Waterworks Cinemas Heads South For ‘Daughters Of The Dust’

daughters-of-the-dust

Daughters of the Dust

On March 1, influential filmmaker Julie Dash visits the Waterworks Cinemas for a screening of her groundbreaking 1991 film Daughters of the Dust. Presented by Requiem for Rice, an organization preserving the memory of the millions of enslaved, exploited and brutalized people who worked the rice plantations of Lowcountry South Carolina and Georgia, the event also serves as a tribute to Gullah food and culture.

Set during the dawn of the 20th century, Daughters of the Dust follows a multi-generational family in the Gullah community on the Sea Islands off of South Carolina – former West African slaves who adopted many of their ancestors’ Yoruba traditions – who struggle to maintain their cultural heritage and folklore while contemplating a migration to the mainland, even further from their roots. The first wide release by a Black female filmmaker, the film has cast a long legacy that still resonates today, most recently as a major in influence on Beyonce’s video album Lemonade.

The event includes a Gullah Geechee food tasting catered by Steeltown Gumbo & Catering, who will offer samples of Nouveau Sweet Tea, shrimp and grits, benne seed wafers with homemade pimento piped rosettes, vegan Hoppin’ John salad and okra stew, Red Requiem Rice, and banana pudding.

The food tasting takes place at 6 p.m. followed by remarks from Dash at 7 p.m.  The film shows at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for the full event cost $25-30 in advance, $35 at the door. Tickets for the screening only cost $10-12 in advance, $15 at the door.

Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittsburgh: March 2017 Edition

The Red Turtle – Regent Square Theater

red-turtle

Through the story of a man shipwrecked on a tropical island inhabited by turtles, crabs, and birds, The Red Turtle recounts the milestones in the life of a human being. The Red Turtle opens on March 3 at the Regent Square Theater.

XX – Hollywood Theater

xx

The all-female helmed horror anthology features four dark tales written and directed by fiercely talented women. Annie Clark, also known as the musician St. Vincent, rocks her directorial debut with The Birthday PartyKaryn Kusama (The Invitation, Girlfight) exorcises Her Only Living SonRoxanne Benjamin (Southbound) screams Don’t FallJovanka Vuckovic (The Captured Bird) dares to open The Box. Award-winning animator Sofia Carrillo (La Casa Triste) wraps together four suspenseful stories of terror featuring a cast including Natalie Brown, Melanie Lynskey, Breeda Wool and Christina Kirk. XX opens on March 4 at the Hollywood Theater.

Kedi – Manor Theatre

kedi-poster

Hundreds of thousands of Turkish cats roam the metropolis of Istanbul freely. For thousands of years, they’ve wandered in and out of people’s lives, becoming an essential part of the communities that make the city so rich. Claiming no owners, the cats of Istanbul live between two worlds, neither wild nor tame — and they bring joy and purpose to those people they choose to adopt. In Istanbul, cats are the mirrors to the people, allowing them to reflect on their lives in ways nothing else could. Kedi opens on March 24 at the Manor Theatre.

Raw – Hollywood Theater

raw-poster

Everyone in Justine’s family is a vet. And a vegetarian. At 16, she’s a brilliant and promising student. When she starts at veterinary school, she enters a decadent, merciless and dangerously seductive world. During the first week of hazing rituals, desperate to fit in whatever the cost, she strays from her family principals when she eats raw meat for the first time. Justine will soon face the terrible and unexpected consequences of her actions as her true self begins to emerge. Raw opens on March 24 at the Hollywood Theater.

August Wilson Center Presents Black Bottom Film Festival

COOLEY HIGH (1975)

Cooley High

The Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the August Wilson Center will showcase African-American contributions to the silver screen with the first-ever Black Bottom Film Festival (BBFF). The event takes place from February 24-26 and includes a selection of features, shorts and documentaries that “parallel the reoccurring themes of spirituality, family conflict, race and working class struggle that serve as the foundation for August Wilson’s award-winning and internationally renowned Pittsburgh Cycle plays.”

The festival will also recognize the creative contributions of filmmaker Michael Schultz. As one of the first African-American directors hired by the major studios, Schultz opened the doors for directors of color with such features as Car Wash, Krush Groove and The Last Dragon. His career has spanned more than four decades and includes films, children’s programming, and television episodes for series such as Blackish, New Girl, My Crazy-Ex-Girlfriend and Arrow.

