MFF 2013’s AFTER TILLER to Broadcast on PBS this Monday 9/1!

AFTER TILLER

AFTER TILLER

We are thrilled to announce that MFF 2013’s award-winning documentary AFTER TILLER will have its broadcast premiere on PBS’s acclaimed POV documentary series this Monday, September 1st!

Directed by Martha Shane and Lana Wilson, AFTER TILLER intimately explores the highly controversial subject of third-trimester abortions in the wake of the 2009 assassination of practitioner Dr. George Tiller. The procedure is now performed by only four doctors in the United States, all former colleagues of Dr. Tiller, who risk their lives every day in the name of their unwavering commitment toward their patients.
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Martha Shane

Martha Shane is a Baltimore County native and was co-host of this year’s Filmmakers Taking Charge conference at the 2014 Maryland Film Festival. Click here to listen to the MFF/WYPR Spotlight Seriespodcast of Martha Shane discussing AFTER TILLER with Sheilah Kast on WYPR’s Maryland Morning.

AFTER TILLER does viewers the great service of providing light where there’s usually only heat, giving a human face and heart to what previously might have been an abstract issue or quickly scanned news item.

Ann HornadayThe Washington Post

Click here to find your local broadcast times, learn how to host a special event screening, and download educational resources related to the film.  AFTER TILLER is also available for download on iTunes.
Click here to view the trailer for AFTER TILLER.

Maryland Film Festival and BALTIMORE IN BLACK AND WHITE Make Baltimore Magazine’s “Best of Baltimore” List!

BOBWe are happy to announce that Maryland Film Festival has made Baltimore Magazine‘s 2014 “Best of Baltimore” list!  Also honored is MFF 2014’s documentary BALTIMORE IN BLACK AND WHITE, which was named “Best Film.”  Click here for the complete “Best of Baltimore” arts listing on Baltimore Magazine‘s website.
Alongside all the visiting filmmakers, MFF spotlights a wide range of locals. The documentary BALTIMORE IN BLACK AND WHITE (“Best Film”) screened in May, and past years have included work by the likes of Ramona Diaz, Doug Sadler, and Jimmy Joe Roche. Matt Porterfield premiered his work here. As an added bonus, celebs such as John Waters, Marin Alsop, and Sen. Barbara Mikulski present favorite films during the festival.
-Baltimore Magazine
BALTIMORE IN BLACK AND WHITE had its world premiere at the 2014 Maryland Film Festival with filmmakers Emily Topper and Mary Posatko in attendance. Congratulations to the filmmakers, and thanks to audiences who attended this year’s festival and made BALTIMORE IN BLACK AND WHITE part of their MFF 2014 experience!

Baltimore 11x17 - screenings.inddBALTIMORE IN BLACK AND WHITE description from the MFF 2014 Program Book:

BALTIMORE IN BLACK AND WHITE is an utterly fascinating new work from filmmakers Emily Topper and Mary Posatko.  Topper and Posatko co-directed this tale of a family lost after its patriarch was taken away in a senseless crime.

In Baltimore 1972, on his way to a community meeting, Henry Selhorst, the father of thirteen children, was murdered blocks from where he lived in Edmondson Village.  Decades later, his granddaughter Emily, born and raised in Baltimore, now a filmmaker, sets out to understand what happened.

The film documents her search as she meets and talks to many people involved with the crime- from the patrol officer who was first on the scene of the murder, to various community members as well as her search for  the accused suspects themselves, now men in their fifties.

Spun like a mystery, the film deftly balances honest, often contradictory, unfiltered memories from the family side by side with a raw, candid oral history of Edmondson Village at a time of racial change. The family and societal portrait that emerges can be said as one achingly specific to Baltimore, but recognizable anywhere in America.  (-MFF Screening Committee Member Dankwa Brooks)

Screening of MFF 2014’s CALL GIRL OF CTHULHU on 8/20!

