the spirit of the times
AFFILIATION: Pittsburgh Filmmakers is a 501(c)(3) non-profit arts organization.
SPECIAL SKILLS: the Regent Square Theater’s Sunday Night Classics series (a great way to conclude the weekend), Film Kitchen at Melwood (a monthly program of locally made films and videos, now in it’s 13th year) and hi-end 16mm projection (yes, it still exists).
DCP ? : Currently installed at the Regent Square, planning Harris and Melwood conversions down the line when funds become available.
FIRST ZEITGEIST MOVIE: Tony Buba’s Lightning Over Braddock: A Rustbowl Fantasy in 1988
PRICE OF A SMALL POPCORN: $3.00
When Pittsburgh Filmmakers was founded in 1971, its primary mission was to serve non-commercial filmmakers and photographers in the Pittsburgh area by providing low-cost access to the expensive tools of their art forms. More than 40 years later, their mission continues with the addition of extensive education, membership and exhibition programs.
Pittsburgh Filmmakers operates three single screen theaters in the Pittsburgh area that feature American independents, documentaries, and first-run foreign films, as well as an ongoing weekly series of popular classics. All three theaters are equipped to project Super-8, 16mm, reel-to-reel 35mm, and certain digital formats. Pittsburgh Filmmakers also produces, hosts and programs the Three Rivers Film Festival, held annually in early November.
The Melwood Screening Room was built in 1995 as part of extensive renovations that converted an urban warehouse into attractive headquarters for Filmmakers’ administrative and equipment access offices, classrooms, and sound stage. Located on the second floor, the Screening Room shares a lobby with Filmmakers’ Galleries.
The Harris Theater opened as Avenue Cinema in 1931 and featured “continental pictures.” In 1935 it changed to the Art Cinema, a name it kept for more than 50 years. By the 1960s the Art Cinema was part of the city’s red-light district and became an adult movie theater. It was renovated in the early 90s as part of a strategic cultural renaissance; The Harris has been programmed and operated by Pittsburgh Filmmakers since 1995. It is the only movie theater in downtown Pittsburgh.
The Regent Square is one of the last remaining single-screen neighborhood theaters in the region and is surrounded by funky shops, restaurants, cafes, bars, and art galleries. Built in 1938, old-timers fondly remember going to see the Marx Brothers, Bogart & Bacall and John Ford Westerns at the original theater – a tradition that continues with the Sunday night classic film series.
We’ve had the privilege of bringing our films to Pittsburgh with Pittsburgh Filmmakers since the very beginning of Zeitgeist, and we’re thrilled to present our Russian noir Elena at the Regent Square Theater today… click here for tickets!
(special thanks to Gary Kaboly of PGH Filmmakers)
(image and additional info from http://classyeats.blogspot.com/2010/01/magic-lantern-spokane.html)
SPECIAL SKILLS: $3 bottomless popcorn. There is nothing else to be said. Perfection achieved.
Owner Joe Davis discovered the Magic Lantern in the nick of time - after showing a short at the theater in 2008, he discovered that the Lantern was to be no more. Instead of mourning his newfound love by crying on public transit like a normal person, he took it upon himself to revamp the theater. Despite being in the middle of his med school residency, Davis took over the theater in 2009. Now friendlier to post-and-pre-film socializing, the theater sports an intimate coffee lounge - outfitted with a pretty delicious snack selection (exhibit A: COOKIES). They serve DOMA espresso and chocolate-covered espresso beans - a must if you’re competing the 50-hour Slam (a film-making competition) hosted there. In addition to the 50-hour slam, the Magic Lantern hosts the Spokane International Film Festival and Spokane’s Jewish Film Festival.
We’ve only heard great things about Joe and the Magic Lantern. If you’re in Spokane, pop by and tell us what you think of the place! For more info, see the Magic Lantern’s website.
ELENA opens there this week!
BORN: July 27, 2007
AFFILIATION: Operated by Film Streams, a non-profit organization dedicated to furthering the concept of film as art and encouraging educated discussion of cinema. Oscar-winner Alexander Payne is a board member and frequent collaborator.
SPECIAL SKILLS: The theater offers a monthly Free Student Night (first Monday of every month), and their concession stand offers wine, OMAHA STEAKS BEEF STICKS (which exist and sound delicious), and local coffee and beer (among other, healthier snacks). Oh, and scones (arguably the greatest baked breakfast good).
DCP ? : Currently, the larger theater (there are two) offers digital projection, but both screens will soon be DCP compatible.
PRICE OF A SMALL POPCORN: Technically the small is $4, but they also offer a Fun Size® for $3.
FIRST ZEITGEIST FILM: Up The Yangtze
In 2005, Rachel Jacobson did what half of us have been threatening to do for years, leaving New York for greener pastures – her hometown of Omaha, specifically, where she had dreamed of opening an art-house theater. Just a year later, construction began on what would become the Ruth Sokolof Theater, which opened July 27, 2007 with screenings of La Vie en Rose and Seven Samurai.
