Eugene Weekly : Movies : 6.17.10


Pretty Defining

Field Guide to November Days is so precisely art-directed, all perfectly positioned kitschy prints and shelves overflowing with carefully selected knickknacks, that it’s easy to slip into thinking it’s a pretty, shallow, uber-hipster film — rather than that those retro calendars and vintage bedsheets are pieces of the film’s characters, symbols of all the things they’re trying, in however clichéd a manner, to define about themselves. The muted story of a broken-up couple who sort of reconnect, Field Days is a graceful, almost wordless trip through a specific side of Portland. Despite the awkwardness in certain dialogue-free moments, much of the film simmers like a music video as pretty people push near each other and drift away again, uncertain, unsatisfied. Director Nick Peterson uses color and line to unmissable effect, whether in the characters’ red-dotted wardrobes or the endless frames — picture, window — that draw straight lines and right angles through their nebulous lives. Field Guide was made almost entirely by bike, and Peterson and producer Mary DeFreese are bringing the film to town as part of a bike tour; it screens at 7:30 pm Friday, June 18, at DIVA. $5-$7 sliding scale.