See event schedule and details below:

February 24

5 p.m.

Post-Racial Cinema: Black Film in The Obama Age

Reelblack Podcast co-hosts Mike D. and Charles Woods identify trends and milestones in Black films released from 2008-2016.

6:15 p.m.

Friday Night Shorts

Selections include Dream (dir. Nijla Mu’min), A Day in the Life of a Hashtag and African in America (dir. Njaimeh Njie), Ghetto Steps (dir. Emmai Alaquiva), and Father’s Day (dir. Demetrius Wren).

8 p.m.

Chapter & Verse (dir. Jamal Joseph)

chapter-verse

After serving eight years in prison, reformed gang leader S. Lance Ingram re-enters society and struggles to adapt to a changed Harlem. Living under the tough supervision of a parole officer in a halfway house, he is unable to find a job that will let him use the technological skills he gained in prison. Lance is forced to take a job delivering for a food pantry where he befriends Ms. Maddy, a strong and spirited grandmother, and assumes responsibility for her 15-year-old grandson Ty, a promising student who is pulled into a dangerous street gang. When gang members decide to punish Ty for disobeying the “law of the streets,” Lance risks sacrificing his “second chance” at freedom so that Ty can have a “first chance” at a better life. Starring Daniel Beaty, Omari Hardwick, Loretta Devine and Selenis Leyva.

February 25

11 a.m.

Saturday at the Cine 

fathers-day

Screenings include the short Father’s Day from University of Pittsburgh professor Demetrius Wren and the documentary Agents of Change by Frank Dawson. Includes Q&As with Wren and Dawson.

2:30 p.m.

Michael Schultz Q&A

Schultz sits down for a conversation with the newly appointed CEO of Pittsburgh Filmmakers/Pittsburgh Center for the Arts, Germaine Williams.

4 p.m.

Like Cotton Twines (dir. Leila Djansi)

like-cotton-twines

Jay Ellis (The GameInsecure) plays an American volunteer who takes a teaching job in a Ghanaian village. There he meets a bright girl who must atone for a deadly accident committed by her father and, according to custom, must abandon her education to be offered into religious slavery.

6:30 p.m.

Evening Cinematics

cooleyhigh-small

Michael Schultz will receive an award commissioned Pittsburgh-based artist Thad Mosley during the BBFF for Cinematic Excellence Ceremony. The evening includes a retrospective of Schultz’s work and a screening of Cooley High, his 1975 film about a group of teenage friends living in 1964 Chicago.

10 p.m.

Late Night Feature

which-way

See a late night screening of Which Way Is Up?, Michael Schultz’s 1977 comedy starring Richard Pryor in multiple roles.

February 26

1 p.m.

Spirits of Rebellion: Black Cinema from U.C.L.A. (dir. Zeinabu Irene Davis)

spirits-rebellion

Documentary filmmaker Zeinabu Irene Davis goes behind and in front of the camera as she profiles several filmmakers identified with the L.A. Rebellion, including Charles Burnett, Ben Caldwell, Julie Dash, Haile Gerima, Barbara McCullough, and Billy Woodberry.

2:15 p.m.

Destination Planet Negro (dir. Kevin Willmott)

planet-n

In 1939, a group of African-American intellectuals come up with an ingenious and unlikely response to Jim Crow America – leave the planet and populate Mars. Using technology created by George Washington Carver, a three-person crew and one rambunctious robot lift-off in Earth’s first working spaceship on a mission that will take them to a world not unlike present-day America. Their spacey adventure illuminates some hard truths about American culture and threatens to undermine the timeline of history along the way.

5:30 p.m.

Two Trains Runnin’ (dir. Sam Pollard)

two-trains

The feature-length documentary by filmmaker Sam Pollard pays tribute to a pioneering generation of musicians and cuts to the heart of our present moment, offering a crucial vantage from which to view the evolving dynamics of race in America. The film is narrated by Common and features the music of Gary Clark Jr.

All events take place at the August Wilson Center. A Q&A will follow each screening. Tickets cost $15 for a single-day pass and $35 for a festival pass and are available for purchased online, over the phone at (412) 456-6666 or in person at the Theater Square Box Office. Tickets will also be sold, based on availability, two hours before the event time at the August Wilson Center’s box office located at the venue.

