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Watching Movies Based on Books More Fun Than Reading One

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Nathan Hager, All News 99.1 WNEW (Credit: CBSDC.com) Nathan Hager
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Lanham, Md. (CBSDC) —  If your idea of the perfect weekend is to sit around the house and enjoy a good book, this may be the perfect time to get out of your comfort zone and take yourself to the movies.

Sure, the 2013 National Book Festival is in full swing on the National Mall, but this week also offers a full slate of movies based on novels both classic and controversial.

DC Public Libraries is showing movies based on books that have faced challenges of one form or another. It’s in conjunction with Banned Books Week, which starts Sunday.

The week also includes the latest film adaptation of Anna Karenina with Keira Knightley, The Great Gatsby with Leonardo DiCaprio, and Emma with Alicia Silverstone, though that last film is set in a high school and renamed Clueless.

Also of note this week: a new weekly series of classic films starring Joan Crawford is getting under way at the National Theatre on Monday night, and a free screening of the acclaimed documentary about Jewish baseball great Hank Greenberg is coming to DC’s Tenley-Friendship Library Thursday night, with director Aviva Kempner in attendance.

Here’s the full list of free movies for the week starting Saturday, Sept. 21st:

Saturday:

  • 11am: Rocky (1976). Sylvester Stallone plays the underdog. Part of the Warriors of the Ring film series at the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave., NW.
  • 1pm: Blazing Saddles (1974). Mel Brooks’s hilarious sendup of Westerns, not to mention blaxploitation. A Saturday classic film matinee at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW.
  • 2:30pm: The Fantastic World of Juan Orol (2012). A tribute to Spain’s answer to 50s B-movie master Ed Wood.Part of the Global Lens film series at the Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Library, 7420 Georgia Ave., NW.
  • 2:30pm: The Massachusetts 54th Colored Infantry (1991). The PBS American Experience episode about the Union regiment made famous in the 1989 film Glory. Director Mark Samels will introduce the screening at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building auditorium, 4th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • 8pm: Star Trek (2009). J.J. Abrams’s reboot of the sci-fi franchise gets another go-round-the-galaxy at The Wine Bin, 8390 Main St., Ellicott City, Md.
  • 7:30pm: The Freshman (1925). A college nerd tries anything to get popular, including joining the football team. Part of the “Back to School” series at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
  • 8:30pm: Elmer Gantry (1960). Starring Burt Lancaster as a traveling salesman-turned-evangelist hiding a hard-drinking, womanizing lifestyle. Free with dinner purchase at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave. NW.
  • Dusk: The Avengers (2012). The movie that brought Iron Man, Thor, the Hulk and Captain America together. Part of Movies on the Beach, 8916 Chesapeake Ave., North Beach, Md.

Sunday:

  • 2pm: The Makioka Sisters (1983). The story of a wealthy Tokyo family on the eve of World War II. Part of the series “Pages of Beauty and Madness: Japanese Writers Onscreen” at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th St. and Jefferson Dr. SW.
  • 2pm: The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012). A shy high school freshman comes out of her shell with the help of two senior boys. It kicks off Banned Books Week at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW.
  • 4:30pm: Le Joli Mai (1963). The classic documentary about Paris at the close of the Algerian War. Playing at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. and Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • 8pm: Clueless (1995). Jane Austen’s Emma, updated and set at a posh high school. Part of Sunday Night Cinema at Tallula EatBar, 2761 Washington Blvd., Arlington, Va.
  • 8:30pm: Serpico (1973). Starring Al Pacino as a real-life whistleblowing New York City cop. Free with dinner purchase at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Monday:

  • 2pm: Cairo 678 (2010). A searing drama about sexual violence against women in Egypt. Part of the Global Lens film series at DC’s Chevy Chase Library, 5625 Connecticut Ave., NW. It will screen again at 6:30pm.
  • 2pm: Brokeback Mountain (2005). The Oscar-winning love story between two cowboys in 1950s Wyoming. Part of Banned Books Week at the Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Library, 7420 Georgia Ave., NW.
  • 6pm: Soul Food (1997). A family’s tensions surface after a health scare forces their mom to stop their weekly Sunday dinners. The Fiction Lover’s Film Companion at the Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St., NW.
  • 6pm: The Women (1939). Starring Joan Crawford, Norma Shearer and Rosalind Russell in a character study of Manhattan’s high-society women. The first film in the series “Joan Crawford: Hollywood Star” at the National Theatre, 1321 Pennsylvania Ave., NW.
  • 6pm: Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012). The mystical story of a six-year-old girl who must find strength along the bayou. Playing at the Burke Branch Library, 4701 Seminary Rd., Alexandria, Va.
  • 6:30pm: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Starring Gregory Peck’s as Harper Lee’s morally upright lawyer. The Monday night movie at Woodridge Library, 1801 Hamlin St., NE.
  • 7pm: Fighter Pilot (2004). Includes a lecture on Constant Peg, a covert program in the 1970s and 80s that trained U.S. fighter pilots using secretly-acquired Soviet MiGs. Playing at the National Air and Space Museum, Independence Ave. and 6th St., SW. Request tickets here.
  • 8pm: Hercules Returns (1993). A Samson movie, redubbed with a sillier script. Hosted by the Washington Psychotropic Film Society at McFadden’s, 2401 Pennsylvania Ave. NW.
  • 8:30pm: Of Human Bondage (1934). The film adaptation of the W. Somerset Maugham novel that made Bette Davis a star. Free with dinner purchase at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Tuesday:

