Row House Cinema Declares Independence With ‘The Mutineer’

mutineer

The Mutineer

On April 29, Row House Cinema will spotlight a Pittsburgh-made film with the premiere of The Mutineer.

The independent feature film from writer/producer/director John Jaquish follows a group of criminals who, while fleeing a gun possession charge, take over a farm in rural Appalachia and try to secede from the United States. The film, which was shot in West Virginia on black-and-white 35mm film, used an all-Pittsburgh crew, as well as some local acting talent.

The Mutineer premiere takes place at 8 p.m. Tickets cost $7. The screening includes appearances by Jaquish along with a number of cast and crew members.

Row House Cinema Dives In For ‘My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea’

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My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea

Cartoonist Dash Shaw recently made waves (pun intended) when he premiered My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea, an absurd animated feature that’s exactly what the title suggests. On April 25, Row House Cinema welcomes Shaw for the Pittsburgh premiere of his new work.

Dash (Jason Schwartzman) and his best friend Assaf (Reggie Watts) are preparing for another year at Tides High School muckraking on behalf of their widely-distributed but little-read school newspaper, edited by their friend Verti (Maya Rudolph). But just when a blossoming relationship between Assaf and Verti threatens to destroy the boys’ friendship, Dash learns of the administration’s cover-up that puts all the students in danger. As disaster erupts and the friends race to escape through the roof of the school, they are joined by a popular know-it-all (Lena Dunham) and a lunch lady (Susan Sarandon) who is much more than meets the eye, in this wild send-up of disaster cinema, high school comedy, and blockbuster satire. (Synopsis courtesy of GKIDS)

The My Entire High School Sinking Into the Sea Pittsburgh premiere begins at 7:15 p.m. Shaw and cartoonist Frank Santoro will kick off the event with a live interview followed by the screening. Tickets cost $12, $20 for VIP tickets that include a private meet-and-greet in the Bierport taproom. The film will continue to show as part of Row House’s High School Sucks week. 

JFilm Showcases Period Dramas, Timely Docs, And The Beauty Of Comedy

Les Visiteurs

Fanny’s Journey

For over two decades, JFilm Festival has worked to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of modern Jewish culture and history. From April 20-30, the event will present new films from around the world, along with complementary programming such as visiting filmmakers, guest speakers, and more. See below for highlights and details:

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Take My Nose…Please

The 2017 JFilm Festival will present a variety of documentaries, including the Pittsburgh premiere of Take My Nose…Please. Directed by veteran journalist Joan Kron, the film looks at the role comedy has played in exposing the pressure on women to attain physical perfection. From Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers to Roseanne Barr and Kathy Griffin, female comedians have been unashamed to talk about their perceived flaws, and the steps taken to remedy them. The film follows two women – up-and coming improv performer Emily Askin and seasoned headliner Jackie Hoffman – as they deliberate about going under the knife.

Also showing in the documentary category is There Are Jews Here, a film about the struggle to keep small-town synagogues open; The Last Laugh, an exploration of how comedians deal with the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II; and On the Map, a look at how, in 1977, an Israeli basketball team gave the country hope.

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There Are Jews Here

The festival will also present narrative films such as The Exception. Filled with espionage and romance, the star-studded World War II thriller features Jai Courtney as a German soldier on a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). As he begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with one of the Kaiser’s maids (Lily James of Downton Abbey) who is secretly Jewish. Their relationship becomes even more complicated when SS leader Heinrich Himmler (Eddie Marsan) suddenly shows up with a large platoon of Nazis in tow.

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The Exception

Other narrative selections include The Jews, a dark satire about anti-Semitism in France; Fanny’s Journey, a WWII-era tale about a 13-year-old girl on the run from the Nazis; and Family Commitment, a screwball comedy about an Arab-Jewish gay couple and their dysfunctional families.

Visit the JFilm website for more film descriptions, a complete screening schedule, and tickets. Events will take place at Manor Theatre and the Hollywood Theater.

