For over two decades, JFilm Festival has worked to foster a deeper understanding and appreciation of modern Jewish culture and history. From April 20-30, the event will present new films from around the world, along with complementary programming such as visiting filmmakers, guest speakers, and more. See below for highlights and details:
The 2017 JFilm Festival will present a variety of documentaries, including the Pittsburgh premiere of Take My Nose…Please. Directed by veteran journalist Joan Kron, the film looks at the role comedy has played in exposing the pressure on women to attain physical perfection. From Phyllis Diller and Joan Rivers to Roseanne Barr and Kathy Griffin, female comedians have been unashamed to talk about their perceived flaws, and the steps taken to remedy them. The film follows two women – up-and coming improv performer Emily Askin and seasoned headliner Jackie Hoffman – as they deliberate about going under the knife.
Also showing in the documentary category is There Are Jews Here, a film about the struggle to keep small-town synagogues open; The Last Laugh, an exploration of how comedians deal with the horrors of the Holocaust and World War II; and On the Map, a look at how, in 1977, an Israeli basketball team gave the country hope.
The festival will also present narrative films such as The Exception. Filled with espionage and romance, the star-studded World War II thriller features Jai Courtney as a German soldier on a mission to investigate exiled German Monarch Kaiser Wilhelm II (Christopher Plummer). As he begins to infiltrate the Kaiser’s life in search of clues, he finds himself drawn into an unexpected and passionate romance with one of the Kaiser’s maids (Lily James of Downton Abbey) who is secretly Jewish. Their relationship becomes even more complicated when SS leader Heinrich Himmler (Eddie Marsan) suddenly shows up with a large platoon of Nazis in tow.
Other narrative selections include The Jews, a dark satire about anti-Semitism in France; Fanny’s Journey, a WWII-era tale about a 13-year-old girl on the run from the Nazis; and Family Commitment, a screwball comedy about an Arab-Jewish gay couple and their dysfunctional families.
Personal Shopper – Regent Square Theater
Actor Kristen Stewart reteams with Clouds of Sils Maria director Olivier Assayas for the story of Maureen (Stewart), a young American in Paris making her living as a personal shopper for a celebrity. Also, she may have the psychic ability to communicate with spirits, just like her twin brother, Lewis, who recently passed away. Maureen soon starts receiving mysterious messages coming from an unknown source. Personal Shopper screens from March 31–April 6 at Regent Square Theater.
Queen of the Desert – Harris Theater
Nicole Kidman and director Werner Herzog bring to life the extraordinary true story of a trailblazing woman who found freedom in the faraway world of the Middle East. Gertrude Bell (Kidman) chafes against the stifling rigidity of life in turn-of-the-century England, leaving it behind for a chance to travel to Tehran. So begins her lifelong adventure across the Arab world, a journey marked by danger, a passionate affair with a British officer (James Franco), and an encounter with the legendary T.E. Lawrence (Robert Pattinson). Stunningly shot on location in Morocco and Jordan, Queen of the Desert reveals how an ahead-of-her-time woman shaped the course of history. Queen of the Desert opens on April 7 at the Harris Theater.
The Void – Hollywood Theater
When police officer Carter discovers a blood-soaked man limping down a deserted road, he rushes him to a local hospital with a bare-bones night shift staff. As cloaked, cult-like figures surround the building, the patients and staff inside start to turn ravenously insane. Trying to protect the survivors, Carter leads them into the depths of the hospital where they discover a gateway to immense evil. The Void opens on April 7 at the Hollywood Theater.
Frantz – Manor Theatre
Set in Germany and France in the immediate aftermath of World War I, the latest drama from director François Ozon recalls the mourning period that follows great national tragedies as seen through the eyes of the war’s “lost generation.” Anna (Paula Beer in a breakthrough performance), a bereft young German woman whose fiancé, Frantz, was killed during trench warfare, and Adrien (Pierre Niney), a French veteran of the war who shows up mysteriously in her town, placing flowers on Frantz’s grave. Adrien’s presence is met with resistance by the small community still reeling from Germany’s defeat, yet Anna gradually gets closer to the handsome and melancholy young man, as she learns of his deep friendship with Frantz, conjured up in evocative flashbacks. Frantz opens on April 14 at the Manor Theatre.
