FRIDAY, JUNE 27
JULIUS CAESAR Method acting meets classical performances in this reportedly respectful version of the Shakespeare play, starring Marlon Brando, James Mason, and John Gielgud. (1953, 120 min) (Also June 28) 12:30 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
ANATOMY OF A MURDER In this Otto Preminger drama, Jimmy Stewart plays a small-town lawyer who defends a hothead for a murder he's already confessed to. Cameos by Army-McCarthy lawyer Joseph N. Welch and the film's score composer, Duke Ellington. (Also June 30 & July 1) 3:20 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
IN THE SHADOW OF THE MOON With its official NASA footage of the Earth, Moon, and the ships that traveled between them, this FX-free documentary is a feast for outer-space buffs. What's unexpected is that the film also holds considerable interest for viewers who don't thrill to rockets, adventure, and great leaps for mankind. Director David Sington conducted extensive interviews with 10 of the surviving Apollo program astronauts — "reclusive'' Neil Armstrong was the sole holdout — and most of them turn out to be funny and, well, grounded. The most entertaining of the Apollo veterans is self-deprecating Mike Collins, who went almost all the way but never got to kick up some lunar dust. Reflecting on the sense that all humanity had triumphed when two Americans walked on the Moon, he says "that was a wonderful thing. Ephemeral, but wonderful.'' The movie ends with a vigorous and witty rebuttal of those conspiracy buffs who think the six moon landings were staged. It's an apt reminder that these men, apart from being heroes and such, are first and foremost scientists. 5pm, Baird Auditorium, Museum of Natural History, 10th & Constitution Ave NW. Free.
DRAGONBALL Z: FUSION REBORN Former enemies Goku and Vegeta ally to fight evil monster Janemba in the 12th movie in this Japanimated series. (1995, 55 min) 6:30 pm, Japan Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St NW. Free; reservations required. RSVP to RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
MY LIFE TO LIVE A clerk (Anna Karina) becomes a hooker in the first of Jean-Luc Godard's many films to use prostitution as a metaphor for modern life. With its on-screen commentator, the movie has elements of documentary, and also invokes Brecht. Then the tone shifts toward Hollywood B-movie, albeit with one dazzlingly edited sequence that's pure new wave. (1962, 85 min) (also June 28-29) 6:30 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
WAKE IN FRIGHT Director Ted Kotcheff's acclaimed film, rarely seen in the U.S., is the tale of a man who stops in an Australian town, where he's drawn into the local violent pursuits. (1971, 96 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
UNTAMED This Mikio Naruse film, not included in the local 2006 retrospective, is about a woman in early-20th-century Japan who boldly rejects and arranged marriage. 7, 1 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Independence Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.
VERTIGO The setup for Alfred Hitchcock's bleak masterpiece is routine detective-story fodder, but it gives genre the slip midway through the story, allowing the film — and Jimmy Stewart as its neurotic protagonist — to reveal much more than whodunnit (or, in this case, whoisit). (1958, 126 min) (Also June 28-29, July 1 & 3) 8:20 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SYMPATHY FOR THE DEVIL Originally titled One Plus One, this film finds Jean-Luc Godard wrestling with two things that were alien to his experience: rock'n'roll and black power. Godard's cut of the film features the gradual evolution of the title song in studio sessions — which should fascinate Stones fans — contrasted by stagy readings of African-liberation texts in a junkyard along the Thames. This version of the movie, which is also the one available on DVD, appends a complete performance of "Sympathy for the Devil" at the end, an addendum to which Godard objected violently at the 1968 London Film Festival. (1968, 99 min) (Also June 28-29, July 1) 10:45 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SATURDAY, JUNE 28
THE MAN WHO SHOT LIBERTY VALANCE In John Ford's classic, Jimmy Stewart plays a U.S. senator who returns to the town where he made his reputation taking down an outlaw. But flashbacks reveal that the accepted version of events is not entirely accurate. (Also June 29-20 & July 2-3) 12:30, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
MARCARIO and DAYS OF AUTUMN In the first of these films, both directed by Roberto Gavaldon, a Mexican peasant makes a deal with Death, which turns the church-going locals against him. (1959, 91 min). In the second, a country girl moves to Mexico City, where her dreams of true love lead her into a fantasy world. (1962, 92 min) 3 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
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) 3 & 4:45 pm, Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays through Sept. 6, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th St & Independence Ave SW. Free.
