Penn State Center To Present Urban Farming Doc ‘Growing Cities’

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Urban farming emerged as a way to improve food security and safety, and offer direct access to fresh produce and meat. As the practice continues to spread throughout the US – including in Pittsburgh – some wonder how much power it has to revitalize our cities and change the way we eat. On April 24th, the Penn State Center will examine this issue when they present a special screening of the independent documentary Growing Cities.

In their search for answers, filmmakers Dan Susman and Andrew Monbouquette take a road trip and meet the men and women who are challenging the way this country grows and distributes its food, one vacant city lot, rooftop garden, and backyard chicken coop at a time. Join them as they discover that good food isn’t the only crop these urban visionaries are harvesting. They’re producing stronger and more vibrant communities, too.

Growing Cities will screen at 6:30 p.m. at the CLASS facility. Doors open at 6 p.m. A director’s Q&A and panel discussion will follow.

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No Name Players To Summon ‘Evil Dead: The Musical’

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In 2006, theater became a whole lot bloodier when Evil Dead: The Musical began its off-Broadway run. Since then, the show, which was adapted from filmmaker Sam Raimi‘s cult films, has delighted audiences all over the world with its gory song-and-dance numbers. Now a local company wants to bring this wacky horror hit to Pittsburgh, but first they need a little help.

No Name Players recently launched a Kickstarter campaign to bring Evil Dead: The Musical to Off The Wall Theater. Conceived by George Reinblatt, the hard-rocking musical comedy follows five friends to an old abandoned cabin in the woods where they unwittingly unleash an ancient evil force hell-bent on converting them to Candarian demon zombies. That is, until Ash Williams, an unassuming S-Mart employee, wields a sawed-off shotgun and chainsaw to become a demon killing hero! Don DiGiulio will direct the Pittsburgh show, which will feature music direction by Joseph P. Stamerra and choreography by Kaitlin Dann of Attack Theatre.

The Kickstarter funds will go toward the ambitious professional special effects needed to recreate Raimi’s bizarre and terrifying universe. Steve Tolin, an award-winning FX artist and owner of Tolin FX, will create all the severed limbs, shotgun wounds, and various other bloody business necessary to make this a performance to remember. Visit the campaign page for more details. Contributions will be accepted through May 3rd.

Evil Dead: The Musical will open at Off The Wall Theater on June 13th and will run through June 28th. Tickets are available for $15 at Showclix, $20 at the door.

Hollywood Theater Follows A ‘Breadcrumb Trail’

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When Slint released their second and final album Spiderland in 1991, the band had yet to reach a large audience. Members Brian McMahanDavid PajoBritt Walford, and then bassist Todd Brashear disbanded not long after, but their creation went on to achieve wide acclaim as a seminal underground classic. With the remastered Spiderland reissue expected to drop this month, a 90-minute documentary is making the rounds to tell the group’s story.On April 19th, the Hollywood Theater, in association with Drusky Entertainment, will present Breadcrumb Trail, an expansive film about Slint and the Louisville, KY music culture from which they emerged.

When director Lance Bangs first drove to Louisville from Athens, GA in the early 1990s, he could hardly have known it would mark the beginning moment of a feature length documentary about Slint. Bangs would repeatedly make the 500-mile drive north to chase rumors about Slint and what the members were up to, shooting film footage along the way. Collecting stories about the band, Bangs eventually began filming interviews with each of the band members and their contemporaries. Breadcrumb Trail is the result of years of effort started by a music fan on a mission and finished by a film director with a unique story to tell. This new 90-minute documentary includes never-before-seen pre-Spiderland live video footage as well as footage from practice sessions leading up to the recording of Spiderland.

Doors open at 7 p.m. Breadcrumb Trail will screen at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $10 and are available for purchase at the door or on the Drusky Entertainment website.

Wood Street Galleries Hosts Pittsburgh Premiere Of ‘The End Again’

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On April 11thWood Street Galleries will host an exclusive red-carpet screening of The End Again starring Columbus Short (Scandal) opposite his real-life wife, Tanee McCall-Short (The Losers).

Great Fortune Films and Great Picture Show Productions presents director Crystle C. Roberson‘s short film, The End Again, an emphatic reflective portrait of a couple’s joys and falls at the close of their six-year relationship. Shot over a two-day period in the historic Edgewood neighborhood of Atlanta, GA, the contemporary romantic drama illustrates the sometimes complex yet nuanced struggles that often accompany breakups as Jane Salmon (McCall-Short) and Joe Maxwell (Short) attempt to reconcile their personal battles of conscience against a love that still remains. Written by Felicia Pride and featuring a soundtrack from R&B group The Foreign Exchange, the film is a prequel to the forthcoming feature-length project entitled Openended, which reunites Joe and Jane for a single day to mourn the loss of a mutual friend and to confront unresolved feelings.

