FRIDAY, MAY 2
THE MARINES WHO NEVER RETURNED Set during the Korean War, Lee Man-hee's classic has the production values of an epic, but is notable for its psychological intimacy. 7 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Independence Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.
OSAMA The first feature film made in post-Taliban Afghanistan, Siddiq Barmak's gender-issue horror story transpires in a country the United States helped create, but takes its cinematic inspiration from Iran. Because the Taliban has forbidden unescorted females to leave their homes, a 12-year-old girl (Marina Golbahari) poses as a boy to earn food for herself, her widowed mother, and her grandmother. When the girl and a local beggar boy are rounded up and sent to a Taliban indoctrination camp, he helps protect her, telling the others her name is Osama. The scenes at the Taliban facility flirt with comedy, but the humor is laced with dread, since Osama may be executed if she's discovered. Funded by Makhmalbaf Film House and Iran's Ministry of Culture, the film shows the influence of Makhmalbaf and fellow Iranian minimalist Abbas Kiarostami. The story is no doubt oversimplified, but then exquisite subtlety is not required to tell the story of a girl condemned simply for being a girl. 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
THE FRIENDS OF EDDY COYLE Tough guy Robert Mitchum plays a worn-out, family-man suburban crook contemplating betraying his pals in Peter Yates's film. (1973, 102 min) 7:10 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
WHATEVER HAPPENED TO BABY JANE? In this camp favorite, Bette Davis plays against Joan Crawford in a trashy tale of two ex-actress sisters who live together most unhappily. (1962, 134 min) 9:20 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SATURDAY, MAY 3
THE LITTLE FOXES Bette Davis plays one in a trio of manipulative Southern siblings in her third and last film with director William Wyler. (1941, 115 min) 3:10 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
ANTONIO GAUDI Japanese Director Hiroshi Teshigahara traveled to Barcelona to film this poetic, near-wordless 1984 study of the work of that city's best-known architect. Toru Takemitsu's score uses electronically treated Catalan folk songs. 5:30, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
BAD FAITH This ethnic-turmoil rom-com is a tale of strained amour between a Jewish woman (Avenue Montaigne star Cécile de France) and a Muslim man, both of whom turn tribal when their families react badly to the prospect of offspring. Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 9:15pm, Cinema Arts Theater, 9550 Main St, Fairfax. $9.50.
SUNDAY, MAY 4
CINEMATIC COLLABORATION: ZHANG YIMOU AND GONG LI In a lecture illustrated with film clips, cinema historian Max Alvarez examines the relationship between Chinese director Zhang Yimou and actress Gong Li, who together made such '80s films as Raise the Red Lantern, split acrimoniously, and reunited last year for Curse of the Golden Flower. 1 pm, 1 pm, Smithsonian S. Dillon Ripley Center $25.
WILDFLOWER IN THE BATTLEFIELD Made two decades after the Korean War, and more than a decade after his The Marines Who Never Returned, director Lee Man-hee's film tracks one family — especially its young son — and a handful of soldiers through the chaos and destruction that follow North Korea's invasion. The dialogue is a little stilted, and the story full of melodramatic details. (Yes, there are flowers to be picked after the battle ends.) But the combat sequences are not prettified, and provide a powerful contrast to the dialogue's noble sentiments. (1974, 102 min) (Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Independence Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.
JUST AN ORDINARY JEW Director Oliver Hirschbiegel, whose Downfall was set mostly in Hitler's bunker, here restricts himself primarily to the apartment of Emmanuel Goldfarb (>Gloomy Sunday's Ben Becker). In the opening sequence, Goldfarb rejects the invitation to represent Hamburg's Jewish community, and he spends the rest of the film justifying (and second guessing) his refusal. He paces his few rooms, talking into a miniature tape recorder as the active camera looks for new ways to capture this internal discussion. Goldfarb's arguments include personal recollections, but he keeps returning to the larger issue of his identity as a Jew in a country that tried to exterminate his people. When not quoting Heinrich Heine, Goldfarb proves pretty quotable himself: "Judaism is a system of beliefs, held together by what other people believe about us,'' he growls. This is more a dramatized essay than a full-fledged film, but it's a fascinating essay, and Becker's performance is energetic, persuasive, and appropriately vehement. (Also May 11) 4 pm, Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 9:15 pm, Cinema Arts Theater, 9550 Main St, Fairfax. $9.50.
