The Cinema Lounge
The next meeting of the Cinema Lounge will be on Monday, June 8 at 7:00pm. The topic to be discussed is "When Hollywood Risks Pay Off".
The Cinema Lounge, a film discussion group, meets the second Monday of every month at 7:00pm at Barnes and Noble, 555 12th St., NW in Washington, DC (near the Metro Center Metro stop). You do not need to be a member of the Washington DC Film Society to attend. Cinema Lounge is moderated by Daniel R. Vovak, ghostwriter with Greenwich Creations.
Last month at Cinema Lounge
On May 11, 2009, we discussed "The best movie openings." Within a few moments of discussion, we determined that "movie openings" fall into several categories. By the way, this topic required more thinking for my group of movie-discussion experts than any other discussion. Apparently, people remember endings more than beginnings.
No-talker Beginnings: WALL-E (2008), 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), There will be Blood (2007).
Dynamite Action Beginnings: The Spy who Loved Me (1977), Moonraker (1979), Casino Royale (2006), Tomorrow Never Dies (1997), The World is Not Enough (1999), The Dark Knight (2008), Raiders of the Lost Ark (1981), Lethal Weapon 2 (1989), Saving Private Ryan (1998), Amistad (1997), Cliffhanger (1993).
Tracking-shot Beginnings: The Player (1992), Snake Eyes (1998), Touch of Evil (1958), Infamous (2006), The Godfather (1972).
Spectacle Beginnings: Star Wars (1977), Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom (1984), The Birds (1963), The latest Friday the 13th (2009).
Music Beginnings: Jaws (1975), Patton (1970), Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull (2008), Wizard of Oz (1939), Apocalypse Now (1979).
Comedy Beginnings: The Naked Gun: From the Files of Police Squad! (1988), Back to School (1986), Bananas (1971), City Lights (1931), American Pie (1999).
Suspenseful Beginnings: Momento (2002), Rope (1948), The Usual Suspects (1995), Citizen Kane (1941), Rebecca (1940), Pulp Fiction (1994), The Untouchables (1987), Gone with the Wind (1939), Sunset Blvd. (1950), Goodfellas (1990).
Noteworthy Credit Beginnings: Walking Tall (2004), One of the Naked Gun movies, Either Chasing Liberty (2004) or First Daughter (2004) had credits that ran forever, Psycho (1960).
Fake-out Beginnings: What's Up Tiger Lily? (1966), Before the Devil Knows You're Dead (2007), About Schmidt (2002), Happiness (1998), Good Morning Vietnam (1987), The Return of the Pink Panther (1975), Tropic Thunder (2008).
Tone-setting Beginnings: The Princess Bride (1987).
We ironically ended on an off-beat topic, which was "where do forgotten stars go?" Many forgotten stars headed to "The Love Boat." Others still appear on various reality television shows. "Murder She Wrote" had many forgotten stars on it. Another landing spot was "Hollywood Squares." And Kato Kaelin did token celebrity appearances, but maybe he wasn't ever a "star" in the first place, at least probably not according to O.J. Simpson.
Valentino: The Last Emperor
Q&A with Director Matt Tyrnauer
By Anita Glick, DC Film Society Member
This Q&A took place at Landmark Bethesda Theater on May 14. Jill Hudson Neal, Fashion Editor of Washingtonian magazine moderated. Debut director (and Vanity Fair special correspondent) Matt Tyrnauer tells the story of Valentino’s extraordinary life, how it affects the fashion business today and the unique relationship between Valentino Garavani and his business partner and companion of 50 years, Giancarlo Giammetti.
Photo from the Valentino website
Jill Hudson Neal: Did you believe the film would be received so enthusiastically?
