`Strange Fruit' at Jewish Film Fest

Local screenings

May 16, 2008|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,Sun reporter

The 2008 Baltimore Jewish Film Festival wraps Sunday with Joel Katz's Strange Fruit (2002), a look at the song of the same name made famous by Billie Holiday's hauntingly evocative 1939 recording and subsequent performances. The movie will be presented by filmmaker Ivy Meeropol, whose grandfather, Bronx, N.Y., schoolteacher Abel Meeropol, wrote the song after seeing a photograph of a Southern lynching. Showtime is 3 p.m. at the Baltimore Museum of Art, 10 Art Museum Drive. Admission: $9. Information: balti morejff.com or 410-542-4900, ext. 239.

Movie on homelessness

Jupiter's Wife, documentary filmmaker Michel Negroponte's two-year visit with a homeless New York woman named Maggie, will be the subject of this month's Film Talk at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St. The 1995 film, which challenges much of what we presume to know about the homeless, won the Special Jury Prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Showtime is 10 a.m. tomorrow in the library's Wheeler Auditorium, with discussion set to follow. Admission is free. Information: 410-396-5430.

Over-the-top effects

The Enoch Pratt Free Library's "Rare Reels: The Best Films You've Never Seen" series continues tomorrow with Ishiro Honda's 1969 Latitude Zero, an anti-war film (from the director of the original Godzilla) complete with giant rats, flying tigers and the sort of cheesy special effects they just don't do anymore. The cast includes Hollywood vets Joseph Cotten (creepy Uncle Charlie from Shadow of a Doubt) as the hero and Cesar Romero (the original Joker from the Batman TV series) as an evil scientist. Showtime is 2 p.m. at the central library, 400 Cathedral St. Admission is free. Information: 410-396-5430.

Mistaken identity

The Charles Theatre's Alfred Hitchcock retrospective continues tomorrow with 1959's North by Northwest, which may contain the single most famous scene in the entire Hitchcock canon: Cary Grant being hunted down by a crop duster in a Midwest cornfield. Grant plays Roger O. Thornhill, who has the misfortune of being mistaken for a CIA operative named Caplan. Eva Marie Saint, James Mason, Martin Landau and Mount Rushmore also star. Showtime is noon tomorrow, with encores set for 7 p.m. Monday and 9 p.m. Thursday at 1711 N. Charles St. Tickets are $6 tomorrow, $8 other days. Information: thecharles.com or 410-727-3456.

Screenwriting workshop

A six-class beginner's screenwriting workshop, taught by the Johns Hopkins University's Aaron Gentzler, co-founder of Black Ink Films, begins Tuesday at the Creative Alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave. Sessions run 7 p.m. to 9:30 p.m. Tuesdays through June 24. Register today, and the cost is $120; $90 for alliance members. After today, the cost increases to $150; $120 for alliance members. Information: 410-276-1651 or creativealliance.org.

Israeli feature

Jellyfish (Meduzot), the story of three very different women who meet at a Tel Aviv, Israel, wedding, is this weekend's scheduled Cinema Sundays offering at the Charles, 1711 N. Charles St. The film, from Israeli directors Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret, won a screenwriting prize and was named best first feature at last year's Cannes Film Festival. Showtime is 10:35 a.m. Sunday, preceded by 50 minutes of no-extra-charge coffee and bagels. Information: 410-727-3456 or cinemasundays.com.

chris.kaltenbach@baltsun.com

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