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Johns Hopkins Film Festival

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Night of the Hunter

Johns Hopkins Film Festival

April 6-8 at Johns Hopkins University’s Homewood Campus

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While we’ve heard many tech-savvy, HD-embracing folks swear that digital video is meeting—if not surpassing—the quality of film, there are those who rally in support of celluloid. Enter the Johns Hopkins Film Society ( and its annual festival, this year defiantly motto-ed “Film Is Not Dead.” And while that’s true, setting your eyeballs on an actual 35 mm print is an increasingly rare treat nowadays, and the JHFS is offering the opportunity to see four feature-length films in addition to short programs of international and local work. Yes, now you can witness the wonder of the chemical process of light smacking a movie star in the face, reflecting back into a lens, and burning his/her beloved features onto strips of film.

The first print to be projected is Federico Fellini’s classic 8 1/2, about a well-established filmmaker searching for inspiration. Even if you’ve seen it before, you should head over to Shriver Hall Friday night at 7:30 p.m., since this is your chance to catch it at its most gorgeous. The following night at 7:30 p.m., see Night of the Hunter, the Robert Mitchum-starring thriller about a serial killer/preacher, followed by Michael Bay-directed blockbuster Bad Boys 2 at 9:30 p.m., hosted by Jimmy Joe Roche and Dan Deacon. Capping off the festival, Ghostbusters will be shown Sunday at 2 p.m., offering a nice alternative to your standard Easter activities.

Filling in the gaps between reels, several shorts and some indie features step in to entertain, such as “Six Hundred and Forty-One Slates,” a two-minute short made up of every slate marker shot in an independent feature, and Bailout, a documentary about five people headed to Vegas with large sums of cash, hoping to find a bailout of their own. Though a majority of the shorts will be screened via DVD or Blu-ray, one of them, “Children of the Air,” will be projected in 35 mm, a rare feat in today’s indie film world. So while film is still kicking, those kicks are getting weaker and weaker. Be sure to take advantage of this opportunity before the medium is gobbled up in the maw of the digital age.

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