Row House Casts A Spell With Harry Potter Film And Cultural Festival

harry_potter_and_the_sorcerers_stone_row-house

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Muggles and wizards alike will have loads of fun when Row House Cinema and its sister store, Bierport, host the Harry Potter Film And Cultural Festival. The event will feature two weeks of live music, themed food and drinks, and, of course, film screenings dedicated to one of the most successful and widely beloved YA series in history.

The itinerary includes regular showings of the Harry Potter screen adaptations. Starting in 2001 with Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone and ending with the two-part finale Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the expansive franchise follows the adventures of the young wizard Harry (Daniel Radcliffe) and his best friends Ron (Rupert Grint) and Hermione (Emma Watson) as they hone their magic skills at the Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Along the way, they face increasing peril as they unravel the mysterious connection between Harry and the evil Lord Voldemort (Ralph Fiennes), whose band of rogue wizards are intent on destroying Harry along with anyone who stands in their way.

During the festival, fans young and old can enjoy a number of other activities, including a performance by the Harry Potter tribute band Muggle Snuggle, storytime with the Carnegie Library, and a house sorting night where people can discover if they belong to Gryffindor, Hufflepuff, Ravenclaw or Slytherin. There will also be crafts, trivia, costume contests, and treats of both the alcoholic and kid-safe variety.

The Harry Potter Film And Cultural Festival runs from February 17March 2. Tickets and additional information about the event are available at the Row House website.

Big Idea Bookstore And Redneck Revolt Present ‘Matewan’ Screening

matewan

Matewan

On February 11, the Big Idea Bookstore and the Pittsburgh chapter of Redneck Revolt, a national network dedicated to anti-capitalist and anti-racist organizing in poor and working-class white communities, will present a screening and discussion of the film Matewan.

The acclaimed 1987 historical drama from director John Sayles depicts the events leading up to the real-life Battle of Matewan. Chris Cooper stars as a union organizer sent in to rally exploited local, immigrant and Black coal miners in 1920 West Virginia. When thugs from a notorious detective agency are sent in to terrorize and evict striking miners, it soon leads to one of the bloodiest clashes in American labor union history.

Matewan screens at 5:30 p.m. Afterwards, Redneck Revolt will lead a discussion about the themes of class, race, labor militancy and working-class rebellion presented in the film. Food will be provided and guests are welcome to bring something to share. A donation of $5 is suggested but not required.

Best Limited Releases Coming To Pittsburgh: February 2017 Edition

Neruda – Harris Theater

neruda-poster

It’s 1948 and the Cold War has reached Chile. In congress, Senator Pablo Neruda accuses the government of betrayal and is swiftly impeached by President Videla. Police Prefect Óscar Peluchonneau is assigned to arrest the poet. Neruda tries to flee the country with his wife Delia del Carril, but they are forced into hiding. In the struggle with his nemesis Peluchonneau, Neruda sees an opportunity to reinvent himself. He plays with the Prefect, leaving clues designed to make their game of cat-and-mouse more dangerous, more intimate. In this story of persecution, Neruda recognizes his own heroic possibilities: a chance to become both a symbol for liberty and a literary legend. Neruda opens on February 3 at the Harris Theater.

Things to Come – Regent Square Theater

things-to-come

Director Mia Hansen-Løve’s fifth feature follows Nathalie (Isabelle Huppert), a philosophy teacher at a Parisian high school. She is deeply passionate about her job and enjoys passing on the pleasure of thinking to others. Married with two children, she divides her time between her family, former students and her eccentric mother, leading a life of personal and intellectual fulfillment. Unexpectedly, Nathalie’s husband announces he is leaving her for another woman. With a newfound freedom suddenly thrust upon her, Nathalie must reinvent herself and establish a new way of living. Things to Come opens on February 3 at Regent Square Theater.

Julieta – Manor Theatre

julieta

In the latest feature from filmmaker Pedro Almodóvar, Julieta lives in Madrid with her daughter Antía. They both suffer in silence over the loss of Xoan, Antía’s father and Julieta’s husband. But at times grief doesn’t bring people closer, it drives them apart. When Antía turns 18 she abandons her mother, without a word of explanation. Julieta looks for her in every possible way, but all she discovers is how little she knows of her daughter. Julieta opens on February 10 at the Manor Theatre.

