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Film Kitchen

For all Pittsburgh filmmaker Carl Cimini learned making his Tibet documentary Dancing at Amdo (see story here), he might have communicated it all differently if not for the few days of his 2003 India journey reserved for tourism. Cimini and crew found themselves on the bank of the holy river Ganges, watching a dead man be burned by his family.

The Kumar family -- nephews and sons of the deceased -- traveled 36 hours by train to burn their patriarch in the Hindu pilgrim city Haridwar, and they let Cimini and company watch. In the short documentary "Haridwar Gate of God," Cimini juxtaposes the reverent ceremony with voices and images from a huge religious festival nearby. The short premieres at the Sept. 9 Film Kitchen, also at Filmmakers. It's the 10th-anniversary screening for this CP-sponsored series (at whose first installment Cimini also showed work).

"That moment in Haridwar changed me on some level," says Cimini. "India, itself, really changed me."

And its spectacular economic growth notwithstanding, he developed a new view of India, as well: "It is a religious country, first and foremost."


Also screening at the Sept. 9 Film Kitchen are short videos by Sam Boese. The New Mexico native moved here to study at Carnegie Mellon and wound up taking classes at Pittsburgh Filmmakers (where he's now employed). His work includes the first installments of "Hamilton Lurie, Series 25," an ambitious planned suite of satirical shorts about our fascination with corporate culture and the media through which we typically learn about it.

The "Hamilton Lurie" videos are alternately comic and arty. In one, a self-satisfied suit leads a cinema-vérité tour of his obviously pointless workplace; in another, a corporate minion tinkers endlessly with a video camera set-up.

The project, says Boese, began when he musingly asked a friend, "What do you think about a company with no products?"


Film Kitchen 8 p.m. Tue., Sept. 9 (7 p.m. reception). Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., N. Oakland. $4. 412-681-5449, x231

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