Recent stories by Michael Sragow

Rotunda opens fourth screen Friday

Fourth screen opens at Rotunda Cinemas with "Tyler's Perry's Madea's Witness Protection."

Movies under the stars for every day of the workweek

Baltimore's al fresco film festivals draw top crowds even on dog days.

'Health, Interrupted' led to assumptions, challenged

Poly students' 'Health, Interrupted,' about teacher's struggle with MS, makes Baltimore High School Film Festival.

'Nutshell' murder dioramas arrive on film

John Waters narrates 'Of Dolls And Murder,' story of the Nutshell Studies of Unexplained Death

Heartbreaking horror, played close to the bone

Heartbreaking horror and other gore

Lacrosse film has a hook, but could dig deeper

The moviemakers behind "Crooked Arrows" take square aim at making a "Mighty Ducks with lacrosse."

'Crooked Arrows,' the first lacrosse film, took a winding path

It took a superhero's efforts to help bring the first lacrosse feature to the screen

Indie movie starring Olivia Wilde, Sam Rockwell to film in Md.

'Better Living Through Chemistry' brings Liotta, Wilde, Rockwell and Monaghan to Maryland.

As Poe, John Cusack takes flights of fancy in 'The Raven'

The actor discusses embodying the rebel poet and Baltimorean.

Kevin Costner forges new frontiers with Modern West

Actor brings his band to Strathmore, Annapolis

Finding shards of light 'In Darkness'

Agnieszka Holland, director of 'In Darkness,' finds primal emotion in an abyss – as she also did in her episodes of 'The Wire.'

Steve Jobs biographer Walter Isaacson discusses the late, iconic Apple leader

Author of last year's best-selling nonfiction book will speak at CityLit Festival

Kevin Clash shines in new documentary 'Being Elmo'

The warm and fuzzy new documentary starring the Baltimore native premieres at the Charles Theatre

Tax credit to speed Senator Theatre renovations

Tax credit to speed Senator Theatre renovations

Magician Michael Cantor picks up the tools of the trade

A new book and a magic prop workshop are helping the illusionist realize his childhood dream of being a master illusionist

Michael Tucker draws on family cancer crisis for new novel

Much of the Baltimore-born actor and author's book 'After Annie' hits close to home

Baltimore Book Festival 2011: Tales of Mobtown boom, bust and bigotry energize fest

The Baltimore Book Festival casts a floodlight on forgotten corners of Baltimore history.

Formula One driver Ayrton Senna is the high priest of speed in 'Senna'

Racecar great Ayrton Senna gets a movie worthy of his wit, intellect and drive in the thrilling documentary 'Senna'

Luke Murray, son of actor Bill, is helping turn around Towson's basketball team

Despite his father's initial reservations, Murray has found success as an assistant coach with a knack for recruiting

Looking back at 'Diner,' 30 years later

Barry Levinson's film about a bunch of guys hanging out in 1959 Baltimore may be 30, but its star-studded cast and long-lasting influence are timeless.

Laura Lippman's darker side of Dickeyville

With her new novel "The Most Dangerous Thing," the ace crime writer sets a nightmare in the idyllic neighborhood on the western edge of Baltimore

John Waters, Ron Shelton, David Simon react to 'Diner'

Baltimore notables offer their opinions of the film

The oddities of Otakon

Baltimore's ever-growing celebration of Japanese pop has everything from kiddie cartoons to apocalyptic fantasies

Arts-donation website helps Matt Porterfield turn his new film into a cliffhanger

Ambitious independent filmmakers like Baltimore's Matt Porterfield find funding on the Web with Kickstarter

'Diner' to be turned into Broadway musical

Another classic American film set in Baltimore will be turned into a Broadway musical. Barry Levinson has adapted "Diner," his well-regarded 1982 movie, for the stage. With music and lyrics by rock singer-songwriter Sheryl Crow, the new show is scheduled to open in New York next fall.

