Pittsburgh Filmmaking

It’s nice to see Pittsburgh nice in the movies.

This weekend, I had the chance to see two Pittsburgh bred movies, Kevin Smith’s Zack & Miri Make a Porno, and George Romero’s low budget Diary of the Dead.

Zack & Miri I saw Friday night with my brother, of Silent fame, out at the Carmike in South Hills. I hate the Carmike in South Hills. But alas when you don’t have your single car for the couple, and there’s only one theater on your train route. But that’s another blog post.

I sort of forgot about how Pittsburgh the movie might be. I was aware of the Monroeville Zombies jerseys from WAY back when the movie was filming. But, for some reason, I found myself sitting through the overbearing commercials and previews thinking whether this was going to be visibly a Pittsburgh movie. Dogma was shot around here (around my house, interestingly) but not set in Pittsburgh. Stigmata was set in Pittsburgh, but was much too flat of a landscape to be considered to be our fair, lumpy city. Long gone were the days of the , Inspector Gadgets, and, dare I say, Striking Distance, that showcased our city? Even Queer as Folk had to “fake” being set here.

So it’s nice to see to see Kevin Smith doing a film about one of our particular suburbs.

A few years ago, Land of the Dead hit the theaters. The first not filmed in the local area. Though it was filmed in Canada, there were some, well, obvious relations to Pittsburgh, naming every local location by the city itself, from what I recalled. Diary of the Dead was a little less Pittsburgh-esque, More of an homage to the city Romero filmed almost all of his Zombie flicks in, by having several students claiming PITT as their school of origin, and even coming across a zombie fighting Amish man in the woods on the way to Scranton. Is it a coincidence, though, that this zombie flick making a statement about the world changing online access in a crisis stems out from the city with so much New Media presence happening?

So hopefully this is the beginning of a new string of Pittsburgh-showcasing movies, after a bit of a drought. I don’t know if it’s the same demographic that a VisitPittsburgh was looking for, but fans of zombies and stoner humor are sure to love this town after these flicks.

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