Openings, screenings and goings-on

Highlights of a banner week in the film life of Baltimore.

1999 Maryland Film Festival

April 18, 1999|By Ann Hornaday

The Charles -- Wednesday, the Charles Theatre will have its grand re-opening. With four new screens and a spiffed-up lobby, the theater will show a program of new and classic films starting at 8:15 p.m.: "The Castle," "Tango," "My Name is Joe," "The Dreamlife of Angels" and this critic's all-time favorite film, "Sweet Smell of Success." A reception with free champagne and popcorn will begin at 7:15 p.m.

The festival -- Thursday, Barry Levinson will help launch the new Maryland Film Festival with a 7:30 p.m. screening at the Senator Theatre of his documentary "Diner Guys," about the high-school friends who inspired his 1982 film. Levinson, who captured the men on film over nine years of reunions, weddings and memorials, will attend the screening and answer questions afterward.

The panels -- In addition to the more than 60 films that will unspool at the Charles, Orpheum and other locations from Thursday through Sunday, the festival will feature two panels. On Friday, producer Lynda Obst will moderate "Writing in 2 Media," about adapting original works to the screen. Washington Post critic and author Stephen Hunter will be a panelist, along with authors Robert Ward and Taylor Branch.

Saturday, the panel "Film-making Outside the Mainstream," about directors who do not make movies for commercial distribution, will include filmmakers Skizz Cyzyk, Ian Grey, Sarah Jacobson and Martha Colburn.

The classics -- In addition to new works by emerging filmmakers currently on the festival circuit, the festival will feature several screenings of classic films, including "All Quiet on the Western Front" (Sunday 4 p.m., Charles, theater A), "The Bicycle Thief" (Saturday 11 a.m., Charles D), "Duck Soup" (Friday noon, Charles B), the Holocaust documentary "Pastor Hall" (Friday 11:30 a.m., Charles A, and Sunday 1:30 p.m., Charles A).

The silent screen -- The 1924 version of "Peter Pan" will be shown at the Charles at 10 Sunday morning. It will be accompanied by a live, 11-piece orchestra performing the original score.

The finale -- The closing-night film will be "Jazzman," a work-in-progress documentary about the saxophonist David Murray during five days at the Montreal Jazz Festival. The movie will be shown at 8 p.m. in the auditorium at the National Aquarium, with the closing party afterward.

Following the festival

Coming up in The Sun:

* Wednesday: How to be a canny festival-goer.

* Thursday: In LIVE, a complete schedule and our list of must-see movies.

* Reports from the screenings and events.

* Monday: Film critic Ann Hornaday assesses the festival.

* The complete festival schedule can be found online at

For ticket information, call ProTix at 410-481-6500. For schedule information, call 410-752-8083.

Pub Date: 04/18/99

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