Filmmaker Jean-Luc Godard once said, "The cinema is truth at 24 frames per second," making slow-mo sports replays and sped-up Benny Hill gags nothing but cruel, cruel lies. Get the real deal with today's Groupon: for $10, you get two tickets to see one film at the Maryland Film Festival in downtown Baltimore (a $20 value), valid for any film screening May 6–8, 2011.
Hailed by such Charm City cinematic auteurs as John Waters, Barry Levinson, and certified genius David Simon, the annual Maryland Film Festival showcases more than 100 feature and short films, including comedies, dramas, and documentaries from around the world. Among last year's festival highlights, local electronic musical mastermind Dan Deacon hosted a showing of Total Recall, and Waters himself explored Paul Greengrass's harrowing United 93. Because filmmakers, like Radio Shack employees, must be held responsible for what they do with cameras, artists from all the North American features will be in attendance to present their films, with past guests including Jonathan Demme, Kathryn Bigelow, and Melvin Van Peebles. The weekend also delivers envelope-pushing international cinema, as demonstrated by recent festival breakouts such as the Academy Award-nominated Greek feature Dogtooth and the Thai drama Syndromes and a Century.
Viewers can test their depth perception with a classic 3-D film or show time travelers from the 1880s the wonders of the 1920s with a vintage silent film featuring live musical accompaniment. Watch for presentations by celebrities from outside the world of movies as well, which in the past have included favorites from Bonnie "Prince" Billy and Fugazi's Ian MacKaye. Groupon holders can keep an eye out for announcements of this year’s selections and other news at the 2011 event's online home and the Maryland Film Festival's blog.
Maryland Film Festival
Every year on the first weekend of May, downtown Baltimore's streets bustle as tens of thousands of moviegoers visit local theaters to watch films shot, directed, and edited around the globe. The Maryland Film Festival, like a freakish hurdle sprinter, runs for five days and showcases about 50 feature films and 75 short pieces—ranging from documentaries to animations—many of which are presented by their respective filmmakers or celebrity guest hosts. Past hosts have included Ian MacKaye and Branford Marsalis, and legendary filmmaker John Waters regularly makes an appearance at the festival, hosting a feature film of his choice. Attendees may also stimulate and expand their sensory palates with special events that have included international flicks, three-dimensional movies, and vintage silent films synced to live music.