Shakey Graves Plays Roxian Theatre; Three Rivers Film Festival Opens (Wed., 11/8/23)

1) You may recognize a young Alejandro Rose-Garcia from “Friday Night Lights” and the Spy Kids franchise. He later pivoted to music and adopted the name Shakey Graves. Rising out of his hometown of Austin, Texas, and playing a mix of folk, country, blues, and rock and roll, he first started playing music festivals. During his early one-man-band days he used a modified suitcase as a kick drum and tambourine stand. His performance of “Roll the Bones,” the eponymous track from his 2011 debut studio album, is a marvel. Graves would go on to release three more albums with the latest being Movie of the Week, released in September. Special guest is Sadurn. 8 p.m. For this visit Shakeytown will be at the Roxian Theatre, 425 Chartiers Ave., McKees Rocks.  (CM)

2) The 2023 edition of the Three Rivers Film Festival kicks off this evening with a pair of highly anticipated films. Unsinkable, a made-in-Pittsburgh historical drama about the inquest into the sinking of the Titanic, is sold out—but if you reserve promptly, seats are available for The Holdovers (trailer above), a seriocomedy about strange doings at a New England prep school. For an extra fee you can also attend an Opening Night party after the film. Altogether the Festival includes an amazing variety of 22 indie feature films from countries around the world. They’re all new or very recent, and they are scheduled for various dates and times through November 15 at four in-person locations: the city’s Harris Theater and Pittsburgh Playhouse, the Waterworks Cinema in Aspinwall, and The Lindsay Theater in Sewickley. There’s also a home-viewing option as well

Six of the films can either be seen at a theater, or streamed onto the screen of your choice through November 19: Dancing Queen is a wacky but touching coming-of-age story from Norway. Kite Zo A (“Leave the Bones”) is a documentary about ancient and modern rituals in Haiti, from voodoo to extreme rollerblading. The U.S. film Little Brother combines a road-trip tale with drama surrounding the characters’ tenuous mental health, while Love Without Walls gives us a love story set in London. Unsinkable (linked above) joins the virtual list, too, along with Two Lives in Pittsburgh, a drama about a blue-collar man coping with his mother’s illness and his child’s exploration of gender identity. In addition, many of the ever-popular Pittsburgh Shorts can be viewed virtually if you like your cinema in “fun-sized” chunks. Between in-person films and streaming, choices and ticketing options abound, so visit the Festival on the web and get rolling. 

The Three Rivers Film Festival is produced by the nonprofit Film Pittsburgh. Along with the films, a three-day Filmmakers Conference with expert guest speakers is scheduled for the weekend of November 17 – 19.  But let’s start from the start: The Holdovers screens tonight at 7 p.m. at the Harris Theater. 809 Liberty Ave., Cultural District. (M.V.)

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Rick Handler

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