Pittsburgh Filmmakers Announces September Programming
(Pittsburgh, PA) – The following are descriptions of Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Film Exhibition program for September 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 or visit us at theaters.pittsburgharts.org. All titles and dates are subject to change, due to film availability.
The Harris Theater – 809 Liberty Ave.
Thru Sept. 13: 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. 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)
Sept. 14 – 20: Trishna
Freida Pinto is mesmerizing in this sumptuous new adaptation of Thomas Hardy’s “Tess of the D’Urbervilles.” Set in modern-day India, Trishna is the oldest daughter from a poor family who works in a resort. Jay is the wealthy son of a property developer who begins managing the resort at his father’s request. When he meets Trishna at a dance, their fates become intertwined. Jay finds every opportunity to win her affection, even though his family objects. (Michael Winterbottom; USA; 2011; 117 min)
Opens Sept. 21: Red Hook Summer
Spike Lee’s newest film, the sixth in a series he calls his Brooklyn Chronicles, tells the provocative story of a 13-year-old boy named Flik from suburban Atlanta who spends the summer in the inner-city projects with his bible-thumping grandfather, Bishop Enoch (The Wire’s Clarke Peters). Between his grandfather’s constant preaching and the culture shock of Brooklyn’s Red Hook hood, Flik feels like a fish out of water. But this breezy summer tale has a shocking finale that packs a wallop. (Spike Lee; USA; 2012; 135 min)
Regent Square Theater – 1035 South Braddock Ave.
Thru Sept. 13: The Well Digger’s Daughter
Acclaimed actor Daniel Auteuil, who shot to fame in Jean de Florette andManon of the Springs, returns to the novels of Marcel Pagnol for his directing debut. Here he plays a digger of wells and father of six daughters. The beautiful Patricia is romanced by a handsome, unreliable young man, who predictably leaves her to deal with the consequences of their brief affair. Shot in and around Avignon, this lovely old-fashioned drama captures the spirit of 1930s French films. With subtitles. (Daniel Auteuil; France; 2011; 107 min)
Opens Sept. 14: Sleepwalk With Me
A best-selling book, an off-Broadway smash, and a popular series of segments onThis American Life(Ira Glass collaborated on the film adaptation),Sleepwalk With Me is also the cinematic debut of Mike Birbiglia as writer/director/star. Playing a younger version of himself, Birbiglia is a struggling stand-up comic whose adoring girlfriend (Lauren Ambrose) wants to get married. Unable to face his anxieties while awake, he starts having ridiculous, dangerous, and spectacular bouts of sleepwalking, reenacting everything from attacks by invisible jackals to a competition in the Dustbuster Olympics. With its biting, self-depreciating wit this is one imaginative and entertaining film. (Mike Birbiglia; USA; 2012; 90 min)
Sept. 27: Special pre-festival event: Musician Eric Ross – live!
Called “Master of the Theremin,” composer Eric Ross will perform live on guitar, synthesizer, and theremin to a series of experimental short films. Eric Ross began playing the Theremin (one of the first electronic instruments) in 1975, and has performed on radio, film and TV. He’s presented multimedia performances with video, music, dance, film and computer art. His compositions include elements of jazz, classic, serial, and the avant-garde and he’s presented concerts of his original works at Lincoln Center, The Kennedy Center, as well as the Newport, Berlin and Montreux Jazz Festivals, and more. This special evening is presented by the Three Rivers Film Festival. 8:00pm. Ticket info coming soon.
Sunday Night Series: DCP in B&W
Part 2 of the DCP (Digital Cinema Package) series takes a look at five great classics in Black & White. The DCP process involves scanning original negatives while preserving all the detail. The promise: no more scratches, no more broken sprockets, no more faded images. Fewer and fewer 35mm prints are being made of classic films. So, for now it is not a complete switch-over. Because we want to be able to present the rare archival films that only exist in 35mm, DCP is in addition to our 35mm film projection system.
Sept. 2: Casablanca
This treasured classic of romance and World War II intrigue features some of the best performances in the history of American cinema (Humphrey Bogart, Ingrid Bergman, Claude Rains, Paul Henreid). An expatriate in North Africa runs into a former lover with unexpected complications. “Of all the gin joints in the world…” (Michael Curtiz; 1942; 102 min)
Sept. 9: Gilda
Adrift in Argentina, gambler Johnny Farrell (Glenn Ford) is hired by a sinister casino boss. But his fortune changes when the boss returns from a trip with a new wife: the spectacularly sexy Gilda (Rita Hayworth) – once the love of Johnny’s life. Their tempestuous relationship flares again, against the backdrop of a bossa nova. (Charles Vidor; 1946; 110 min)
Sept. 16: The 39 Steps
In the most well-known of Hitchcock’s early British films – who doesn’t love Mr. Memory – we follow the travails of a dashing hero trying to clear his name (a case of mistaken identity) only to find himself tangled up with spies and a reluctant blonde. The bantering couple in this mystery-romance set the style for sophisticated comedies for years. (Alfred Hitchcock; 1935; UK; 93 min)
Sept. 23: Night of the Hunter
In this haunting thriller, Robert Mitchum stars as a preacher-turned-killer with LOVE and HATE tattooed across his fingers (the first, but not the last movie character to do so). Its expressionistic fairy-tale style, and strong performances from Mitchum, Lillian Gish, and Shelly Winters, make this a favorite among critics and film buffs alike. (Charles Laughton; 1955; 93 min)
Sept. 30: High Noon
Thanks to Gary Cooper’s Oscar-winning performance, this classic Western still offers relevant lessons in civic responsibility. Taut and tightly-scripted, it tells the tale of a stoic, honor-bound sheriff (current political writers compare him to Obama) who’s on his own as he deals with a revenge-seeking gang arriving on the noon train. (Fred Zinneman; 1952; 85 min)
Melwood Screening Room – 477 Melwood Ave.
Sept. 7 – 9: The Graduate
One word of advice for those incoming students: “plastics.” Dustin Hoffman may have turned 75 this year, but here he lives forever as the college graduate fumbling into adulthood, while trying to avoid Mrs. Robinson. (Mike Nichols; 1967; 106 min)
Sept. 11: Film Kitchen
Held the second Tuesday of every month, this series highlights regional, independently-made short films and videos. This month features work by Patrick Morgan, Brenna Pérez, Mike Rubino and Andy Keleman. Reception at 7:00; films at 8:00. Co-sponsored by the Spak Brothers Pizza, WPTS-FM, and Mellinger’s Beer Distributer.
Sept. 20: Seven Year Itch
Marilyn Monroe is hotter than ever and if you’re not sure why, this film will show you. When a professional book reader (Tom Ewell) sends his family to the country during a sweltering New York summer, his imagination goes into overdrive when a delightful, voluptuous blonde moves in upstairs. Look for Marilyn standing over the subway grate in her white dress. (Billy Wilder; 1954; 105 min) Informal discussion following the film with Adrienne Wehr, local actress/producer/director. Co-presented by PittArts.
Sept. 28 – Oct. 1: Beauty is Embarrassing
Raised in the hills of Tennessee, artist Wayne White started his career as a cartoonist in New York City. He found success as one of the creators of “Pee-wee’s Playhouse,” which led to work designing some of the most iconic images in pop culture. This documentary, which features Matt Groening, Mark Mothersbaugh, Todd Oldham, Paul Reubens and more, is a funny, irreverent, joyful and inspiring story about the life and current times of this lucky and talented artist. (Neil Berkeley; USA; 2012; 88 min)