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FESTIVAL SCHEDULE & FILM GUIDE

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Nearly all film screenings are at the Charles Theatre, 1711 N. Charles St. Other venues for films and special events are

the Charles Palace, 225 N. Charles St.;

the Senator Theatre,

5904 York Road; Heritage Cinema House, 19-21 E. North Ave.;

the Bengies Drive-In, 3417 Eastern Blvd.;

Evergreen House, 4545 N. Charles St.;

and the National Aquarium, 501 E. Pratt St.

FILM GUIDE

THE AMERICAN ASTRONAUT

(dir. Cory McAbee)

This offbeat, black-and-white, musical, space-western comedy was a hit at Sundance.

AMERICAN CHAI (dir. Anurog Mehta)

Slamdance Audience Choice Award winner. A heartfelt coming-of-age story about a young, first-generation Indian-American college student who secretly majors in music while his immigrant parents think he's graduating pre-med.

BALTIMORE RAVENS VIDEO

From NFL Films, a big-screen showing of the video that recaps the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl XXXV championship.

BAXTER (dir. Jerome Boivin)

John Waters serves as guest host for a rare public screening of this 1988 French film about a serial-killing bull terrier.

BRAZIL (dir. Terry Gilliam)

Terry Gilliam's visually stunning Orwellian masterpiece will be hosted by noted architect, Richard Gluckman.

BURNING MAN: THE BURNING

SENSATIONS (dir. Alex Nohe)

This documentary serves as a good introduction to the annual Burning Man Festival, held in Nevada's Black Rock Desert.

CHAIN CAMERA (dir. Kirby Dick)

Award-winning documentarian Kirby Dick handed out 10 video cameras to 10 students at ethnically diverse John Marshall High School in Los Angeles. These students filmed their lives for a week and then passed on the cameras to 10 other students, and so on.

COFFIN JOE: THE STRANGE WORLD

OF JOSE MOJICA MARINS

(dirs. Andre Barcinski and Ivan Finotti)

A documentary that chronicles the life and career of Brazilian gore director Jose Mojica Marins, from his beginnings in filmmaking to his persecution by the Brazilian government.

THE CONNECTION (dir. Steve Yeager)

World premiere of award-winning director Steve Yeager's film adaptation of Jack Gelber's classic play about drug addiction.

COBB (dir. Ron Shelton)

New Baltimore Sun movie critic Michael Sragow will host a screening of Ron Shelton's biography of baseball great Ty Cobb. The film's editor, Paul Seydor, will also participate in the screening and show scenes that did not make the final cut, and explain why.

DAYDREAM BELIEVER

(dir. Debra Eisenstadt)

Winner of the Grand Jury Prize for Best Dramatic Feature at Slamdance. The age-old story of a small-town girl who leaves home to try her luck as an actress in the big city.

DR. STRANGELOVE

OR: HOW I LEARNED TO STOP

WORRYING AND LOVE THE BOMB

(dir. Stanley Kubrick)

National Public Radio's Scott Simon is guest host of this screening of the 1964 classic Cold War black comedy, starring George C. Scott, Sterling Hayden, Slim Pickens and Peter Sellers (playing three separate characters).

FOUR DOGS PLAYING POKER

(dir. Paul Rachman)

After four friends botch the delivery of a stolen piece of art, an art dealer gives them one week to come up with a million dollars or face death. Their solution: Take out million-dollar life-insurance policies on themselves and see who dies first. Starring Tim Curry, Stacy Edwards, Balthazar Getty and Olivia Williams.

THE GIRLS' ROOM

(dir. Irene Turner)

Two college roommates who couldn't be more different try to get along in the last weeks of college. Casey, played by Soleil Moon Frye, is rebellious and partakes in casual sex while Grace, played by Cat Taber, is the perfect Southern belle who is looking forward to her perfect wedding.

