Screening marks grunge genre milestone

Written By Nicole Chynoweth

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Chris Sepesy had lost hope in the quality of new music during the mid-to-late 1980s, but the 1990s grunge scene changed his perspective.”When grunge hit, it was so fresh, amazingly new and creative, which we hadn’t really heard for a long time,” Sepesy, 45, said.On Oct. 13, Sepesy will be able to learn more about a product of that grunge era.The John P. Harris Society will host a screening of “Pearl Jam Twenty,” a documentary that celebrates the 20th anniversary of grunge rock band Pearl Jam, on Thursday at 9 p.m. in the George Rowland White Theater in the University Center.”I’ll be in the front row with bells on,” Sepesy said of his excitement in a phone interview on Wednesday. “My friends are even coming to see it.”Sepesy, a cinema and digital arts professor who advises the John P. Harris Society, feels screening this particular type of film falls in line with the organization’s constitution.”[John P. Harris Society is] showing it because we anticipate it to be an excellent show, and we like to introduce any new and exciting filmmaking,” Sepesy said.Sepesy is “elated” Pearl Jam is still around and cannot wait to get a closer look at their career.”I’m a huge fan of documentary filmmaking as a film professor,” Sepesy said, whose favorite Pearl Jam song is “Jeremy.” “Anything informative is important. It will be nostalgic for me.”The screening was organized by Max Kovalchuk, a sophomore sport, arts and entertainment management (SAEM) major, who interns for Sony Music Entertainment as a college marketing representative for Pittsburgh.”It [Pearl Jam Twenty] played in select cities around the country for one week and right now Sony is having the college representatives from around the country have it screened at their different colleges,” Kovalchuk, 19, said in an interview in the Point Cafe last Wednesday. “It will be available for the public to buy later on.”According to Kovalchuk, the film, directed by Cameron Crowe, will show footage from the band’s 20 years together as well as interviews with the band. Kovalchuk believes the film will entertain even non-Pearl Jam fans.”At some level, everyone is a music fan,” Kovalchuk said. “It’s also not that often that you are told about a music documentary coming out. You might only hear about it. I think this will show people inside footage of a what a huge band is like. It will make people realize they’re just regular people like us. They’ll get to see everything a band has to experience, especially since they’ve [Pearl Jam] been through twenty years worth of experience. We’ll get to see a lot of footage.”Besides watching the film, there will be free pizza and drinks and attendees will also be able to participate in prize raffles.”We’re gonna have raffles for a prize pack, two of the soundtracks and one of the big movie posters,” Kovalchuk said. “At the end everyone is going to get ‘Pearl Jam 20′ bookmarks and stickers.”The prize pack includes  a “Pearl Jam 20″ book and soundtrack. Kovalchuk hopes to bring in a large audience for the event.”[John P. Harris Society is] pulling from other film societies from other schools to come and we’re promoting like crazy,” Kovalchuk said.Jordan Temchack, a senior SAEM major, heard about the screening through Facebook and is excited to see the compilation of footage.”I hope to learn a little bit more about the band, like what they did to get where they are now,” Temchack, 21, said in a phone interview last Wednesday.Temchack views the band’s success as a product of their public reputation and ability to evolve musically.”They’ve always been very honest, there’s not a lot of bad press about them,” Temchack said, whose favorite Pearl Jam songs include “Even Flow” and their cover of Wayne Cochran’s “Last Kiss.” “They’re one of those bands that will play a three-hour set like it’s no big deal. They’ve been able to stay diverse but keep their signature vibe.”

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