FRIDAY, JULY 11
JULY RAIN This 1960s Russian youth culture film has been compared to the contemporaneous works of Jean-Luc Godard. (1966, 106 min) Shown with COURIER, which observes the lives of young people two decades later, during the unsettled perestroika era. (1986, 88 min) 2:30 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
BRIEF ENCOUNTER David Lean's commercial breakthrough, this is the classic, if not universally esteemed, British stiff-upper-lip wartime romance. (1945, 86 min) (Also July 13, 16, & 17) 5 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
POOR WHITE TRASH Character actor Timothy Carey had one of his biggest roles in this little picture, playing a rough-edged Cajun who battles a reserved architect (Peter Graves) from Up North. (1962, 88 min) Shown with APRYL AND HER BABY LAMB, a children's short with an adult psychological outlook. 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
EXILED Hong Kong director Johnnie To's procedure is to make four of every five films for his investors, and the fifth for himself. This gangster flick is one of the "himself" movies, and is as stylish and doom-laden as its great 1999 predecessor, The Mission (which uses some of the same cast). The story opens when two pairs of mobsters arrive at the door of Wo, a onetime colleague who has just recklessly returned to picturesque Macau. One duo has been ordered to kill Wo, while the other means to protect him, but since all five men are old friends, they agree to postpone the termination as long as possible. Meanwhile, two crime bosses warily negotiate an alliance, a huge shipment of gold is ready to be snatched, and a cop who's about to retire repeatedly pretends not to notice the gang war on his turf. (His final comment riffs on the handover of Macau to China.) This is the HK gangster movie at its bloody, flashy, sentimental, and cynical best. (Also 7/13) 7 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Constitution Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.
THE BREAKFAST CLUB It may not have aged well, but at least John Hughes' tale of five teenagers who shed their defenses while in day-long detention is his least slapsticky movie. (Also July 12 & 17) 7 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SIXTEEN CANDLES Adolescent awkwardness thwarts true love in this teen comedy, one of the many John Hughes movies that doesn't differentiate between archetypes and stereotypes. (1984, 93 min) (Also July 12 & 17) 9:10 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
LADIES AND GENTLEMEN, THE FABULOUS STAINS Rarely seen anywhere, but finally to be released on DVD in September, this 1981 punk satire has a reputation as an intriguing disaster. A teenage Diane Lane plays a small-town Pennsylvanian who's inspired by the Looters (Ray Winstone backed by ex-Pistols Paul Cook and Steve Jones and the Clash's Paul Simonon) and starts her own band, the all-female Stains. Laura Dern had to sue to be emancipated from her mother, Diane Ladd, to appear in the film, which was directed by music producer and Ode label boss Lou Adler and co-written by Jonathan Demme and Nancy Dowd. (Also July 12) 11:15 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SATURDAY, JULY 12
MAGIC LANTERN DEMONSTRATION A "tent camera obscura" will be operated on the Historical Society's grounds by Canadian expert Lindsay Lambert. 9:45 am-noon, Historical Society of Washington, D.C. 801 K St NW. Free.
THE SUGARLAND EXPRESS In Steven Spielberg's second film, Goldie Hawn plays a modern-day Bonnie who takes her Clyde — and a state-trooper hostage — on a wild chase. (Also July 14) 12:45 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
ORIGINS OF HOLLYWOOD AND BEYOND: MEDIA ARCHAEOLOGY PROGRAM This magic lantern program features SHADOW LAND OR LIGHT FROM THE OTHER SIDE, a stereoscopic film based on a Victorian-era medium's autobiography, and LOST, a performance for stereo slides, hand-cranked projector and 78 rpm records. 1 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $6.
PASSING POSTON: AN AMERICAN STORY This documentary is about four Japanese Americans who, while detained during World War II at an Indian reservation in Arizona, reclaimed the local landscape for agriculture. (2007, 60 min) 1:30 pm, National Museum of the American Indian, 4th Street & Independence Ave SW. Free.
BLITHE SPIRIT In David Lean's film of Noel Coward's play, a novelist's second marriage is disrupted by the ghost of his first wife. (1945, 96 min) (Also July 14 & 15) 3 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
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.
VICTORIAN TRANSFORMATIONS This magic lantern program incorporates three short films into an exploration of popular 19th-century magic lantern show themes: railways, temperance, and Dickens's A Christmas Carol. (70 min) 4:30 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
THE MUPPET MOVIE The 'ppets head for Hollywood in this cameo-stuffed musical comedy. (1979, 97 min) 5 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
LORNA DOONE In this Technicolor gloss on British history, a commoner plans a rebellion against the repressive Doone family. But then he encounters the lovely Lorna. (1951, 88 min) 7 pm, Films on the Hill, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 Seventh Street, SE. $5.
