FRIDAY, JUNE 13
REAR WINDOW Alfred Hitchcock's 1954 film offers an up-to-date view of the business of seeing. Although the plot ultimately involves some action, most of it is predicating purely on watching. Like Hitchcock's Rope, the movie is in part a stunt: It's shot mostly (though not entirely) from the point of view of protagonist "Jeff'' Jeffries (Stewart), a daredevil photographer confined to his Greenwich Village apartment with a broken leg. Jeff spends lots of time looking out the window, and soon becomes convinced that his neighbor Thorwald (Raymond Burr) has murdered his wife; Jeff then persuades his young and glamorous girlfriend Lisa (Grace Kelly) and his blunt-talking visiting nurse Stella (Thelma Ritter) of the truth of his theory. The resolution of this scenario is much more conventional than the setup, but despite its stock thriller-movie ending the film has rich conceptual undertones. Hitchcock emphasizes the movie's artifice, suggesting a dangerous link between voyeurism and cinema, and drawing a dyspeptic parallel between the Thorwalds and Jeff and Lisa. (1954, 112 min) (Also June 14 & 15) 4:30, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
CROSSING BORDERS The final program in this series includes one short each from Spain, France, Korea, Japan, China, India, and Germany. The last country's The Day Winston Ngakambe Came to Kiel is a comment on colonialism that, while as steeped in Euro-guilt as most of this year's German entries, has an engagingly wry touch. 6:30 pm, Italian Cultural Institute, 3000 Whitehaven St. NW. Free; RSVP to 202-518-0998 ext. 1 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE MORTAL STORM A family in rural Bavaria is divided by Hitler's rise to power in this drama, a rare anti-Nazi film from prewar Hollywood. (1940, 100 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
MASCULIN-FEMININ Despite its title, Jean-Luc Godard's first film of 1966 seems to be less about a battle between the sexes than one between generations. This brilliantly dejected cine-essay does include some remarks about men and women, including one nasty crack that hangs in the air until the film's final word, and much frank talk about such then-taboo subjects as birth control, which caused French censors to ban the film to under-18s. Godard's fundamental concern, however, was with "the children of Marx and Coca-Cola.'' As an aging young rebel, the director — and his on-screen surrogate, played by Jean-Pierre Léaud — worries that The Kids just don't care about politics, consumer manipulation, or the ongoing wars in Vietnam and, uh, Iraq. With cameos by Françoise Hardy and Brigitte Bardot, and yé yé singer Chantal Goya basically playing herself — yes, she really was "number 6 in Japan'' — the film has all the ingredients of a youth-culture romp. Yet the film is deeply pessimistic, foreshadowing Godard's renunciation of cinema, narrative, and Western culture. (1966, 103 min) (Also June 14) 9:30 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
FRIDAY THE 13TH, PART III It's Friday the 13th, which is reason to see this "classic" — or to skip it. (1982, 95 min) 10 pm & midnight, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SATURDAY, JUNE 14
NAZARIN This is director Luis Buñuel's gentlest account of Christianity, because it focuses on a simple priest rather than ecclesiastical leaders. Expelled from a small town for helping to hide a fugitive, Father Nazario wanders Mexico, gradually becoming more and more degraded by a society that doesn't really value the Christian virtues it purports to follow. (1958, 94 min) 2 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
MARTY Scripted by Paddy Chayevsky, this is sort of the Bronx working-class equivalent of Waiting for a Godot, which is not necessarily a good thing. (1955, 94 min) (Also June 15) 3:05 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
THE NEW MOSCOW In this amalgam of musical, sci-fi, and country-mouse comedy, a Siberian designer devises a model that shows the Soviet capital of the future, then visits a Moscow he finds to be already overwhelmingly modern. (1938, 4 pm) 4 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
TWO OR THREE THINGS I KNOW ABOUT HER A candy-colored examination of consumer capitalism, Jean-Luc Godard's 1967 movie observes boomtown Paris with a mixture of dread and amusement. This lovely, provocative meditation may be the Godard film that's most relevant to the contemporary United States, whose economy is based on shoppers who spend more than they earn. There isn't really a plot, just a framework: a day in the life of Juliette (Marina Vlady), a suburban housewife and part-time prostitute. The subjects include most of the director's late-'60s fixations: sex, cinema, Vietnam, the inadequacy of language. Godard never made a straight narrative film, but this is arguably his first feature that's not in part a fractured update of a genre movie. There are no chase scenes, no dance numbers, and no physical violence except the firing of a toy machine gun. All that's left from Godard's intense cinephilia is Raoul Coutard's photography, with its widescreen compositions, primary colors, and abstracted closeups. Godard gives up on Paris, America, and romance, but not on the beauty of the cinematic image. (1967, 90 min) (also June 15) 5 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
IN THE CITY OF SYLVIA Looking for Sylvia — or any woman, or the possibility of love — a young artist travels to Strasbourg. (2007, 84 min) Sponsored by the Washington Film Institute. 6:30pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $10.