  • 2pm: Key Largo (1948). The Humphrey Bogart/Lauren Bacall film noir about a man confronting a gangster who runs his old friend’s hotel. Playing at the Columbia Pike Library, 816 S. Walter Reed Dr., Arlington, Va.
  • 2pm: Sophie’s Choice (1982). Starring Meryl Streep in an Oscar winning role as a Polish immigrant hiding a disturbing secret about how she survived the Holocaust. Part of Banned Books Week at the Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Library, 7420 Georgia Ave., NW.
  • 3pm: The Color Purple (1985). Starring Whoopi Goldberg as a woman who finds strength amid a life of abuse and trial. Part of Banned Books Week at the Lamond-Riggs Library, 5401 South Dakota Ave., NE.
  • 6pm: Anna Karenina (2012). Starring Keira Knightley as Leo Tolstoy’s ill-fated socialite. Part of the September Film Series “Stoppard on Screen” at Georgetown Library, 3260 R St. NW.
  • 6pm: Iron Man 3 (2013). Tony Stark faces his scariest foe yet: a nerd he snubbed in the 80s. Part of the “Popular Movie” series at Martin Luther King, Jr., Memorial Library, 901 G St. NW.
  • 6:30pm: Cairo 678 (2010). A rescreening of the Global Lens movie at the Palisades Library, 4901 V St. NW.
  • 6:30pm: Bon Voyage (2003). Gerard Depardieu stars in this thriller set in Paris ahead of the Nazi invasion. Playing at the Shirlington Library, 4200 Campbell Ave., Arlington, Va.
  • 7pm: The Manuscripts of Timbuktu (2009). A look at the life of one of Africa’s greatest scholars. A $10 donation is requested at Bloombars, 3222 11th St. NW. RSVP here.
  • 8:30pm: Sweet Smell of Success (1957). Burt Lancaster and Tony Curtis team up to break up a jazz musician’s romance. Free with dinner purchase at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Wednesday:

  • 6:30pm: Vertigo (1958). Alfred Hitchcock’s masterpiece of obsession and dizziness. It’s Retro Movie Night at the Petworth Library, 4200 Kansas Ave. NW.
  • 7pm: The Outsiders (1983). Francis Ford Coppola’s film that introduced us to many members of the Brat Pack. Part of Banned Books Week at the Francis A. Gregory Library, 3660 Alabama Ave., SE.
  • 7pm: The Life and Times of Hank Greenberg (1998). The award-winning documentary about Major League Baseball’s first Jewish superstar. Director Aviva Kempner will attend the screening and take questions at the Tenley-Friendship Library, 4450 Wisconsin Ave., NW.
  • 8:30pm: Invaders from Mars (1953). Aliens take over earthlings’ minds. Free with dinner purchase at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Thursday:

  • 1pm: Fahrenheit 451 (1966). Based on Ray Bradbury’s novel about a future when firefighters burn books. Part of Banned Books Week at the West End Library, 1101 24th St., NW.
  • 2pm: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). A rescreening as part of Banned Books Week at Mt. Pleasant Library, 3160 16th St., NW.
  • 2pm: The Scarlet Letter (1995). Starring Demi Moore as Nathaniel Hawthorne’s adulterous heroine. Part of Banned Books Week at the Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Library, 7420 Georgia Ave., NW.
  • 5:30pm: In Cold Blood (1967). The adaptation of Truman Capote’s true-crime classic. A book discussion will follow the screening at the Cleveland Park Library, 3310 Connecticut Ave., NW.
  • 6pm: Why Did I Get Married? (2007). What happens when a sexy temptress steps in to an otherwise happy family? Part of the Tyler Perry Film Series at William O. Lockridge/Bellevue Library, 115 Atlantic St. SW.
  • 6:30pm: The Great Gatsby (2013). Baz Luhrmann’s hip-hop-infused adaptation of F. Scott Fitzgerald’s Roaring 20’s classic, with Leonardo DiCaprio as the Great one. Part of Blockbuster Thursdays at the Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St., Alexandria, Va.
  • 7pm: Berga: Soldiers of Another War (2003). The PBS documentary about American POWs forced to work as slave labor at the notorious Nazi concentration camp at Buchenwald. Playing at the National Archives’ William G. McGowan Theater, Constitution Ave. between 7th and 9th St., NW.
  • 7:30pm: Up the Down Staircase (1967). A young English teacher’s experiences in an inner-city New York high school. Part of the “Back to School” series at the Library of Congress Packard Campus Theater, 19053 Mount Pony Rd., Culpeper, Va.
  • 8:30pm: Deliverance (1972). Starring Burt Reynolds, Jon Voight and Ned Beatty on the scariest canoe trip ever. Free with dinner purchase at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave. NW.

Friday:

  • 2pm: The Kite Runner (2007). An Afghan expatriate returns home to confront his disturbing past. Part of Banned Books Week at the Juanita E. Thornton/Shepherd Park Library, 7420 Georgia Ave., NW.
  • 2pm: To Kill a Mockingbird (1962). Screening for a third time this week as a banned book matinee at the Beatley Central Library, 5005 Duke St., Alexandria, Va.
  • 7pm: The Sailor Who Fell from Grace with the Sea (1976). A young boy plots revenge on the man who steps into his mother’s life, after his father dies. Part of the series “Pages of Beauty and Madness: Japanese Writers Onscreen” at the Freer Gallery’s Meyer Auditorium, 12th St. and Jefferson Dr. SW.
  • 8:30pm: A Few Good Men (1992). The military courtroom drama with Tom Cruise, Demi Moore and a chilling Jack Nicholson. Free with dinner purchase at American City Diner, 5532 Connecticut Ave. NW.

(TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2013 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

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