SUNDAY, JULY 13
DUEL It's trucker versus auto driver in Steven Spielberg's big-screen debut, an ode to highway paranoia. 1 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SPIRIT OF '76 This magic lantern program uses songs, projected images, and live performers to evoke a 1890s-style American history pageant. 5 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
MUPPET HISTORY 101 A program of shorts starring the moppet-pleasing muppets and many musical guests. 5 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
MICKEY ONE Warren Beatty plays a comic who flees gangsters through a tawdry Chicago in this Arthur Penn film. (1965, 93 min) (Also July 15) 7:15 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
THE MISSION Hong Kong master Johnnie To's romantic fatalism is less playful — and thus more distinctive — in this 1999 film, in which an assassination attempt leads a gang boss to hire five diverse freelancers as bodyguards. For most of its running time, the film is a terse, almost minimalist procedural: It's simply about how gun-toting pros get a modern-day mobster — his office is in a gleaming new shopping mall — to and from work every day without being shot. Then, when the story seems to have ended, an unexpected twist shifts the emphasis to the relationship between the five new colleagues, who must choose between duty and friendship. If it captured half this movie's dark, fated ambience, a Tarantino remake could renew his reputation as the prince of gangster cool. 9:15 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
MONDAY, JULY 14
SUMMER IN BERLIN A German single mom struggles to find work, and to buy her 12-year-old the fancy sneakers he wants. Yet the central crisis in director Andreas (The Policewoman) Dresen's 2005 film is not financial. It comes when Katrin's neighbor and best friend, Nike, acquires a new boyfriend. Tattooed and possibly married Ronald doesn't seem much of a catch, but Katrin is jealous, and her heavy drinking puts her in a hospital. "And so on..." concludes the movie, and that seems about right. The film is likable enough, but its accumulation of commonplace details ultimately doesn't transcend the everyday. (2005, 107 min) 6:30 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $6.
DARK VICTORY Bette Davis — playing a woman she called "98 percent me" — alternately rollicks and despairs after learning that she has an inoperable brain tumor. (1939, 104 min) 6:30 pm, National Theater, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave NW. Free; tickets distributed a half hour before screening.
DR. NO The first 007 flick gets the big (and outdoor) screen treatment. (1962, 111 min). Sunset, the Mall near Constitution Ave & 4th St. Free. 877 262 5866.
TUESDAY, JULY 15
THE KING OF JAZZ One of the early "revue" films, this two-strip Technicolor extravaganza features the Paul Whiteman Orchestra and the screen debut of Bing Crosby. (1930, 101 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, JULY 16
23RD PSALM BRANCH: PARTS I & II Stan Brakhage's anti-war films contrast clips from World War II newsreels with scenes of Colorado and images painted directly on the celluloid. (1966/1978, 44/41 min) 6 pm, Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, 8th & G Sts NW. Free.
UMIZARU 2: TEST OF TRUST Japanese for "sea monkey," an umizaru is a Coast Guard driver. In umizaru Daisuke's second full-length adventure, he withdraws from the world after a harrowing mission, but soon must take another assignment. 6:30, Japanese Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St NW. Free; reservations required. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org
USA VS. AL-ARIAN This documentary observes the family of Florida-based Palestinian-American college professor Sami Al-Arian during his six-month trial for supposedly supporting terrorist organizations — a persecution that continues today. (2007, 99 min) 6:30 pm, Jerusalem Fund, 2425 Virginia Ave NW. Free.
THE DIVING BELL AND THE BUTTERFLY At 42, magazine editor Jean-Dominique Bauby had a massive stroke that left him unable to express himself except by blinking one eye. With the help of an exceptionally patient scribe, Bauby eventually blinked the memoir that's this movie's source. Highly interior books usually defeat cinematic adaptation, but its essential subjectivity — and a dash of Gallic insouciance — is exactly what saves painter and filmmaker Julian Schnabel's biopic from being a commonplace affliction drama. Much of this brilliantly realized film is shot from Bauby's viewpoint. Using such tricks as hot light, narrow depth-of-field, off-kilter perspective, Schnabel and cinematographer Janusz Kaminski persuasively simulate Bauby's physical perceptions. The patient's voiceover narration reveals that he retains his sense of humor, while flashbacks show what he's lost. No contemporary French actor could play this role better than Schnabel's choice, Mathieu Amalric; his exuberant performance animates the flashbacks, and makes Bauby's loss of autonomy all the more poignant. Equally moving are Max von Sydow as Bauby's father and Emmanuelle Seigner as his devoted ex-lover. 7 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
PALOMA DELIGHT Named for a fancy dessert, this Algerian romp has a bittersweet tinge. It's the tale of Aldjeria, a "fixer" who provides many services, most of them illegal: She and her bevy of young women cater to garden-variety desires, but also break up marriages and shut down cafes, if so required. It's to further a divorce that Aldjeria recruits a pretty waitress and remakes her as a heartbreaking belly dancer, Paloma. Aldjeria thinks she's on the verge of going legit, reopening a now-abandoned spa she enjoyed many years ago, and Paloma is the key to her success. But the viewer knows that didn't quite happen: The film opens with Aldjeria's release from prison. Nadir Mokneche's film relies heavily on the force-of-nature personality of its star, Biyouna, but also offers an earthy portrait of modern-day Algiers. (2007, 134 min) 8 pm, Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave NW.
THURSDAY, JULY 17
SLAPSTICON The lineup for the first day of this annual celebration of early cinematic funnies includes Clown Princes of Hollywood, Why Detectives Go Wrong, Sally of the Sawdust (with W.C. Fields), and a program of Three Stooges rarities. 1-9 pm, Rosslyn Spectrum, 1611 N. Kent St. $99 for four days; $16 for half day. e-mail: email@example.com.
TORRID ZONE James Cagney stars in this sweaty Warner Brothers melodrama, which is set on Latin American banana plantation but has an attitude that's familiar from the studio's gangster flicks. (1940, 87 min) Shown with YOU OUGHT TO BE IN PICTURES, starring Porky Pig. 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.