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"Diner" and "Cry-Baby"

"Diner" and "Cry-Baby"

We interviewed Mark Johnson, the executive producer of "Diner," for Baltimore magazine once, and he talked about introducing Barry Levinson to John Waters for the first time. "They both started talking about their Baltimore and I realized neither one had been in the other's Baltimore," he said. "Where Barry and his gang hung out had nothing to do with where John was." That contrast could not be put into more sharp relief than in two of the movies playing in The Charles' Revival Series this fall. Waters' "Cry-Baby," screening Nov. 13, is a world of campy subcultures starring Johnny Depp, Traci Lords, and Iggy Pop—maybe the most goyish cast ever assembled. Levinson's "Diner" (playing Nov. 15, 17, and 19), which Esquire called "the most influential movie of the last 30 years" a couple of years ago, is all neurotic Northwest Baltimore Jews hanging around shooting the shit, laying the groundwork for "Seinfeld" and the careers of Quentin Tarantino and Judd Apatow. Combined, they offer two starkly different—but both hugely entertaining—perspectives on Baltimore teenagers from its best filmmakers. The Charles Theater, 1711 N. Charles St., (410) 727-3456, thecharles.com.

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