Free Movie Weekend: Time to Cram for the Oscars

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Members of the media checkout their positions as preparations continue in Hollywood for the red carpet arrivals. (Credit:FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

Members of the media checkout their positions as preparations continue in Hollywood for the red carpet arrivals. (Credit:FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP/Getty Images)

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The 85th annual Academy Awards are this Sunday night, and if you haven’t seen all the nominated films yet, this is your weekend to cram!

Luckily, in the Washington area, we’re afforded an opportunity to see the nominees in some of the more obscure categories for free.

The National Archives is screening the films in the running for Best Live Action Short, Animated Short, Documentary Short Subject and Documentary Feature.

But even if the Oscars aren’t your thing, this week’s selection of free movies in and around Washington has some big names, including Greta Garbo, Nicole Kidman and the hot young actors in the new Star Trek series.

Here’s the list, for the week starting February 23rd:

Saturday:

  • 12pm: A full day of Oscar screenings at the William G. McGowan Theater at the National Archives. First, this year’s five nominees for Best Live Action Short will be shown. Then at 3:30 and 5pm, a quick screening of the five short cartoons up for Best Animated Short Film, including one featuring Maggie Simpson! The day concludes at 7pm with one of the films up for Best Documentary Feature, The Invisible War (2012), which explores the epidemic of sexual assault in the military. The National Archives is located at 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • 1:30pm: Harvest of Loneliness (2010). A documentary about a Mexican guest worker program in the 40s, 50s and 60s that critics say undermined farm unions. Followed by an author Q&A at the National Museum of American History’s Warner Bros. Theater, 1400 Constitution Ave. NW.
  • 2pm: An Isaki Lacuesta double-feature at the National Gallery of Art. Los condenados (2009) is a fictional tale of Argentinian revolutionaries who search the jungle for their buried buddies. It’s followed at 4pm by La leyenda del tiempo (2006), a quasi-documentary inspired by the late flamenco dancer Camarón de la Isla. Part of the series Isaki Lacuesta: The Artist’s Ruse at the gallery’s East Building Concourse auditorium.
  • 7:30pm: Queen Christina (1933), starring Greta Garbo in her comeback role as a 17th century Swedish queen who considers giving up the throne for love. Part of the “Nothing to Fear but Fear Itself” series at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.

Sunday:

  • 11am: Another day of Oscar cramming at the National Archives before the big show in Hollywood Sunday night. It begins with a three-hour screening of the five films nominated for Best Documentary Short Subject. That’s followed at 4pm by the final full-length feature up for Best Documentary, 5 Broken Cameras, about a Palestinian farmer’s non-violent resistance of the Israeli Army. At the Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater, 700 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • 2pm: Against the Odds: The Artists of the Harlem Renaissance (1993) is a PBS documentary about the glory days of the African-American cultural movement in the 1920s and 30s. At the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE.
  • 2pm: The Iran Job (2012), a rescreening of the documentary about an American basketball player who agrees to play in Iran, just as the Jasmine Revolution is sweeping through. Part of the Iranian Film Festival at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 1050 Independence Ave. SW.
  • 4:30pm: Another Isaki Lacuesta double-feature. El cuaderno de barro is a 2011 documentary about a work of art featuring two men in black suits and a giant mound of wet clay. It’s followed by Los pasos dobles (2011), a quasi-documentary about the French fresco painter François Augiéra. Part of the series Isaki Lacuesta: The Artist’s Ruse at the gallery’s East Building Concourse auditorium.

Monday:

  • 8pm: Mean Mother (1974), a grindhouse classic about two Vietnam vets on the lam in Canada. Part of the Washington Psychotropic Film Society’s salute to Black History Month at McFadden’s, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Tuesday:

  • 7pm: The Story of Lover’s Rock (2011), a documentary about the evolution of the quintessentially British spin on reggae known as Lovers’ Rock. RSVP here. At Bloombars, 3222 11st St. NW.

Thursday:

  • 7:30pm: Star Trek (2009). Director J.J. Abrams’s blockbuster reboot of the 60s sci-fi franchise. Part of the series “Star Trek: Where No Shatner Has Gone Before” at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.

Friday:

  • 7pm: Stoker (2013), starring Nicole Kidman as a woman who becomes unhinged after her husband’s death, and Mia Wasikowska as her daughter who enters into an infatuation with the mysterious uncle she never knew she had. Directed by Park Chan-wook. Part of the Korean Film Festival at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 1050 Independence Ave. SW.
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