City Paper is not for tourists
The plot of Blood Brothers sounds a little familiar: Like Kevin Costner in Dances With Wolves, Dean Reed plays a 19th-century U.S. cavalry officer who becomes disgusted with his cohorts’ brutality toward American Indians; he leaves his unit, goes native, and marries an Indian lass. But the 1975 film, which opens this series (at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 3), has no taste for Costner-style bourgeois individualism. As Reed commands in the opening song, “Always give your life for the dream.” The Colorado-born singer-actor, who possessed a marketable face and an Elvis-like baritone, may not have given his life for the cause—but he did spend many years extolling international leftism, beginning with his 1961 arrival in Latin America. Deported from Argentina five years later, Reed eventually relocated to East Germany, where he starred in 20 films and performed folk-rock that sounded pretty wild to people whose government had banned Dylan and the Beatles. Reed’s life is recounted in The Red Elvis (at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 10), a smart 2007 documentary that contrasts American detractors with such supporters as Armin Mueller-Stahl. The actor claims Reed could have been as big a star as Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise if he’d stayed in the States, which suggests that he’s never seen Blood Brothers or 1981’s Sing, Cowboy, Sing (at 6:30 p.m. Monday, Dec. 17), a slapstick Western musical. They’re both pretty lousy but a guaranteed hoot to anyone who enjoys preening pretty boys, Elvis knockoffs, or cowboy-and-Indian flicks where everyone speaks German. The series runs to Monday, Jan. 7, at the Goethe-Institut Washington’s GoetheForum, 812 7th St. NW. $6. (202) 289-1200; see Showtimes for this week’s films; see goethe.de/ins/us/was/kue/flm/enindex.htm for a complete schedule.