Belvedere SpringFest set for tomorrow


`Baraka' showings planned during Earth Day event


April 23, 2004|By Michael Sragow | Michael Sragow,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

Senator Theatre owner Tom Kiefaber jokes that when he and Catherine Evans of the Belvedere Improvement Association first cooked up their annual Belvedere SpringFest, "there were tumbleweeds rolling through the site" of Belvedere Square. With Belvedere Square thriving and SpringFest attracting more interest each year, Kiefaber has scheduled special presentations of the Senator's traditional free offering of Baraka (1992) for tomorrow's SpringFest 2004.

Baraka's director, Ron Fricke, once called his globe-trotting poetic documentary collage "a journey of rediscovery that plunges into nature, into history, into the human spirit and finally into the realm of the infinite." This year it will serve as a tribute to Mother Earth and to the Senator's exacting standards of film presentation. After experiencing Baltimore's showcase theater firsthand, Baraka's producer, Mark Magidson, provided his personal 70mm print for the celebration. Kiefaber says "the hyper-sharp visual image" and the multichannel soundtrack will result in "as close to cinematic virtual reality bliss as we have yet achieved."

The Senator's gratis all-day party kicks off tomorrow at 11:30 a.m. with a participatory drum circle. There will be two screenings of Baraka at 12:30 p.m. and 5 p.m., and a 3 p.m. performance by the world music group Lucid Dreamers.

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Hollywood discussion

"Art vs. Commerce in Hollywood," a discussion with independent filmmaker Doug Sadler (Riders), Maryland Film Festival director Jed Dietz, and me, will follow tonight's 8 p.m. performance at Center Stage of David Mamet's Tinseltown comedy-drama Speed-the-Plow. Ticket holders for any performance of Speed-the-Plow can attend the panel, which costs $10. (Every dollar benefits the Film Festival.) Purchasing tickets for this event and the play simultaneously will give you a $5 discount on the play. For more information, call the Center Stage box office at 410-332-0033.


The characters "behave according to motivations unclear to themselves as much as to the audience; they are sensitive to mood, to landscape, to things that happen, but they also behave in routine and conformist ways." A description of Sofia Coppola's Lost in Translation, perhaps? No, it's critic Geoffrey Nowell-Smith's rendering of the movie that Coppola says in part inspired her, Michelangelo Antonioni's L'Avventura.

This towering masterpiece receives a big-screen showing at the Charles tomorrow at noon and Thursday at 9 p.m. When the movie won the Jury Prize at Cannes in 1960, audiences grew so hostile that the jury and some members of the press released a statement defending it. These days, L'Avventura will more likely seduce viewers hungry for adult stimulation with its contemplative beauty. For more information, call 410-727-FILM or go to


The Enoch Pratt Free Library offers a potent (if belated) commemoration of Holocaust Remembrance Day (which was observed Sunday and Monday) with its 6:30 p.m. Tuesday screening of Daring to Resist: Three Women Face the Holocaust. Martha Lubell and Barbara Attie's acclaimed documentary chronicles the exploits of three young Jewish women who as people-smugglers or Resistance workers fought back against the Nazis in occupied Holland, Hungary and Poland. Lubell is the host of the screening and will discuss her film afterward. Location: Central Library, Wheeler Auditorium, 400 Cathedral St. For more information, go to

Spanish `Passion'

Starting today, the Heritage CinemaPlex at 1045 Taylor Ave. in Towson will show a print of Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ with Spanish subtitles. For more information, call 410-832-7685.

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