Bath museum takes filmgoers 'down to the sea'

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BATH — The Maine Maritime Museum is entering the world of film during the next few months, and adding its usual touch of salt.

The 243 Washington St. museum will offer its first-ever movie festival, called Down to the Sea in Film, starting this month.

On Jan. 28 it will screen “Captain Blood,” a 1935 swashbuckler based on a novel by Rafael Sabatini and directed by Michael Curtiz, who later directed “Casablanca.” The movie features the first starring role of Errol Flynn, who acts along with Olivia de Havilland and Basil Rathbone.

The museum will show “The Crimson Pirate” on Feb. 19. Burt Lancaster plays a buccaneer who becomes involved in a revolution in the Caribbean.

Two of the museum’s offerings are home grown. “Life by Lobster,” which will be shown Feb. 10, is an award-winning documentary by Iain McCray Martin, a filmmaker from Stonington. The film chronicles the aspirations of five young lobstermen who endeavor to forge a career in the lobster fishery, despite the growing obstacles that can stymie those dreams. “Life by Lobster” is among the Maine International Film Festival’s “Best of 2009” collection.

“Gone: The Mystery of the Don Disaster,” is an hour-long docudrama to be shown March 5. The piece focuses on the loss in 1941 of the pleasure boat Don, which the museum noted was one of the worst maritime disasters in Maine history. The tragedy, in which 34 people died, remains unexplained. Only 14 bodies were found, and no wreckage was ever found.

A Harpswell production company has used the original Maine locations, as well as local actors and re-enactors, to reopen the mystery, and offers new insights into what could have happened on that trip. The film also includes interviews with surviving relatives and eyewitnesses.

The shows all begin at 6:30 p.m. The cost is $8 for members, $10 for non-members, $25 for families and $5 for students. Log onto mainemaritimemuseum.org or call 443-1316 ext. 0 for more information.

Alex Lear can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 113 or alear@theforecaster.net.

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A Maine native and Colby College graduate, Alex has been covering coastal communities since 2001, and currently handles Bath, Topsham, Cumberland, and North Yarmouth. He and his wife, Lauren, live in the Portland area, and Alex recently released his third album of original music.