FRIDAY, AUGUST 15
KANDAHAR Like many of Iranian director Mohsen Makhmalbaf's films, this startling tour of the Taliban's Afghanistan is a poetic mingling of fact and fiction. Makhmalbaf cast Afghan-born Canadian journalist Nelofer Pazira as Nafas, an Afghan emigre who undertakes a dangerous return to her homeland to rescue her persecuted sister, who has vowed to commit suicide. For both artistic and practical reasons, Kandahar is very simple. Cloaked in a head-to-toe burka, Nafas crosses the border from Afghanistan into Iran, posing as the fourth wife in an older man's extended family. Soon robbed by black-turbaned bandits, the family decides to return to Iran, but Nafas continues, encountering starving children, oppressed women, and landmine victims. The strain of a troubled shoot shows in technical problems, and there are stiff performances and off-key improvised dialogue, perhaps more noticeable here than in other Makhmalbaf films because so much of the talk is in English rather than Farsi. Dialogue is usually not that important in Makhmalbaf's work, though, and certainly can't compete with this film's vivid, painfully indelible images. 2:30 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
DOCTOR ZHIVAGO David Lean's adaptation of Boris Pasternak's novel is a classic example of the '60s mainstream literary epic. (1965, 197 min) (Also Aug. 16-21) 3 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
FAREWELL TO MANZANAR This unusually spare made-for-TV movie tells the story of a Japanese-American family interned during World War II, and was shot at the former Manzanar camp. (1976, 108 min) Shown with THE SEA IS BOILING HOT, a TV drama about two solitary soldiers, one American and the other Japanese, who slowly come to an understanding at the end of the war. (1958, 60 min) 6:30 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
AS TEARS GO BY Wong Kar-wai's 1988 directorial debut is a Hong Kong remake of Mean Streets that did big box office in many Asian countries, but is rarely shown in the U.S. A dashing young gangster risks his position by protecting his hotheaded "little brother," who finally tries to redeem himself by accepting a hit assignment that's crucial to the local mob. On a parallel track, the gangster enters into a no-strings romance with his beautiful cousin, who lives on then-bucolic Lantau Island. Although it's Wong's least distinctive film, signs of his mature style are evident in several action sequences, the flamboyant use of color, and the richness of the overall atmosphere. Andy Lau, Maggie Cheung, and Jackie Cheung all appear, presaging the brilliant but much more cryptic Days of Being Wild, which befuddled many of this movie's fans two years later. (1988, 102 min) 7 pm, Freer/Sackler Galleries, 12th & Constitution Ave SW. Free; tickets distributed one hour before screening.
INDIANA JONES AND THE TEMPLE OF DOOM Spielberg and Lucas took a lot of heat for this sequel, which prompted the PG-13 rating, but it's fundamentally the same movie as its precursor: a playful yet mechanical bow to the '30s serial that gives too little thought to the racial attitudes it's reviving. (1984, 114 min) (Also Aug. 16 & 17) 7 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
FLASHDANCE You'll believe a welder can dance, after seeing this very silly but winningly dynamic Adrian Lyne hit. (1983, 95 min) (Also Aug. 21) 9:30 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
VIDEODROME Technology and the body messily intersect in this characteristic David Cronenberg provocation. (1983, 89 min) (Also Aug. 16) 11:30 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SATURDAY, AUGUST 16
ANIKAI BOBO Manoel de Oliveira adopts a child's perspective for a tale of poverty in mid-century Oporto. (1942, 70 min) Shown with DOURO, FIANA FLUVIAL, the director's short poetic documentary about Oporto's harbor. (1931, 18 min) noon, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
MCCABE AND MRS MILLER A life-affirming bordello clashes with an evil mining company in Robert Altman's hippie-era Western, complete with a Leonard Cohen score. (1971, 120 min) (Also Aug. 18 & 20) 1 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
THE BREAD Begun as industrial documentary, this is Manoel de Oliveira's account of bread's progress from grain to loaf. (1959, 29 min) Shown with THE PAINTER AND THE CITY, in which the filmmaker compares photographs and paintings of Oporto. (1956, 23 min) 2 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
THE BINGO LONG TRAVELING ALL-STARS AND MOTOR KINGS Billie Dee Williams, James Earl Jones, and Richard Pryor star in this evocation of life on the road for players in the Negro Baseball League. (1976, 111 min) 2 pm, Historical Society of Washington, D.C. 801 K St NW. 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.
