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A Matter Of Life And Death

Posted 2/10/2010

THE ISLAND Towson University kicks off its Bridges to the World International Film Festival this week with this 2006 Russian drama from director Pavel Lungin, who directed 1990's Taxi Blues and '92's Luna Park. The Island is set at a remote Russian monastery in the White Sea where a monk is said to work miracles. Screens Feb. 12 at Towson University's Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium at 7 p.m.

A MATTER OF LIFE AND DEATH This 1947 collaboration between those fabulous postwar Brits Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger stars David Niven as a WWII British pilot shot down toward the end of the war. He ejects and ends up alive and well and in love with the American radio operator (Kim Hunter, best known as the original Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire) he spoke with during the opening crash. Turns out his survival was a mistake, and he has to argue his case to live in front of heavenly tribunal. A priceless treat. At the Enoch Pratt Free Central Library's Wheeler Auditorium Feb. 13 at 10:15 a.m.

MY DEAR SECRETARY Kirk Douglas stars in this 1949 comedy as a successful novelist whose playboy idea of work rubs his new secretary (Laraine Day) the wrong way. At the Enoch Pratt Free Library's Southeast Anchor branch Feb. 13 at 2 p.m .

NO. 17 David Ofek's 2003 documentary investigates a June 2002 Israeli bus bombing that killed 17 people--16 of whom were identified. The movie follows the effort to identify the unknown passenger. Screens Feb. 11 at MICA's Brown Center's Falvey Hall at 7:30 p.m.

PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS: THE LIGHTNING THIEF Chris "Bicentennial Man" Columbus directs this family-friendly adventure based on Rick Riordan's young-adult novel series about the 12-year-old Percy (Logan Lerman) who turns out to be the descendent of Greek gods and has to take part in their ongoing battles. Opens Feb. 12.

SHOOTING BEAUTY George Kachadorian's 2009 documentary follows his photographer wife Courtney Bent's photography project in which she gave cameras to people with cerebral palsy to document their lives. Profound. Screens Feb. 11 at Towson University's Van Bokkelen Hall Auditorium at 7:30 p.m.

VALENTINE'S DAY Garry Marshall directs this Katherine Fugate (Army Wives creator) script about Los Angeles couples falling in and out of love around that most Hallmark holiday time of the year. Opens Feb. 12.

THE WOLFMAN And another 1930s/'40s monster-movie great gets sodomized by CGI and bankrupt imagination. Joe "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids" Johnston directs Benicio del Toro and Anthony Hopkins in Curt Siodmak's mirthfully simple original screenplay about a Welshman going wolf. Arf. Opens Feb. 12.

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