It's another edition of Midday at the Movies, our monthly look at new films and new trends in filmmaking, with our movie maven regulars: Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday, and the Maryland Film Festival's founding -- and soon-to-retire -- director, Jed Dietz.
Jed and Ann, long-time partners on these monthly Midday get-togethers, spend a few minutes considering the important and enduring changes that have come to the Baltimore film scene since Jed launched the MD Film Festival twenty years ago. One of those changes is the successful restoration of the SNF Parkway, one of the city's oldest movie houses, which now plays a vibrant role on the first-run and art-house film circuits. The annual Maryland Film Festival, Ann notes, has also energized local filmmaking, and given moviemakers from around the world an important new venue for showcasing their work.
Then, our movie mavens spotlight a crop of new films that have found favor at the recent run of international film festivals, from Venice and Telluride to Toronto and New York, and that are beginning to light up local screens (and/or streaming services). They include: Mandy, the new surrealist horror-revenge film by director Panos Cosmatos, starring Nicholas Cage, that's drawing huge audiences both online and in theaters; Roma, a new film from Gravity and Children of Men director Alfonso Cuarón that chronicles a year in the life of a middle-class family in Mexico City in the early 1970s. Roma won't be out till December 14 but it's generating a positive buzz among festival critics; and The Hate U Give, director George Tilman Jr.'s adaptation of the best-selling novel about a code-switched African-American teenager whose black boyfriend is killed by a police officer.
And speaking of film festivals: The Baltimore International Black Film Festival got underway Wednesday and runs through Sunday. There are screenings at the SNF Parkway, the Charles Theatre and the MotorHouse, among other venues. For showtimes and ticket info, click here.