on a play of the same name, Schlondorff focus the drama on the contention between the two men. To follow orders or not? The film deals in grand questions of ethics but never falls into abstract philosophy. The film progresses almost completely in real time, and the urgency is apparent. To me it felt like Dial M For Murder, except Grace Kelly is played by Paris. And like a good Hitchcock film, it is both thoughtful and accessible. I give it my highest recommendation.3


TRIGUN: BADLANDS RUMBLE is the feature length follow up to the popular anime TV series. In a town surrounded by quicksand, an outlaw from Vash the Stampede’s past has resurfaced after twenty years. His name is Gasback – and he’s looking to cause a little trouble. It seems Gasback has a serious beef with the town’s mayor, who’s paying dozens of bounty hunters to protect his turf. One of those hired guns is a beautiful woman with a vendetta against Gasback. Will she get a shot at revenge? Maybe, if she can get through Gasback’s bodyguard, Wolfwood. And what’s Vash got to do with this mess? Nothing much – except for the fact that he personally set off the entire chain of events two decades ago!



Filmed in Portland Some Days are Better Than Others is Matt McCormick’s poetic, character-driven debut feature-length film that asks why the good times slip by so fast while the difficult times seem so sticky. The film explores ideas of abundance, emptiness, human connection and abandonment while observing an interweaving web of awkward characters who maintain hope by inventing their own forms of communication and self-fulfillment.

Katrina (Carrie Brownstein) is a twenty-something reality TV enthusiast, video diarist and animal shelter worker whose world falls apart when she finds that those important to her are often not what she hopes they would be. Eli (James Mercer) is a mid-30s slacker who could offer a thoroughly researched social critique explaining all the reasons why he shouldn’t get a job; his experiences temping only reinforce his assertions. Camille (Renee Roman Nose) is a socially handicapped thrift store attendant who spends her days sorting through the donated discards of other people’s lives, and Otis (David Wodehouse) is an 84-year-old eccentric filmmaker and inventor who strives to be recognized for his work.

Some Days are Better Than Others is about the nuances of communication, the desperation of heartbreak, and the struggle to maintain hope through the passing of time. It’s a sad valentine to the forgotten discards of a throwaway society, and a story about knowing when to hold on, and when to let go.

STUFF Begins June 17...

The first personal documentary from Portland filmmaker Larry Johnson, STUFF, begins a run at Living Room on June 17 just in time for Father’s Day.

STUFF is an intimate and unflinching examination of fathers and sons. It interweaves the stories of two men, the filmmaker and his friend Phil, a carpenter, after the deaths of their fathers. The filmmaker attempts to understand his father and himself through a storage unit full of the stuff his father left behind, while Phil seeks to overcome years of pent-up anger as he drives his father’s ashes to Iowa for burial next to his father’s mother.

Part road movie, part meditation, Stuff finds true moments of illumination in its search for the meaning of what it is to be a son and a father. Stuff will include live action and animated.


The Werner Herzog documentary about the Chauvet cave in France, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, begins May 20 at Living Room. This feature marks the first release of a film in 3D that isn’t a blockbuster or a mainstream studio production. The use of the technology here is stunning making viewers feel like they are actually in the cave! Critics have already heaped much praise upon the film. From the Washington Post: “To call “Cave of Forgotten Dreams” a great movie isn’t just an understatement, it’s a wildly inaccurate way to describe an experience that, in its immersive sensory pleasures and climactic journey of discovery, more closely resembles an ecstatic trance.”

CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS, a breathtaking new 3D documentary from the incomparable Werner Herzog (ENCOUNTERS AT THE END OF THE WORLD, GRIZZLY MAN) follows an exclusive expedition into the nearly inaccessible Chauvet Cave in France, home to the most ancient visual art known to have been created by man. A hit at this year’s Toronto Film Festival, CAVE OF FORGOTTEN DREAMS is an unforgettable cinematic experience that provides a unique glimpse of pristine artwork dating back to human hands over 30,000 years ago — almost twice as old as any previous discovery.


HOOD TO COAST giveaway...

The producers of “HOOD TO COAST” the movie are helping us spread the word by giving us a little “swag” bag to give away to the first 100 people to see the movie tomorrow (Saturday, February 12th).  Be among the first people through the door to see the movie, and get your free gift!  How cool is that?!

