Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reprise their stage roles in Washington’s screen adaptation of the beloved 1950s-set August Wilson play […]POSTED ON: November 23, 2016
‘Fences’: Film Review
Denzel Washington and Viola Davis reprise their stage roles in Washington’s screen adaptation of the beloved 1950s-set August Wilson play about a black family in Pittsburgh.
Fences is as faithful, impeccably acted and honestly felt a film adaptation of August Wilson’s celebrated play as the late author could have possibly wished for. But whether a pristine representation of all the dramatic beats and emotional surges of a stage production actually makes for a riveting film in and of itself is another matter. Having both won Tony Awards for the excellent 2010 Broadway revival of Wilson’s 1986 Tony- and Pulitzer Prize-winning drama, Denzel Washington and Viola Davis know their parts here backward and forward, and they, along with the rest of the fine cast, bat a thousand, hitting both the humorous and serious notes. But with this comes a sense that all the conflicts, jokes and meanings are being smacked right on the nose in vivid close-ups, with nothing left to suggestion, implication and interpretation.
All the same, public reaction to the material likely will be strong, resulting in a much-needed year-end commercial hit for Paramount.
One of the most individually successful installments of Wilson’s celebrated “Pittsburgh Cycle,” the 1950s-set Fences alludes not just literally to the barrier middle-aged Troy (Washington) forever procrastinates about building in the small backyard of his modest city home — but to the career and life obstacles he has never managed to surmount either as a baseball player, for which he blames racial restrictions, or in his messy personal life.
It’s a play of poetically heightened realism, with amusing down-home chatter, soaring monologues, boisterous drunken riffs and blunt dramatic confrontations in which Troy bitterly and sometimes cruelly draws the lines between him and those closest to him.
These include his wife Rose (Davis), who loves him, knows all his moods and yet must stoically endure his erratic behavior; teenage son Cory (Jovan Adepo), whose school football career Troy cruelly thwarts by projecting his own sports disappointments onto him; Lyons (Russell Hornsby), Troy’s mild-mannered thirty-something son by a previous marriage, a jazz musician who still comes around asking for money; and younger brother Gabriel (Mykelti Williamson), whose wartime head injuries have rendered him childlike.
Getting off easy among Troy’s intimates is his old pal Bono (Stephen Henderson), and much of the early going is genially dominated by the pair’s increasing high humor as they end their work week as garbagemen with Troy taking out his flask and launching into tall life tales. Rose, having heard it all before, busies herself in the kitchen and alternately resists and succumbs to her husband’s wily way with words.
But modest as his station in life may be, it’s of paramount importance to Troy that he be regarded as the cock of his particular walk, and a great deal of what he does and says is devoted to emphasizing this point. He may make a meager living, but he uses his slim economic advantage and lordly personality to exert a certain droit du seigneur over his immediate circle; “I’m the boss around here,” he likes to remind the others. This is particularly hurtful to Cory, whose dreams his father so unreasonably thwarts, but is also demeaning to his wife and older son. Troy withholds from his loved ones almost as if by instinct, winning on points in the short term but losing in the long run due to what can only be called spiteful meanness.
In his third outing as a big-screen director (after Antwone Fisher in 2002 and The Great Debatorsin 2007), Washington opens up the play’s action a bit, discreetly moving out onto the street for a stickball game, to a bar and into the city to get the characters out of the house once in a while.
All the same, the film cannot shed constant reminders of its theatrical roots, nor of how different theatrical playwriting is from original screenwriting in this day and age. There were periods, especially through the 1950s and 1960s, when nearly every Broadway and London play of any artistic importance or commercial viability was adapted into a film, when audiences were accustomed to lengthy exchanges and monologues during which characters would basically speechify while being photographed. Now such transfers are a rarity — the last straight play to win a best picture Academy Award was Driving Miss Daisy 27 years ago, and perhaps the three most notable non-musical plays made into films in the past few years, August: Osage County, Carnage and Venus in Fur, went nowhere commercially.
