Tuesday, February 28, 2012


Portland is a funny place to live sometimes.(This, by the way, is something called the "Urban Iditarod" and is best left further unexamined)

One of those times is whenever we turn up on the electronical television or in the glamor of the Silver ScreenTM.Other cities accept that they are, well, cities; notable places where many people live, work, and play, and that the notion of such a place appearing in a movie or a television show is not inconceivable or even unusual.

But for all that we live in a city - the largest in our state, and the second largest in Cascadia - a lot of us are rubes about getting on camera.

For one thing, we are utterly foolish about our contributions to film despite our track record as the location of some of the most craptacular shite ever to curl down out of a projector.

I'll sort of give you "Goonies", although I'm not a fan and have never managed to make it through the entire thing in one sitting. And there are several Portland locations in a very sweet and funny little film called "The Favor" with one of my favorite comic actresses, Harley Jane Kozak; it's silly and clever and well worth a look in my not-so-humble opinion. But...Madonna's "Body of Evidence"?

Seriously, this may be one of the worst movies of all time. It's hard to make a film that makes sex look so unpleasant that getting a root canal or getting your legs waxed appears preferable, but this one manages. Come to think of it, there IS wax involved in the thing, and not in a good way.Yike.

Throw in some of the worst acting and worst dialogue ever filmed, and Portland should be ashamed to get hung with this dog. It's really awful. Beyond awful. Unspeakable. Eye-searingly horrible. Satan's stool sample.

It's BAD.

And the rest of our resume isn't much better, although I'd love like hell to get a look at "The Fisherman's Bride" from 1908 Astoria; it has to be better than "Kindergarten Cop". For "Jackass, The Movie", "Twilight", and "Mr. Brooks" we should ALL get a spanking; even "Coraline" can't save us from immortal shame.With that sort of record you'd think we'd shy from more public exposure, but, no; the latest Big Thing is the comedy series "Portlandia"and Portlanders, unquenchable, are once again in our silly swoon over all things cinemagraphic.

I've seen a couple of these. It's sketch comedy, so it's hit and miss; some of the little scenes work terrifically. Some fall flat, some are cringe-inducing awful. Some are just strange; the creators are getting better in their second season at nailing a certain type of Portland; hipsters, the earnest and twee, the ecoNazis (the sketch with the twenty recycling containers each carefully identified by color for every possible subcategory of material was perfect).

But the quality of the material seems...immaterial. What matters is that in the "Timbers Army" sketch the two comedians appear at CopyPilot - the copy store right down from our house! Squeeeeeee! - and at our soccer match with our very own Timbers Army! Squeeeeee!And the New Yorkers and Los Angelinos, used to seeing themselves on film and television, sniff audibly and pretend to find something interesting in the middle distance. They are the sophisticates, and we have just shown ourselves to be gormless, hopeless, shallow goofy rubes.

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