Fall color comes to us in many varieties: Christopher Marley’s inspired compositions from nature, Karen Russell’s “Orange World,” and Mitchell S. Jackson’s bittersweet memories of North Portland’s past as a solidly black neighborhood. But we’ll start with a film producer who helped us see different stories on the screen.
BendFilm Festival Honors Indie Film Legend Christine Vachon -
Film producer Christine Vachon has done so much to influence American cinema. She’s responsible for bringing to life films like “Kids,” “Welcome to the Dollhouse,” “I Shot Andy Warhol,” “Boys Don’t Cry” and all of Todd Haynes’ features. A recipient of the Independent Spirit award, she’s also received honors from the Gotham Independent Film Awards.
Vachon will come to BendFilm Festival, Oct. 11-13, as the festival’s Indie Woman of the Year. Her work is being honored for the unforgettable stories she made possible, and also for work she’s done to address inequity in the film industry. OPB spoke with Vachon about populating the film landscape with stories of LGBTQ life, and working with auteurs like Todd Haynes, Kimberly Peirce and Ira Glass.
It’s almost time for Oregon’s biggest book party. Portland Book Fest is coming up Nov. 9. It’s fun going to see national authors who come to read and talk, but it’s also an awesome homecoming for Oregon authors making it big. Mitchell S. Jackson is one of those authors on the schedule. Jackson grew up in Northeast Portland, but now teaches creative writing at the University of Chicago. His latest book, “Survival Math,” is a memoir about his childhood years in a landscape that’s been so gentrified, it’s hardly recognizable to Jackson now. Earlier this year, he took OPB’s Dave Miller on a walking tour of all his old haunts.
Another hot ticket for PDX Book Fest: Karen Russell, the Florida-born, Portland-based author of “Swamplandia!” and imaginative story collections like “Vampires in the Lemon Grove.” Russell has just published another anthology, “Orange World,” that was one of summer’s best-seller hot reads. Russell, a Pulitzer finalist and recipient of a 2013 MacArthur Foundation genius grant, is a seemingly inexhaustible source of intriguing ideas and a master at the short story form. From the title story of a new mom plagued by a demon, to the boy in love with a bog girl, to the Shining-esque ghost story set in a WPA-era mountain lodge, we couldn’t put this one down.
The Oregon Museum of Science and Industry is about to open a new exhibition of work by Christopher Marley. His compositions of preserved insect and animal specimens have graced museums, high-end home furnishing stores, and won fans like Nike CEO Mark Parker and Beyoncé. In 2015, OPB’s Aaron Scott visited Marley’s studio in Salem to learn more about his process, and hear the equally engaging story of Marley’s journey from fashion model to adventurer in pursuit of nature’s most beautiful insects. The exhibition, Exquisite Creatures, opens Oct. 5.