HAPPY MAN

(dir. Malgorzata Szumowska)

The story of a 30-year-old man who lives with his mother in tenement housing in Poland. His life becomes complicated when his mother becomes ill at the same time that he meets a woman who attracts him.

HARLEM ARIA

(dir. William Jennings)

A mentally slow young man from Harlem sets out on foot to fulfill his dream of becoming an opera singer in Italy. On the way, he befriends a street hustler (Damon Wayans) and a talented, but discouraged pianist.

HYBRID (dir. Monteith McCollum)

Major award winner at Slamdance and South by Southwest. A documentary about Milford Beeghly, a 100-year-old Iowa farmer, his troubled relations with his family and his life-long obsession with hybrid seed corn.

I REMEMBER ME (dir. Kim A. Snyder)

When filmmaker Snyder was stricken with chronic fatigue syndrome, she set out to learn all about this baffling disease. Her findings are in this documentary, which includes testimonials from dozens of individuals stricken with the disease, including film director Blake Edwards and soccer star Michelle Akers.

INTO THE WEST (dir. Mike Newell)

A modern fable in which two young Traveller boys flee from Dublin on a magical white horse. The screening will be presented by Baltimore Mayor Martin O'Malley as part of the ongoing Guest Host Program.

INVESTIGATION OF A FLAME

(dir. Lynne Sachs)

The opening-night film is a documentary that chronicles the historic 1968 Catonsville 9 action protesting the Vietnam War. Many members of the Catonsville 9, as well as other individuals involved in the action and the resulting trial, will be on hand at the screening.

LIFT (dirs. DeMane Davis

and Khari Streeter)

This Sundance 2000 feature hit tells the story of a talented young woman (Kerry Washington) who works in high-end retail most of the time, but who has a sizable business stealing or "boosting" name-brand fashion items for her client base. "Lift" was the first recipient of the Maryland Filmmakers Fellowship, and has won several writing awards since then.

LONESOME (dir. Elke Rosthal)

The story of a headstrong young woman who hitches a ride with a country-music-singing cowboy. Her political-candidate father treats the situation as a kidnapping to help his ambition.

LUNCH WITH CHARLES

(dir. Michael Parker)

A romantic comedy about two couples whose paths and cultures intertwine on a fated journey from Hong Kong to Banff, Canada.

MENTAL (dir. Tom Russell)

A group of patients from a mental institute are camped on a beach preparing for what they believe is the war on drugs. Bill Nelson gives a dazzling performance as the leader of this ragtag military unit.

MR. SMITHEREEN GOES

TO WASHINGTON

(dir. Josh Tunick)

World-premiere screening of the documentary that covers Pat Dinizio's (lead singer of the rock band the Smithereens) run for the U.S. Senate in New Jersey as the Reform Party candidate. A look at the trials of a political outsider as he tries to run against the political establishment. (Dinizio will also perform during the festival.)

MUTANT ALIENS (dir. Bill Plympton)

The latest feature from popular animator Bill Plympton. After 20 years in space, a stranded astronaut returns to Earth, with his new extraterrestrial friends, seeking revenge against the government that stranded him.

THE OPPONENT (dir. Eugene Jarecki)

The story of a young woman who enters the world of boxing to take control of her life. Erika Eleniak ("Baywatch") gives a compelling performance in the lead role.

PLASTER CASTER

(dir. Jessica Villines)

A documentary about Cynthia Plaster Caster, who for more than 30 years has made and collected plaster casts of male rock stars' genitalia.

PORTRAIT OF JASON

(dir. Shirley Clarke)

World premiere of a newly restored print. Experimental filmmaker Shirley Clarke's classic 1967 documentary about a street hustler.

REDISCOVERING GEORGE WASHINGTON (dir. Michael Pack)

A documentary about the Revolutionary War general and first president of the United States provides insight into the man as well as his accomplishments.

