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Pittsburgh Filmmakers Announces February Programming
For Immediate Release
January 23, 2012
Contact: Carol O'Sullivan
Pittsburgh Filmmakers Announces February Programming
(Pittsburgh, PA) – The following are descriptions of Pittsburgh Filmmakers Film Exhibition program for February. 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.
The Harris Theater – 809 Liberty Ave.
Feb. 3: Dragonslayer
“Rendered with punk rock energy and grace.” - LA Times
Grand Jury Prize winner for Best Documentary at the recent SxSW Fest, Dragonslayer chronicles the transgressions of a lost skate punk in the stagnant suburbs of Fullerton, California in the aftermath of America's economic collapse. Taking the viewer through a golden SoCal haze of broken homes, abandoned swimming pools and stray glimpses of unusual beauty, this poetic portrait captures the life and times of Josh "Skreech" Sandoval, a local skate legend and new father, as his endless summer finally collides with the future. Set to the alternately roaring and dreamy soundtrack of indie bands. (Tristan Patterson; USA; 2011; 74 min)
Feb. 10 - 16: Sing Your Song
Most people know the lasting legacy of Harry Belafonte, the entertainer. But, as Sing Your Song proves in a most stirring way, Belafonte has had a significant and lasting impact on the ongoing worldwide struggle for human rights. This powerful documentary reveals Belafonte's multifaceted contributions to the arts, the U.S. Civil Rights movement, the fight against Apartheid, ending starvation in Ethiopia, and much more. (Susanna Rostock; USA; 2011; 104 min)
opens Feb. 17: Declaration of War
Based on actress-director Valerie Donzelli's personal experience, this exuberant drama is an intimate portrait of the struggle endured by a young couple – Romeo and Juliette – when they find out their baby is very ill. Gathering their friends and family together, they confront the ordeal as though it's warfare. Thrust from their carefree, youthful love into chaos, the traumatic experience reveals an unexpected strength, courage and heroism. This moving tale is infused with verve by its cinematic techniques, music, and heartbreaking performances. With subtitles. (Valerie Donzelli; Belgium; 2011; 100 min)
Regent Square Theater – 1035 South Braddock Ave.
Through Feb. 2: Le Havre
“No other contemporary filmmaker manages to blend deadpan, ironic humor with social commentary in quite the same manner as Finnish master Aki Kaurismäki.”- Piers Handling, TIFF. The story follows an elderly bohemian couple who find themselves harboring an African boy – an illegal immigrant. When a tenacious local police inspector becomes suspicious, a cat-and-mouse game ensues. Insightful, ironic, relevant and funny. With subtitles. (Aki Kaurismäki; Finland/France; 2011; 93 min)
Feb. 3- 5: Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey
Back by popular demand! Millions of kids tune in to Sesame Street everyday to see a furry red monster named Elmo. Yet, the man behind the Muppet is able to walk down the street without being recognized. Meet Kevin Clash – an average teenager who always wanted to be a puppeteer. More specifically, part of Jim Henson’s team of Muppeteers, the creative force behind the magic of Sesame Street. His dream came true. (Constance Marks; USA; 2011; 76 min)
Feb. 6 - 9: Melancholia
This film had patrons lined up around the block when it played recently at the Three Rivers Film Festival. Here's another chance to see this amazing film from the always controversial Lars Von Trier. The title refers both to a planet “that's been hiding behind the sun” and the crippling depression of a new bride (Kirsten Dunst, winner of Best Actress at Cannes this year). The plot may be science fiction – the extinction of the planet – but the feelings of despair are heart-felt human drama. Features an all-star cast; in English. (Lars Von Trier; Denmark/Sweden/France; 2011; 135 min)
Feb. 10 - 23: Oscar Nominated Shorts
For the annual Oscar watchers who ask “where can we see those nominated short films,” here’s your chance to see them on the big screen – all TEN – both animated and live-action categories. Predict the winners before the awards are handed out on February 26th! The short-film nominees are traditionally among the year’s most creative work in film all year, yet can be the most difficult to see. Some years tend to be more family-friendly than others, so check our website for more details when they’re available. This is always an eye-popping program, so expect an exceptional evening of entertainment.
