FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 5
PLAY IT COOL Elvis-styled Liverpudlian Billy Fury stars in this rockin' flick, leading his Satellites to Soho in search of a missing singer. Also making appearances are Bobby Vee and Shane Fenton (later redubbed Alvin Stardust). (1962, 81 min) Shown with IT'S TRAD DAD, which depicts a small-town battle between an uptight lord mayor and a Dixieland jazz band. Visiting American rockers Gene Vincent, Chubby Checker, Gary "U.S." Bonds, and Del Shannon also feature in the movie, the directorial debut of Richard Lester, who two years later would have a A Hard Day's Night. (1962, 78 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.
SPECIAL AGENT In this characteristic Warner Bros. gangster flick, a treasury agent (George Brent) tries to bust a mobster by charming a secret code from his bookkeeper (Bette Davis). (1935. 78 min) 7 pm, Films on the Hill, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 Seventh Street, SE. $5.
JAWS This horror (of nature) flick is a capable scare machine, but is today remembered mostly as the first of the mass-release mega-movies that ultimately changed the nature of Hollywood's marketing — and its art. (1975, 130 min) (Through Sept. 11.) 7 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
BLOW-UP Antonioni's visit to Swinging London presents his customary theme — the inexplicability of truth and the human heart — in the halfhearted guise of a thriller: A trendy, promiscuous fashion photographer casually snaps a picture that, he comes to suspect, is evidence of murder. The symbolism can be clunky, but the style is sleek and vivid — thanks, in part, to the Yardbirds's experiments with feedback. (1966, 111 min) (Also Sept. 6-10) 9:30 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
SATURDAY, SEPTEMBER 6
HENSON OPEN CINEMA These three TV programs celebrate the Muppets, Sesame Street, and Fraggle Rock. (1966-89) (Also Aug. 30 & Sept. 6) 10 am-2 pm, S. Dillon Ripley Center, Room 3111, 1100 Jefferson Drive SW. Free.
THE MUPPET MOVIE The 'ppets head for Hollywood in this cameo-stuffed musical comedy. (1979, 97 min) (also Sept. 6-8, 10 & 11) 12:30 & 5 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
EARTH AND ASHES A man and his young grandson trudge through war-weary Afghanistan in this road movie, which gradually reveals the journey's purpose. (2004, 102 min) 2:30 pm, 2 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, Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, 7th St & Independence Ave SW. Free.
RUNNING FENCE: CHRISTO AND JEANNE-CLAUDE David Maysles, Albert Maysles, and Charlotte Zwerin's documentary traces Christo and Jeanne-Claude's battle to build a fabric fence across a 24.5-mile stretch of Northern California. (1978, 58 min) 3 pm, Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, 8th & G Sts NW. Free.
SUNDAY, SEPTEMBER 7
I WENT TO THE DANCE This survey of Cajun and Zydeco includes the music of Michael Doucet and Beausoleil, Clifton Chenier, and more. This screening marks the 25th anniversary of NEA's National Heritage fellowships. 3 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. Free
BELLE TOUJOURS Manoel de Oliveira has a secret. Or rather, Henri Husson does, but it's not at all clear that he'll reveal it in de Oliveira's recent "homage'' to Luis Bunuel's Belle de Jour. At the end of that once-shocking 1967 film, part-time prostitute Severine wonders what her husband has learned about her exploits at a Paris brothel. Some 40 years later, Husson (Michel Piccoli) spies Severine at the symphony, and pursues her. She flees, but ultimately agrees to dine with him, provided he tells her what he told her husband so long ago. Barely more than an hour, Belle Toujours is wispy but sly, and a tribute to Paris as well as Bunuel. Some viewers have complained that Bulle Ogier replaces Catherine Deneuve as Severine, but that's surely another bow to Bunuel's surrealist wit: When Severine protests that she's different now, she's literally correct. (2006, 68 min) 4 pm, 2 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
BELLE DE JOUR What if a beautiful, elegant, sexually repressed Parisian housewife decided to work afternoons in a brothel? And what if she didn't? Both scenarios are possible interpretations of Luis Bunuel's 1967 film, which has as much fun toying with narrative expectations as it does subverting bourgeois sexuality. Out of distribution for more than a decade, the film stars Catherine Deneuve as Severine, whose masochistic sexual reveries have little connection with her staid life as the wife of a blandly handsome surgeon. Though explicit for its time, Belle is more playful than erotic. Bunuel implicates the Church, as usual, and puckishly integrates the two principal characters of Breathless into one, a young tough whose obsession with Severine may (or may not) destroy her double life. Made when the director was 67, the film seems to claim liberating power not so much for sex as for fantasy. (1961, 101 min) 5:10 pm, 2 pm, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
MONDAY, SEPTEMBER 8
YESTERDAY GIRL In Alexander Kluge's first feature, a young woman from East Germany wanders into the affluent, ahistorical West, and finds herself still outside looking in. (1966, 84 min) 6:30 pm, Goethe-Institut, 812 Seventh St NW. $6.
TUESDAY, SEPTEMBER 9
A GLIMPSE OF DE KOONING In this short, the painter discusses his style with cohort Franz Kline and critic Harold Rosenberg. (1968, 20 min) noon, National Gallery of Art East Building auditorium. Free.
THE LAST TYCOON Director Elia Kazan's last film was this adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald's final (and unfinished) novel, subtly scripted by Harold Pinter. Robert De Niro plays a Hollywood baron modeled on producer Irving Thalberg, and his costars include Jack Nicholson, Robert Mitchum, and Jeanne Moreau. (1976, 123 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.
UNCOUNTED: THE NEW MATH OF AMERICAN ELECTIONS This documentary makes the case that Republican operatives stole the 2004 election for Dubya. Director David Earnhardt will attend the screening. 7 pm, American Film Institute Silver Theater, 8633 Colesville Rd. $9.75
WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 10
DIDINE Aimless 30-something Alexandrine (aka Didine) transforms her life by joining an association that offers companionship for elderly people. (2008, 103 min) 7 pm, La Maison Francaise, 4101 Reservoir Rd NW. $8. Reservations required: e-mail email@example.com
THURSDAY, SEPTEMBER 11
WORKS OF NATURE: OPPENHEIM AND SMITHSON These two 1970 shorts document the construction of Smithson's Spiral Jetty and a series of "interactions" between Oppenheim's body and such natural substances as rock and water. 6 pm, Smithsonian American Art Museum, McEvoy Auditorium, 8th & G Sts NW. Free.
HANDS UP! Little-remembered silent-era star Raymond Griffith plays a Confederate spy in this comedy, a showcase for sight gags and physical humor. (1926, 70 min) Shown with a comic short to be announced later. 7 pm, Films on the Hill, Capitol Hill Arts Workshop, 545 Seventh Street, SE. $5.
THE HORN BLOWS AT MIDNIGHT Jack Benny plays an angel whose mission is to destroy Earth with a horn blast in Raoul Walsh's widely disparaged flop, which (some say) deserves to be reconsidered. (1945, 80 min) 7 pm, Mary Pickford Theater, Library of Congress Madison Building, Third Floor, 101 Independence Ave. SE. Free; call 202-707-5677 for reservations.