CMOA Honors Director Neil Jordan With Wild West North Film Screening Series

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Breakfast on Pluto/Sony Pictures Classics

From April 14-15, the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) will honor Neil Jordan, the acclaimed Irish filmmaker best known for The Crying Game and Interview with the Vampire, with the Wild West North Film Screening Series. Presented in collaboration with the University of Pittsburgh Film Studies department, the two-day retrospective includes three of the director’s films and conversations with renowned Irish novelist and visiting Pitt faculty member Patrick McCabe, who collaborated with Jordan on adapting two of his books – The Butcher Boy and Breakfast on Pluto – for the screen.

See below for film schedule and details:

April 14

7 p.m.

Michael Collins (1996)

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Liam Neeson plays the title role in Jordan’s award-winning biopic about Michael Collins, the statesman who negotiated Ireland’s break with England and went on to become a political martyr. The film also stars Aidan Quinn, Stephen Rea, Alan Rickman and Julia Roberts.

April 15

2 p.m.

The Butcher Boy (1998)

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Jordan weaves an inventive tale of a boy who uses humor, hooliganism, and horror to cope with the world around him.

April 15

5 p.m.

Breakfast on Pluto (2005)

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Abandoned at birth by a “Phantom Lady” mother and fathered in secret by the local parish priest, Patrick “Kitten” Braden (Cillian Murphy) grows up to lead a picaresque life as a transvestite, magician’s apprentice, sometime prostitute, suspected IRA terrorist, seeker of truth and illusion, loyal friend, and tirelessly witty observer of life.

All screenings take place in the CMOA Theater. Tickets cost $45 for all three screenings (members: $36, students: $24), $18 for individual films (members: $15, students: $10). Every ticket includes a book signed by McCabe.

Row House Cinema Showcases Cult Classics At Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival

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House

From April 7-13Row House Cinema hosts the second annual Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival, the city’s only event dedicated solely to Japanese cinema. Presented in part by the Pittsburgh Japanese Cultural Society and the Japan-America Society of Pennsylvania, the festival features seven handpicked historically and culturally significant films from Japan, all representing different eras and genres.

See film descriptions and details below:

Opening Night Film Samurai Cat (2015, Takeshi Watanabe/Yoshitaka Yamaguchi)

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This action comedy follows a feared swordsman who gets caught between two warring gangs after he absconds with a warlord’s cat.

The Opening Night event includes a special screening of the Studio Ghibli short film Ghiblies: Episode 2. Tickets cost $15 and include admission to the screenings, Japanese snacks, special treats by bakery Yummyholic, and goodies from the Black Cat Market.

House (1977, Nobuhiko Ôbayashi)

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Director Nobuhiko Obayashi’s bizarre fantasy horror film follows a schoolgirl who travels with six classmates to her ailing aunt’s creaky country home and comes face-to-face with evil spirits, a demonic house cat, a bloodthirsty piano, and other ghoulish visions.

Sailor Moon R: The Movie (1993, Kunihiko Ikuhara)

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Long before Mamoru found his destiny with Usagi, he gave a single rose in thanks to a lonely boy who helped him recover from the crash that claimed his parents. This long-forgotten friend, Fiore, has been searching the galaxy for a flower worthy of that sweet gesture long ago. The mysterious flower he finds is beautiful, but has a dark side – it has the power to take over planets. To make matters worse, the strange plant is tied to an ominous new asteroid near Earth! Faced with an enemy blooming out of control, it’s up to Sailor Moon and the Sailor Guardians to band together, stop the impending destruction and save Mamoru.

Harakiri (1962, Masaki Kobayashi)

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Following the collapse of his clan, an unemployed samurai (Tatsuya Nakadai) arrives at the manor of Lord Iyi, begging to be allowed to commit ritual suicide on the property. Iyi’s clansmen, believing the desperate ronin is merely angling for a new position, try to force his hand and get him to eviscerate himself—but they have underestimated his beliefs and his personal brand of honor.

Why Don’t You Play in Hell? (2013, Sion Sono)

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There’s a war going on, but that won’t stop Director Hirata and his inexperienced wannabe film crew from following their dreams of making the ultimate action epic. Ten years ago, yakuza mid-boss Ikegami led an assault against rival don Muto. Now, on the eve of his revenge, all Muto wants to do is complete his masterpiece, a feature film with his daughter in the starring role, before his wife is released from prison. And Hirata and his crew are standing by with the chance of a lifetime: to film a real, live yakuza battle to the death.