Local radio station WTMD 89.7 FM will host a screening of CALL GIRL OF CTHULHU on Wednesday, August 20 for the inaugural Movie Night at WTMD Studios. This is the first Baltimore screening of the film since its debut at the 2014 Maryland Film Festival. Following the screening, Chris LaMartina, director of the film, will be present for a question and answer session with the audience. Tickets are $15 and anyone age 18 and over may attend.
CALL GIRL OF CTHULHU
Wednesday, August 20
Doors at 7pm, film at 8pm, Q&A with Director immediately afterward
WTMD Studios
1 Olympic Place
Towson, MD 21204

Click here to purchase tickets for this screening.

Join MFF at AVAM’s Flicks From The Hill Screening of TIME BANDITS on 8/7!

TIME BANDITS

TIME BANDITS

Join Maryland Film Festival on Thursday 8/7 for a FREE outdoor screening of TIME BANDITS starring Sean ConneryShelley Duvall and John Cleese, brought to you by the American Visionary Arts Museum’s Flicks From The Hill!

Stop by the Maryland Film Festival table before the show for a free gift!  The film screens at 9pm.

TIME BANDITS
Thursday, August 7th
9:00pm
Hughes Family Outdoor Theater (located on Federal Hill behind AVAM)
800 Key Highway
Baltimore, MD

TIME BANDITS (1981) Synopsis: A young boy accidentally joins a band of dwarves as they jump from time-period to time-period looking for treasure to steal.

Click here for AVAM’s complete 2014 Flicks From The Hill schedule.

MFF Pleased to Announce Shorts Filmmakers in Attendance for Artscape 2014!

L to R: Filmmakers Skizz Cyzyk (ALFRED JARRY AND 'PATAPHYSICS) and Margaret Rorison (PULL/DRIFT) at MFF 2014.

L to R: Filmmakers Skizz Cyzyk (ALFRED JARRY AND ‘PATAPHYSICS) and Margaret Rorison (PULL/DRIFT) at MFF 2014.

Maryland Film Festival is thrilled to present another year of FREE SHORT FILMS at Artscape with filmmakers in attendance!  Click here for MFF’s 2014 Artscape Film Lineup.  Artscape runs July 18-20 in the Station North Arts & Entertainment District in downtown Baltimore.  Maryland Film Festival’s FREE SHORT FILMS program will take place in the Charles Theater located at 1711 North Charles Street.

Directors in attendance for MFF’s FREE SHORT FILMS at Artscape 2014 include Margaret Rorison (Opening Night Movement Shorts: PULL/DRIFT), Skizz Cyzyk (Animated Shorts: ALFRED JARRY AND ‘PATAPHYSICS), Jason Giampietro (Narrative Shorts: WHIFFED OUT; Character Study Shorts: I WILL PAINT YOUR SPIRIT), Scott Norwood (Documentary Shorts: CINEMA TIME CAPSULE) and cinematographer/editor Nathan Duncan (Narrative Shorts: SKUNK; Opening Night Movement Shorts: NIGHT AT THE DANCE).

Join MFF for an Artscape 2014 Kickoff Party Tuesday 7/15 at By Degrees Cafe!

By Degrees Cafe

By Degrees Cafe located at 415 South Central Avenue

Maryland Film Festival is throwing an Artscape 2014 Kickoff Party at By Degrees Cafe on Tuesday 7/15 and you are invited!

Doors are at 8pm — experience delicious passed hors d’oeuvres, beer, wine and specialty cocktails provided by By Degrees Cafe, followed by a sneak preview of MFF’s Animated Shorts program that will be playing during Artscape 2014 at 9pm! You won’t want to miss this exciting Artscape kickoff event at one of Baltimore’s newest and most chic cafes!

Join us for craft cocktails, delicious food and Animated Shorts hosted by MFF!

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Join us for craft cocktails and Animated Shorts on Tuesday 7/15!

MFF Artscape 2014 Kickoff Party!
Tuesday, July 15th
Hors d’Oeuvres and Cocktails from 8pm-9pm
Animated Shorts at 9pm
By Degrees Cafe
415 South Central Avenue
Baltimore, MD 21202

http://bydegreescafe.com/

$10 general, $5 Friends of the Festival
Space is limited; RSVP to tickets@mdfilmfest.com with your name to reserve a spot!
Click here for Facebook invite.

