Screen | BLOGH: City Paper's Blog |
Friday, May 8, 2015

Posted By on Fri, May 8, 2015 at 10:58 AM

Film Kitchen, the long-running monthly screening series, seeks short films for its annual contest.

This year’s theme is “kitsch.” Here’s an amusing video explaining more.

Films of four minutes or less, in any genre (narrative, documentary, animation, experimental) can be originated in any film or video format but must be submitted in a Quicktime Apple ProRes file.

Submissions can be mailed or dropped off at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland.

The deadline for submissions is 5 p.m. Tue., May 26.

Finalists will be selected for a screening at Pittsburgh Filmmakers’ Harris Theater, Downtown, on June 9, during the Three Rivers Film Festival. Films will compete for cash prizes.

For more information, email Matthew R. Day at

Tags: , , ,

Friday, April 24, 2015

Posted By on Fri, Apr 24, 2015 at 5:00 PM

This film was not screened for critics locally, so we took a look at the trailer.

Film: Little Boy
Opening Date: Fri., April 24
Stars: Jakob Salvati, Emily Watson, Michael Rappaport
Necessary Info: “From the producers of Son of God”

Sample dialogue: “But if I have enough faith, nothing’s impossible, right?”

Trailer Analysis: In a perfect vintage movie town — soda fountains, bungalows and clean boys in cloth caps — a kid believes he has the extra-ordinary power to bring his dad back from World War II. The kid makes “magic” shapes with his hands a lot. The words “miracle” and “courage” are used. Two sunsets are shown. (Side note: If I was making a gee-whiz inspirational movie about WWII, I wouldn’t call it “Little Boy,” which was the name of the A-bomb dropped on Hiroshima.)

Based on these 2:17 minutes, should you go? If there’s nothing new playing on the Hallmark Channel

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, April 17, 2015

Posted By on Fri, Apr 17, 2015 at 3:59 PM

These films were not screened for critics locally, so we took a look at the trailers.

Film: Paul Blart: Mall Cop 2
Opening Date: Fri., April 17
Stars: Kevin James
Necessary Info: From the long, tear-stained list of Sequels We Never Asked For

Sample dialogue: “Security is a mission, not an intermission.”

Trailer Analysis: Mall cop Paul Blart goes to Las Vegas for a security-officer convention and winds up stopping a big heist — presumably the entire plot of this movie, which should have cost $1,000 and a weekend to make. None of the trailer’s “highlight” jokes — falling off a Segway, fighting a peacock and punching an old lady — are fresh or funny. James is depicted five separate times falling down (not funny), which isn’t as much screen time as the Wynn resort logo gets (six appearances, also not funny).

Based on these 2:40 minutes, should you go? No. Even fans of silly, pratfall comedy deserve better.

Tags: , , , ,

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

Posted By on Wed, Apr 8, 2015 at 10:27 AM

click to enlarge A scene from the upcoming film Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World, distributed by Icarus Films
A scene from the upcoming film Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World, distributed by Icarus Films
If that monster in Alien freaked you out, you can thank H.R. Giger. The Swiss artist, who died last year, created it, and other masterpieces of "fantastic realism." He published Necromonicon in 1977, and besides Alien, did film design work for Poltergeist II, Alien 3, Species and the never-made but highly influential Alejandro Jodorowsky adaptation of Dune.

In June, the Hollywood Theater, in Dormont, celebrates Giger, by screening a new documentary, Dark Star: H.R. Giger's World, as well as Alien and Aliens. And the Hollywood is inviting Giger fans to pitch in, by designing a poster for the June screenings. The guidelines are as follows:


Create an original artwork that you think best exemplifies the design and atmosphere of all three films. The poster should include the titles of all three films, the Hollywood Theater, the dates June 5-11, 2015, and the theater’s web address — Posters may be designed by a single author or by a team. Designs submitted to the contest must be original artworks previously unpublished. Designs must consist entirely of the authors' own work and must not include any copyrighted material.