Due to Fences‘ star power and innate qualities, this will not be the case for the film, which offers enough dramatic meat, boisterous humor and lived-in performances to hook audiences of all stripes. But just one example of a device that proved acceptable onstage but plays awkwardly onscreen is that of Troy’s brain-damaged brother, who wanders through multiple scenes with a bugle strung around his neck in the manner of any number of kindly “simpleton” characters that used to pop up in plays and literature. Of far more symbolic than dramatic use to the story, Gabriel’s movements and utterances come off as awkward and pretentiously meaningful onscreen in a way that they did not onstage.
As carefully as Washington moves the action around the limited locations, the abundance of long speeches, high-pitched exchanges and emotional depth charges are unmistakably redolent of the stage rather than very closely related to the way films have been written in a very long time. It was perhaps the problem with the film Steve Jobs last year that it was written more like a play than a film, and the sense of excess speechifying and calculated waves of character revelation give the piece an increasingly laborious feel one expects and wants in the theater but that seems somehow alien onscreen.
Fences deals overtly with racial issues almost exclusively in connection with Troy’s resentment over employment opportunities. Insisting that being black is what prevented him from becoming a big league baseball player, he then badmouths the black stars who made the grade in the majors. Of more relevance to his current life is his eventual success in breaking down an absurd racial barrier that has long prevented black trash collectors from moving up to become garbage truck drivers, which pays better. Small victory though it is (and it’s related just anecdotally, not dramatized onscreen), this breakthrough would seem to represent Troy’s most purely admirable accomplishment, especially in light of the big bombshell he drops later on.
Great in these roles onstage, Washington and Davis repeat the honors here, he with quicksilver shifts from ingratiating tall-tale-telling and humor to bulldog-like demands to his wife and offspring that he be treated like the boss king he fancies himself to be. Davis beautifully illuminates the ways in which Rose has learned to live with this man, to be quiet or cut him slack when it’s not worth the effort of a fight, but to make it clear that she has lines she will not allow to be crossed. Despite his delusions and pride, she clearly still loves the guy, and the two make an entirely convincing long-term husband and wife.
Henderson is a joy as Troy’s easygoing straight man, who indulges his old pal’s every whim, joke and complaint, while Adepo well channels the tension and rebellious desires the athletic, straight-arrow son must suck up when his father lays down the law.
Production designer David Gropman and cinematographer Charlotte Bruus Christensen create a warmly appealing lived-in ambiance. Playwright Tony Kushner receives a prominent co-producer credit, reportedly for having done the pruning and shaping to bring the three-hour play down to a more screen-friendly length.
Production companies: Bron Creative, Macro, Scott Rudin Productions
Cast: Denzel Washington, Viola Davis, Stephen Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson, Saniyya Sidney
Director: Denzel Washington
Screenwriter: August Wilson, based on his play
Producers: Scott Rudin, Denzel Washington, Todd Black
Executive producers: Molly Allen, Eli Bush, Aaron L. Gilbert, Jason Cloth, Dale Wells, Charles D. King, Kim Roth
Director of photography: Charlotte Bruus Christensen
Production designer: David Gropman
Costume designer: Sharen Davis
Editor: Hughes Winborne
Music: Marcelo Zarvos
Casting: Victoria Thomas
Rated PG-13, 139 minutes
The schedule offers new documentaries, indie film, foreign movies and a restored silent By Al Hoff This year, the long-running […]POSTED ON: November 16, 2016
The Three Rivers Film Festival marks its 35th year in Pittsburgh
The schedule offers new documentaries, indie film, foreign movies and a restored silent
By Al Hoff
Trespass Against Us. Chad (Michael Fassbender) lives with his shambolic extended family in a trailer encampment in the English countryside. The gypsy-like group is headed by his domineering and manipulative father (Brendan Gleeson), who directs the men to undertake various petty crimes. But Chad has had enough, and is secretly plotting to break the family cycle and move his wife and kids out. Best-laid plans and all that … Adam Smith’s debut drama is a bit shaggy, but Fassbender and Gleeson deliver the stellar performances we expect from them. 9:15 p.m. Fri., Nov. 18. Regent Square
Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent. Tower was a “poor little rich boy” whose family’s affluent lifestyle exposed him to both fine and global cuisine. He broke onto the culinary scene in the 1970s after hiring on at Alice Waters’ Chez Panisse, and helped to create “California cuisine” (the antecedent of today’s seasonal and local). Later, he opened the see-and-be-seen Stars restaurant in the 1980s. Then he dropped off the map. Lydia Tenaglia’s documentary recounts what happened, Tower’s influence, and whether there are second acts in the celebrity-chef realm. Interesting stuff for foodies, despite the film’s occasional and confusing scrambling of the timeline. 1 p.m. Sun., Nov. 20. Harris
Hunter Gatherer. After getting out of prison, Ashley (Andre Royo, from The Wire) scrambles to get his life — and maybe his old girlfriend — back. He befriends a young man named Jeremy (George Sample III), and the two trade help on their not-very-well-conceived schemes. Josh Locy’s dramedy appears to aim for a whimsical vibe, in which all these (very real) troubles around poverty, illiteracy and immature men are simply trappings for a woefully under-developed character study. It’s a miss. 3:30 p.m. Sun., Nov. 20. Harris
Tower. Keith Maitland’s affecting documentaryish drama recounts the fraught two hours before, during and after America’s first significant mass shooting, the August 1966 sniper attack from the clock tower at the University of Texas in Austin; one gunman shot 46 people, killing 14. The story is re-told by witnesses — students, cops, newsmen, bystanders. Maitland reconstructs the past with actors (rotoscoped into animation), intercutting archival footage. The first-person accounts, many untold until now, retain the event’s shock, even 50 years later, and a coda reinforces how such “unthinkable” acts of random gun violence on campuses have become all too commonplace. 6 p.m. Sun., Nov. 20. Harris
Other films playing include: the psychological thriller Always Shine; Contemporary Color, a doc about David Byrne’s embrace of school color guards; Kate Plays Christine, a exploration of an actress’ research into portraying newscaster Christine Chubbuck; a bio-pic about poet Emily Dickinson, A Quiet Passion; three Polish films; a shorts program; a Steeltown Entertainment Project event about local independent filmmaking; and the restored German silent circus drama, Variete, which will be accompanied by live music from Alloy Orchestra.
Kristopher Tapley Denzel Washington’s big-screen adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences” has arrived, and it’s an Oscar player to reckon with […]POSTED ON: November 7, 2016
Denzel Washington, Viola Davis Become Instant Oscar Frontrunners in ‘Fences’
Denzel Washington’s big-screen adaptation of August Wilson’s “Fences” has arrived, and it’s an Oscar player to reckon with this year. But that’s hardly a surprise for a project based on Pulitzer Prize-winning source material that has landed major Tony Awards in two separate Broadway productions.
The film unspooled for industry audiences Saturday, screening in Westwood before a crowd that included Screen Actors Guild nominating committee members, Academy voters and press. Washington was on hand for a post-screening Q&A moderated by Variety‘s Jenelle Riley, along with co-stars Viola Davis, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Jovan Adepo, Russell Hornsby, Mykelti Williamson and Saniyya Sidney.
When asked what drew him to the role of Troy Maxson, Washington let loose a chuckle and quipped, “The role of Troy Maxson.” Indeed, when producer Scott Rudin first sent him the script for the film, which Wilson had penned himself, Washington wasn’t interested in diving into it as a movie immediately. He wanted to work through the material on the stage first, which led to Rudin raising the money for the 2010 Broadway revival.
Washington had directed Davis previously, in the 2002 film “Antwone Fisher.” The actress said she considers herself “a friend and a fan,” and spoke about how easy Washington made things for her and the other actors.
“The two things he said to us before we started was, ‘Remember the love,’ and the second thing he said, which is a frightening statement for actors, was, ‘Trust me” — and we did,” Davis said. “A lot of people don’t know what to say to actors to unlock it. A lot of times they know what to do to keep it in there, and make you afraid, but not Denzel. He’s a great leader. And he’s an extraordinary man. He’s a man of God and a man of great integrity, and I think it shows in his work.”
