Adam's Rib Spotlights One Scene Wonders
By Adam Spector, DC Film Society Member
A couple of months ago, in a column about “That Guy” character actors, I paid tribute to Frank Vincent, who passed away in September. Vincent’s greatest film role came in Goodfellas, even though he only, for all intents and purposes, appeared in one scene (no I am not counting the ones where he is beaten or is lying in the trunk of a car). He, and others like him, are like ace relief pitchers, who come in for one inning, strike out the side, and then exit. How do actors such as Vincent make an impact in only a few minutes, without time to develop a character? Brilliant writing helps, but the actor often needs to bring much more than what’s on the page, so we in the audience feel like we know the character more than we really do. Which actors have made the most out of limited screen time? Check it out in my new Adam’s Rib column.
We Need to Hear From YOU
We are always looking for film-related material for the Storyboard. Our enthusiastic and well-traveled members have written about their trips to the Cannes Film Festival, Karlovy Vary Film Festival, London Film Festival, Venice Film Festival, Telluride Film Festival, Toronto Film Festival, Austin Film Festival, Edinburgh Film Festival, the Berlin Film Festival, the Palm Springs Film Festival, the Reykjavik Film Festival, the Munich Film Festival, and the Locarno Film Festival. We also heard about what it's like being an extra in the movies. Have you gone to an interesting film festival? Have a favorite place to see movies that we aren't covering in the Calendar of Events? Seen a movie that blew you away? Read a film-related book? Gone to a film seminar? Interviewed a director? Taken notes at a Q&A? Read an article about something that didn't make our local news media? Send your contributions to Storyboard and share your stories with the membership. And we sincerely thank all our contributors for this issue of Storyboard.
Calendar of Events
American Film Institute Silver Theater
On January 15 at 11:00am is King: A Filmed Record ... Montgomery to Memphis (Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Sidney Lumet, 1970), a three-hour documentary about Martin Luther King from the Montgomery bus boycott to Memphis. This can also be seen at National Museum of African American History and Culture.
The AFI shows first-run films in January including Phantom Thread in 70mm.
Freer Gallery of Art
A new series of Japanese classic films is beginning at the Freer. On January 3 at 2:00pm is the great Japanese classic Ugetsu (Kenji Mizoguchi, 1953).
The 22nd Annual Iranian Film Festival begins on January 12 at 7:00pm with Blockage (Mohsen Gharaie, 2017), an award-winning social drama. On January 14 at 2:00pm is Breath (Narges Abyar, 2016), Iran's official 2018 Oscar entry. On January 19 at 7:00pm is Disappearance (Ali Asgari, 2017). On January 21 at 1:00pm is Simulation (Abed Abest, 2017) shown with AVA (Sadaf Foroughi, 2017) at 3:00pm. More in February.
National Gallery of Art
"Affinities, or The Weight of Cinema" is an eight-part program of short experimental films. On January 6 at 2:00pm is "An Affinity for Witnessing" with Kelly Gallagher in person; on January 6 at 4:00pm is "An Affinity for the Interval" with Claudrena Harold in person; on January 7 at 4:00pm is "An Affinity for Labor" with Akosua Adoma Owusu in person; on January 7 at 5:30pm is "An Affinity for Constructivism" with Margaret Rorison in person; on January 13 at 2:00pm is "An Affinity for Color" with Christopher Harris in person; on January 13 at 4:00pm is "An Affinity for Modernism;" on January 14 at 4:00pm is "An Affinity for Readymade" with Cauleen Smith in person; and on January 14 at 5:30pm is "An Affinity for Collage" with Dirk de Bruyn in person. One more program in this series is held at the National Museum of African American History and Culture.
Special events in January include "Jem Cohen: Portraits of People and Place," a program of short films on January 20 at 2:00pm. On January 21 at 4:00pm is the Washington premiere of I Cannot Tell You How I Feel (Su Friedrich, 2016) shown with Stand in the Stream (Stanya Kahn, 2011-2017). On January 27 at 2:00pm is Mural: Story of a Modern Masterpiece (Kevin Kelley and Ben Hill, 2015) about Jackson Pollock's painting and on January 27 at 3:30pm is Pollock (Ed Harris, 2000). On January 28 at 4:00pm is Au Hasard, Balthazar (Robert Bresson, 1966).
National Museum of African American History and Culture
On January 11 at 7:00pm is "An Affinity for Technique" a program of three films one of which will feature a conversation with filmmaker Kevin Jerome Everson. See The National Gallery of Art for more in this series.
On January 15 at 2:00pm is King: A Filmed Record ... Montgomery to Memphis (Joseph L. Mankiewicz and Sidney Lumet, 1970), a documentary covering the years 1955-1968. This film can also be seen at the AFI Silver Theater.
Smithsonian American Art Museum
On January 20 at 3:00pm is Through the Repellent Fence (2017), a documentary about three Native American artists who constructed a two-mile long installation at the US-Mexico border. The film's producer David Hartstein and artist Cristobal Martinez will discuss the film.