RHYTHM N BAYOUS: A ROAD MAP

TO LOUISIANA MUSIC

(dir. Robert Mugge)

The latest from music-documentary filmmaker Robert Mugge explores the music of north and south Louisiana.

RIDERS (dir. Doug Sadler)

From Maryland's Eastern Shore comes this feature about a young girl's attempt to escape a dysfunctional family by traveling to New Orleans in search of her real father.

STARTUP.COM (dirs. Chris Hegedus and Jehane Noujaim)

A hit from this year's Sundance Film Festival, this documentary traces the extraordinary path of two young entrepreneurs who go through all the steps of starting and building a new Internet company during the height of the Internet explosion.

SUN RA: A JOYFUL NOISE

(dir. Robert Mugge)

Robert Mugge's 1980 portrait of visionary jazz artist Sun Ra. Partially filmed at Baltimore's legendary Famous Ballroom.

THIS NIGHT I'LL POSSESS

YOUR CORPSE

(dir. Jose Mojica Marins)

Brazilian director and actor Jose Mojica Marins' gravedigger character, Coffin Joe, returns in this gore classic.

2000 MANIACS

(dir. Herschell Gordon Lewis)

Gore-fest about the vengeful denizens of a revived Confederate town is considered by many to be director Lewis' best film.

TWO UNKNOWN PHOTOGRAPHERS

(dir. Kon Pet Moon)

Moon, a former UMBC film instructor, returns to Maryland with this documentary about the search for information regarding two photographers whose pictures sat unclaimed years after being dropped off for processing at a San Francisco photo shop.

AN UNFINISHED SYMPHONY

(dirs. Bestor Cram

and Mike Majaros)

Set primarily in Lexington, Mass., over Memorial Day weekend 1971, this documentary recounts Operation POW, a rally against the Vietnam War organized and led by Vietnam Veterans Against the War.

UNFORGIVEN (dir. Clint Eastwood)

Eastwood's Academy Award-winning exploration of the strange ethics of the Wild West stars Eastwood himself, Gene Hackman and Morgan Freeman. Baltimore Ravens coach Brian Billick serves as guest host at the screening.

A UNION IN WAIT (dir. Ryan Butler)

In 1997, Susan Parker and Wendy Scott decided they wanted to have a union ceremony in Wake Forest University's Wait Chapel, but the university told them no. This documentary chronicles their lesbian relationship and the controversy that divided a community in North Carolina.

WHO IS BERNARD TAPIE?

(dir. Marina Zenovich)

Fresh from its world-premiere screening at the Los Angeles Film Festival, this film chronicles Zenovich's attempt to explore the life of French businessman-sports entrepreneur-entertainer-politician Bernard Tapie.

THE WILD BUNCH: AN ALBUM

IN MONTAGE (dir. Paul Seydor)

An Academy Award-nominated documentary about the making of Sam Peckinpah's seminal work, "The Wild Bunch." Features unseen archival footage from Peckinpah's Mexican set.

THE WORLD'S GREATEST SINNER

(dir. Timothy Carey)

Timothy Carey stars as an insurance salesman who one day renames himself "God" and establishes his own religion. Rarely screened, it has earned the reputation as one of the most notorious underground movies.

Parking tips; ticket prices

The available parking lots and garages will vary throughout the three days of the Film Festival. Drivers should look for volunteers in the area of the Charles Theatre, who will direct them to parking.

With a few exceptions, Film Festival admission is $10 for each screening ($8 for seniors and students with ID). A three-film ticket is $20. Tickets for tonight's opening gala are $50. Closing-night tickets are $25. An all-access pass is $250, good for admission to all festival events. Call 410-481-6500 or 410-752-8083 to purchase tickets or buy them online at www.tickets.com or at the festival box office at the Charles Theatre beginning tomorrow at 10 a.m.

Film shorts

Black Mariah Film Festival

This traveling film festival makes its third appearance at the Maryland Film Festival, as curator John Columbus presents a collection of short films.

