Film Notes: 'Out of the Furnace' film gets Oct. 4 release date

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"Out of the Furnace," the Christian Bale movie that largely flew under the radar while shooting in Braddock, North Braddock, Rankin and elsewhere in Western Pennsylvania a year ago, is scheduled to be released in theaters Oct. 4.

Scott Cooper, whose "Crazy Heart" earned an Oscar for Jeff Bridges, directs the gritty dramatic thriller about fate, circumstance and justice and starring Mr. Bale and Casey Affleck as brothers. The cast also includes Woody Harrelson, Sam Shepard, Zoe Saldana, Forest Whitaker and Willem Dafoe.

Mr. Bale's character lands in prison, and his younger brother is lured into a ruthless crime ring. Once no longer behind bars, the older sibling must choose between his freedom and justice for his brother.

In a bonus bit of good news, Eddie Vedder is writing and recording at least one song for the movie being released by Relativity Media.

Merry music at Manor

The Manor will present Pittsburgh jazz pianist Tom Roberts performing his musical accompaniment to Charlie Chaplin's "One A.M." and "The Rink" at 7 p.m. April 25.

Mr. Roberts was commissioned to score the pair of silent shorts dating to 1916. In "One A.M.," a drunken gentleman arrives home and tries to get upstairs into bed all the while battling inanimate objects while the tramp enters "The Rink" and glides into all sorts of mischief and havoc.

Tickets, $10, can be purchased at or at the box office of the theater, 1729 Murray Ave. in Squirrel Hill.

Film Factory down to 5

And then there were five.

A handful of writers has advanced to the next step in the Steeltown Film Factory competition, with the director's pitch set for Saturday morning at Point Park University.

The semifinalists are:

WDVE-FM's Randy Baumann, whose project is titled "Tire Stem Sushi"; Carnegie Mellon University graduate student Laci Corridor, "Two Thousand Bridges"; writer-photographer-actor and American Sign Language interpreter Heather Gray, "Life After Deaf"; playwright-director-actor Dennis Schebetta, "My Date With Adam"; and videographer-editor and motion-graphics artist Glenn Syska, "The Sketch."

The event starts at 11 a.m. (doors open at 10:30 a.m.) at the University Center's GRW Theatre, 414 Wood St., Downtown. Admission is $10, $5 for students with ID.

The final five will receive feedback from Chris Keyser, president of the Writers Guild of America, West, and co-creator of "Party of Five," and Franklin Park native Gretchen Berg and her writing partner, Aaron Harberts, who worked on "Revenge," "Beverly Hills, 90210," "Pushing Daisies" and "Roswell" in writing or producing capacities.

A winner, who will receive $30,000 to make a short film in Pittsburgh and the chance to meet with Steeltown's advisers in Hollywood, will be named at a May 11 event at Carnegie Mellon University with those judges still to be identified.

To read the screenplays, learn about Steeltown or order tickets, go to

Nyuk, nyuk, nyuk

The Parkway Theater, 644 Broadway Ave. in Stowe, will turn back time and aim for the funnybone on Sunday with a Stooge Fest at 4 p.m. Doors open at 3:15 p.m.

Scheduled to be shown are shorts such as "Disorder in the Court," "Sing a Song of Six Pants," "Malice in the Palace," "Brideless Groom" and others. Admission, $5 for adults and $3 for children 12 and younger.

Will popcorn, candy and other refreshments be available for sale? Soitenly, er, certainly.

Movies and Martinis

Women in Film and Media will hold its Movies and Martinis event at the Hollywood Theater in Dormont Wednesday from 6 (when doors open) to 9:30 p.m.

The evening will feature short films from 40 Women in Film and Media chapters from around the world and celebrate recipients of WIFM, Point Park University and Amy Lamb Memorial scholarships.

Tickets are $25 for members, $35 for nonmembers or $45 at the door. They must be purchased online at by midnight Monday.

The event will include heavy appetizers, speciality martinis and wine. A silent auction and raffle will feature prizes such as hotel stays and restaurant gift cards.