HOOD TO COAST Hoodie $39

In addition, we’ll have HOOD TO COAST (the movie) merchandise for sale in our lounge including t-shirts, hoodies, soundtracks, etc.  Come see this fantastic documentary and get a piece of the film for yourself.

CATFISH Begins Friday...

The quasi-documentary mystery, CATFISH begins a run at Living Room this Friday, October 22. Love and identity become twisted across the lines of the Internet in this “reality thriller” from filmmakers Henry Joost and Ariel Schulman. Nev Schulman is a photographer who one day received a surprising e-mail message — Abby, an eight-year-old girl in Michigan, had seen his picture in a newspaper and wanted permission to paint a portrait from it. Nev gave his OK, and when he was given a copy of the painting, he was struck by how good it was, assuming that the girl was either a genius or a fraud. Nev tried to contact Abby’s family, and somehow ended up in contact with Megan, Abby’s sexy 19-year-old sister. As Nev fell into an increasingly complicated on-line relationship with Megan, he decided it was time to meet her in person, but when he traveled to Michigan and tracked her down, Nev learned that Abby and Megan’s family were not at all what he expected them to be.

PSYCHO in HD begins Oct. 29!...

Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece, and what is considered by many to be the greatest thriller of all time, PSYCHO, begins a run at Living Room Theaters on October 29. This is only the second Hitchcock film available in high definition (the first: North by Northwest we played in January) and is the 50th anniversary of its release.

Although Hitchcock is now one of the most revered directors in history, during his filmmaking career, he was somewhat of an auteur and often had disputes with movie studios. For Psycho, he waved his director salary, shot in black and white, and used a different crew than he normally used all to keep costs down so he could make the film. Psycho eventually went on to be Hitchcock’s highest money-maker and changed cinema forever.

In 1960, Alfred Hitchcock was already famous as the screen’s master of suspense when he released Psycho and forever changed the shape and tone of the screen thriller. From its first scene, in which an unmarried couple balances pleasure and guilt in a lunchtime liaison in a cheap hotel (hardly a common moment in a major studio film in 1960), Psycho announced that it was taking the audience to places it had never been before, and on that score what followed would hardly disappoint.

Marion Crane (Janet Leigh) is unhappy in her job at a Phoenix, Arizona real estate office and frustrated in her romance with hardware store manager Sam Loomis (John Gavin). One afternoon, Marion is given $40,000 in cash to be deposited in the bank. Minutes later, impulse has taken over and Marion takes off with the cash, hoping to leave Phoenix for good and start a new life with her purloined nest egg. 36 hours later, paranoia and exhaustion have started to set in, and Marion decides to stop for the night at the Bates Motel, where nervous but personable innkeeper Norman Bates (Anthony Perkins) cheerfully mentions that she’s the first guest in weeks, before he regales her with curious stories about his mother.

There’s hardly a film fan alive who doesn’t know what happens next, but while the shower scene is justifiably the film’s most famous sequence, there are dozens of memorable bits throughout this film.

Zhang Yimou on IndieWIRE...

Living Room Theaters is excited to be opening A WOMAN, A GUN, AND A NOODLE SHOP, the latest film from the great Chinese filmmaker Zhang Yimou, on September 17. The film is an adventurous, goofy remake of the classic Coen Brothers film Blood Simple. IndieWIRE has a great, insightful interview with Zhang Yimou. Check it out in anticipation of the film’s release.


The poignant Irish drama KISSES begins Friday, August 13 at Living Room. Entertainment Weekly calls the film a “must-see indie,” and the New York Times, Village Voice, Los Angeles, and Boxoffice Magazine all give rave reviews.

You can read an interview with director Lance Daly at indieWIRE HERE.

On the fringes of Dublin two kids, Kylie and Dylan, live in a suburban housing estate devoid of life, colour and the prospect of escape. Kylie lives with five other siblings and her overworked mother. Next door, Dylan lives in the shadow of an alcoholic father and the memory of an elder brother who ran away from home two years earlier.

After a violent altercation with his father, Dylan runs away from home and Kylie decides to run away with him. Together they make their way to the magical night time lights of inner city Dublin, to search for Dylan’s brother, and in the hope of finding, through him, the possibility of a new life.

Lance Daly’s vision of Dublin, as seen through the innocent eyes of our protagonists, is a kaleidoscope of magic, wonder and mystery. But as the night wears on, and Dublin takes on a darker character, the two kids have to rely on the kindness of strangers, the advice of Bob Dylan and their trust in each other to survive the night.

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