Matt Tyrnauer: Not at all. When you start to make a movie everyone tells you what a bad idea it is. There are a million reasons not to make any film and you will hear them week in and week out while you are making the movie — and you have to survive that and you have to believe in them and I don’t know why but I did. The reason, actually, was because of Valentino and Giancarlo and that relationship which is what I wanted to put on film. I was excited about it after I met them. As a correspondent for Vanity Fair magazine for many years, I was assigned to write about Valentino. I was not really enthusiastic about this project. I was excited about three free weeks in Rome on a Vanity Fair expense account. Valentino was the tiny tanned icon of all the fashion press. The assignment was way less thrilling to me. I had read all the press on him for 50 years. It was always the same story, a stiff picture of him saying what a genius he was. It's true enough, but no one had ever gone any deeper than that - so when I got to meet Valentino and Giancarlo, I became really interested in them. So I wrote a really long piece for Vanity Fair about both of them. It’s the first time anyone had really done that. When the story was published, the next day in Italy there were 15 newspapers with headlines “VALENTINO IS GAY” which had somehow escaped the attention of the Italians for the previous 75 years. But I wrote the story. It was the first time anyone had done this.
JHN: I did want to ask you about this. Imagine in the 1950's (when they met) it certainly wasn't the thing to be an ‘out’ gay man. But Valentino and Giancarlo have lived for many years as friends and lovers, but they were always "don't ask, don't tell".
MT: That's a good way of putting it. Actually, it is sort of the Vatican version of "don't ask, don't tell". If you have been to Italy, you can imagine, even now, especially in Rome, the capital city of the Catholic world — it is very conservative that way. It’s a little different now. The definitions of sexuality are just not the same as they are here. People are not as "out". But their generation is the "50's generation" so imagine all that. It was a different world. They lived with their mothers until the mothers died. They did not tell the mothers about their relationship even though the mothers were living in the house. A friend of mine said "with their big blown out hairdos — how could the mothers not have known?" The point is you don't talk about it. Everyone knows everything but you don't talk about it. They were in the press for 50 years, so no one talked about it. But for me it was the universal take on the story because they are the richest men in Rome. They walk around in $7,000 suits and everything is perfect.
JHN: How do you identify with people like that?
MT: But I found them, actually, quite easy to identify with (by the end of the film) because everyone really wants what they have — the longevity of their relationship. It is a study of how you make that journey with another person and it takes a lot of devotion and in Giancarlo’s case “sublimation of ego.” It’s a really fascinating partnership. It’s a love story really. Anyone who survives 50 years together, I think, deserves a movie on them.
JHN: This is the second time I have seen the film and it feels very much like a journalist was at the helm of this film. Not a sort of traditional documentarian out for one thing. The tone wasn’t reverential. You were able to see the impact of the clothes, his persona, and his will on the people around him. It felt like you were able to be very dispassionate. Was that a purposeful thing?
MT: Well, thank you for that. I think that is a great compliment. It’s the way I am. Even in my writing I always look to an important source. Grey Gardens (1975) was a documentary shot in same style as this (cinéma vérité). That means that there is no narration and the author of the film is not trying to push you in one direction or another. The characters tell their own story. So in the long run I really do let the characters speak and tell their own story. For me humor is extremely important. In this film, Valentino is never thought to be funny in any context. He and Giancarlo live really absurd lives. By any definition they are absurd and for me that is humor. I was very, very forceful with everyone working on the film saying I wanted them to seem funny in every scene possible. Thank you for saying it is not reverential. The reviews have normally been extraordinarily good, much better than I dreamt they would be. Some reviewers have called it a big love note. I would like to tell you that I had final cut and I fought for a year and I have a contract with them. Before I started I had no lawyers, now I have eighteen.
JHN: Tell us a little bit about your relationship with them; when you started and where it is now?
MT: Well it is very complicated. I don’t recommend entering into a sort of three way relationship with control freaks who are very frightened about what you are going to tell the world about them. It gets very tense. Valentino quit the movie every day by about six o’clock and then rehired himself every morning. My nickname for them was Liz and Dick. I called them that to their faces.
JHN: Which one was Liz and which one was Dick?
