Peripheral Produce North American Film Tour | Theater Critic's Choice | Chicago Reader

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Peripheral Produce North American Film Tour

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In the last few years 29-year-old Matt McCormick of Portland, Oregon, has emerged as one of our strongest independent filmmakers, doing work that's both ingenuous and humorously absurd. His latest, Going to the Ocean (2001), is as simple as a haiku: it begins with a long take of ships gliding through an urban waterway at night while superimposed highway lights sail by, creating a strangely menacing mood; then it cuts to old home-movie footage of adults playing in the surf. Both elements literalize the title, though one deals with industry and the other with nature, contrasted in a way that transcends irony. Sincerely, Joe P. Bear (1999) uses hilarious old footage of someone in a polar bear suit cavorting with a pretty female model who's seated on a block of ice in a Portland street. In a distorted voice-over by McCormick, the bear expresses his love for the model in sentiments both ridiculous and achingly believable. Also showing: The Vyrotonin Decision (1999), The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal (2001), and a projector performance by Johnne Eschleman, featuring a live sound track. Cinema Borealis, 1550 N. Milwaukee, fourth floor, Tuesday, March 12, 7:00, 312-345-3538.

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