THE CONTESTANT I know someone who won the grand prize on Wheel of Fortune, which included two cars. He had to sell one to pay the taxes on everything else. Still, he got off much easier than the protagonist of Rodrigo Cortes' The Contestant. Here, an economics professor wins millions in a TV game show and soon discovers "it's not easy to be a millionaire" as the unforeseen costs and taxes of living large pile up. But this stylized, impressionistic, fast-paced comedy is as much a critique of economic theory as materialism. "Politicians and economists make the world irrational," says one character, who goes on to present a much clearer explanation of the banking system than I ever got in school. (Dave Nuttycombe) (2007, 88 min) Sponsored by the Washington Film Institute. 8:30pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $10.
STRAIT JACKET Joan Crawford plays a recently released (but still stone crazy) axe murderer in this camp classic from trash merchant William Castle. (1964, 93 min ) Outside at sunset, Hillwood Estate, Museum, and Gardens, 4155 Linnean Ave NW. $15; reservations required. 202 686 5807.
SUNDAY, JUNE 15
HARA KIRI In Masaki Kobayashi's drama, Tatsuya Nakadai plays a ronin (a masterless samurai) who tells his life story as he waits for his seconds so he can commit ritual suicide. (1962; 135 min) 2 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Independence Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.
ANOTHER DAWN The Mexican intrigues of corporations and labor unions fuel this dark tale, a rare urban showcase for Gabriel Figueroa's cinematography. (1943, 108 min) 4 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
CHAOTIC ANA The latest by oft-brilliant Basque fabulist Julio (Sex and Lucia) Medem is the tale of an 18-year-old painter who, under hypnosis, explores her past lives. (2007, 114 min) Sponsored by the Washington Film Institute. 5 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $10.
PUDOR Sex and death pummel an urban Spanish family in this parable of secret fears and desires. (2007, 113 min) Sponsored by the Washington Film Institute. 7 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $10.
DIARY OF A TIRED BLACK MAN Dating, marriage, and divorce challenge an African American man who finds most black women to be angry. Shown with WHAT BLACK MEN THINK, which analyzes how myths and stereotypes marginalize black men. Sponsored by UrbanFilmSeries.com. 5pm, Lincoln Theater, 1215 U St NW, $18.50-$27.50.
MONDAY, JUNE 16
HEAD-ON Turko-German director Fatih Akin turns confrontational with this blood- and semen-splattered assault on Islamic family values, dubbed best film at 2004's Berlin Film Festival. In a Hamburg mental institution, despondent 40-ish alcoholic Cahit (Birol Unel) meets 20-ish Sibel (fierce non-professional Sibel Kekilli), who's prone to slitting her wrists. To escape her straitlaced family, Sibel proposes marriage, and Cahit dispassionately agrees. Following a coke-fueled reception, Sibel moves in with Cahit, but only to cook and clean. As his wife stays out all night with other men, Cahit begins to crave a more traditional marriage. Sibel is slower to abandon her freewheeling hedonism, yet comes to appreciate Cahit after he goes to prison and she to Turkey. More authoritatively directed than it is scripted, Head-On is visceral, but not as nihilistic as it initially seems. The film meanders beyond the point where its flame has burned down, allowing viewers too much time to recognize the banality of Cahit's tragic love and Sibel's doomed struggle for independence. 6:30 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. Free, but reservations required. RSVP to 202-289-1200 ext. 161 or email@example.com
ALL TOGETHER NOW This documentary observes Cirque du Soleil's development of Love, the show choreographed to remixed Beatles songs. The screening opens the 6th annual Washington Film Institute. 7 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $10.