MT: Valentino was Liz. We went very up and down. I think they liked the story a lot. Giancarlo told me it sort of changed their lives.
JHN: How so?
MT: In that they came out of the closet.
JHN: At 70 whatever?
MT: Yeah. That was a fact. I think it was very important for Giancarlo to be recognized as an equal partner, which is what I did for him. Not as a favor but because I thought it was an extraordinary marriage. During the filming they fought all the time. I put a lot of it on the screen and Valentino hated that. I kept the movie from them for as long as possible. When the moment of reckoning came I showed it in a movie theatre about this size (seating for 200) with seven people in the theatre.
JHN: Who were the seven people?
MT: Valentino, Giancarlo, a couple of their entourage, myself and two of the editors. When the lights came up, I thought they looked like characters that had escaped from the movie One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. They were devastated by the film. They hated it. Valentino is like “where is the beauty, the glamour, the dresses?” Everything was wrong with it. I had a meeting with Giancarlo the next day. He literally listed every single scene in the film as objectionable. He offered to move to New York to re-cut the movie because he said he was good at that kind of thing. He was always trying to direct the movie over my shoulder. I find it interesting when a controlling person is trying to manipulate you.
JHN: There are no talking heads or narrators in the film!
MT: There was never going to be a narrator. I don’t like films with narrators. We were just making a film.
JHN: Were you aware when you were filming — that you were filming the end of an era?
MT: In a certain sense. He was 74 when we started and he knew he couldn’t go forever. He started to talk about retirement. They live a life that nobody lives anymore. Which is fascinating, the Upstairs Downstairs, Gosford Park servant vs. master kind of thing. But then the retirement drama and the buy-out of the company came along. You can never predict these kinds of things. We shot for two years. We were supposed to shoot for one, but when the largest party ever given in the world was planned, we stayed around because I saw this as the finale and the company was bought out. By the end of the third act you start to get a sweet/bitter undertone to the film. You think oh g-d, this guy might loose the empire he created. What’s the meaning of all that? Bruce Weber is the American fashion photographer most widely known for his ad campaigns for designers and his work for Vogue, GQ, and Vanity Fair. While lunching together we discussed the filming. I was advised by him to hire male models. He said it was the most important thing for me to do; I would get double time. No greater advice was ever given. The models were wired with microphones placed in their ties. We were able to listen to Valentino and Giancarlo speaking to each other. We heard Giancarlo tell Valentino “You look fat.” Valentino is not very demonstrative. Giancarlo is much warmer. There is no public display of affection between them. I was with them in a restaurant in London and there were two men kissing at a nearby table and they were both in shock. Giancarlo commented “disgusting, how can they do that”. They are from a different generation.
JHN: How did you finance for the movie? In what format was it shot?
MT: Private equity — asking a million people for funding. Most of time we were told no, and that’s when you hear what a stupid idea it is. Then we got the funding — we got all of it actually. The movie was shot on high definition and transferred to film.
JHN: What is Valentino doing now?
MT: He is promoting this film. We were on Oprah, Charlie Rose, and Barbara Walters. He did Ryan Seacrest. He really did!
JHN: That’s really hot stuff!
MT: I know. I thought so too. He is retired and not adjusting very well. Imagine going from four collections a year to nothing. I think it’s rather interesting. He loves the movie now so he’s going around promoting it.
JHN: What is the main characteristic of Valentino to you personally?