Opens Feb. 24: A Separation
“The Best Picture of the Year!” – Roger Ebert
“A landmark film!” – Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
In what has quietly become the best reviewed film of 2011 – and just nominated for an Oscar for Best Foreign film – this is the story of a woman who files for divorce from her husband. Not that unusual, except this is contemporary Iran. When a character has to call a religious hotline to ask if her professional duties are consistent with her beliefs, you know the devil is in the details. And so it is. Director Asghar Farhadi delivers a maze of narrative intrigue and complex emotion in which everyone is both innocent and guilty, depending on where you’re standing. With subtitles; Golden Globe winner for Best Foreign Film. (Asghar Farhadi; Iran; 2010; 123 min)
Sunday Night Series: Two Silent Masterpieces
With the recent buzz surrounding two Oscar-nominated films extolling the lost art of silent cinema, we wanted to offer examples of masterful films – one comedy, one drama – actually made during the silent era. See them on the big screen!
Feb. 12: The Gold Rush – newly restored!
Long unavailable in its original form, The Gold Rush is now being presented in a pristine 35mm restored print, complete with a new recording of Chaplin's orchestral score. (The elaborate restoration was completed through a collaborative partnership with Cineteca Bologna, the Chaplin Estate, and Janus Films.) Playing a romantic idealist and lone gold prospector at the turn of the (last) century, Chaplin was the quintessential Little Tramp here, with his trademark costume, as well as his brilliant pantomime skills – his dance of the forks and dinner rolls is often imitated, never matched. Its social satire, slapstick bits and moments of genuine tenderness have never looked, or sounded, better. Don't miss it. (Charlie Chaplin; 1925; 88 min)
Feb. 19: Sunrise
Considered by many to be the finest silent film made in Hollywood, it represents the art of wordless cinema at its zenith. Its full title calls it “A Song of Two Humans,” and in the hands of the great German director F. W. Murnau (Nosferatu) it is the perfect synthesis of American and German silent cinema. The story is simple: A farmer (George O'Brien) is happily married to a sweet and naive woman (Janet Gaynor) from The Country. But he falls under the seductive spell of a temptress (Margaret Livingston) from The City. The expressionistic style of filmmaking, which won the very first Oscar for cinematography, still gets reverential accolades world-wide. Sunrise is perhaps the final – and arguably definitive – statement of the silent era. (F.W. Murnau; 1927; 95 min)
Melwood Screening Room – 477 Melwood Ave.
Feb. 3: Open Screening
Pittsburgh Filmmakers welcomes all students, alumni, and members to present their short films and videos. One work each; must be no longer than 15 minutes, must be in one of these formats: DVD, BluRay, MiniDV, 16mm, Super 8mm. (Submit Jan 27 – Feb. 2.) Reception; $4 admission.
Feb. 9: Wings Of Desire
Considered by many to be the best European film of the 80s, this beautiful and meditative drama is about two angels who watch over the divided city of Berlin. They have been watching since the beginning of time. But now one of them, played by Bruno Ganz, has fallen in love with a trapeze artist. With subtitles. (Wim Wenders; Germany; 1987; 128 min) Informal discussion after the film. Co-presented with PittArts.
Feb. 10 -12; 17 – 19: Oscar Nominated Short Docs – new this year!
You know the winter blahs are over with the arrival of the first great cinema treat of 2012: the just-announced five documentary shorts vying for an Academy Award. Don't miss this opportunity – showing two weekends only – to see these superb short documentaries before the winner is announced during the Oscar broadcast.
Feb. 14: Film Kitchen
Held the second Tuesday of every month, this series highlights regional, independently-made short films and videos. This month features work by Madelyn Roehrig, and Andy Kelemen. Reception at 7:00; films at 8:00. Co-sponsored by the Spak Brothers Pizza, WPTS-FM, and Mellinger's Beer Distributer.