Travel near, far from a movie seat
The tragic shooting at Clackamas Town Center in December 2012 and its effect on relatives of the victims and the ongoing gun control debate is the focus of the new documentary "101 Seconds" by Portland filmmaker and social justice advocate Skye Fitzgerald.
It premieres at the Portland International Film Festival, although both screenings will likely be sold out — 6 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, at the Laurelhurst Theater and 4:30 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, at Whitsell Auditorium. Fitzgerald will attend the screenings.
The film was five years in the making. It follows the daughter and husband of shooting victim Cindy Yuille — Jenna Yuille and Robert Yuille — and the brother-in-law of shooting victim Steve Forsyth — Paul Kemp.
"It follows how the event transforms their lives," Fitzgerald says. For Robert Yuille and Kemp, they were each gun owners who had never examined the relationship that guns had in their lives.
Fitzgerald, who isn't a stranger to criticisms from gun-rights people, says it's a "fair" movie.
"This is a difficult issue," he says. "I'm not a journalist, I'm a filmmaker, so I'm not bound to be objective or tell facts on both sides. But I'm bound by principle and to be faithful to the subjects.
"We covered people across the politcal spectrum and beliefs," he adds, "including state senators on both sides and pro-Second Amendment folks. It documents the aftermath of the shooting. People jump to conclusions that it's about guns, but it's about the aftermath of people dealing with grief and loss and how it affects them so profoundly."
The shooter, 22-year-old Jacob Tyler Roberts, entered Clackamas Town Center on Dec. 11, 2012, and began shooting his assault-style rifle, eventually killing Cindy Yuille and Forsyth and then himself. The movie does not address much about Roberts.
"It's been a long journey and challenging," says Fitzgerald, whose "Fifty Feet From Syria" screened at PIFF a couple years ago.
The movie "101 Seconds" highlights a local filmmaker and a local subject, but much of the 41st annual Portland International Film Festival features screenings from all walks of life. Put on by Northwest Film Center, it runs Feb. 15-March 1 at Whitsell Auditorium, 1219 S.W. Park Ave. and other venues — Cinema 21, Regal Fox Tower, Laurelhurst Theater, OMSI's Empirical Theater, Regal Pioneer Place Stadium 6 and Cinemagic.
The opening night movie and party is sold out. "The Death of Stalin," a comedy, is the opening-night film by Armando Iannucci. It was adapted from a graphic novel by Fabien Nury and stars Steve Buscemi and others. It's being shown at Whitsell and Regal Fox Tower. It's one of several PIFF movies nominated for Academy Awards.
Other festival highlights:
• Thomas Riedelsheimer's "Leaning Into the Wind: Andy Goldsworthy" will appeal to the local art community. It's about an artist who uses natural elements in painting landscapes. Screenings: 7 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17, Whitsell; 6 p.m. Tuesday, Feb. 20, Laurelhurst.
• "24 Frames" is the final film for the late famed Iranian director Abbas Kiarostami. It tells what happens before and after the creation of still images, paintings and photographs. Screenings: 4:45 p.m. Sunday, Feb. 18, Laurelhurst; 3 p.m. Feb. 25, Laurelhurst.
• "Let the Sun Shine In" is a romantic comedy by Claire Denis about a women in her 50s who hasn't found a sustaining relationship. Screenings: 1:45 p.m. Monday, Feb. 19, Laurelhurst; 7 p.m. Feb. 22, Cinemagic.
• The PIFF After Dark segment features two westerns — "Five Fingers for Marseilles" (9:30 p.m. Feb. 23), filmed in South Africa, and "Let the Corpses Tan" (9:30 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 17), filmed in Italy. Another highlight is Joseph Kahn's "Bodied." and Kahn will be in attendance for the screening 9:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 16.
• Former Portland filmmaker Aaron Katz has enjoyed screenings before at PIFF, and his new film "Gemini" has the 1970s Los Angeles film noir feel. He'll be in attendance for the 6:30 p.m. Feb. 23 (Whitsell) and 2:45 p.m. Feb. 24 (Cinemagic) screenings.
• The Oregon Shorts Program, 1:30 p.m. Feb. 18 and Feb. 25 at Whitsell, features many shorts by local filmmakers, including Greg Hamilton's "Thou Shall Not Tailgate," about Portland art car designer Rev. Charles "Chuck" Linville (set to show Feb. 25).
• Admission for movies is $12, and $11 for Portland Art Museum members, students and seniors (65-over).
• For complete info, including a PIFF 41 program, and to purchase tickets, see www.nwfilm.org.