Reviews of the film are currently embargoed until December, but it’s fair to at least note that both Washington and Davis have now charged ahead in their respective Oscar races. The crowd certainly seemed to agree with that sentiment, bursting into applause after multiple big moments in the film and greeting the whole team with an enthusiastic standing ovation afterwards, threatening to blow the roof off when Davis was introduced.
Washington’s performance, to start, is infused with the same bravado and energy that brought him a Tony six years ago. It’s incredibly layered, maybe even career-best work. He feels like the odds-on frontrunner in the lead actor category, and as laid out in a recent column, it seems to be him and “Manchester by the Sea” star Casey Affleck leading the pack: two strikingly different performances that nevertheless feature interesting parallels.
But three Oscars? Only six actors have ever done it. Washington’s previous wins came for “Glory” (best supporting actor in 1989) and “Training Day” (best actor in 2001), but this performance towers over them both. And in a year already set to hold the #OscarsSoWhite sentiment at bay with contenders like “Fences,” “Hidden Figures,” “Moonlight” and — if it manages some support — “The Birth of a Nation,” what a moment it would be for Washington to become just the seventh actor on a list that includes Ingrid Bergman, Walter Brennan, Daniel Day-Lewis, Katharine Hepburn, Jack Nicholson and Meryl Streep.
As for Davis, the Academy can probably go ahead and engrave the statue. Due respect and appreciation to Michelle Williams, Naomie Harris, Nicole Kidman and the rest of this year’s supporting actress contenders, who give exceptional performances and will rightly be in the thick of the conversation — but this race just ended.
There was some deliberation internally about whether Davis would be campaigned in the lead or supporting category. The fact is she would have been a force in either field, but in supporting, she pretty much has an unencumbered path to Oscar victory laid out in front of her — three years after she was poised to win the lead prize for “The Help,” only to drop it to “The Iron Lady” star Meryl Streep in the end.
Beyond that, Henderson (who was also Tony-nominated), Williamson (who thought for sure he had blown the audition for the play) and Adepo (who delivers strong work that builds to complex emotions) will all gather their share of votes in the supporting actor category. And there are numerous possibilities for nominations besides: picture, director, adapted screenplay, below-the-line elements like costume and production design, etc.
“Fences” arrives as a robust player in the race, part of a Paramount awards stable already making waves with “Arrival” and “Florence Foster Jenkins,” with “Allied” and “Silence” to come. It’s the kind of work that simply demands trophies — and it will no doubt claim its share.
By Maria Sciullo / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Director Ewan McGregor’s “American Pastoral” was shot mostly in and around Pittsburgh last year, from September […]POSTED ON: November 4, 2016
Pittsburgh-area sites shine in ‘American Pastoral’ film featuring local actor
Director Ewan McGregor’s “American Pastoral” was shot mostly in and around Pittsburgh last year, from September to November. While the novel’s dramatic complexity is beyond the film’s grasp, it is beautifully presented.
Beyond lovely scenes of bucolic Harmony, Butler County, local actor David Whalen is as much a part of the landscape as any street or building.
Mr. Whalen, who is best known for his stage acting around Pittsburgh and in many other cities, plays architect Bill Orcutt, neighbor and friend to protagonist “Swede” Levov. Mr. Orcutt has a big role in Philip Roth’s sweeping novel.
As family turmoil threatens the marriage of Swede and his wife, Dawn, Bill and Dawn have an affair. Mr. Whalen has one particularly memorable scene in an art gallery (a gallery on Liberty Avenue near Bricolage Production Company), thanks to a particularly garish early 1970s ensemble.
In one scene, he wore plaid pants and a pumpkin-orange synthetic weave shirt. At the fitting, he said, the principal set costumer told him, “It looks great on you. A real man can wear orange and plaid.”
When Mr. Whalen was shooting Downtown one day, a half-dozen passersby stopped to say hello to the actor. “Ewan said, ‘What are you, the mayor here?’”
