News Column

Film Notes: A one-man tribute film to Stewart

May 17, 2013

YellowBrix

May 17--If you have never been to the Jimmy Stewart Museum in Indiana, Pa., about 60 miles from Pittsburgh, this could be the perfect time to visit.

On Saturday, Christopher David Collins will present "Thank You, Jimmy Stewart!" a film reflecting his Pittsburgh and New York performances as the late actor and others. It's a one-man condensed tribute to "Mr. Smith Goes to Washington," "Harvey" and "It's a Wonderful Life."

For the holiday classic, for instance, he does the voices of George Bailey, Mr. Potter, Clarence and a few other characters, nailing their inflection, delivery and posture.

You can see him and the film for free at 1:30 p.m. Saturday at the museum dedicated to the actor born May 20, 1908, in Indiana. Space is limited for the Mr. Collins event. To reserve a spot, call 724-349-6112. You can find the museum at 835 Philadelphia St.

A glimmer of casting

If DreamWorks brings its found-footage film "Glimmer" to Pittsburgh, the production could star Jeremy Allen White, the teenage brainiac from "Shameless."

TheWrap.com reported this week that he is in negotiations to star in the time-travel thriller being directed by Ringan Ledwidge.

Variety has described the lower-budget project this way: The story follows a group of teens who discover a portal to the past. When one of them changes history, the effects start to snowball with tragic consequences.

Free film Saturday

"Marko Friday Night," a low-budget comedy film from the makers of "Captain Slickpants," will be shown for free at 7 p.m. Saturday at the Hollywood Theater at 1449 Potomac Ave. in Dormont. It was shot entirely in the Pittsburgh area with local cast and crew.

Ben Dietels, part of BPO Films, wrote and directed the movie about ex-rocker Marko Hammer, who is now stuck in a dead-end job at a natural foods market even as his old band is coming to town. A friend is determined to liberate him from his night-shift duties and have a little fun.

They encounter sadistic pranks, incompetent drug dealers, coveted garden gnomes, psychotic gamblers, loose women and insane Vietnam veterans. Information: bpofilms.com.

Making a difference

Winners of the Take a Shot at Changing the World Competition will be announced at a free event Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Heinz History Center.

The challenge was "Make a Movie. Make a Difference." More than 80 middle and high school students created films about social change in Pittsburgh.

Some tell the stories of Pittsburgh's past, others share ideas about changing the world. The budding filmmakers targeted issues such as violence, the environment and education.

Films will be featured on the big screen and more than $10,000 in prizes awarded.

Since Steeltown Entertainment Project started the contest in 2010, more than 400 students from 60-plus schools have made videos about Pittsburgh innovations and what they would do to change the world, winning money for themselves and their schools. See www.steeltown.org for more information.

BET Awards finalists

"Django Unchained," which picked up a couple of Oscars in late February, is in the running for some key BET Awards, including best movie and actor Jamie Foxx.

Chris Tucker will host the awards show June 30. BET honors nominees and winners in a range of categories, including movies.

Competing for best movie: "Beasts of the Southern Wild," "Django Unchained," "Something From Nothing: The Art of Rap," "Sparkle" and "Think Like a Man."

Best actor contenders are Don Cheadle, Common, Jamie Foxx, Samuel L. Jackson and Denzel Washington. In the running for best actress: Angela Bassett, Halle Berry, Taraji P. Henson, Gabrielle Union and Kerry Washington.

What, no Quvenzhane Wallis? She is among the nominees for a young star award along with Gabrielle Douglas, Jacob Latimore, Keke Palmer and Jaden Smith.

Silk Screen adds showing

Silk Screen Film Festival has added an additional showing of "Chittagong" at 9:45 p.m. Saturday at Regent Square Theater, 1035 S. Braddock Ave.

In a little-known incident in the 1930s British-occupied India, a handful of untrained teenage boys and girls, led by a school teacher, handed the British their first military defeat. Set against this backdrop, "Chittagong" is the story of the youngest and the most unlikely participant -- a frail and diffident 14-year-old teenager, Jhunku Roy.

Movie editor Barbara Vancheri: bvancheri@post-gazette.com or 412-263-1632. Read her blog: www.post-gazette.com/madaboutmovies.

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(c)2013 the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

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