Looking to wrap up a-rab film


January 19, 2001|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITIC

Footage from local filmmakers Scott Kecken and Joy Lusco's documentary-in-progress on Baltimore's famed a-rabs, the horse-and-wagon produce sellers that have long been a fixture of this city, will be screened next Friday as part of a fund-raiser for the project.

The evening, dubbed "Let's Wrap It Up," will also feature screenings of Kecken's first film, "Beans and Bullets," a "political western" he made at age 18; the duo's first collaborative effort, "SoWeBohemian," an experimental documentary on the annual Sowebo Arts Festival; and "Louisville," the pair's award-winning short film starring Andre Braugher of "Homicide: Life On the Street."

In an unabashedly shameless effort to raise even more money, autographed "Louisville" posters, stills from the a-rab documentary and even a role as an extra in Lusco's next film will be auctioned off.

Kecken and Lusco have been working on their documentary since late last summer. More than 70 hours of video footage and hundreds of still photographs will be edited down to make the finished product.

The benefit is scheduled for 8 p.m. Jan. 26 at the New Ground Floor, 413 S. Conkling St. in Fells Point. Admission is $10. For information, call the Fells Point Creative Alliance at 410-276-1651.

History vs. movies

Depending on Hollywood for your knowledge of history has always been a dangerous thing. For a look a just how dangerous, check out "Hollywood vs. History," a four-hour series airing next week on cable's History Channel.

The series, airing in one-hour segments over four consecutive nights, looks at four films to gain an understanding of the sorts of liberties filmmakers take when portraying history onscreen. Narrated by Burt Reynolds, the series features interviews with actors, writers and directors, as well as historians and even the descendants of historical figures.

Monday's debut looks at director Robert Altman's "M*A*S*H," a 1970 film that, among other things, deliberately diluted its Korean War setting so as to increase its appeal to a younger generation growing ever more cynical over American involvement in Vietnam. In addition to Altman, those interviewed include actors Donald Sutherland and Sally Kellerman; Larry Gelbart, who helped turn the movie into a successful TV series; and several Korean war veterans, including four who actually worked in M.A.S.H. units.

Tuesday's hour looks at "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid," and includes excerpts from a 1974 interview with the real-life Butch's sister. On Wednesday, the subject is "Patton," and the series concludes Friday with "The French Connection."

"History vs. Hollywood" airs from 9 p.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Thursday.

Cinema Sundays

"Before Night Falls," a dramatization of the life of exiled Cuban poet Reynaldo Arenas, is this weekend's Cinema Sundays feature.

Director Julian Schnabel's film stars Javier Bardem as Arenas, a supporter of Castro's revolution who was persecuted by the Cubans because of his homosexuality. He eventually made it to the United States, where he lived and worked in New York before dying of AIDS.

Writer and Sun reporter Rafael Alvarez will serve as host for Sunday's screening, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. at the Charles Theatre. Doors open at 9:45 a.m. Admission to the film is $15 at the door.

Information: 410-727-3464.

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