APOLLO 13 This is one of director Ron Howard's more effective non-comedies, but that doesn't mean he's mastered new territory. Indeed, with all its wide-eyed tots in need of reassurance and its cute vomiting scene, this is basically Parenthood in outer space. The danger to the three astronauts whose craft is damaged by an explosion (wholesome Tom Hanks, cocky Kevin Bacon, down-home Bill Paxton) is presented principally as a threat to the family, both nuclear and surrogate. The threatened astronauts are uppermost in the minds both of their wives and children and of the brotherhood of NASA (especially Gary Sinise, as the guy left behind at the last minute). Working from a script adapted by William Broyles Jr. and Al Reinert from Apollo 13 captain James Lovell's autobiographical account, Howard has made an entirely functional, characteristically earnest docudrama. The problem isn't so much that the outcome is known as that the depiction of it is so predictable. 5 pm, Baird Auditorium, Museum of Natural History, 10th & Constitution Ave NW. Free.
THE MANCHURIAN CANDIDATE Paranoia runs deep in John Frankenheimer's once-controversial film about a U.S. soldier, kidnapped and brainwashed to become an assassin by the Commies during the Korean War. Laurence Harvey plays human time-bomb, while Frank Sinatra is pal who begins to see the truth in his troubling dreams. (1962, 126 min) 7:10 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SUNDAY, JUNE 29
KAGEMUSHA Tatsuya Nakadai plays an ailing Japanese feudal lord and the thief groomed to impersonate him in this period epic, Akira Kurosawa's first film after a 10-year layoff. (1980, 162 min) 2, 1 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Independence Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.
THE CRANES ARE FLYING Two Russian lovers watch the cranes, who are followed by Nazi invaders in this unheroic account of the Soviet Union's Great Patriotic War. Made during a post-Stalin ideological thaw, Mikhail Kalatozov's film was an unprecedented success in the West. (1957, 97 min) 2 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
THE LETTER NEVER SENT Set in Siberia, Mikhail Kalatozov's wilderness drama is notable for a seemingly risky shot of a fast-moving forest fire. (1959, 97 min) 4:30 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY The most commercially successful non-narrative film ever made, Stanley Kubrick's 1968 epic is still spectacular — and spectacularly mystifying. A series of vignettes that mix satire, sanctimony, and sheer freakout, the movie opens with apes learning how to use tools, then makes a famed visual transition into the space age. An unearthly artifact has been found, and astronauts are dispatched to Jupiter to learn more. Along the way, overemotional spaceship computer HAL (a simple code for IBM) decides to turn on the crew, leaving only one survivor to experience the final sequence, an LSD-age vision of death and rebirth. Restored to mark the year it once attempted to foretell, 2001 looks great. Even though its ground-breaking special effects have been widely borrowed, they retain the power to dazzle. As for the wisp of a story — well, its vagueness has actually prevented it from dating as badly as most visions of the future. 5pm, Baird Auditorium, Museum of Natural History, 10th & Constitution Ave NW. Free.
EARTH VS. THE FLYING SAUCERS Aliens seek peace, but the U.S. army accidently opens fire, leading to attacks on major world capitals and a showdown on the Mall in DC. The effects are by stop-action maestro Ray Harryhausen. (1956, 81 min) 6 pm, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th St & Independence Ave SW. Free.
MONDAY, JUNE 30
COVER-BOY In Italy, an aspiring Romanian immigrant and a cynical working-class local become friends as they struggle to find work. (2006, 97 min) 6:30 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. Free, but reservations required. RSVP to 202-289-1200 ext. 161 or email@example.com
WEDNESDAY, JULY 2
TRAVELERS AND MAGICIANS The youthful, Westernized protagonist of writer-director Khyentse Norbu's picturesque but pat second feature wants to escape from a small Bhutanese village to the glamour of the U.S.A. Hitchhiking on what he hopes is the first leg of his journey to America, Dondup (Tshewang Dendup) acquires several traveling companions, including a storytelling monk (Sonam Kinga). During lulls in the journey, the monk spins a cautionary tale. It is, of course, a parable of a restless young man who's bored with his village and wants to visit new places: Tashi (Lhakpa Dorji) leaves his home, gets lost, and is reluctantly given shelter by an old man (Gomchen Penjore) whose beautiful young wife (Deki Yangzom) is a potentially fatal attraction. The story has less effect on Dondup's zeal to emigrate, however, than do the charms of another traveler, a pretty 19-year-old (Sonam Lhamo). More conventional and less humorous than Norbu's previous movie, The Cup, this film offers a rather Victorian gloss on Buddhism. (Also July 2) (2003, 108 min) 7 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Independence Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.