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.
On May 15th, the radical Bloomfield nonprofit Big Idea Bookstore will present a double feature dedicated to cyperpunk cinema and “the corporeal human/machine and our relationship to love, mental health, and trauma.” See films below:
Tetsuo: The Iron Man
Shot on 16mm black-and-white film, the 1989 cult curiosity from Japanese director Shinya Tsukamoto features stunning practical effects and nightmarish imagery comparable to David Lynch’s Eraserhead. A strange man known only as the “metal fetishist” is hit and possibly killed by a Japanese “salaryman” out for a drive with his girlfriend. The salaryman then notices that he is being slowly overtaken by some kind of disease that is turning his body into scrap metal, and that his nemesis is not in fact dead but is somehow masterminding and guiding his rage and frustration-fueled transformation.
I’m a Cyborg, But That’s OK
The unorthodox love story from South Korean director Park Chan-wook (Stoker) follows institutionalized mental patient Young-goon. Believing herself a cyborg, she charges herself with a transistor radio. Il-soon, a fellow inmate, steals the other inmates’ personality traits and believes he is fading and will one day turn into a dot. When Young-goon refuses to eat, Il-soon decides it’s his job to get her on her feet again.
The Cyberpunk Double Feature begins at 5 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.