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The Architecture & Design Film Festival launches in D.C. at the National Building Museum this week. Among the highlights of the four-day festival dominated by nonfiction features is Columbus, a restrained drama from first time director Kogonada. It charts the unusual friendship between Jin (John Cho), who’s visiting Columbus, Indiana, after his father slips into a coma, and Casey (Haley Lu Richardson), a recent high school graduate who’s opted out of college to care for her troubled mother. Cinematographer Elisha Christian carefully frames the film’s characters by the modernist buildings around them. While the performers can seem hemmed in by glass walls and razor-sharp angles, we begin to see the structures as a place for them to find some sense of order in a world that often seems chaotic. Read more>>> The film screens at 8:15 p.m. at the National Building Museum, 401 F St. NW. $10–$15. (202) 272-2448. nbm.org. (Pat Padua)
The DC Distillers Fest is this Saturday at Longview Gallery in Shaw. There will be 60 craft spirits to sample in a setting that evokes a speakeasy, especially with the addition of a 1920s style jazz band. Participating distillers include Filibuster Bourbon, Mt. Defiance Cidery & Distillery, Belle Isle Craft Spirits, and Twin Valley Distillers. “Modern Gatsby attire” is suggested. There are three ticketed sessions: 1-3 p.m., 4:30-6:30 p.m., and 8-10 p.m. General admission tickets cost $85, while there’s an option to buy a VIP ticket for each session for $140 that gets you in an hour early for each session. Long View Gallery, 1234 9th St. NW, dcdistillersfest.com. (Laura Hayes)
OH AND ALSO
Friday: Gabriel Sanchez presents “The Prince Experience” with DJ Phaze, a tribute to The Purple One, at the Fillmore Silver Spring. 8:30 p.m. at 8656 Colesville Road, Silver Spring. $20.
Friday: Contemporary dance ensemble DIAVOLO performs at the Kennedy Center Eisenhower Theater. 8 p.m. at 2700 F St. NW. $29–$79.
Saturday: As an unapologetic Cher fan, I often find myself having to defend her to humorless or hipper-than-thou music fans, but she doesn’t need my help. Cher got her start as a backup singer on classic pop hits like “Be My Baby,” and went on to have a number one hit in six different decades—the only artist in history to achieve that. She became a fashion icon by mainstreaming hippie styles, and she’s still dropping jaws in her revealing outfits at 71. She was the first commercial artist to use autotune, radically reshaping the sound of modern music. She is just one “T” shy of EGOT-ing. She probably tweeted five emoji-filled, thinly-veiled threats to Trump before you even finished breakfast this morning. She launched her “farewell” tour almost 16 years ago, but she seems to have realized that she’s an infinite, undying being, so she just keeps going. Cher is, in other words, totally unstoppable, unless the thing she’s stopping is the show. Read more>>> Cher performs at 8 p.m. at MGM National Harbor, 101 MGM National Ave., Oxon Hill. $145–$327.28. (844) 346-4664. mgmnationalharbor.com. (Stephanie Rudig)
Saturday: The Arthur M. Sackler Gallery opens its new exhibit The Prince and the Shah: Royal Portraits from Qajar Iran, which includes paintings on canvas, lacquerwares, and photographs, highlighting Iran’s complex and cultural interactions with the West. 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at 1050 Independence Ave., SW. Free.
Saturday: Smooth sax player Kim Waters performs at Blues Alley. 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. at 1073 Wisconsin Ave. NW. $45–$50.
Sunday: On his fourth full-length album, Flower Boy, Tyler, The Creator sheds his previous persona as the class clown of rap in favor of a more vulnerable and sincere sound. Amidst Technicolor, N.E.R.D-inspired beats, Tyler invites us on his journey toward self-discovery, and coming out. On “Garden Shed,” the album’s blissfully dreamy centerpiece, Tyler confesses, “Garden shed for the garçons. Them feelings that I was guardin’. Heavy on my mind. All my friends lost, they couldn’t read the signs.” While Tyler’s confessionals don’t repent for his past gratuitous use of homophobic slurs and violent language, they do reveal the complicated nature of Tyler’s youth: the pain of unrequited love, the heartache of missed connections, and the struggle to find yourself in a world that often wants to abbreviate you. Read more>>> Tyler, The Creator performs with TACO and Vince Staples at 8 p.m. at The Anthem, 901 Wharf St. SW. $45–$55. (202) 888-0020. theanthemdc.com. (Casey Embert)
Sunday: Arlington-born singer-songwriter and pianist Rachael Yamagata performs at Union Stage. 7:30 p.m. at 740 Water St. SW. $25–$35.
Sunday: Gospel music star Travis Greene performs at the Howard Theatre. 8 p.m. at 620 T St. NW. $25–$55.
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