African films at BMA

Homegrown movies in Highlandtown

January 17, 2004|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

From Highlandtown to Art Museum Drive, Baltimore's non-theatrical movie venues come alive with singular events this weekend, starting with a unique chance to sample the cream of recent African moviemaking.

The Baltimore Museum of Art holds "The New York African Film Festival Traveling Series," two programs unspooling from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. Today's slate includes Si-Gueriki: The Queen Mother, the story of a Benin filmmaker who discovers that his mother has been made the monarch of his village; Alex's Wedding; a Cameroon-set drama of polygamy; Me and My White Pal, the surprising chronicle of a Burkina Faso student in France who stumbles onto a drug stash; and, from South Africa, A Drink in the Passage, about the controversy that erupted in 1960 when an African sculptor took a prize in an art contest restricted to whites.

Sunday's schedule kicks off with a comic feature from the Ivory Coast, The Jackpot, centering on a lottery winner who can't find his ticket while relatives clamber for loans. It continues with shorts from Senegal (Petite Lumiere) and France (Rapbizz) and concludes with The River, which traces the odyssey of a revenge-killer who seeks to renew his life back home in Guinea. Screenings are free with museum admission.

Tonight at 3134 Eastern Ave. in Highlandtown - known to Creative Alliance as "Hollywood East" - CAMovieMakers presents "Mobtown Made Fest: Feature Films from B-More!" subtitled "A Mini-Film Fest from the Land of Pleasant Living."

It begins at 7 p.m. with a "Mobtown Made Doc" that screened at last year's Maryland Film Festival: This is Duckpin Country, a history of duckpin bowling evoking the sport's Everyman allure and shedding light on the social-cultural ramifications of its sad decline. Bowlers and duckpin entrepreneurs featured in the movie will trade thoughts and memories with the filmmakers after the show.

Then Creative Alliance clears the lanes for "Mobtown Made Thrillers and Chillers," a celebration of homegrown monster mashes and thrillers, including a mummy movie called Charm City and a vampire gorefest, Blood Seduction. The movies' casts will appear live, in costume; moviegoers who arrive in costume will get in at the reduced members' rate and be eligible for door prizes. Tickets for both shows are $8 ($6 for Creative Alliance members).

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