Film Notes: Three Rivers Film Fest to open with sneak previews

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"Silver Linings Playbook," a comedy that could prove golden on Oscar night, will be one of three movies opening the Three Rivers Film Festival Nov. 2.

Film lovers will be faced with a thorny but delightful dilemma: To buy a ticket for "Silver Linings Playbook" starring Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Lawrence at the Regent Square Theater or "Rust and Bone" with Marion Cotillard and Matthias Schoenaerts at the Harris Theater, Downtown.

A third option, at the Melwood Screening Room, will be "Beware of Mr. Baker," a documentary about notoriously temperamental and talented drummer Ginger Baker who suggests, "God is punishing me for my past wickedness by keeping me alive and in as much pain as he can. I wasn't planning on living this long!"

Each of the opening night films, being shown at the festival once as sneak previews, will be followed by separate receptions after the 7:30 p.m. movie.

The festival, presented by Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Dollar Bank, will close Nov. 17 with the return of Boston's Alloy Orchestra, this time with the Pittsburgh premiere of the 1920s Soviet silent film "The Overcoat," a fable about a clerk with a threadbare coat who becomes obsessed with getting an elegant new one to feel more important.

Tickets for opening and closing night features, along with special events, are $15 each. Single tickets will be $10 and a six-pack pass granting six regular admissions (no special events) is $50.

All go on sale at 10 a.m. Oct. 19 through The complete schedule will go online at on that same day.

If single tickets remain, they will be sold at the door a half-hour before the movie starts. No phone orders will be taken by Pittsburgh Filmmakers although it will sell passes at its Oakland headquarters during regular business hours; passes also can be purchased at Filmmakers' three theaters on Oct. 19.

Kevin Smith due Nov. 24

Filmmaker Kevin Smith, who came to Pittsburgh in 2008 to shoot "Zack and Miri Make a Porno," is returning with an all-ages show. He will appear Nov. 24 (doors open at 7 p.m., show at 8) at the Carnegie Library Music Hall, 510 East 10th Ave., in Munhall several blocks from The Waterfront.

Reserved seats are $45 and $60 with a limited number of Gold Circle seats at $100 which includes a meet and greet with Mr. Smith, a writer, director, producer, actor and comic-book writer and Internet radio show/podcast host. He also owns Jay and Silent Bob's Secret Stash, a comic book and novelty store in Red Bank, N.J.

Tickets are on sale at the venue box office or through or by calling 412-368-5225.

'Perks' adds one venue

"The Perks of Being a Wallflower" added one more Pittsburgh location this week -- the Cinemark at Pittsburgh Mills mall in Frazer near Tarentum. It continues to play at AMC-Loews at the Waterfront and Manor in Squirrel Hill although not at the theaters closest to the suburbs where it was filmed and the cast stayed. It may add additional locations a week from today.

Writer-director Stephen Chbosky was tireless and tirelessly enthusiastic this past weekend during multiple appearances in Pittsburgh.

The Upper St. Clair native signed stacks of books, posters and soundtracks, posed for photos and answered questions such as where protagonist Charlie might have ended up, or if Mr. Chbosky could get a teenage boy a homecoming date with Emma Watson (uh, sorry, she's busy).

Mr. Chbosky's novel was published in 1999 and his agent fielded calls about selling the rights for a decade. He was offered a lot of money when he was young and broke but "I just thought in my heart, if I sell it, it will never be right," he told an SRO house at the Manor.

After co-creating the TV series "Jericho," Mr. Chbosky saved that money and wrote the screenplay on spec and by the time he met with studio executives, he already had Ms. Watson and Logan Lerman on board. When he watched Ezra Miller audition via Skype (an increasingly common practice), he knew he had found his Patrick, channeling some of the spirit of Ferris Bueller.

In fact, Summit Entertainment will be promoting the cast for the Screen Actors Guild ensemble award. All too often, he told the PG, younger actors are not considered for such honors but Ms. Watson's presence and glowing reviews will help to shine a light on the group that also counts Nina Dobrev, Mae Whitman and Johnny Simmons along with Kate Walsh, Dylan McDermott and Paul Rudd.

