local screenings

May 05, 2006|By CHRIS KALTENBACH | CHRIS KALTENBACH,SUN MOVIE CRITIC

YOUTH FILM JAM -- The quest for discriminating movie audiences takes a new turn this weekend, as the Maryland Humanities Council presents Baltimore's first Youth Film Jam, offering area middle and high school students the chance to see and talk about movies a notch above the standard shoot-'em-up (or slice-'em-up) fare. Movies will be shown at the Maryland Institute College of Art's Brown Center, 1301 Mount Royal Ave., followed by discussions featuring local film experts and led by a core group of 24 students who have spent the past couple of months honing their critical-thinking skills. The festival kicks off at 11 a.m. tomorrow with Whale Rider (Niki Caro, 2002), followed at 1:45 p.m. by Mad Hot Ballroom (Marilyn Agrelo, 2005) and 4:30 p.m. by Rabbit-Proof Fence (Phillip Noyce, 2002). Sunday's offerings begin at noon with Turtles Can Fly (Bahman Ghobadi, 2004), followed at 2:45 p.m. by Spirited Away (Hayao Miyazaki, 2001). The festival wraps with a 5:30 p.m. question-and-answer session and awards ceremony, featuring actor Giancarlo Esposito as host. Admission to all films is free. Information: mdhc.org or 410-685-0095.

MARYLAND FILM FESTIVAL --The 2006 Maryland Film Festival opens Thursday night at the Senator Theatre, 5904 York Road, with an evening of short films - six in all - from filmmakers of whom you've probably never heard. Not that that should stop anyone from attending what has become an MFF opening-night tradition. This year's program includes Eric Dyer's Copenhagen Cycles, Matthew Swanson's Hiro, Steve Gentile's Never Live Above a Psychic, B. Radical's The Package, Steve Furman's Ride of the Mergansers and Madeleine Olnek's Hold Up. Showtime is 7:30 p.m.; tickets are $35, and include admission to the post-show opening-night party across the street at Belvedere Square. The festival picks up again Friday morning at the Charles, 1711 N. Charles St., and runs through the weekend at the Charles, MICA's Brown Center and the Rotunda Cinematheque, 711 W. 40th St. For a full schedule, ticket prices and additional information, check the Web site at www.mdfilmfest.com or call 410-752-8083.

CINEMA SUNDAYS --This weekend's scheduled Cinema Sundays offering is Terry Zwigoff's Art School Confidential, the tale of an obsessed art student who must jibe his romantic notions of what art should be with commercial realities. Showtime is 10:35 a.m. at the Charles, 1711 N. Charles St., preceded by 45 minutes of no-additional-charge coffee and bagels. Tickets are $15. Information: 410-727-FILM or cinemasundays.com.

THE CHARLES GOES FRENCH --Jacques Becker's 1954 film Touchez pas au grisbi (Hands Off the Loot) is tomorrow's scheduled offering in the Charles' continuing French-film revival series. The movie stars Jean Gabin as an elderly gangster who's just made what should be a career-capping heist when his accomplice and best friend is kidnapped and held for ransom. Showtime is noon tomorrow, with encores set for 7 p.m. Monday and 9 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $6 tomorrow, $8 other times. Information: 410-727-FILM or thecharles.com.

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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