Documentary shorts program

A collection of short films that both inform and entertain.

Experimental shorts program

A collection of short films that don't use a traditional linear narrative structure but still convey powerful thoughts and emotions.

Narrative shorts program

Some stories don't need an hour and a half to be told. These narrative shorts each tell a story in about a quarter of that time.

Short shorts program

Size doesn't matter as these short films pack their message and entertainment into a relatively small amount of time.

Slamdance shorts #1

Award-winning and crowd-pleasing shorts from the 2001 Slamdance Film Festival.

Slamdance shorts #2

A second program of completely different shorts from Slamdance 2001.

SCHEDULE

THURSDAY, MAY 3

EVENING

6:30 Arrival of VIP guests and sidewalk block unveiling at Senator Theatre

7:00 Screening of "Investigation of a Flame,"

followed by celebratory party at the Evergreen House

FRIDAY, MAY 4

MORNING

11:30 The Connection

11:30 Chain Camera

AFTERNOON

12:00 I Remember Me

1:00 An Unfinished Symphony

2:00 Cobb

2:00 Lift

2:30 Documentary Shorts

3:00 Two Unknown Photographers

5:00 Daydream Believer

5:30 Who is Bernard Tapie?

5:30 The Wild Bunch: An Album in Montage

EVENING

7:00 Lunch With Charles

7:30 Baltimore Ravens video

7:30 The American Astronaut

7:30 A Union in Wait

8:00 Baxter

8:00 Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise

(at Heritage Cinema House)

9:00 Filmmakers' party (at Charles Palace)

9:30 Harlem Aria

9:30 Mental

10:00 Gore Gore Girls

10:00 Burning Man

12:00 The World's Greatest Sinner

SATURDAY, MAY 5

MORNING

10:00 TBA

10:30 I Remember Me

11:30 Lonesome

11:30 Filmmaking out of the Mainstream

(panel discussion)

11:30 An Unfinished Symphony

11:30 Documentary Shorts

(at Heritage Cinema House)

AFTERNOON

1:00 Brazil

1:00 Rediscovering George Washington

1:30 Happy Man

2:00 Investigation of a Flame

2:00 Slamdance Shorts #2

2:00 Daydream Believer

(at Heritage Cinema House)

3:30 Panel of Blood (panel discussion)

4:00 Lunch With Charles

4:00 Two Unknown Photographers

4:30 Lift

4:30 Experimental Shorts

4:30 CAMM Panel

(at Heritage Cinema House)

5:00 Sun Ra: A Joyful Noise

EVENING

6:30 Slamdance Shorts #1

7:00 Four Dogs Playing Poker

7:00 Hybrid

7:00 The Connection

(at Heritage Cinema House)

7:30 Mr. Smithereen Goes to Washington

7:30 The Girls' Room

9:00 American Chai

9:00 2000 Maniacs

and This Night I'll Possess

Your Corpse (at the Bengies Drive-In)

9:30 The Opponent

9:30 Plaster Caster

10:00 Riders

10:00 Rhythm N Bayous

12:00 The American Astronaut

SUNDAY, MAY 6

MORNING

10:00 Short Shorts

10:00 Mr. Smithereen Goes to Washington

(at Heritage Cinema House)

10:30 American Chai

10:30 Who Is Bernard Tapie?

11:00 Into the West

11:00 Writing in Two Media (panel discussion)

AFTERNOON

12:30 Narrative Shorts

12:30 Coffin Joe

12:30 Riders (at Heritage Cinema House)

1:00 Dr. Strangelove

1:00 The American Astronaut

1:30 Startup.com

3:00 Black Mariah Shorts

3:00 Lonesome (at Heritage Cinema House)

3:30 Mutant Aliens

3:30 Portrait of Jason

3:30 American Chai

4:00 Harlem Aria

EVENING

6:30 Screening of "Unforgiven,"

followed by closing-night party

at the National Aquarium

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