Closing Night FilmGhost in the Shell (1995, Mamoru Oshii)

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Set in the year 2029, Oshii’s anime masterpiece follows a female government cyber agent and the Internal Bureau of Investigations are hot on the trail of a “The Puppet Master,” a computer virus capable of invading cybernetic brains and altering its victim’s memory.

Check the Pittsburgh Japanese Film Festival website for ticket prices and showtimes. The festival also includes performances by Pittsburgh Taiko, food and movie pairings with Blue Sparrow Food Truck, local vendor tables, and more.

Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittsburgh: April 2017 Edition

Personal Shopper – Regent Square Theater

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Actor Kristen Stewart reteams with Clouds of Sils Maria director Olivier Assayas for the story of Maureen (Stewart), a young American in Paris making her living as a personal shopper for a celebrity. Also, she may have the psychic ability to communicate with spirits, just like her twin brother, Lewis, who recently passed away. Maureen soon starts receiving mysterious messages coming from an unknown source. Personal Shopper screens from March 31April 6 at Regent Square Theater.

Queen of the Desert – Harris Theater

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Nicole Kidman and director Werner Herzog bring to life the extraordinary true story of a trailblazing woman who found freedom in the faraway world of the Middle East. Gertrude Bell (Kidman) chafes against the stifling rigidity of life in turn-of-the-century England, leaving it behind for a chance to travel to Tehran. So begins her lifelong adventure across the Arab world, a journey marked by danger, a passionate affair with a British officer (James Franco), and an encounter with the legendary T.E. Lawrence (Robert Pattinson). Stunningly shot on location in Morocco and Jordan, Queen of the Desert reveals how an ahead-of-her-time woman shaped the course of history. Queen of the Desert opens on April 7 at the Harris Theater.

The Void – Hollywood Theater

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When police officer Carter discovers a blood-soaked man limping down a deserted road, he rushes him to a local hospital with a bare-bones night shift staff. As cloaked, cult-like figures surround the building, the patients and staff inside start to turn ravenously insane. Trying to protect the survivors, Carter leads them into the depths of the hospital where they discover a gateway to immense evil. The Void opens on April 7 at the Hollywood Theater.

Frantz – Manor Theatre

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Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of World War I, the latest drama from director  François Ozon recalls the mourning period that follows great national tragedies as seen through the eyes of the war’s “lost generation.” Anna (Paula Beer in a breakthrough performance), a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien (Pierre Niney), a French veteran of the war who shows up mysteriously in her town, placing flowers on Frantz’s grave. Adrien’s presence is met with resistance by the small community still reeling from Germany’s defeat, yet Anna gradually gets closer to the handsome and melancholy young man, as she learns of his deep friendship with Frantz, conjured up in evocative flashbacks. Frantz opens on April 14 at the Manor Theatre.

Tull Family Theater Launches Cultural Screenings With ‘Hermitage Revealed’

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Hermitage Revealed

The Tull Family Theater recently opened in Sewickley to bring art films and events to people living outside of the city of Pittsburgh. The theater lives up to its mission on March 23 when it kicks off its Cultural Screenings series with the sprawling 2014 museum documentary Hermitage Revealed.

The State Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg is one of the largest and oldest museums in the world holding over 3 million treasures and boasting more curators than any other art institution. Hermitage Revealed presents a cinematic journey through the museum’s tumultuous 250-year history and offers unprecedented access to special collections and exclusive areas that remain hidden from the public eye.

The production brings together the oldest, the rarest, the most precious and the most closely guarded of Russia’s greatest treasures; items bought with great wealth or acquired by other means, items hoarded and saved from violent revolutionaries, items thought lost and later re-found – all works and their unique stories presented with an intimacy and immediacy that no museum or gallery experience can match. From Rembrandt to Russian masterpieces, from prehistoric artifacts to the private gemstone collection of Catherine The Great, from Michelangelo to Matisse and much, much more, the exquisite treasures the Hermitage has to offer are seemingly endless.

Hermitage Revealed begins at 7 p.m. Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door.

University Of Pittsburgh Presents Serbian Movie Festival

Enclave

Enclave

From March 17-18, the University of Pittsburgh‘s Center for Russian and Eastern European Studies and the Serbian National Federation will present the Serbian Movie Festival, two days of narrative and documentary films about Serbian history and culture.

