Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittsburgh: September 2016 Edition

My King – Regent Square Theater

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Tony (Emmanuelle Bercot) is admitted to a rehabilitation center after a serious ski accident. Dependent on the medical staff and pain relievers, she takes time to look back on a turbulent relationship that she experienced with Georgio (Vincent Cassel). Why did they love each other? Who is this man that she loved so deeply? How did she allow herself to submit to this suffocating and destructive passion? For Tony, a difficult process of healing is in front of her, physical work which may finally set her free. My King opens September 2nd at Regent Square Theater.

Complete Unknown – Regent Square Theater

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The latest entry from filmmaker Joshua Marston (Maria Full of Grace, The Forgiveness of Blood) stars Michael Shannon as Tom, a New York agriculture lobbyist who’s startled to see a woman from his past turn up at his birthday party. Jenny — or Alice (Rachel Weisz), as she now calls herself — first denies even knowing Tom, but as the evening progresses, she reveals a shocking secret. After disappearing from Tom’s life 20 years earlier, she began to reinvent herself every few years, taking on a new name, a new career and a new life each time. After giving Tom a glimpse of what life could be like if he lets go of the safety and security he has so carefully created, Alice asks him to make a choice that will change everything. Complete Unknown opens on September 9th at Regent Square Theater.

Morris from America – Harris Theater

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Written and directed by acclaimed filmmaker Chad Hartigan (This is Martin Bonner), Morris from America centers on Morris Gentry (newcomer Markees Christmas) a 13-year-old who has just relocated with his single father, Curtis (Craig Robinson) to Heidelberg, Germany. Morris, who fancies himself the next Notorious B.I.G., is a complete fish-out-of-water—a budding hip-hop star in an EDM world. To complicate matters further, Morris quickly falls hard for his cool, rebellious, 15-year-old classmate Katrin. Morris sets out against all odds to take the hip-hop world by storm and win the girl of his dreams. Morris from America opens on September 30th at the Harris Theater.

Riverside Drive-In Whips Out Indiana Jones Trilogy

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On August 26th and August 27th, the Riverside Drive-In will help the summer wind down with two Indiana Jones marathons.

Both nights will feature director Steven Spielberg‘s first three Indiana Jones movies in sequence (sorry, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull fans), beginning with Raiders of the the Lost Ark. The 1981 film follows archaeologist and occult expert Indiana Jones, who’s hired by the US government to retrieve the Ark of the Covenant from the clutches of Nazis who intend to use its mythical powers to achieve world domination. After teaming with his old flame Marion (Karen Allen), the two go on an epic adventure across the deserts of Egypt, where they tangle with snakes, swordsmen and Hitler’s henchmen.

Released in 1984, the prequel Temple of Doom marks the return of star Harrison Ford as the intrepid Jones in a story that takes him, his pint-sized sidekick (Jonathan Ke Quan) and a nightclub diva (Kate Capshaw) and into the jungles of India, where they must save a village from an evil cult.

Last but not least, The Last Crusade (1989) unites Jones with his estranged archaeologist father (Sean Connery) in a quest to find the Holy Grail before the Nazis do.

The Indiana Jones Trilogy will begin at 8 p.m. on both nights. Gates open at 7 p.m.

Weekly Movie Roundup: August 15th – August 21st

August 17th

Maverick – AMC Loews Waterfront

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AMC Loews Waterfront will screen the 1994 comedy western Maverick as part of their Classic Movie Nights series. Based on the popular TV series, the film stars Mel Gibson as a charismatic gambler who cons his way into a high stakes poker tournament. Also stars Jodie Foster, Alfred Molina and James Garner. The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5, $10.50 for VIP Seating.

August 19th

Essential American Cinema: The 1970’s – Row House Cinema

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Row House Cinema will devote a week to showcasing definitive disco era films. Selections include director Francis Ford Coppola’s 1972 mafia classic The Godfather, the 1973 Depression era crime comedy The Sting and the 1975 cult documentary Grey Gardens. Showtimes continue through August 25th.

Lights Out – Hollywood Theater

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Hollywood Theater will screen the new horror film Lights Out. The chilling tale stars Teresa Palmer as a woman haunted by a creature that only appears when the lights go out. Showtimes continue through August 25th.

