One of the perks of being a Cinematical writer is that when something cool takes place in your city, you have a large forum in which to tell people about it. I live in Portland (the one in Oregon), which is a fairly happenin' town, movie-wise, and I gather a fair number of Cinematical readers live in the area, too. So I hope you're taking advantage of the 33rd Portland International Film Festival, which kicked off last night and runs through Feb. 27.

They've got 77 feature films and 39 shorts from about 40 different countries, including two current Oscar nominees in the Foreign Language category: A Prophet (France) and Ajami (Israel). There are 16 more films that were their countries' Oscar submissions, including the acclaimed Police, Adjective (Romania), Mother (South Korea), and About Elly (Iran). And hey, how about some documentaries: The Shock Doctrine, about the practice of making money during moments of international crisis; and Waking Sleeping Beauty, about Disney's animation resurgence, to name two. We'll have reviews of a few of these in the coming days.

On Sunday, there will be a screening of Gerald Peary's For the Love of Movies, a documentary about the history of film criticism featuring interviews with Roger Ebert, A.O. Scott, Lisa Schwarzbaum, a lot of other notable critics, and also Cinematical editor Scott Weinberg. (But I kid Weinberg. As I recall, he's kind of embarrassed and awestruck to be included in the same movie as those other luminaries.) After the screening, the festival will host a panel discussion featuring Peary and several Portland film critics: The Oregonian's Shawn Levy, Willamette Week's Aaron Mesh, Portland Mercury's Erik Henriksen, author and film scholar D.K. Holm, and Cinematical's me, Eric D. Snider.
categories Cinematical