Parking is available in the By Degrees Cafe parking lot, as well as short term curb-side parking. The Cafe is also located across the street from a municipal parking garage.

All guests who attend will be entered to win a limited-edition MFF 2014 t-shirt!

Artscape 2014 runs July 18-20 and Maryland Film Festival will be showing Free Short Films all weekend at the Charles Theater with filmmakers in attendance. Click here for the complete Artscape film schedule.

MFF Presents FREE SHORT FILMS at Artscape, July 18-20!

Artscape2014Maryland Film Festival is thrilled to once again present Free Short Films at Artscape, coming up July 18-20, 2014!
Artscape is America’s largest FREE arts festival, attracting 350,000+ attendees over three days.  Maryland Film Festival’s Free Short Films will be held in the Charles Theater with filmmakers in attendance throughout the weekend.  Be sure to come by and experience our special collection of short films curated by our film programmers, and stay tuned for more announcements about filmmakers and special guests in attendance, coming soon!
MFF 2014 Artscape Film Program:
FRIDAY JULY 18TH @ 7PM
MOVEMENT SHORTS – 68 MINUTES
A Collection of Dance and Movement related shorts culled from the last 5 years of Maryland Film Festival’s shorts programs, reflecting Artscape’s “Join the Movement” theme for this year. An exciting and eclectic mix of styles and genres are showcased, including animation, experimental, documentary, narrative, and more. Several of the filmmakers will be present to discuss their work with the audience!
Warning: Program contains ADULT LANGUAGE, MILD VIOLENCE, ANATOMICALLY FRANK IMAGERY OF HORSES, ADULT THEMES

THE CHAPERONE – Directed by Fraser Munden, Neil Rathbone
EAGER – Directed by Allison Schulnik
FLOW – Directed by Christina Choe
MELT – Directed by Noémie Lafrance
NIGHT AT THE DANCE – Directed by Annie Silverstein
PULL/DRIFT – Directed by Margaret Rorison
THAT B.E.A.T. – Directed by Abteen Bagheri

SATURDAY JULY 19th & SUNDAY JULY 20th Noon-6PM
MFF 2014 SHORTS
Saturday and Sunday programs are comprised of titles curated by the Maryland Film Festival, all of them from MFF 2014. These programs begin each hour on the hour, and run between 30 and 40 minutes apiece. One or more filmmakers are expected to be in attendance at each screening to answer questions from the audience and discuss their work. Program content may be subject to last-minute changes.

Programs may contain material not appropriate for all ages. Please refer to content warnings for each program below.

SCHEDULE:

SATURDAY JULY 19th
Noon – ANIMATED SHORTS
1pm – COMEDY SHORTS
2pm – CHARACTER STUDY SHORTS
3pm – NARRATIVE SHORTS
4pm – DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
5pm – ANIMATED SHORTS

SUNDAY JULY 20th
Noon – COMEDY SHORTS
1pm – CHARACTER STUDY SHORTS
2pm – NARRATIVE SHORTS
3pm – DOCUMENTARY SHORTS
4pm – ANIMATED SHORTS
5pm – COMEDY SHORTS

ANIMATED SHORTS – 37 minutes
Warning: Program contains CARTOON VIOLENCE, ADULT THEMES, and ADULT LANGUAGE
ALFRED JARRY & ‘PATAPHYSICS – Directed by Skizz Cyzyk
CAVEIRÃO (aka THE MASTER’S VOICE) – Directed by Guilherme Marcondes
THE CHAPERONE- Directed by Fraser Munden, Neil Rathbone
THE ORPHAN AND POLAR BEAR – Directed by Neil Christopher
YEARBOOK – Directed by Bernardo Britto

COMEDY SHORTS – 31 minutes
Warning: Program contains ADULT LANGUAGE and ADULT THEMES
CRUISING ELECTRIC (1980) – Directed by Brumby Boylston
FUNNEL – Directed by Andre Hyland
THE NOVICE CLAIRALIENT – Directed by Tom Borax
PEEPERS – Directed by Ken Lam
VERBATIM – Directed by Brett Weiner

