FRIDAY, MAY 30
PULP FICTION A virtuoso piece of movie-moviemaking, Quentin Tarantino's much-celebrated followup to Reservoir Dogs intertwines three hard-boiled episodes: Vincent (John Travolta) and fellow enforcer Jules (Samuel L. Jackson) pay a visit to some guys who haven't held up their end of a deal with the big boss, Marsellus (Vhing Rhames); Vincent's assigned to take Marsellus' wife (Uma Thurman) out to dinner; and he searches for a boxer (Bruce Willis) who's failed to throw a fight as instructed. Framing these chapters is an incident in a coffee shop, where two small-timers (Tim Roth and Amanda Plummer) decide to rob the joint as Vincent and Jules relax there after a busy morning of bloodshed. Tarantino riffs on blaxploitation almost as authoritatively as Jean-Luc Godard once did on film noir, but where films like Breathless seemed to open up a whole new world, this is just another trip to Taranatinoland. The writer/director's concerns never seem bigger than himself, and his best moves are never more than inside jokes. (1994, 154 min) To June 5 at American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
HARVEY Not to be confused with The Harvey Girls, this is the one with Jimmy Stewart as a drunk who pals around with a giant invisible rabbit. (1950, 104 min) (Also June 1-2) 5 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
THE NUDE RESTAURANT This Warhol film is primarily a vehicle for Viva, whose confessional raps entertained and inspired the director. (1967, 100 min) Shown with THE BEST OF ANDY WARHOL'S TV, with guests David Hockney, Debbie Harry, and Fran Leibowitz. (1981, 30 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
REEL PORTRAITS: THE FIGHTING LADY The "lady" in Edward Steichen's documentary is the USS Yorktown, helmed by Admiral William "Bull" Halsey as it engages the Japanese in a series of Pacific battles. (1945, 61 min) 7 pm, National Portrait Gallery, 8th & F Sts NW. Free.
PIERROT LE FOU Cinema, love, death, the road, Vietnam — all in dazzling widescreen. An escapee from bourgeois life and marriage (Jean Paul Belmondo) hooks up with a most unusual nanny (Anna Karina at her most fascinating), and together they run to the South of France for the ultimate getaway. This gorgeous, freewheeling, complex masterpiece may well be Jean-Luc Godard's best movie, and is certainly the most complete catalogue of his obsessions, circa 1965. In a cameo, Sam Fuller warns that film is "a battleground," and this one certainly qualifies. (1965, 110 min) (also May 31-June 1, June 3) 7:15 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
MIDNIGHT COWBOY Originally X-rated, this is the tale of a naive American gigolo (Jon Voight) who turns to a grizzled hustler (Dustin Hoffman) for guidance and, ultimately, friendship. (1969, 113 min) (Also May 31-June 2) 9:30 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SATURDAY, MAY 31
MOVING PERSPECTIVES: YANG FUDONG: SEVEN INTELLECTUALS IN THE BAMBOO FOREST, PART 1: VIDEO This video piece offers a contemporary version of a classic Chinese tale. (2003, 30 min) Shown continuously, 11 am-4 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries. Free
WINCHESTER '73 A WWII veteran sets out to retrieve a stolen rifle in the first of the seven films Jimmy Stewart made with director Anthony Mann. (1950, 92 min) (Also June 1 & 3) 1 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
JOLLY FELLOWS A shepherd is mistaken for a jazz musician in this early Soviet musical. (1934, 96 min) 4 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
SUNDAY, JUNE 1
BAND OF OUTSIDERS This mostly comic 1964 film is considered one of Jean-Luc Godard's simplest, an almost-impromptu adaptation of an American pulp novel: Two would-be tough-guys fall in love with an innocent young woman -- and the pile of cash she tells them could easily be swiped from the house where she lives. Dismissed at the time as slight, the movie has become the model for a new generation of self-conscious gangster flicks by American directors like Quentin Tarantino, who paid homage to the film's exhilarating scene of the central threesome (Anna Karina, Claude Brasseur, and Sami Frey) dancing in a Paris cafe. Seen recently, Band of Outsiders is revealed as a slacker film. It's not merely a tale of three aimless young people; it's a tale in which aimlessness itself upstages the noirish thrills of the crime that caps the events. Yet it's also stuffed with cultural and personal references, proving that Godard's idea of a genre picture is a genre unto itself. (1964, 95 min) (Also June 1 & 4) 3 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
