Matt McCormick

Matt McCormick is a filmmaker and artist whose work crosses mediums and defies genre distinctions to fashion witty, abstract observations of contemporary culture and the urban landscape.  He has had three films screen at the Sundance Film Festival and has had work screened or exhibited at the Museum of Modern Art, The Serpentine Gallery, the Reykjavik Art Museum, The Viennale, SXSW, The Seattle Art Museum, and in 2007 he was selected to participate in both the Moscow Biennial and Art Basil Miami Beach.  He has received awards including Best Short Film from the San Francisco International Film Festival, Best Experimental from the New York Underground Film Festival, and Best Narrative from the Ann Arbor Film Festival, and his film The Subconscious Art of Graffiti Removal was named in  ‘Top 10 / Best of 2002’ lists in both The Village Voice and Art Forum magazine.

Matt’s debut feature film Some Days are Better Than Others premiered at SXSW and was invited to screen in the New Directors / New Films series presented by MoMA and the Film Society of Lincoln Center.  Starring Carrie Brownstein and James Mercer, the film was acquired by Palisades Tartan and was released theatrically in the spring of 2011.  The New York Times wrote “(Matt) McCormick is a talented miniaturist, and Some Days is full of scenes and details that will make you smile” while the San Francisco Chronicle noted that “observant writer-director Matt McCormick takes his time on the small moments to make us care more about his characters.”

Matt’s recent feature length documentary The Great Northwest premiered at the 2112 International Film Festival Rotterdam and was selected for the Documentary Fortnight series at the Museum of Modern Art, while the installation version of The Great Northwest is part of the Tacoma Art Museum‘s permanent collection.  The Willamette Week, after deeming it the best gallery exhibition of the year, wrote “… The emotional undercurrents, along with spectacular cinematography and wisely restrained storytelling, make The Great Northwest a film that will awe—and quite possibly choke up—anyone who loves the green-tinted paradise we call home.”

Matt has also directed several music videos for bands including The Shins, YACHT, Sleater-Kinney, Broken Bells, and Eluvium.  His 2007 video for The Shins’ Australia was named as one of MTV’s ‘Top 20 Videos of the Year’ while Rolling Stone Magazine called Matt’s 2010 Broken Bells’ The Ghost Inside video “awesome, transfixing and hilarious.”

In 1996 Matt started the Peripheral Produce experimental film screening series and video distribution label.  He also foundedthe PDX Film Festival in 2001 and served as the festival’s executive director until 2008.  Matt also has an album of his music and soundtrack work titled Very Stereo that was released by Marriage Records.


Buzz One Four, 60 minutes, 2017
The Great Northwest, 70 minutes, 2012
future so bright, 24 minutes, 2011
Some Days are Better Than Others, 93 minutes, 2010
Light Tiger Eye. 5 minutes, 2008
satellites.  4-channel video installation, 2008
The Problem with Machines that Communicate.  13 minutes, 2008
it was a crushing defeat.  5 minutes, 35mm, 2007
towlines.  23 minutes, video, 2004
American Nutria.  11 minutes, video, 2003
the subconscious art of graffiti removal.  16 minutes, 16mm, 2001
sincerely, joe p. bear.  4 minutes, 16mm, 1999
The Vyrotonin Decision. 7 minutes, 16mm, 1999

music videos / miscellaneous:

Broken Bells: The Ghost Inside (official alt version). Sony Music, 2010
Eluvium: The Motion Makes Me Last. Temporary Residence, 2010
Patton Oswalt: Werewolves and Lollipops. Sub Pop, 2008
The Shins: Australia.  Sub Pop Records, 2007
YACHT: See a Penny Pick it Up.  Marriage Records, 2007
MTV Switch Global Warming PSA series, MTV/Wieden & Kennedy 2007
Arthur & Yu: Afterglow, Sub Pop Records, 2007
Sleater Kinney: Jumpers.  Sub Pop Records, 2005
The Shins: The Past and Pending.  Sub Pop Records, 2003

selected reviews and bibliography:

Some Days are Better than Others
Scott Macaulay / Filmmaker Magazine

Moody Some Days are Better than Others
David Lewis / The San Francisco Chronicle

Matt McCormick Retraces “The Great Northwest” Roadtrip
Dave Miller / Oregon Public Broadcasting / NPR Morning Edition (radio/podcast)

Matt McCormick’s Great Northwest
Megan Driscoll / PORT

Road Trip
Richard Speer / The Willamette Week

Talking with Portland’s unofficial filmmaker-laureate, Matt McCormick, about “Some Days Are Better Than Others” and “The Great Northwest”
Brian Libby / Portland Architecture

The Month of Matt (feature/cover)
Chas Bowie / The Portland Mercury

The Lonesome Crowded West (feature)
Aaron Mesh / The Willamette Week

Notes From the Underground (feature)
Adam Hart / Res Magazine

Film Buff (feature)
Emilia Scofield / Filmmaker Magazine

Filming on Empty (feature)
Joseph Gallivan / Portland Tribune

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