See `October Sky,' with stars

Encore: Bengies Drive-In will show this great little film about the early days of the space race.

June 25, 1999

If ever a film was meant to be seen under the stars, it's "October Sky," a marvelous evocation of what it was like to be a kid in the early days of the space race (it's set in the months after the Soviet Union's launch of Sputnik) and a poignant look at how fathers and sons can connect in all sorts of ways. It's also that rarest of rarities, a family film suitable for all ages.

So thank goodness D. Vogel and his Bengies Drive-In have returned for yet another season of open-air film exhibition. "October Sky" opens there tonight, with showings at 8: 45 p.m. today and tomorrow, 10: 30 p.m. Sunday through Thursday. The film disappeared quietly from theaters when it opened earlier this year; it deserved a better fate.

-- Chris Kaltenbach

See 30 indie films

Baltimore filmmaker Jason Crump has curated a program of 30 films by 22 Baltimore filmmakers for a show that will run tonight and Saturday at Manhattan Project, an independent project promoting local musicians, painters, sculptors, photographers, filmmakers and performers.

Among the highlights of the show, which is nearly four hours long, are ingenious animated works by Martha Colburn ("Evil of Dracula," "There's a Pervert in Our Pool," "Spiders in Love") and Jen Sachs ("Translations"), as well as J.R. Fritsch's "At the Edge," an engaging and surprising documentary about a Baltimore window washer and yogi?

Also on hand will be "Sweep," a poetic meditation on fatherhood by UMBC film teacher Mark Street; four films by Dwayne Moser that explore themes of family, fame, intimacy and alienation; and Melanie Berry's "Dry Wall," a painfully funny portrait of sexual politics at home.

The screenings begin at 7: 30 p.m. Doors open at 6 p.m. Manhattan Project is located at 333 W. Baltimore St., at Baltimore and Eutaw. For more information, call 410-243-9056, or visit the Manhattan Project web site at www.brownpants.com/manpro.

-- Ann Hornaday

Actors sought for film

There was an error in last week's film column regarding the casting needs of "My Father's House," Larry Holden's film starring Cameron Diaz and Josh Charles that will start filming in Baltimore later this summer.

Holden will cast nine roles in Baltimore, and is looking for actors who fit these specifications: A white woman in her mid-30s who can speak with a German/Austrian accent; a white 6-year-old boy with dark brown hair and hazel eyes; a white 4-year-old girl; a man in his 60s or 70s; an African-American woman in her 40s or 50s; an 18-year-old black man (who is "skinny as a rail"); an African-American woman in her 60s or 70s; an African-American woman in her mid-30s; and a 4-year-old African-American girl. Send pictures and resumes to the Dougal Brothers, c/o Holden Automotive & Culver Street Films, PMB #259, 9350 Snowden River Parkway, Suite F, Columbia 21045.

-- Ann Hornaday

Screenings at the lake

The 27th annual Columbia Lakefront Summer Festival will kick off its film festival Monday with a screening of "For the Love of Benji: A Dog's Tale." Every Monday and Friday throughout the summer, Tom Brzezinski will present a family film, which will unspool promptly at dusk. Unless otherwise noted, all films are rated "G." Coming movies include "The Prince of Egypt," "Babe" (the original and the sequel), "The Truman Show" and "Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory."

The series runs through Sept. 18. Admission is free. Screenings will be on the lawn at the Columbia Town Center Lakefront (Lake Kittamaqundi), off Little Patuxent Parkway in Columbia.

-- Ann Hornaday

Video of Berrigan play

The Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee will show a video of Daniel Berrigan's play "The Trial of the Catonsville Nine" tonight at 7: 30.

The play concerns the nine religious activists who used homemade napalm to destroy draft records at a Catonsville Selective Service office. The play is taken from a transcript of their trial, which took place in a federal court in Baltimore. The video will be shown at the American Friends Service Committee, 4806 York Road. Doors open at 7 p.m. Admission is free, and a discussion will follow the screening. Call 410-323-7200 or 410-377-7987.

-- Ann Hornaday

Tickets for `Blair Witch'

A limited number of tickets are still available to a special screening of "The Blair Witch Project," one of this summer's most highly anticipated movies. The contemporary horror flick, about three film students who investigate a local legend in rural Maryland, had its world premiere at Sundance and had audiences spooked out of their wits.

Since "Blair Witch" made its sensational debut, co-directors Eduardo Sanchez and Daniel Myrick have been chary about public screenings, but they are making an exception for Baltimore.

"It's just to celebrate the fact that we shot the film in Maryland and to draw attention to what a great place Maryland is to shoot," explained Sanchez, who grew up in Takoma Park.

Sanchez and Myrick filmed "The Blair Witch Project" in and around Burkittsville, Adamstown, Brunswick and Seneca Creek State Park. (The film's cinematographer, Neal L. Fredericks, and art director, Ricardo R. Moreno, attended Towson University.)

"The Blair Witch Project" will be shown at the Charles Theatre on Wednesday at 7: 30 p.m., in a screening sponsored by the Maryland Film Festival. Admission is $20, and a reception with snacks catered by the California Pizza Kitchen will follow the show. Sanchez and Myrick will introduce the film and answer questions afterward. For more information and tickets, call the festival office at 410-752-8083.

-- Ann Hornaday

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