Primary locations for “American Pastoral” include Harmony. The Swede’s home in Old Rimrock was there, and a post office that was filmed being blown up digitally and for real was built near the Harmony Museum.
Moving south into Allegheny County, two buildings on West North Avenue on the North Side doubled as an office and factory in Newark. Sixth Avenue, Downtown, was a New York City stand-in; streets in Lawrenceville and a private North Side home on Resaca Place also were used.
The City-County Building doubled as a train station, and the tumble-down residence of Swede’s daughter was shot on Kelly Street in Wilkinsburg. Grounds of the Pittsburgh Theological Seminary on North Highland also were used.
For Mr. Whalen, who grew up in New Kensington but has since moved his family’s home base to South Carolina, “American Pastoral” is his biggest major film role to date. He said he and Mr. McGregor bonded during the audition process over the shared experiences of just having dropped off their daughters at college. The film revolves around a father-daughter relationship.
“Ewan is the greatest guy I ever met,” Mr. Whalen said. “His grace on set was remarkable.
“I’m incredibly grateful to him for casting me. I’m a working actor; I’m grateful for every job I get. If it can lead to other things, great. If it doesn’t lead to other things, I keep going.”
Maria Sciullo: [email protected] or 412-263-1478 or @MariaSciulloPG.
By Rob Owen / Pittsburgh Post-Gazette Two filmed-in-Pittsburgh TV series have wrapped their seasons: WGN America’s “Outsiders” completed its second […]POSTED ON: November 1, 2016
Tuned In: ‘Downward Dog’ and ‘Outsiders’ wrap local filming
By GLENN KENNY OCT. 27, 2016 When “Night of the Living Dead” opened in 1968, mostly in grindhouse theaters, Vincent Canby […]POSTED ON: November 1, 2016
Guess What’s Back From the Grave? ‘Night of the Living Dead’
When “Night of the Living Dead” opened in 1968, mostly in grindhouse theaters, Vincent Canby of The New York Times dismissed it in a three-sentence review as “a grainy little movie acted by what appear to be nonprofessional actors, who are besieged in a farmhouse by some other nonprofessional actors who stagger around, stiff-legged, pretending to be flesh-eating ghouls.” He said the filmmakers were “some people in Pittsburgh.”
As it happened, “Living Dead” followed a trajectory rare in American film: Partly fueled by other, more scandalized reviews (including one by a young Roger Ebert, in Reader’s Digest), it went on to cult success, and two years later was recognized as being sufficiently artful to be placed in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art. Its influence, particularly on the now nearly ubiquitous subgenre of zombie horror (“The Walking Dead” on TV, and the movies “28 Days Later,” “World War Z” and “Shaun of the Dead”) is broadly recognized.
But the filmmakers themselves — the “people from Pittsburgh” who formed a company they called Image Ten to make the low-budget movie — have been able to gain from their groundbreaking work only in a limited way. The film’s original distributor, the Walter Reade Organization (named for its founder, a pioneer of art-house distribution), did not file for a new copyright after changing the title from the original “Night of the Flesh Eaters” to “Night of the Living Dead.” That meant the movie went into the public domain almost immediately. As was once the case with Frank Capra’s “It’s a Wonderful Life,” the movie has been subjected to many unofficial, though legal, iterations.
The paradox of the situation has not been lost on its director, George A. Romero. “The fact that people were able to show it for free, that anybody was able to distribute it, did result in lots of people seeing it, and keeping the film alive,” he said in a phone interview. But viewers were too often watching inferior versions. That will change — dramatically, the moviemakers hope — on Saturday, Nov. 5, when the Museum of Modern Art screens a new, and copyrightable, restoration of “Living Dead” as part of its annual restoration and preservation festival, “To Save and Project.”
“We got our baby back,” Gary Streiner, one of the film’s producers, said in a phone interview.
The process, Mr. Streiner said, began in earnest last year, when he; his brother, Russ (who co-produced and also played Johnny in the movie); and the screenwriter John Russo resolved to make a proper inventory of the film’s surviving elements, going through their own archives and the archive of the lab that originally worked on the film.
