MARCH 1

“1998 Metro-Washington Filmmaker Showcase”

Local movie madman Alvin Ecarma was wise to book his “Metro-Washington Filmmaker Showcase” into the Bethesda Theatre Cafe. After all, unlike most snooty theaters, that salvaged showplace has a bar and a kitchen. It’s much easier to suspend one’s disbelief when one is simultaneously hoisting a frosty mug. While many of the works in Ecarma’s program have screened before, at either the Rosebud Festival or Washington Psychotronic Film Society gatherings, they all bear repeated viewing. And it is simply not possible to watch Mark Manlove’s The Funny Monkey (pictured) often enough. A work of haunting simplicity with a message for all of us, it should be shown at the beginning of every school day, in church on Sunday, and in theaters that serve alcohol. In addition to some recent Ecarma shorts, other works showing include Zoltan Szallasi’s Thoughts in the Cellar, Four Films in Five Minutes by Charm City’s Skizz Cyzyk, Jeff Krulik’s Go-Go Girls Don’t Cry, Mick Williams’ Mouthpiece, and Manlove’s documentary, Al Adamson: Drive-In Monster, whose subject came to a sadly fitting end shortly after being interviewed. At 5:30 p.m. Sunday at Bethesda Theatre Cafe, 7719 Wisconsin Ave., Bethesda. $4. (301) 299-9269. (Dave Nuttycombe)