By: Sam Fatula | A&E Editor
As time progresses, the Three Rivers Film Festival increases prominence,[in turn] making it the oldest and largest cinematic event in the region.
Out of the approximate 65 films that will be shown from Nov. 7 to 22, many of the productions will be screened at four main theaters in the greater Pittsburgh area that have previously hosted Festival films before.
Regent Square in Edgewood, which remains as one of the oldest theaters in Pittsburgh, has been given the role to house opening night with the showing of thriller drama Foxcatcher. The nonfiction film, which was shot in locations around Pennsylvania including Pittsburgh, reenacts a number of events of 1984 Olympic wrestling champion Mark Schultz as he trains for the ‘88 Games. Schultz, who is played by Channing Tatum, undergoes a number of tribulations in the film, including being overshadowed by his own brother Dave, examining where loyalties lie within friendships and eventual tumultuous moral decisions.
Regent Square will be showing additional films throughout the Festival as well. On Saturday, Nov. 8, Jason Schwartzman (Rushmore, The Darjeeling Limited) stars as writer Philip Lewis Friedman in the comedy Listen up Philip, where Friedman struggles to complete and find inspiration for his second novel, all the while being antagonized by his photographer girlfriend. For those familiar with Japanese animation, legendary director Hayao Miyazaki appears to Pittsburgh’s big screen with the fictional tale Spirited Away, which tells the tale of a young girl who escapes reality to find an enchanted realm filled with mythical creatures and spirits.
Alongside Regent Square premiering on opening night is the Waterworks Cinema on Freeport Road, screening Goodbye to Language in 3D. Although this film may not provide as much suspense or action as a Foxcatcher, it remains highly anticipated due to its director, Jean Luc Godard. This will be one of Godard’s last productions to be made, which provides enough of an incentive to attend. Additionally, Waterworks is hosting another special screening, which will crank any fans’ excitement for this rock “mockumentary” from a 10 to an 11. The 30th anniversary of This is Spinal Tap will be shown on Wednesday, Nov. 12 and will be sure to rock the house.
Two other theaters will also be showing flicks for opening night and serve as the official theaters of the Festival. The Harris Theater in Downtown Pittsburgh will screen The Overnighters, which examines the true-life revitalization of a small town in North Dakota due to fracking practices, but never takes into account what the costs may be to the civilians in the area. The Melwood Screening Room in Oakland will screen the locally shot production titled Homemakers, which witnesses a female indie rocker inherit her great-grandfather’s disheveled home with the hopes of restoring the once-marvelous house.
Although these four locations offer more well-known selections, there are also a handful of smaller spots that are being called microcinemas that offer a more intimate experience. Each of the four microcinemas, including the Carnegie Library in Braddock and Brillobox in Lawrenceville will be screening one film each during the Festival and typically come at a much smaller ticket price.