They turned to MoMA for help, partly because of its history with the film and partly for a practical reason. “Our vaults are in Pennsylvania,” said Katie Trainor, the MoMA’s film collections manager. “Once they had the materials together, they did not want to risk shipping them; they drove them from Pittsburgh. They were literally looking over my shoulder as I was inspecting the materials.”
Mr. Streiner recalled his relief at finding the negative in decent shape: “We could have opened the cans and found dust!”
The restoration was backed by, among others, the Film Foundation, the preservation nonprofit started by the director Martin Scorsese. In an interview, its executive director, Margaret Bodde, said, “The movie had been on a wish list of ours for some time,” and it helped “that we had the director around to consult with, which is too rare in film restoration.”
Mr. Romero said that it had been years since he had seen the film presented in its proper aspect ratio, a squarelike 1.37 to 1; many versions had been cropped to wide-screen proportions. “The restoration is very beautiful, and of course the movie’s pimples do show,” he said. “There’s a copy of the script visible in one of the frames! I won’t tell where. It will be a little challenge for fans to spot it.”
CreditNight of the Living Dead LLC, via Image Ten/Photofest
As Ms. Trainor toiled with the filmmakers, she learned what a shoestring Image Ten had worked on. “The car in the opening scene belonged to the Streiners’ mother,” she said. “They borrowed it from her, and she didn’t realize they’d smashed the windshield because they replaced it before returning it to her. The dent they show in the car after it rolls into the tree was there to begin with, though.”
Josh Siegel, curator of film at MoMA, said in an interview, “It’s an unfortunate turn of historical fate that Image Ten created one of the most successful horror films of all time and didn’t reap the benefits of it.”
Over the years, members of the original filmmaking team have tried to mine some profit from their vision, creating alternate cuts, even a colorized version. Because restoration at a certain level has been deemed to create new intellectual property, this is the first time the film as they wanted it seen will, to an extent, belong to them.
Reflecting on what “Living Dead” spawned, Mr. Romero said: “They aren’t really zombie movies; ‘Night’ wasn’t really a zombie movie. I always understood zombies as living beings put under a kind of spell, as in ‘I Walked With a Zombie’ or ‘The Serpent and the Rainbow,’ that kind of thing. Our creatures, and the ones in movies such as ‘28 Days Later’ and ‘World War Z,’ are the dead returning to life.”
Now 76, Mr. Romero has mostly stayed in indie film, creating a big body of work, including five more film variations on the “Living Dead” theme. “I recently realized that I couldn’t get financing for an inexpensive zombie film anymore, because of Brad Pitt,” Mr. Romero said with a chuckle, referring to the actor and producer of “World War Z.” He added, “I’m hoping to get back into the playground, though.”
An earlier version of this article misspelled the surnamed of the executive director of the nonprofit organization Film Foundation. She is Margaret Bodde, not Boddie.
The faces of “Fences” on the new poster for the big-screen version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play are stars Viola Davis […]POSTED ON: October 27, 2016
New poster for filmed-in-Pittsburgh ‘Fences’ revealed
The faces of “Fences” on the new poster for the big-screen version of the Pulitzer Prize-winning play are stars Viola Davis and Denzel Washington, who also directs.
The story is set in the Hill District was shot there and in other Pittsburgh neighborhoods this summer. Amid much Oscar buzz, the movie is set for a Christmas Day release.
By Rebecca Sodergren Seven Pittsburgh eateries will get a national nod on Andrew Zimmern’s Travel Channel show, “Bizarre Foods, Delicious […]POSTED ON: October 26, 2016
Seven of Pittsburgh’s ‘delicious destinations’ featured on Travel Channel
Seven Pittsburgh eateries will get a national nod on Andrew Zimmern’s Travel Channel show, “Bizarre Foods, Delicious Destinations,” which will air at 9 p.m. Tuesday.
The array of Pittsburgh foods more closely represents the “Delicious Destinations” half of the show’s title because there’s nothing too freaky on the menu; it’s really just a collection of Pittsburgh favorites.
