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Free Movie Weekend: Filmfest DC Has Some Freebies

by Nathan Hager
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(credit: Thinkstock)

(credit: Thinkstock)

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WASHINGTON (CBSDC) - This final weekend of the National Cherry Blossom Festival goes out with a bang, if you’re a fan of Japanese pop culture.

The entire series of an anime program directed by a critically-acclaimed animator will be shown in marathon fashion this weekend.

And that’s just a hint of the free movies and documentaries coming this week to a museum near you.

The National Gallery of Art continues its salute to Universal Pictures’ 100th anniversary; the Library of Congress is beginning a new series celebrating the restoration of the old movie house the State Theatre in Culpeper, Va.; even Filmfest DC, the annual international film festival in the nation’s capital, has a few films worth checking out that require no price for admission.

Related: AFI Film Festival to Expand to National Mall

Here’s the full list of free movies for the week starting April 13th:

Saturday:

  • 11am: A marathon of the 2004-05 anime series Samurai Champloo begins. It’s the story of three outcasts in Edo-era Japan who search for the “samurai who smells like sunflowers.” The first 14 episodes will screen at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium. The day will also include lectures about anime culture and the Tokyo underground. 1050 Independence Ave. SW.
  • 2pm: A couple of short French films about childhood at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater. The Red Balloon (1956) is followed by White Mane (1953). Part of the “April in Paris” series at the Packard Campus, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
  • 2pm: Show Boat (1936), the classic adaptation of the Kern/Hammerstein Broadway musical, featuring Paul Robeson’s legendary rendition of “Old Man River.” Part of the “Universal at 100″ series at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. & Constitution Ave. NW.
  • 4pm: A second set of short films will be screened as part of the National Gallery of Art’s series L.A. Rebellion: Creating a New Black Cinema. In the East Building Auditorium, 4th St. & Constitution Ave. NW.
  • 7pm: Smokin’ Fish (2011) is a humorous look at the food culture in native Alaska. A real-life food demonstration from the National Museum of the American Indian’s award-winning Mitsitam Cafe will precede the screening at the museum, 3rd St. & Independence Ave. SW.
  • 7pm: The weekly screening of a “Buffy the Vampire Slayer” episode at the Black Cat. This week, it’s “Smashed”, from season 6. 1811 14th St.NW.

Sunday:

  • 11am: The last 12 episodes of Samurai Champloo will be screened, along with lectures about Japanese woodblock art and the days of the shoguns in Japan. At the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 1050 Independence Ave. SW.
  • 4:30pm: Museum Hours (2012), a story about the surprising relationship that develops between a first-time visitor to a Vienna museum and one of its security guards. Presented as part of Filmfest DC at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. & Constitution Ave. NW.

Monday:

  • 6pm: I Confess (1953), Alfred Hitchcock’s classic starring Montgomery Clift as a young priest who becomes a murder suspect after hearing the real killer’s confession. Part of the series “Montgomery Clift: American Enigma” at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • 8pm: GothKill (2009), a straight-to-video schlockfest about a priest who goes on a killing spree at a New York City goth club after Satan breaks his promise to give him the keys to the kingdom. Hosted by the Washington Psychotronic Films Society at McFadden’s, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.

Tuesday:

  • 12pm: Mystery of Easter Island (2012), a PBS NOVA exploration of how the ancient inhabitants of this Pacific island left behind those enigmatic giant heads. Part of the Tuesdays at Noon series at the National Geographic Museum,1145 17th St. NW.
  • 7pm: A Thousand Roads (2004), a short film with four intertwining stories about native Americans in the 21st century: a Mohawk stockbroker in Manhattan, an Inupiat girl sent to live with her grandmother in Alaska, a Navajo gang member in New Mexico and a Quechua faith healer in Peru. A $10 donation is requested to benefit BloomBars, 3222 11st St. NW.RSVP here.

Wednesday:

  • Shored Up, a documentary about the effects of rising sea levels along the Jersey Shore and North Carolina’s Outer Banks. Director Ben Kalina will conduct a Q&A after the film. Presented as part of Filmfest DC at Union Station’s Columbus Club,50 Massachusetts Ave. NE.

Thursday:

  • 11am: Carbon for Water (2011), a documentary about the struggle to find safe drinking water in western Kenya, and a company’s innovative effort to help provide it. At the Anacostia Community Museum, 1901 Fort Pl. SE.
  • 6:30pm: Elemental (2012), a documentary about three eco-warriors’ efforts to save the planet in vastly different ways. Presented as part of Filmfest DC at Union Station’s Columbus Club,50 Massachusetts Ave. NE.
  • 7:30pm: Once in a Lifetime (1932), a funny, if overlooked, take on Hollywood’s transition from silent films to talkies. Part of the “Salute to the State Theatre” at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.

Friday:

  • 7pm: Weird Business (2012), a 3D film with three strange stories. “The Suicidal Assassin” is about a killer who can’t kill himself, no matter how hard he tries. “The Witch” is about, well, just that: a witch. “The First Love Keeper” is about a novelist who collects stories about budding love, not knowing the next story will be his. This is the first test for the Freer Gallery’s new 3D projector at the Meyer Auditorium, 1050 Independence Ave. SW.
  • 7pm: The weekly screening of a “Doctor Who” episode at the Black Cat. Tonight, it’s “Utopia”, from season 3. 1811 14th St.NW.
  • 7:30pm: You Can’t Take It with You (1938), a screwball comedy starring Jimmy Stewart as a millionaire’s son who falls in love with a woman from an eccentric but well-meaning family, much to his own family’s dismay. Winner of the 1938 Academy Award for Best Picture, it’s part of the “Salute to the State Theatre” at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
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