"The Saragossa Manuscript" was a favorite of Jerry Garcia and Luis Bunuel, and why not? Wojciech Has' 1965 film is a hallucinatory trip into history, the sub-conscious and narrative itself. Zbigniew Cybulski stars as a Napoleonic soldier who spies a book of drawings and is drawn into a series of ever-unfolding dream-stories worthy of Scheherazade.
Garcia gave the Pacific Film Archives some money to find a complete print of the 180-minute movie, and the process of finding one ended the day before he died. From there Francis Ford Coppola and Martin Scorsese took up the cause. The Charles has brought "The Saragossa Manuscript" in for a rare four-day run, bringing one of the most spectacular examples of black-and-white Cinemascope filmmaking to lucky Baltimore filmgoers. "The Saragossa Manuscript" begins today (a Polish film with English subtitles).
Amos Gitai's "Kadosh" did so well last weekend that the Charles has decided to hold the movie over yet again. The film will play every night starting today, with matinees over the weekend (in Hebrew with English subtitles).
Cinema Sundays at the Charles this weekend will present "West Beirut," Ziad Doueiri's film about a group of kids making Super-8 films in war-torn West Beirut as they pursue teen-age dreams fueled by American pop culture. (By the way, Doueiri used to be a cameraman for Quentin Tarantino.) The guest speaker had yet to be announced at press time. "West Beirut" is in Arabic and French with subtitles.
A three-film mini-membership is available for $39. Individual tickets are available for $15 when doors open at 9: 45 a.m. Coffee and bagels will be served until the movie starts at 10: 30. For more information call 410-727-3464.
The Loews White Marsh Theatre continues its open-captioned film series Tuesday and Wednesday with screenings of "The Next Best Thing," a romantic comedy starring Madonna and Rupert Everett. The performances, which allow hearing-impaired filmgoers to enjoy first-run movies, will be part of the regular daily schedule, with one screening in the afternoon and one in the evening using captions. For more information call Loews marketing director Ben Ryland at 410-931-4980.