The End Again begins at 6 p.m. A talk-back session with the filmmakers will follow. The event will also include a performance by The Foreign Exchange. Tickets are $20 and are available for purchase at Omicelo.

Hollywood Theater Makes ‘Lemonade’ With Local Film Premiere

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On April 5th, the Hollywood Theater will gear up for summer with Lemonade, an independent, Pittsburgh-shot film about a beloved seasonal pastime – the lemonade stand.

Directed by local filmmaker Eliott Acevedo, and written by Nick McMillin, Lemonade follows two little kids with a big dream. Ryan is the “mini-businessman” of the neighborhood, hell-bent on fulfilling a promise to an old friend – to make 1 million dollars selling lemonade using a “magic” lemonade stand. But sales are looking low for Ryan…way low, thanks in part to his snooty neighbor Taylor who is stealing all the business with her fancy lemonade stand. Frustrated and about to call it quits, Ryan becomes reinvigorated after talking to his highly energetic, highly annoying friend Johnny. Together, Ryan and Johnny devise a plan to amass 1 million in sales over the course of the neighborhood garage sale weekend.​

Lemonade screens at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Guests can register for tickets at Showclix.

 

Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittburgh: April 2014 Edition

Cheap Thrills – Hollywood Theater

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The feature directorial debut from E.L. Katz follows Craig (Pat Healy), a struggling family man who loses his low-wage job and is threatened with eviction. In an effort to delay facing the music at home, he heads to a local bar and encounters an old friend (Ethan Embry). The two friends are roped into a round of drinks by a charismatic and obscenely wealthy stranger (David Koechner) along with his mysterious wife (Sara Paxton). The couple engages the two friends in a series of innocent dares in exchange for money over the course of the evening, with each challenge upping the ante in both reward and boundaries. It seems like easy and much needed money, but the couple’s twisted sense of humor pushes just how far Craig and his friend are willing to go for money and cheap thrills. Cheap Thrills will screen at the Hollywood Theater from April 4th through April 6th.

Nymphomaniac, Part 2 – Harris Theater

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Part two of director Lars Von Trier‘s latest film continues the wild and poetic story of one woman’s erotic journey from birth to age 50. Joe (Charlotte Gainsbourg) recounts for Seligman (Stellan Skarsgård) her life as a nymphomaniac, and the circumstances that left her savagely beaten in the alley behind his apartment. The film also stars Stacy Martin, Shia LaBeouf, Jamie Bell, Willem Dafoe, Mia Goth, and Jean-Marc Barr. Nymphomaniac, Part 2 opens at the Harris Theater on April 11th.

Particle Fever - Regent Square Theater

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Directed by Mark Levinson, a physicist turned filmmaker, this acclaimed documentary follows six brilliant scientists during the launch of the Large Hadron Collider, marking the start-up of the biggest and most expensive experiment in the history of the planet, pushing the edge of human innovation. As they seek to unravel the mysteries of the universe, 10,000 scientists from over 100 countries joined forces in pursuit of a single goal: to recreate conditions that existed just moments after the Big Bang and find the Higgs boson, potentially explaining the origin of all matter. But our heroes confront an even bigger challenge: have we reached our limit to understand why we exist? Particle Fever screens at the Regent Square Theater from April 11th through April 25th

Southside Works Cinema Spins Music Doc ‘Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton’

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In 1996, DJ Peanut Butter Wolf created an independent record label as a means of posthumously releasing the late MC Charles Hicks/Charizma’s debut album. The endeavor soon grew into a multi-generational, international powerhouse in the underground music scene. On April 3rd, Southside Cinema Works will shed light on the music institution’s enduring legacy with a screening of Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton.

Directed by Jeff Broadway, this feature-length documentary focuses on avant-garde Los Angeles-based record label Stones Throw Records. Under the direction of founder and world-renowned DJ Peanut Butter Wolf, Stones Throw has consistently released critically acclaimed, left-of-center albums.  The film weaves together rare concert footage, never-before-seen archival material, inner-circle home video and photographs to provide an exclusive look into the label’s artists, history, culture, and global following. Features exclusive interviews with Kanye West, Snoop Dogg, Common, Questlove, Talib Kweli, Mike D of The Beastie Boys, Tyler the Creator, and many more.

Our Vinyl Weighs A Ton screens at 7:30 p.m.