Among the region's busier gravesites is Andy Warhol's. So learned Madelyn Roehrig after she was told that the site, in Bethel Park's St. John the Baptist Byzantine Catholic Cemetery, was just three miles from her house.
Roehrig, then an adult student in a graduate fine-arts program at Vermont College, needed inspiration. "I thought, I'm going to talk to Andy about it,'" she says. "And I would get ideas, a few days later."
Roehrig was also intrigued by how people left stuff there, from flowers and Campbell's Soup cans (of course) to gas-relief pills, a plastic penis and a Warholesque white wig.
More than a year later, her half-hour video "Figments: Conversations With Andy" documents some of Warhol's other posthumous visitors. It screens at the May 11 installment of Film Kitchen, along with work by Federico Cesca and the Sylli G collective.
Roehrig, who coordinates the Carnegie Museum of Art's adult-education program, also records herself talking to Warhol. ("OK, Andy, let's see if anybody left you anything.") Highlights of her year of shooting include a young art student seeking advice on her portfolio; a ukulele-and-tuba combo playing "I'm Waiting for My Man"; the daughters of a 1940s Schenley High classmate of Warhol's planting tomatoes; and a woman bearing flowers who deadpans, "Really, I came to see your mother."
The project assumed a life of its own: Roehrig continues shooting at the gravesite, for up to six hours daily. ("It's like you'd be at the beach or something.") She's begun year two, and maintains a Facebook page called "Conversations With Andy."
And about that inspiration: an early version of Roehrig's video was part of her final master's project. Andy would be proud.
If Federico Cesca's short films don't resemble your typical film student's, there's a reason. Cesca, 30, studied and worked in architecture in Chile before moving to Pittsburgh in 2008 (when his wife enrolled at Carnegie Mellon).
The first films he ever made, as a student at Pittsburgh Filmmakers, are quite varied in tone and content: an experimental war story ("No Joke"); a time-fractured study of a relationship ("Now"); an emotionally fraught domestic drama ("Duelo," his latest). But they share Cesca's penchant for sophisticated widescreen compositions and well-chosen music.
"I'm very aware of spatial relationships and moving through that space," says the Argentina-born Cesca. Indeed: In the fall he's moving to New York, where his films have gotten him into New York University's filmmaking master's program.
A bunch of wacky characters trapped by a snowstorm in a shadowy old house while someone kills them one by one: The premise is familiar, but "Dead & Breakfast" isn't really a slasher movie. It's more a farcical parody of one, conceived, executed and performed by Sylli G. The group of friends including Morgan Cahn, April Gilmore and Matthu Stull recruited self-described "sprocket scientist" tENTATIVELY, a cONVENIENCE to help complete this goofy half-hour genre deconstruction.
Film Kitchen 8 p.m. Tue., May 11. Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., N. Oakland. $5. 412-681-9500 or www.filmkitchenpgh.org