Features by Satyajit Ray, Claude Chabrol and young West Germans Wim Wenders and Rainer Werner Fassbinder are among the attractions scheduled for the eighth annual Baltimore International Film Festival, opening a nine-day stand at the Tower Theater at 2 Charles Center on Wednesday, May 13.
The features - Ray's "The Adversay," Wenders' "Alice in the Cities" and "The Goalie's Anxiety at the Penalty Kick, Chabrol's "La Rupture" (not one of his best but certainly one of his most perverse, which is saying something) and Fassbinder's "The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant" - are augmented by shorts entered in the concurrent Independent Film Competition.
The best of the shorts in six separate categories will comprise the 10 p.m. program on the last day of the festival.
Abstract filmmaker Stan VanDerBeek, a member of the final judging panel, plans to display his "Steam Screen" images - computer animation projected on a vapor screen inside a portable, 25-foot geodesic dome - in the Charles Center Plaza.
There are special matinee programs designed for children and midnight shows devoted mainly to the work of Baltimore's own John Waters. Series tickets cost $25. Single admissions are $3, with discounts available to students, senior citizens and children. For detailed information about programming, prices and special events contact the festival sponsors at (301) 539-2187.
Moviegoers often wonder what could have possessed anyone to go through with a project whose liabilities seemed self-evident before a foot of celluloid was wasted.
In the futile hope of saving both producers and consumers a little grief, it may be painfully necessary to call attention to a few of these foregone losers from time to time. The last flagrant example was a remake of "Kind Hearts and Coronets," supposedly being hatched at 20th Century-Fox by Melvin Frank, whose most recent pestilence was "Duchess and the Dirtwater Fox."
This threat looks relatively tame compared to the latest bad idea in circulation - a remake of "The Big Sleep," to be directed by Michael Winner, straight from such unmitigated flops as "Won Ton Ton" and "The Sentinel" with Robert Mitchum repeating his Philip Marlowe impersonation from "Farewell, My Lovely," a superfluous remake in its own right.
This is the kind of idea that might have occurred to Max Bialystock, the Zero Mostel character in "The Producers." Here's a brainstorm guaranteed to be just as potent at the box office: a new version of "Casablanca" reuniting the creative team from "The Domino Principle," co-stars Gene Hackman and Candice Bergen with director Stanley Kramer.
Fortunately, not every film project in the works seems fudamentally out of the question. Paul Mazursky has begun shooting a new picture. "An Unmarried Women," a comedy-drama starring Jill Clayburgh as a recently divorced woman trying to adjust to her new status and raise a young daughter in Manhattan. The leading male roles are being played by Cliff Gorman and Michael Murphy.
Novelist Michael Crichton, who made a promising and commercially successful directing debut a few years ago with "Westworld," finally begins a second picture this summer. The property is "Coma," Robin Cook's current thriller about murder and skullduggery at a metropolitan hospital, a setting that Crichton, a former doctor, should know a few things about. Genevieve Bujold has been signed for the leading role, a doctor whose life is threatened when she begins investigating a hospital scandal.