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Barry Levinson

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By ANN HORNADAY and ANN HORNADAY,SUN FILM CRITIC | November 18, 1999
Liberty Heights," the fourth in Barry Levinson's cycle of films set in his hometown of Baltimore, hews closely to the director's signature style of character-driven drama infused with enough observant humor regarding human foibles to qualify also as a comedy. Set in 1954 Baltimore, when schools were just beginning to integrate, the film deals with race, class and anti-Semitism through the eyes of two young men who are tentatively exploring a world outside their own Jewish neighborhood.In true Levinsonian manner, their discoveries result in comic misunderstandings as tougher-edged drama.
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NEWS
By David Zurawik and David Zurawik,Television Critic | January 31, 1993
Baltimore has never seen anything like the prime-tim treatment it's going to get after the Super Bowl tonight when NBC launches Barry Levinson's "Homicide: Life on the Street."Created by Baltimore-to-the-bone Levinson and based on a book by Sun reporter David Simon, "Homicide" is breakthrough television, a grit-and-grime drama about an ensemble of Baltimore-based homicide detectives. Stylistically, it owes more to French film director Jean-Luc Godard than any prime-time TV show should dare.
FEATURES
By Chris Kaltenbach and Chris Kaltenbach,SUN STAFF | November 19, 1999
Listen up, hon. The Baltimore of the 1950s lives, and here's how you can find it.Today at the Senator Theatre (which harks back to 1930s Baltimore -- talk about nostalgia!), native son Barry Levinson's latest cinematic love letter to Charm City, "Liberty Heights," opens. Set in 1954 and influenced by his own experiences growing up, Levinson's latest recalls a gentler time, when Pennsylvania Avenue was the center of black culture, when The Block was still The Block, and when, for a Jewish kid from Northwest Baltimore, everything east of Falls Road was uncharted territory.
FEATURES
By Michael Sragow and Michael Sragow,michael.sragow@baltsun.com | October 6, 2009
Barry Levinson's best documentary to date receives its American premiere today at the perfect Baltimore venue: M&T Bank Stadium. "The Band That Wouldn't Die" is his funny, stirring account of how the Baltimore Colts Marching Band kept marching after the Colts moved to Indianapolis. The Colts band kept promoting the idea that Baltimore could once again be an ideal football city. Its members kept dreaming that impossible dream until it came true - and they triumphantly transfigured into the Marching Ravens.
ENTERTAINMENT
By Ann Hornaday and Ann Hornaday,Sun Film Critic | November 7, 1999
Around this time last year, director Barry Levinson was still filming "Liberty Heights," the fourth installment in a cycle of films inspired by his early life in Baltimore. Throughout the fall, Levinson, his cast and crew had been filming in and around the city, transforming The Block, Pennsylvania Avenue and Park Heights into 1950s versions of themselves.Like "Diner," "Tin Men" and "Avalon" before it, "Liberty Heights" had all the earmarks of a typical Levinson Baltimore movie. But an early reading of the script and conversations with Levinson's colleagues suggested that there was something different about this one.For one thing, its subject matter -- race, religion and class and how they interplayed during the era of Brown vs. Board of Education -- was far more pointed than in Levinson's past films, where Jewish culture might have been suggested but was never the subject at hand.
FEATURES
By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN STAFF | December 2, 1999
You've lived in Baltimore three weeks. A real-estate scam has schnookered you; lawsuits might loom. A fun-loving local, no doubt in a state of religious rapture, has bashed in your car windows to steal two Gregorian-chant CDs (and you left them under the seat). You've been kicked out of your lodgings, you've stored your worldly goods in Linthicum, you've put two angry cats in a kennel and you've lived out of a Glad bag for 10 days."Baltimore has its charms," a new colleague said before you moved here from Missouri.
FEATURES
By Jonathan Pitts and Jonathan Pitts,SUN STAFF | September 17, 2003
Life imitates art just as art imitates life. But what happens when each mimics the other? Baltimore writing fans might well find out when native son Barry Levinson, director of such films as Diner, Rain Man and Liberty Heights, reads from his new - and first-ever - novel, Sixty-Six to open the eighth annual Baltimore Book Festival at Mount Vernon Place on Saturday. Sixty-Six (Broadway Books, $24), in stores today, sets a crew of young adults against a backdrop of change. Ben and Turko, Iggy and Neil - witty, angst-ridden teens in 1960s Baltimore - hash out life events large and small at the local diner on Reisterstown Road.
FEATURES
By JONATHAN PITTS and JONATHAN PITTS,SUN STAFF | December 23, 1999
It's a cold, bleak mid-December in Northern Ireland, and after repeated 12-hour days on the set, Barry Levinson is a tad weary. The man who turned wannabes like Kevin Bacon into stars, who coaxes turns from DeNiro and Sharon Stone, may not hanker for cell-phone chit-chat on his bumpy ride back to the hotel, but the chortling director is eager to talk about the one and only actor who has appeared in every single one of his 15 films."
ENTERTAINMENT
By Michael Sragow, The Baltimore Sun | December 3, 2011
Few films in movie history — and maybe no other film by a first-time writer-director — proved to be the breakthrough moment for as many talents as a made-in-Baltimore comedy-drama called "Diner. " Viewers still respond to all the people in it, not as old friends but as fresh discoveries. That seductive fellow with the voice that flows as fluidly as his pompadour — my God, it's Mickey Rourke. That gal with the asymmetrically alluring mouth and the heartbreaking way with a line — could it be Ellen Barkin?
FEATURES
By Chris Kridler and Chris Kridler,SUN STAFF | February 13, 1998
There are rules in movies like "Sphere."First, a small group of brilliant people, including one who's a little wacko, must confront the unknown using lots of blinking equipment and computers. As in, say, "The Abyss." Or "Sphere."Second, they have to be isolated by an unpredictable force. A tropical storm is good, as in, say, "Leviathan." Or "Sphere."Third, the unknown must start killing people off. If monsters are too obvious, horrors from the subconscious will work, as in, say, "Event Horizon."
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