ON AND OFF THE AIR:
* The danger in profiling somebody who is still alive and willing to talk about an active career is that he talks . . . and talks and talks. Such is the case with the latest "Crazy About the Movies" special on the Cinemax premium cable service.
Dennis Hopper is the subject, and there is no denying a certain fascination with him and a career that has rebounded from a long period of drug and mental instability. (The show premiered Friday, and can be seen again at midnight tonight, followed by two Hopper movies, "Chattahoochee" and "Blood Red." Additional repeats are May 25 and 30 and June 7.)
But the "Crazy About the Movies" series has been better when the subjects have passed on, or at least reached a maturity to be reflective on their careers, such as in the most recent profile of Robert Mitchum.
Here, Hopper is just self-indulgent. Long interview segments are punctuated by clips from his years of bizarre retreat to a home in Taos, N.M. that was a drop-in center for all kinds of practitioners of vice and escapist behavior.
Still, movie fans may find fascination in the tale, if no particular insight. And VCR planners should note that "Easy Rider," the influential 1969 movie Hopper made with Peter Fonda, gets a screening at 4:50 a.m. Friday on Cinemax.
* Congratulations to the winners of WBFF-Channel 45's 1991 Operation Prom campaign, whose powerful public service announcements discourage students from mixing drinking and drugs with end-of-year celebrating.
Gov. Schaefer attended yesterday's awards breakfast in Baltimore, honoring schools with $1,000 prizes for the highest participation by students in a contractual agreement with parents. And the winners were:
Catholic High School of Baltimore in the city, Overlea High School in Baltimore County, Liberty High School in Carroll County, North Harford High School in Harford County and Wilde Lake High School in Howard County. Also noted for best improvement in participation since last year were: Northern High in the city, South Carroll High in Carroll County, and Dundalk, Catonsville and Eastern Vo-Tech schools in Baltimore County.
* An effort is under way in this area to establish a Video Tape Collectors Society to help reduce the cost of purchasing videotapes or laser disks. After paying a membership fee, participants would receive a system of "wants/disposal/trade" listings to find other collectors.
For information, write: William Gallagher, Video Tape Collectors Society, P.O. Box 251, Timonium, Md. 21093.