Marylanders have fun at Sundance, Slamdance


Around Town

February 02, 2003|By Sloane Brown | Sloane Brown,SPECIAL TO THE SUN

A bunch of local folks are back in town after having lots of fun in the sun a week ago. And we're not talking Florida. We mean Utah. The Sundance Film Festival, to be exact.

"The weather was twice as warm in Park City as it was in Baltimore," notes Karen Bokram. Not that she minded. The sunny 40-something-degree climate made for great skiing and celebrity sighting. More from the Girls' Life publisher/editor in a bit.

Meanwhile, Maryland Film Festival founder/director Jed Dietz was working the fest, along with Maryland Film Office chief Jack Gerbes. They were keeping Mur-land as the perfect place to shoot on location in the minds of all the Hollywood types.

In fact, Maryland threw a couple of shindigs, one for Sundance filmmakers and one for those at Slamdance - a festival for first-time filmmakers. Jed reports both parties were big successes. He says he chatted with a few well-known folks, like "Red Dragon" director Brett Rattner, actor Danny Glover, and actor/director Steve Buscemi, about how much they liked Charm City and its environs.

Jed says the highlight of the festival, for him, was at the screening of Masked and Anonymous. Director Larry Charles, one of the Seinfeld creators, started introducing an amazing cast of actors, who began stepping out from behind the curtain.

"John Goodman, Jessica Lange, Luke Wilson, Val Kilmer, Penelope Cruz," Jed recounts, "and then Larry Charles says: `Let me think if I've forgotten anybody. Oh yes, Bob Dylan.' " Jed says Dylan plays the lead in the movie - on and off screen. He was key in getting the whole project off the ground, and in attracting the star-studded cast.

As director Charles told the audience, "Who do you think isn't going to return Bob Dylan's call?"

Among Jed's other star sightings: Roger Ebert, Tilda Swinton, Patricia Clarkson, Stanley Tucci, Holly Hunter, Philip Seymour Hoffman and Katie Holmes.

And that brings us back to Bokram's Sundance sightings. One night, Karen spotted Katie Holmes leaving her car with the valet at the Park City hot spot Easy Street. The actress proceeded to go - not into that eatery - but another.

"I guess you can do that if you're Katie Holmes-looking gorgeous and carrying a Hogan bag," Karen said.

Spotted inside Easy Street that night was Ron Livingston, who played Carrie's latest love interest in HBO's Sex and the City. Karen says Ron was with his own love interest and they seemed to have eyes only for each other.

But, Karen added, "She was one of those girls who thought her handbag deserved its own spot. And I happened to be sitting in it."

Other highlights for Karen included spotting Frances Conroy, who plays the frumpy mom on HBO's Six Feet Under. And, funny thing, Karen says, "She looks that way in real life, too!"

Karen described the time she followed an "actressy-looking brunette" into a party. She found herself caught in a photo-op explosion of flashbulbs as paparazzi noticed the brunette, supermodel-cum-actress Michelle Hicks. Seems Karen wasn't the only one caught clueless. One of the photographers asked her afterward, "Who ... was that?"

Then there was a certain hot-hot-hot Hollywood couple-of-the-moment and the equally famous best friend of his who rented the $15 million digs owned by a friend of Karen's. Seems so many demands were made about changing the furnishings to suit the tastes of the trio, who were only staying there for two weeks, that a showdown ensued. End result? The house stayed as was - without its "royal" renters.

Jewish Museum of Maryland

The stereotype of a museum being a place for quiet reflection proved to be only half right during an event at the Jewish Museum of Maryland. Reflection? You bet. Quiet? Hardly. Some 660 folks gathered for a reunion of employees of Baltimore's Jewish-owned department stores as the museum prepared to close its exhibition, Enterprising Emporiums: The Jewish Department Stores of Downtown Baltimore. The museum was filled with excited conversations and the occasional shriek as former co-workers at the old downtown stores of Hochschild Kohn's, Hutzler's and Hecht's spotted each other.

"People are hugging and kissing. You wouldn't believe it. People are actually recognizing each other from different departments in the stores," noted museum director Avi Decter.

Who needed that piano player in the corner for ambience? The joy that filled the museum was atmosphere enough.

Spotted in the happy throng: Mark Neumann, Jewish Museum of Maryland board president; Philip Sherman, board member; Melissa Martens, exhibition curator; Richard Hurley Jr., Baltimore Development Corporation retired director of construction; Lucy Timpson, retired Baltimore County board of education assistant chief custodian; Bunny Hutzler, community activist; Catherine Mann and Dottie Smith, retired Hutzler's employees; Sharron Dorsey, former bank manager; Louise Wylie retired Hochschild Kohn assistant buyer; Rita Taylor, retired Hutzler's sales sponsor; Charlotte Waldorf, retired Hochschild Kohn dress buyer; Sadie McDuffie, retired Hutzler's cosmetic sales associate; Goldie I. Cashier, Queens Dress Shop sales associate; George Bernstein, State of Maine budget analyst; Deborah Bell, health-care consultant; Marilyn Goschen, retired Baltimore County Insurance Agency vice president; Mary Baxter Mansperger, Metris facilities manager; and Lola Baxter, retired Hochschild Kohn employee.

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