Designs must be presented in vertical format. Entries must be submitted as JPG files of 2304 x 1728 pixels at a resolution of 150dpi (corresponding to 24 x 18 inches in printed size).
 Designs must be presented in two-color format, and the winning design will be reproduced in a silkscreen print on 100-weight French paper stock. Paper colors other than white may be considered.

Entries will be judged by a panel of three judges from the Pittsburgh design community. The winning design will receive 10 copies of the finished screen-printed poster, as well as 10 passes to the screenings. No more than one entry per participant. There is no entry fee.

Submissions should be emailed to Deadline for submissions is Sun., April 26, 2015, by midnight.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Posted By on Sun, Mar 8, 2015 at 5:07 PM

This film was not screened for critics locally, so we took a look at the trailer.

Film: Chappie
Opening Date: March 6
Stars: Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Dev Patel, Sharlto Copley (as robot model)
Necessary Info: Tale of a police robot that get re-programmed to think for itself; directed by Neill Blomkamp, who brought us the penned-up-aliens tale District 9

Sample dialogue:
“I am conscious. I am alive. I am Chappie.”

Trailer Analysis: Has a real E.T. feel, with soaring music, and the robot Chappie doing cute things while learning to be “human.” Feel-goodness reinforced by statements like “Anything you want to do in your life you can do — write poetry” and “You taught us so much more than I could ever have imagined.” Later, Chappie is shot at, but the vibe is still heartwarming because surely THOSE PEOPLE DO NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT A BEAUTIFUL NON-HUMAN BEING CHAPPIE IS!

Based on these 2:04 minutes, should you go? I’m a big fan of movies about robots that go bad, so this isn’t a must-see for me. The actual film may not be as schmaltzy as this trailer, but what’s here doesn’t bode well for a thoughtful cautionary tale about artificial intelligence.

Tags: , , ,

Friday, January 2, 2015

Posted By on Fri, Jan 2, 2015 at 1:10 PM

This film was not screened for critics locally, so we took a look at the trailer.

Film: Woman in Black 2: Angel of Death
Opening Date: Fri., Jan. 2, 2015
Stars: British TV actors
Necessary Info: Sequel to 2013’s The Woman in Black, which starred Daniel Radcliffe

Trailer Analysis: Establishes that kids are being housed in spooky old house, after that it’s an incoherent stew of familiar horror images: freaky doll, cemetery, a rainy night, weird face in window, a chair that rocks itself and bugs crawling on the ceiling. Also, creepy kid-singing. Sample dialogue: “The place has been deserted for years.” (hint, hint!)

Based on these 2:31 minutes, should you go? Only if you have never seen any horror film.

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Posted By on Tue, Dec 23, 2014 at 12:55 PM

click to enlarge PHOTO COURTESY OF SONY
Photo courtesy of Sony

SouthSideWorks cinema, owned and operated by Cleveland Cinemas, got the go-ahead from Sony today to release Seth Rogen and James Franco's The Interview on Christmas day.

"The studio is the one that had originally pulled it from release before we had ever come to a decision," says David Huffman, director of marketing for Cleveland Cinemas.  "Now that they are allowing us to open it again, we are back to our original plan."

Sony pulled the film — in which actors Rogen and Franco are tasked with assassinating North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un — after Sony was hacked and theaters dropped the film because of threats.

According to a Cleveland Cinemas press release, the independent cinema company had been strongly advocating for Sony to reverse their decision.

“We are happy that Sony has decided to release The Interview,” said Jonathan Forman, president of Cleveland Cinemas, in the press release. “Freedom of speech and artistic expression are core values to America and our company has never been one to shy away from a film due to its content. To not allow audiences access to this film would not have been right.”