MT: The main characteristic of Valentino is his English. Lunch with Valentino (without the camera around), is him trying to extract from you “is Tom Cruise really gay?” He asks everyone. I don’t know if he has an answer yet. I’ve had about ten lunches with him and he is about “Oh really Mimi Rogers.” At desert he moves on to Orlando Bloom. We only had one camera for the most part. It’s a one camera movie except for the big party at the end when we had multiple cameras. Giancarlo was on the set more. Valentino would arrive at noon every day because the morning hours were spent bronzing and cantilevering his hair. We were at war with them for about six months after they saw the movie. They wanted it to be changed and they called the movie the ‘pizza’ because they thought about the big flat film reels in a box and Giancarlo would call me and say “my darling, bring me the pizza.” So I would bring it over to them and show it to them. — again and again and again. Then we got in to the Venice Film Festival and they thought, "this is interesting. Very prestigious!" So they thought, maybe this isn’t a ‘pizza.’ So they showed up. They threw a huge party, trying to attract attention away from the movie. The movie was shown in a room where it was mostly paparazzi because he is an icon in Italy. No one had seen the movie. They were there to see ‘them’. So — 500 paparazzi in a room of 1,600 people. They sat in the balcony.
JHN: Like the Pope?
MT: Exactly. When the movie was finished the 1,600 people stood up and turned to the balcony and gave them a standing ovation which Valentino received like Mussolini with Giancarlo pulling at his coat and trying to get him to sit down. Valentino burst into tears and fell in love with the movie that night.
Question from the audience: Thanks for the film, it was wonderful. I remember reading the Vanity Fair article. When did you develop a relationship with him that you thought you could achieve this trust?
MT: Trust came when I wrote the article. Giancarlo loved the article. I don’t think Valentino read it. That helped! He is the most difficult person to ever walk the earth, even Giancarlo thinks so. So — I stuck around — the trick is knowing when to leave. I commuted to Rome for about seven years. Arriving is one thing but knowing when to leave is another. I discovered the horror of seeming overly eager.
JHN: Are you working on another film?
MT: I am currently just working to distribute this. We are a small company. We are currently showing in 45 cities. Thank you for putting this together and thank you to Landmark Theater.
Valentino: The Last Emperor had a brief run in the Washington area. Visit the website.
Director Duncan Jones on Moon
From the press notes
“There is a reason why “indie” and “science fiction” are rarely seen together in the same sentence,” says Moon director Duncan Jones. “Sci-fi by its very nature often demands the biggest production values, and, as you can imagine, that’s the hardest thing to achieve with an indie budget. So putting Moon together was an intricate puzzle: we wanted to tell a story that was both intimately human but universal in appeal; we wanted to keep our cast small and our shooting environment completely controllable; and we wanted to get every last drop of screen value out of our visual effects. It was hugely ambitious, but it paid off—we made an honest-to-goodness science fiction film, with an intense story, an amazing performance by an extraordinary actor, chock-full of gorgeous special effects, and we did it in 33 days and on a small budget.”
Jones—a self-described “sci-fi geek”—has long been fascinated with both the lunar landscape and the cinematic classics of the outer space genre: “Alien, Silent Running, Outland, and 2001: A Space Odyssey—the golden era sci-fi films I grew up with. If Gerty [the computer voiced by Kevin Spacey], the Sarang [the moon station], the rovers and harvesters have a retro aesthetic to their design, it’s no accident. We were creating an homage to that golden era.”
The moon itself also inspired Jones’s story treatment, upon which Nathan Parker’s screenplay is based. “The moon is an obvious but ignored location for a science fiction story. It’s only been 40 years since we first traveled to the moon, and it gives me goose pimples to think that the moon could be the source of enough renewable energy to keep our entire planet energy-sated for the next few hundred years. More than that, everyone feels a personal connection to the Moon. Every night, it is science fiction sitting in our eye line.”
Moon's human element drew inspiration from a very human source: “Moon was written for Sam Rockwell,” says Jones. “I’d met with Sam about a year before making Moon to talk to him about another project. It didn’t work out, but it came up that Sam was into sci-fi and that if I had something in that genre, he would love to see it. As soon as the meeting was over, I got to work. I needed to write a sci-fi film starring Sam Rockwell!”
Moon was a challenge to write,” continues Jones. “There was a set of pretty stringent criteria that my producer, Stuart Fenegan, and I had come up with for ourselves, to give us the best chance of getting the film made. I had to keep in mind a very limited budget, $5M; keep the cast as small as possible; and write something that would best be done in a controlled studio environment, all while utilizing a very specific set of visual effects that would maximize production value for minimum cost."
