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Wednesday, June 3, 2009

The Long (Gone With the Wind) and the Shorts of Film; Pedal Your Goods at Goethe, a Golden SilverDocs and Fete de la Musique

The EuroAsia Shorts continue for three more nights this week. Although reservations are filled, it seems to be no problem to arrive by about 6pm and get in at 6:20. Tuesday night, a great lineup of humor shorts took over the Indian Embassy in Dupont Circle (after some wine and appetizers!). The highlights for me were: a "singles" short from France with a Neil Labute ending; a Waiting for Godot Spanish scenario about finding Woody Allen's glasses; a 10-year-old German boy proposes marriage to an adult woman (this one will probably be shown Saturday at the "best-of"); and a happy ending, Bollywood take-off on an arranged marriage.

Thursday, the shorts come to Korea's KORUS House, Friday the Japan Information and Culture Center, and Saturday the ornate Istituto Italiano di Cultura. (Probably have to get there earlier on Saturday to get in.) Kudos to Jon Gann for organizing all of this - he should be running the big DC Film Festival.

I also made it over to the Library of Congress to hear Michael Sragow discuss his new book about the director of Gone With the Wind and The Wizard of Oz: Victor Fleming: An American Movie Master. We were treated to some great stories and film clips from Sragow, the film critic of the Baltimore Sun. Unrecognized for many years, Fleming is finally getting his due. He took over from George Cukor on GWTW and won the Academy Award for Best Director. Also considered one of the most handsome men in Hollywood, Fleming was linked to some of its prettiest women, including Clara Bow and, near the end of his life, Ingrid Bergman. There's an interesting article in The New Yorker about him and the books by David Denby.

Okay, more interesting things going on:

Friday at 6:30 the Argentina Embassy near Dupont Circle is showing a free movie called El Custodio. First Friday will be taking place nearby - tough to do both unfortunately.

Over on 14th Street, the esteemed Hemphill Gallery is having a frame sale all day Saturday.

This Sunday at 3pm and 6pm at the Shakespeare Theatre, catch a free rehearsal of their new much-hyped production of King Lear with Stacy Keach.

Next Thursday, June 11, there is a fundraiser at the Goethe-Institut on 7th Street:

Pedal Power! for Climate Ride
Featuring remarks by cycling advocate Congressman Earl Blumenauer and Patrick Serfass, member of Team XTreme4, winner of the 2008 Race Across America, followed by two award-winning films and a reception. Tickets $20/$18.

On Friday night, June 19, SilverDocs, the documentary festival in Silver Spring, will show its annual outdoor free movie in the courtyard behind the theater. This year's entry is For All Mankind, about astronauts.

On Saturday night, June 20, venture over to the French Embassy for its Fete de la Musique. It's only $8, and if the weather is good, it's a nice way to feel like you're in Europe for an evening.

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