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Northwest Film Center gets campy

Summer Movie Megathon
Guild Theatre
829 S.W. Park Ave.
Fridays at 11 p.m.
through Aug. 16

As a special summer treat, the Northwest Film Center – known as Portland’s best source for new and re-released foreign films, art-house movies and documentaries – presents the Summer Movie Megathon at the Guild Theatre. What the Film Center calls “contemporary classics that run the gamut of camp film,” will screen every Friday night through August 16. The showings are for a 21-and-over crowd, so be sure to bring your ID.

The series continues in patriotic fashion on July 5 with director Wolfgang Peterson’s “Air Force One.” Harrison Ford stars as commander-in-chief on return from an anti-terrorism speech given when a group of Russian terrorists take over the famed jetliner. Mr. Prez is forced to get tough if he wants the free world to remain so.

On July 12 it’s Oregon favorite kid’s movie, 1985’s “The Goonies.” Filmed in Astoria and Cannon Beach, “The Goonies” seems to have influenced Portland’s Land-Use Planning Board. Mikey and Brandon Walsh enlist all their pals in an heroic and touchingly humorous attempt to save their homes from the jaws of a bulldozer intent on paving the way for a cookie-cutter housing development. But first they must find One-Eyed Willy’s buried treasure.

From the innocent to the anything but: on July 19 it’s Director Paul Verhooven’s “Showgirls” (1995). Elizabeth Berkley stars as Nomi Malone, a small-town girl just looking for a break in the casinos of Vegas. Malone must first endure life on “the rack” as a stripper before getting her break in a Stardust Casino production. But it seems being a showgirl isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Also stars Kyle MacLachlan.

Back when Nicolas Cage was still not much more than a member of the Coppola clan, he was actually in some good movies. Among these is 1992’s “Red Rock West,” playing July 26. Directed by John Dahl (who co-wrote the screenplay with his brother Rick), “Red Rock West” stars Cage as Michael Williams, who is mistaken for a hit man by a rich guy looking to off his wife, Suzanne (Lara Flynn Boyle). Broke and unemployed, Williams takes the money and runs. It isn’t long before the real hit man, played by Dennis Hopper, appears at his doorstep looking for the dough.

On August 2, Mariah Carey stars as Billie Frank in 2001’s “Glitter,” directed by Vondie Curtis-Hall. In a plot supposedly not too different from Carey’s real-life story, Frank is a singer willing to do anything to achieve stardom – including date a DJ (talk about hard up!).

Fellini’s classic “Satyricon” (1969) plays Aug. 9. Based on the work of First Century Roman writer Petronius Arbiter, a once friend and eventual victim of Emperor Nero, “Satyricon” centers around Nero’s despotic reign – and a lot of other stuff, too. Bizarre, humorous and everything in between.

On Aug. 16 the festival closes with a secret super mystery movie, the title of which won’t be released until the curtain goes up. All of the screenings are located at the Guild Theatre, 829 S.W. Park Ave., and cost $5 at the door. The bar opens at 10:30 p.m., and the films begin at 11:00 p.m.