I Am Not Your Negro – Harris Theater

not-your-negro

In 1979, James Baldwin wrote a letter to his literary agent describing his next project, Remember This House. The book was to be a revolutionary, personal account of the lives and successive assassinations of three of his close friends—Medgar Evers, Malcolm X and Martin Luther King, Jr. At the time of Baldwin’s death in 1987, he left behind only 30 completed pages of his manuscript. Now, in his incendiary new documentary, filmmaker Raoul Peck envisions the book Baldwin never finished. The result is a radical, up-to-the-minute examination of race in America, using Baldwin’s original words and flood of archival material. I Am Not Your Negro is a journey into black history that connects the Civil Rights movement to #BlackLivesMatter and questions black representation in Hollywood and beyond. I Am Not Your Negro opens on February 17 at the Harris Theater.

Toni Erdmann – Manor Theatre

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Winfried doesn’t see much of his working daughter Ines. The suddenly student-less music teacher decides to surprise her with a visit after the death of his old dog. It’s an awkward move because serious career woman Ines is working on an important project as a corporate strategist in Bucharest. Enter flashy “Toni Erdmann” – Winfried’s smooth-talking alter ego. Disguised in a tacky suit, wig and fake teeth, Toni barges into Ines’ professional life, claiming to be her CEO’s life coach. As Toni, Winfried is bolder and doesn’t hold back, but Ines meets the challenge. The harder they push, the closer they become. In all the madness, Ines begins to understand that her eccentric father might deserve some place in her life after all. Toni Erdmann opens on February 24 at the Manor Theatre.

Hollywood Theater Presents Indie Horror Hits For Janu-Scary

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The Eyes of My Mother/Courtesy of Magnet Releasing

The Hollywood Theater will finish off the month with Janu-Scary, a selection of five independent horror films from the US and around the world. See details and schedule below:

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

autopsy-jane-doe

The Autopsy of Jane Doe

In the latest from director Andre Ovredal (Trollhunter), coroner Tommy Tilden (Brian Cox) and his son Austin (Emile Hirsch) run a family-owned morgue and crematorium in Virginia. When the local Sheriff brings in a dead Jane Doe it seems like just another open-and-shut case. But as the autopsy proceeds, Tommy and Austin discover that her insides have been scarred, charred and dismembered — seemingly the victim of a horrific yet mysterious ritualistic torture. As they piece together these gruesome discoveries, an unnatural force takes hold of the crematorium. While a violent storm rages above ground, it seems the real horrors lie on the inside.

The Autopsy of Jane Doe screens at 7 p.m. from January 31February 2.

The Eyes of My Mother 

eyes-mother

The Eyes of My Mother/Courtesy of Magnet Releasing

Set in a secluded farmhouse and shot in crisp black and white, writer/director Nicolas Pesce’s feature debut follows a mother, formerly a surgeon in Portugal, as she teaches her daughter, Francisca, to understand anatomy and be unfazed by death. One afternoon, a mysterious visitor horrifyingly shatters the idyll of Francisca’s family life, deeply traumatizing the young girl, but also awakening some unique curiosities. Though she clings to her increasingly reticent father, Francisca’s loneliness and scarred nature converge years later when her longing to connect with the world around her takes on a distinctly dark form.

The Eyes of My Mother screens at 7 p.m. from January 27January 30.

Under the Shadow

under-the-shadow

Under the Shadow

Tehran, 1988: As the Iran-Iraq War rumbles into its eighth year, a mother and daughter are slowly torn apart by the bombing campaigns on the city coupled with the country’s bloody revolution. As they struggle to stay together amidst these terrors, a mysterious evil stalks through their apartment.

Under the Shadow screens at 7 p.m. from January 29February 1.

The Void

the-void

The Void

In the middle of a routine patrol, officer Daniel Carter happens upon a blood-soaked figure limping down a deserted stretch of road. He rushes the young man to a nearby rural hospital staffed by a skeleton crew, only to discover that patients and personnel are transforming into something inhuman. As the horror intensifies, Carter leads the other survivors on a hellish voyage into the subterranean depths of the hospital in a desperate bid to end the nightmare before it’s too late.