MAY FOOLS Louis Malle was a member of the French new wave, but he moved toward the mainstream, and was no radical by the time he directed this historical farce, which uses France's May 1968 uprising as its backdrop. The film is the tale of a bourgeois family that escapes a chaotic Paris by heading to their country home, where personal disagreements trump political arguments. (1989, 108 min) 4:30 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
MONDAY, MAY 5
VIVA MARIA! Maria, an anarchist on the run, meets another Maria who's an actress and bar singer in this '60s Louis Malle comedy, which influenced West German student leftists of the period. (1965, 119 min) 6:30, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $6.
JELLYFISH Co-directors Shira Geffen and Etgar Keret's mystical drama observes the overlapping lives of several women in Tel Aviv: a bride, a wedding photographer, a waitress who frequently works wedding receptions, a Filipina who cares for a semi-senile woman, and a existentially played-out author. The waitress finds a little girl with perpetually wet hair on the beach, and when the girl vanishes, the photographer joins in the search for her. Not for the literal-minded, this evanescent metaphysical mystery won the Camera d'Or for best first film at the 2007 Cannes Film Festival. (also May 7, 9, & 12) Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 7:30 pm, Cinema Arts Theater, 9550 Main St, Fairfax. $9.50.
TUESDAY, MAY 6
AMAZONIA INDIGENA: A VIEW FROM THE VILLAGES This festival of videos made by indigenous Amazon residents will feature discussions with the filmmakers after each program. To May 11, various times, National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street & Independence Ave SW. Free.
SKATETOWN U.S.A. Scott Baio is a roller-disco championship contestant who faces down a skate gang (led by Patrick Swayze) in this period piece, propelled by a disco-heavy score. (1979, 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.
WEDNESDAY, MAY 7
BLACK BOOK Before Paul Verhoeven became notorious as the director of Basic Instinct and Showgirls, he made a (mostly) heroic tale of the Dutch resistance during World War II, Soldier of Orange. Now he's returned to the same milieu, this time more playfully and more cynically. The film's protagonist is a Jewish woman, Rachel Stein (Carice van Houten), who survives the war. But she does not, and can not, do so with dignity. She must recite New Testament verses to earn her supper, and not only seduce but actually fall in love with a Gestapo officer (Sebastian Koch). And things only get worse after the Nazis surrender, when Rachel is wrongly accused of being a collaborator. With van Houten just as sexy and a lot more versatile than his usual Hollywood leading ladies, Verhoeven can't resist a few lascivious digressions. But the director is mostly concerned with the moral anarchy of life during wartime; controversially, he makes no absolute distinction between Nazi evil and Dutch opportunism. Black Book is his apology, not for Showgirls, but for being Dutch. (Also May 8, 11, & 15) Sponsored by the Jewish Community Center of Northern Virginia, 7:30 pm, Cinema Arts Theater, 9550 Main St, Fairfax. $9.50.
DOUBLE INDEMNITY Fred MacMurray plays an insurance agent gone very wrong in director Billy Wilder's dark-hearted tale. (1944, 107 min) 6 PM, Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, 8th & G Sts NW. Free.
A.K.A. NIKKI S. LEE Identity is the principal subject of Korean-born, New York-based artist Lee, who once made a series of photographs in which she posed as a member of various ethnic groups. In this 2006 film, she portrays two selves: Flamboyant socialite Nikki Two and mild-mannered academic Nikki One, who is making a film about her other, wilder persona. (2007, 60 min) 6:30, National Museum of Women in the Arts Reservations recommended; firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-783-7370. $5.
BEFORE THE SUMMER PASSES AWAY Korean director Sung Ji-hae's debut feature observes the conflicts of a college student's summer vacation: her family's pressures, her need for autonomy, and her troubled affair with married man. (2006, 82 min.) 8 pm, National Museum of Women in the Arts Reservations recommended; email@example.com or 202-783-7370. $5.
THURSDAY, MAY 8
FAMILY LIFE Abortion, mental problems, and the generation gap are among the issues raised in this documentary-inspired early Ken Loach drama, also known as Wednesday's Child. (1971, 108 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.