My! What an event the showing of “The Seventh Day” at 5th Avenue Cinema truly was!
The evening started out with the 5th Ave’s little used, temperamental 16mm projector (which worked fine on a Tuesday test run) beginning to smoke during a final trial run. It was decided that since the copy of the film we were intending to show was an archival copy (graciously provided by the Portland State University Library’s Special Collections and University Archives, and a gift of the Tom Taylor Family), an executive decision was made to show a DVD transfer from that same reel that Heather of The 5th Ave had secured from the Library Archives as a back-up. Jason, the projectionist, did everything he could to show the film, but we were not willing to risk damaging such an important piece of of truly ass-kickin’ Oregon History. Jason and Heather’s efforts are to be commended!
Melissa The Intern had done just a kick ass set for the theater, with deceptions of the Park Blocks on strike, historically accurate hippie era protest signs, and a replica of a real live Barricade – complete with a bottle of Carlo Rossi. It was her attempt to create that May day 42 years ago, move it two blocks away, and drop it into the small auditorium of the 5th Avenue Cinema. I think she was quite successful with her endeavors. [Melissa The Intern also had assistance from Her Intern, Don. Kick Ass Oregon History is so bad ass that our interns have interns. What's your podcast got?] Melissa The Intern DOES NOT fuck around, and we are so lucky to have her working with Kick Ass Oregon History (for basically beer and tacos…).
After obtaining a beverage from the bar in the lobby, attendees came into the theater to the sounds of Josh Feinberg playing his sitar – sending sounds of mellowness over the 60+ attendees. Josh had a really bad cold, but he still came to play for us, and we are so appreciative. His performance would have never revealed his illness, and we really, really enjoyed Josh’s contribution to our evening. I hope we get the chance to work with him in the future. Was there a sitar in Rajneeshpuraum? Hmmmmm… “I’ve an idea, formin’ in me head…”
Every seat in the house had a document from the Portland Police Intelligence Division of an undercover officer’s review of the film at a PSU showing in June of 1970. Also attached was an Oregonian review of the film attached in the file to the officer’s report. It is an important document, and it was paramount to present it at the production. Besides that, the Oregonian review gave a pretty good background of the making of the feature.
The film was shown and enjoyed by all. It was wonderful to be able to enjoy the shots of Portland in May of 1970, to see that central business core, and to witness how much, and maybe really how little, everything has changed. I feel honored to have been able, along with the fantastic partnership of 5th Avenue Cinema, to present this film to the community. It is important, it is relevant, and it is timely. It’s also a GREAT movie! Please view it when you have an opportunity.
Speakers addressed the subject of the film, including The Resident Historian, Professor David Horowitz, and Cathy from the PSU Strike Committee. Hecklers were in the crowd, and disagreed with one point that was mentioned. It was AWESOME to have real-time feedback, Historiographic Beef, and a chance to disagree with real, live witnesses to the 42 year old event. This is why Medieval Historians are LAME!
A discussion erupted between Occupiers and Old Hippies, about the value of movements, the effectiveness of revolution, and mistakes that were being heeded or ignored. It was a back and forth between Boomers and Hipsters, and us Gen Xers watching from the middle rows of the theater (except for the ones in the back row ["uh-ohhh, oh-oh"], who were imbibing on smuggled in beers and apparently some funny cookies).
It was such a compliment to our website, to the podcast and the events we do, to see this all go down. There was heated discussion exchanged, about some “heavy shit,” and audience members were not holding back. At times, it could have been defined as a little uncomfortable by some viewers. But none the less it was authentic and heart felt, and some real, live dialogue was exchanged. We had not planned that conversation, and honestly had not even anticipated it happening, but we are pretty fucking impressed that it DID happen at OUR event. This was not a vanilla presentation to a pub full of beer sippers, quietly watching the presentation. It was animated, vocal, and energized. There was back and forth between the audience and the presenters. Not to sound all cheesy, but it felt like that exchange reinforced the feeling that history really matters, that history can still be important and relevant. Sometimes it is very easy to forget this sentiment.
The viewing of “The Seventh Day” was a great success, made possible only through the help of our Kick Ass partners and our dear, dear Ass Kickers. Thank you all for coming, all for participating, and all for helping make it a great Kick Ass Oregon History event! We have a few more planned coming up, including “Bigfoots in Oregon” on June 19th at The Jack London Bar at 7:30pm, and we’re working on a bus drinking/ history tour of historic bars of Portland [sponsors interested?]. Check back with this site, or on the Twitter or the Facebook Machine for all the deets!
Some twitter feeds from the show. First, Joe: