FRIDAY, APRIL 11
BITTER SWEET This adaptation of Noel Coward's operetta features director Herbert Wilcox's Bitter established the career of his pretty protegee. (1933, 93 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
NIGHT OF THE HUNTER A cult favorite, Charles Laughton's only directorial effort is a bleak excise in Southern Gothic, with Robert Mitchum as a preacher who only seems to be benign. (1955, 93 min) (Also April 13-18) 7 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
I'M A CYBORG, BUT THAT'S OK Oldboy director Park Chan-wook dials back his trademark ferocity with this account of romance in an asylum. 9 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SATURDAY, APRIL 12
THE MOTHER AND THE WHORE In a sense the last film of the French new wave, Jean Eustache's intimate epic is doggedly black-and-white, utterly Parisian, and concerned with its post-'68 moment only to gripe about how much it disappoints. Although the dialogue was not improvised, Eustache drew heavily from his own life, and even cast a former lover, Francoise Lebrun, as one of the three central characters. New wave exemplar Jean-Pierre Leaud (a Truffaut and Godard regular) plays Alexandre, who lives with (and off of) "mother" Marie (Marie Lafont, also a Truffaut vet) while pursuing other women. Unemployed except as a self-styled wit, Alexandre hangs out in Left Bank cafes, reading Proust's The Captive and discussing politics, history, abortion, and cult films and directors. Distraught when ex-lover Gilberte (Isabelle Weingarten) informs him she's engaged, Alexandre impulsively approaches "whore" Veronika (Lebrun), a nurse who's promiscuous but not a prostitute. Soon enough, Alexandre, Veronika, and Marie are in bed together, although not all that happily. There's much nudity, but more dialogue, and the mood is bummed-out rather than turned-on. Like the most provocative French films from a decade earlier, The Mother and the Whore is both naturalistic and studded with footnote-worthy references. Here's just one: Alexandre offers some reasons that he might fall in love with a woman, and one is that she had appeared in a Bresson film; Weingarten was in Bresson's Four Nights of the Dreamer two years earlier. (1973, 220 min) 2 pm, National Gallery of Art, East Building auditorium. Free.
SHORTS-COURTS-KURZ This selection of shorts from the 2008 Clermont-Ferrand and the 2007 Dresden short-film festivals includes On a Wednesday Night in Tokyo, a one-take contemplation, and Caracas, an account of a solitary sailor inspired by a Joseph Conrad story. 2 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW.
CABIN IN THE COTTON In this classic Warner Brothers's problem drama, Bette Davis is the spoiled daughter of plantation boss who gets involved with her father's employee as labor battles and a lynching set the tale's social agenda. (1932, 78 min) Shown with FOG OVER FRISCO, In which Davis is a young socialite who like to hang out with gangsters. (1934, 68 min) (Also April 14) 4 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
THE FACE OF ANOTHER One of several films Japanese director Hiroshi Teshigahara derived from the fiction of Kobe Abe, this is the tale of a badly disfigured man who gets a face transplant, and decides that the new visage frees him from old responsibilities. (1966, 124 min) (Also April 13, 16-17) 9:05 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SUNDAY, APRIL 13
JIMMY THE GENT Bette Davis plays a supporting role in this James Cagney vehicle, a screwball comedy about a corrupt private detective. (1934, 67 min) Shown with THE PETRIFIED FOREST, in which Davis is a naive young woman drawn to Humphrey Bogart's killer on the lam. (1936, 83 min) (Also April 15) 1 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
DRIVING WITH MY WIFE'S LOVER A shy, traditional guy who carves family-seal stamps for a living, Tae-han fantasizes about confronting Jung-shik, the cabbie he believes is having an affair with his wife. Tae-han travels from his small coastal hometown to Seoul, and hires the amiably philandering Jung-shik to drive him back home. They end up spending part of two days together, but the wounded husband's hoped-for confrontation remains a fantasy. After confirming his suspicions, Tae-han takes his revenge in a roundabout, unplanned way. Director Kim Tae-sik's film relies overly on contrivance, especially during the hubby and cabbie's protracted road trip, but there are quieter moments that ring true. (2006, 92 min) 2 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Independence Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.
ORANGE REVOLUTION This acclaimed documentary uses archival footage, interviews, and music to depict Ukraine's 2004 nonviolent revolution. Director Steve York will answer questions after the screening. (2007, 106 min) 2 pm, Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 N. Kent Street, Arlington. $5-10.
STANDARD OPERATING PROCEDURE Director Errol Morris (The Thin Blue Line) undertakes a detailed examination of the controversial photographs and videos of Iraqi prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison, locating contexts that mainstream news coverage couldn't find — and getting revealing interviews with most of the American soldiers at the center of the storm. Morris will be present to discuss the film. (2008, 118 min) 4 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
LE PLEINE PERDU DE JEAN EUSTACHE Angel Diaz's film uses interviews, clips from Eustache's work, and the late director's own words to illuminate his approach to life and cinema. Eustache claimed to practice "non-intervention," rejected "the filmmaker's eye," and wanted to "leap back to cinema's origins." The film's title, which translates as "The Wasted Breath of Jean Eustache," refers to the name of an unfinished Eustache script. (1997, 53 min) Shown with NUMERO ZERO, Eustache's portrait of his aged but strong-willed grandmother, whose full version wasn't shown until 22 years after the director's suicide. (2003, 104 min) 4:30 pm, National Gallery of Art, East Building auditorium. Free.
MONDAY, APRIL 14
GERMANS IN AMERICA: LITTLE GERMANIES & A PEOPLE DISAPPEARS The first of these programs, made for European TV, contrasts the Steinwegs, who became the Steinways and built a fortune on their pianos, and the Gumpertzes, who stayed in trapped in Manhattan's Little Germany. The second considers how 20th-century German immigrants assimilated into a country that fought two wars against their former homeland. 6:30 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $6.
A HEBREW LESSON This documentary observes a group of new immigrants to Israel, including a Russian, a German, and two Chinese brides, as they struggle to learn the local language -- and become friends. Co-director David Ofek will appear. (2006, 123 min) 7:30 pm, Washington DC Jewish Community Center, 1529 16th Street NW. $10.
TUESDAY, APRIL 15
R.P.M. One of Hollywood's attempts to deal with Vietnam-era youth culture, director Stanley Kramer's film stars Anthony Quinn as a hip professor who becomes dean during a period of campus. Ann-Margret plays his girlfriend, and the script was written by Erich (Love Story) Segal. (1970, 92 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
SHAKE HANDS WITH THE DEVIL The title of this modestly scaled but vivid documentary refers to the chilling sensation Lt. Gen. Romeo Dallaire felt when he met leaders of the militia who planned the 1994 butchery of some 800,000 Rwandans. Commander of the failed U.N. peacekeeping mission -- and the loose inspiration for the Nick Nolte character in Hotel Rwanda -- Dallaire recalls the Hutu tribal group's leaders as "the most evil I could ever imagine." But they weren't the only devils whose legacy faced the French-Canadian officer when he returned to Rwanda last year for the horror's 10th-anniversary commemoration. There was also the Belgian politician who attacks Dallaire for not caring enough about the 10 Belgian soldiers who were killed as nearly a million Rwandans died. And Bill Clinton, who arrives to rationalize that he "did not fully appreciate" the slaughter his government did nothing to prevent. As the Canadian visits a few survivors and shrines to the many victims, director Roger Spottiswoode cuts in footage that shows why Dallaire is still in shock. There's not a lot of it, but it's harrowing. (2007, 112 mins) Part of the 2008 Francophonie Film Fest. 7 pm, S. Dillon Ripley Center Lecture Hall, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. $13. Reservations: 202 633 3030 or Smithsonian Resident Associates.
WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16
TOUCH OF EVIL Long out of favor with the major Hollywood studios, Orson Welles was not the likely choice to direct this moody 1958 picture, which turned out to be his last studio effort. When he did get the assignment -- by some accounts, it was all a misunderstanding -- he shot a dark parable of the struggle between good (embodied by Charlton Heston's upright Mexican narcotics officer, Vargas) and evil (Welles's corrupt American cop, Quinlan) that Paul Schrader dubbed "film noir's epitaph." Although he dazzled the cast and crew with his expertly planned long takes, Welles wasn't allowed to cut the movie. Universal took the final edit away from him, and when Welles saw what the studio had done he wrote a 58-page memo on how to improve the film. In 1998, re-edit producer Rick Schmidlin and editor Walter Murch followed Welles's suggestions to produce a retooled 40th-anniversary version of the movie, which takes place mostly in a seedy Mexican border town (actually Venice, California). Schmidlin and Murch restored the cross-cutting, considered too confusing by Universal, reworked the sound to Welles's specifications, and deleted some of the scenes shot after Welles left the project. The changes are most obvious in the first half hour, but the entire film seems edgier, and the threat to Vargas's new bride (Janet Leigh) more palpable. (1958, 108 min) 6 pm, Smithsonian American Art Museum. Free.
ALWAYS: SUNSET ON THIRD STREET 2 Set in 1959, director Takashi Yamazaki's ensemble drama continues the story of a small group of Tokyo residents, ranging from an automobile mechanic to an aspiring novelist. (2007, 146 min) 6:30 pm, Japanese Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St NW. Free; reservations required. RSVP to email@example.com
BROTHERLY JAZZ — THE HEATH BROTHERS This documentary surveys the careers, lives, and connections of bassist Percy Heath, saxophonist Jimmy Heath, and drummer Al "Tootie" Heath. (2006, 70 mins) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
HEARTBEAT DETECTOR In director Nicolas Klotz's corporate-themed thriller, Mathieu Amalric plays a staff psychologist at the Paris branch of a German conglomerate that may secretly retain some of its Nazi-era outlook. (2007, 143 min) Sponsored by La Maison Francaise. 8 pm, Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave NW. $9.75
THURSDAY, APRIL 17
KITTEN WITH A WHIP In the film that established her reputation, Ann-Margret plays a bad girl who falls into the clutches of a rich guy (John Forsythe) who may be naughtier than she is. Shown with a Flintstones episode in which Ann-Margrock comes to call. 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
UP AND OUT Artist Christian Marclay's mash-up mixes images from Michaelangelo Antonioni's Blow Up with sounds from Brian de Palma's Blow Out. (1998, 111 min) 8 pm, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th St & Independence Ave SW. Free.