bestnom1000x50

Review: Dancin' just thinkin' about it

Our fifth annual short-film festival really moves
By PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF  |  November 24, 2010

Best Documentary
Makeshift
DIRECTED BY DAVID CAMLIN AND PETRA SIMMONS

Like much good art, Makeshift begins inelegantly. It is a bright afternoon, with Anna Hepler curiously wandering the sub-level dumping pit of a noisy waste facility. Trash is everywhere. On the top level, a couple sweeps wholesale offal from the flatbed of their pick-up truck, and Hepler perks up. Soon she is pulling giant swaths of thick plastic tarp from the pile as the couple looks down at her, a little stumped. Indelicately, she crams the filthy tarp into the trunk of her hatchback.

In Makeshift, the 12-minute documentary vivifying Hepler's 2010 Portland Museum of Art installation, filmmakers David Camlin and Petra Simmons take a keen hands-off approach. They follow Hepler everywhere, letting the artist's voiceover explain the many steps along the tarp's repurposing as a material in the gigantic, latticed, 3D installation that presided over the center of the museum's lobby all summer like a collapsing zeppelin at a four-way stoplight. Though Camlin and Simmons feel conspicuously absent at times, Hepler's eloquent words are is well edited and sequenced. As she playfully inflates her colorfully-stitched balloon forms, her erudite narration gushes about her obsession with materials and the wonderment of process, themes that would be less accessible if covered in a traditional interview.

Camlin and Simmons have plans to extrapolate Makeshift into a feature-length film sometime in late 2011. In the meantime, we'd love to see another short in the pool for next year's documentary prize.

NICHOLAS SCHROEDER

< prev  1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |   next >
  Topics: Lifestyle Features , Music , Movies , Jeffrey Day ,  More more >
| More
Featured Articles in Lifestyle Features:
ARTICLES BY PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF
Share this entry with Delicious
  •   WEEK BY WEEK  |  July 24, 2014
    For the rest of the summer, here are a selection of items remaining before the chill comes that you should squeeze in, no matter how quickly your calendar is filling up.
  •   POINT-COUNTERPOINT: PORTLAND'S PARKS REFERENDUM  |  May 29, 2014
    We invited representatives from Protect Portland Parks and Forward Portland to answer the same six questions in advance of the June 10 referendum vote.
  •   BEST 2014: EDITORS' PICKS  |  May 15, 2014
    Our ‘Best of’ categories are quite comprehensive (see our supplement in this issue), but there’s a lot of stuff they don’t cover — things that defy categorization, things we didn’t even know needed to be honored until we saw/experienced/enjoyed them.
  •   BEST 2014: SHOPPING WINNERS  |  May 15, 2014
    Clothes + Music + Shoes + Bongs + Booze
  •   BEST 2014: FOOD & DRINK WINNERS  |  May 21, 2014
    Dinner + Drinks + Lunch + Brunch + Late-Night

 See all articles by: PORTLAND PHOENIX STAFF