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Midday at the Movies: A MD Film Fest Wrap, Reopening Cinemas, Best Big Screen And Streaming Flicks

Cruella poster_wide_Disney.jpg
"Cruella," Disney's new prequel to the Cruella DeVil story, playing in theaters & on Disney +, stars Emma Richardson and Emma Stone (above) in the title role. (Walt Disney Studios)

It's Midday at the Movies, our monthly look at films, filmmaking and the movie experience.

Today Tom is joined once again by Jed Dietz, the founding director of the Maryland Film Festival. Midday's other regular movie maven, Washington Post film critic Ann Hornaday, is away this week.

Jed and Tom discuss some of the highlights of the recent Maryland Film Festival, which ran May 19-27, including filmmaker icon John Waters' memorable hosting of the Druid Hill Park "drive-in movie" event, and screenings of a trove of locally produced films.

They also talk about the continuing nationwide wave of movie-house re-openings, as state pandemic restrictions are eased or lifted and theater owners coax patrons back with subscription packages, luxury seating and advance online food and concession ordering.

Jed spotlights some of the new films taking advantage of those returning Big Screen audiences, including Disney's new over-the-top prequel, Cruella, starring Emma Stone and Emma Thompson, and the sci-fi thriller, A Quiet Place 2, a powerful sequel to the 2018 hit, with Jim Krasinski and Emily Blunt back to very quietly get their family through an alien invasion. And Final Account, director Luke Holland's chilling documentary about the indoctrination of a generation of Germans by Hitler's Third Reich, is captivating audiences at the reopened Charles Theater.

Jed Dietz joins us on Zoom.