Pratt film series celebrates John Steinbeck

Film

March 01, 2002|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

John Steinbeck, who would have turned 100 this week, is being celebrated with a film series at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, beginning Sunday with a 1941 documentary written by the Nobel Prize-winning author.

The Forgotten Village, directed by Herbert Kline and narrated by Burgess Meredith, tells the story of a tiny Mexican village struggling to balance modern, new ways against the traditional culture. Also showing Sunday is John Steinbeck: An American Writer, a documentary produced in 1998 as part of A&E's Biography series.

The series continues over the following three Sundays with: The Grapes of Wrath (March 10), director John Ford's 1940 film that's one of the greatest American movies ever; 1939's Of Mice and Men (March 17), directed by Lewis Milestone (All Quiet On the Western Front) and starring Burgess Meredith as George and Lon Chaney Jr., in a rare, non-horror role as the simple-minded Lennie; and Viva Zapata! (March 24), a 1952 film written by Steinbeck and based on the life of the Mexican president and revolutionary leader. The film stars Marlon Brando and features Jean Simmons and Oscar-winner Anthony Quinn.

The free screenings start at 2 p.m. at the main library's Wheeler Auditorium, 400 Cathedral St. Information: www.epfl.net.

Conti's movie music

Conductor Bill Conti, an Oscar winner (for Rocky) who earned a place in the spotlight for the past 15 years by leading the orchestra at the Academy Awards, will spend the next three days guiding the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra through a tribute to movie music.

"Bill Conti Presents a Salute to the Academy Awards," including a tribute to the films of Walt Disney, will be presented at the Meyerhoff at 8 p.m. tonight and tomorrow and 3 p.m. Sunday. Ticket prices range from $29 to $70. Information: 410-783-8000.

Saturday at the Charles

Bob le Flambeur, Jean-Pierre Melville's 1955 French film about a gambler who plots to steal money from his favorite casino, is this weekend's Saturday matinee at the Charles. Co-written by Melville and novelist Auguste Le Breton (who wrote the classic Rififi), the film stars Roger Duchesne, Isabelle Corey and Daniel Cauchy. Show time is noon, and admission is $5. Information: 410-727-FILM.

`Human Nature'

Human Nature, writer Charlie Kaufman's follow-up to his shockingly original Inside John Malkovich, is this weekend's Cinema Sundays at the Charles offering.

Directed by Michael Gondry, the film's premise sounds like a worthy successor to Malkovich: a woman loves a man who loves another woman, and all three are attracted to a man raised by apes (presumably not named Greystoke).

Show time is 10:30 a.m. Sunday, with doors opening at 9:45. Admission is $15 and includes coffee and bagels For information, visit www.cinemasundays.com.

Screenwriting seminar

Harford Community College is offering a daylong seminar for would-be screenwriters tomorrow at its Bel Air campus. It will be taught by Paul Sekulich, who has written for the TV series Cheers and Head of the Class. The session costs $99 and begins at 9 a.m. in Edgewood Hall on campus, 401 Thomas Run Road. Information: 410-836-4376, 410-879-8920 or www.screenwriting4u.com.

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