NARRATIVE SHORTS – 38 minutes
Warning: Program contains ADULT THEMES and ADULT LANGUAGE
I WAS A TEENAGE GIRL – Directed by Augustine Frizzell
LA HIJA (THE DAUGHTER) – Directed by Jazmín Rada
SKUNK – Directed by Annie Silverstein
WHIFFED OUT – Directed by Jason Giampietro

DOCUMENTARY SHORTS – 33 minutes
Warning: Program contains BRIEF NUDITY, ADULT LANGUAGE, and ADULT THEMES
CINEMA TIME CAPSULE – Directed by Scott Norwood
DAVID HOCKNEY IN THE NOW (in six minutes) – Directed by Lucy Walker
THE SILLY BASTARD NEXT TO BED – Directed by Scott Calonico
THE HIGH FIVE – Directed by Michael Jacobs

CHARACTER STUDY SHORTS – 34 minutes
Warning: Program contains ADULT THEMES and ADULT LANGUAGE
THE IMMACULATE RECEPTION – Directed by Charlotte Glynn
I WILL PAINT YOUR SPIRIT – Directed by Jason Giampietro
EASY – Directed by Daniel Laabs

MFF Programmer Scott Braid reports on the 16th Annual Provincetown Film Festival

Sunday a week ago marked the wrap of the 16th annual Provincetown International Film Festival, a delightful and thoughtfully programmed festival centered in Cape Cod’s most charming and friendly town. PIFF pulled out all the stops this year in bringing world-class film and filmmakers to town. Their formidable line-up included a number of fantastic films and several wonderful special events.

Among the films in the PIFF line-up, a dozen or so appeared within MFF 2014 back in May. One of the notable overlaps in programming was Desiree Akhavan’s hilarious and heartfelt, APPROPRIATE BEHAVIOR which was very warmly received by Ptown audiences and took home the fest’s Tangerine Entertainment Juice Fund award, a cash prize given at several different festivals in support of outstanding female filmmakers.

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Desiree Akhavan with Tangerine Entertainment’s Anne Hubbell

 

MFF 2014’s FORT TILDEN (SXSW Grand Jury prize winner), the uproarious satirical dark comedy that offers a withering critique of a certain kind of vapid Brooklynite also made its way to the Cape, making a big splash with Ptown audiences in its 3 screenings there.

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Directors Sarah-Violet Bliss and Charles Rogers host a lively Q&A after screening their film FORT TILDEN at the Art House.

 

Other MFF 2014 narrative titles that made their way to PIFF included Gillian Robespierre’s breakout Sundance hit OBVIOUS CHILD, Joe Swanberg’s HAPPY CHRISTMAS, and Joel Potrykus’ BUZZARD. Meanwhile the documentary section included such MFF standouts as Marshall Curry’s POINT AND SHOOT, Joe Berlinger’s WHITEY, Ben Cotner and Ryan White’s THE CASE AGAINST 8, and Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman’s ART AND CRAFT.

As with any Maryland Film Festival, no Ptown Film Fest would be complete without the participation of the great John Waters. Here John was doing double duty reprising his MFF presentation of Catherine Breillat’s ABUSE OF WEAKNESS for Ptown audiences and acting as host/interviewer for legendary cult director David Cronenberg, who was being honored with the PIFF Filmmaker On The Edge award. Waters conducted a fascinating interview in which Cronenberg recalled turning down the chance to direct THE EMPIRE STRIKES BACK, watching Tom Cruise get passed over at an audition with Dino De Laurentiis, and a plethora of other fascinating stories about his nearly 50 years as a filmmaker. The same event saw a fun conversation between film critic B. Ruby Rich and PIFF Career Achievement honoree Debra Winger.

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Cronenberg and Waters, seen here with PIFF’s Career Achievement Award-winner Debra Winger (photo from hollywoodreporter.com)

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Cronenberg talks about his career in conversation with John Waters at Provincetown’s Town Hall

Of course I didn’t travel all the way to the tip of Cape Cod just to watch and talk about movies I’ve already seen during the programming period for MFF. The main reason for me to go to any festival is to discover wonderful films I haven’t seen and Ptown did not disappoint in this department.