“I was writing it specifically for Sam Rockwell, so it had to have something fundamentally challenging or at least exciting for him to get his teeth into as an actor, but the film as a whole also needed to have mainstream appeal."
“It occurred to me that I could address many of the criteria we had set ourselves if Sam were to play multiple roles. Sam would get a challenge as an actor, I could keep my cast small and as a team we could focus most of our efforts on achieving a very specific type of visual effect. Cloning seemed to fit well into the embryonic story I was playing with of a man stuck in a moon base. I got excited thinking: “If you met you in person, would you like yourself?” I think it’s the most brutal, honest and human question there is…and that makes it perfect for sci-fi.”
The dual-role challenge won over Rockwell. “It is not far fetched to say that the technical responsibilities put on Sam’s shoulders were some of the most demanding an actor has been asked to deal with in recent years,” says Jones. “Other films in the past have had an actor perform with himself, but never to the degree that Sam did in Moon. His phenomenal skill and near infinite patience made MOON not only possible, but pushed back the boundaries on this very tricky and unforgiving effect. When you do it wrong, it’s very obvious—and when you do it right, it’s invisible. Films like Cronenberg’s Dead Ringers and Spike Jonze’s Adaptation previously wore the crown, and were inspirations to us. Now I hope people will look to Moon to see how it’s done.”
“As a bible for the look of the lunar exteriors, we relied on "Full Moon" by Michael Light, an amazing collection of NASA photos from the Apollo missions, filled with beautiful, high-contrast 70mm photography of the moon from both space and its surface. It gave me a very clear idea of what I wanted the exteriors of our film to look like. We worked with Bill Pearson, model genius of Alien fame, to create live-action models and sections of lunar landscape for our vehicles to run across, and then with the help of the fantastic London special-effects house Cinesite, we enhanced the models and digitally extended the landscapes.”
Jones loves the idea of fellow “Sci-fi nerds outdoing each other trying to catch all the little homages paid to sci-fi films of the past,” but expects MOON to tap into broader interests and emotions as well. I want people to leave the theatre tapping away on their iPhones, looking up Helium-3 as a potential fuel for fusion power generation, and discussing the prospects of Lunar mining. I want sci-fi geeks to be jumping around excitedly, chattering about how cool we made the rovers, harvesters and base. I want the romantics to be teary-eyed, having a little shared moment with the people they love, or calling them up if they are far away. But most important, I want people who love movies to say, “That was pretty damn good. I wonder what these guys are going to do next…”
Moon opens June 12 in the Washington DC area.
Silverdocs Film Festival
Silverdocs, now in its seventh year, takes place June 15-22 at the AFI Silver Theater. More than 100 films from 58 countries will be shown, many of which are premieres; retrospective films are also included. Films screen in six sections including Best Music Documentary, Short Films, Special Programs, and Features. A five-day International Documentary Conference provides perspectives on funding and distribution for filmmakers. "Silverdocs 2009 celebrates the best of documentary, showcasing new work by master filmmakers in the field, as well as introducing new filmmakers sure to be the recognized names of the future. Silverdocs is proud to present such an amazing diversity of the documentary form to our highly engaged audiences and guests from around the globe,” said Sky Sitney, Artistic Director.
Notable filmmakers presenting their work this year include Silverdocs’ Charles Guggenheim Symposium Honoree, the renowned Albert Maysles (Salesman, Grey Gardens, Gimme Shelter); Leon Gast (When We Were Kings); AJ Schnack (Convention), Al Reinert (For All Mankind); Jeffrey Levy-Hinte (Soul Power); Jon Blair (Dancing With the Devil); Ondi Timoner (We Live in Public); R.J. Cutler (The September Issue); Joe Berlinger (Crude); Yoav Shamir (Defamation); and Marshall Curry (Racing Dreams).
