Prepare for more cinema revelry

Movies: The Maryland Film Festival is on the horizon. Some highlights of what's to come.

April 03, 2001|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

A lineup featuring everyone from Stanley Kubrick to Ty Cobb to some animated critters deemed unworthy of TV's Family Learning Channel will greet visitors to this year's third annual Maryland Film Festival.

A four-day celebration of all things cinematic, this year's festival kicks off the evening of May 3 with an opening-night gala at the Senator Theatre, followed by a party at the Evergreen House on Charles Street.

Some details of the festival will be announced at a news conference scheduled for this morning at the five-screen Charles Theatre, which will again serve as host for practically all of the films. The opening-night feature, traditionally a last-minute decision, has yet to be chosen, festival director Jed Dietz said. Neither have the majority of the 100-plus films expected to be screened.

But Dietz offered an eclectic sampling of the fare movie lovers can enjoy over that May weekend, in keeping with the festival's motto, "uncommon exposures." The schedule will be finalized this month, and each offering will be introduced and discussed by a filmmaker or other guest.

"Each of the first two festivals has offered a pretty wide array of what's happening in the film world," Dietz said. "This will be even more so."

Expected highlights include:

Kubrick's 1964 blackly comic masterpiece, "Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb." Scott Simon, host of National Public Radio's "Weekend Edition," will serve as host for the film.

Terry Gilliam's "Brazil," a work of anarchic genius that was famously mishandled by its studio when released in 1985. Renowned New York architect Richard Gluckman, author of "Space Framed," will be the host.

"Baxter," a French film about a dog turned serial killer. The host: John Waters. (Who else?)

"Who is Bernard Tapie?" documentary filmmaker Marina Zenowich's look at the French politician/entertainer/object of curiosity.

"Rejected," an Oscar-nominated collection of animated shorts from Don Hertzfeldt, commissioned by the Family Learning Channel to be used as commercials, but ultimately rejected.

"Cobb," director Ron Shelton's 1994 film based on the life of baseball superstar (and renowned bigot and maniac) Ty Cobb. Sun movie critic Michael Sragow and the film's editor, Paul Seydor, will serve as hosts.

"Girls' Room," the story of college roommates with markedly different personalities - one is promiscuous, the other is a classic Southern belle - trying to make it through their last weeks of college. Soleil Moon Frye (TV's "Punky Brewster"), Cat Taber and Wil Wheaton (TV's "Star Trek: The Next Generation") star.

"The Connection," an adaptation of Jack Kelber's story about drug addiction, from local filmmaker Steve Yeager ("Divine Madness").

"American Chai," winner of the Audience Choice Award at this year's Sundance Film Festival. Director Anurog Mehta's film is the story of a first generation Native American, whose parents think he is pre-med, but who's really majoring in music.

"Daydream Believer," winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at Sundance, chronicles a small-town girl looking for an acting career in the big city. Jenifer Jackson, who wrote the music for the film, will perform at the festival.

Ticket prices are: $10 for individual tickets, or three for $20. Students and seniors can purchase tickets for $8.

Additions to the festival schedule will be posted throughout the coming weeks on its Web site,

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