Harry Belafonte will receive the Heritage Lifetime Achievement Award at the Heritage Shadows of a Silver Screen Black Film Museum and Cinema on Nov. 7.
Heritage founder Michael Johnson says that Belafonte, who will be in town next week for a gig at the Meyerhoff, will accept the award at an invitation-only brunch, then will put his hands and feet in some cement for the museum's walk of fame. Renovation efforts at the museum's site at 5 W. North Ave. are still under way. Johnson said the Heritage should be open by early 1999.
Passers-by who noticed the "Private Screening Today" notice on the Senator Theatre's marquee last Sunday will be glad to know that the movie in question was "Notting Hill," a romantic comedy starring Julia Roberts and Hugh Grant from the creators of "Four Weddings and a Funeral." Originally intended to be a private screening for Roberts, who is in town filming "The Runaway Bride" with Richard Gere, the event was turned into a test-marketing preview, in which film-goers were polled on their reactions to the movie. Roberts sneaked in as the lights went down, decked out in an identity-concealing baseball cap, and was reported to have laughed along with the rest of the crowd. (She and her posse dined afterward at Cafe Zen.) Look for "Notting Hill" in theaters next year.
Senator owner Tom Kiefaber has had the distinction of holding on to the John Waters film, "Pecker," longer than anyone in Baltimore. Waters' latest comedy has had a spectacular run at the Senator, which has held over the movie twice due to popular demand. "Two separate times we counted the film down, and people came out of the woodwork," Kiefaber said, adding that this weekend will be "the third and final countdown for 'Pecker.' " To mark the film's five-week engagement, Waters will introduce the final showing on Sunday. ("Pecker" starts a weeklong run at the Charles Theatre today for all you slackers.)
Kiefaber shed a little light on that wacky short film that has preceded "Pecker." "Skyscrapers and Brassieres," a crypto-pornographic B-short that couches female nudity in the form of an "educational" film about aerodynam- ics, was "lent to the Senator by a collector," according to Kiefaber. "It would have shown at the Rex Theater in the early 1960s," he said by way of explanation, "before a 'lab-coat' movie." Lab-coat movies were soft-core blue pictures presented as medical-educational films to bypass censor boards back in the day. (That's a young Russ Meyer, of "Faster Pussycat, Kill, Kill" fame, in the final scene.)
Before Kiefaber brings back a restored version of "The Wizard of Oz" on Nov. 6, he will show local filmmaker Jonathan Slade's "Forest for the Trees," about a group of friends who come to terms with maturity and romance on a bike trip, Wednesday at 7 and 9: 30 p.m. Thursday will be 25-cent day, in recognition of the theater's 59th birthday. "Gunga Din" -- as well as a cartoon and historic coming attractions -- will be shown.