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.
On February 10th, the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood will screen the PBS documentary The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords. Presented as part of the Heinz History Center‘s From Slavery to Freedom Film Series, the film from director Stanley Nelson focuses on the little known origins and legacy of African-American journalism.
Since the early 1800’s Black newspapers have existed in almost every major city in the U.S. Collectively, these papers – such as the Pittsburgh Courier – contain the most detailed record of African-American life in existence. Soldiers Without Swords is the first documentary to provide an in-depth examination of the history and contributions of African-American newspapers, once was this nation’s strongest voice for the African-American community. From facilitating the migration of Southern Blacks to northern cities; to recording the social and political events affecting the lives of African Americans; to providing a showcase honoring Black soldiers in World War II, the Black press documented life for millions of people that were otherwise ignored.
The Black Press: Soldiers Without Swords will screen at 5:30 p.m. in the Homewood Library Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public.
From September 26th through September 27th, the Heinz History Center will present a film festival in conjunction with their We Can Do It! WWII exhibition. The event will feature four WWII-era films, including Tora! Tora! Tora!, Casablanca, Flags of Our Fathers, and Memphis Belle. Each screening will also include an accompanying discussion with Dr. Soren Fanning, assistant professor of World History at Robert Morris University. See schedule and details below:
Introduction by Dr. Soren Fanning
Tora! Tora! Tora! (1970)
Told from both Japanese and American perspectives, this big budget epic accurately recreates the events that led to the attack on Pearl Harbor. The collaboration between directors Richard Fleischer, Kinji Fukasaku and Toshio Masuda stars Martin Balsam, Joseph Cotten, and Jason Robards, among many others.
Introduction by Dr. Soren Fanning
One of American cinema’s most beloved works follows Rick (Humphrey Bogart), a Moroccan nightclub owner called upon by his old love Ilsa (Ingrid Bergman) to help her and her husband escape the Nazis. The melodrama went on to win for best direction, best screenplay and best picture at the Academy Awards, and became known for its quotable dialogue and signature song, the piano ballad “As Time Goes By.”
Introduction by Dr. Soren Fanning
Flags of Our Fathers (2006)
Director Clint Eastwood depicts the crucial battle for the island of Iwo Jima, which culminated with one of the most iconic images in history: five Marines and a Navy corpsman raising the American flag on Mount Suribachi. The film traces how one photograph changed the lives of its subjects, leaving them struggling with their sudden status as heroes. Based on the bestselling book by James Bradley and Ron Powers, the war drama stars Ryan Phillippe, Jesse Bradford, Adam Beach, John Benjamin Hickey, John Slattery, and Barry Pepper.
Introduction by Dr. Soren Fanning
Memphis Belle (1990)
The fictionalized account of director William Wyler’s 1943 documentary Memphis Belle: A Story of a Flying Fortress depicts the 25th and last mission of an American Boeing B-17 Flying Fortressbomber, the Memphis Belle, based in England during World War II. The film features an impressive cast that includes Matthew Modine, Eric Stoltz, John Lithgow, Billy Zane, Sean Astin, and Harry Connick Jr. in his big screen debut.
We Can Do It! WWII Film Festival will take place in Mueller Education Center at the Heinz History Center. All screenings are free with regular museum admission and free for History Center members.
In honor of Black History Month, the Heinz History Center and the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh will host the From Slavery to Freedom Film Series, a selection of films celebrating the African-American experience. On Feb. 11th, the two organizations will present Marcus Garvey: Look for Me in the Whirlwind, a feature documentary about an immigrant turned revolutionary.
Marcus Garvey is one of the most contradictory and enigmatic figures in American history, both visionary and manipulative, a brilliant orator and a pompous autocrat. He was a strong advocate of black self-help and unity among people of African descent, yet was willing to collaborate with the Ku Klux Klan. He inspired African Americans to support his economic enterprises with their hard-earned money, yet lost hundreds of thousands of dollars in the mismanagement of those schemes.
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind, the first comprehensive documentary to tell the life story of this controversial leader, uses a wealth of material from the Garvey movement-written documents, film and photographs-to reveal what motivated a poor Jamaican to set up an international organization for the African diaspora, what led to his early successes, and why he died lonely and forgotten. Among the most powerful sequences in the film are articulate, fiery interviews with the men and women whose parents joined the Garvey movement more than 80 years ago. Together they reveal how revolutionary Garvey’s ideas were to a new generation of African Americans,West Indians and Africans and how he invested hundreds of thousands of black men and women with a new-found sense of racial pride.
Marcus Garvey: Look For Me in the Whirlwind will screen at 5:30 p.m. at the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh – Homewood. The event is free.
