Meet Darin. He’s a chickie-chickie parm-parm that loves the Baghdad and Hollywood Theater. He’s one of the many volunteers that help produce the Portland Film Festival. This year with the support of Comcast, we are highlighting volunteer stories leading up to the 2017 edition from October 30th to November 5th.
If you’d like to volunteer, email or meet us in person at one of our upcoming events. Find out more at our Facebook page.
What’s your first name and where are you from?
Darin, originally from Ohio.
How did you hear about the festival?
I moved here right after the second Portland Film Festival occurred and was super bummed that I missed the storyteller’s festival by a few days. But that made me make sure I checked it out each year since.
Why do you volunteer?
I love movies and have attended film festivals here in Portland and other cities I’ve lived. Film festivals give an unique opportunity to see independent movies and are filled with fun events celebrating the art of film. I’ve wanted to volunteer with a festival for a while and liked everyone I’d met with the Portland Film Festival.
If you volunteered with the festival in the past, what was your favorite experience?
Last year, I volunteered for a couple of shifts during the festival. I took tickets, handed out ballots, helped out wherever I was needed, and then got to watch a movie. And one of those movies, Girl Flu, was one of my favorites of the year. I had a great time and liked the people I met, especially the ones who were running the festival. I had a such a great time, I was hoping to help out in a bigger role this year and it’s been fun planning a bunch of Poster Walks and getting ready to distribute our program guides around town.
What are you looking forward to at this year’s festival?
I’m looking forward to being at this year’s festival every day this year.
Are you a filmmaker? If so, what are you working on now?
No. Many years ago, I did some audio work on some documentaries. And I’ve written a couple shorts that I hope to produce some day in the future, so we’ll see if this answer changes one day.
What’s your favorite movie and why?
Somebody once said that if you like movies, you have a favorite, but if you love movies, you can’t choose a favorite. Last time I tried listing all my favorites, I think I came up with 275 movies. Some that usually top my list are:
- M (a silent film – granted with a canned soundtrack and the one of the first uses of a leitmotif – but the pacing and story hold up)
- His Girl Friday (I love the overlapping dialogue and Cary Grant, Rosalind Russell, and Ralph Bellamy are fantastic)
- The Maltese Falcon (the classic of the classic noirs)
- Most of Kurosawa’s films (great storyteller in a diverse range of genres, especially with Ikiru, Seven Samurai, and High and Low)
- Agnès Varda’s films (her switching between fiction and documentary films since the mid-1950’s led to some wonderful visual essays more recently)
- The original Star Wars trilogy (because these movies defined my childhood)
- Animalympics (the animated film I most remember as a kid; the voicework by Billy Crystal, Gilda Radner, and Harry Shearer is matched with some of the early work of great animators/filmmakers like Brad Bird)
- The Goonies (as a kid, this was the movie that make me first really experience the magic of seeing an awesome adventure in a big theater, it blew me away)
- Amélie (everything about the story, production, and humor create one of my all-time favorite romantic tales)
- Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (this twisty spiral of a story is perfectly pieced together)
What’s your least favorite movie and why?
I’ll try to keep this list shorter:
- D.W. Griffith’s The Birth of a Nation (I despise it’s overt support of and encouragement to the KKK and white supremacy)
- Salò or the 120 Days of Sodom (I detested every scene of the torture here – which I hope was the point of the movie, but I still hated it)
- Compliance (the only movie I can remember walking out of the theater before it ended)
What’s your guilty pleasure or your comfort movie?
I’m a sucker for any Muppet movie. I’ve seen them all, probably all in the theater, too. I also regularly go back to the Star Wars movies whenever a need a pick-me-up. And Goonies is still my all-time favorite rainy day movie.
Where do you read or find out about movies?
I’ll follow new movies from various online sources. I use icheckmovies.com to keep track of what I’ve watched and find lots of great, classic films by watching movies on different lists.
Where do you like to watch movies?
My favorite place is a big, old theater.
What’s your favorite theater in Portland?
I love all the different neighborhood theaters, like the Laurelhurst Theater and Cinema 21. But since my favorite place to watch movies is a big, old theater, I love the Baghdad Theater and the Hollywood Theater.
If you could cast your dream movie, what genre, cast and who would direct?
I once wrote a few drafts of a screenplay about Emperor Norton, a real-life beggar who declared himself Emperor of the United States and Protector of Mexico in 1859 and the city of San Francisco humorously supported his proclamations until his death in 1880. It’d be great to see it produced with Eddie Marsan as Emperor Norton (looks just like him and is great in every role) and Sterling K. Brown as a fictitious character named Ezekiel Shadrack.
If you could bring three things to a deserted island what would you bring?
- a guitar
- a surfboard (no better time to learn)
- a magic go home button (that I wouldn’t use until it was absolutely necessary; or maybe I’d lose/misplace it and would eventually find it out of desperation)
What kind of sandwich would you be?
Chicken parmesan, or as Aziz Ansari called it, chickie-chickie parm-parm.
Stay tuned for more volunteer profiles. Comcast presents the 2017 Portland Film Festival from October 30th to November 5th. Buy passes online at portlandfilm.org.
And if you’d like to join the volunteer team, please email us
with your interests. Or meet us in person at one of our upcoming events. Check out our Facebook page
for more information.