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Film Kitchen

Artist Virgil Cantini is profiled, among other short films

Filmmaker Will Zavala met artist Virgil Cantini just once after receiving a Pittsburgh Center for the Arts commission to make a short film about him. The 2009 meeting came shortly before Cantini's death, at age 90. While Zavala never interviewed Cantini on camera, his "Virgil Cantini: The Artist in Public" is a lovely tribute to the man whose paintings and metal sculptures are ubiquitous on Pitt's campus, and include the beautiful East Liberty fountain "Joy of Life."

Zappala's narrationless 10-minute film depicts Cantini through both an old Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood appearance and his artwork itself. And it affirms Cantini's belief that art serves best outside museum walls.

"Virgil Cantini" highlights the next Film Kitchen. The monthly screening series also features Zavala's "Consuming Conversation," an exploration of consumerism inspired by the post-consumer tea-cup sculptures of Harriete Estel Berman; Steve Yeager's trippy digital animation "Conception of an Idea"; and "Bedouin Nation," a half-hour documentary by Alex M. Goldblum and Daniel Cherrin. Goldblum and Cherrin profile Bedouin tribesmen now working in the tourist trade -- like scuba excursions -- in Egypt's Sinai Peninsula.

8 p.m. Tue., Dec. 13 (7 p.m. reception). Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland. $6. 412-681-5449

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