Our Little Sister – Harris Theater

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Director Hirozaku Kore-eda,’s screen adaption of Yoshida Akimi’s best-selling graphic novel follows three 20-something sisters – Sachi, Yoshino and Chika – who live together in a large old house in the seaside town of Kamakura. When they learn of their estranged father’s death, they decide to travel to the countryside for his funeral. There they meet their shy teenage half-sister Suzu for the first time and, bonding quickly, invite her to live with them. Amidst the many and varied colors of Kamakura’s four seasons, the four sisters cause each other emotional anguish, and support each other through life’s trials, developing a very special bond in the process. Showtimes continue at the Harris Theater through August 25th.

The Secret Life of Pets – Hollywood Theater

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Hollywood Theater will screen the new hit animated feature The Secret Life of Pets. The comedy from director Chris Renaud (Despicable Me, Despicable Me 2) about the lives our pets lead after we leave for work or school each day features voicework by Louis C.K., Eric StonestreetKevin Hart and many others. Showtimes continue through August 25th.

August 20th

An American in Paris – Kelly Strayhorn Theater

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Kelly Strayhorn Theater will celebrate the birthday of one of its namesakes, Gene Kelly, with a screening of his 1951 film An American in Paris. The movie musical stars Kelly as an American World War II vet who becomes a painter in Paris, where he falls in love with a beautiful French woman (Leslie Caron). The screening begins at 2 p.m. Doors open at 1 p.m. Tickets are available at the Kelly Strayhorn website or at the door.

August 21st

Breakfast and a Movie: Roman Holiday – Hollywood Theater

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Hollywood Theater will present a special brunch screening of the 1953 romance Roman Holiday. Brunch tickets must be ordered by 11 p.m. on August 18th, online at Showclix or at theater. Doors open for the brunch at 10:15 a.m. followed by the film at 11 a.m. Film only tickets cost $8 can be purchased at the door after 10:40 a.m.

North By Northwest – Regent Square Theater

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Regent Square Theater will screen North By Northwest as part of their August series Reds: When Russians Were Scary. Starring Cary GrantJames Mason, Martin Landau and Eva Marie Saint, Alfred Hitchcock‘s suspense thriller follows a hapless New York advertising executive who’s mistaken for a government agent and relentlessly pursued across the country by foreign spies. The screening begins at 8 p.m.

Looking For Group Causes ‘A Fat Wreck’ With Punk Doc

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On August 19th, the gaming center and coworking space Looking for Group will present a live music and movie event for A Fat Wreck: The Punk-umentary.

The feature debut from director Shaun Colon tells the story of Fat Mike (NOFX) and his ex-wife Erin Kelly-Burkett, founders of Fat Wreck Chords, the influential music label that spent the past 25 years “ruining punk rock.” Half inspirational story of chosen family and community, half debauchery and occasionally involuntary drug use, the film contains interviews with subjects such as Laura Jane Grace of Against Me!, Bad Religion bassist Jay Bentley, and Chris Shiflett of the Foo Fighters, as well as animation sequences and puppet re-enactments.

Doors open at 7 p.m. A performance by the Me First and the Gimme Gimmes cover band The Gimme 5 will take place at 8 p.m. A Fat Wreck: The Punk-umentary will screen at 9 p.m. Tickets cost $12 and are available for purchase at Eventbrite. BYOB. Please note: all ages are welcome, but only guests 21 and older are permitted to consume alcohol.

PHLF Presents ‘First Person Singular: I.M. Pei’ Screening

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On August 16th, the Pittsburgh History and Landmarks Foundation (PHLF), an organization dedicated to saving buildings with historical significance in the Pittsburgh region, will pay tribute to the legendary architect I.M. Pei with a film screening at their Landmarks Preservation Resource Center (LPRC).

With a career spanning more than five decades, the prolific Chinese-American architect has became known for designing some of the world’s most recognized buildings. In the documentary First Person Singular: I.M. Pei, he leads viewers through the Louvre, the National Gallery of Art, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Bank of China, the Meyerson Symphony Center, the Miho Museum and other examples of his work. Pei also discusses his innermost philosophy and principles, as well as his work with notable clients Jacqueline Kennedy, William Zeckendorf, Francois Mitterand and Paul Mellon.

In Pittsburgh, he was commissioned by a New York developer to build three buildings that would comprise the Washington Plaza in the lower Hill. However, only one element of the three-building plaza was constructed.

