Pardon the self promotion, but I wanted to put the word out that my short film, Demolition of the Rosefriend Apartments, will be playing this Saturday in the Portland International Film Festival as part of the 'Made In Oregon' shorts program.
As you can see if you watch it online, the five-minute film is basically just a collection of raw video footage taken of the building's facade being torn down by a giant crane. I considered putting it to music, or having voice-over interviews or other audio about the story behind the Rosefriend Apartments, which as many may recall stood at Broadway and Jefferson downtown across from The Oregonian and Higgins restaurant until being torn down last year. But ultimately I just decided to keep it as simple as possible and with no embellishment.
The Ladd Tower is under construction on this site now, and for those of us who had hoped the Rosefriend could be saved, I think now those passions are better directed towards the future. But I had an affection for the building and felt compelled to film some of its demolition.
In the film festival guide, the title was erroneously called The Destruction of the Rosefriend Apartments. I love the NW Film Center, and I don't want to split hairs, but I actually think that 'Demolition' is an important distinction from 'Destruction'. It's similar to how Return of the Jedi was originally set to be called Revenge of the Jedi, but George Lucas made the change from 'Revenge' to 'Return' because he decided that revenge wasn't a Jedi concept.
I'm certainly no Jedi. Probably more like C-3PO. And by no means would I compare myself George Lucas - although we do share a birthday. But I distinguish 'Demolition' from 'Destruction' in a similar way to revenge/return.
Even so, filming the demolition that day, as I stood in a very large crowd of men seemingly giddy to see the crane do its work, it seemed like I was surrounded by people with an appetite for destruction, to borrow from Guns & Roses (not that I'm a fan). I was one of the gawkers, of course. But I also felt a little guilty, like staring at a car accident as you drive by. Let’s face it, though: destruction is fun to watch. I guess it’s that weird irony that made me run and film that day. That and a desire, however corny it may sound, to not look away when the moment came.
The 'Made In Oregon' shorts program screens at 2PM Saturday at the Portland Art Museum's Whitsell Auditorium.