Review: Passing


“All of us are just passing for something or other, aren’t we?” Irene muses rhetorically. As the crack in her ceiling spreads out, the howling wind gets stronger and snow begins to fall. The exquisite cinematography enhances this important story about race and identity.

Irene has two sides. At once beautiful and married to a successful doctor, she seems to have it all, including a housekeeper/cook and two straight-arrow handsome young boys. But on a free day she covers her hair and sits hesitantly in a fancy restaurant for tea as a White patron. There she coincidentally reunites with blond-haired Clare who is full of bravado and self-confidence.


Review: Pig

— by BEV QUESTAD — Robin Feld (Nicolas Cage) and his delightful hairy pig are living in a rustic cabin in the Mt. Hood forest where bushy ferns and moist dirt hide truffles that grow in the root systems of the tall Douglas fir trees. Oregon truffles can sell for $600 to 5,000 a pound. […][...]

Review: Out of the Blue

— by WILLIAM STERR — In preparation for viewing director Dennis Hopper’s “Out of the Blue,” I re-watched his seminal picture, “Easy Rider,” which I’d not seen since its theatrical release in 1969. The reason for this was Hopper’s own description of “Out of the Blue” as being what might have become of the protagonists […][...]

Review: Simple as Water

— by BEV QUESTAD — Yasmin stands on the cement walkway at a sea port in Athens with her four children. They are chasing a balloon and each other. She carefully monitors them and then herds them into their tent under the freeway overpass. Here she gets out her cell phone and lets them see […][...]

Review: Ascension

— by RON WILKINSON — If you were going to create a successful capitalist nation from scratch, which would come first, smile training or sex dolls? Such appears to be the choice in China as the productivity behemoth groans and stretches through its growing pains as a developed economy. As told in this fascinating documentary, […][...]

Review: The Real Charlie Chaplin

— by BEV QUESTAD — The great irony is that Charlie Chaplin and his films were received enthusiastically and sympathetically before WWII and as communistic and unpatriotic after. Initially wildly popular throughout the world, “The Real Charlie Chaplin” details the man behind his characterization of The Tramp; how he lived his life and how he […][...]

Review: Grandpa Was An Emperor

— by RON WILKINSON — Still revered by many to this day, Emperor Haile Selassie ruled Ethiopia for decades. This film examines the coup that unseated him in 1974 through the eyes of his great granddaughter (Yeshi Kassa), and the reverberations of that coup throughout Selassie’s extended family. To a degree, the country has been […][...]

Review: Summer of Soul

— by RON WILKINSON — The most significant memory in this stirring documentary is how it sat on the shelf for nearly five decades due to lack of public interest. Woodstock, located one hundred miles to the north and bursting out at the same time, became legend while the Harlem Cultural Festival sat on the […][...]

Review: The Mole

— by RON WILKINSON — Perhaps it is because his past efforts were more Rabelaisian than revelatory, Mads Brugger’s latest will be taken with a grain of salt – even after he rightfully and correctly declares “Everything is Real.” The story that has Mads on the cusp of buying intermediate range ICBMs tipped with thermobaric […][...]