LA NOTTE An existential road movie that never leaves Milan, Antonioni's film observes a couple (Marcello Mastroianni and Jean Moreau), together and apart, over the course of a single night. (1961, 120 min) 4:30 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
DIRTY DANCING Patrick Swayze sets the Catskills on fire in this pseudo-'60s romantic musical. (1987, 100 min) (Also Aug. 19 & 21) 9:45 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SUNDAY, AUGUST 17
L'ECLISSE Loneliness and love animate the third film in the Antonioni trilogy that began with L'Avventura, with Monica Vitti as a woman who drifts from one affair into another. The final montage, which is linked by mood rather than narrative, is one of the director's finest accomplishments. 4:30 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
ONE FLEW OVER THE CUCKOO'S NEST The lunatics almost take over the asylum in Milos Forman's adaptation of the Ken Kesey novel, with Jack Nicholson at his most insubordinate. Forman introduces the film on Aug. 19. (1975, 133 min) (Also Aug. 20) 7:20 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
TRIAD ELECTION (aka ELECTION 2) The 2006 sequel to Hong Kong director Johnnie To's 2005 gangland drama is more complex, and more politically resonant, than its predecessor. Two years after winning the chairmanship of the Wo Sing triad, Lok (Simon Yam) decides to run for an unprecedented second term. His principal competition is Jimmy (Louis Koo), who initially opts out. He thinks he's found an escape route: a massive land development in nearby China that will allow him to become a true "businessman.'' But powerful forces want Jimmy to be the next chairman, and he finds he has little choice but to compete. Both movies build to a violent shock sequence
MONDAY, AUGUST 18
GRAVE DECISIONS This convoluted German comedy-drama turns on the (supposed) strangeness of Bavarian culture, as well as the mystery of death, the appeal of American hard rock, and (of course) the vagaries of love. (2006, 104 min) 6:30 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $6.
JULIA MIA In this skewed romantic comedy, an aspiring Israeli filmmaker casts a neighbor
TUESDAY, AUGUST 19
GLASSMAKERS OF HERATThis short documents a tiny Afghan glass workshop that still uses techniques employed 3,000 years ago. (1979, 26 min) Noon, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
HOLLYWOOD SHUFFLE Director-writer-star Robert Townsend's satire of Hollywood's treatment of African Americans, also starring co-writer Keenen Ivory Wayans. (1987, 78 min) Shown with an episode of IN LIVING COLOR, featuring three Wayans brothers. (1991, 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.
WEDNESDAY, AUGUST 20
MR. DIAL HAS SOMETHING TO SAY This documentary, which features both self-taught Alabama artist Thornton Dial and the celebrated quilters of Gee's Bend, analyzes how folk art has been underrated and overlooked by the mainstream art world. (2007, 57 min) 1 pm, National Museum of Women in the Arts Reservations recommended; firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-783-7370. $5.
YUNAGI CITY, SAKURA COUNTRY A live-action adaptation of Fumiyo Kono's manga, this drama interlocks two tales about the A-bombing of Hiroshima. In one, a woman who seems to have escaped the devastation begins to show signs of radiation sickness; in the other, set a generation later, a woman discovers how her family was affected by the cataclysm. (2007, 118 min) 6:30 pm, Japanese Information and Culture Center, 1155 21st St NW. Free; reservations required. RSVP to email@example.com
FRONTIER MARSHAL After the showdown at the OK Corral, Wyatt Earp begins to civilize Tombstone. This film was the source of John Ford's 1946 My Darling Clementine. (1939, 71 min) Shown with SHADOW RANCH, a tale of Old West vengeance, starring Wild West Show and silent-film veteran Buck Jones. (1930, 64 min) 7 pm, Films on the Hill, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 Seventh Street, SE. $5.
A SECRET Adapted from Philippe Grimbert`s novel, Memory, Claude Miller's film is about a young Parisian boy whose imaginary family history yields to the truth when he unravels the mystery of how his kin were affected by the Holocaust. (2007, 105 min) 8 pm, Avalon Theater, 5612 Connecticut Ave NW. $10.
THURSDAY, AUGUST 21
I'M GONNA GIT YOU SUCKA Director-writer-star Keenen Ivory Wayans plays a righteous vigilante in this parody of the blaxploitation genre, in which gold chains have replaced drugs as the scourge of the inner city. (1988, 88 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.