The American motion picture industry has a long history of marginalization. By casting white actors in non-white roles – a practice that, unfortunately, continues to this day – and the constant portrayal of non-whites as the villain, Hollywood has manufactured misrepresentations that have shaped how audiences view certain cultures and groups. On Nov. 22nd, the Heinz History Center will examine this issue with Reel Injun, a documentary that shows how films have influenced perceptions of Native Americans.
Hollywood has made over 4,000 films about Native people; over 100 years of movies defining how Indians are seen by the world. Reel Injun takes an entertaining and insightful look at the Hollywood Indian, exploring the portrayal of North American Natives through the history of cinema. Traveling through the heartland of America, Cree filmmaker Neil Diamond looks at how the myth of “the Injun” has influenced the world’s understanding – and misunderstanding – of Natives. Through candid interviews with directors, writers, actors and activists, including Clint Eastwood, Jim Jarmusch, Robbie Robertson, Sacheen Littlefeather, John Trudell and Russell Means, clips from hundreds of classic and recent films, including Stagecoach, Little Big Man, The Outlaw Josey Wales, One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, and Atanarjuat the Fast Runner, Reel Injun traces the evolution of cinema’s depiction of Native people from the silent film era to today.
Reel Injun will screen at 11 a.m., 1 p.m., and 3 p.m. at the Fort Pitt Museum. In addition to the film, Michael Galban, Interpretive Programs Coordinator at the Ganondagan State Historic Site and member of the Washoe-Paiute tribe, will speak to visitors about his own consulting work on both Indian related films and exhibitions, and how film depictions of American Indians have affected his life.
First opened in 1969 in a reconstructed bastion, the Fort Pitt Museum tells the story of Western Pennsylvania’s early history through a variety of exhibits and interactive displays. As a branch of the Heinz History Center, the museum focuses on the critical role that the area played during the French and Indian War, the American Revolution, the Whiskey Rebellion, and the founding of Pittsburgh. On August 9th, History Center members are invited to a preview of Unconquered: History Meets Hollywood at Fort Pitt, an exhibition featuring movie props and original documents from Unconquered, a 1947 film about the 1763 siege of Fort Pitt.
The sweeping Technicolor romantic adventure was directed by Cecil B. DeMille, and stars Gary Cooper, Paulette Goddard, and Boris Karloff. Set in the American colonies, it follows a Virginia captain who frees and falls in love with an Englishwoman sentenced to slavery. But a spiteful slave trader takes her away, setting the stage for a dramatic rescue amid an Indian uprising.
The member preview of Unconquered: History Meets Hollywood at Fort Pitt is free for History Center members and includes light refreshments. The event begins at 5:30 p.m. After the preview, regular admissions rates are $5 for adults, $4 for seniors over 62, $3 for students with ID and children ages 4-17, and free to members and children under 3.
In 2010, the Steeltown Entertainment Project produced the documentary The Shot Felt ‘Round the World, which recounted how Dr. Jonas Salk and his team at the University of Pittsburgh worked to develop the life-saving polio vaccine. The film inspired the nonprofit organization to create Take a Shot at Changing the World, an annual viral video contest that challenges area teens to tell stories about important people and movements, and become more aware of how they can take social action in their own communities. Now in its third year, Pittsburgh middle and high school students were encouraged to pick up a camera for Voices of a People’s History, which builds on the legacy of historian Howard Zinn to “highlight lesser-known people who contributed to the making of America.”
Over 80 young filmmakers produced videos based on the criteria in three categories: The People Speak, Pittsburgh Innovation and Polio: Then and Now. Fans were allowed to vote for the entries, which target a wide range of issues, including violence, the environment, and education. On May 19th, participants will see their work on the big screen as part of a ceremony at the Heinz History Center. During the event, the contest winners will be announced and over $10,000 will be awarded to students and their schools. Among the recognitions are the People Speak Social Action Prize, as well as special prizes for films about the environment or nonviolence.
The Take a Shot at Changing the World Film Festival begins at 1 p.m. The event is free and open to the public.
In 1968, Pittsburgh filmmaker George Romero released what would become one of the most iconic horror films of the 20th century. The influential work inspired generations of fans, and made zombies a pop culture sensation that endures in movies, books, TV and theater. For its 45th anniversary, the Heinz History Center celebrates Night of the Living Dead with a special event.
On Feb. 22nd, the museum hosts a screening of the film as part of its new exhibition 1968: The Year That Rocked America. Guests can enjoy a behind the scenes tour of the exhibit, as well as snacks and refreshments, including alcoholic beverages, popcorn, and retro candy. The happening will also raise the dead, as attendees participate in Pittsburgh’s Best Zombie Contest. The winners of the inaugural contest will be crowned the Zombie King and Queen of Pittsburgh, and will each receive a prize package containing a ScareHouse prize coffin with two RIP passes to The ScareHouse 2013, and merchandise from the zombie store House of the Dead.
The event begins at 5 p.m. with the contest and screening taking place at 7 p.m. The event is free with regular museum admission.