Sigmund Freud, William Halsted and cocaine addiction

Howard Markel's "An Anatomy of Addiction" casts the two medical giants as intellectual trailblazers — and cokeheads

'The Big Uneasy' taps into outrage over flooding of New Orleans

In the lucid, infuriating 'Big Uneasy,' Harry Shearer proves there was nothing "natural" about the 2005 disaster in New Orleans

Moviegoers are showing signs of 3-D fatigue

3-D technology can still boost a film's fortunes, but audiences have started to balk at high ticket prices and lackluster releases

Baltimore's Lester Speight defends the human race in 'Transformers 3'

Lester Speight wields the big guns and shows off his improv-comic chops in 'Transformers 3: Dark of the Moon."

Local boy makes good with 'Cars' and even better 'Cars 2'

Prince George's County's Bob Moyer made sure the four-wheeled stars overflowed with heart and wit in 'Cars 2'

AFI Silver showcases terrific made-in-Maryland documentaries

Maryland Film Festival hits 'The Learning' and 'Cafeteria Man' leap to AFI documentary festival

Revival of breaking brings a blast of new energy to Baltimore

Breaking is drawing live-wire crowds to Baltimore funk parties .

Baltimore's outdoor summer film series overflow with personality

Baltimore's open-air film series promise fun for all ages – and a sprinkle of midsummer's nights dreams

These are a few of their favorite films

Playing favorites: open-air festivals honor the people's choice

Author Karen Rose debuts new romantic suspense series set in Baltimore

Karen Rose delivers a high body count and a happy ending in her Baltimore-set thriller, 'You Belong to Me'

Learning the tricks of Baltimore's 'Tradesmen'

Richard Yeagley's "The Tradesman: Making an Art of Work" skillfully explores the art and craft of honest, blue-collar work

Nicole Ari Parker gets laughs -- at last! -- in '35 and Ticking'

Nicole Ari Parker lets her hair down in '35 and Ticking'

Short, but sweet success

Creativity, ingenuity and a refreshing lack of conformity shared by "Sun Shorts" contest winners

Maryland transplant recipient plays a role in 'The 5th Quarter'

Casey Towers, who received a donor heart from a teen-age boy, becomes part of his family's inspirational story in 'The 5

After graduation, street artist Gaia takes flight

Gaia uses hybrid creatures and historical figures to revitalize worn-out urban sites

Jason Winer creates a new Brand for 'Arthur'

Jason Winer of Pikesville -- and Russell Brand, Helen Mirren and Greta Gerwig -- team up to revamp Dudley Moore hit, "Arthur."

Operators alter Senator plans in order to add three new screens

Three new screens would bring more punch to the Senator, according to Cusacks' new plan

Where to spot Baltimore in 'The Social Network'

Johns Hopkins Homewood campus locations were used as Harvard locations in "The Social Network."

Black History Month movie: 'Intruder in the Dust'

This evocative 1949 film examines racism and mob mentality in the Jim Crow South.

Anne Watts does 'Intolerance' at MICA

"Intolerance" inspires Anne Watts to expand the sound of Boister and capture epic heartbreak and sensuality

'Sweet Smell of Success' has classic aroma

Pratt pays tribute to late Tony Curtis with his best drama, "Sweet Smell of Success."

Salving psychological wounds with talk and food

Paula Butturini, author of "Keeping the Feast," says that food offered relief from depression — and from writing about depression.

If you liked (or hated) 'Black Swan,' you'll love 'Red Shoes'

In the 1948 classic, which still out-classes "Black Swan," British filmmakers and Moira Shearer brought passion and genuine dance fever to 'Red Shoes.'

'Alien' once again bursts onto the big screen, at the Charles

Rewriting the male lead for a woman — and casting Sigourney Weaver — ignited the sci-fi/horror smash "Alien," the next film in the Gunky's Basement series.

Edward Norton takes 'Stone' on a black-magical mystery tour

Edward Norton plays a convicted arsonist who spooks prison caseworker Robert De Niro (and the audience) in 'Stone"

End of an era at the Senator Theatre

Kiefaber says farewell to The Senator

The Senator hopes to head into the black starting with 'Red'

Buzz and Kathleen Cusack announce plans for reopening on Oct. 15 and executing a "global renovation" in 2011