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Movie Missives

Indies and oldies on tap this month

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The Charlotte Film Society has released its fall schedule, and it contains more movies than you can shake a membership pass at. In addition to the features that will be shown September through November as part of the "Second Week/Second Chance" series, the group will also present a bonus week of movies, to be screened November 7-13 (the week before the Society's regular November lineup). Furthermore, in conjunction with the Public Library and the Novello Festival of Reading, the outfit will sponsor an appearance by director Mark Moskowitz, who will speak after the October 11 showing of his documentary Stone Reader, which relates how the filmmaker went off in search of the author of an obscure novel.

Along with Stone Reader, other Society titles will include Germany's Nowhere In Africa, which took this year's Oscar for Best Foreign Language Film; Lost In La Mancha, the fascinating documentary about the (un)making of Terry Gilliam's Don Quixote project; Lilya 4-Ever, Swedish writer-director Lukas Moodysson's film about a 16-year-old prostitute (Moodysson's excellent movies Show Me Love and Together were past Film Society offerings); and Levity, with Billy Bob Thornton as an ex-con seeking redemption via his burgeoning relationships with three strangers (Morgan Freeman, Holly Hunter and Kirsten Dunst).

For a complete schedule, call 704- 414-2355 or go online to http://charlottefilmsociety.com.

Runaway Terror, a 2002 slasher flick by Charlotte writer-director Mark Baranowski, is now available on DVD, and for the first time, the blood runs red... literally. Previously available on video cassette only in black-and-white, Baranowski has not only re-edited and re-scored the film for its DVD debut but has also converted it into a color movie. Extra DVD features that accompany the picture (about a masked killer dispatching starlets) include a short film on Baranowski's wife, actress Ryli Morgan (who stars in Runaway Terror), a blooper reel, and a Q&A with Baranowski.Currently, Baranowski and Morgan are at work on Expendable, a vampire tale that's due for release later this year. For more information on any of Baranowski's titles (including how to order the Runaway Terror DVD), go online to http://markbaranowski.faithweb.com/.

In a previous column, it was mentioned that Warner Home Video, Turner Classic Movies and America Online had teamed up to present DVD Decision 2003, which allowed movie fans the opportunity to vote on which five of 20 submitted films would be released for the first time on DVD this upcoming January. With the votes all tallied, this was the winning quintet: 1962's Days of Wine and Roses, featuring superb turns by Jack Lemmon and Lee Remick as a married couple battling alcoholism; a double-bill DVD of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde, including both the 1932 version (for which Fredric March won a Best Actor Oscar) and the 1941 remake starring Spencer Tracy, Ingrid Bergman and Lana Turner; the 1946 film noir classic The Postman Always Rings Twice, with John Garfield and Lana Turner; the 1975 epic The Wind and the Lion, starring Sean Connery as an Arab sheik who kidnaps an American woman (Candice Bergen); and the popular 1960 comedy Where the Boys Are, with Paula Prentiss, George Hamilton, Connie Francis and a spring break setting. Look for most (if not all) of the DVDs to include extra features such as documentaries, audio commentaries and retrospective interviews. As for the 15 titles that were not selected (including The Blackboard Jungle and Bad Day at Black Rock), Warner still expects to eventually release them on DVD.

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