Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Film Kitchen Tonight.

Pssst... hey you...I wanna let you in on a little well-kept secret that not many in the 'burgh are aware of...

Once a month City Paper and Filmmakers (located in Oakland) team up to present an event called Film Kitchen. This series collects and exhibits local, regional, and sometimes national films of all types. The curator, Bill O'Driscoll, has set up an open submission policy, which means that anyone who sends a film for consideration will at least receive the gratification of having his/her film viewed by Bill. The program lasts (approximately) the length of a feature length film, so there is time for a few shorts and one or two longer pieces. Because there is no set criteria for inclusion, the films range widely in quality, subject matter, and format. To be honest with you I have walked out a couple of times, telling myself and any companions that I am simply going for a cigarette. But I can usually find something in each work worth paying attention to... and sometimes I am honestly enthralled.

One particularly satisfying feature of Film Kitchen is the inclusion, after every film, of a Q and A session. Here you get your opportunity to grill the creator, or otherwise voice your complaints, observations, frustration or praise. Typically manners and discretion rule the day, but once in awhile the kid gloves come off and an argument ensues... and believe me, this is bonus entertainment at its finest. You'll be reminded just how arbitrary so many personal tastes can be.

In addition to the films themselves, there are other treats on offering. Pittsburgh Brewing Company usually donates a couple of cases of beer, so even if you find the film being shown particularly onerous, at least you can console yourself with free alcohol. The Pittsburgh Deli Co. provides sandwich rings or wraps, nacho chips, and spinach-artichoke dip to nosh on. As if all of this wasn't enough, there are usually prizes given away as well... tickets to local events, etc. And how much is all this going to set you back? Either $4 or $5, depending upon whether their is a special program that night. You simply won't be able to find a better entertainment deal in all of Pittsburgh.


**Note: This event is usually held the second Tuesday of the month, but occasionally there are deviations in the schedule. This month (July) it is being held tonight, the 18th. Get there at 7PM to make the most of the reception beforehand.

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