Film Capsules

THE BALTIMORE SUN

Adrift (dir. Tom Curran, USA) Revisiting his family's past in Alaska and Cape Cod, Tom Curran provides a first-person account of loss in an Irish-American family.

Adventures of Baron Munchausen (dir. Terry Gilliam, UK) Terry Gilliam's masterpiece will be presented by guest host Colleen Haskell, a Bethesda native and contestant from the first season of Survivor.

Americanos (dir. Paul Callahan, USA) A man in his 30s who lives with his mother and spends most of his time at the local bar gets wrapped up in a Cuban cigar smuggling scheme with his wealthy lawyer friend.

Beef (dir. Jon Baskin, USA) Documentary about four female poets who got together with four male musicians in a recording studio to put their poetry to music.

Big Time (dir. Chris Blum, USA) Chris Blum's 1988 concert film / music video documenting Tom Waits' "Frank's Wild Years" tour.

Blue Vinyl (dir. Judith Helfand and Daniel B. Gold, USA) When her parents affixed vinyl siding to their home, Judith Helfand set out to learn more about this seemingly harmless plastic.

Body Drop Asphalt (dir. Junko Wada, Japan) In this avant-garde digital film, Eri, a young Japanese woman, wanders the city in existential angst until she decides to write a novel on a whim.

The Boxer (dir. Jim Sheridan, USA and Ireland) Jim Sheridan's film from 1997 stars Daniel Day-Lewis as Danny Flynn, a promising boxer who was imprisoned at the age of 18 for his association with IRA terrorists.

Charlotte Sometimes (dir. Eric Byler, USA) Michael is a Japanese-American auto mechanic who is secretly in love with Lori, a Chinese-American woman who rents part of Michael's house.

Claire (dir. Milford Thomas, USA) This brand-new silent film is based on a Japanese folk tale about a couple who finds a little girl in an ear of corn and raises her as their own.

Con Man (dir. Jesse Moss, USA) While in his 30s, James Hogue conned his way into Princeton by posing as an 18-year-old self-educated orphan. This documentary traces the life of Hogue as it attempts to comprehend his pathological need to re-invent himself.

Cyberman (dir. Peter Lynch, Canada) A documentary about Steve Mann, a self-professed cyborg who modifies computer components so that he can wear them at all times.

Daddy and Papa (dir. Johnny Symons, USA) A documentary that takes a personal look at the hot-button issue of the adoption of children by gay men.

Design (dir. Davidson Cole, USA) A hit at Sundance, this film follows three storylines that intersect over one evening in a series of predestined encounters and bizarre circumstances.

The Dogwalker (dir. Jacques Thelemarque, USA) Ellie is a young woman on the run from an abusive relationship who meets Betsy, an ailing, older woman who runs a dog-walking business.

Easy Listening (dir. Pamela Corkey, USA) It's 1967, and Burt is the top trumpet player in an easy-listening orchestra, despite his preference for jazz. Enter Linda, the orchestra's fresh-faced flutist, who takes it upon herself to teach Burt that his soul is square.

The Execution of Wanda Jean (dir. Liz Garbus, USA) HBO sent a documentary film crew to Oklahoma to record the last part of the appeal process for a woman on death row for killing her female lover.

Five Years (dir. Brett Wagner, USA) Renee and Eric are a young married couple whose perfect life is upset when Eric's ex-con younger brother comes to live with them.

Freestyle: The Art of Rhyme (dir. Kevin Fitzgerald, USA) Freestyle is a documentary that examines the art of spontaneous rhyming "freestyle" by MCs in the world of underground hip-hop music.

Fuego (dir. Armando Bo, Argentina) Director Bo stars with his real-life lover and Miss Argentina 1955, Isabel Sarli, who plays a woman who can't control her sexual urges.

Le Grand Blanc de Lambarene (dir. Bassek ba Kobhio, Cameroon / France) A complex revisionist portrait of Nobel Peace Prize winner Albert Schweitzer, shot on location at Schweitzer's hospital in Gabon. (In French with English subtitles.)

A Head of Time, Ahead of Time (dir. Richard T. Slade, USA) A documentary about Hank Levy, the late great jazz composer and Towson State University band director.

The Holy Land (dir. Eitan Gorlin, Israel) Mendy, a young rabbinical Student, visits Tel Aviv and falls in love with Sacha, a prostitute who's mixed up with a group of religious terrorists.

House of Wax (in 3-D) (dir. Andre De Toth, USA) This classic horror film from 1953 stars Vincent Price as the curator of a wax museum who has his own special method to make his wax figures look so real.

How to Draw a Bunny (dir. John Walter, USA) A documentary about Ray Johnson, "the most famous unknown artist in the world" and one of the seminal figures of the pop-art era.

Kaaterskill Falls (dir. Josh Apter and Peter Olsen, USA) A young urban couple on vacation in the Catskills pick up and befriend a mysterious hitchhiker.