Show times are not on the SouthSideWorks cinema website yet, but the company says tickets and times will be available by Dec. 23 at 3 p.m. on

Tags: , , , , ,

Friday, November 7, 2014

Posted By on Fri, Nov 7, 2014 at 7:08 PM

The Imitation Game
  • The Imitation Game

The Three Rivers Film Festival runs through Sat., Nov. 22. We haven’t seen these films but here are some playing over the next couple of days that look like interesting picks. For the complete schedule and more info, see

To see reviews of films CP did preview, see here.


Still Life: An English drama about a man (Eddie Marsan) committed to helping others. 2:30 p.m. Sat., Nov. 8 (Regent Square) and 4:15 p.m. Tue., Nov. 11

Cowboy Christmas: A doc about four cowboys on the professional rodeo circuit. 3 p.m. Sat., Nov. 8. Harris

Concrete Night: A noirish drama from Finland, about a youth who takes bad advice from his older brother. 5:30 p.m. Sat., Nov. 8, and 7:30 p.m. Tue., Nov. 11. Harris

The Umbrella Man: Developed at Point Park University, this Pittsburgh period drama set in 1983 finds a bereaved father obsessing over a figure — “the umbrella man” — present at the JFK assassination. 7 p.m. Sat., Nov. 8. Melwood

Listen Up Philip: A quirky comedy starring Elisabeth Moss and Jason Schwartzman about a self-absorbed writer’s relationship toils. 8 p.m. Sat., Nov. 8 (Regent Square) and 6:30 p.m. Thu., Nov. 13 (Waterworks)

The Imitation Game: Catch this preview of the new U.K. bio-pic about code mastermind Alan Turing, here portrayed by Benedict Cumberbatch. 9 p.m. Sat., Nov. 8 (Waterworks) and 7:30 p.m. Wed., Nov. 12 (Regent Square)

Johnny Minotaur: A long-lost piece of queer cinema from 1971; to be screened in a rare 16 mm print. 10 p.m. Sat., Nov. 8. Melwood


Welcome to the Space Show: A Japanese sci-fi anime about kids who find an alien in the woods. 1:30 p.m. Sun., Nov. 9 (Waterworks) and 9 p.m. Thu., Nov. 13 (Melwood)

Belle and Sebastian: An adaptation of the popular French novel, about the bond between a boy and his dog, set in French Alps during World War II. 2:30 p.m. Sun., Nov. 9 (Regent Square) and 4:15 p.m. Thu., Nov. 13 (Waterworks)

Gett: The Trial of Viviane Amsalem: An Israeli woman fights to get a divorce from her abusive husband, but under religious law, she needs his consent. 5 p.m. Sun., Nov. 9. Regent Square

Friday, August 22, 2014

Posted By on Fri, Aug 22, 2014 at 4:27 PM


It's unquestionably the most infamous no-hitter in baseball history — the one that Pittsburgh Pirates Doc Ellis pitched while high on LSD on June 12, 1970.

Learn about this unique athletic feat and more about the life of Ellis in the new documentary film, No No: A Dockumentary. Catch a sneak preview of the film at 7 p.m. Tue., Aug. 26, at the Harris Theater. Following the screening, there will be a Q&A with director Jeffrey Radic and Dock's agent, Tom Reich.

The film returns for a week-long engagement on Sept. 5, at Regent Square.

Thursday, June 19, 2014

Posted By on Thu, Jun 19, 2014 at 5:01 PM

For adventuresome film-lovers, the third annual Pittsburgh Independent Film Festival is a bargain. For the cost of a fancy cocktail, a viewer can see dozens of new works.

The festival, which begins Friday night, June 20, and runs through the weekend, offers 63 independent films from around the world. Most are shorts, but there are seven feature length offerings. Material ranges from narrative to documentary, animated to music videos.

Beginning at noon on Sun., June 22, the festival offers a "Made in Pennsylvania" slate, 14 films produced in PA, including a feature-length documentary on Pittsburgh architect Henry Hornbostel.

Passes are $10 for one day; $15 for two days; and $20 for all three days. Films screen at the Father Ryan Arts Center, in McKees Rocks (420 Chartiers Ave., 412-771-3052 ).