'Pittsburgh: The Movie' offers collage of city as seen on the big screen

Video a project of Mt. Lebanon native Aron Zelkowicz


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It begins with two men in a bar.

"Where you from?" asks Liam Neeson.

"Pittsburgh," says Russell Crowe.

Take a gander at Pittsburgh as seen through the movies

This video, trending everywhere and amassing thousands of views on YouTube, was put together by Aron Zelkowicz. (YouTube video; 5/7/2013)

"Pittsburgh's tough," replies Mr. Neeson, and off we go.

The scene is from the 2010 film "The Next Three Days," just one segment in "Pittsburgh: The Movie," a five-minute, 41-second video created by Aron Zelkowicz, a Mt. Lebanon native. It's racked up more than 55,000 views on YouTube since he posted it six days ago and serves as reminder that we sometimes take local beauty for granted.

We knew our city looked good but ... dang. From a sweeping shot of a young couple standing at the observatory deck on Mount Washington in "She's Out of My League" to a cascade of bridges and tunnel, Pittsburgh clearly has more than one good side.

Mr. Zelkowicz is a professional cellist providing stage direction in Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra's "Music for the Spirit Festival" production of "The Dybbuk: Between Two Worlds." He'd posted some videos to YouTube before, but they mostly were musical performances.

"I had never heard the term 'super cut' until yesterday when I put up the video," Mr. Zelkowicz said. "It was something for fun, it was an itch that I needed to scratch."

He taught himself iMovie basics and began gathering scenes from 29 film and television projects shot here.

"The truth is, I actually watched a lot more Pittsburgh movies than I was able to use in the montage," Mr. Zelkowicz said.

He chose music from the film "Pirates of the Caribbean" and began assembling the clips. Some are more recent, obvious choices: Emma Watson standing in the bed of a pickup truck as it streams through the Fort Pitt Tunnel in "Perks of Being a Wallflower," and Jesse Eisenberg at Kennywood Park in "Adventureland."

Taylor Lautner slides down a staircase at PNC Park in "Abduction" and Tom Cruise sending a car toward the Allegheny River in "Jack Reacher."

Among the older clips are "Flashdance's" Jennifer Beals riding her bike on Mount Washington, and later running outside of the Carnegie Library in Oakland. Matthew Broderick flies through the air in "Inspector Gadget." Bill Murray delivers the weather in an early scene from "Groundhog Day," and a pre-"Iron Man" Robert Downey Jr. chases a whirlwind of papers in "Wonder Boys."

There's action and romance: stuff blows up in spectacular fashion at the Civic Arena and Jean-Claude Van Damme saves the day in 1995's "Sudden Death," while John Leguizamo is involved in a shoot-em-up in Market Square in the TV miniseries, "The Kill Point."

There's even a black-and-white clip from 1951's "Angels in the Outfield," with the Cathedral of Learning looming behind the cheering crowd.

Response to the video has been overwhelmingly positive. Sure, there are some gripes that films were overlooked, but for the most part, this is the kind of video sure to be posted this week on many Facebook pages.

"That's the thing with YouTube," Mr. Zelkowicz said. "Everyone takes pride in their city."

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Maria Sciullo: msciullo@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG. First Published May 8, 2013 9:30 AM


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