My two favorites films that I had yet to see at PIFF both came out of their documentary section. Nancy Kates’ REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG was an unexpectedly artful and fascinating look into the life of the late writer, filmmaker, political activist, etc. Constructed over the course of 8 years, the film goes to great lengths to create an atmosphere that reflects Sontag’s (and of course the filmmaker’s own) aesthetic sensibilities while offering an interesting and insightful appraisal of her life and work.

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Director Nancy Kates discusses REGARDING SUSAN SONTAG, after PIFF screening at the Schoolhouse Gallery

 

The documentary that really knocked me out however, was Jesse Moss’ THE OVERNIGHTERS, an intense and powerful doc about the small town of Williston, North Dakota that is overwhelmed by its near overnight transformation into a fracking boom town. Thousands of men and women seeking employment in the oil fields or in ancillary industries springing up around them, overwhelming the towns resources, real estate and many folks nerves. At the center of the story is a local Lutheran pastor who is devoted to helping and housing the many desperate unemployed who come to town. At times his devotion to the plight of the “overnighters” as they’re called, puts him at odds with the town and even his own congregation. A fascinating insight into human nature, small town politics and the brutal reality of searching for employment during lean times, THE OVERNIGHTERS provides a riveting viewing experience throughout building to a mind-blowing crescendo, leaving the viewer much to ponder upon leaving the theater.

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Still from Jesse Moss’ THE OVERNIGHTERS

 

In the narrative department, Ira Sachs’ haunting and heartfelt LOVE IS STRANGE provided a very satisfying viewing experience. The film stars John Lithgow and Alfred Molina as a senior-age gay couple who finally are able to marry after 39 years together, only to be forced out of their Manhattan apartment shortly thereafter by rising real estate prices. As they try to find a new home the couple has to separate for the first time in decades, staying with friends and relatives, putting a strain on both their relationship and those they’re staying with. Excellent performances are the key here and Molina and Lithgow deliver as does the supporting cast which includes Oscar-winner Marisa Tomei.

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Director Ira Sachs discusses his latest film, LOVE IS STRANGE at Provincetown’s Town Hall

 

To close out the weekend, PIFF brought in acclaimed filmmaker Jonathan Demme to present his latest work A MASTER BUILDER. A film which finds Demme collaborating with the legendary Andre Gregory and Wallace Shawn, the duo perhaps most famous in cinematic circles for their 1981 collaboration with Louis Malle, MY DINNER WITH ANDRE. Their latest outing, A MASTER BUILDER is an ambitious adaptation of Henrik Ibsen’s The Master Builder Solness. The two elder statesman of stage and screen (Gregory and Shawn also star in the film) were in attendance and with Demme hosted a rousing Q&A following the screening. The three greats discussed their excitement to have had the opportunity to work on this project together and the challenges of shooting such a project on a limited budget in just over a week. Reminding the audience that even legendary film artists often have to struggle to fund a project that they wish to complete on their own terms. It was a fitting and fun way to close out such a fine year for PIFF. The fun and festive closing party and awards ceremony made the evening all the more delightful. I look forward to visiting both Provincetown and its film festival again in June 2015!

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From l to r: Wallace Shawn, Andre Gregory and Jonathan Demme, discussing their collaboration on A MASTER BUILDER

(All photos by Scott Braid unless otherwise noted.)

MFF 2014’s FREEDOM SUMMER Premieres on PBS’ American Experience TONIGHT at 9pm!

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A demonstration in Atlantic City, the site of the 1964 Democratic Convention. FREEDOM SUMMER airs on PBS tonight. Photo credit: George Ballis/Take Stock.

MFF 2014’s FREEDOM SUMMER directed by award-winning documentary filmmaker Stanley Nelson airs TONIGHT (6/24) on PBS’ American Experience at 9pm.

