Plays worth seeing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Live theater productions that offer soulful windows into how humans struggle justify a trip to Ashland
The life and career of André Leon Talley
New documentary ‘The Gospel According to André’ a dramatic profile of a fashion icon who reached for his own expressions of style
Reviews from the Seattle International Film Festival
A great opportunity to catch a huge variety of films on the big screen from all over the world
Oregon Shakespeare Festival makes space for authentic, rarely-heard voices
It is no exaggeration to say that three plays currently on offer at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival are making space for authentic, rarely-heard perspectives, and are changing the landscape of the American theater.
Reviews from the Full Frame Documentary Festival
In order of my own appreciation, the first three films are especially well worth seeking out.
Best films from Full Frame
I saw 16 premiere feature-length documentaries in four days
Fresh take on two classics at Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Two plays directed by women of color offer a fresh take on two classics as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival opens a new season
Game changing social thriller the best of the best
Here's my top best films of 2017
Film festival is a showcase of fresh perspectives
There is still a full week to go in the Portland International Film Festival -- Here's some of what I've seen so far.
Immersed into an array of cultures at PIFF
Two weeks of world cinema will be scattered all over the city as the Portland International Film Festival begins Thursday, Feb. 15 and continues until March 1.
Festival brings array of short and feature films
An outstanding array of short and feature-length films produced by local artists highlight the 44th Northwest Filmmakers’ Festival, opening Wednesday, Nov. 1 and running through Sunday, Nov. 5.
Plays worth the journey to Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Several shows are still playing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival that offer opportunities to experience theater in fresh ways.
Diversity at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Stories of people of color written by people of color now playing at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.
This year, there’s more overlap with the Oscars
This year my list of the 10 best films out of all of those I saw shares more overlap than usual with the Academy Awards -- perhaps in part because of the pressure on Hollywood to notice the work of artists of color, which tend to dominate my list.
The first few days of regular and preview screenings at the Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) have included some films you can still catch as the festival unfolds over the next two weeks.
Citywide festival puts focus on world diversity
My favorite time of year is upon us! For the rest of this month, the Portland International Film Festival (PIFF) will pack your local theaters
A review of the film 'Paterson'
There is something so necessary about Jim Jarmusch's new film, "Paterson." In giving us this gentle examination of the life of a poet-laborer and his wife, Jarmusch has demonstrated something that we are always in danger of missing: the mysticism of ordinary life.
The opinionated judge Darlene Ortega reviews "Hidden Figures."
New film depicts woman in a fight for her home
'Aquarius' is a canny film that has the power to stay with you for a long time
Movie about historic interracial couple shows a path forward
Loving” is a new dramatization about the couple behind a 1967 Supreme Court decision overturning laws against interracial marriage.
A review of the movie 'Moonlight'
"Moonlight" is the kind of art that makes you ache what you have been missing.
This is a rare opportunity to see an African story filmed in Africa, by a director who lives there.
A cheer for Ashland plays and racial progress
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival's outdoor Elizabethan stage features plays this summer and fall that are all are worth seeing.
Practice and perfection in the art of two people loving each other
The documentary offers a tender examination of the last 15 months of a 76-year marriage.
Ashland play ‘Roe’ accords dignity to complex points of view
"Roe" is a beautifully directed play by Bill Rauch and features a wise and stunning cast. It's playing in Ashland through the end of October.
Documentary sparks conversation on how badly things can go wrong
When the criminal justice system makes mistakes, why are we as a culture not more curious about what went wrong?
Artists outside dominant culture find their voices
Based on the experiences of playwright Qui Nyugen's parents, who immigrated to the U.S. as refugees in the mid-1970s, the play moves back and forth in time between Vietnam and their early years in the U.S.
Scoping out the best at Full Frame
A terrific slate of films, all worth seeing
A new season at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival
For the first time in its history, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival acting company features a majority of actors of color.
Films with rich insight to the human condition
With a bit of Oscar commentary, I offer this list of the 10 best films of 2015
Last week before curtain call
Jump in and see what you can before it's over!
My favorites so far
The Portland International Film Festival is off to a great start.
Portland International Film Festival begins
Every year at this time, I am reminded of the range of stories I mostly don't get to see depicted in local theaters, because for a brief month in Portland, I get to broaden my palate. There really is a whole world out there beyond what Hollywood gives us -- and there is no better time to partake of that world than February in Portland when the Northwest Film Center gives us its Portland International Film Festival.
Director portrays First Nations people with dignity
The critical reaction to the work of Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu chronically illustrates how dominant culture bias affects what stories are told and valued on film.
Made on a tiny budget of $100,000, "Tangerine" is the quintessentially Hollywood picture.
Film tackles gender identity with wisdom, empathy
Learn why Judge Ortega simply loved "The Danish Girl."
‘Peace Officer’ Documentary screens in Portland
No matter where you think you stand on these issues, "Peace Officer" deserves attention and at least one viewing.
Working class upheaval on the Ashland stage
It often takes a generation or more before we can grapple very honestly with our most complicated stories, especially if they involve people at the margins, or people who aren't in a position to control the dominant narrative.
If you haven't gotten a chance to head down to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival this summer, Judge Ortega points out what you shouldn't miss on your next trip down.
‘Love and Mercy’ shows singer’s darker side
What I loved best about "Love and Mercy," the new film about Brian Wilson, the man whose genius powered the Beach Boys, is that it felt true -- deeply, complexly true, whether or not it is factually accurate -- yet also left me convinced that I don't and can't know the whole story of Brian Wilson's life.
‘Marie’s Story’ resonates for its victory over crushing defeats
The film is based on the true story of Marie Heurtin, born five years after Helen Keller in Vertou, France.
Oregon Shakespeare Festival works stir heart and soul
Love. Loss. Longing. Hope. Treachery. Resilience. All are the stuff of human existence -- and also the stuff of theater.
‘Salt of the Earth’ brings lens to farthest reaches of the globe
For most of the last 40 years, acclaimed photographer Sebastião Salgado has been traveling the globe and focusing his practiced photographer's eye primarily on the experiences of people at the margins -- the poor, the dispossessed, refugees, the starving, the homeless.
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.
Full Frame brings out best in documentaries
The Opinionated Judge takes on the Full Frame Documentary Film Festival in Durham, North Carolina.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.