Viva el Cine Latino!, a celebration of Latin-American filmmaking, brings a pair of Mexican films to the Creative Alliance. Tonight, Walter Salles' The Motorcycle Diaries (2004) chronicles young med students Che Guevara (Gael Garcia Bernal) and Alberto Granado (Rodrigo De la Serna) as they ride through South America and develop a distaste for social injustice and a taste for socialism. Showtime is 8 p.m., and tickets are $8, $6 for alliance members. Tomorrow, short comedies starring comics Cantinflas (Mario Moreno) and Chespirito (Roberto Gomez Bolanos), originally shown as episodes of the Mexican sitcom El Chavo del Ocho, will be screened beginning at 7 p.m. Free. The Creative Alliance at the Patterson is at 3134 Eastern Ave. Information: 410-276-1651 or creativealliance.org.
Pratt film talk
Spanish director Victor Erice's Spirit of the Beehive (El Espiritu de la Colmena), the tale of young girls so impressed by a showing of James Whale's 1931 Frankenstein that they set out to find the monster, is the subject of this month's Film Talk at the Enoch Pratt Free Library, 400 Cathedral St. Showtime is 10 a.m. tomorrow in the library's Wheeler Auditorium, with discussion to follow. Admission is free. Information: prattlibrary.org or 410-396-5430.
Sunday with Berry
Director Susanne Bier's Things We Lost In the Fire, starring Halle Berry as a recent widow looking to pick up the pieces of her life (with help from her late husband's best friend, who has moved in with her and her children), is this weekend's scheduled Cinema Sundays offering. Showtime is 10:35 a.m. at the Charles, 1711 N. Charles St. Doors open at 9:45 a.m. Tickets are $15. Information: 410-727-3456 or cinemasundays.com.
Russian Fantastik Cinema, a retrospective of classic Russian fantasy and science-fiction films, continues this weekend at the Charles with Vladimir Chebotaryov and Gennadi Kazansky's The Amphibian Man (Chelovek-Amfibiya). The 1961 film, described by visual-effects master Robert Skotak as an "enchanting hybrid of The Little Mermaid and The Creature From the Black Lagoon," centers on the title character, who has lived underwater since a childhood operation replaced his bad lung with a shark's gill. Showtime is noon tomorrow at the Charles, 1711 N. Charles St., with encores set for 7 p.m. Monday and 9 p.m. Thursday. Tickets are $6 tomorrow, $8 other times. Information: 410-727-3456 or thecharles.com.
Writer-director Michael White's Year of the Dog, starring Molly Shannon as a woman who has much more success connecting with her pets than with her fellow human beings, will be shown Thursday night at the East Columbia branch of the Howard County Library, 6600 Cradlerock Way. The 7 p.m. screening is the latest entry in a monthly film series featuring the latest in DVD releases. Admission is free, as are the soft drinks and popcorn. Information: 410-313-7717 or hclibrary.org/events.
The City, a 43-minute documentary from 1939 (made to be shown at that year's New York World's Fair) outlining the city of the future, was the first film scored by American composing great Aaron Copland. The film, with its soundtrack performed live by Washington's Post-Classical Ensemble, will be shown at 3 p.m. Sunday at the University of Maryland's Clarice Smith Performing Arts Center, at the corner of Route 193 and Stadium Drive in College Park. Tickets $7-$35. 301-405-2787. Following the screening, there will be a bus trip to the nearby community of Old Greenbelt, which is featured in the film. Information: claricesmithcenter.umd.edu or 301-405-5974.
Horror film in 3-D
A series bringing free 3-D movies to the Charles, courtesy of the Maryland Film Festival, continues Wednesday with a 7 p.m. screening of House of Wax, an exercise in horror from 1953 that's regarded by many as the pinnacle of the golden age of 3-D filmmaking. The film stars Vincent Price as the owner of a wax museum who has some - ahem! - unusual methods for making his figures seem as lifelike as possible. The Charles is at 1711 N. Charles St. Information: 410-752-8083 or mdfilmfest.com.