Among best of fest: 'Wadd' and 'Target'

April 09, 2000|By Ann Hornaday

The 2000 Johns Hopkins Film Festival has scored two major programming coups, offering the only opportunity so far to see these great films in Baltimore this year.

"The Target Shoots First" won the audience award for best documentary at Park City, Utah's Slamdance festival in January, and wowed filmgoers at South by Southwest in Austin.

Chris Wilcha's autobio-pic about his first post-college job as a marketing executive at Columbia House (the mail-order record company) starts out looking like just another snarky, condescending inside glimpse of corporate politics. But it becomes a surprisingly compassionate and candid account of his emotional investment in the job. It's also a bracing example of a promising filmmaker finding his cinematic voice. (Friday at 9:15 p.m., Saturday at 8:15 p.m. in Room 3, Shaffer Hall.)

If you thought "Boogie Nights" and Dirk Diggler were hot, wait until you see "Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes," Cass Paley's engrossing account of the famously well-endowed porn star. This is one case of truth being stranger and sadder than fiction. (Friday at 6:45 p.m., Saturday at 6 p.m. in Shaffer 3; Sunday at 3:30 p.m. in Room 110, Gilman Hall.)

Finally: In case you missed MicroCineFest this year, Hopkins is bringing back some terrific short films for an encore. "Call Me Fishmael," "Diet Pink Lemonade," and Mike Z.'s hilariously subversive "How to Start a Revolution in America" all play throughout the festival.

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