'Klitschko' opens festival

Hoverla, a Ukrainian American Film Festival, will open with the Pittsburgh premiere of "Klitschko," a documentary about Ukrainian brothers Wladimir and Vitali Klitschko who have dominated heavyweight boxing for the past decade.

The festival, organized by the Ukrainian Community of Western Pennsylvania, will kick off at 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Frick Fine Arts Auditorium, 650 Schenley Drive.

In addition to the film, being introduced by boxing and football announcer Andrew Sebastian, there will be a reception, discussion afterward and silent auction with Klitschko brothers memorabilia.

University of Pittsburgh full-time students and faculty with valid IDs will be admitted free. Tickets for others, $15.

A full-access festival pass, including opening night, is $50. Regular admission, $10. For tickets and more information, see or contact UCOWPA president Svitlana Tomson at 412-953-7701.

Also scheduled: "My Father Evgeni" by director Andrei Zagdansky at 4 p.m. Oct. 13; "Land of Oblivion," a drama about the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, at 7 p.m. Oct. 13; and "The Orange Chronicles," an examination of Ukraine's Orange Revolution for democracy and against electoral fraud, at 4 p.m. Oct. 20.

Also, "The Other Chelsea," about the Ukraine that did not support the 2004 Orange Revolution, considers Moscow its capital and is home to coal miners living under difficult conditions, at 7 p.m. Oct. 20; "Freedom Had a Price," a documentary about Ukrainian immigrants called "enemy aliens" by the Canadian government at the start of World War I, at 4 p.m. Oct. 27; and "The Firecrosser," the story of a war hero turned prisoner and chief of a native tribe in North America, at 7 p.m. Oct. 27.

"The Firecrosser" is Ukrainian's entry for best foreign language film for the Academy Awards.

Screenings will be accompanied by discussions afterward and light refreshments before or after.

'Ride to Finish' set

An hourlong movie about Penn Hills High School graduate and athlete Tony Lonero will premiere at 7 p.m. Wednesday at Linton Middle School in Penn Hills. It will tell his story, including his triumph as a baseball player and biggest challenge of being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. Admission is free.

It will cap a day of activities in the school district for Mr. Lonero, starting with breakfast with student officers and selected guests, a tour of the new high school and other activities. For more information:

Winning doc premieres

"Code 2600," which had its world premiere earlier this year at the Cinequest Film Festival in San Jose, Calif., will be shown in Pittsburgh for the first time Oct, 12 at Carnegie-Mellon University.

It's a no-holds-barred look at the ramifications of the information age from filmmaker Jeremy Zerechak and it was largely shot on location in and around the city and features Lorrie Cranor, who oversees the CyLab Usable Privacy and Security Lab at CMU.

"Code 2600" is intended as a wake-up call for a society caught in the grip of a global technology takeover. It won the documentary feature grand jury prize at the Atlanta Film Festival earlier this year. It will be shown at 7 p.m. and repeat at 10 p.m. and admission is free. A panel discussion and reception will be held between screenings in CMU's McConomy Auditorium.

In brief

• The MTV Movie Awards will be weeks earlier than usual in 2013, coming closer on the heels of the other awards shows. Its 2013 show will be April 14, much earlier than its 2012 show which fell on June 3.

• Danny Strong, a recent double Emmy winner for HBO's "Game Change" about Sen. John McCain and Sarah Palin's bid for the White House, will write the final two "Hunger Games" movies.

He will handle "Mockingjay," being split into a pair of releases due Nov. 21, 2014, and Nov. 20, 2015. Before then, of course, "Catching Fire" will be out Nov. 22, 2013.

• Weekend editor Scott Mervis and I talk about "Frankenweenie" on Rated PG, the Post-Gazette's weekly movie podcast. Listen or subscribe through iTunes at


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: First Published October 5, 2012 4:00 AM


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