The Red Turtle – Regent Square Theater
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
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 Party. Karyn Kusama (The Invitation, Girlfight) exorcises Her Only Living Son. Roxanne Benjamin (Southbound) screams Don’t Fall. Jovanka 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
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
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.
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
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 31–February 2.
The Eyes of My Mother
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 27–January 30.
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 29–February 1.
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
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 27–February 2.
Tickets are available for purchase online or at the door. Guests can also buy a $30 festival pass for all five films.
Goodnight Brooklyn - The Story of Death By Audio – Hollywood Theater
The feature-length film brings viewers inside the last underground venue for music and art in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, a neighborhood once defined by its cultural contributions to the city of New York. It chronicles the origins, community-building, influence, and ultimate closure of one of Brooklyn’s best DIY venues, ironically at the hands of a former champion of their efforts. Goodnight Brooklyn - The Story of Death By Audio opens on January 6 at the Hollywood Theater.
Silence – Regent Square Theater
The latest feature from Martin Scorsese tells the story of two Christian missionaries (Andrew Garfield and Adam Driver) who face the ultimate test of faith when they travel to Japan in search of their missing mentor (Liam Neeson) — at a time when Christianity was outlawed and their presence forbidden. The celebrated director’s 28-year journey to bring Shusaku Endo’s 1966 acclaimed novel to life. Silence opens on January 13 at Harris Theater.
20th Century Women – Manor Theatre
Acclaimed filmmaker Mike Mills presents a richly multilayered celebration of the complexities of women, family, time, and the connections we search for our whole lives. Set in 1979 Santa Barbara, the film follows Dorothea Fields (Annette Bening), a determined single mother in her mid-50s who is raising her adolescent son, Jamie (newcomer Lucas Jade Zumann) at a moment brimming with cultural change and rebellion. Dorothea enlists the help of two younger women in Jamie’s upbringing — via Abbie (Greta Gerwig), a free-spirited punk artist living as a boarder in the Fields’ home, and Julie (Elle Fanning), a savvy and provocative teenage neighbor. 20th Century Women opens on January 20 at the Manor Theatre.
Elle – Harris Theater
When Michelle (Isabelle Huppert), the CEO of a gaming software company, is attacked in her home by an unknown assailant, she refuses to let it alter her precisely ordered life. She manages crises involving her 75-year-old sex kitten mother, her imprisoned mass murderer father, her spoiled and immature son, her ex-husband and her lover, all with the same icy equanimity. This is the approach she brings to the situation when it appears that her assailant is not finished with her. As the mysterious stalker hovers in the shadows of her life, taunting her, Michelle cooly stalks him back. What emerges between Michelle and her stalker is a kind of game, a game that soon spirals out of control. Elle opens on January 20 at the Regent Square Theater.
Paterson – Manor Theatre
Paterson (Adam Driver), a New Jersey bus driver, adheres to a simple routine: he drives his daily route, observing the city as it drifts across his windshield and overhearing fragments of conversation swirling around him. He writes poetry into a notebook. He walks his dog. He stops in a bar and drinks exactly one beer. He goes home to his wife, Laura (Golshifteh Farahani). By contrast, Laura’s world is ever changing. New dreams come to her almost daily, each a different and inspired project. The latest feature from Jim Jarmusch quietly observes the triumphs and defeats of daily life, along with the poetry evident in its smallest details. Paterson opens on January 27 at the Manor Theatre.
