We continue our picks for the Maryland Film Festival!

Saturday:
STRANGER WORE A GUN (André de Toth) Presented in 3-D!
Directed By: André de Toth
Hosted/Presented By: Chris Kaltenbach
Starring: Randolph Scott, Claire Trevor, Joan Weldon, George Macready, Lee Marvin, Roscoe Ates, Alfonso Bedoya, Ernest Borgnine, Stardust

(1953; 83 minutes; dual-projector, 35mm 3-D!)

To escape his past, Jeff Travis (Randolph Scott) relocates to Arizona, only to discover his past has followed him across the country. He quickly finds himself, once again, on the wrong side of the law, until finally deciding that enough is enough. So begins another classic Western story, populated with guns, horses, rival gangs, stage-coach robberies, deceit, revenge, femme fatales, and if that weren’t enough, all of it presented in 3-D and Technicolor with stereophonic sound!

Screenings
May 7, 2011
11:00 AM
Charles Theater 1

SHORTS: BEYOND THE VALLEY OF THE WTF SHORTS

8BIT GHOST HOP, Brian and Kevin Lonano, 2 mins
15 SUMMERS LATER, Pedro Collantes, 5 mins, Norway/Spain
CEILING-HEAD ANGEL, Daniel Kremer, 9 mins
DOOR MAN, Andrew Blackwell and Andrew Goldman, 5 mins
FACEDANCING, Gina Hirsch, 6 minutes
GRANDPA’S WET DREAM, Chihiro Amemiya, 16 mins, Japan
MOUTH BABIES, Lisa Duva and Katherine Nolfi, 7 mins
SASQUATCH BIRTH JOURNAL 2, The Zellner Brothers, 4 mins
THE STRANGE THING ABOUT THE JOHNSONS, Ari Aster, 29 mins

Screenings
May 7, 2011
11:30 AM
Charles Theater 3

GOOD, THE BAD, AND THE UGLY, THE (Sergio Leone) — Presented by the BSO’s Marin Alsop
Directed By: Sergio Leone
Hosted/Presented By: Marin Alsop

A stunning new force came in to the Baltimore community when Marin Alsop was appointed the 12th Music Director of the Baltimore Symphony Orchestra in 2005, the first woman to head a major orchestra. Marin is the first conductor to win both Gramophone’s “Artist of the Year” award and the Royal Philharmonic Society’s Conductor’s Award in the same season, and be selected for a MacArthur Fellowship.


(161 minutes, 35mm)

The third in the famous “Man with No Name” or “Dollars” trilogy, The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly is widely acknowledged now as a masterpiece, but it was written off by some as just a “spaghetti” Western when it came out. Sergio Leone spoke little English, and he’d never even seen the American West; how did he dare reimagine the great American movie genre ? But Leone was virtually born into the film business and he started his career as an Assistant Director to Vittorio de Sica on the legendary The Bicycle Thief (selected by Guest-Host Harvey Pekar for MFF 2005). Leone also worked on the American-financed historical epics Ben Hur and Quo Vadis. Leone’s trilogy made Clint Eastwood a movie star, and though they never worked together again, when Eastwood directed his own Academy Award-winning Western, Unforgiven, he dedicated it to Sergio Leone.

BAD FEVER (Dustin Guy Defa)
Directed By: Dustin Guy Defa
Hosted/Presented By: Dustin Guy Defa

Dustin Guy Defa has been making movies since he was eleven. His latest short film Family Nightmare will premiere this summer at BAMcinemaFEST. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Starring: Kentucker Audley, Eleonore Hendricks, Allison Baar, Hayward Buchanan, Dustin Guy Defa


(77 minutes)

Bad Fever paints a harrowing portrait of a highly individualistic young man’s search for understanding and empathy in a cold, often unforgiving world. Eddie (Kentucker Audley) is a painfully awkward and disconnected young man desperately trying to engage the world around him. Virtually all of his attempts to make contact with that outside world are quickly foiled by his social ineptitude. Mercilessly unfunny (except, perhaps, when he doesn’t want to be), he nonetheless chooses stand-up comedy as his form of self-expression. Shy and romantically vulnerable to a fault, Eddie falls for a tough, exploitative drifter named Irene (Eléonore Hendricks) who has only her own interests and entertainments at heart. Even Eddie’s own mother has seemingly written him off.