Sitney also noted, “Apropos of Barack Obama's historic election, filmmakers this year have tapped into the zeitgeist of African-American icons and a generational shift of power and perspective. From Muhammad Ali in Facing Ali to LeBron James in More Than a Game; from Marion Barry in The Nine Lives of Marion Barry to Obama's historic nomination in Convention. These national politicians, athletes, and in Soul Power and Still Bill, musicians, have carried the hopes and dreams, and high expectations of millions. Each film reflects the changing nature of America's cultural, economic and political landscape in our journey to become a more perfect union."
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
"Silverdocs" takes place June 16-20 at the AFI Silver Theater. See above.
With the international success of Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, it's time to look at (or re-look at) his other films: Trainspotting, A Life Less Ordinary, The Beach, 28 Days Later can be seen in June.
"Beautiful Dynamite: The Films of Cyd Charisse" is a series of seven of dancer Cyd Charisse's best films. In June you can see It's Always Fair Weather, Silk Stockings, Singin' in the Rain and Two Weeks in Another Town.
"Charlton Heston Remembered" concludes in June with the extended version of Major Dundee, The Omega Man, Soylent Green, Will Penny, and El Cid.
The Korean Film Festival DC 2009 concludes in June with Breathless (2008) and Epitaph (2007).
"Signore and Signore: Leading Ladies of Italian Cinema" presents some of the greatest film actresses of Italy including Sophia Loren, Anna Magnani, Claudia Cardinale, Monica Vitta and Giulietta Massina. Films in June are Drama of Jealousy (Monica Vitti); The Seduction of Mimi (Mariangela Melato); Oh! Sabella (Tina Pica); Vanina Vanini (Sandra Milo); The Widower (Franca Valeri); and I Knew Her Well (Stefania Sandrelli).
Encore screenings from the recent "New African Films Festival" include Shoot the Messenger (2006) and 13 Months of Sunshine (2007).
On June 27 is the world premiere of the comedic documentary Every Other Day Is Halloween (C.W. Prather, 2009) with the director present for Q&A after the screening.
The "2009 DC Caribbean Filmfest" includes Happy Sad (Trinidad/Tobago), El Benny (Cuba), Rain (Bahamas) and Sugar Cane Alley (Martinique).
Freer Gallery of Art
"The Riches of Early Soviet Cinema" accompanies the Freer's exhibit "The Tsars and the East". On June 5 at 7:00pm is Battleship Potemkin (Sergei Eisenstein, 1925); on June 7 at 2:00pm is Kino-Eye (Dziga Vertov, 1924) shown with Enthusiasm (Dziga Vertov, 1931); and on June 12 at 7:00pm is Extraordinary Adventures of Mr. West in the Land of the Bolsheviks (Lev Kuleshov, 1924). Burnett Thompson will provide piano accompanment for all.
"A Salute to the Festival of 3 Continents" celebrates 30 years of ground breaking films. On June 19 at 7:00pm is Water, Wind, Dust (Amir Naderi, Iran, 1989) with the filmmaker present for discussion; on June 21 at 1:00pm is Devarim (Amos Gitai, Israel, 1997); on June 21 at 3:00pm is Chronicle of a Disappearance (Elia Suleiman, Palestine, 1996); and on June 26 at 7:00pm is A Summer at Grandpa's (Hou Hsiao-hsien, Taiwan, 1984). Tie Xi Qu: West of the Tracks, a nine-hour documentary will be shown in three parts: "Rust" on June 27 at 1:00pm, "Remnants" on June 28 at 11:am and "Rails" on June 28 at 3:00pm.
National Gallery of Art
"The Film Novels of Karel Vachek" is a series by the Czech documentarian. On June 6 at 1:30pm is "New Hyperion or Liberty, Equality, Fraternity"; on June 13 at 1:30pm is "What is to be Done?"; on June 20 at 1:30pm is "Bohemian Docta or the Labyrinth of the Wold and the Lust-House of the Heart"; and on June 27 at 1:30pm is "Who Will Watch the Watchman?"