First Person Singular: I.M. Pei will screen at 6 p.m. in the LPRC at 744 Rebecca Avenue, Wilkinsburg, PA 15221. The event is free for PHLF members, $5 for non-members. RSVP by emailing marylu@phlf.org or by calling 412-471-5808 ext. 527.

Hollywood Theater Guarantees Future With 90 For 90 Campaign

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Over the years, the Hollywood Theater has been an important fixture in Dormont and the Pittsburgh region (and in this blog, quite frankly). Founded in 1926, the single-screen theater saw the transition from silents to talkies and entertained generations of movie goers, opening and closing multiple times before Friends of the Hollywood Theater (FOHT) finally moved in and designated it as a historic landmark. Since then, it’s served as a nonprofit community theater catering to families, serious cinephiles and fans of the weird and offbeat. It’s become known for showing documentaries covering some of the most important and underrepresented eras in 20th-century music, for its monthly Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight shadowcast, and for its regular programming dedicated to silent classics. The staff also strive to present new, limited release films that local audiences may not otherwise get a chance to see on the big screen.

Now the Hollywood Theater needs help.

Over the past eight months, the theater has been affected by $17,000 in unforeseen HVAC costs, rising electric bills, and a drop in attendance due in part to the ongoing construction on its home street, Potomac Avenue. To cover these sudden expenses, and keep the theater operating for decades to come, FOHT launched a 90 for 90 Campaign in order to raise $90,000.

The campaign requires 90 donors at the $50, $100, $250 and $500 levels. They also need nine donors to give $1,000 each. Donations at any level are also appreciated. The campaign will continue through August 31st.

Weekly Movie Roundup: August 8th – August 14th

August 10th

Fight Club – AMC Loews Waterfront

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AMC Loews Waterfront will screen director David Fincher‘s 1999 dark comedy Fight Club as part of their Classic Movie Nights series. The big screen adaptation of author Chuck Palahniuk‘s hit novel depicts an office drone (Edward Norton) lured into a secret world of underground fighting by a charismatic stranger (Brad Pitt). The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5, $10.50 for VIP Seating.

August 12th

Ghostbusters – Hollywood Theater

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Hollywood Theater will screen the highly anticipated reboot from writer/director Paul Feig and co-writer Katie Dippold. When New York City comes under a supernatural threat, it’s up to two physicists (Melissa McCarthy and Kristen Wiig), a kooky scientist (Kate McKinnon) and a savvy transit worker (Leslie Jones) to save it. Tickets are available for purchase at Showclix. Showtimes continue through August 18th.

Kid’s Fest – Row House Cinema

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Row House Cinema will present a week of animated films for Kid’s Fest. Selections include the 1982 fantasy The Last Unicorn, the 2015 stop-motion work Shaun the Sheep, the premiere of GKIDS’ Phantom Boy and a national touring program from the New York International Children’s Film Festival. Showtimes continue through August 18th.

The Land – Harris Theater

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Harris Theater will screen the new film The Land. The debut from director Steven Caple Jr. presents a coming-of-age film set on the streets of Cleveland. Teenage buddies Cisco, Boobie, Junior and Patty Cake skateboard the streets of Cleveland, Ohio, dreaming of getting discovered by a sponsor and skating their way out of poverty. That is until the boys discover a bag full of pills in the back of a stolen car. Cisco’s entrepreneurial instincts take over, and in a flash their lives get better. But no one counted on having to come face to face with the cold, calculating, and notorious drug queenpin Momma (Linda Emond) who runs the toughest gang in town. The film stars newcomer Jorge Lendeborg Jr., Erykah Badu, Machine Gun Kelly and Michael K. Williams.Showtimes continue through August 17th.

August 14th

Invasion of the Body Snatchers – Regent Square Theater

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Regent Square Theater will screen Invasion of the Body Snatchers as part of their August series Reds: When Russians Were Scary. The 1956 sci-fi horror film – which has been interpreted as a reaction to the Red scare and McCarthy Era mass hysteria – stars Kevin McCarthy and Dana Wynter as a young couple who discover the inhabitants of their small town have been replaced by alien duplicates. The screening begins at 8 p.m.

Horror Fan Flea Market Expands For Fifth Anniversary

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Horror Realm has announced two new developments for its Horror Fan Flea Market, the yearly event where fans can buy, sell and trade horror movies, books, posters and various other memorabilia. Now in its fifth year, the event – which takes place on August 6th – will move from its usual home at the Hollywood Theater to the Castle Shannon Volunteer Fire Department Memorial Hall. It has also expanded to include craft vendors and artists for the first time.