See film schedule and details below:

March 17

6 p.m.

Enclave (2015, dir. Goran Radovanovic)

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A Christian boy, determined to create a proper community burial for his late grandfather, crosses enemy lines and makes friends among the Muslim majority in deeply divided, war-torn Kosovo.

8 p.m.

Where the Yellow Lemon Blooms (2006, dir. Zdravko Sotra)

A documentary about the suffering of the Serbian people and its army in WWI.

March 18

12 p.m.

We Will Be the World Champions (2015, dir. Darko Bajić)

World-Champions

A film about the founders of the famous Yugoslav Basketball School and the first gold medal at the Championships in Ljubljana in 1970. Based on a true story.

2:30 p.m.

See You in Montevideo (2014, dir. Dragan Bjelogrlić)

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A football team from Belgrade, in the former Yugoslavia, gets a chance to go to the First World Football Championship, but things get complicated along the way.

The Man Who Defended Gavrilo Princip (2014, dir. Srđan Koljević)

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The film follows the investigation and trial following the Sarajevo assassination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, which triggered the First World War. The courtroom drama is seen through the eyes of Rudolf Zistler, one of the attorneys appointed by the court to defend the 24 accused members of Young Bosnia and assassin Gavrilo Princip.

The Serbian Movie Festival will take place in Room 232 of the Cathedral of Learning. The event is free and open to the public.

Chatham University Uncovers Horrific Canadian Mystery With ‘Finding Dawn’

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Finding Dawn

In Canada, hundreds of women – a majority of them indigenous – have become victim to a decades-long epidemic of disappearances and murder. On March 16, Chatham University and the World Affairs Council of Pittsburgh will delve into this atrocity with an International Women’s Day screening of the documentary Finding Dawn.

Finding Dawn puts a human face on a tragedy that has received precious little attention – and one which is surprisingly similar to the situation in Ciudad Juarez, on the other side of the U.S. border. Dawn Crey, Ramona Wilson, and Daleen Kay Bosse are just three of the estimated 500 Aboriginal women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the past 30 years. Acclaimed Métis filmmaker Christine Welsh embarks on an epic journey to shed light on these murders and disappearances that remain unresolved to this day. She begins at Vancouver’s skid row where more than 60 poor women disappeared and travels to the Highway of Tears in northern British Columbia where more than two dozen women (all but one Native) have vanished.

This film illustrates the deep historical, social and economic factors that contribute to the epidemic of violence against Aboriginal women. It highlights the disturbing, worldwide culture of impunity that allows murders of women – especially those who are poor, indigenous, or sex workers – to go unsolved and unpunished.

The Finding Dawn screening event begins at 5 p.m. at Chatham’s Laughlin Hall. Dinner is included. Welsh will give a post-screening interview via Skype with Dr. Prajna Parasher, director of Chatham’s Film and Digital Technology program. There will also a discussion on human trafficking of women and girls led by Dr. Mary Burke, professor of psychology at Carlow University and founder of the Project to End Human Trafficking.

Registration for this event is closed. Those interested in attending can email Nayab Khan at nayab@worldpittsburgh.org to be added to a waiting list.

Row House Raises Money For LGBTQ+ Youth With ‘Philadelphia’ Screenings

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Philadelphia

In 1993, Philadelphia became one of the first mainstream films to depict the struggles of people living with HIV/AIDS. On March 13 and 15, Row House Cinema hosts two fundraiser screenings of the drama for the Pittsburgh-based LGBTQ+ organization Proud Haven.

Hailed as a landmark film, Philadelphia stars Tom Hanks and Denzel Washington as two competing lawyers who join forces to sue a prestigious law firm for AIDS discrimination. As their unlikely friendship develops, their courage overcomes the prejudice and corruption of their powerful adversaries. Hanks went on to win the Best Actor Academy Award for his performance.

The Philadelphia benefit screenings take place on March 13 at 7 p.m. and March 15 at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $11. $3 of each ticket sold will go towards Proud Haven, a nonprofit organization dedicated to helping homeless and unstably housed LGBTQ+ youth in the Pittsburgh region find resources and housing options. The screenings are presented as part of Row House’s Denzel Washingon week.