Glitter Box Takes On Drug Epidemic With ‘Fix: The Story of an Addicted City’

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Fix: The Story of an Addicted City

As the United States faces a growing opioid crisis and rising drug addiction rates, questions of how best to deal with these issues arise, with many advocating treatment over incarceration and a new War on Drugs. On September 27, Prevention Point Pittsburgh and the Glitter Box Theater will present Fix: The Story of an Addicted City, a documentary about one city’s drug epidemic and the fight to open North America’s first safe-injection site.

Dean Wilson used to be an IBM salesman. Now he is possibly the most outspoken drug addict in Canada. As president of the Vancouver Area Network of Drug Users (VANDU), he is a loud and articulate advocate for street addicts from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, one of Canada’s poorest neighborhoods, and the site of the highest HIV rate in North America. He finds allies in VANDU organizer Ann Livingston and Philip Owen, the conservative Mayor of Vancouver who alarmed members of his own party by championing a daring new drug philosophy called Harm Reduction, which provides safe injection sites and heroin maintenance programs for long-term addicts. Caught in the middle is Vancouver Police Sargeant Doug Lang, who oversees the corner of Main and Hastings, the heart of North America’s largest open drug scene.

As the Mayor battles members of his own political party, Wilson dares to face his own addiction. The stories of Fix span over two years as characters’ lives interconnect to reveal a battle for the hearts, minds, and streets of a city each one calls home. (Synopsis details courtesy of Canada Wild Productions)

Fix: The Story of an Addicted City screens at the Glitter Box Theater at 7 p.m. Refreshments will be provided. The event is free and open to the public.

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Melwood Screening Room Looks At Anti-Choice Movement With ‘Birthright: A War Story’

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Birthright: A War Story

On September 26, the Melwood Screening Room, in association with Planned Parenthood of Western Pennsylvania (PPWP), will tackle the so-called “anti-choice” movement and the danger it poses to women’s health and reproductive rights with a screening of Birthright: A War Story.

The feature-length documentary examines how women are being jailed, physically violated and even put at risk of dying as a radical movement tightens its grip across America. The film tells the story of women who have become collateral damage in the aggressive campaign to take control of reproductive health care and to allow states, courts and religious doctrine to govern whether, when and how women will bear children. The documentary explores the accelerating gains of the crusade to control pregnant women and the fallout that is creating a public health crisis, turning pregnant women into criminals and challenging the constitutional protections of every woman in America. This is the real-life Handmaid’s Tale.

PPWP will present Birthright: A War Story at 7 p.m. in the Melwood Screening Room. Doors open at 6 p.m. for refreshments and tabling activities. A panel discussion will follow the film. Tickets cost $10 each, $8 for students/youth.

Mr. Roboto Project Looks At The Touring Life With Doc ‘Drive. Play. Sleep.’

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Drive. Play. Sleep.

On September 12, the Mr. Roboto Project will look at what it takes to be a touring indie band with the Pittsburgh premiere of Drive. Play. Sleep.

Pocket Vinyl, a self-described “piano slam rock” duo out of Connecticut, goes on the road to tell the story of every band you’ve never heard of. Filmed at various bars, coffee shops, house shows, and other venues, their documentary provides a first-person view into the lives of full-time touring bands and the daily struggles they encounter, capturing the public moments, private breakdowns, and wild stories when the music stops and the stage is empty.

Drive. Play. Sleep. screens at 8 p.m. A Q&A with Pocket Vinyl will follow.

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Riverside Drive-In Super Monster-Rama Unleashes Sea Beasts And Space Terrors

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The Tingler

From September 8-9, the Drive-In Super Monster-Rama returns to the Riverside Drive-In with a weekend full of spooky, silly, and super weird films. The latest batch offers a mix of beloved cult classics and bizarre gems. See details below:

September 8

The Tingler (1959)

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Vincent Price stars in William Castle‘s wonderfully ridiculous film about a mad scientist who unleashes a creature that feeds on fear.

Munster, Go Home! (1966)

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Based on the hit 1960s TV show, the movie follows the Munster family as they travel to England to claim an estate.

The Horror of Party Beach (1964)

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A seaside town comes under attack by bloodthirsty monsters from the deep in this horror musical. Mystery Science Theater 3000 fans will recognize this one.

Atomic Age Vampire (1960)

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When a woman becomes disfigured in a car accident, a scientist tries to restore her beauty with a treatment that has dire consequences. Despite the misleading title, this Italian horror curiosity does not feature an actual vampire.

September 9

Attack of the 50 Foot Woman (1958)

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In this camp favorite, a woman takes revenge on her cheating husband after an alien encounter transforms her into a giantess.

Creature from the Black Lagoon (1954)

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Scientists stumble upon an aquatic missing link while exploring the Amazon in this sci-fi monster classic.

It! The Terror From Beyond Space (1958)

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An alien life form terrorizes the crew aboard a spacecraft sent to investigate a downed ship. Because of their many similarities, the film is seen as the inspiration behind Ridley Scott’s Alien.

