Reel eye-openers at Hopkins Film Fest

April 10, 2009|By Chris Kaltenbach | Chris Kaltenbach,

Alfred Hitchcock, some hard-bitten high-schoolers and a bunch of hungry, edgy filmmakers will be sharing the spotlight at this weekend's Johns Hopkins Film Festival.

The annual event, a mix of big-name and no-name films and filmmakers, kicks off Friday with a pair of short-film programs. "In Short Order" (4:30 p.m.) includes a trio of short films, while "Hang on to Your Shorts" (6:30 p.m.) includes four. Both programs feature works from American and foreign directors.

Opening day of Film Fest 2009 concludes with an 8:30 p.m. screening of director Ari Gold's Adventures of Power, the story of a man's quest to become the world's greatest air drummer. The cast includes Michael McKean, Adrian Grenier (HBO's Entourage) and former Shirts lead singer Annie Golden. Gold will be on hand for a post-film discussion.

Saturday's offerings include director Tim McCann's The Poker Club, starring Edgewood native Johnathon Schaech (noon), a pair of shorts programs (3 p.m. and 5 p.m. in Hopkins' Mergenthaler Auditorium) and a 16mm print of Hitchcock's 1946 Notorious (8 p.m., Mergenthaler Auditorium), with Cary Grant as a spy and Ingrid Bergman as his sometimes-reluctant accomplice.

The festival concludes Sunday with David Seitz's Montserrat: Emerald of the Caribbean (noon); Norwegian director Petter Naess' Elling (2 p.m.), a 2002 Oscar nominee for best foreign language film; a pair of short-film programs (4 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.), the latter showcasing the work of Hopkins undergraduates; and Brick (7 p.m.), director Rian Johnson's 2005 film noir set in a high school, with a cast that includes Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Lukas Haas and Emilie de Ravin (ABC's Lost).

Films, unless noted otherwise, will be shown in the Shriver Hall auditorium on Hopkins' Homewood campus. Tickets are $5 per film, $10 for a day pass, $20 for a festival pass; free for Hopkins students, faculty and staff. For more information, go to

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