The Johns Hopkins Gazette: April 10, 2000
April 10, 2000
VOL. 29, NO. 31


Spring Fair 2000 Weekend

By Greg Rienzi
The Gazette
Johns Hopkins Gazette Online Edition

Anyone guilty of eyeing those colorful, cartoonlike cartons of Ben and Jerry's ice cream knows one thing, packaging sells. There are times, however, when a product should just speak for itself--at least the organizing committee behind Hopkins' 29th annual Spring Fair thinks so.

Doing away with the long-standing tradition of fair themes, this year's installment is simply being called Spring Fair 2000. The no-frills name is part of a "more businesslike approach" to the three-day event, which will begin at noon on Friday, April 14.

The entirely student-run festival is one of the largest of its kind, typically drawing more than 100,000 visitors to the Homewood campus for fun, food and music.

Clockwise from far left, committee members Marz Rad, Torrey Biebenour, Allison Ross, Mike Lai, Bonnie Pladsen, Rozalin Davoodnia, Karin Chan and Katie Rieder.

Allison Ross, co-chair of the festival, said the committee broke from tradition because it felt themes partly obscured the fair and that theme names, such as recent festival monikers Odyssey and Jackpot '99, might have confused the public.

"Some people thought [the themes] were a separate event," said Ross, a senior majoring in sociology. "We wanted to bring the focus back on the fair. It's part of our long-term sponsorship strategy."

The committee also made an attempt at branding the festival by creating a new Spring Fair logo, a piece of artwork that committee members hope will be employed by future event organizers. Other marketing devices include running short advertisements before coming attractions at two area movie theaters and airing frequent radio spots on local stations B102.7 and 98 Rock.

"We also have a commercial running on UPN 24, not to mention the posters we have put up just about everywhere," said Katie Rieder, the festival's other co-chair and a senior majoring in art history. "Now we are just hoping for good weather."

The fair itself, Ross said, will stay relatively the same. Spring Fair is run by a 40-member staff and includes live music, arts and crafts, games and carnival rides for children, food vendors and a beer garden.

Some of the highlights include an antique car show and musical performances by O'Malley's March, fronted by Baltimore mayor Martin O'Malley, and by Tim Reynolds, a songwriter/guitar player widely known for his studio work and live performances with the Dave Matthews Band.

This year also features the American Cancer Society's Relay for Life, an over-night team event to raise funds to fight cancer. The event will begin with a candlight ceremony at 7 p.m. on April 14 at the White Athletic Center practice field.

Other weekend events include a Friday night a cappella concert featuring Hopkins' Vocal Chords and groups from other universities, at 7 p.m., in Bloomberg's Schafler Auditorium; a pair of lacrosse games pitting Hopkins against the University of Maryland, both on Saturday at Homewood Field--women's at 5:30 p.m. and men's at 8 p.m.; and the New York Comedy Film Festival, at 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, Shriver Hall.

Daytime festival hours are noon to 6 p.m. on Friday and 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday; admission and parking are free. The beer garden is open noon to 7 p.m. on Friday and Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. on Sunday. Mayor O'Malley brings O'Malley's March to the B102.7 stage, outside Shriver, at 1:15 p.m. on Saturday. Tickets are required for Tim Reynolds, who kicks off the weekend at 8 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, in Shriver Hall.

For more information on Spring Fair events, call 410-516-7692 or visit".

Also scheduled for Spring Fair weekend is the third annual JHU Film Festival; for details, see below.

JHU Film Fest

Turn down the lights and roll the tape--it's time for the Johns Hopkins Film Festival 2000.

The third annual event, once again piggybacking Spring Fair weekend, kicks off at 7 p.m. on Thursday, April 13, with the Maryland premiere of A Girl is a Girl, an official selection of the 1999 Toronto International Film Festival. The film, directed by Reginald Harkema, is an homage to Jean-Luc Godard's 1961 classic Une Femme est une Femme. Set in modern-day Vancouver, the movie focuses on one man's dealings with four different women, all of whom captivate his eye but fall short of his ideal.

The four-day festival--funded by several departments, the Student Council, the Student Activities Commission, the dean of students, the dean of student affairs and the Young Alumni Fund--will include 13 features and more than 50 short and long-short films. Screenings will be held at the Charles Theatre on North Charles Street and in Shriver, Gilman and Shaffer halls on the Homewood campus.

The Johns Hopkins Film Society started the festival to provide a forum for feature-length and short films that the public wouldn't otherwise see.

Daniel Humire, the festival's director, said the film society received more than 200 entries this year and opted to "just show the stuff we genuinely liked." Humire said that last year, in comparison, local filmmaker submissions were almost automatically accepted.

Two highlights of the festival, according to Humire, are Wadd: The Life and Times of John C. Holmes, an interesting but sad look at the late 1970s porn star, and The Target Shoots First, a documentary on corporate culture in the early 1990s.

Then there is julien donkey-boy.

This film follows the struggle of a young man suffering from schizophrenia and trying to maintain his footing amid family dysfunction and delusional attacks.

"julien donkey-boy is to me a revolutionary film," said Humire, a senior majoring in biology. "Someone told me before I saw it for the first time that it would change my mind on digital video technology, and it has. I think every filmmaker should be required to see this film before ever trying to make anything ever again."

Admission to all events is free for Hopkins students, staff and faculty; tickets for the public are $3 per show, $15 for a festival pass. For a complete film festival schedule, see The Gazette calendar.

For information, contact Humire at 410-516-2517 or visit