Filmmaker Anna Biller has created quite the buzz with her second feature The Love Witch, a horror-thriller about magic, madness, and murder. Described as a “tribute to 1960s Technicolor thrillers” that “explores female fantasy and the repercussions of pathological narcissism,” the film follows Elaine (Samantha Robinson), a modern-day witch who uses spells and potions to get men to fall in love with her. The work has garnered critical praise for its sumptuous throwback style and bold take on feminism, as well as for Robinson’s strong breakout performance.
It’s also been touted as a treat for cinema buffs that recalls the style of French filmmaker Jacques Demy, 1960s sexploitation films, and Hammer horror.
As The Love Witch prepares to make its Pittsburgh premiere at the Hollywood Theater, Biller talked to Steel Cinema about the film’s personal significance, her extremely varied cinema diet, and having total creative control.
What inspired you to make The Love Witch?
It was a lot of things. I always like to make films about interior female experience, and I thought the figure of the witch was a good vehicle for that since the witch is a figure of so much projection and hysteria. I also was going through a rough period in my personal life, and I wanted to put that feeling of personal heartbreak on the screen. I joke that the movie is an autobiography, but people who know me well know that that’s really not that much of a joke! It’s a film that combines many aspects of my personal life, and it’s very coded.
You said in an interview that you’re influenced by Pre-Code Hollywood films and exploitation films of the 1960s and 70s. What about their style and themes resonate with you?
Well, I don’t think that I said I was interested in exploitation films; that’s what everyone else says. I did look at one exploitation film in preparation for the film – Mantis in Lace – but that film deals with similar themes as The Love Witch and was shot by the great László Kovács. I do like some of the color of giallo films, but I wasn’t watching giallo films to prepare for this movie — I was watching Hollywood Technicolor films, especially [Alfred] Hitchcock.
The themes that interest me most are from Pre-Code and noir films, because they’re often about women getting by in a man’s world. I’m not interested in misogynistic films, even when they’re visually arresting. My brain just sort of shuts down when women are being grossly objectified and especially when they’re being senselessly murdered. So I’m not into Beyond the Valley of the Dolls for instance, which is a film people often insist I was influenced by. I’m much more influenced by a film like [Carl Theodor] Dreyer’s Gertrud, which has the same theme my film has of a woman being disappointed with the men in her life who fail to love her properly, or a film like John Brahm’s The Locket, which is about discovering the roots of a woman’s psychopathology.
Are there other films or filmmakers you’re influenced by?
My first loves in cinema were the old Hollywood musicals, noir films, Pre-Code films, dramas, and screwball comedies. Later I came to appreciate foreign cinema, especially European and Japanese cinema. My parents were cinephiles, so as a child I was taken to films in the theater such as Murder in the Cathedral or The Seven Samurai or Satyricon, as well as nitrate prints of films such as Dames and Gold Diggers of 1933. All of that had a huge influence on my later tastes.
How do you maintain your own style while still paying homage to a certain era of filmmaking?
What I would say is that using classic cinematography and design techniques is my style. I was bottle-fed on classic films and they’ve always been part of my DNA. I don’t set out to create a retro look actually, or to pay homage to the past. I’m always just trying to learn my craft better, and I learn it from the films I love best, which are mostly from a few decades ago.
You occupy a lot of roles in your films, including directing, producing, writing, editing, and scoring, right down to costuming. What do you find the most challenging?
I think composing music is the most challenging since I have the least experience in it. I sometimes wish I had more than one life so I could spend 100 percent of one of my lives just studying music. But design is always the most difficult in terms of just how insanely time consuming it is. I would say that on any given film, I spend 90 percent of the time designing and making things, and 10 percent on everything else. The most difficult thing technically is the writing.
It’s probably no coincidence that, given our current political and social climate, empowered or resilient female characters are becoming more prominent in film right now. Where do you think The Love Witch fits in this new wave?
Just within the past week, since the election, The Love Witch has suddenly become more relevant. I used to get reactions from people where they’d think gender was an irrelevant thing to talk about since we’ve already achieved gender equality. Now suddenly everyone sees the enormous significance of the gender issues in the film, and that they are not obsolete but extremely timely. I’ve been creating these types of female characters in films for years, but it’s only now that people are taking that seriously, which is fantastic.
