FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE – (Pittsburgh, PA) – The following are descriptions of Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Film Exhibition program for August 2012. The films are screened at Harris Theater, 809 Liberty Avenue (Downtown), the Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Avenue (in North Oakland) and the Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Avenue (in Edgewood). For admission prices and current showtimes call 412-682-4111. All titles and dates are subject to change, due to film availability. Visist us at theaters.pittsburgharts.org
The Harris Theater – 809 Liberty Ave.
- Aug. 3 – 16: Turn Me On, Dammit!
One of the best reviewed indie films of the year, this female coming-of-age comedy has been nominated for six Amanda Awards (Norway’s Oscars). It’s the story of 15-year old Alma, who lives in an insufferably boring little town in the hinterlands. She is consumed by her out-of-control hormones and fantasies that range from romantic images of Artur, the boyfriend she yearns for, to down-and-dirty daydreams about practically everybody else. Alma’s single mother is overwhelmed and embarrassed by her daughter’s extravagant phone sex bills and wears earplugs to muffle the sounds of self-gratification. With subtitles. (Jannicke Systad Jacobsen; Norway; 2011; 76 min)
- Aug. 17 – 30: Neil Young Journeys
At 65, the legendary Neil Young retains a musical curiosity and youthful vitality that balances wisdom and experience. No wonder he’s been an inspiration to the likes of Pearl Jam and Sonic Youth. For this engrossing portrait, director Jonathan Demme captured Young’s acclaimed concert at Toronto’s Massey Hall (an iconic venue in the city of his birth) as well as a nostalgic road trip through Ontario. Driving a 1956 Ford Crown Victoria, Young visits the rural town of Omemee, where he spent part of his formative years. A must-see for Young and Demme fans! (Jonathan Demme; USA; 2011; 87 min)
- Aug. 31: Ai Weiwei: Never Sorry
“Galvanizing” – The New York Times
In recent years artist Ai Weiwei has garnered international attention as much for his ambitious artwork as his political provocations. This fascinating documentary examines the complex intersection of artistic practice and social activism as seen through the life and art of China’s preeminent contemporary artist. For two years, Beijing-based journalist/filmmaker Alison Klayman documented Ai’s artistic process in preparation for museum exhibitions, intimate moments with his family, and his increasingly public clashes with the Chinese government. The result is a detailed portrait of the artist and a nuanced exploration of contemporary China. (Alison Klayman; USA; 2012; 91 min)
Regent Square Theater – 1035 South Braddock Ave.
- Thru Aug. 9: Elena
This stylish Russian noir is from the acclaimed director of The Return. It’s a suspenseful domestic thriller punctuated by class warfare in Putin’s Russia. Spouses Vladimir and Elena share his expensively decorated glass and chrome Moscow apartment. He’s a virile, wealthy businessman in his 60s; she’s his dowdy former nurse who “married up.” Estranged from his own wild-child daughter, Vladimir openly resents his wife’s hapless son. But when a sudden illness threatens Elena’s potential inheritance, she must hatch a desperate plan. Features a haunting Hitchcockian score by Philip Glass. With subtitles. (Andrei Zvyagintsev; Russia; 2011; 109 min)
- Aug. 10 – 16: Chinese Take-Away
This endearing comedy stars Ricardo Darin, the Argentine equivalent of Robert DeNiro. He plays a grumpy hardware store owner whose main pastime is collecting odd and sensational newspaper clippings. His lonely existence is disrupted when a Chinese man, recently arrived in Buenos Aires but unable to speak a word of Spanish, stumbles into his path. Suddenly the malcontent finds himself the custodian of the stranger, taking him in as a border, and reluctantly helping in a search for the man’s family. This transformative tale features some unforgettable performances. With subtitles. (Sebastian Borensztein; Argentina; 2011; 93 min)
- Aug. 17 – 30: Take This Waltz
Can’t get enough of Michelle Williams? Neither can we. Perhaps the best actress of her generation, here she plays Margot, a happily married young woman whose warm and fuzzy husband (Seth Rogen) writes cookbooks. One day she meets a handsome artist who turns out to be her neighbor. Their chemistry is intense and immediate. Heightened by their restraint, they lust after each other, stealing moments throughout a sweltering hot summer. Canadian actress/director Sarah Polly suggests, in this bittersweet romantic-comedy, that everything new eventually gets old. Also stars Luke Kirby and Sarah Silverman. (Sarah Polly; Canada; 2012; 118 min)
- Opens Aug. 31: The Well Digger’s Daughter
Acclaimed actor Daniel Auteuil, who in the 80s shot to fame in Jean de Florette and Manon of the Springs, returns to the novels of Marcel Pagnol for his directing debut. Auteuil stars as Pascal, a digger and cleaner of wells. He’s a greying widower and father of six daughters. The most beautiful is Patricia, who’s being courted by Pascal’s heartbreakingly humble, middle-aged friend. But Patricia is also being romanced by a handsome, unreliable, wealthier young man, who predictably leaves her to deal with the consequences of their brief affair. Shot in the beautiful landscapes around Avignon, this lovely drama – with outstanding performances all around – perfectly captures the humanist spirit of the classic French films of the 30s. With subtitles. (Daniel Auteuil; France; 2011; 107 min)
Sunday Night Series: Introducing DCP
With more and more of the greatest classic films being transferred to DCP (Digital Cinema Package) we wanted to officially introduce this new technology, beginning with the August Sunday Night Series at Regent Square. The DCP process involves scanning original negatives, while preserving all the detail. The promise is: no more scratches, no more broken sprockets, no more faded images. Fans of our long-running Sunday Night Series, where the films have traditionally been projected in 35mm celluloid prints, might have mixed feelings about this change. But alas, we are at the end of the celluloid era. Fewer and fewer 35mm prints are being made of classic films. So, for now it is not a complete switch-over, but an addition to our 35mm projectors. We still want to be able to present rare archival films that only exist in 35mm. The art is not changing, only the delivery system.
