Film Notes: Woody Allen-flavored comedy to open JFilm Festival


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The JFilm Festival will open April 11 with the romantic comedy "Paris-Manhattan," about a young woman whose choices in life and love are shaped by her favorite filmmaker, Woody Allen.

The French-language film stars Alice Taglioni as an idealistic pharmacist obsessed with Woody Allen films. She quotes from them, prescribes them and engages in imaginary conversations with the New Yorker, much to the consternation of her increasingly concerned Jewish parents.

They set her up with a handsome Frenchman, played by Patrick Bruel in the 78-minute movie directed by Sophie Lellouche. It will show at 7 p.m. April 11 at the Manor Theater in Squirrel Hill.

Tickets, $50 per person before April 5 and $75 after and at the door, will go on sale March 20 at www.JFilmPgh.org or 412-992-5203. The price includes a reception at the nearby Jewish Community Center's Katz Theater, with entertainment by Douglas Levine on piano and John Marcinizyn, guitar.

Catering (dietary laws observed) by Tallulah's. Valet parking will be available.

The balance of the schedule for the festival, marking its 20th anniversary and previously known as the Pittsburgh Jewish Israeli Film Festival, will be announced in March closer to the April 11-21 event.

In other news, JFilm's Teen Screen program is under way and booking free screenings at the SouthSide Works Cinema and related discussions for schools. More than 16,000 students and teachers have attended since 2005.

Available this year:

• "A Film Unfinished" (recommended for grades 11-12 only), an 89-minute documentary exploring the Nazis' use of "actors" to create a fictitious display of life in the Warsaw Ghetto. With English subtitles, R in nature.

• "Inside Hana's Suitcase" (grades 6-8), a 60-minute documentary about the delivery of a battered suitcase to the director of the Holocaust Museum in Tokyo and a search for details about the owner's life. With subtitles. Shown with "Toyland," an Oscar-winning short.

• "Kinderblock 66: Return to Buchenwald" (grades 10-12), a new 90-minute documentary about men who, as boys, were imprisoned at the Buchenwald concentration camp and return 65 years later to tell and film their story. With subtitles.

• "Nicky's Family" (grades 7-12), 90-minute English language documentary about the life-giving legacy of Nicholas Winton, who saved 669 children from Nazi-occupied Czechoslovakia by bringing them to his native Britain.

• "Saviors in the Night" (grades 9-12), a 97-minute drama about German farmers in Westphalia who risked their lives to hide a Jewish family. With subtitles.

For information or to schedule a showing, contact coordinator Lori Sisson at lsisson@jfilmpgh.org or 412-992-5213.

Making music at Oscars

Two-time Academy Award winner Barbra Streisand, who has sung on the Oscars only once before, will perform on the Feb. 24 telecast. She last sang the love theme from "A Star Is Born" on the March 28, 1977, show, winning the best original song Oscar for "Evergreen" that same night.

Norah Jones will perform the Oscar-nominated song "Everybody Needs a Best Friend" from the motion picture "Ted." The evening also will feature a celebration of movie musicals of the past decade, notably Rob Marshall's "Chicago" along with "Dreamgirls" and "Les Miserables."

More Oscar marathons

AMC-Loews at the Waterfront is not the only theater staging a marathon of Oscar best picture nominees. Cinemark will show five on Feb. 16 and remaining four on Feb. 23. Cost per Saturday is $30 or, if you buy a marathon pass for both days, $50 for all nine movies.

The films will be presented consecutively in a single auditorium. The first 50 customers in line on either of those Saturdays will receive a commemorative lanyard, while supplies last. Discounted concessions also will be offered at participating theaters, including locations in Robinson and at Pittsburgh Mills Mall near Tarentum.

Feb. 16 lineup at Cinemark: "Beasts of the Southern Wild" at noon, "Amour" at 1:55 p.m., "Life of Pi" at 4:15 p.m., "Les Miserables" at 6:35 p.m. and "Lincoln" at 9:30 p.m.

On Feb. 23: "Argo" at 1 p.m., "Silver Linings Playbook" at 3:20 p.m., "Zero Dark Thirty" at 5:30 p.m. and "Django Unchained" at 8:20 p.m.

The chain is also showing the Oscar-nominated animated and live-action shorts (also running at the Regent Square Theater) Feb. 15 and 22. See cinemark.com for details and tickets.

CMU ties to Oscars

Drew Olbrich, a Carnegie Mellon University graduate, will be among a select group honored by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences Feb. 9 at the Beverly Hills Hotel.

Actors Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana will host the event devoted to Scientific and Technical Awards. They will present nine awards to 25 individual recipients.

Mr. Olbrich will receive an Academy certificate for his role in creating the Light system for computer graphics lighting, which has been used for "Shrek," "Madagascar" and other animated DreamWorks features.

He and fellow honorees Lawrence Kesteloot and Daniel Wexler, created Light for PDI/DreamWorks, part of DreamWorks Animation, where he worked until 2006. Mr. Olbrich now is employed by Jig, part of Tasty Labs, in Mountain View, Calif.

Former CMU faculty member Doug James and Theodore Kim, Nils Thuerey and Markus Gross are being cited for the invention, publication and dissemination of Wavelet Turbulence software.

Mr. James was an assistant professor of computer science and robotics at CMU from 2002 to 2006. He is an associate professor of computer science at Cornell University.

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Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: www.post-gazette.com/madaboutmovies.


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