SOLITARY FRAGMENTS Using split screens, this film charts the parallel lives of two isolated Spaniards. (2007, 128 min) Sponsored by the Washington Film Institute. 9 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $10.
WEDNESDAY, JUNE 18
LANGSTON HUGHES: WORKING TOWARD SALVATION This two-part film combines a film adaptation of Hughes's story, "Salvation," with a short documentary about the writer's life and work. (2003, 60 min) 6 pm, Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, 8th & G Sts NW. Free.
LA ZONA A taut thriller with a political edge, this is a tale of class warfare turned bloodily literal. One night in Mexico, an intense storm knocks out the electricity in a gated community known as the Zone, and also knocks over a billboard whose scaffolding provides a path over the Zone's fence. Three barrio teenagers take the opportunity to rob some of the cosseted mansions, but theft turns to murder, and soon an upscale posse is searching for the one surviving intruder, Miguel. As a dogged cop tries to determine what happened — the Zone is supposed to be self-policing, but that doesn't allow the slaying of outsiders — Miguel attempts to escape, ultimately seeking the help of a Zone teenager who's beginning to doubt his father's brutal approach. Rodrigo Pla's film is part metaphor, part action flick, complete with a homage to The Third Man's chase through the sewers. Both parts of the film work separately, but also fit together neatly. (2007, 95 min.) Sponsored by the Washington Film Institute. 7 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $10.
THE DUCHESS OF LANGEAIS Discovering his long-lost love in a Spanish nunnery, a French general conspires to kidnap her. The abduction will actually be his second one, and the second of the two action scenes in Jacques Rivette's latest film, which is devastating if not exactly swashbuckling. Set mostly in drawing rooms, this impeccably crafted movie is as talky as a Eric Rohmer picture, if significantly less cheerful. The duchess and the general prattle themselves into grand passions, but their feelings are never in sync, which proves to be not simply an inconvenience but a tragedy. The film is elegant and measured, with snippets of the novel's text appearing on screen to slow the already leisurely pace. The director has always drawn parallels between life, literature, and theater, with characters who either unwittingly or quite intentionally — as in his masterpiece, Celine and Julie Go Boating — enter an existing narrative. Yet that's not the only reason this film moves so deliberately. Rivette constructs a lyrical tone to contrast the film's shattering conclusion. (2007, 137 min) 8 pm, Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave NW. $9.75
HEART OF THE EARTH This historical epic recounts the suppression of a Spanish copper miners' uprising in British-controlled 19th-century Andalusia. (2007, 100 min) Sponsored by the Washington Film Institute. 9 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $10.
GONZO: THE LIFE AND TIMES OF DR. HUNTER S. THOMPSON Taxi to the Dark Side director Alex Gibney provides a sympathetic treatment of the "fear and loathing" guru, from his early sojourn with the Hell's Angels to his suicide. All the expected friends, family, and collaborators are on hand, including two seemingly unlikely Thompson fans: Tom Wolfe and Pat Buchanan. Aside from the awkward use of iconic '60s and '70s songs, the film is well-made and comprehensive. It would have been useful, though, to include some discussion of how well Thompson's shtik will age. (2007, 188 min) Part of the Silverdocs documentary festival. 9:30 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
THURSDAY, JUNE 19
REPETITION This film restages 1971's Stanford Prison Experiment, but the presence of cameras changes the result. (2005, 75 min) Shown with THE BATTLE OF ORGREAVE, a reenactment of a 1984 clash between striking British miners and police and a consideration of how televised images of the strike affected public opinion. (2001, 63 min) Noon & 1:30 pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through Sept. 6, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th St & Independence Ave SW. Free.
THE BATTLE OF OKINAWA Iwo Jima, the subject of Clint Eastwood's 2006 film, was a brutal conflict, but less morally complicated than Okinawa, where residents were encouraged by Japanese authorities to commit suicide. Director Kihachi Okamoto, himself a WWWI veteran, presents both the military operation and the civilian costs. This is not officially part of the Tatsuya Nakadai retrospective, but he appears as an U.S.-educated officer who survives the battle. (1971, 150 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.