- Aug. 5: Rear Window
This classic thriller stars James Stewart as an ace photographer stuck in a wheelchair after breaking his leg on assignment. Despite receiving visits from his high-fashion sweetheart (Grace Kelly), he is soon bored and resorts to spying on his neighbors in the tenement through a telephoto lens. He starts to get suspicious when the ailing wife of a neighbor, played by Raymond Burr, suddenly disappears. (Alfred Hitchcock; 1954; 112 min)
- Aug. 12: Goldfinger
Dispatching enemies, making puns, and seducing females with equal aplomb, the debonair Sean Connery was the definitive 007. This international hit was his third time as James Bond. From its clever opening sequence, the outlandish gadgets, the provocatively named Pussy Galore, to the final fight with henchman Oddjob, this just might be the most enjoyable Bond film of all. (Guy Hamilton; 1964; 108 min)
- Aug. 19: Pillow Talk
The first of the Doris Day-Rock Hudson-Tony Randall trilogy, (with Lover Comer Back and Send Me No Flowers) it sets up the 50s working girl-in-the-city scenario. The charming romantic comedy is about a principled gal who shares a “party line” – on her telephone – with a handsome ladies’ man she has not met. He begins wooing her with late-night calls, pretending to be someone else. You’ll appreciate your cell phone more than ever! (Michael Gordon; 1959; 98 min)
- Aug. 26: West Side Story
“When you’re a jet, you’re a jet all the way.” This is the timeless story of Romeo and Juliet re-imagined in the streets of 1950s New York, all set to the never-out-of-date music of Leonard Bernstein and Stephen Sondheim. With Natalie Wood, Rita Moreno, George Chakiris, Russ Tamblyn. (Robert Wise; 1961; 151 min)
Melwood Screening Room – 477 Melwood Ave.
- Aug. 5: Nuclear Savage: The Islands of Secret Project 4.1
In the 1950s, the US conducted 67 nuclear tests in the Marshall Islands, vaporizing islands and exposing entire populations to fallout. Many received near fatal doses of radiation and were then moved to a highly contaminated island to serve as guinea pigs to test the affects of radiation on humans for almost 30 years – where they suffered from recurring cancers and birth defects that have affected multiple generations. This cynical act by the US government was conducted with such arrogant racism that without incredible archival footage and newly discovered secret documents, the story would never have been believed. Co-sponsored by Remembering Hiroshima Pittsburgh. (Adam Jonas Horowitz; USA; 2011; 87 min)
- Aug. 10 – 14: This is Not a Film
Renowned Iranian director Jafar Panahi (The White Balloon, Crimson Gold) is currently enduring a six-year prison sentence and a 20-year ban from filmmaking and conducting interviews as a result of his support of the opposition party in Iran’s 2009 presidential election. In this documentary – the best reviewed film so far of 2012, taking the top spot on both Metacritic and Rotten Tomatoes sites – Panahi shares his day-to-day life. Shot clandestinely (with a digital camera and an iPhone) in his Tehran apartment by a friend, it was smuggled out of Iran in a cake as a last-minute submission to Cannes, and was immediately heralded by the international film community. While adhering to the terms of his sentence, this enormously moving video essay is an act of courage and defiance. With subtitles. (Jafar Panahi, Mojtaba Mirtahmasb; Iran; 2011; 75 min)
- Aug. 24 – 28: Kumaré
Winner of SxSW film festival’s top audience award, this is a true story about deception. Brooklyn filmmaker Vikram Gandhi grew out his hair and beard, adopted a fake Indian accent, moved to Phoenix and became a wise guru named Kumaré – all for the camera. Hoping to prove the absurdity of blind faith, instead, he finds himself forging profound connections with people from all walks of life, and wondering if and when to reveal his true identity. (Vikram Ghandi; USA; 2011; 84 min)
Visist us at theaters.pittsburgharts.org