The new space will accommodate 60 vendors selling items of interest to fans of horror, sci-fi, fantasy and anime. Besides pre-owned merchandise, the event will also feature handmade jewelry, clothing and accessories, home decor, handmade soaps, lotions and essential oils, toys and original artwork, as well as vegan baked goods. The Community Library of Castle Shannon will also provide special activities for the kids.

The Horror Fan Craft Show and Flea Market will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is open to all ages. Admission and parking are free.

CMOA Honors Filmmaker Tony Buba With Premiere Event

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Image courtesy of Braddock Films.

On August 4th, the Carnegie Museum of Art (CMOA) and WESA will present the retrospective No Place but Home: An Evening with Filmmaker Tony Buba. The event is part of The Double Exposure Series, a part of CMOA’s Time-Based Media Project, which features “artists, preservationists, curators and scholars discussing the legacy of avant-garde film and video of the 1960s–1980s, including works in CMOA’s permanent collection and beyond.”

Since 1974, Braddock-based filmmaker Tony Buba has made over 20 films through his company Braddock Films, including the The Braddock Chronicles, a dozen black & white short documentaries chronicling life in a “dying milltown.” The event will include the premiere of No Place but Home, a documentary short by Ryan Loew and Matthew Newton that examines Buba’s career. Also showing are a selection of Buba’s films, including Betty’s Corner Café (1976), Washing Walls with Mrs. G. (1980), Mill Hunk Herald (1981), Fade Out (1998) and Ode to a Steeltown (2007), as well as a never-before-seen short.

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Tony Buba (left) with George Romero.

No Place but Home: An Evening with Filmmaker Tony Buba will take place at 6 p.m. in the CMOA Theater. A post-screening Q&A with Buba will follow. Admission is free, but seating is limited.

Weekly Movie Roundup: August 1st – August 7th

August 1st

Breaking a Monster – Hollywood Theater

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Hollywood Theater will screen the documentary Breaking a Monster. The film follows the three middle school-aged members of the heavy metal/speed punk Unlocking the Truth, who, after being discovered by a major label, must grow up fast as they deal with the music industry and a record deal. Tickets are available for purchase at Showclix or at the door. Showtimes continue through August 4th.

August 2nd

Manchester Growing Together – City of Asylum

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City of Asylum will screen Manchester Growing Together, a documentary about the Northside community farm. What started out as a school project at the Manchester Elementary School has grown into a revitalizing force in the Manchester neighborhood. The film will screen at 8 p.m. in the Alphabet City Tent. Includes food by Bistro to Go. The event is free and open to the public. Guests can register at the City of Asylum website.

August 3rd

Rooftop Shindig: Ferris Bueller’s Day Off – Theater Square Garage

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Head outside for a Rooftop Shindig screening of Ferris Bueller’s Day Off on top of the Theater Square Garage. Directed by the late John Hughes, the 1986 comedy stars Matthew Broderick as a teenage bon vivant who embarks on an epic skip day with his girlfriend (Mia Sara) and neurotic best friend (Alan Ruck). The event begins at 6 p.m. and includes a live music performance by Brightside at 7 p.m. Guests can also enjoy handcrafted food, cocktails and beer. The movie screens at sundown. Admission is free.

The Terminator – AMC Loews Waterfront

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AMC Loews Waterfront will screen the 1984 film The Terminator as part of their Classic Movie Nights series. Directed by James Cameron, the iconic action sci-fi movie stars Arnold Schwarzenegger as an indestructible cyborg sent back in time from 2029 to 1984 to assassinate a woman (Linda Hamilton) whose unborn son will lead humanity in a war against the machines. The film will begin at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5, $10.50 for VIP Seating.

August 4th

Summer Fun – Row House Cinema

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Escape from the heat with Summer Fun week at Row House Cinema. Selections include the 1965 movie musical Sound of Music, the 1975 classic blockbuster Jaws and the 1995 big budget disaster Waterworld. Showtimes continue through August 11th.

August 6th

The Rocky Horror Picture Show – Hollywood Theater

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The Junior Chamber of Commerce Players return for another Rocky Horror Picture Show midnight shadowcast screening at the Hollywood Theater. The show begins at 11:45 p.m. Tickets cost between $5 to $8 and are available for purchase at Showclix.