She Demons (1958)

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Three people become stranded on a mysterious island, where they must contend with deformed humanoid women and a Nazi mad scientist.

Half Human (1958)

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The American edit of a Japanese monster movie goes on the hunt for the Abominable Snowman.

Gates open during normal hours at 7 p.m. with films starting at dusk. Each evening will also include an array of vintage monster and exploitation movie trailers, cartoons, and short subjects in between features. Admission is $10 per person each night, free for children 12 and under with parent or adult guardian.

Overnight camping is available on both nights for an additional $10 per person. Gates open early on Friday afternoon for early arrivals and campers. Concessions will be available for lunch as early as possible. Breakfast and access to restroom and shower facilities are provided.

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Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittsburgh: September 2017 Edition

Person To Person – Harris Theater

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During a single day in New York City, a variety of characters grapple with the mundane, the unexpected, and the larger questions permeating their lives. An investigative reporter struggles with her first day on the job, despite help from her misguided boss; a rebellious teen attempts to balance her feminist ideals with other desires; and a young man seeks to reconcile with his ex-girlfriend, even as her brother threatens revenge. Meanwhile, an avid music lover traverses the city in search of a rare record for his vinyl collection. Stars Michael Cera and Abbi Jacobson (Broad City). Person To Person opens on September 1 at the Harris Theater.

Rumble – Hollywood Theater

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This revelatory, award-winning documentary brings to light the profound and overlooked influence of Indigenous people on popular music in North America. Focusing on music icons like Link Wray, Jimi Hendrix, Buffy Sainte-Marie, Taboo of The Black Eyed Peas, Charley Patton, Mildred Bailey, Jesse Ed Davis, Robbie Robertson, and Randy Castillo, Rumble: The Indians Who Rocked the World shows how these pioneering Native American musicians helped shape the soundtracks of our lives. Rumble opens on September 1 at the Hollywood Theater.

mother! – Manor Theatre

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In the latest film from Darren Aronofsky (The Wrestler, Black Swan), a couple’s relationship is tested when uninvited guests arrive at their home, disrupting their tranquil existence. Starring Jennifer Lawrence, Michelle Pfeiffer, Javier Bardem, Domhnall Gleeson, and Ed Harrismother! opens on September 15 at the Manor Theatre.

Oaks Theater Honors Beloved Pet Celebrity With ‘Frank And The Wondercat’ Premiere

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Frank and the Wondercat

In the 1990s, before Lil Bub and Grumpy Cat took the internet by storm, a very large cat was making a name for itself in Pittsburgh. On August 26, the Oaks Theater will present the premiere of Frank and the Wondercat, a film about the special bond between a local man and his famous feline friend.

The feature documentary by Tony Massil and Pablo Alvarez-Mesa follows Frank Furko, an 80-year old eccentric living in the Pittsburgh suburb of Plum. Taking stock of his life, Furko tries to reconcile with the 40 years working on the family farm with his domineering father, the end of his 20-year marriage, and his role as a celebrity derived from an unusual but deeply felt friendship with Pudgie Wudgie, his 20-pound performing house cat. From humble beginnings training in their Pittsburgh living room to NFL tailgate parties, the National Enquirer and The Maury Povich show, this is a portrait of their odyssey together. Shown through Furko’s homemade VHS archives – footage that is equal parts hilarious, bizarre and beautiful – their relationship was a remarkable testament to the power of interspecies connection. [Synopsis courtesy of IMDB]

Frank and the Wondercat screens at 8 p.m. Doors open at 7 p.m. A pre-show event with Humane Animal Rescue will feature adoptable cats and kittens, giveaways, raffles, and information about the shelter. A meet-and-greet with Furko will take place after the show. Tickets cost $8-10.

Carnegie Screenwriters Launches Script & Screen Festival At Tull Family Theater

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The Tull Family Theater

From August 26-27Carnegie Screenwriters, a nonprofit group of tri-state writers, actors, and filmmakers, will hold their inaugural Script & Screen Festival. Hosted by the Tull Family Theater, the event will highlight scripts and short films from the Pittsburgh region and all over the globe, including works from Argentina, Iran, Russia, and The United Kingdom.

“Pittsburgh is very much a supportive community when it comes to filmmaking,” said festival director Wendy Grube in a press release. “We hope to bring more area film folks together through this event and encourage folks from other parts of the country and world to travel to the area, share their works and connect with our local filmmakers.”

The festival opens with a reception and seated script reading of three short scripts. Representing Pittsburgh is DIG by Robert Brian Taylor of Mount Lebanon. Also being presented are Giancarlo Fusi‘s Hell to Pay: The Legend of Robert Johnson, a story about the famous bluesman who allegedly sold his soul to the Devil, and Edward Santiago’s Western tale The Badge, the Gun and the Hangman’s Noose.

The following day will include a roster of films, all of which are under 20 minutes in length. Screenings will occur in 90-minute blocks followed by a short break and recognition of the attending filmmakers.

