Eugene Weekly : Arts Shorts : 10.11.07

‘Story’ the Focus of Film Forum

Pas de Noir

Got a short attention span but enjoy a well-told story? Short films, like short stories, tend to fly under the radar while their lengthier brethren, the feature film and novel, get the full marketing blitz. Fortunately, video hosting sites like iFilm and YouTube have started to turn the tide on this phenomenon, offering a simple — and free — way of dispersing the short film. And on a bigger screen, local narrative film shorts is the the theme for DIVA’s Second Friday Film Forum.

A number of the short films to be shown were screened at last January’s OpenLens Film Festival at DIVA. Kaethlyn Elliot’s Bermuda Triangle centers around a father trying to cope with his family’s quirks while also trying to control them. Julian Thieme’s Pas de Noir veers into the same terrain as 2006’s Brick. Featuring high schoolers playing too-old-for-their-age gangsters in a stylish film noir fairy tale, Thieme’s Audience Choice award-winning film centers around an age-old cliché: a mysterious briefcase. Also showing are Food by Thaddeus Konar and Mating Season, an animation by Anne Awh.

The wonder of local films is that they utilize locations we all recognize but never considered for a film. Look for Luckey’s, South Eugene High School’s track, Oakway Fitness Center, Valley River Inn and the DeFazio footbridge, among others, as prominent backdrops. Also look for local talent. Actor (and EW cartoonist) Dan Pegoda plays roles in both Bermuda Triangle (as the delusional dad) and All Sales Final (sporting an “Aw, shucks!” Southern accent).

The filmmakers will be present for a panel discussion to follow the screening, so bring an inquiring mind. The event starts at 7 pm Friday, Oct. 12. $5, $3 for students. — Chuck Adams


Shakin’ It, Zombie-Style

Don’t deny it: Everyone loves a good costume party. Maybe dressing up gets you in free at Snafu; maybe trick or treating is a big deal for you; maybe you just flat out like switching up your identity on a daily basis. One way or another, The Zombie A Go Go (basically the Sam Bond’s way of kicking off the Halloween season) featuring Scrambled Ape and Terpsichore’s Daughters is just the right event for you.

Terpsichore’s Daughters plan to deliver some classy booty shaking that adheres to a more traditional style of burlesque (this is not John Henry’s on a Sunday night). The Daughters are a performance troupe, formed in 2002, which pays tribute to the social commentary and history behind burlesque and have fun with a modern crowd. After taking a break to become new mothers, the group is ready for their “girliest, ghouliest, go-goest show ever.”

If dancing girls are not your thing, maybe some quirky jazz music is. Performing “Ottoman Cartoon Jazz for the masses,” bandleader Michael Roderick and the gang mean monkey business. Regular Sam Bond’s performers and accomplished musicians, Scrambled Ape’s members know how to jam to New Orleans brass band music, German cabaret and modern jazz standards when they’re not creating original compositions for Buster Keaton films and Betty Boop cartoons. After all, what fun is there in taking themselves too seriously? That’s the essence of those Apes; they have fun while sounding like cheesy greatness.

Zombie A Go Go starts at 9:30 pm Saturday, Oct. 13, at Sam Bond’s. $10, $7 in costume. — Katie Cornell


Free Theater Tix!

It’s true: If you’re working a low-paying job or still in college, the world of theater might seem a bit out of reach for you. Or maybe you’ve been spending your discretionary income on movies and coffee. Either way, the Theatre Communications Group and the Lord Leebrick Theatre want to get your butt into performance spaces — and they’re willing to pay for your first trip. The Free Night of Theater, a nationwide event, gives away tix at more than 600 theaters. At the Leebrick, currently showing The Pillowman, new patrons can call for a free ticket to the Oct. 18 showing. Free tix are limited, so speed dial 465-1506, and trade your slacker time in for a great show. — Suzi Steffen