Sneak peek at Campion's 'Holy Smoke'


Cinema Sundays at the Charles continues this weekend with a sneak peek at "Holy Smoke," Jane Campion's movie that stars Kate Winslet as a young woman who embarks on a spiritual journey while on vacation in India, and Harvey Keitel as the deprogrammer hired by her family to bring her back home.

Johanna Crosby, a professor of philosophy at Morgan State University, will lead the post-screening discussion. Doors open at 9: 45 a.m. for a breakfast of bagels and coffee. Show time is 10: 30 a.m. Four-film mini-memberships are available at the door for $52. Individual tickets may also be purchased for $15. For more information, call 410-727-3464.

Kicking off Towson series

Towson University's annual spring film series begins Monday with a screening of "Seven Chances," the 1925 film by Buster Keaton. The movie will begin at 7: 30 p.m. in Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium, on the Towson campus. Admission is free. For more information, call 410-830-2787.

Fund-raiser for artists

A multiarts show will be held to raise funds for the three artists who were recently burned out of their loft space at 423 W. Baltimore St. On Tuesday night, the bands Splinter Faction and Puddle will perform, as will performance art groups Merlot Dinner Theater and Thundersmith. Abigminicircus will show some of its films, and Source of Uncertainty will provide video projections.

Admission is $5, and all proceeds go to Flora McGarrell, Brian Stansbury and Sue Frame. The party will be held at Winchester's, 102 Water St. (off Light Street, just north of Lombard). For more information, call John Hornsby at 410-962-8941, or Winchester's at 410-576-8558.

Fluid documentary

If you were unfortunate enough to miss last summer's performance of "Water Shorts," a synchronized swimming program performed at the Patterson Park pool by the community arts group Fluid Movement, you won't want to miss the movie. Filmmaker James Manni has made a video documentary about the sweat, tears and water that went into that extraordinary production, as well as a record of its sold-out performance before an enthusiastic audience. "Water Log: Fluid Movement in Patterson Park," featuring the music of Stephan Moore (who composed the music for the water show), will be shown at the Fells Point Creative Alliance's Ground Floor on Thursday at 8 p.m. (Fluid Movement will also perform "Carmen -- The Hotdog Opera," in which a cast of tofu wieners interprets the Bizet classic.) Admission is $5 ($4 for Alliance members). The Ground Floor is at 1726 Thames St. For more information, call 410-276-1651.

Recognition of local talent

Congratulations to Jon Jolles, who recently won a grant from the Creative Capital Foundation to finish his latest short film, "Levels." The Baltimore director, whose short, "Your Montana Vacation Tour of the World's Wonders Starts with This Coupon," was shown at the 1995 Sundance Film Festival, made "Levels" over two days last August at Hampden's Cafe Hon. Asked what the film is about, Jolles replied, "You know when you go into a restaurant and you sit at a table and the table wobbles and you take a match pack or a napkin and stick it under the legs to even it out? The film is about a guy who does that for a living."

Jolles received $3,200 to finish the film, which he is in the process of editing. The newly formed Creative Capital, which supports individual artists working in the performing, visual and media arts as well as digital and interdisciplinary fields, received more than 1,800 applicants after its first call for submissions last year. Seventy-five artists received grants. "Louisville," the award-winning short film by Joy Lusco and Scott Kecken, will be shown on the Showtime cable network Monday at 10: 30 p.m., as a finalist in Showtime's Black Filmmaker Showcase. The film, which stars Andre Braugher as a man who comes to terms with his father through his own son, can also be seen on the Web at Lusco and Kecken are currently editing their coming documentary about Baltimore street vendors known as a-rabs. Two years to the day after he won the Filmmakers Trophy for best documentary at the Sundance Film Festival, Baltimore director Steve Yeager finally signed a deal to have the movie shown in theaters. Yeager agreed last Saturday to have Winstar Film & Video, a video and DVD company, distribute "Divine Trash," a film about the early career of John Waters. Even though "Divine Trash" proved a favorite on the festival circuit after its world premiere at Sundance in 1997, the film has been kept off screens while Yeager battled his first distributor, Stratosphere Entertainment, for its print of the film. (Stratosphere refused to distribute "Divine Trash" after claiming that Yeager excised crucial scenes from the film.)

"Divine Trash" will open in San Francisco, Feb. 11, and will travel to Los Angeles, New York and Chicago. The film will open exclusively at the Senator Theatre this spring and will be available on video and DVD early this summer.

Video art symposium

The University of Maryland, Baltimore County and the Contemporary Museum of Baltimore will present a symposium on the state of video art on Feb. 11. "Video Art 2000" will take place at the visual arts building on the UMBC campus from 9 a.m. until 4: 30 p.m. The morning session will address the history of video art, and the afternoon session will concern video art's future in a digital universe.

The day will culminate with a reception, during which the four winners of a juried video art competition will be screened. The pieces will be shown at the Contemporary's Holliday Street Window Gallery in early March, as part of the museum's yearlong program of video works by established and emerging artists.

Registration for "Video Art 2000" is $50 ($35 for UMBC students and Contemporary Museum members). For more information, call 410-783-5720, Ext. 102.

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