Hollywood has banked on emerging indie filmmakers for a lot of projects lately. If you were ever approached for a big-budget film, do you think you’d accept? If so, what would you want to direct?
If someone wanted to hire me to direct a big budget film, I’d probably demand to write the script and to get final cut. But it’s a very abstract question, since without knowing the specifics of an offer I can’t really answer how I’d respond.
The main question for me is the question of control. No one wants to spend their time doing something when they’re not going to like the final result. So I’d have to have a lot of control to have it work for me or work with people with similar artistic goals.
The Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Horror Project challenged 21 teams to write, shoot, edit, and score their own horror shorts over the course of a single weekend. On October 20th and 21st, the resulting films will premiere at the Hollywood Theater and compete for a variety of awards. See screening schedule below:
Autumn Wind Films – Glenn Syska
Dreaming Droids Productions – Paul Nandzik
Everlasting Productions LLC – Steve Sensebaugh
Gaff Tape and a Prayer – Mike Hanley
Hutchins Films – Jesse Hutchins
IFT CCAC SOUTH – Brendan Smith
Long Knuckle Studios – David Kost
R. Walker Productions – Rodman Walker
Team MGBG Films – Bryan Ghingold
Vaginal powers – Amanda Menendez
Written In Blood Productions – Michael Carbonara
BA …is the name – JP Russell, IV
Dunndo Studios – Troy Jackson
Eyes On Entertainment – James Garvin
Falling October Productions – Alexander Cronin
Haunted Hillside Productions – Elisabetta Pontillo
Locust Street Entertainment – Lance Parkin
PAS Productions – Valerie Gaisor
ShadowFrame – Jason Boyer
Titan Terror Studios – Emily Bondi
Westmonster Productions – Tyler Helvin
Audience members may vote on their favorite films after each group showing. All tickets cost $5 and are available for purchase at Brown Paper Tickets.
It’s that time of year again, and Pittsburgh has tons of movie events to get you in the Halloween spirit. Scare yourself all month long with festive horror screenings, parties and festivals.
Midnight at the Manor – Manor Theatre
Enjoy a lineup of horror movies at Manor Theatre during the fifth annual Midnight at the Manor. Selections include Green Room on October 1st and It Follows on October 22nd. Keep checking the website for more films and details. All screenings will take place at midnight.
Haunted Oaks Film Festival – Oaks Theater
On October 1st, the Oaks Theater will showcase locally made short films during the second annual Haunted Oaks Film Festival. Selections include Candy by Nelson Vicens, Last Rain by the Carnegie Screenwriters, and Pittsburgh 48 Hour Film Horror Project winner Daisy. Audience members can also vote for the best films of the festival. A pre-show cocktail hour featuring special $5 drinks begins at 6 p.m. Films begin at 7:30 p.m. Auditorium tickets cost $10, $12 for VIP table seating, and are available for purchase at Showclix or at the door.
October Sunday Night Series – Regent Square Theater
Regent Square Theater presents an impressive roster of classic horror movies during their month-long October Sunday Night Series. Selections include Dracula on October 2nd, The Invisible Man on October 9th, The Bride of Frankenstein on October 16th, The Wolf Man on October 23rd and The Creature from the Black Lagoon on October 30th. All screenings take place at 8 p.m.
Halloween Movie Nights – AMC Loews Waterfront
The Classic Movie Nights series at AMC Loews Waterfront takes a spooky turn with Halloween Movie Nights. Selections include Donnie Darko on October 5th, Poltergeist on October 12th, Psycho on October 19th and Halloween on October 26th. All screenings take place at 7:30 p.m. Admission is $5, $10.50 for reserved seating.
