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Maryland Film Festival
Though the historic Parkway Theatre in Baltimore remains temporarily closed to the public, the Maryland Film Festival will continue with a virtual lineup from May 19 to 27 with the same programming, filmmaker Q&As, and even afterparties that would have occurred in person. The festival opens with Strawberry Mansion, a surreal love story of sorts from directing duo Kentucker Audley and Albert Birney. “Dream logic” takes on a new significance in the imagined future of the film, where the government has begun surveillance on the populace’s dreams in order to tax their subconscious. When dream auditor James shows up at the farmhouse of aging artist Bella for a seemingly routine case, combing through Bella’s lifetime of unpaid dreams leads him to new feelings and hidden information that could shift his own dreaming and waking worlds. On the documentary side, the festival will give viewers a peek into domino art with Lily Topples the World. Professional domino artist Lily Hevesh began uploading her domino projects to YouTube when she was 10 under the name Hevesh5. Now 22, Hevesh has created a varied body of work that includes elaborate portraits, optical illusions, Rube Goldberg machines, and even her own domino line. Director Jeremy Workman followed Hevesh for three years as she made the transition to full-time domino work and established herself in the male-dominated community of “topplers.”But if horror films are more your style, you’ll want to check out We’re All Going to the World’s Fair from director Jane Schoenbrun. The film centers on Casey, a young girl who falls down the rabbit hole of an intense online role-playing game. Like other players of the viral “World’s Fair Challenge,” Casey updates her followers on the strange physical symptoms she develops after her initiation. But reality and performance begin to blur when she befriends a more experienced player concerned about the changes taking hold of her. Festival programming associate Lucas Cullen calls World’s Fair “tailor-made for in-home viewing, as long as you promise to give it the undivided attention it deserves.” Hopefully next year we’ll be back to viewing festival picks together at the Parkway. The festival takes place from May 19 to 27. Tickets are available at watch.eventive.org. $15–$450 for an all access pass.