TRACTOR DRIVERS It's a standing joke, but it's also true: Soviet studios turned out lots of movies about tractors and their operators. In this early example, a guy returns home to find that true love now drives a tractor, so he learns to do so, too. (1939, 88 min) National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
MONDAY, JUNE 2
CROSSING BORDERS: GERMANY AND CHINA Underdogs confront officious Teutonic authority in the two German shorts: In Mr. Wunderlich Private, a welfare recipient who is supposed to be living alone has to explain why his apartment is well-stocked with women's clothing, while Shift is a flashy mini-thriller about a group of 50-something employees who work a scam on the arrogant younger exec who's about to lay them off. The first film is a one-liner well-suited to the short format, but the second has the stylistic sweep of a feature. The two Chinese films include August 15, in which bus passengers must decide if they're willing to face danger. A discussion follows the screening. 6:30, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. Free, but reservations required. RSVP to 202-289-1200 ext. 161 or firstname.lastname@example.org
TUESDAY, JUNE 3
CROSSING BORDERS: SPAIN AND KOREA These four shorts include Spain's Crash, in which a couple happens upon a secret drag-racing track, and Korea's Chocopie, about a merchant's attempt to attract new shoppers. A discussion follows the screening. Part of Crossing Borders. 6:30 PM, KORUS House, 2370 Massachusetts Ave NW. Free; RSVP to email@example.com or 202-587-6168.
EMPRESS CHUNG Although animated, this retelling of a Korean folktale is not for young children. (2005, 94 min) 7 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries. Free
ANNE OF THE THOUSAND DAYS Forty years before The Other Boleyn Girl, Genevieve Bujold played Anne (and Richard Burton Henry VII) in this less flashy — some say "plodding" — tale of her rise and rapid fall. (1969, 145 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, JUNE 4
CROSSING BORDERS: FRANCE AND KOREA These four shorts include France's My Mother, Story of an Immigration, the director's account of his mother's move from Algeria to Paris, and Korea's April Fool's Day in a Small Temple, a tale of four poor children. A discussion follows the screening. Part of Crossing Borders. 6:30 pm, Alliance Francaise, 2142 Wyoming Ave NW. Free; RSVP to 202-234-7911.
LOVE IS A CRAZY THING In this vivid Korean drama, a phone-sex worker gets a more lucrative job in a bar, where she meets a engaging guy who may be trouble. (2005, 101 min) (Also June 5) 9 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
THURSDAY, JUNE 5
CROSSING BORDERS: JAPAN AND ITALY These four shorts include Japan's Back Mirror, in which a driver confides in his drunk passenger, and Italy's Il Produttore, where two playwrights meet while en route to visit a producer. A discussion follows the screening. Part of Crossing Borders. 6:30 pm, Japan Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St NW. Free; RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
RED, WHITE AND ZERO This never-released omnibus film features segments by three of the leading British "new wave" directors, Lindsay Anderson, Peter Brooks, and Tony Richardson. While the first episode has a characteristic tone and source — a semi-autobiographical script by A Taste of Honey author Shelagh Delaney — the others venture into fantasy. (1967, 97 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
IT CAME FROM BENEATH THE SEA The same sort of poor atomic hygiene that created Godzilla also yields a giant octopus, which attacks San Francisco. The effects are by stop-action maestro Ray Harryhausen. (1955, 78 min) 7 pm, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th St & Independence Ave SW. Free.