Pratt series explores the age of jazz


January 26, 2001|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITIC

"Zouzou," a 1934 film starring Josephine Baker as an understudy who gets her chance onstage when the star walks out, kicks off a film series beginning tomorrow at the Enoch Pratt Free Library.

"The Jazz Age on Film" will run over three Saturdays, at the same time as the library's exhibit on "The Jazz Age In Paris." Baker returns to star in the second feature, "Princess Tam Tam" on Feb. 17. The series concludes Feb. 24 with a 20-minute jazz short, "Black and Tan," starring Duke Ellington and his orchestra, followed by the main feature, "Men of Bronze," a documentary about the all-black 369th Regiment that toured Europe during World War I and brought jazz to Paris and the rest of the world.

The free films begin at 2 p.m. in the library's Wheeler auditorium at 400 Cathedral St. Information: 410-396-5430.

Taking purple places

Producers Club head Jed Dietz called yesterday from the Sundance Film Festival in Utah to say the town is awash in Ravens purple, thanks to two boxes of Ravens caps he handed out at Monday's Maryland Film Office Party.

OK, maybe awash is too strong an adverb. Still, he says the colors are in plain view throughout the town. "I've even got pizza guys wearing them," Dietz says.

Dietz also notes that "Lift," a film the Producers Club helped finance, has been one of the festival's big hits, generating positive reviews in the Los Angeles Times and New York Times. And in a move that's sure to endear them to local audiences, filmmakers Khari Streeter and DeMane Davis have been spotted around town wearing those ubiquitous ski caps.

"I'm not sure I should be quoting him on this," Dietz says, "But Khari says he really hates the Giants."

Free Sundance preview

Speaking of Sundance, this weekend's awards ceremony will be available on most area TV screens, as the Sundance Channel will be in the midst of a free preview weekend - meaning you can watch the channel even if you're not paying the premium fee for it.

The free weekend begins today and runs through Sunday; the live awards ceremony is scheduled for 9 p.m. tomorrow, with a repeat at 2 p.m. Sunday.

Other films being screened over the weekend include such Sundance Festival favorites as "Crumb," "Slacker" and "Walking and Talking."

The Sundance Channel is available on digital Comcast cable in Howard, Harford, Baltimore and Anne Arundel counties.

Celebrating black history

CineMaryland, the monthly cable TV newsmagazine focusing on Maryland's film community, will commemorate Black History Month during February.

The show will feature an interview with Thomas Cripps, a scholar specializing in African-American film, as well as a look at the life of ragtime legend and native Baltimorean Eubie Blake.

CineMaryland can be seen on cable Anne Arundel, Baltimore, Harford, Howard, Carroll, Montgomery, Prince George's and Wicomico counties, as well as Baltimore City. To tune in, check the Web site at, click on the satellite dish and follow the link to CineMaryland.

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