There’s still time to nominate local icons for Best of D.C.
A striking mixture of east-of-the-Danube expressionism and south-of-the-border politics, The Ghost That Never Returns is a rarely revived 1929 film by Soviet director Abram Room. It opens with shadowy, angular images of an industrial complex and the vast, Panopticon-style prison where dissident José Real is being held. When Real is allowed a one-day leave, the action switches to open territory characterized by long views and cracked earth. Made at the end of the silent era, the movie uses a mix of intertitles and dialogue to tell its story: Real has been organizing against exploitative foreign oil companies, a task he recommences as soon as he has a free day. Room’s film will be shown with a 1926 French short, Au pays du roi lépreux, that makes evocative use of the temple complex at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat. The films show at 4 p.m. at the National Gallery of Art’s East Building Auditorium, 4th St. & Constitution Ave. NW. Free. (202) 737-4215. (Mark Jenkins)