The Void screens at 7 p.m. on January 28.

We Are the Flesh

we-are-flesh

We Are the Flesh

A young brother and sister, roaming an apocalyptic city, take refuge in the dilapidated lair of a strange hermit. He puts them to work building a bizarre cavernous structure, where he acts out his insane and depraved fantasies. Trapped in this maddening womb-like world under his malign influence, they find themselves sinking into the realms of dark and forbidden behavior. A visionary and bizarre slice of Mexican arthouse cinema, We Are The Flesh is an extraordinary and unsettling film experience, a sexually charged and nightmarish journey into an otherworldly dimension of carnal desire and excess, as well as a powerful allegory on the corrupting power of human desire.

We Are the Flesh screens at 9 p.m. from January 27February 2.

Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door. Guests can also buy a $30 festival pass for all five films.

Chatham University Showcases Environmental Docs During Speaker Series

weedeater

Weedeater

Chatham University will highlight leaders in sustainability and environmentalism during their latest spring Falk School of Sustainability & Environment speaker series. As part of the lineup, the school will feature two documentaries. See schedule and details below:

January 24

3:30 p.m.

Weedeater

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A self-described “steward of the earth,” Nance Klehm has built a reputation among environmentalists as an ecological systems designer, a permacultural grower, a horticultural consultant, and a teacher and speaker. Weedeater trots alongside Klehm through various landscapes, gathering together a collection of her thoughts and philosophies on everything from wild, uncultivated weeds to human waste composting to soil. The film attempts to sketch Klehm’s character as well as reflect the depth and complexity of her intimate relationship with the earth and all of its inhabitants.

Includes a talk by Klehm.

March 3

3:30 p.m.

Power of One Voice

carson

The Power of One Voice: A 50-Year Perspective on the Life of Rachel Carson examines Carson’s legacy and the continuing implications of her environmental work. The documentary pulls insights from a variety of speakers at the 50th-anniversary celebration of her groundbreaking book, Silent Spring.

Includes a discussion with Patti DeMarco, former director of Chatham’s Rachel Carson Institute.

Both events take place at the Esther Barazzone Center on Chatham’s Eden Hall Campus.

Row House Cinema Presents Obscure Studio Ghibli Film ‘Ocean Waves’

ocean-waves-gkids

Ocean Waves/Courtesy of GKIDS

On January 17, Row House Cinema will bring a little known Studio Ghibli gem to Pittsburgh when they present the 4K restoration of Tomomi Mochizuki‘s 1993 anime drama Ocean Waves.

Rarely seen outside of Japan, Ocean Waves is a subtle, poignant story of adolescence and teenage isolation. Taku and his best friend Yutaka are headed back to school for what looks like another uneventful year. But they soon find their friendship tested by the arrival of Rikako, a beautiful new transfer student from Tokyo whose attitude vacillates wildly from flirty and flippant to melancholic. When Taku joins Rikako on a trip to Tokyo, the school erupts with rumors, and the three friends are forced to come to terms with their changing relationships.

The Ocean Waves sneak preview begins at 7:45 p.m. Tickets cost $9 and are available for purchase online at the door.

Row House Cinema Welcomes Heinz History Center For ‘Bread And Tulips’

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Bread and Tulips

For decades, the Italian American Program at the Heinz History Center has worked to preserve and interpret the history and culture of Italian Americans in Western Pennsylvania. On January 10, the program will continue its mission with a special movie event.

The Heinz History Center will present a screening of the 2000 Italian romantic comedy Bread and Tulips at Row House Cinema. After being left behind during a family vacation, Rosalba (Licia Maglietta), an unhappy housewife, decides to start a new life in Venice. She finds room and board with Fernando (Bruno Ganz), a charming maître d’, and they soon fall in love. Meanwhile, Rosalba’s husband hires a private detective to look for her. Although the relationship between Fernando and Rosalba grows stronger, she is forced to return home. But will Fernando rescue her?

Bread and Tulips begins at 7:30 p.m. Guests can also hear about the Italian American Program and take part in a pasta guessing game for a chance to win four Heinz History Center passes. Tickets cost $9. The screening is presented as part of Row House’s Italian Cinema week.