'Solo Cinema' spotlights local directors

Some of the brightest lights of Baltimore's independent film scene will be featured at Highlandtown's Creative Alliance next week. "Solo Cinema: Independent Visions in Film" will highlight the work of five directors whose art is both highly personal (thus the Solo Cinema moniker) and internationally acclaimed.

The festival kicks off with Lynne Sachs, whose Investigation of a Flame opened the 2001 Maryland Film Festival. "I Am Not a War Photographer" (7:30 p.m. Thursday) is an informal talk, with film clips, in which Sachs discusses her films, which have taken her to war zones in Vietnam, Bosnia and the Middle East. On Friday, Laura Kissel's Cabin Field (7 p.m.) is an in-depth look at a mile-long stretch of farmland in Crisp County, Ga. After that is a program of short films by University of Maryland Baltimore County instructors Cathy Cook and Fred Worden (9:30 p.m.). Saturday features experimental short films from Stephanie Barber (7 p.m.). The program wraps Saturday night at 9 with a series of short films, curated by UMBC's Phil Davis, that seeks to re-imagine everything conventional filmmaking holds dear, ending with a film project shown outdoors on the walls of the Patterson Theatre. Tickets for each night's programming at the alliance, 3134 Eastern Ave., are $8, $5 for alliance members. Information: 410-276-1651 or


Cinema Sundays

Roger Michell's Venus, starring Peter O'Toole as an aging stage actor whose creaking libido is piqued by his encounter with a feckless young lass (newcomer Jodie Whittaker), is this weekend's scheduled Cinema Sundays at the Charles offering. O'Toole, who was given a career achievement Oscar in 2003, is almost certain to receive a Best Actor nomination for his performance. That would be his eighth nomination; he has yet to win. Showtime is 10:30 a.m. Sunday, preceded by 45 minutes of no-extra-charge coffee and bagels. Tickets are $15. Information: 410-727-3456 or


MLK film

King. A Filmed Record ... Montgomery to Memphis, a compilation of documentary footage assembled by directors Sidney Lumet and Joseph L. Mankiewicz, will be shown for free Monday at the American Film Institute's Silver Theatre in Silver Spring. The 1970 film includes segments of his "I Have a Dream" speech, plus footage from the 1964 Nobel Peace Prize ceremony and the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott.

Narration and commentary are offered by Sidney Poitier, Joanne Woodward, Paul Newman, Clarence Williams III, James Earl Jones and others. Showtime is 1 p.m. at the Silver, 8633 Colesville Road. Information: 301-495-6720 or

Movies at East Columbia

Street Fight (2005), Marshall Curry's documentary on the bitterly contested 2002 Newark, N.J., mayoral race, pitting entrenched incumbent James Sharpe against underdog Cory Booker, will be shown Thursday at the East Columbia branch of the Howard County Public Library.

It's the latest in a series offering free screenings of recently released DVDs. The film received a Best Documentary Oscar nomination but lost to March of the Penguins. Showtime is 7 p.m. at the library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. Information: 410-313-7700.