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Darleen Ortega

Darleen Ortega has been a judge on the Oregon Court of Appeals since 2003 and is the first woman of color to serve in that capacity. She sees two to three films a week and has been writing about movies for well over a decade, including blogging two film festivals and publishing a list of the year's best films. You can find her movie blog at www.opinionatedjudge.blogspot.com.



Recent Stories

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A Sharp Focus to Controversy

Some new documentaries worth waiting for

The last 11 docs that I saw at the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, N.C., this month represent a range of quality, too. None are in theaters or online yet, but several are worth watching for.

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Riveting Conflicts to Uncomfortable Truths

Full Frame brings out best in documentaries

The Opinionated Judge takes on the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina.

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Something for Everyone

Oregon Shakespeare Festival’s diverse new season

There's something for everyone at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, year in and year out. It's always worth a trip down to Ashland, for the high quality of the productions, and also because the plays themselves are so thoughtfully selected, produced, and cast to bring a variety of voices and cultures to the stage.

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Living a Life That Matters

Legendary trumpeter shows the way in ‘Keep on Keepin’ On’

The heralded film “Whiplash” depicts—realistically, I expect—a world of hungry aspiring jazz musicians.

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Living a Life That Matters

Legendary trumpeter shows the way in ‘Keep on Keepin’ On’

The heralded film “Whiplash” depicts—realistically, I expect—a world of hungry aspiring jazz musicians who are easy prey for a brutal, sadistic conductor who deliberately pits them against each other, feeds and then assaults their fragile egos, and continually moves success just beyond their reach.

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A Vampire to Capture You

Surrender to a mood of appreciation

Something about the idea of a class of immortal beings, lurking in the shadows and choosing victims among the living because they must, persists in our collective imagination, fascinating terrain for exploring our own shadow regions.

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Window into Oppression

Human spirit refuses to be crushed in ‘Timbuktu’

Gorgeous, poetic, pointed, and profound, this story of a small African community's experience of jihad manages to tell a political story without polemics, to portray with depth and insight how its victims actually experience religious extremism, and, at the same time, to unforgettably illustrate how the human spirit resists attempts to crush it.

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Counterpoint to the Oscars

My top 10 films of 2014

Judge Darleen Ortega eschews the whitest Oscar's in recent history and chooses her own top 10 of year.

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World in Focus

My best to worst favorites at PIFF

Judge Darleen Ortega goes through what's hot and what's not at the 38th Portland International Film Festival.

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Savoring Cultures and Perspectives

International Film Festival an opening to the world

Every February, I travel the world--and so can you, or virtually so, because the Portland International Film Festival offers the most culturally diverse film event of the year, beginning this week.

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