October Movie Nights – Mixtape
The Garfield coffee and cocktail bar Mixtape will screen a host of horror movies as part of their weekly October Movie Nights series. On October 6th, it’s the horror comedy The Addams Family followed by Wes Craven’s meta-slasher classic Scream. On October 13th, its Hocus Pocus followed by the 2013 remake of Carrie. On October 20th, it’s Beetlejuice followed by Rob Zombie’s 2007 Halloween remake. On October 27th, it’s a special Nightmare Edition with Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas followed by the original Nightmare on Elm Street. Films start at 7 and 9 p.m. Admission is free and includes complimentary popcorn. Guests must be 21 and over.
Halloween Spook-Tacular – Dependable Drive-In
Families and hardcore horror fans alike will find plenty of fun at Dependable Drive-In‘s Halloween Spook-Tacular. On October 14th, the theater will open at 5 p.m. with trunk-or-treat for the kids and contests for the best costume and best-decorated car. A kid-friendly double feature with Hotel Transylvania 2 and Monster House begins at 7:15 p.m. Afterward, adults can enjoy more R-rated frights with Texas Chain Saw Massacre, Friday the 13th, and Nightmare on Elm Street. There will also be pumpkin funnel cakes and hot apple cider at the concession stand. Admission is $8 for adult, $3 for kids ages 5-11.
Living Dead Weekend – Living Dead Museum
The Living Dead Museum will once again host a weekend of zombie-themed fun for the whole family. From October 14th through October 16th, horror fans can partake in activities such as a George Romero double feature at the Strand Theater and guided Living Dead film location tours. Guests can also enjoy numerous activities in EDCO Park, including discussion panels and meetups with Living Dead cast and crew members, parties, vendors, and more. See the Living Dead Weekend website for a complete schedule, guest list and ticket prices.
Halloween Party with Doug Bradley and The Innocents – Hollywood Theater
On October 15th, horror icon Doug Bradley, star of the Hellraiser series, will stop by the Hollywood Theater for the venue’s annual Halloween party. The event includes a screening of the 1961 film The Innocents. Based on the Henry James novella Turn of the Screw, the British tale stars Deborah Kerr as a governess who believes the two children under her care are being possessed by a malevolent spirit haunting their house. There will also be festive treats, a costume contest with prizes, and photo and autograph opportunities with Bradley. Doors open at 7 p.m. Tickets cost $10 to 12 at Showclix, $8 for members, $15 at the door. BYOB is prohibited for this event. The theater will sell beer and wine.
Haunted Psychedelic Creep Show Vault – Spirit
On October 21st, the creatures of the night will make some cool music at Spirit when the venue presents a DJ lineup spinning horror movie-inspired disco, as well as synthwave, witch-house and black techno. Headlining the event is Antoni Maiovvi, co-owner of the Euro-horror dance music label Giallo Disco Records. Maiovvi scored the neo-Giallo film Yellow, which screened at Film 4 Frightfest, Sitges 2012, Berlinale and Cannes. The evening begins at 9 p.m. Cover is $7. This is a 21 and over event.
Silent Horror Classics Marathon – Row House Cinema
On October 23rd, Row House Cinema will go quiet for a full day of silent horror cinema. The event includes screenings of Vampyr (1932), Nosferatu (1922), Faust (1926) and The Cabinet of Dr. Caligari (1920). The Silent Horror Classics Marathon begins at 1:15 p.m. Showtimes and tickets are available at the Row House website.
Midnight Radio’s Night of the Living Dead N’at – Bricolage
From October 27th through November 12th, Bricolage some adds levity to the zombie apocalypse with Midnight Radio‘s horror comedy show Night of the Living Dead N’at. The twisted, 1940s radio-style take on George Romero’s definitive 1968 film Night of the Living Dead comes complete with live foley work, commercial spoofs and performers juggling multiple roles, as well as live musical accompaniment by Cello Fury. Audience members can also enjoy a special pre-show happy hour with free drinks and activities. Tickets cost $35, $25 for students with valid ID, and are available for purchase at the Bricolage website.
