The Yodeling Lesson (1998) 3 min.
If Raymond Kaskey didn’t draw inspiration from Moe Bowstern, its only because Vanessa Renwick’s film The Yodeling Lesson wasn’t around in 1984 when he sketched out plans for his Portlandia statue. Other than that, the long hair, serene expression, and graceful athleticism of the nine ton hammered copper figure kneeling over SW 5th Avenue in downtown Portland matches up perfectly with those of the solemn young poetess flying down Mississippi Avenue in North Portland no handed. Moe Bowstern even shares Portlandia’s obsession with the sea – when she’s not writing poems or putting on puppet shows, she’s hauling in nets as a fisherwoman.
You can see this one woman naked bike ride on the big screen on April 25, the first night of the two part Raw, Raucous & Sublime: 33 Years Of Vanessa Renwick, A Department Of Kickass Retrospective presented by Oregon Movies, A to Z.
Here’s what else you’ll see that night:
Vanessa Renwick’s intense engagement with the idea of The West, illuminated in flashes by her Romantic vision of the role of the artist.
In Crowdog (1984/1998, 7 min.) she visits the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota.
in Richart (2001, 23 min.) she visits an outsider artist in Centralia.
In S.F. HITCH (1981/2012, 5 min & 17 sec.) she visits San Francisco. While there, she buys James Broughton’s Seeing The Light, writing “This book had more effect on my vision for making films than any ever.”
Satan’s Holiday (2000, 3 min.) is a portrait of a Portland painter.
Vanessa’s no budget aesthetic showed up early – she scratched the credits for Toxic Shock (1983, 3 min) directly on film with a safety pin.
At the opposite end of the no budget spectrum, Portrait #2: Trojan (2006, 5 min), was shot on 35mm by her fellow Portland filmmaker and friend, Eric Edwards.
Vanessa’s films travel in time, as well as in space. She uses found footage in Britton, South Dakota (1938/2003, 9 min.) and in Food is a Weapon (1998, 4 min.) Other films you’ll see on April 25 are Worse (1994, 5 min.), U C A Box (1996, 3 min.) and Olympia (1984/1998, 11 min.).
“And the music… Oh, the music! Renwick has commissioned some of the most badass original scores in the history of no-budget film. This program features scores by some of the Pacific Northwest’s best musicians (Sam Coomes, Chris Sand, Tara Jane O’Neil, Johnne Eschleman, Donovan Skirvin).” UnionDocs, in Brooklyn.
As you troop out of the theater, blissfully satisfied, you’ll be able to buy North South East West, All Around The Map With Vanessa Renwick, the long awaited DVD compilation.
What: Raw, Raucous and Sublime: 33 1/3 Years Of Vanessa Renwick, An Oregon Department Of Kickass Retrospective
Where: Hollywood Theatre, 4122 NE Sandy Blvd, Portland, OR (503) 281 -4215
When: April 25 & 26, 7:30 PM.
Plus: Filmmaker in attendance!