What we really admire about Film Streams is their commitment to education and community enrichment – they have their own education program, which teaches film history and criticism to high school students. Q&A screenings with visiting filmmakers supplement their community development and education programs, as does the aforementioned Student Night. Aspiring Omaha filmmakers can submit their work to Film Streams’ Local Filmmakers Showcase.
Approaching its five-year anniversary, Film Streams has screened films for over 210,000 visitors and presented more than 200 First-Run premieres of American independents and foreign films. Their annual gala - Feature - draws spectacular guests for thought-provoking conversations about film. Jane Fonda will be at this year’s gala (July 22) in conversation with Alexander Payne. Oh, and Elena opens there today.
Check out Film Streams’ new blog to learn more about this amazing theater!
An emotionally and sexually charged psychological thriller from director Bernard Rose (Candyman, Immortal Beloved) featuring Danny Huston (X-Men Origins: Wolverine) as a husband who is consumed by feelings of carnal desire and violent jealousy over his pianist wife’s (Law and Order’s Elizabeth Röhm) possible affair with a handsome violinist. Based on the classic novella by Leo Tolstoy, this gripping dissection of a modern marriage also features Oscar® winner Anjelica Huston (Prizzi’s Honor).
Click-through for the webstore!
This is it, our first special announcement of 2012… we’re VERY proud to present the official U.S. poster for Elena (dir. Andrey Zvyagintsev). It’s by Sam Smith, who you might already know from his many other beautiful and/or hilarious posters, OR from his percussion activities as the drummer for Ben Folds, The Comfies, and My So-Called Band. Busy guy!
As for the film, you can see the trailer if you click through the poster image (after you spend the appropriate 8-11 minutes appreciating how pretty it is, of course).
Elena won Cannes’ Un Certain Regard Special Jury Prize last year, and it opens May 16 at Film Forum!
Indiewire just released a list of the lady-helmed films of 2011 (not including documentaries). Among the (disappointingly few) was our own Julie Bertucelli, of whom we are very proud!
Let us or Indiewire know if you think they’re missing anyone:
November is here, ladies and gents. It is cold and it is terrible - unless you live in California! (We* hear there are parts of California that do get cold, but refuse to believe).
You’re probably looking for a way to zip through this, the second-most pointless of months (if you have to ask what the first is, you’ve clearly never lived through an April). Well. Well well. If you happen to be one of those fortunate California-dwellers, we have an activity for you - one might even call it a historic activity (or “an historic activity”**).
YOU should attend the FIRST ANNUAL Napa Valley Film Festival! It starts in a little over a week (going from November 9-13), and is a great opportunity for you to catch some great shorts (films not pants) and features… one of which is Dan Geller and Dayna Goldfine’s Something Ventured.
The documentary is a look at the origins of some of the world’s most well-known companies (Atari, Apple, Intel, and so on), featuring interviews with many of the men (yeah, mostly men) who gambled to make them what they are (or were).
It’s screening thrice during the festival, and present at each screening will be the directors along with Jimmy Treybig and Dick Kramlich, both of whom were interviewed about the companies they founded (Tandem Computers and New Enterprise Associates, respectively) in the film.
Friday, November 11 at 2PM
Saturday, November 12 at 11AM, or
Sunday, November 13 at 8:30PM.
Locations vary, but we hear there will be WINE TASTING PAVILIONS.
As a fabulous bonus, if you send us a screenshot of your ticket purchase confirmation (on twitter, facebook, or here), we’ll enter you to win a copy of the film (not yet available for consumer purchase, i.e. EXCLUSIVE) on DVD!
Hear that? You can win a copy of Something Ventured on DVD! Just send us a screenshot proving you’ve purchased a ticket to the Napa Valley Film Festival.
Here’s hoping you squeeze some meaning into this November.
* Rachel has never been to California and is only vaguely familiar with the concepts of geography and meteorology.
** a monocle was donned by the author of this parenthetical suggestion.
What do Scarlett Johansson and Andrei Zvyagintsev have in common?
We’ll give you a second.
No, no, the answer is most certainly *not* “awkward covers of Tom Waits songs” (thank goodness - the world can only handle so many)!
Okay, we get it, you give up. The answer: Zvyagintsev (director of Cannes Special Jury Prize winner Elena) and Johansson both directed shorts for New York, I Love You, neither of which was used in the final cut. We haven’t seen ScarJo’s, but this (as in, the video above or to the left of this post, depending on how weird your browser window is) is Zvyagintsev’s. It’s called Apocrypha, and it follows a boy (whose father, we’re told, lives in what was once Joseph Brodsky’s apartment) with a camera.
There’s a brief Heather “Welcome to the Dollhouse” Matarazzo appearance in there as well!