Girl Asleep – Regent Square Theater
The world is closing in on Australian teen Greta Driscoll. On the cusp of turning 15 she can’t bear to leave her childhood, it contains all the things that give her comfort in this incomprehensible new world. She floats in a bubble of loserdom with her only friend Elliott, until her parents throw her a surprise 15th birthday party and she’s flung into a parallel place; a world that’s weirdly erotic, a little bit violent and thoroughly ludicrous – only there can she find herself. Girl Asleep opens on October 7th at Regent Square Theater.
The Greasy Strangler – Hollywood Theater
Helmed by first-time feature director Jim Hosking, the surreal, Los Angeles-set midnight-horror comedy follows Ronnie, a man who runs a Disco Walking tour along with his browbeaten son, Brayden. When a sexy, alluring woman comes to take the tour, it begins a competition between father and son for her attention. It also signals the appearance of The Greasy Strangler, an oily, slimy inhuman maniac who stalks the streets at night and strangles the innocent. The Greasy Strangler screens on October 7th and 8th at the Hollywood Theater. Tickets are available for purchase at Showclix or at the door.
Phantasm: Ravager – Hollywood Theater
Directed by Emmy-nominated animator David Hartman, the final chapter of Don Coscarelli’s mind-bending Phantasm series finds ex-ice cream vendor Reggie (Phantasm regular Reggie Bannister) in pursuit of his nemesis, the Tall Man (the late horror icon Angus Scrimm). Phantasm: Ravager opens on October 7th at the Hollywood Theater. Tickets are available for purchase at Showclix or at the door.
When NBC debuted Star Trek in 1966, the short-run series captured the imagination of sci-fi fans everywhere and went on to spawn multiple TV reboots, movies and a devoted sub-culture. Beginning on September 2nd, Pittsburgh Trekkies will celebrate 50 years of Star Trek with screenings at Row House Cinema and the Hollywood Theater.
From September 2nd through September 8th, Row House Cinema will present a week-long schedule of Star Trek films. The selections include Star Trek: The Motion Picture (1979), Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan (1982), Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home (1986) and Star Trek VIII: First Contact (1996). The theater will also screen a special RiffTrax edition of The Wrath of Khan, as well as a Dr. Sketchy’s Drink and Draw screening of The Voyage Home and a visit from Animal Friends for TrekKitties. Visit the Row House website for showtimes and ticket prices. Guests can also purchase a four-movie pass for $21.
On September 9th, the Hollywood Theater will present a Wrath of Khan screening event sponsored by Geek Pittsburgh. The evening will include members of local fangroups the USS Inferno and Klingon Assault Group, music from DJ Zombo and a costume contest. Attendees will also receive an exclusive sneak-peak of the upcoming ToonSeum exhibit To Boldly Go: The Graphic Art of Star Trek , which showcases original artwork by some of Pittsburgh’s best graphic illustrators (the exhibit will officially open at the Toonseum on October 28th).
The event will also feature the premiere of For the Love of Spock, Adam Nimoy’s documentary about his famous father, the late Leonard Nimoy, who for decades portrayed Star Trek‘s beloved alien-human character Spock. Wrath of Khan guests will receive $2 off the ticket price for the 10 p.m. screening. Additional screenings of For the Love of Spock with continue throughout the weekend.
Tickets for the Hollywood Theater event cost $10 and are available for purchase at Eventbrite. All proceeds benefit the Hollywood Theater and the ToonSeum.
From September 2nd trough September 7th, the Hollywood Theater will also show the new film Star Trek Beyond. Directed by Justin Lin (The Fast and the Furious franchise), the latest voyage of the U.S.S. Enterprise takes her intrepid crew to the furthest reaches of uncharted space, where they encounter a mysterious new enemy (played by Idris Elba) who puts them and everything the Federation stands for to the test. Stars Chris Pine, Pittsburgh’s own Zachary Quinto, Simon Pegg, Karl Urban, Zoe Saldana, John Cho and the late Anton Yelchin. Tickets are available for purchase at Showclix or at the door.