Washington Jewish Community Center
On January 16 at 7:30pm is Two Trains Runnin' (Sam Pollard, 2016), a documentary about the search for some blues musicians. On January 22 at 7:30pm is Humor Me (Sam Hoffman, 2016), a father-son comedy about a struggling playwright. On January 23 at 6:15pm is the re-scheduled "An Evening with Bernard-Henri Levy" with two recent documentaries Peshmerga (2016) and The Battle of Mosul (2017). In between the screenings Levy will join the audience for an in-depth conversation. On January 30 at 7:30pm is The Young Karl Marx (Raoul Peck, 2017) about the early friendship between Karl Marx and Friedrich Engels.
On January 26 at 6:30pm is Winter's Daughter (Johannes Schmid, 2014), a road trip about a young girl searching for her biological father.
National Geographic Society
On January 24-27 at 7:00pm and January 31 at 7:00pm is a selection of films from the Banff Mountain Film Festival.
On January 9 at 7:00pm is the animated film The Rabbi's Cat (Joann Sfar and Antoine Delesvaux, 2011) set in 1930s Algeria. On January 23 at 7:00pm is Rosalie Blum (Julien Rappeneau, 2015).
The French Embassy hosts The International Shorts Film Festival on January 18 and 25. See below.
The Japan Information and Culture Center
On January 17 at 6:30pm is La La La at Rock Bottom (Nobuhiro Yamashita, 2014) about an amnesiac. On January 26 at 6:30pm is the anime film The Girl Who Leapt Through Time (Mamoru Hosoda, 2006).
On January 18 at 7:00pm is Dear America: Letters Home From Vietnam (1987), an Emmy Award-winning HBO documentary featuring actors reading actual letters home from those who served in the Vietnam War.
"Cinema Arts Bethesda" is a monthly Sunday morning film discussion series. On January 14 at 10:00am is Glory (Kristina Grozeva, 2016) from Bulgaria, about a citizen who tries to do the right thing but gets caught up in a bureaucratic nightmare. Breakfast is at 9:30am, the film is at 10:00am and discussion follows, moderated by Adam Spector, host of the DC Film Society's Cinema Lounge and author of the column "Adam's Rib." A season pass is available.
On January 10 at 8:00pm is Frank Serpico (Antonino D'Ambrosio, 2017), a documentary about Frank Serpico who blew the whistle on bribery and corruption in the NYPD. Post-screening Q&A with composer Brendan Canty. Part of the Avalon's "Films in Focus" series.
On January 17 at 8:00pm is the "French Cinematheque" film for January The Sweet Escape (Bruno Podalydčs, 2015) a comedy about a man who impulsively sets out on an expedition.
The "Reel Israel" film for this month is Holy Air (Shady Srour, 2017), about an Arab Christian living in Nazareth, shown on January 24 at 8:00pm.
On January 21 and 23 at 10:30am is "Canaletto and the Art of Venice," a survey of the artist's work and a visit to the sites immortalized in Canaletto's paintings.
Italian Cultural Institute
On January 17 at 6:00pm is The Conformist (Bernardo Bertolucci, 1970) starring Jean-Louis Trintignant.
Library of Congress
The Mary Pickford Theater
at the Library of Congress starts a new series of films showcasing the Library's collection and including newly preserved films. On January 11 at 7:00pm is Autumn Leaves (Robert Aldrich, 1956), a melodrama starring Joan Crawford. On January 25 at 7:00pm is So Dark the Night (Joseph H. Lewis, 1946), a schizophrenic thriller, preceded by A Day at CBS (Ralph Staub, 1948), a short film from Columbia's "Screen Snapshots" series.
"Capital Classics" at Landmark's West End Cinema
Classic films are shown at the West End Cinema on Wednesdays at 1:30pm, 4:30pm and 7:30pm. On January 3 is Casablanca (Michael Curtiz, 1943); on January is Seven Brides for Seven Brothers (Stanley Donen, 1954); on January 17 is Suspicion (Alfred Hitchcock, 1941); on January 24 is All the President's Men (Alan J. Pakula, 1976); and on January 31 is Forbidden Planet (Fred M. Wilcox, 1956).
On January 27 at 8:00pm is Anchor Man (Adam McKay, 2004), part of the audience-participation "Quote Along" series of films. Shown at the Old Firehouse, 1440 Chain Bridge Rd.
On January 28 at 2:00pm is Best Worst Thing That Ever Could Have Happened (Lonny Price, 2016), a documentary about the Stephen Sondheim/Hal Prince musical "Merrily We Roll Along" which closed after just 16 performances. At the Old Firehouse, 1440 Chain Bridge Rd.
Reel Affirmations XTra
On January 19 at 7:00pm is Catskin (Daniel Grasskamp, 2017), a UK-set photography student's coming-of-age story.
Busboys and Poets
On January 28 at 5:00pm is Tell Them We Are Rising (Stanley Nelson, 2017), a documentary about black colleges and universities. At the 14th and V location.
On January 18 at 7:00pm is The Together Effect (Sólveig Anspach and Jean-Luc Gaget, 2016), a romantic comedy set in France and Iceland.