As a staff writer of The Rearguard‘s Arts & Culture section, I was fortunate enough to spend the last three weeks attending press screenings of the 35th annual Portland International Film Festival. This is a dream come true for a writer who happens to love watching movies. I watched and reviewed one movie per week. This necessitated a little bit of rearranging of the work and school schedule and a few late nights researching directors and trying to write as if I’ve been reviewing films for more than a few weeks (aside from, of course, my brief stint reviewing films for the literary magazine in my junior year of high school).
The three movies I watched felt like little discoveries, like brief glimpses into other worlds, like the best examples of how diverse films can be in structure and story. The Salt of Life is a charming Italian comedy that features an aging man grasping (quite comically) for his lost youth. Tales of the Night is a magical French fairy tale collection that elevates the genre with eye-catching silhouette animation. Finally, Somewhere Between is an emotional documentary that follows the lives of four teenage girls who were adopted from Chinese orphanages and raised in America.
I couldn’t pick a favorite. These movies were too different, too extraordinary in their own ways. One made me laugh, one made me cry, the other made me believe in magic. I am sorry that my time as a reviewer has ended, but encouraged by the films I saw to continue pursuing my own writing and to continue to seek out films that remind me of the importance of storytelling in our lives.
To read my reviews, follow the links below: