"Guimba: The Tyrant," the story of an African warrior who falls victim to his own excesses, will have its Baltimore premiere Thursday as part of a series of new African films playing through February on the Johns Hopkins Hospital campus.
The film, from the African nation of Mali, is told by a griot, or storyteller. Guimba rules over the exotic Saharan city of Sitikali, full of mud palaces and winding streets.
A despot in the most malevolent sense of the word, Guimba executes his enemies, but nothing is too good for his friends. His downfall begins when he grants a request from his lecherous son, Janguine.
Directed by Cheick Oumar Sissoko, "Guimba: The Tyrant" is in Bambara, a common language in Mali, with English subtitles.
"The African Diaspora: New Black Cinema From Africa and Beyond" runs at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions Thursday through Feb. 22. The 7:15 p.m. screenings at the Preclinical Teaching Building's Mountcastle Auditorium, Wolfe and Monument streets, are free and open to the public.
Director Terence Davies' adaptation of Edith Wharton's "The House of Mirth," starring Gillian Anderson as the socialite Lily Bart, will be the feature at this weekend's Cinema Sundays at the Charles.
The film, also starring Dan Aykroyd, Eric Stoltz and Laura Linney, follows Lily Bart as she free-falls through New York high society at the turn of the century, a victim of society's hypocrisy and her own independence.
Sunday's feature begins at 10:30 a.m., with the Charles' doors opening at 9:45. Coffee and bagels are included in the $15 admission. Five-film mini-memberships to Cinema Sundays cost $65.
`Woman Human Demon'
Chinese director Huang Shuquin, making her first visit to the United States, will be at the University of Pennsylvania's Center for East Asian Studies next Friday to show and discuss her 1988 film, "Woman Human Demon."
The free screening is set for 8 p.m. at International House, 3701 Chestnut St., Philadelphia. Victor H. Muir, a professor of Chinese language and literature at Penn, and doctoral candidate Hsin-Mei Agnes Hsu will present an introduction to the film beginning at 7:30 p.m.
Information: 215-573-4203, or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
`House of Wax'
Good news for 3-D film fans: This year's Washington, D.C., International Film Festival, scheduled for April 17-29, will include a screening of the rarely shown 3-D version of "House of Wax," starring Vincent Price as a demented wax museum owner and Phyllis Kirk as the woman he thinks would make a perfect Marie Antoinette.
For those whose cinema tastes run a little more highbrow, this year's festival will include a retrospective of Argentinian director Eliseo Subiela, as well as infrequently seen movies from India, Sweden, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey and several other countries.
Tickets go on sale April 5. Information: 202-628-FILM (3456).