The eateries and their highlighted dishes are: Pierogies from Pierogies Plus, McKees Rocks; kielbasa from Butcher on Butler, Lawrenceville; “hunky food” (stuffed cabbage in particular) from Emil’s Lounge, Rankin; greens and beans from Sarafino’s, Crafton, sandwiches from Primanti Brothers, Strip District; the half-pound fish sandwich from Wholey’s Market, Strip District; and turkey Devonshire from Union Grill, Oakland.
In 2013, Mr. Zimmern visited Pittsburgh to unearth some delicacies representative of the “Bizarre Foods” side of his show. He ate catfish reeled in from the Allegheny River, braunschweiger from Silver Star Meats, cured trout from Wild Purveyors and several preparations of goat at Cure. He also visited several of the haunts that he has reprised for Tuesday’s show — Pierogies Plus, Emil’s, Primanti’s and Wholey’s. And he featured WQED-TV’s Rick Sebak in both episodes, though he’s not identified in Tuesday’s episode.
The other difference is that Mr. Zimmern did not visit Pittsburgh in preparation for Tuesday’s episode. He sent a crew to film, and producers later added him into the episode.
Emil’s owner Krissy Kochis said he had just ripped the front off the restaurant to install new windows in the spring when the Travel Channel called and asked if it could come and film in two weeks.
“The night before, I was in there hanging blinds on the windows,” she said.
The other complication was that the film crew got held up at their previous destination and arrived at Emil’s much later than expected. Ms. Kochis had called in her loyal customers for the filming, “and they’d been sitting around for three hours drinking wine,” she said. Then the crew needed several takes in order to get the filming of cabbage roll preparation just right.
“At the end of the night, I was so tired. I told them, ‘Please make me sound reasonably intelligent,’” she said.
Ms. Kochis plans to put together a little screening party on Tuesday night for the customers who were on-site during the filming.
Sarafino’s owner Joe Caliguire is planning something bigger.
“We’re having a party at our house because we think there might be too many people to have it at the restaurant,” he said. “We invited the whole neighborhood, and we’ve been telling customers about it. My wife’s scared.”
He’s going to prepare appetizers and cocktails for the guests — and, of course, greens and beans.
In the episode, Mr. Caliguire says he once had a chef quit, complaining that the dish was so popular with customers that all he ever got to make was greens and beans.
The episode features many visually intriguing scenes. At Pierogies Plus, employees stretch flat sheets of dough out of a pasta machine and use a custom-made rolling tool to cut many circles of dough quickly. At Wholey’s, an employee dips fish in batter and demonstrates how he drags it across the hot oil before letting go, which keeps the fish pieces from sticking together. At Union Grill, close-up shots show the preparation of a cheese sauce so creamy that you can almost feel the texture on your tongue as you watch.
The episode shows Pittsburghers enjoying the food. At Sarafino’s many were family members who Mr. Caliguire called in for the filming. At Primanti’s, a truck driver extolled the virtues of the legendary sandwich, claiming you could drive for 12 to 14 hours as long as you had two Primanti’s sandwiches to fill your gut.
For more on the episode, go to travelchannel.com/shows/bizarre-foods.
By Daisy Ruth Extras Casting is seeking paid background extras for the feature film Last Flag Flying. The company is […]POSTED ON: October 25, 2016
Paid extras needed for feature film “Last Flag Flying”
Patty Tascarella Director Richard Linklater’s new film stars Bryan Cranston, Steve Carrell, Laurence Fishburne, and a lot of Pittsburghers. Last Flag […]POSTED ON: October 25, 2016
Shooting for Linklater film to begin Nov. 1
Last Flag Flying is to begin filming November 1st in and around Pittsburgh and has put out the call for background extras. According to a release issued on Monday by Chelsea Peterson, an extras casting director, the film is seeking “children ages 9-12, teens, adults, and senior citizens of all ethnicities.” It is not an open call and all applications are to be via email.
Filming is expected to run through December 14th.