“…it’s hard to imagine two hours better spent in front of a screen.”
-Mike HaleThe New York Times, 6/23/14.  Click here for the complete review.
Film Synopsis from the MFF 2014 Program Book:
In 1962, only 6% of eligible African Americans in Mississippi were registered to vote, the lowest percentage of any state in the country. The tools used to block blacks from registering included ludicrous poll tests, violence, and other forms of sanctioned intimidation. Several Civil Rights groups determined to correct this, and, led by an extraordinary young man, Robert Moses they went to work. By 1964, they had recruited hundreds of college students from as far away as Yale and Stanford, along with religious leaders and other volunteers. They joined forces with brave local sharecroppers like Fannie Lou Hamer with the goal of educating and registering enough people to begin to challenge Mississippi and wake up the national Democratic Party leadership. Mississippi resisted with all its might, beating, arresting, and killing anyone advocating change.
The story has been told in multiple forms, but this riveting film by one of our most important filmmakers has an unusual power. Assembling incredible archival footage and insightful contemporary interviews with some people who participated in Freedom Summer, the film takes you deep into the world of institutional racism in 1964 Mississippi, and shockingly underscores the timidity of President Johnson and the Democratic Party.
Approaching the 50th anniversary of Freedom Summer, and in the wake of the Supreme Court’s recent decision to reverse field in the area of voting rights, this is a story that needs to be understood—and never forgotten.

John Waters’ “Carsick” to be Released Tomorrow! Book Signing and Release Party at Atomic Books 6/12, 7pm!

JW Book SigningLegendary director and MFF Board Member John Waters will be releasing his seventh book tomorrow, “Carsick” (Farrar, Strauss & Giroux, $26), which chronicles his cross-country hitchhiking adventure from Baltimore to San Francisco.  Click here to pre-purchase your very own copy from Atomic Books – signed by John Waters!

Also, be sure to check out the “Carsick” book release party and signing at Atomic Books (located at 3620 Falls Road in Hampden) on Thursday, June 12th at 7pm!  Click here for event information.

Carsick“Carsick” Synopsis:
A cross-country hitchhiking journey with America’s most beloved weirdo.

John Waters is putting his life on the line. Armed with wit, a pencil-thin mustache, and a cardboard sign that reads “I’m Not Psycho,” he hitchhikes across America from Baltimore to San Francisco, braving lonely roads and treacherous drivers. But who should we be more worried about, the delicate film director with genteel manners or the unsuspecting travelers transporting the Pope of Trash?

Before he leaves for this bizarre adventure, Waters fantasizes about the best and worst possible scenarios: a friendly drug dealer hands over piles of cash to finance films with no questions asked, a demolition-derby driver makes a filthy sexual request in the middle of a race, a gun-toting drunk terrorizes and holds him hostage, and a Kansas vice squad entraps and throws him in jail. So what really happens when this cult legend sticks out his thumb and faces the open road? His real-life rides include a gentle eighty-one-year-old farmer who is convinced Waters is a hobo, an indie band on tour, and the perverse filmmaker’s unexpected hero: a young, sandy-haired Republican in a Corvette.

Laced with subversive humor and warm intelligence, “Carsick” is an unforgettable vacation with a wickedly funny companion-and a celebration of America’s weird, astonishing, and generous citizenry.

“In the director John Waters’s amusing “Carsick”…he tells us up front and quite candidly that his idea to hitchhike from one of his homes in Baltimore to another of his homes in San Francisco was dreamed up as a stunt. What else would we expect from the creator of HAIRSPRAY? Of course, you have to be John Waters to pull this off. The celebrity hanging around rain-sodden truck stops sticking out his thumb is simultaneously the premise, the joke and the tale. So be it….In the end, “Carsick” becomes a portrait not just of America’s desolate freeway nodes – though they’re brilliantly evoked – but of American fame itself.”
-Lawrence OsborneThe New York Times, 5/30/14 (click here for the complete review)
“If you saw a disheveled, clearly despondent 66-year-old man hitchhiking, would you pick him up?Would you pick him up if you realized he was John Waters?

Two springs ago, Baltimore’s most unrepentant degenerate set out on a mission of discovery. Beginning on Charles Street, not far from his home, Waters would hitchhike all the way to his San Francisco condo, following Interstate 70 most of way. There would be little in the way of advance planning; he’d be relying totally on his thumb and the kindness of strangers.”

-Chris KaltenbachBaltimore Sun, 5/30/14 (click here for the complete review and interview with John Waters)


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