Apparently, the answer should have been obvious.
When it comes to African-American cinema, the clear crowd favorite is "A Raisin In the Sun," director Daniel Petrie's 1961 adaptation of Lorraine Hansberry's play about a black family moving into an all-white neighborhood.
"It blew everybody else out," says Michael Johnson, founder of Heritage Shadows of the Silver Screen, a long-planned Baltimore showcase for African-American movies that has been conducting an online poll of film fans. "There were 57,000 votes cast, and 51,000 of them included 'A Raisin In the Sun.' "
Tomorrow at the Charles, the 50 top vote-getters -- each person could vote for up to 50 films -- will be feted.
The program, scheduled to begin at 5: 30 p.m., will include 20-second clips of Nos. 2 through 50, followed by a showing of the complete "A Raisin In the Sun."
Other films that made the list include "The Color Purple" (2), "Carmen Jones" (6), "Sparkle" (19), "Stormy Weather" (31) and "Putney Swope" (50).
Johnson, who plans an Easter weekend opening for his theater, says he hopes to show every film on the list by summer's end. Work on converting the former O'Dell's nightclub at 21 E. North Ave. into a combination theater/cafe/museum continues.
Tickets for tomorrow's event at the Charles are $10 and may be purchased at the door. Call 410-764-1210.
At the 14-Karat Cabaret
Laure Drogoul will grow another 14-Karat Cabaret tomorrow, with performances by the Swing' Swamis, Parker Paul and Jenna McAuliffe and Joe Meduza. Martha Colburn, who recently returned to town after a teaching stint in San Francisco, will also show some of her famous found-footage gems.
The 14-Karat Cabaret is a series of casual performances, music, dance, film and video at the Maryland Art Place, 218 W. Saratoga St. Doors open at 9 p.m. Show time is 9: 30. Admission is $6.
'Berlin' screens Sunday
Cinema Sundays at the Charles continues its Winter 2000 series this weekend with a sneak peak at "Judy Berlin," Eric Mendelsohn's funny and touching film about a young Long Island woman who dreams of stardom, even as her neighbors fall into various degrees of loneliness and despair. Edie Falco ("The Sopranos") stars. The movie's producer, Rocco Caruso, will be on hand to discuss the film after the screening.
Doors open at 9: 45 a.m., when coffee and bagels will be served. Show time is 10: 30 a.m. Four film mini-memberships are available at the door for $52. Individual tickets may also be bought for $15. Call 410-727-3464.
"Judy Berlin" will also be screened Monday when the Shooting Gallery, a New York-based film company, launches the Shooting Gallery Film Club. The biweekly film series will present sneak previews of coming Shooting Gallery films. All films will be shown the Monday before they open at the Loews Valley Centre in Owings Mills.
Monday's speaker will be Arion Berger, film reviewer for Washington City Paper, who will be introduced by National Public Radio's Pat Dowell. Films include "Orphans," "Such a Long Journey," "Southpaw," "Croupier" and "Adrenaline Drive."
Memberships to the six-film series are $90 and can be purchased by calling 877-905 FILM, Ext. 3456, or by visiting the Web site at www.movies.yahoo.com/sg filmseries. Memberships can also be bought at the Valley Centre box office on Monday.
William Powell! Myrna Loy!
Towson University's Film & Video Society continues its spring film series, "Comedies of Romance and Marriage" on Monday with a screening of "Double Wedding," the 1937 madcap comedy starring William Powell and Myrna Loy as a wacky painter and driven dress designer who find love in the midst of busy schedules.
All films are shown at 7: 30 p.m. in Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium on the Towson campus. Admission is free. For more information, call the Center for the Arts Box Office at 410-830-2787.
Congratulations to Karen Hinds and Rebecca Jessop, whose "CineMaryland" program recently took home a prestigious Telly Award. The monthly half-hour program, which focuses on news from the state's movie industry can be seen on nine cable stations in 10 counties. The Telly Awards were founded in 1980 to recognize excellence in film and video productions throughout the United States.
And kudos to local filmmakers Susan Hadary and William Whiteford, whose 39-minute film "King Gimp" was a nominee Tuesday for the Oscar for best short documentary. Hadary and Whiteford's film is about Daniel Keplinger, a Towson artist and former Towson University student with cerebral palsy, whom the filmmakers followed for 12 years as he overcame his physical challenges to live in the mainstream.
The Fells Point Creative Alliance will play host Thursday to a program of films curated by The Sun's film critic, who will show a sampling of short films she has admired during her travels through the microcinema scenes of Athens, Ga., Austin, Texas, and Baltimore.
The show starts at 8 p.m. at the Ground Floor, 1726 Thames St. Admission is $5 ($4 for FPCA members), and proceeds go to the FPCA's video programs.