• Portland mayor Sam Adams has officially designated July 1–6, 2010, Walt Curtis Week. The city will be celebrating the poet, painter, and literary historian—and writer of the novella upon which Gus Van Sant’s Mala Noche is based—with six days of activities and fund-raisers. Curtis, who turns seventy on July 4, recently lost a great deal of his creative work and belongings in a fire that tore through Portland’s Great Northwest Bookstore, which housed Curtis’s studio and apartment. Poetry readings, a birthday party, an auction, and a 35 mm screening of Mala Noche are planned for the week, all as benefits for Curtis. For those not in the area who’d like to donate, gallery owner Mark Woolley has set up the Walt Curtis Fund (click here for details). For Criterion viewers who’d like to learn more about Curtis’s career, check out the documentary Walt Curtis, the Peckerneck Poet, directed by animator Bill Plympton, featured on our Mala Noche DVD.

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