Person To Person – Harris Theater
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
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
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 Harris. mother! opens on September 15 at the Manor Theatre.
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 Little Hours – Hollywood Theater
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
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
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
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.
The Bad Batch – Hollywood Theater
The latest from filmmaker Ana Lily Amirpour (A Girl Walks Home Alone at Night) follows Arlen (Suki Waterhouse) after she’s left in a Texas wasteland fenced off from civilization. While trying to navigate the unforgiving landscape, Arlen is captured by a savage band of cannibals led by the mysterious Miami Man (Jason Momoa). With her life on the line, she makes her way to The Dream (Keanu Reeves). As she adjusts to life in ‘the bad batch‘ Arlen discovers that being good or bad mostly depends on who’s standing next to you. The Bad Batch opens on July 7 at the Hollywood Theater.
The Big Sick – Manor Theatre
Based on the real-life courtship between Kumail Nanjiani and Emily V. Gordon, The Big Sick tells the story of Pakistan-born aspiring comedian Kumail (Nanjiani), who connects with grad student Emily (Zoe Kazan) after one of his standup sets. However, what they thought would be just a one-night stand blossoms into the real thing, which complicates the life that is expected of Kumail by his traditional Muslim parents. When Emily is beset with a mystery illness, it forces Kumail to navigate the medical crisis with her parents, Beth and Terry (Holly Hunter and Ray Romano), while dealing with the emotional tug-of-war between his family and his heart. The Big Sick opens July 7 at the Manor Theatre.
Manifesto – Harris Theater
The film from artist Julian Rosefeldt features actress Cate Blanchett playing 13 different roles – a housewife, a factory worker, a TV anchor – in vignettes about the words that have inspired art movements. Manifesto opens on July 7 at the Harris Theater.
Maudie – Manor Theatre
The reclusive Everett Lewis (Ethan Hawke) hires a fragile yet determined woman named Maudie (Sally Hawkins) to be his housekeeper. Maudie, bright-eyed but hunched with crippled hands, yearns to be independent, to live away from her protective family and she also yearns, passionately, to create art. Unexpectedly, Everett finds himself falling in love. Based on a true story, the film charts Everett’s efforts to protect himself from being hurt, Maudie’s deep and abiding love for this difficult man and her surprising rise to fame as a folk painter. Maudie opens on July 14 at the Manor Theatre.
Like Crazy – Hollywood Theater
Beatrice is a motor-mouthed fantasist, a self-styled billionaire countess who likes to believe she’s on intimate terms with world leaders. Donatella is a tattooed introvert, a fragile young woman locked in her own mystery. They are both patients at the Villa Biondi, a progressive but secure psychiatric clinic. Director Paolo Virzì’s new film tells the story of the unpredictable and moving friendship that develops between the two women as they flee the mental institution in search of love and happiness in the open-air nuthouse – the world of sane people. Like Crazy opens on July 21 at the Hollywood Theater.
Churchill – Hollywood Theater & Manor Theatre
In June 1944, Allied Forces stand on the brink: a million soldiers are secretly assembled on the south coast of Britain, poised to invade Nazi-occupied Europe. One man stands in their way: Winston Churchill (Brian Cox). Fearful of repeating, on his disastrous command, the mass slaughter of 1915, when over 500,000 soldiers were killed on the beaches of Gallipoli. Exhausted by years of war and plagued by depression, Churchill is a shadow of the hero who has resisted Hitler’s Blitzkrieg. Should the D-Day landings fail, he is terrified he’ll be remembered as the architect of carnage. Only the unflinching support of Churchill’s brilliant, unflappable wife Clementine (Miranda Richardson) can halt the Prime Minister’s physical and mental collapse. Churchill opens on June 2 at the Hollywood Theater and on June 5 at the Manor Theatre.
My Cousin Rachel – Manor Theatre
Rachel Weisz stars in the dark romantic story of a young Englishman who plots revenge against his mysterious, beautiful cousin, believing that she murdered his guardian. But his feelings become complicated as he finds himself falling under the beguiling spell of her charms. My Cousin Rachel opens on June 9 at the Manor Theatre.
I, Daniel Blake – Regent Square Theater
The new film by British filmmaker Ken Loach won the Palme d’Or at the 2016 Cannes Film Festival. In it, 59-year-old Daniel Blake has worked as a joiner most of his life in Newcastle. Now, for the first time ever, he needs help from the State. He crosses paths with single mother Katie and her two young children, Daisy and Dylan. Katie’s only chance to escape a one-roomed homeless hostel in London has been to accept a flat in a city she doesn’t know, some 300 miles away. Daniel and Katie find themselves in no-man’s land, caught on the barbed wire of welfare bureaucracy as played out against the rhetoric of ‘striver and skiver’ in modern-day Britain. I, Daniel Blake opens on June 16 at the Regent Square Theater.
The Transfiguration – Hollywood Theater
Writer/director Michael O’Shea’s chilling, atmospheric debut feature follows troubled teen Milo who hides behind his fascination with vampire lore. When he meets the equally alienated Sophie, the two form a bond that begins to challenge Milo’s dark obsession, blurring his fantasy into reality. The Transfiguration opens on June 16 at the Hollywood Theater.
The late-1970s was a magical time for American film, with directors like Steven Spielberg spurring the blockbuster age and shaping generations of cinephiles. But on May 25, 1977, George Lucas created a massive pop culture phenomenon with the release of his epic space opera Star Wars. On May 25, the Hollywood Theater will mark the 40th anniversary of the influential hit with the Pittsburgh premiere of 5-25-77.
Writer/director Patrick Read Johnson spins a semi-autobiographical, coming-of-age tale about an aspiring young filmmaker (John Francis Daley of Freaks and Geeks) growing up in 1970s rural Illinois, falling in love, and becoming the first fan of Star Wars.
5-25-77 begins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets cost $8-10.
Risk – Hollywood Theater
Filmed over six years including through the 2016 presidential election and up to the present moment, Risk takes viewers closer than they have ever been before to Julian Assange and those who surround him. With unprecedented access, director Laura Poitras (Citizenfour) captures the WikiLeaks story from the inside, allowing viewers to understand the current era of massive leaks, headline-grabbing news, and the revolutionary impact of the internet on global politics. Risk opens on May 12 at the Hollywood Theater.
Hounds of Love – Harris Theater
The debut from writer/director Ben Young takes place in suburban Perth during the mid-1980s, where people are unaware that women are disappearing at the hands of serial killer couple John and Evelyn White. After an innocent lapse in judgment, Vicki Maloney is randomly abducted by the disturbed couple. With her murder imminent, Vicki realizes she must find a way to drive a wedge between Evelyn and John if she is to survive. Hounds of Love opens on May 19 at the Harris Theater.
The Lovers – Manor Theatre
Debra Winger and Tracy Letts play a long-married and completely dispassionate husband and wife. Both are in the midst of serious affairs and are increasingly committed to their new partners. But on the brink of officially calling it quits, a spark between them suddenly and unexpectedly reignites, leading them into an impulsive romance that forces them to navigate the hilarious complications of “cheating” on their respective lovers. The Lovers opens on May 19 at the Manor Theatre.
Norman – Regent Square Theater
A small-time operator named Norman Oppenheimer (Richard Gere) befriends a young politician at a low and lonely moment in his life. Three years later when that politician becomes an influential world leader, Norman’s life dramatically changes. For better. And for worse. Norman opens on May 19 at the Regent Square Theater.
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.