Root for top speller `Akeelah' at the East Columbia library

local screenings

September 01, 2006|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Reporter

Doug Atchison's Akeelah and the Bee will be shown Thursday at the East Columbia branch of the Howard County Public Library. The film stars Keke Palmer as a middle-schooler in the Los Angeles public school system who has a gift for spelling but hesitates to show it, afraid of the razzing she'll get from classmates. Enter Dr. Larabee (Laurence Fishburne), a former English teacher who recognizes Akeelah's talent and uses a tough-love approach to try to bring it out. Also in the cast is Angela Bassett as Akeelah's mom. Akeelah is the latest in a film series showcasing titles recently released on DVD. Showtime is 7 p.m. at the library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Admission is free. Call: 410-313-7717.

Samurai film at Charles

Kill! (Kiru), starring Tatsuya Nakadai and Etsushi Takahashi as ronin who become pawns in a government official's deadly game, is this weekend's penultimate offering in the Charles Theatre's 12-week samurai film series. The 1968 film, directed by Kihachi Okamoto, is described by Kung Fun Cinema's Mark Pollard as a "comedy full of blatant genre references, Spaghetti Western motifs and rollicking swordplay action. Yet it still possesses a dark and cynical slant." Showtime is noon tomorrow, with encores set for 7 p.m. Monday and 9 p.m. Thursday. Admission is $6 tomorrow, $8 other times. Information: 410-727-FILM.

All night at Bengies

Movie lovers can rest from their labors Labor Day weekend by spending all night at Bengies Drive-In Theatre beginning at 7:45 p.m. either tomorrow or Sunday. Films featured in the marathons include Cars, Wicker Man, My Super Ex-Girlfriend, The Da Vinci Code and The Descent; festivities end at dawn Sunday and Monday with the playing of the national anthem. The box office at Bengies, 3417 Eastern Blvd., closes at 12:15 a.m., which means no one gets in after that. Information: 410-687-5627 or

Series wraps at the AFI

A pair of shouldn't-miss film series wrap this week at the American Film Institute's Silver Theatre, 8633 Colesville Road in Silver Spring. A retrospective of the films of David Lynch concludes with his hallucinogenic 2002 Mullholland Dr., starring Naomi Watts and Laura Elena Harring, while a look at the films of director Stanley Donen concludes with his hilarious 1967 comedy Bedazzled, starring Dudley Moore as a meek Briton who sells his soul to the devil (Peter Cook) in return for a handful of wishes. (And if you're wondering what kinds of wishes, most of them involve the seven deadly sins and one of them features Raquel Welch as Lust.) Showings of Mullholland Dr. begin at 9:10 tonight, while Bedazzled has its first showing at 7 tonight. For ticket information and additional showtimes: or 301-495-6720.

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