Third Reich rescue featured as part of Cinema Sundays


February 23, 2001|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN FILM CRITIC

"Into the Arms of Strangers," an Oscar-nominated documentary on British efforts to rescue German and other children targeted by the Third Reich, is this weekend's Cinema Sundays offering.

Director Mark Jonathan Harris' film looks at the Kindertransport, a rescue effort that saved more than 10,000 children from the Nazi concentration camps. Transported to Britain, the children were placed in foster homes or hostels, with the idea that they would be reunited with their families at war's end. For most, the war ended with no family left to return to. One of those children was the mother of "Into the Arms of Strangers" producer Deborah Oppenheimer.

Sunday's screening, set for 10:30 a.m. at the Charles, is sponsored by Center Stage as a tie-in with its current production of "The Investigation," a dramatization of the Auschwitz war trials.

Tickets for Cinema Sundays at the Charles Theatre are $15; four-film mini-memberships are available for $52. Doors open Sunday morning at 9:45 a.m., with coffee and bagels available. Call 410-727-3464, or visit the Web site,

Courageous Kramer

Director Stanley Kramer, who died Monday at age 87, was not only one of Hollywood's fiercest moral beacons, but also more of an innovator than he's usually given credit for. So says acclaimed filmmaker John Frankenheimer, whose movie career dates back to the late 1950s and early 1960s, the era when Kramer was at his peak, producing and/or directing such landmark films as "High Noon," "The Defiant Ones," "Inherit the Wind," "Judgment at Nuremberg" and "On the Beach."

Kramer also played a key role in ending the Hollywood blacklist of suspect communists, hiring writers shunned by the major studios.

"I think he was one of the most courageous producers we ever had in the movie business," says Frankenheimer, whose own films include "The Manchurian Candidate," "The Train" and "Ronin."

Frankenheimer noted that Kramer was a good director, too, who popularized a bit of camera work still popular in films.

"Every movie you see now, where you have a scene with two people and the camera circles around them as they remain stationary, Kramer was the guy who started that."

He also had a real appreciation for talent, Frankenheimer noted.

"Spencer Tracy used to say, `Everybody always tells me what a great actor I am, but the only person who gives me a job is Stanley Kramer.' "

`Orfeu' postponed

The Johns Hopkins Medical System's screening of "Orfeu," postponed from last night because of snow, has been rescheduled for 7:15 p.m. Thursday.

The film, the final offering of the system's film series on "The African Diaspora: New Black Cinema From Africa and Beyond," will be shown at the Preclinical Teaching Building, Wolfe and Monument streets. Call 410-955-3363.

Free `Catch-22'

"Catch-22," director Mike Nichols' warped look at the military mindset, will be screened tonight as part of the "War - What Is It Good For?" film series sponsored by the Hiroshima-Nagasaki Commemoration Committee.

The 1970 film adaptation of Joseph Heller's seminal novel stars Alan Arkin as the wary Captain Yossarian, struggling vainly to escape the madness of war. A bombardier who attempts to get himself grounded by claiming insanity, he falls prey to the Army's notorious catch-22: Anyone who wants to get out of flying bombing missions must, by definition, be sane.

Tonight's free screening, part of the continuing Film & Social Consciousness Video Series sponsored by the Hiroshima-Nagasaki committee and the American Friends Service Committee, is scheduled for 7:30 p.m. at the AFSC offices, 4806 York Road. Call 410-323-7200 or 410377-7987.

Film and video job fair

Women In Film & Video will sponsor a job fair from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. tomorrow at Atlantic Video, 650 Massachusetts Ave. N.W. in Washington.

The event is designed to offer a chance for members to network and for guests - including many of the area's film and video production houses - to have a look at the available local talent pool.

Admission is $10 for WIFV members, $15 for non-members. Call 202-408-1476, orcheck the Web site at

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