"A Short History of Color" is a lecture/film program on the technologies of color in the first half of the twentieth century. On June 7 at 2:00pm is a lecture "Film Color before 1928" by Charles O'Brien followed by a selection of short films. On June 14 at 2:00pm is a lecture "Technicolor on Location: Unreality in the Great Outdoors" by David Pierce with a film Follow Thru (Lloyd Corrigan and Buddy Schwab, 1930) at 3:00pm and The Trail of the Lonesome Pine (Henry Hathaway, 1936) and the short film Service With a Smile (Roy Mack, 1934) at 5:00pm. On June 21 at 2:00pm is the film Can't Help Singing (Frank Ryan, 1944) and the short film La Cucaracha (Lloyd Corrigan, 1934) with an introduction of David Pierce. On June 28 at 4:00pm is Gone to Earth (Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, 1950).
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden
Three Godzilla films will be shown in June introduced by film scholar David Wilt. On June 11 at 7:00pm is Godzilla vs. King Ghidorah (1991); on June 18 at 7:00pm is Godzilla vs. the Sea Monster (1966); and on June 25 at 7:00pm is Godzilla 2000 (1999).
National Museum of the American Indian
On June 12 at 7:00pm is The Men of Hula (Lisette Marie Flanary, 2006), a documentary about Robert Cazimero, teacher at the all-male hula school in Hawaii, followed by a discussion with the filmmaker and subject. Reservations are required; see the website.
Museum of American History
On June 3 at 7:00pm is a documentary Secrets of the Parthenon: The Opening of the New Acropolis Museum (2008), following a modern restoration team as it investigates how the ancient Greeks built this icon of Western civilization.
National Portrait Gallery
"Duchamp on Screen" is an evening of film screenings featuring Marcel Duchamp. On June 11 at 7:00pm is Anémic Cinéma (1926), an NBC "Wisdom Series" interview of Duchamp (1956) and 8 x 8: A Chess Sonata in 8 Movements (Hans Richter, 1957).
On June 20 at 2:30pm is "Andy Warhol's Screen Tests," motion picture portraits of Marcel Duchamp, Lou Reed, Edie Sedgwick and Kenneth Jay Lane. Warhol scholar Callie Angell presents the film and conducts a conversation after the screening.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
On June 25 at 6:30pm is It Happened One Night (Frank Capra, 1934) starring Claudette Colbert and Clark Gable, to accompany the exhibit "1934: A New Deal for Artists."
Films on the Hill
A pre-Code double feature is on June 13 at 7:00pm The Lost Squadron (George Archainbaud, 1932) starring Eric von Stroheim and shown with High Stakes (Lowell Sherman, 1931). On June 19 at 7:00pm is D.W. Griffith's Battle of the Sexes (1928) with Phyllis Haver (star of the original "Chicago") and Jean Hersholt. On June 20 at 7:00pm is the film noir Split Second (Dick Powell, 1953) with Alexis Smith, Jan Sterling and Stephen McNally.
Washington Jewish Community Center
On June 7 at 11:15am is Overture to Glory (Max Nosseck, 1940), a newly restored film based on the play by Mark Arnstein nd one of the last Yiddish language films to be made in the U.S.
On June 23 at 7:00pm is Yoo-Hoo, Mrs. Goldberg (Aviva Kempner, 2009), a portrait of Gertrude Berg, a radio and television pioneer and creator of the sitcom The Goldbergs. Film panelists include Arch Campbell, Aviva Kempner, Gertrude's granddaughter Anne Schwartz, and others.
