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The AFI Silver’s annual Noir City DC Festival is back, and this year every program is a double bill. Monday’s headliner is This Gun For Hire, a 1942 thriller based on a novel by Graham Greene in which a woman named Ellen (Veronica Lake) is a nightclub singer engaged to a detective lieutenant (The Music Man’s Robert Preston). On a fateful train ride to Los Angeles, she meets Raven (Alan Ladd), a handsome assassin, and drama ensues. Alan Ladd was only fourth-billed, but his performance as a cool, tough-talking killer made him a star, and his chemistry with Lake led to three more film noir appearances for the pair. Packed with double-crosses, unlikely coincidences, and a little homoerotic subtext, this densely plotted crime drama is one of the classics of the noir genre. The film is shown with the 1949 noir The Threat, about a killer (Charles McGraw) who escapes from Folsom Prison and seeks revenge on everyone who helped put him there. Noir movies from the 1940s—the perfect way to celebrate Spooktober. Read more>>> The films screen at 7:30 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8–$15. (301) 495-6700. afi.com/silver. (Pat Padua)


Writer and pianist Vivien Schweitzer speaks about her book A Mad Love: An Introduction to Opera, a chronicle of the history of opera and a guide to understanding the art form, at Politics and Prose at The Wharf. 7 p.m. at 70 District Square SW. Free.

British rock band Django Django performs at U Street Music Hall. 7 p.m. at 1115 U St. NW. $30.

The Kennedy Center Millennium Stage welcomes Zhou Family Band, a group that plays traditional Chinese wind and percussion music. 6 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. Free.

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