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  • November 2011
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30th Annual Three Rivers Film Festival

Every Autumn Pittsburgh Filmmakers holds The Three Rivers Film Festival, two weeks of amazing movies at three different theaters around the city. From new films from big-time auteur directors like David Cronenberg (“A Dangerous Method” which opened the festival on Friday night) to classics like Martin Scorsese’s Taxi Driver, and brand new independent films from all over the world, the festival has something for everybody. Read more after the jump…

The 2011 Three Rivers Film Festival, presented by Pittsburgh Filmmakers and Dollar Bank, runs November 4 – 19. Celebrating its 30th year, the festival is one of the most eagerly awaited events in Pittsburgh, featuring independent American cinema, new documentaries and critically-acclaimed international films. There are visiting filmmakers, informal discussions, live music, parties and more. The venues are the Harris Theater, the Melwood Screening Room, and the Regent Square Theater.

There are 65 films being shown this year, so how do you decide which ones to go see? Well, allow me to save you some time and at least suggest a few movies that you might like (for showtimes, check out the list of all movies HERE):

  The Black Power Mixtape 1967 – 1975 – This powerful audio-visual collage – co-produced by Danny Glover – chronicles the Black Power movement in the U.S. The film was created from recently discovered archival footage recorded when a group of Swedish TV journalists came to America in the late 60s. New commentary has been added by prominent African American voices, along with an evocative soundtrack with original music by Questlove (DJ and drummer of the hip-hop group The Roots) and Om’Mas Keith. Mixtape restores a human dimension to the racial history of the era, and is also a striking reminder that many of the problems discussed endure in today’s society. (Goran Hugo Olsson; USA/Sweden; 2011; 100 min)

  Corpo Celeste – Just off the screen at the New York Film Festival, this is an extraordinary debut feature from Italian director Alice Rohrwacher. It’s a coming-of-age drama about Marta, a 13-year-old girl who moves with her family from Switzerland to a small seaside town in Italy. There, she is confronted with the rigid Catholicism of her new peers, which is often at odds with her own spiritual exploration. As the town prepares for a visit from an important Bishop the absurdity of their ways is made clear. Laced with irreverent humor, the film is not interested in pointing out heroes and villains, but in offering a new look at how the once all-powerful Church is dealing with its waning influence. (Alice Rohrwacher; Italy; 2011; 100 min)

  Effects – This long-lost cult classic was made in Pittsburgh and featured in the very first Three Rivers Film Festival. It’s an “indie” film from a time when horror films were the majority of indie productions. The crew worked at WQED studios and at TPC Productions in Oakland which, back then, was the largest industrial film company between New York and Chicago. Many went on to bigger and better jobs in the film industry, including working for George Romero. The plot is about an ambitious cinematographer who takes his actors to an isolated mountain location shoot. As the scenes become ever more horrific, it becomes clear that the director is unbalanced. The eerie, atmospheric film – shown here in the last remaining 35mm print – boasts special effects by a young Tom Savini. (Dusty Nelson; USA; 1980; 87 min)

  Hermano – Raised as brothers, intense teammates and competitors on the soccer field – the gregarious, swaggering Julio and the more wiry and focused Daniel “Gato” have remained virtually inseparable ever since the newborn Daniel was found abandoned in a trash heap in their La Ceniza slum. The opportunity of their lives arrives when a football scout invites them to tryout for the city’s top professional team, just as a tragic act of violence threatens to tear them apart and prevent them from achieving their dreams.  (Marcel Rasquin; Venezuela; 2010; 97 min)
– Corey, Digital Learning Librarian

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