WE WERE HERE (David Weissman)
Directed By: David Weissman
Hosted/Presented By: David Weissman

Director David Weissman has been active in San Francisco’s indie film scene since the mid-1980s, David is best known as the producer/co-director of the feature-length documentary, The Cockettes. Recipient of the LA Film Critics Award as Best Documentary of 2002, The Cockettes premiered at Sundance, was released theatrically, and was licensed for broadcast by The Sundance Channel, Logo, and the BBC. David was the first recipient in 1990 of the Sundance Institute/Mark Silverman Fellowship for New Producers.

(90 minutes)

At once devastating and life-affirming, David Weissman’s We Were Here is not just an in-depth examination of the AIDS crisis and its impact on the early 1980s gay community of San Francisco. It also serves as a snapshot of a vibrant and beautiful culture at a particular time and place in American history. At a magical moment of sexual liberation, social experimentation, and radical politics in early 1980s San Francisco, a wickedly destructive new disease tore through the community, devastating lives—and, in many cases, feeding an ignorant public’s fear, misunderstanding, and hatred towards queer culture.

May 7, 2011
08:00 PM
Charles Theater 2

FREAKS IN LOVE (Skizz Cyzyk & David Koslowski)
Directed By: Skizz Cyzyk and David Koslowski
Hosted/Presented By: Skizz Cyzyk and David Koslowski
Starring: (documentary subject) Alice Donut

(98 minutes)

Like Doug Pray’s great 1996 film about the Seattle grunge scene, Hype!, this 25-year chronicle of a seminal band takes us to an important part of the rock world: bands who are driven by a passion for music and speaking their minds, willing to sacrifice everything so that every part of their art — from album covers and posters to touring venues– expresses what they want. Formed in 1986, psychedelic punks Alice Donut released seven albums on Jello Biafra’s Alternative Tentacles label over a decade, took a five-year break, and began touring again in 2001. The band’s key musicians were classically trained, and they’ve been known for direct and harsh lyrics that address the phoniness they see around them.

May 7, 2011
10:00 PM
Charles Theater 4

The OREGONIAN (Calvin Reeder)
Directed By: Calvin Reeder
Hosted/Presented By: Calvin Reeder, Lindsay Pulsipher, and Robert Longstreet
Starring: Lindsay Pulsipher, Robert Longstreet, Matt Olsen, Barlow Jacobs, Tipper Newton


(81 minutes)

While attempting to escape her past, a young woman (Lindsay Pulsipher of “True Blood”) is involved in a car accident and knocked unconscious. When she awakens, she finds herself in a place where things are decidedly off. “Pomp & Circumstance” is in heavy rotation on her car radio, a couple is throwing a rainy-day picnic dangerously close to the road she was driving on, and any living people she can find aren’t very talkative. In fact, any living people she can find are creepy, insane, and/or resembling a giant Muppet. So begins her journey of self-discovery through a nightmarish world of symbolism. Or something along those lines: the twisted story told in The Oregonian works in the service of the atmosphere of the film, and that atmosphere is not exactly a welcoming one.

May 7, 2011
10:30 PM
Charles Theater 2

LAST DAYS HERE (Don Argott and Demian Fenton)
Directed By: Don Argott and Demian Fenton
Hosted/Presented By: Don Argott and Demian Fenton
Starring: (documentary subjects) Bobby Liebling, Pentagram, Sean “Pellet” Pelletier

Some rock-and-roll documentaries are rousing, against-the-odds success stories, others Spinal Tap-esque parades of hubris and near-misses. And then there’s Last Days Here, a grimy, full-body immersion in the blood and filth of heavy-metal hell. Formed in 1971, Pentagram was Arlington, Virginia’s answer to Black Sabbath. Although they didn’t release an album for over a decade, their early live shows, singles, and demos exerted a major influence on bands like Pantera, and continue to inspire new generations of underground heavy rock and doom metal. Palpable near-misses included a failed audition in front of KISS and an aborted recording session with the producers of Blue Öyster Cult —but over the decades, lead singer Bobby Liebling has kept the band together, withstanding a revolving door of band members and personal demons.

