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Fifteen years before Roman Polanksi drugged and raped a 13-year-old, Stanley Kubrick directed James Mason and Sue Lyon through a similarly vile course in Lolita. Censors forced Kubrick to do more hinting than showing or telling, which means his 1962 film didn’t make waves quite like the Vladimir Nabokov book on which it was based. But if you’re curious as to how anyone could sympathize with Polanski, look no further than Humbert Humbert, the tweedy professor with a pedophile streak, and his abusive “affair” with 12-year-old Lolita, the daughter of Humbert’s landlord. The discovery of Humbert’s diaries leads Lolita’s mother to accidentally kill herself, freeing Humbert to play guardian pervert. Sound gross? It is, but don’t be surprised if, at the end of the film, what you’ve just seen somehow feels normal. Humbert is a frighteningly sympathetic protagonist. THE FILM SHOWS AT 8 P.M. AT AMERICAN CITY DINER AND CAFE, 5532 CONNECTICUT AVE. NW. FREE. (202) 244-1949. —Mike Riggs