A new series "Europe Laughs -- Intercultural Comedies" is a series of 7 films about the cultural misunderstandings which result when people from different European cultures come into contact with one another. On June 8 at 6:30pm is Shouf Shouf Habibi (Albert ter Heerdt, Netherlands, 2004); on June 15 at 6:30pm is Helsinki--Napoli All Night Long (Mika Kaurismaki, Finland, 1987); on June 22 at 6:30pm is Born in Absurdistan (Houchang Allahyari, Austria, 1999); and on June 29 at 6:30pm is Flowrs from Another World (Iciar Bollain, Spain, 1999). More in July.
The Goethe Institute takes part in EuroAsia Shorts on June 1 at 6:30pm with the theme "Cities and Urban Living."
National Air and Space Museum
"Our Sun--Is It a Steady Performer?" is a lecture/film show about our unpredictable sun.
National Geographic Society
On June 8 at 7:00pm is a preview screening of The End of the Line followed by a panel discussion with ocean experts. RSVP by June 5. On June 22 at noon is America's Lost Landscape: The Tallgrass Prairie (2006), a documentary about the transformation of 240 million acres of prairie to farmland and its effect on the planet and people. A discussion follows the screening.
On June 24 at 7:00pm is Welcome (Philippe Lioret, 2009), an award winning film about a young Kurd who, on route to England, is stopped on the French side of the Channel.
The Japan Information and Culture Center
The Japan Information Center takes part in the multi-venue EuroAsia Shorts with a program "Fears and Phobias" on June 5 at 6:30pm.
On June 17 at 6:30pm is Departures, winner of the Academy Award for Best Foreign Language Film and the opening night film at this year's Filmfest DC.
As part of the anime series on June 26 at 6:30pm is Sky Crawlers (Mamoru Oshii, 2008), about genetically modified fighter pilots struggling for supremacy of the skies.
The National Theatre
This summer's star is Elizabeth Taylor. On June 22 at 6:30pm is Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Richard Brooks, 1958) and on June 29 at 6:30pm is National Velvet (Clarence Brown, 1944), both of which were nominated for multiple Academy Awards. More in July and August.
Movies Under the Moon
This outdoor series of summer movies is at Van Dyck Park, 3730 Old Lee Highway, Fairfax. Movies begin at 8:30pm. Check the schedule for film titles which include Kung Fu Panda, Twilight, The Dark Knight and Mamma Mia!.
On June 27 at noon is North by Northwest (Alfred Hitchcock, 1959) starring Cary Grant and Eva Marie Saint. On June 13 at noon is Friendly Persuasion (William Wyler, 1956). Films from the holdings of the National Archives will be shown June 25 at noon in a program "Propaganda, Persuasion and Promotion" including films from the New Deal, WWII, and the Cold War era. On June 20 at noon is National Treasure II (2007).
As part of the "Lions of Czech Film" is Lost Holiday (Lucie Lucie Králová, 2007) on June 10 at 8:00pm. A Czech tourist finds a suitcase containing 22 rolls of undeveloped film and tries to find the subjects.
For this month's French Cinémathèque on June 17 at 8:00pm is The Wedding Song (Karin Albou, 2008), set in Tunisia during WWII.
Italian Cultural Institute
On June 6 at 6:30pm the Italian Cultural Institute takes part in "EuroAsia Shorts," showing the audience favorites on the last day of the series.
International Spy Museum
On June 25 at 1:00pm is Stormbreaker (Geoffrey Sax, 2006).
Sixth and I Synagogue
On June 23 at 7:30pm is Encounter Point (Ronit Avni and Julia Bacha, 2006), a documentary about parents who have lost children in the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Embassy of Argentina
On June 5 at 6:30pm is El Custodio (Rodrigo Moreno, 2006).
The Shortie Awards: Student Film and News Festival
Every year, The Shortie Awards celebrates international student filmmaking and news programs with a festival awards ceremony. The festival's best entries are viewed and winners are announced. The Shortie Awards recognizes original digital media productions created by student filmmakers, ages 7-18, and their teachers. June 6 at 3:00pm at the Women in Military Service for America Memorial. Call 703-770-7137 for more information or visit the website.