Sunday:

ART HISTORY (Joe Swanberg)
Directed By: Joe Swanberg
Hosted/Presented By: Joe Swanberg
Starring: Kent Osborne, Josephine Decker, Joe Swanberg, Adam Wingard, Kris Swanberg, Kit Giordano
(74 minutes)

(interview with the director)

Sex. The opening scene in Art History is explicit, and maybe uncomfortably intimate. But then something happens to reframe what we’ve been watching, and Joe Swanberg’s movie starts to unfold using his trademark artisanal style. This time, he and his actors are exploring important issues that surround art and the people who make it. Is it possible to portray intimacy without being changed by the intimate relationship you’ve been acting? Even if you’re working in close collaboration with friends, is it possible you’re just being manipulated and exploited?

May 8, 2011
02:30 PM
Charles Theater 2

THE CATECHISM CATACLYSM. (Todd Rohal)
Directed By: Todd Rohal
Hosted/Presented By: Todd Rohal, Steve Little, and Robert Longstreet
Starring: Steve Little, Robert Longstreet, Miki Ann Maddox, Yuko “Koko” Lanham, Rico
(81 minutes)


(director interview)

Father Billy’s superiors are forcing him to take a sabbatical. Reprimanded for his meandering parables and many hours wasted leaving inane comments on YouTube videos, Billy decides to invite his childhood hero Robbie on a canoe trip. Billy remembers Robbie as the guitar-wielding metalhead who wooed Billy’s sister back in high school, but the intervening years have turned him into a world-weary, working-stiff survivor of broken dreams. As Billy’s nonstop blather works Robbie’s last nerve, night approaches – and Billy’s fantasy of two buddies on a nature get-away suddenly gets very, very strange.

May 8, 2011
05:00 PM
Charles Theater 1

ANNNDDDD! The Finale!

SING YOUR SONG, w/ Special Guest HARRY BELAFONTE!
Directed By: Susanne Rostock
Hosted/Presented By: Harry Belafonte and Taylor Branch
The interview with Harry Belafonte after the film will be conducted by Pulitzer Prize-winning historian and Belafonte friend Taylor Branch, author of the acclaimed trilogy America in the King Years.
Starring: (Documentary Subject) Harry Belafonte

Belafonte blazed trails in the entertainment world. In his first role on Broadway, he won a Tony; his film Carmen Jones, won a Golden Globe, numerous film-festival awards, Oscar nominations, and is in the National Film Registry; he was the first African-American to produce a primetime television show, 1959’s “Tonight with Belafonte,” which won an Emmy. He was a friend of Dr Martin Luther King, Jr.’s, raising crucial money for the Civil Rights Movement, and standing with Dr. King at Selma and other key moments in the struggle. His Calypso (1956) was the first LP to sell a million copies. Belafonte received the Kennedy Center Honors in 1987, and President Clinton gave him the National Medal of Arts in 1994. He’s won numerous other awards and honorary degrees.

Capturing this remarkable lifetime in any single form probably isn’t possible, but this film gets close. As a documentary it’s something I’ve never seen before: a kind of collaborative autobiography that captures not only aspects of this amazing life, but the spirit behind it. Through everything Belafonte has accomplished, there is that kind of nonviolence that Gandhi taught: active and forceful. In every encounter, with friend or foe, Belafonte’s love for his fellow man and his belief in their shared humanity is palpable. As you celebrate this man, ask yourself the question Belafonte keeps asking: “What do we do now?” (Jed Dietz)

May 8, 2011
07:30 PM
Charles Theater 1

Get your tickets HERE.

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