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One of the greatest movies ever made about the movies, Billy Wilder’s 1950 classic Sunset Boulevard stars Gloria Swanson as Norma Desmond, a former silent film legend who hires a struggling writer (William Holden) to create a script that she hopes will lead to her triumphant comeback. This darkly comic film noir goes beyond lurid crime drama to present a bitterly cynical view of mid-century celebrity—and of growing old. While Swanson plays the apt role of the faded star (at the peak of her career in 1925, she reportedly got 10,000 fan letters in a single week), hers isn’t the only fall from Hollywood grace: The great director Erich von Stroheim, whose 1924 drama Greed was edited so severely it’s considered a lost masterpiece, plays the bittersweet role of Desmond’s trusty helper. Read more>>> The film screens at 5 p.m. and 9:20 p.m. at the AFI Silver Theatre and Cultural Center, 8633 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $8–$13. (301) 495-6700. afi.com/silver(Pat Padua)


At the Kennedy Center’s Millennium Stage, the top students from Mikva Challenge’s Soapbox Nation Initiative deliver speeches about the pressing issues in their lives and in the lives of their community members. 6 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. Free.

Dance company DanceArtTheater presents Through the Wall, a meditation on humanity showcased through dance, music, and storytelling, at Christ United Methodist Church. 5 p.m. at 900 4th St. SW. $17.

Added Color, a Brazilian-American rock band from Brooklyn, perform at Songbyrd Music House. 8 p.m. at 2477 18th St. NW. Free.

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