The reception and script readings will take place on August 26 at 6 p.m. Screenings will take place from 11 a.m.-5 p.m. on August 27. Tickets for the reception and screenings are available online or a the door.

Row House Uncovers A Curious Sport With Doc ‘Skips Stones For Fudge’

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Skips Stones For Fudge

Skipping stones usually conjures images of lazy summer afternoons spent by the lake. But for one very specific subculture, the act means so much more. On August 17, Row House Cinema explores how a fun pastime became a sport with the Pittsburgh premiere of Skips Stones For Fudge.

The documentary from directors Ryan Seitz and Daniel Skaggs capture the drama that occurs when the Zen art of stone skipping meets the competitive nature of mankind. Although the sport is relatively unknown to the masses, it is steeped in tradition, bitter rivalries and the constant pursuit for the Guinness World Record.

For over a decade, Russ “Rock Bottom” Byars and Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner have endured a rivalry that lifted competitive stone skipping to unthinkable heights. Tested by physical ailments, emotional hardships and the rise of young talent, these obscure legends fight to cement their place in the record books. [Synopsis courtesy of Highway Goat Productions]

Skips Stones For Fudge screens at 7 p.m. Event includes an interview with special guests Kurt “Mountain Man” Steiner, Dave “Spiderman” Ohmer, and Russ “Rock Bottom” Byars. Tickets cost $9.

After the film, join Steiner, Ohmer, and Byars as they demonstrate their skills on the Allegheny River under the 40th Street Bridge. The post-screening event begins at 8:30 p.m. and is free and open to the public.

Pittsburgh-Shot Thriller ‘The Final Interview’ Creeps Into Hollywood Theater

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The Final Interview

Last August, local horror filmmaker Fred Vogel started shooting his eighth feature film in Pittsburgh. On August 17, the Hollywood Theater will premiere the finished product, The Final Interview, a thriller about a desperate reporter and a killer.

Veteran TV journalist Oliver Ross (Grainger Hines) visits Western Penitentiary for a live broadcast. There he confronts Darius Tidman (Damien Maruscak), a death row inmate and infamous Pittsburgh murderer, hours before his execution. The face-to-face interview is a last-ditch effort for Ross to salvage his declining career. While he spars verbally with Tidman on air, behind the scenes he wrestles with his own personal demons as his ex-wife and show director Rhonda Cox (Diane Franklin) attempts to keep him on track and guide him through the broadcast. Oliver must push through a dark world of the murder and his own mind. 

The Final Interview screens at 8 p.m. followed by an encore presentation at 10:30 p.m. The event includes a Q&A with the cast and crew. Tickets to both shows cost $8-10.

Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittsburgh: July 2017 Edition

The Little Hours – Hollywood Theater

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Medieval nuns Alessandra (Alison Brie), Fernanda (Aubrey Plaza), and Ginevra (Kate Micucci) lead a simple life in their convent. Their days are spent chafing at monastic routine, spying on one another, and berating the estate’s day laborer. After a particularly vicious insult session drives the peasant away, Father Tommasso (John C. Reilly) brings on new hired hand Massetto (Dave Franco), a virile young servant forced into hiding by his angry lord. Introduced to the sisters as a deaf-mute to discourage temptation, Massetto struggles to maintain his cover as the repressed nunnery erupts in a whirlwind of pansexual horniness, substance abuse, and wicked revelry. The Little Hours opens on August 4 at the Hollywood Theater.

The Lure – Harris Theater

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In Polish director Agnieszka Smoczynska‘s horror-musical mash-up, a pair of carnivorous mermaid sisters are drawn ashore in an alternate 1980s Poland to explore the wonders and temptations of life on land. Their tantalizing siren songs and otherworldly aura make them overnight sensations as nightclub singers in the half-glam, half-decrepit fantasy world of Smoczynska’s imagining. In a visceral twist on Hans Christian Andersen’s original Little Mermaid tale, one sister falls for a human, and as the bonds of sisterhood are tested, the lines between love and survival get blurred. The Lure opens on August 6 at the Harris Theater.

Patti Cake$ – Manor Theatre

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In a coming-of-age story straight out of Jersey, an unlikely rapper finds her voice as a one-of-a-kind hip-hop legend in the making in the first feature film from acclaimed commercial and music-video director Geremy Jasper. Set in gritty strip-mall suburbia, the story chronicles an underdog’s quest for fame and glory with humor, raw energy and some unforgettable beats. Patti Cake$ opens on August 18 at the Manor Theatre.

Brigsby Bear – Hollywood Theater

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Brigsby Bear Adventures is a children’s TV show produced for an audience of one: James (Kyle Mooney). A bright, sensitive young adult still living at home, he has grown up with this fantasy series, and the program has grown with him as well — getting more complex over the years. But to say James’ intensely protective parents have kept their son a bit sheltered is an understatement. When the show abruptly ends, James’s life changes forever. He sets out to finish the story himself and must learn to cope with the realities of a new world that he knows nothing about. Brigsby Bear opens on August 18 at the Hollywood Theater.