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Film Notes: 'A Closer Walk', 'When Video Came', More 'street songs'

Friday, June 13, 2003


The Pittsburgh premiere of the documentary "A Closer Walk," which examines "the relationship between human rights, personal responsibility and the harsh realities of a worldwide AIDS epidemic," will take place at 7 p.m. June 23 at the Byham Theater, Downtown.

Admission is free but seating is limited. Those wishing to attend can call ahead at 412-242-2500.

Director Robert Bilheimer, a 1989 Oscar nominee for his film "Cry of Reason," will attend the screening.

"A Closer Walk" is narrated by Glenn Close and Will Smith. The screening is presented by the Maurice Falk Medical Fund with the cooperation of Pittsburgh Filmmakers, the Pittsburgh AIDS Task Force, the Pittsburgh Cultural Trust and the Center for Minority Health at the University of Pittsburgh.

For more information: www.acloserwalk.org.


The history of video art in America is the subject of a documentary by Pittsburghers Ralph Vituccio and Andres Tapia-Urzua. "When Video Came" will receive its premiere screenings at 7 and 9:30 p.m. June 28 at the Melwood Screening Room, 477 Melwood Ave., Oakland.

"When Video Came" starts with the introduction of the portable video camera and goes on to chronicle the cultural influence of the technological image. It traces the work of video artists including Nam June Paik.

Admission is $4. Vituccio and Tapia-Urzua will introduce their 40-minute documentary. A reception will be held at 8:30 p.m.


Filmmaker Craig McTurk, who made the 1993 documentary "Street Songs" about blind Pittsburgher Bill Dorsey, was back in town last week filming a new movie updating the life of Dorsey, who plies his trade in Downtown locations including Smithfield Street in front of Kaufmann's.

"I wanted to see what Bill's been up to the past 10 years," McTurk said. "He is singing some new songs, he has a 2-year-old daughter, he's moved to a new apartment."

A lot has happened to McTurk, too. The first film helped him get a fellowship that took him to Japan, and he now lives in Singapore, where he teaches documentary production.

McTurk will offer "Street Songs: 10 Years On" to public television (which aired the first film) and take it on the festival circuit.

"It'll find its niche," he said.

-- Ron Weiskind

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