Women in Film and Media is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to improve the status and portrayal of women in film, television and other screen-based media in Southwestern Pennsylvania and beyond.

Hollywood birthday bash

Cake and buttered popcorn will be on the menu when Friends of the Hollywood Theater throw a birthday party at 7 p.m. May 3 at the Dormont landmark. Proceeds will help the theater with its Go Digital or Go Dark campaign to raise money to convert the theater's projection equipment.

The event will feature the Thoth Trio performing jazz standards, film shorts and cartoons, debut of a video about the theater created by Duquesne University student Julian Routh, a candy buffet, cake, and chance to win prizes such as tickets to the Penguins, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, David Byrne or Tracy Morgan, family fun pack from the Pittsburgh Children's Museum and movie posters.

Tickets are $20 for members, $25 general admission and $30 at the door. Go to or box office to order.

The building at 1449 Potomac Ave. was transformed into a movie theater in 1931, enjoyed a robust few decades as a second-run theater in the 1940s and 1950s and as a first-run theater in the 1960s but closed in 1998.

It reopened and closed a couple of more times before Friends of the Hollywood Theater was formed to throw the doors open again and try to guarantee its future, which may depend on the pricey digital conversion.

The theater also will stage a free community day from noon to 4 p.m. May 4 with continuous cartoons and comedy shorts along with free popcorn.

Docs outside the box

A new series of documentaries, playing in Pittsburgh and select other cities beginning April 25, will open with "G-Dog," the story of Jesuit priest Greg Boyle, an unlikely gang expert who rescues tough street kids through the nonprofit Homeboy Industries.

From Academy Award-winning filmmaker Freida Lee Mock ("Maya Lin: A Strong Clear Vision"), "G-Dog" profiles the man who built a nonprofit institution from scratch. Though facing enormous financial challenges, Homeboy Industries and its thriving Homegirl Cafe provide a refuge and life-changing environment for young people.

"G-Dog" will be the first of seven documentaries dealing with subjects such as politics, the environment, social issues, personal profiles and pop culture. Each will be accompanied by a taped three- to five-minute session with the filmmakers, along with a short.

They will be shown at the SouthSide Works Cinema. Prices are: adult, $9.25; student with valid ID, $8.25; patron 60 or older or 12 or younger, $6.50. If you attend matinee screening, $6.75.

Here is the lineup for Cinedigm's Docurama program:

"G-Dog" -- Freida Lee Mock's profile of the Rev. Greg Boyle, a Jesuit priest in East Los Angeles also known as the author of "Tattoos on the Heart: The Power of Boundless Compassion." 7 p.m. April 25; repeats 11 a.m. April 27.

"Vivan las Antipodas!" -- Russian director Victor Kossakovsky's kaleidoscopic documentary explores pairs of antipodes or places located diametrically opposite to each other on Earth's surface. 7 p.m. May 2; repeats 11 a.m. May 4.

"The World Before Her" -- Director Nisha Pahuja moves between the transformative action of a Bombay boot camp for beauty contestants and a right-wing military camp for young women. 7 p.m. May 9; repeats 11 a.m. May 11.

"The Fruit Hunters" -- Yung Chang ("Up the Yangtze") directs this film traveling across culture, history and geography to show how intertwined we are with the fruits we eat. 7 p.m. May 16; repeats 11 a.m. May 18.

"Charge" -- Ewan McGregor narrates a doc about an electric motorcycle race on the Isle of Man. 7 p.m. May 23; repeats 11 a.m. May 25.

"Ping Pong" -- A veteran TV producer follows eight senior citizens competing for gold in an over-80 table tennis championship in Inner Mongolia. 7 p.m. May 30; repeats 11 a.m. June 1.

"London: The Modern Babylon" -- Using film archives and voices of Londoners past and present, director Julien Temple traces London from the start of the 20th century to the 2012 Olympics. 7 p.m. June 6; repeats 11 a.m. June 8.


Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: First Published April 18, 2013 4:00 AM


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