Microcinefest: a weekend of edgy films


local screenings

November 10, 2006|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,Sun Reporter

Baltimore's 10th annual Microcinefest, a celebration of all things cutting-edge in film, runs through Sunday at the G-Spot, 2980 Falls Rd. in Hampden. Founder Skizz Cyzyk has turned Microcinefest into one of the most respected underground film festivals in the country, and this 10th edition (which Cyzyk vows will be the last, since he wants to devote more time to his music and filmmaking) should prove no exception, bringing filmmakers from around the country to show their films to what is inevitably an appreciative, if critical, audience.

Tonight's offerings include The Human BEEing, the tale of a mad employer seeking to turn all of his office typists into worker drones (6 p.m., playing with a collection of shorts); a program of "Experimiscellaneous Shorts," with titles like Dollar Disobedience, Caress, Given: The Undead and The Joy Of Leisure (8 p.m.) and Boris Gavrilovic & Leon Martin's My Life As An Underdog (10 p.m.), a documentary look at performance artist Suzanne Muldowney, who has spent three decades performing her interpretations of the cartoon hero Underdog at parades and community events and on cable access television. Tickets are $5 per film or shorts program. Information: microcinefest.org.

Artists on film

Towson University's Fall film series, "Film, Art, and Artists," continues Monday with Mary Harron's I Shot Andy Warhol (1996), a drama based on the life of Valerie Solanas, a radical feminist, author (The SCUM Manifesto) and part-time actress (Warhol's 1967 I, a Man) who shot the famed pop artist outside his Greenwich Village studio, The Factory, in June 1968. Lili Taylor stars as Solanas; others in the cast include Jared Harris, Martha Plimpton and Jill Hennessy. Susan Isaacs, a member of the art faculty at Towson, will serve as host for the screening. The series continues on Monday nights through Dec. 11. Showtime is 7:30 p.m. in the auditorium of Van Bokkelen Hall. Towson University is at 8000 York Road. Information: towson.edu.

Silents at church

Rudolph Valentino's final, and perhaps most popular, film, 1926's The Son of the Shiek, will be screened Sunday at St. Mark's Lutheran Church, 1900 St. Paul St., with live musical accompaniment by organist James Harp, chorus master of the Baltimore Opera Company. Director George Fitzmaurice's film, a sequel to 1921's The Shiek, starred a reluctant Valentino, who wanted to avoid the stereotypical exotic lover roles that he felt limited him as an actor. But that's how the public wanted him, and Valentino threw himself into the role, smoldering onscreen to a degree 1920s filmgoers (especially female ones) found absolutely intoxicating. Though not his best film or performance to modern eyes, this is the Valentino who became a part of Hollywood lore. Showtime is 2 p.m. and admission is free, although donations are appreciated. Information: 410-752-5804 or stmarksluthbaltimore.org/.

Cinema Sundays

Writer-director Emilio Estevez's Bobby, centering on the lives of 22 people who were at Los Angeles' Ambassador Hotel the night Sen. Robert F. Kennedy was killed in 1968, is this weekend's scheduled offering for Cinema Sundays at The Charles. The film's stars include Lindsay Lohan, Ashton Kutcher, Harry Belafonte, Heather Graham, Sharon Stone, Anthony Hopkins, Laurence Fishburne and Demi Moore. Showtime Sunday at The Charles, 1711 N. Charles St., is 10:35 a.m., preceded by 45 minutes of no-extra-charge coffee and bagels. Tickets are $15. Information: 410-727-FILM or cinemasundays.com.

`Joyeux Noel'

Joyeux Noel, France's nominee for the Foreign Language Film Oscar in 2006, will be shown Thursday at the East Columbia branch of the Howard County Public Library, the latest in a series of new DVD releases being screened there. The film, in French and German with English subtitles, tells the story of an impromptu cease-fire that broke out on Christmas Eve 1914 along the front lines of a World War I battle. The film stars Diane Kruger and Benno Furmann as German singers who pool their talents to create a lull in the fighting, one officers on both sides of the conflict would pay dearly for later. Showtime is 7 p.m. at the library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Admission is free, as are the soda and popcorn. Information: 410-313-7717.

Hip-hop at the Pratt

A series of films featuring and/or centering on hip-hop culture concludes next week at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St. Tuesday's offerings are 5 Sides of a Coin (2003), writer-director Paul Kell's examination of hip-hop as a worldwide phenomenon, and Morning Breath (2002), a short film based on a work by performance poet muMs da Schemer. The series, part of the library's "Hip-Hop Happenings," concludes Wednesday with Scratch, Doug Pray's fascinating and energetic documentary about hip-hop DJs. Screenings both days begin at 5:30 p.m. in the library's Wheeler Auditorium. Admission is free. Information: epfl.net/events or 410-396-5430.


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