When Baltimoreans go to see The Ravens, they are usually clad in black and purple NFL uniforms. At last night’s Baltimore exclusive screening of The Raven, hometown folks got a chance to see the creepy, black, ominous bird the football team is named for. (See trailer, left)
Although The Raven opens in theaters nationwide on Friday, April 27, 2012, a few select theatergoers in Baltimore were lucky enough to see an advanced screening on Wednesday evening, April 25, at the Landmark Harbor East Theater. Radio and television media, web site promotions, and The Poe House and Museum offered free tickets to see John Cusack play Edgar Allan Poe in one of his most daunting and haunting roles. Although there was no red carpet at Baltimore’s advanced screening, the celebrities were walking it into screenings in New York and Los Angeles. (See slideshow, left)
Cusack goes into preparation for his roles by practically taking on all of the character’s traits on and off screen during the filming process. Always a slim person, Cusack lost 25 pounds to play the oft emaciated, alcoholic 19th century poet. Great works did not make one rich in the mid-1800s.
In a Baltimore Sun interview, Cusack said filming during the cold, dark winter in Serbia and Hungary made it that much easier to become Poe. He said that when he came home for a break during Christmas, his appearance and demeanor frightened his own family.
The movie is a fictional crime thriller revolving around Poe’s involvement in searching for a serial killer. Fictional characters are added into the script that did not exist in his real life.
Baltimoreans and Poe fans know that the poet’s life did not need embellishment to produce such dark, yet celebrated works. Even today, there is an element of mystery.
For over 50 years, an unknown, unseen visitor left half of a bottle of cognac and three roses at Poe’s Baltimore gravesite on his January 19 birthday. For the past three years, the “Poe Toaster” has been a no show.
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