`Nappy' spells out `America' in braids

Screening: Thursday, the Fells Point Creative Alliance will show an engaging documentary about African- American women and their relationship to their hair.

October 01, 1999|By Ann Hornaday | Ann Hornaday,SUN FILM CRITIC

The Fells Point Creative Alliance will inaugurate its new screening and performance space Thursday with a screening of "Nappy," Takoma Park filmmaker Lydia Douglas' smart and engaging documentary about African-American women's relationship to their hair.

Attractively shot in black and white, "Nappy" is an exploration of American history, politics and culture as expressed through black hair, which was straightened to imitate white standards of beauty until the civil rights movement sparked freedom of expression in personal appearance and clothing. Through a series of interviews with women in the process of "going natural," Douglas engages the audience in a lively inquiry into the nature of dominant cultures and resistance.

Dr. Sheri Parks, co-host of WJHU's "Media Matters" and associate professor of communications at the University of Maryland, College Park, will lead a discussion after the half-hour video.

"Nappy" will be shown on video at Ground Floor (the old Daily Grind), 1726 Thames St. at 8 p.m. FPCA members are asked to donate $8; non-members $10. Proceeds will go toward transferring "Nappy" from videotape to film. For more information, call 410-276-1651.

Free showing of `The Rink'

Frederick's Weinberg Center for the Arts will show "The Rink" (1916), starring Charlie Chaplin, Saturday as part of its annual open house. Organist Floyd Werle will play the mighty Wurlitzer to accompany the film, which will be shown at noon and again at 2 p.m. The movie is free, just like the popcorn.

The Weinberg Center is located at 20 W. Patrick St. in downtown Frederick. For more information, call 301-228-2828, or visit the center's Web site at www.weinbergcenter.org.

14-Karat fun

The 14-Karat Cabaret, Baltimore's glittering alternative performance space, will play host to another evening of inspired shenanigans Saturday. Media artist Lee Boot will present some of his greatest hits in art video, and Seattle-based musician Amy Denio, the performance duo Pigpen and Hamhoc, and New York performance artist Maven Peck-Peck will also perform.

All shows start with a special bonus film short. Doors open at 9 p.m.; show time is 9: 30. Admission is $6. The 14-Karat Cabaret is located in the basement of Maryland Art Place, 218 W. Saratoga St.

Teena film's in town

Cinema Sundays this weekend will show "Boys Don't Cry," Kimberly Pierce's highly anticipated film about Brandon Teena, a woman who lived as a young man in rural Nebraska before dying tragically in a murder. Paula Langguth Ryan, editor of the Baltimore Alternative, will lead the post-screening discussion.

Doors open at 9: 45 a.m. Show time is 10: 30 a.m. Coffee and bagels will be served. Walk-up tickets are available at the door for $15. Four film "mini-memberships" are available for $56 ($48 for renewing Cinema Sundays members).

Charisse coming to Senator

The Govans Ecumenical Development Corporation (GEDCO) has a special treat in store for its annual fund-raising gala: Dancing legend Cyd Charisse will appear at a special screening of the 1957 Fred Astaire musical "Silk Stockings" at the Senator Theatre on Oct. 14.

The evening will include a catered dinner at a nearby church, as well as a champagne reception at the theater. Film aficionados will appreciate that "Silk Stockings" will be shown as a newly struck print, with the "Perspecta" soundtrack with which it was originally released.

Tickets to the dinner and movie are $150. Tickets for the movie only are $35. Portions of the ticket prices are tax-deductible. Proceeds will benefit GEDCO's housing and supportive services programs. For information and tickets, call GEDCO at 410-433-2442.

Film buffs, please help

Bel Air resident Carol Jones called the other day with a trivia question. She's searching for the name of a movie that she's seen from time to time on television.

It was made in the 1950s, she says, in black and white, and it's about a group of European women who were interned in Sumatra by the Japanese at the beginning of World War II. "It's the same subject matter as `Paradise Road,' " she says, referring to the 1997 drama starring Glenn Close, Frances McDormand and Julianna Margulies, "only it did not have the vocal orchestra."

Anyone who can name that movie is encouraged to write the Film Column at The Sun, 501 N. Calvert St., Baltimore, Md. 21278.

Pub Date: 10/01/99

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