31st Three Rivers Film Festival starts with triple-header
The 31st annual Three Rivers Film Festival, beginning this weekend, doesn't have the numerical significance of last year's festival, so it will have to get by on movies alone. Luckily, Pittsburgh Filmmakers has a history of picking really exciting, innovative and unexpected movies, without the glossy, star-struck hoopla that sometimes overwhelms larger festivals.
This year, the festival kicks off with a triple-header at Pittsburgh Filmmakers' three theaters — Regent Square, Harris, Downtown; and Melwood Screening Room, Oakland.
Friday's opening-night headliner at the Regent Square Theater is “Silver Linings Playbook,” from David O. Russell (“Three Kings,” Flirting with Disaster,” “The Fighter”), one of the most wildly unpredictable directors working in mainstream Hollywood or independent cinema. It stars Bradley Cooper, Jennifer Lawrence and Robert De Niro, telling a very contemporary story of a man who loses everything and moves back in with his parents, who seem more interested in the Philadelphia Eagles than his problems. Then he meets a mysterious young woman (Lawrence), and his life starts to shift in unexpected directions.
“It's sort of an American semi-commercial film,” says Gary Kaboly, director of exhibition for Pittsburgh Filmmakers. “‘Silver Linings Playbook” opens commercially Nov. 21. “There's a lot of buzz about it. It won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival, and is talked about as an Oscar contender.”
Also on opening night, there's “Rust and Bone” at the Harris Theater. The French/Belgian production is about a homeless, aimless young father who drifts down to the French Riviera, providing for his son as a nightclub bouncer and unlicensed boxer. Then, he meets a killer-whale trainer at an amusement park — Marion Cotillard (“The Dark Knight Rises”) — and his vagabond, unattached life begins to get complicated.
The third Friday-night film is something completely different — “Beware of Mr. Baker,” a documentary about the eccentric, legendary blues-rock drummer Ginger Baker (Blind Faith, Cream), at the Melwood Screening Room. His reputation for debauchery and self-destruction was almost as well-known as his blinding energy and musical innovation, and “Beware” revisits his intersection with Afrobeat progenitor Fela Kuti in 1970s Nigeria.
Pittsburgh's vibrant local film scene also gets some attention, including acclaimed local filmmaker Tony Buba's “We Are Alive! The Fight to Save Braddock Hospital” on Nov. 9, and the Yinzer web-comedy phenomenon “Greg & Donny,” on Nov. 8.
The Alloy Orchestra, by now a Three Rivers Film Festival tradition, also returns to close the festival on Nov. 17, providing an electric, percussive live scoring of the silent classic “The Overcoat” (1924) at Regent Square Theater. In a similar vein, local band Lungs Face Feet will be providing a live “underscore” on Saturday at Regent Square for the zippy Errol Flynn epic “The Adventures of Robin Hood” (1938).
“They work in conjunction with the projectionist,” Kaboly says. “At certain times, we'll turn the sound down, and they'll play — when there's a chase scene, fight scene or love scene — then the sound will get turned back up.”
Michael Machosky is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7901.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Rossi: Steelers rising fast in mediocre AFC
- Pittsburgh mayor Peduto goes ‘Undercover’ for CBS reality show
- Steelers clinch trip to postseason with big victory over Chiefs
- Steelers offense learning to slam door
- Search for Duquesne University graduate Kochu continues
- Steelers notebook: Gay respects ‘anything’ referees call
- Heyward, swarming defense get best of Chiefs in Steelers’ win
- Pittsburgh police doubling up on duty after potential threats
- Downie, Farnham bringing a much-needed edge to the Penguins
- Missed chances haunt Chiefs against Steelers
- Steelers-Bengals game to start at 8:30 p.m.