Kali's Vibe (dir. Shari Carpenter, USA) Kali works as a social worker and lives with her girlfriend, Crystal. When Crystal's infidelities become too much to handle, Kali throws her out and begins to question her ideas about romantic relationships.

The Last Season: The Life and Demolition of Memorial Stadium (dir. Charles Cohen and Joseph Mathew, USA) This work-in-progress documentary chronicles the stadium that became known as "the world's largest outdoor insane asylum."

Louder Than Bombs (dir. Przemek Wojcieszek, Poland) A young car mechanic from South Poland deals with his father's death, as well as his girlfriend's preparations to attend school in the United States.

Love, Josh (dir. Susan Hadary and William Whiteford, USA) The Academy Award-winning directors of King Gimp followed 15-year-old Josh for the year after his father's death from liver cancer.

Madison (dir. William Bindley, USA) Madison chronicles the story of the 1971 racing season of the hydroplane boat Miss Madison, and the dying town (Madison, Ind.) that the boat represents.

My Brilliant Career (dir. Gillian Armstrong, Australia) Gillian Armstrong's classic adaptation of the Miles Franklin novel, among other things, introduced actress Judy Davis to American audiences.

My Father the Genius (dir. Lucia Small, USA) Lucia Small's irreverent biography of her father, Glen Small, who has dedicated his life to "saving the world through architecture."

Never Mind the Wall (dir. Connie Walther, Germany) Set among the punk-rock movement of 1982 Berlin, Never Mind the Wall is the love story of Nele and Captain, two teen-age lovers from opposite sides of the Berlin Wall.

The 95th (dir. Davidson Cole, USA) This documentary film follows the men of the U.S. Army's WWII 95th Infantry Division, who fought under the command of General George S. Patton and liberated the stronghold of Mertz, France, from Nazi occupation.

Owned (dir. Jennifer Read, USA) A documentary that infiltrates the elusive world of computer hacking, from the phone phreakers of the 1960s through modern-day computer hackers.

The Season: Cal Ripken Jr. (dir. Mitchell Scherr, USA) When ESPN and MLB decided to follow Cal Ripken Jr. with cameras to document the 2001 baseball season, they did not know that it would be his final season. When Cal decided that he would retire at the end of the season, the film became not only about one of the greatest baseball players of all time, but also about the transition as his playing days came to a close.

Sister Helen (dir. Rob Fruchtman and Rebecca Cammisa, USA) Helen, a widowed drunk, decides to sober up and become a Benedectine nun. This film takes us to the South Bronx, where Sister Helen has set up a home for recovering men addicted to various substances.

Soft for Digging (dir. J.T. Petty, USA) Virgil Manoven believes he witnesses the murder of a young girl. Though the police can find no evidence of any crime, Virgil remains obsessed as he tries to solve the mystery. Shot in the woods of Maryland.

Standard Time (dir. Robert Cary, USA) Billie Golden fantasizes about being a cabaret singer in glamorous nightclubs, though these fantasies are dashed daily by the reality that she sings in a third-rate lounge.

Sundance 20 (dir. Doug Pray, USA) Before the film festival, before the catalogue, long before the special Oscar, Robert Redford started the Sundance Labs to help new filmmakers develop their film projects. This is the first chronicle of the Sundance Labs, and Doug Pray and filmmakers from the 2001 Labs will attend the screening.

Sweet Sweetback's Baad Asssss Song (dir. Melvin Van Peebles, USA) Melvin Van Peebles' controversial landmark film from 1971 is often credited with launching the blaxploitation genre. The film will be hosted by Julian Bond, chairman of the board of the NAACP.

Talking to Strangers (dir. Rob Tregenza, USA) Rarely shown on the big screen, Rob Tregenza's ground-breaking film from 1988 follows Jesse, a young would-be artist as he travels through Baltimore, encountering strangers along the way.

Too Soon for Sorry (dir. Katharina Weingartner, Germany) This documentary is based on portraits of young African-Americans and Latinos at four prisons across the United States.

The Unfinished Civil War (dir. Glenn Kirschbaum, USA) This documentary began as an expose on Civil War re-enactors in Gettysburg, Pa., but ended up capturing the modern-day battle over whether the Confederate battle flag should continue to fly over the state capitol in Columbia, S.C.

What Matters Most (dir. Jane Cusumano, USA) This modern-day Romeo and Juliet tale is set in a small West Texas border town. Lucas, the son of the wealthiest man in town, falls in love with Heather, who comes from much more modest standing.

Women: The Forgotten Face of War (dir. Susan Muska and Greta Olafsdattir) The award-winning directors of The Brandon Teena Story traveled to Kosovo in the aftermath of the civil war in Serbia. Interviews with women who bore witness to the tragic events give record to the horrendous mistreatment of civilians during the war.

Source: Maryland Film Festival

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